Yesterday I attended the launch of Eastern Credit Union’s new loan programs and services geared towards new-age entrepreneurs. They had a joint partnership with ExportTT and UWI’s entrepreneurship division and its aimed at helping entrepreneurs set themselves up correctly. Their new loans can also help people get started buying stock or purchasing new tech to get up and running. It had me thinking though that even without this, we must sit down and start looking at taking a different approach to your biz.
I have had the pleasure of building a brick and mortar store and I realized that it didn’t at the time fall in line with what I was trying to build. I have known for a while that I wanted to be a content creator and monetize my intellectual property and also create digital products. The more I invested my time into building those digital assets, it took me out of the store much more. I also know that retail looks completely different now more than ever before.
Some would ask, why not just hire a staff to run the store and you handle your business. The problem was that retail is ALL ABOUT BUILDING AN EXPERIENCE. With me running and gunning, the last thing I wanted to worry about was if the staff was keeping up with what I was trying to build. It just wasn’t a headache I needed, with an already full plate and exploring in uncharted territories in the Caribbean. I needed to be focused!
I decided to build the e-commerce website and use my content to be my sales funnel to my website. Going on 2 years since building my online store, I can safely say that switching to an e-commerce business model and focusing on content marketing, has definitely worked. In the Caribbean, this isn’t something most businesses are doing. Mainly because the infrastructure has been incomplete for so long, most people don’t think it makes sense to build an online business. Not enough people with credit cards but then you barely have any websites that are e-commerce ready. I have found ways to negate the credit cards, to still get paid via digital means.
What I want to stress to people is that everybody should be thinking about building an online business or adding an e-commerce component to their existing business.
It’s much cheaper to start than a traditional brick and mortar and you can service more people than just your surrounding vicinity.
I also want to challenge people who feel like they can’t get a business idea off the ground due to a lack of capital. The reality is that there are many ways to skin a cat and so there are many ways to start a business in your field and that may require you to take a different approach, even if its not your original idea.
Let me give you an example…Let us just say you had wanted to start farming Tilapia in your home. You got all the info, you did your research, you are now a Tilapia Guru and it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. You start charting out your expenses and realize Holy CRAP! Where am I going to get this money?
For one…You can now visit Eastern Credit Union and test out their new services Lol…but let’s say you don’t want to get a loan. There is another way to approach the same business idea, build your brand and make money.
You could build an e-commerce business, find everybody who is farming Tilapia and start selling the products they cannot get locally and supply them via your platforms. You can hold seminars for people looking to get into Tilapia farming and invite Tilapia experts to come and speak at the seminars.
Doing this will allow you to get hands-on experience in the field, meet the players in the industry, cultivate your own community around Tilapia Farming and make money by selling the products. This is a great way to start making money in the industry you want to be a part of without being fake or trying to sell yourself as someone you are not. You will also be making good money in the process, that you could turn around and invest in your own Tilapia Farm.
To top it all off, you can document your journey of building your Tilapia business and invite people in to see all the work that goes into building this business from scratch and the different approach you needed to take since you didn’t have the startup capital to start farming from the get-go.
Do you see how all of that works together? Now you go from needing like 50k to start the business, to just a few hundred dollars to get your website off the ground. What will really build your brand is your creativity and your passion to cultivate that community.
The reason why the digital age has produced more millionaires than any other time period is that we have the technology and the creativity to take simple ideas and build global communities in our niche. We can move money from 1 part of the world to another in mere seconds.
So if you are struggling to scale your business or even get your business idea off of the ground, due to lack of funding. Start thinking about a completely different approach to the same business idea. Start as small as possible and do the things that you can afford to do and you can always reinvest the earnings back into your business.
The problem many people have is that they never want to be seen starting from the bottom…but this only hurts you and your dreams. Living to please other people is a special kind of hell.
Fun Fact about me…I sold my car and moved to my grandmother’s house to cut all expenses to get my business off the ground. Not everyone can do that, but you need to figure out how to cut your expenses and start as small as possible in order to grow.
Fast forward 1 year later…and I am back to looking to buy a car and getting ready to move back out. I knew I needed to start small and cut expenses, to be able to give myself the best possible chance to experiment and find my footing.
I haven’t made my first million yet but I feel good about myself and the opportunities are coming my way, I know that I am on the right track.
Take a moment…Look at your expenses, forget what people may say or think and begin looking at your business from a different angle.
Ask yourself…How can I start as small as possible? What are some other aspects of the business I can start?
Then document your journey…Allow yourself the time to grow and build your community in the process.
Good luck…and let me know in the comments if you are willing to take a different approach to your business.
I’m devouring the info on this page!!! As a fairly new lessons tutor, I really need to set myself apart in a saturated market.