In the late eighties I wrote over 100 articles on small business owners that had just begun their endeavors. Today, only one of them still exists. And, I am certain he did not begin with a business plan. He had a very marketable skill (detailing custom cars) and had already begun the business on a part-time basis before he took the business full time.
I was reminded of this recently when I read a letter to J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dunten written in the Fort Wayne Sunday Journal-Gazette. The writer wanted to use his business degree to begin his own business and wanted to get advice from these two business writers who actually specialize in career building.
When Dale Daunten wrote the following, I wanted to issue a big, “Hurrah!”
He wrote, “Here are some of the things you do NOT need in order to start a business; a business plan, partners (especially if friends), investors, industry knowledge, experience or lots of cash.”
My biggest, ” Hurrah!’ came when he had stated the edict concerning the need for a business plan- but more I liked what he stated after all of this. He told this young man to start out with a hobby or doing something he enjoyed and to stay in his current job while doing so.
All too often today, with all the economic belt-tightening we are being told that entrepreneurship is the answer to America’s ills and I believe that to be true.
But, America won’t get anywhere if they do not enjoy what they do, and bring passion to their endeavors.
In their rush to build businesses, many business incubators and so-called business coaches are telling young people and others who want to begin their own business that they must have a business plan.
Frankly, I think that is just another way for business incubators and business coaches to pad their own pockets and make it appear that they are teaching people how to build a business.
I do not believe that anyone can start a business, but I do believe that three qualities must be in place.
Passion for their product, service, or skill- no one will continue in the rigorous world of entrepreneurship if they don’t have the push to continue on when the going gets tough.
– A place to return home to- all good small business owners must have a reliable source of ‘˜other’ income- it can take a long time to build a business and, unfortunately, even entrepreneurs have to eat.
– Have a little bit of rebel in you- be able to say screw you to anyone who doesn’t like your idea, but also be able to say that to your own idea if you are seeing that no profit can be made.
That’s it. Oh, and one other thing. Success may not just come with a profit- it might come as an outgrowth of the original idea that you brought to market. Keep that in mind.