You don’t need to get all your ducks in a row to get started

My nephew and I were talking about starting your own business. He said it’s hard to start a business. He thinks this because his adviser in college told him that it’s hard to go into business, much harder than “it used to be” when she was younger. 

I disagree. It’s only hard to go into business if you do it the hard way. 

When you’re starting a business, it’s hard to get all your ducks in a row. You have to figure out what business you want to start. (Ideas are everywhere, but which one should you try?) You have to set up your organization, pick a legal entity (LLC or S Corp? Can’t I just be me? No?) You’ll need to get funding. Before that you’ll have to decide how much funding you’re looking for, so that probably means a business plan. (Those are fun, aren’t they?) And you better have great credit. You also need a location, so get started now looking for a building. You’ll need to remodel that building. Probably have a lot of code issues to pay to fix. 

You know all this, and there’s a lot more. I’m sure this is what the college adviser in question was talking about. Only the reasonably well-off financially, with excellent connections, business sense, luck and hard work can start a business this way. 

But what if you didn’t wait until you had all your ducks in a row? What if you could start when you just had one duck? Well, then, a lot more people could try out a business idea.

  • If you make tiny retail spaces, you’ll get more tiny retail businesses. 
  • If existing businesses offer up a few square feet to other businesses, you’ll get more business ideas tested.
  • If you start sharing equipment and tools along with lessons, you’ll get more people will making things to sell.
  • If you do whatever it takes to get better internet, you’ll get more people doing business online. 

That’s the purpose of the Innovative Rural Business Models. By letting people start small, even tiny business tests, you’re spreading economic opportunity out to a whole bunch of people who couldn’t do it the hard way. 

Don’t expect every potential entrepreneur to get all their ducks in a row. Create the places and opportunities that let people start with just one duck.  

Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – There’s more on this coming next week. But I’d love to hear your “just one duck” stories. Do you know someone who has gone into business in a tiny way as their first step? Hit reply and tell me about it.