Not long ago I received a call from a former student.
He is one of the many students I've work with who has a strong entrepreneurial bent. However, his entrepreneurial bent is often compromised by his desire to satisfy immediate monetary needs where not much risk is involved. In other words, he wanted to have a steady paycheck and was gainfully employed. Either way, his entrepreneurial ways always cropped up. But this time, it got him in trouble.
He told me he followed a formula I have been recommending to many people who want to join the New Economy without making a significant time or money investment. It isn’t a path leading to an IPO in the near future, but I am never amazed at the number of people who implement and succeed at making money using this formula. In the case of the former student, he was in fact seeing too much success. He wanted to know how he should resolve the dilemma of deciding between investing more time in the new business versus focusing on the job he had nurtured for the past three years.
I call the formula “24-hour business launch”. Here is how it works. You first need an idea serving a “boutique clientele” or fills a narrow niche in the market. It could be embroidered socks with company logos. Or it may be protein powder to meet the needs of all those “no carb” dieters. Or mermaid figurines for those peculiar folks out there who just can’t get enough. You need not actually produce a product or service. But you will need to find a supplier, preferably one who will sell you the product at a discount or at a cost below what is offered in the retail market. And I suggest you have adequate knowledge of the product or service because it is a hobby or passion of yours. It is always helpful to claim some level of expertise.
You need a catchy dot.com domain name. Something like buymermaids.com. Once you have the name picked, you can purchase it on GoDaddy. Enter it into their search engine, and if it is not taken you can buy it for $12 a year. You can put it on your credit card and float the payment.
Once you have the domain name secured, you need to create the website. There are many sites who will provide you with the tools to create a website quickly, even if you are not familiar with coding. SquareSpace, Wordpress, and GoDaddy to name a few. An easy transaction can be again placed on your credit card.
Then go to Google Adwords and create a campaign by selecting key terms such as “mermaid”. When someone types in the word mermaid, your website will pop up. You will need to pay for this service, and additional costs are created if someone clicks on your website while doing a Google search.
Now you are ready to go. When you get off work, block out one hour to answer emails and fill orders. Ideally, you are working with a supplier where you simply forward the shipping address of the person who made the purchase for the product or service. Be sure to have received a payment, however, before you ship.
If this new business of yours generates few sales, you may well be out $250. Of course, if it succeeds, you may be faced with a horrible dilemma my former student encountered. You either have to work two jobs (one for your boss and one for you) or have to consider becoming a successful full-time entrepreneur.