The 8 “You don’t have to’s” for small start ups.
An enlightening entrepreneurial case from the streets of Singapore.
A week ago I was walking by the late evening in a very narrow street of Singapore with a friend. We have had dinner in a nice place in a restaurants and bar area full of good places to go to have nice time with friends or with your couple. Many alternatives.
When leaving the zone to go back home, we accidentally bumped into this unique and very interesting place. There was live music and shishas on the tables that grabbed our attention, my friend and I hesitated for a while and then decided to stay for a short time to enjoy a shisha while listening to the music and the whole environment. (very common business term: THE EXPERIENCE).
The place was extremely different. It was mega tiny. The bar itself had no more space than the necessary for a 2.5mt long drinks bar, the small counter and 2 tables. It was just alongside this narrow dark almost scary street 2 blocks away from the main restaurant zone.
It was a great experience down there.
The whole thing reminded me what I have seen several times with many successful examples of small entrepreneurs: If you want to start up your own business, you have to really want it, and to really believe on it, because is not going to be easy, but you must bear on mind some “you don’t have to’s” as well,
If you want to start up your own business:
- You don’t have to wait until you save millions for the first investment. Many star ups are backed only by the credit cards of their founders,
- You don’t have to wait until you are done with the perfect business plan. There’s no such thing. Things keep always changing,
- You don’t have to wait until you know everything about your field. Entrepreneurs are hardly from the “all knower” kind. But they act! And learn.
- You don’t have to wait until you find the best location ever. How many “garage” or “room” genius have you heard about? –What about GOING OM?-
- You don’t have to wait until you can afford the whole office equipment. Laptops are the first office of many successful businessmen out there and the boxes of the floor lamps their tables,
- You don’t have to find any virgin area of specialisation. Entrepreneurs do what they love, or love what they are doing to keep their business walking. Our minds are used to think too small compared to the tremendous number of opportunities in such an immense world we live in.
- You don’t have to wait until your bank approves your loan to start big. Many entrepreneurs began with a mix of savings, family loans and cash from sales of non necessary goods. Actually you don’t have to start big. It’s only about STARTING! And finally,
- You don’t have to quit your current formal compromises (school or job), even though you will end up doing it if you want to keep the adventure GOING OM.
What I would say is that you don’t have to start with the business in the way you have been thinking and dreaming about. We tend to be too perfectionists-to expect too much from ourselves- and even when that’s a good thing, it doesn’t help at all in this cases facing scarcity.
What you need is to find your advantages, to know your resources, to measure your needs and keep a balance in your wallet.
To identify your market niche, who are you selling to and why they are coming to you so you keep yourself giving them what they want. With the proper management and enough effort, you may take it to the next stage.
And you need to keep moving. Always looking around. Acting.
To read the whole story with all the details of the place, what I talked with the owner and other specifics things about the experience look the post “Going OM“