How to Start a Business Today and Why You Don’t Need That “Great” Idea
The biggest insight to graph here is that we all have interests. It’s what we do in our spare time, for fun, what we aspire to accomplish and what captures our attention. If you aren’t attempting to direct that into a business today, you are fundamentally missing out on a business opportunity that is uniquely available to YOU. In today’s world the business of YOU is enough. Here’s how to start a business today and why you don’t need that “great” idea to get started.
Believe it or not, but a huge portion of those folks you follow on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube are full-fledged businesses. You may ask “but what do they sell? I just like their free content”. The key is that these platforms have enabled individuals to participate in a commerce ecosystem that used to be dominated by just a few big companies.
How this all works
Today, the ability to target a specific audience is enabled by everyday folks on social media platforms. The content is there to ensure that the audience is connected and is self-selecting to a particular topic of interest. This is fundamentally why this type of reach is so appealing to advertisers. It is also why a legitimate business can be formed around seemingly niche content.
Related: How to Pick a Blog Niche in 2020
Immediate and future benefits of starting today
Starting and owning a business is easier than you might think. In fact, it’s a good idea to start a business today even if you don’t have a great idea just because you might be missing out on a ton of benefits that business ownership provides, for example:
- Tax deductible business expenses (travel, meals, equipment, office supplies, phone and internet costs, rent, mortgage interest and many more common everyday expenses(
- Pass-through losses – you’re allowed to have a business that makes a net loss (many big companies operated at a loss in their early days eg. Amazon). Any losses your business takes can help offset taxes you may owe from your other income (eg. a day job). If these expenses happen to be ones that you would have made anyway, then you’ve just turned a personal expense into a tax-offsetting expense.
- Upside of building something you own
- Potential for generating income from activities you were going to do anyway
- The benefit of trying out ideas – you don’t need to have a successful business day 1. In fact, all you really need is to make an attempt. You’ll get the benefit of the doubt from the IRS for 2-3 yrs, at which point you can switch business strategy, close up shop or start again.
With just a little bit of attention to documentation, expense tracking and taxes the immediate and potential benefits really outweigh any downsides. The good news is that in today’s shared and social economy many of the business functions that used to take dedicated resources are now largely automated.
It has really changed not only what kind of business you can have, but HOW you operate a business. It’s these advantages that have emerged in the last 5-10 years that change the calculus on setting up and operating a business. Probably the biggest shift has been around what qualifies as a business.
The definition of a business has evolved
There are so many more options for what qualifies as a business today that didn’t exist a few years ago. For example having a youtube channel, instagram account or even a blog can all qualify as legitimate businesses. There are many ways in which you could turn your everyday habits, interests or goals into a business. If there are goals or interests that you plan to pursue anyway, why not pursue them under a business umbrella and take advantage of the tax benefits, deductions and protections that a business provides?
For example, if one of your goals is to travel more and experience new places, you could potentially save thousands by making these all “business expenses”. You will already be spending money on plane tickets, hotels, airbnb’s, transportation, food and experiences. Under a business you could legitimately deduct these expenses and potentially see the benefit during tax time through a reduced tax bill (maybe even a larger refund).
Seems crazy right? Well that how our tax laws are crafted, they incentive folks who take risks and start small businesses. There’s so much more flexibility in what a business can be. Everyone should be thinking about setting up a business today, Regardless of how “ready” you might feel. If you’re reading this today, chances are that you’re as ready as you need to be to launch a business. So well done!
The costs of starting, operating and running a business have come down tremendously. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, most microbusinesses cost around $3,000, while most home-based franchises cost $2,000 to $5,000 to start.
We’ll share in a separate post how we launched The Gootz Life. It is possible to set up and launch a business for under $500.
There’s no time like the present. Everyday that goes by is another day that you’re not giving yourself the chance to benefit from business ownership. We all have something unique to offer. The tools to convert these activities and interests into a business opportunity are available to you right now.
If you share our passion for starting something today let us know in the comments below. Business ownership is a passion for us so we’ll be posting more on this topic. We’ll cover essential and easy to use tools for today’s small business owners.
Share your business of YOU story, we’d love to hear how you did it!