The other day, I googled “business ideas online“, “how to start an online business” and went through a plethora of articles pulled from Google’s search results.
Guess what? Almost all articles focuses on things like:
- “Start with a website first”
- “You need a social media page. Here’s how to get your first 500 instagram followers”
- “Forget everything else, you first need to get your company registered”
But is it the 1st step you need when starting out? I don’t think so.
When you start out, there is a baggage of things you are thrown into. The typical “do this, do that” advice.
The only problem — there is no result to it. You get overwhelmed. You start making excuses (the classic one is “Yeah, I really should do that someday)
And the worst is you don’t do ANYTHING at all.
My hope is that I guide you through the complex roads of starting your own business. And one of the best things you can do right now is to make a list of things which are NOT needed right now.
Yep, you read that right. Think of how liberating it is to know the 108 things which others tell you to do.
Instead, what if we take a different approach. What if we say — “Hey, there are all these things. But right now, I don’t need to worry about X things, and only focus on the key 2-3 things to begin with”
Mind you, these key things are what will get you results. These will get you real paying customers, not some fancy social media gimmicks.
So, what are some time-wasters which you don’t need to do right now?
#1. Getting a company registered
I understand this is important. But, not at this stage.
Right now, we want to focus on getting our first 1-3 paying customers. And that can be done without getting a company registered.
#2. Starting a website
Not needed. I know tons of 8 figure business owners who STILL do not have their website, or a decent looking website. Why? Because they understand website is just a tiny part of a bigger picture.
So, you don’t want to start a website as of now.
#3. Creating social media accounts
God, this makes me angry. I have seen videos of those digital marketing gurus bombarding you with information of “Guys, do this and get 1000 twitter followers!”
Let’s play it out for a minute. Say you have 1000 followers. Now what? How many of them will actually BUY?
When starting out, we want real tangible results, like paying clients, and not vanity metrics like twitter followers, or facebook post likes!
#4. Investing, Venture Capital, Funding
Again, we live in the ecosystem where every morning you get news of companies raising million dollars in funding.
Well, congratulations to them. But, to start a business, you don’t necessarily need a ton of money. I have started my ventures with little or in some cases no money.
Yet, I have been able to generate paying clients, ongoing revenue, and a regulal stream of second income.
So, the key is — you don’t want to be focusing on chasing investors for money. Starting a side-business requires little money (for eg: 5K, 10K, etc.)
#5. Rent an office
One of my friends is spending a huge chunk of his cash on renting an office. When I asked him how many clients does he have already, he goes:
“Well, first atleast let me get the office. THEN I will start working on getting clients”
That really makes no sense. If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a real business.
No, you don’t need a website developer. You don’t need a graphic designer. You don’t need someone who can create a fancy logo.
All of your initial work in getting your first paying client (like — finding a business idea, validating it, researching your niche, getting clients) can be done and managed efficiently by you.
#7. Any of your non-sense mental objections
“I am not an expert”
“I am really confused”
“Will my idea work”
“What if my idea is stolen”
“What if …..(add any objection here”
The point here is, that all of the objections can be handled later. For now, we only want to know — what are some things to focus on, and what are some things to NOT focus on.
That is very relieving to realize so many things are pure time-wasters.