THE MYTH OF TIME VS RESOURCES
Like many hopeful entrepreneurs scouring the Internet for a perfect business idea, I’ve come across little solid information on how to start a business without any money at all. The funny thing about this is, some of the most successful businesses were created with no upfront costs.
For example, Airbnb was started when two of it’s founders, Brian and Joe, were flat out broke. They struck an idea and decided to rent out the extra floor space of their home with three air mattresses, charging $80 per person for a night’s sleep + breakfast. It worked, and with the funds they acquired, invested in a simple website with listings that grew the business from there into what it is today. Currently, Airbnb is a household name and one of the best ways for homeowners to make side money on a regular basis.
What this company and many others have proved is that time is more valuable than money for the new generation of entrepreneurs. Some tech companies can be valued at billions of dollars without ever posting a dollar of revenue, based solely on their user loyalty and projected growth. Everyone seems to have the next big idea, but that doesn’t honestly doesn’t mean anything without implementation. Here, I highlight 3 FREE ideas definitely worth trying out, if you have the time and dedication it takes to make it happen.
FOR THE CREATIVE TYPE, TRY CASE ESCAPE
Case Escape offers an advantage to entrepreneurs like no other. Say that you are a freelance graphic designer/artist/photographer and struggling to bring your product to market. Or say you already have an online marketplace for selling your art but want to expand. This company has you covered for custom phone case production from start to finish. They not only fulfill, package, and ship your items directly to your customers, but also offer business advice and website help, all for a reasonable cost which undercuts other competitors in the industry.
This is because Case Escape works with the entrepreneur in mind, and is familiar with growing something from nothing. They have a plan of action to get you going full time in the industry, if that’s your intention. Much like Airbnb, who reinvested their earnings to grow their business, you can eventually do the same by purchasing the equipment from them to make the cases yourself. Bringing production in-house is always an option which Case Escape helps support by being your ongoing supplier as you reach new markets and expand your product line. Learn more here.
FOR THE SELLING TYPE, BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND
As with anything in life, if you can sell it, you will win. There is nothing more beneficial than selling your personal brand, especially if you have something interesting or extraordinary to offer. I can’t stress this part enough. No one wants to see content from someone who doesn’t have unique content, whether it be a topic of interest, a point of view, or talent/skill worth sharing. The phenomenon of Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat have allowed for thousands of people to make serious money off of their personal brand, whether it be slapstick comedy, makeup tutorials, or video game narration, just to name a few. 5 years ago, it was virtually impossible to build a personal brand of this size for a 22 year old kid in his dorm room. Now, with the flood of social outlets, the sky is the limit with what some would view as completely useless content. Find your niche, and attack it with everything you have. Consistency and variety is key in building a personal brand, just like anything else. The more great content you have, the more viewership will pour in.
If you have a more professional skill, such as an instrument or language, there are platforms to help you expand your talents and get in front of the right audience. Sites like Masterclass and Creative Live both offer teachers with the opportunity to pair with aspiring students looking to learn a particular craft. If writing is your niche, take on blogging with your topic of choice. Take Ryan Robinson for instance. His specialty is helping his audience build side businesses and has developed special courses dedicated to the topic. His experience as an entrepreneur fuels his advice and has helped him build a loyal following.
FOR THE RESOURCEFUL TYPE, BECOME A MIDDLE MAN
If the last two options didn’t sound much like you, become a “middle man”. This is for the individual that knows a deal when they see one. The art of re-selling has become more popular than ever due to a few factors. First, the demand for top brands has reached an all time high, allowing for after sales of clothing, concert tickets, and other choice items to go for 2 -3 times retail value. I’m sure you have had the experience at least once of paying more than something was worth because you “had to have it”. The same goes for the opposite side end. Each of you has also experienced getting an amazing deal on a product that you couldn’t believe. Evaluating these value items is a talent in itself, and should not be taken lightly. I personally know a friend who has become a millionaire off of buying tickets to sold out shows, and re-selling them through StubHub. Sure, it’s sometimes risky, but like anything else, if you have the right strategy you will be right more often than not.
Another classic example of reselling has been in the shoe industry. Self-proclaimed HypeBeasts (a term which describes shoe obsessed individuals with large collections), resell sneakers such as the Adidas Yeezy Boosts for up to 5x their selling price. Whatever your interest, you can make money doing it. If you are already spending the time based on pure interest, chances are that you know more about the product and price than the average individual. Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the top business minds today, always tells his audience to flip products on Ebay. He posts challenges and urges people to get competitive to see what types of margins they can achieve with everyday products. It’s a great way to test the entrepreneurial spirit – so get out and make it happen!