It’s often depressing, having to spend so much time at work, but many of us are stuck in the rat race, dependent on others for income and benefits. Then again, most students go through four years of college in the hopes of finding an amazing, satisfying, and stable job - and then can't find a job at all.
In today's economy, jobs are scarce. Nearly 50% of those that graduate college with an undergraduate degree have trouble finding jobs. Quite simply, we no longer live in a world where a college degree guarantees success in life. That’s why it’s more important than ever for people to think outside of the box when planning their future, lest they find themselves in a soul-sucking position, or without employment at all..
For some, starting a business is an ideal solution, though many who do still find themselves barely scraping by. There are those among us, however, who create great businesses and really begin to thrive. Making your own way is the American dream, and even in today’s climate, it’s what many individuals strive for. Of course, starting a business isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work, as well as dedication, persistence, consistency, and possibly years of struggle before profits begin to appear.
With talent, hard work, and a little luck, there are business ideas out there that can turn the average Joe into a multimillionaire, provided they have the passion and ability to see their idea through. If you are looking to become a business owner, make sure that you're willing to dedicate your entire life to the business. Your business will eat up time, money, and energy, and a misstep or a half-hearted attempt could lead to bankruptcy. Here, for the brave, are a few challenging - but rewarding - ways that regular people can find success.
4 A Restaurant
The restaurant business is a tremendously fast-paced industry, and far more restaurateurs fail than succeed. Starting a successful restaurant takes a lot of capital and experience, a good number of employees, and the tenacity to hold on until good days come. It is hard for a restaurant to make much of a profit in the first few years of its existence.
Someone who is looking to become a restaurateur should familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of ordering new ingredients, hiring quality chefs, and managing employees. Location, too, is a huge factor in any business, and it's even more important for those looking to open a restaurant.
If, with enough luck and hard work, the restaurant works out, it could lead to large payouts for the owner. To sweeten the deal, restaurants that start gaining mass appeal in the community can lead to opportunities to open new franchises, growing a local name into, potentially, an international fixture.
For example, Domino's Pizza began as a single pizza restaurant back in 1960. After growing the franchise through expansion into new towns, states, and countries, Domino’s has become the largest pizza chain in the world, bringing in nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2013. The very first Domino’s restaurant was purchased with a loan of $900.
If an entrepreneur is willing to spend the first few years of business making lots of sacrifices, the restaurant industry can be a truly rewarding space within which to work. If the late nights and early mornings, non-stop stress, and low odds of success don’t dissuade you, opening a restaurant might be an idea to think about.
3 A Clothing Company
People need to wear clothes, which means that successful fashion brands are a consistent source of revenue. While the industry itself is very showy and has lots of money, many clothing companies come from humble beginnings, started by just a few people with a common idea. Volcom is a great example. A clothing company, Volcom was started by two friends looking to fund snowboarding trips by selling t-shirts. Now, Volcom is worth over $600 million.
While it takes a long time to become popular on a large scale, it’s relatively easy to start a clothing company. Enterprising individuals can get started by purchasing t-shirts wholesale, and then printing designs onto the shirts from home. Fabric markers, bleach dyes, screen printing, and iron-on technologies are all popular techniques for making T-shirts from one's bedroom or basement. Provided the look is right, a clothing company can be a great business for people to start while already working. It’s an additional source of income, and if the clothing company really takes off, they can focus on it full-time.
2 An Amazing Website
If you have writing or coding skills, it’s easier than ever to start an online magazine, blog, or web application. There are many websites out there that started off as a simple blog, or as a pet programming project. With individuals consistently putting out great content, these websites grow in traffic, leading to more exposure, more ad revenue, and more sales.
By implementing Google ads, or selling ad space to companies through third-party resources, free-to-read websites can start earning money for the viewers they draw in. When an idea really takes off, website owners can raise investment capital to expand or improve the site, or even just sell their property to a tech giant. Many websites and online magazines were started by average people, and then went on to sell for well over $1 million dollars.
Of course, it’s all easier said than done. To strike internet gold, a person must be knowledgeable in their chosen field, or at least be able to team up with those who are knowledgeable. An attractive design, a great product, and a far-reaching presence are all important, and coming by even one of those can take years, and lots of money besides. What’s more, most websites don't find a dedicated audience until two or three years in, making business in the web space a long-term project. Someone who is looking to create a hit website must be able to weather the slow times and continue to improve their product. Ease of starting up aside, owning a web property is a business, and requires a lot of hard work.
1 Become A Professional Inventor
Many of them are flash in the pan, but there’s no denying the allure of a clever invention. Even better, many of the best, most popular inventions are just existing products with a simple, but fantastic, improvement. The Snuggie, for example, is simply a blanket with armholes, but the product has sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of inventory.
Finding a popular product that can still be improved is most definitely a way that average people can find business success, sometimes worth millions of dollars. As with the rest of the possibilities on this list, making it as an inventor takes time, and has a high rate of failure. Innovators might go through many ideas that are, for whatever reason, just not marketable.
When an idea does hit, however, the possibilities are huge. Inventions can often be licensed or sold to other corporations for a generous lump sum, or recurring royalties. Getting another company to make their product is the way that many inventors run their business, and some companies, like Sharper Image, specialize in buying inventions from their creators.
Another way for an inventor to make money off of a new product or invention is to start a business around that intention. It places more risk on the inventor, but also extends the possibility of greater revenue from an idea that does make it in the marketplace.
There are also other costs associated with getting a new product off the ground. Without the correct marketing, no one will know about whatever amazing new addition has made it to market. In addition, ideas and designs need to be protected with patents and copyrights. Without taking that step, companies leave themselves open to knock-offs and replicas stealing their thunder – though, for any good idea, that’s likely to happen anyway.
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