What is the lowest cost, lowest risk way to start a business?

[AJC: Please do me a favor … I have added a Stumble Upon button to my right-hand tool bar …. if you click it, write a very short comment about my article – How much interest does one million dollars earn – and put it in the “Wealth” category, I would be VERY appreciative! Stumble Upon is one of the VERY BEST ways for me to increase my readership, which is good for all of us! Thanks.]

To make $7 million in 7 years (then keep it!) you need to master all the basic financial tools of multi-millionaires: businesses, stocks, real-estate … and many, many more.

So, let’s start by talking a little about ways to start your own business … having started and sold many ‘small’ businesses, I feel somewhat qualified to pontificate on this subject.

If you are looking to start the ideal small business, my suggestion is to start by looking for the business with the greatest UPSIDE rather than the one that protects your DOWNSIDE.

But, to delve a little into the question of risk:

In the old days, if we wanted to start our own business, you would find some stock, sign a lease on a storefront, hang out your shingle, advertise, and …. wait for customers.

IF the customers came, you made a small profit (competition was always sure to keep prices and profit margins low).

IF the customers failed to come, you went bankrupt (sorry!), because you: paid up front for the stock (you didn’t have a track record with the supplier yet, so COD was the best ‘deal’ they would give you); you put up personal guarantees on the storefront lease; you paid for advertising and salaries and wages; and so on.

But, that was then, and this is NOW:

Now, you can open an e-Bay store, find some leftover goods at local manufacturers and/or wholesalers and sell them … no staff, no leases, very few costs … and, grow from there.

Or, you can go right to the other extreme of Internet-based businesses and come up with the next Facebook.

And, there are a zillion opportunities to make money on the Internet, in between the e-Bay and Facebook ideas, and you can do most of them without even leaving your current job … here are the 10 dumbest ways that people made $1,000,000 on the Internet. If they can do it, so can you!

No matter how you look at it …

… the INTERNET, my friend, is the new Small Business Frontier.

Hook up the saddlebags and go West … Yeehah!

Be Sociable, Share!

6 thoughts on “What is the lowest cost, lowest risk way to start a business?

  1. People always say it’s so easy to start an internet business. I would love to sell leftover goods from manufacturers on eBay. How do you go about doing it? Do you knock on the door and ask if you take their leftovers?

    Great post!

  2. @ JB – My 13 y.o. son struggles with that every day. He has found reasonable results (+$30 / wk which is GREAT income for a kid!) by searching for online wholesale suppliers and/or drop-shippers in niches and listing those items on e-Bay. Naturally, you can’t compete AND scale with product that everybody else (who bothers looking!) can get their hands on, too.

    But, my son’s advantage is that his profit requirements are modest so he can always be the low-cost supplier.

    But, your suggestion – “knock on the door and ask if you take their leftovers” – is spot-on! Other people are too lazy … take advantage of this and go knocking! You may even be able to get stuff on consignment and/or have them drop-ship for you …

  3. Just today, a coworker was selling me pretty hard on Quickstar. It’s like an online version of Amway. I haven’t entirely ruled it out of the realm of possibilities. My college buddy’s family is loaded and as far as I can tell, it mainly based on their Amway business.

  4. @ blogrdoc – Quickstar (a.k.a. Qixstar) was started by the former owners of Amway, which was the biggest success in MLM history. The advantages of MLM (as I mentioned in a previous post: http://7million7years.com/2008/04/05/why-did-warren-buffet-buy-half-dozen-mlm-companies-last-year/ ) include the residual income that you ‘may’ be able to get … kind of like ‘selling a business then investing in an annuity’ all-in-one. The disadvantage, is the very low success rate.

  5. Just recently (about 3 weeks ago) I was approached about Quixstar too. A family which I randomly bumped into while at … Walmart was actually trying to get me into Quickstar. For some reasons, hustling people to buy something (directly, face-to-face that is) is never my thing so I don’t think I’ll go with becoming a seller. I can probably make more money from my consulting business than selling health products to friends (which, unfortunately, the Vietnamese people that I know are very conservative about spending money, especially on luxury products such as the nutritional health stuff Qixstar is selling) I haven’t tried MLM stuff but I think I’ll take a different route to making money on the side 🙂

Leave a Reply