Starting A New Business 👀
Aug 26, 2022 2:01 pm
This week's newsletter is going to be a bit different. I want to share a bit about something I haven't discussed: the new business my wife and I started recently. More specifically, I thought I'd walk through the steps we took.
We started a vending machine business.
So here's the breakdown of the steps we went through to start the business and get our first account:
- Collect business ideas and weight them based on time and capital investment
- Do some early research into the operations of the best candidates
- Create a breakeven spreadsheet of the business to identify cost and profit
- Purchase training and mentorship in that business
- Go/No-Go on the business based on what we learned
- Learn local ordinances, laws, and requirements
- Create LLC
- Get bank accounts and line of credit
- Apply for local licenses, taxes, etc.
- Buy a domain and build a basic website
- Design a logo
- Purchase shirts, hats, business cards, and stickers
- Identify potential client lists in the area and begin to visit
- Leverage Facebook to ask for leads from our network
- Meet potential location and identify machine and inventory
- Create a spreadsheet of inventory, purchase locations, and margin-based pricing
- Source machine and inventory
- Set up the machine at the location
That's the list. I thought I'd share it because almost everyone I've talked with has some small fantasy in their head about their business that they've never started, and it seems confusing and mysterious. This is one of those things that gets easier with practice.
Let me go through the timings of some of these steps to give you an idea.
Steps 1-5 took about two months. We had other ideas we were considering, so while we'd discuss or research, we'd let things cool off for a few days before making a decision. We landed on vending machines after other options because of their low ish time commitment and low initial capital. While we really wanted to get to the fun parts of the business, moving slowly here was good since it gave us time to really get our heads around the variables we'd need to consider.
By contrast, steps 6-12 took about three days. Yet, for most people, I suspect that is the most mysterious part of the whole process. Establishing an LLC, getting bank accounts, credit cards, etc., are all paperwork once you know what to do. The logo and website are all-time-sinks, so I adopted a perfect is the enemy of good mentality.
Steps 13-18 are the world we live in now and will for as long as we have the business. We make a list of businesses we think are good candidates every week, and during lunch, we drive out and pitch. This is hard, slow, unrewarding work, but it's how we must do things for now.
So there you have it. That's the list my wife and I used to start a business and get revenue in something brand new in just a few months. I'm not going to say everything is sunshine and rainbows, but we did it, and we can handle the risks.
If you'd like to hear more about any of the steps, let me know!
Here's my weekly update for August 26th, 2022...
As I promised in my newsletter (Which you should be reading) I offered thoughts around two books or at least an article series on two topics.
What comes next are the core questions I want to answer in each one.
It was about three years before I saw a retrospective that didn’t have the basic three-column setup.
You know, the one where you have +, -, Change.
Maybe yours is start, stop, continue.