The other day I was working on my content plan, jotting down ideas for future posts.
Doing some keyword research (I use Long Tail Pro) to back up my ideas, I found that there are 1,600 US citizens searching for “easy business to start”, each and every month. And that’s just in the US.
This really got me upset and sad at the same time.
I got upset because I know that those people just “kind of want” to start a business.
They’d only do it when it’s easy and they most likely won’t push through hard times of learning new stuff, not seeing progress, and getting out of their comfort zone.
All entrepreneurs know these situations, it’s just part of the roller coaster of being a business owner.
I got sad, because I know that those people search for “easy business to start” because they want to change their current situation.
Maybe they’re in a job they hate or that doesn’t generate enough income. They want their business to be a way out of that situation - which totally can work.
It’s just not easy.
All of these things I just pointed out where obstacles I had to overcome myself. Though I never looked for easy businesses to start, because I knew that I’d have to work hard for my success. My parents never taught me to look out for easy success, which I’m thankful for today. Instead they taught me to work hard and honestly.
The biggest problem is, that these 1,600 US citizens searching for easy businesses to start are just the tip of the iceberg. Way more people dream of building a business to get out of debt, make extra income, quit their job, and live a life without worrying about money.
Those are definitely my goals, and they might resonate with you too.
The mission of this post is to awaken people from their dreams of starting easy businesses, because they simply don’t exist.
Entering “easy business to start” in Google just shows, that you don’t fully believe in yourself and in your chances to become a successful entrepreneur, running a profitable business.
Because of this mindset issue, most people don’t see that they don’t have to jump into the cold water with both feet. They don’t need to quit their jobs to build a business.
Anyone can build a business on the side, it just requires hustle and passion. It’s definitely not easy, but way better than quitting your job for a business idea that hasn’t proven to be profitable. The problem is, that it’s not easy…
Are There Any Easy Businesses To Start?
When starting a business is easy, why aren`t there more people making millions by starting business?
The concept of easy business often lacks one major ingredient: a comprehensive business model. They are presented in a very simplified way, promising high earnings in a future that might never come.
Let me give you one example: Affiliate Marketing.
There are countless scams for affiliate marketing, claiming that it's a surefire way to make money quick. I've tried it myself and as you can see in my income reports, affiliate marketing wasn't as easy for me as all the people writing blog posts about it tried to tell me.
In fact, I barely made money with it and I didn't even come close to the figures advertised in scam products for affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money, bloggers like Pat Flynn make incredible amounts each month. But it's not as easy as anyone is trying to tell you. It's hard work, takes a lot of refinement, and strategic decisions for your business. It's not an easy business.
What those fans of easy businesses don`t tell you, is the lack of a real business model.
„Business modeling is the managerial equivalent of the scientific method - you start with a hypothesis, which you then test in action and revise when necessary.“ - Joan Magretta
Business models usually are like a value chain with at least two parts (source: Why Business Models Matter).
Part 1: All activities associated with making something:
- product design,
- purchasing materials,
- manufacturing the product,
- and so on.
Part 2: All activities associated with selling something:
- Finding and reaching customers,
- Transacting a sale,
- Distributing the product or
- Delivering the service
This value chain shows a little bit of the complexity that business models have - and gives you a first idea why the „easy businesses to start“ often don`t have a solid business model.
Don’t get me wrong. You can make a ton of money with affiliate marketing, Google Adsense, and others. But in those cases you’ll always depend on a third party to give you the money.
Let’s say you’re promoting a affiliate product and make 10k a month with it. What happens if the vendor decides to shut down the affiliate program or closes your account? You’d loose all your money.
That’s why I’m not a fan of those „businesses“. I’m talking about the REAL stuff. Businesses that actually impact the world, deliver valuable services and products to others.
You can build those businesses on the side, leveraging your paycheck to provide stability to work on your own business.
However, if you decide to start a business and you REALLY want to do it, spend some time to develop your business model before taking action.
What Most Often Goes Wrong
There are common principles among those businesses that shall be easy to start. Most often they promise high profits within a few months or maybe a year. Most often you shall be able to build the business with just a few hours each week.
While it’s possible to build businesses that can actually reach those promises, it’s not easy. Relying on a business idea that is proclaimed to be easy, often leads to making some of the most common mistakes in building businesses.
Let me share some quotes of venture capitalists, business experts, entrepreneurs, and other influencers to illustrate those common mistakes.
„[…] after spending time with hundreds of startups, I realized that one of the most common causes of failure in the startup world is that entrepreneurs are too optimistic about how easy it will be to acquire customers. They assume that because they will build an interesting web site, product, or service, that customers will beat a path to their door.“ - David Skok
„Chances are that you’re going to have competition, unless you’re in some unique market. Instead of underestimating your competitors, focus on the reasons why potential customers will select you , as opposed to copying others.“ - John Rampton
„Although it may seem impressive if you project vast markets and the potential for huge sums of revenue, outsize financial estimates often appear gimmicky to investors. Worse, big numbers often make you sound as if you don’t know what you’re doing or how hard it will be to penetrate your target market. Don’t make big promises unless you’re absolutely sure you can keep them.“ - John W. Taylor
Following those links will direct you to sites that list more of the most common mistakes of entrepreneurs.
How To Start A Profitable Business On The Side
Enough bashing on those easy businesses to start, let’s talk about how you can make it better and start a profitable business that sets you up for long-term success.
At first step you need to shift your mindset. Instead of worrying about all the nitty-gritty of starting a business, acknowledge that you are good enough to succeed.
There’s absolutely no need to search for easy business ideas. Any business you start should empower your strengths and talents, so it already comes easy to you. You’ll learn the administrative side of business step by step.
What you’re about to read now is the brief version of my free Ultimate Guide to Side Business.
- Evaluate Your Skills
You need to know thyself. Find out what you’re really good at, what you’re genuinely interested in, and how you could help others by solving their problems. To build a profitable side business, you need to either already be an expert in something, or become an expert in something. Find that something!
- List Business Ideas
All profitable businesses exchange value for money, meaning that you have to explore ways how you can use your skills to add value to other people. What can you do that other’s can’t? List at least 10 business ideas and (very) briefly outline a product or service you could offer.
- Evaluate Business Potentials
Evaluating business potentials is important to save money and time. Ask yourself how many people are truly interested in your offer, what competition you’d have to face, and what prices are currently paid. Define your ideal customer and your target audience.
- Build Your Platform
Before you actually create a product or service, start building your platform to get the word out and get people speaking about it. Build connections to your audience and craft your voice by releasing content publicly.
To sell your product, you need to have a compelling message which caters to the needs and desires of your target audience. Shout out that message to your audience and promote your offer.
As I mentioned before, this is just a very brief overview about the process of starting a side business. This guide will help you to overcome the most common mistakes that I lined out above.
I hope that I made my point clear in this article. Stop looking for easy ways to start a business.
Most people are thinking that starting a business means they have to quit their jobs and jump with both feet into the cold water.
They forget about the opportunity of starting a business on the side, WHILE being employed. It requires hustle to spend your free time after work to build a business. It requires determination to sacrifice your free time.
But it’s more secure than starting a business with the risk of getting broke when you quit your job for a business idea that’s not working as expected.
When you have a good reason to start a business, you’ll be willing to spend your free time in order to grow it. So take your chance and get your hands dirty!