Author Options:

i want to start a small business? Answered

i want to start a small business.. but i am totally out of ideas.. so i need help.. plz give some suggestions..
business should require little investment.. i stay at small town.. so suggest accordingly


The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

1 year ago

This is an interesting delima that stops countless entrepreneurs. So let me tell you how I overcame this obstacle liteblue.
let me paint the picture. I was a new single father of 4 young
children. (Full custody) And after a year of commuting from PA to my job
in DC, I just couldn't do it anymore and I lost my job.
I decided to start my own business. I borrowed from family and I dipped
into the modest savings I had. This first business had a nice run (24
months), but after signing a bad deal with a national distributor, the
business failed. I was broke and already $100's of thousands in debt to
friends, family and vendors.
I didn't want to quit. So I swallowed my pride, applied for food stamps
and low income health insurance for my kids. I then signed a really
shitty deal to access the tiny bit of equity I had in my house. I moved
my whole family in with my parents and I rented out my house. Between my
parents help, $500/month positive cash flow from the rental, a credit
card with $6k limit and the government assistance, I was able to live
and my children didn't suffer too much.
used the equity in my house to hire a tech firm to build out a
prototype of a product idea I had thought of during my first business.
(I'm a non-technical founder) I went to our local sheriff's office and
asked them if they would be willing to try using the prototype, they
said yes. When I ran out of money the prototype was about 40% complete,
but the sheriff's office had already made an arrest that they generated
from tips delivered through the technology. So, they invited me to
present it at their annual conference (I told them I was broke, so they
didn't charge me).
the annual conference someone watching my presentation asked me to
build a version of the tech for their crime stoppers program. $7,200.
then starting building the tech using the prototype as the base point.
At this same time I crossed paths with a friend from college. He was out
of work and I asked him to help me. He agreed and he cashed in on a
small savings he had and we used that $25k to float us.
the same time all of this was happening I learned of a local program
(Ben Franklin Tech Partnership) that just started to help create tech
companies in my area. (Rural Pennsylvania). I contacted the program
director she interviewed me and invited me in.
was accepted to their program. The first challenge they gave me was
build a team, so I found two brilliant developers that were looking to
build names for themselves. We worked out a deal and I had a team. With a
team in place, I received an investment of $25k through the program.
then gave me challenge number 2, get a real customer. So I went out and
showed several of the regional police departments and district
attorney's what I was building. One of them saw the vision, and
purchased out tech for the entire county (at a heavy discount), but
still a low 6 figure deal.
adding this note because it is important. I have a Sass model, the
first county deal was 16 customers and I had them prepay for 3 years of
subscription at a heavy discount to generate cash up front. When self
funding, this is a crucial trick for success. Prepaid subscriptions)
there we received another investment of $75k. (These investments are
designed to create jobs, they go toward payroll) We spent a year
building version 1.0 and launched that with 16 police agencies in July,
After that, building on one success after another we received another $225k investment and we now have 55 paying customers.
was a lot of struggle here so I don't want you to think it was easy.
And I am by no means yet successful, but my technology works and I built
it with hard work and sacrifice!! You can do it too as long as you
believe in yourself.
have been many ups and downs since I first wrote this answer. Building a
company is the hardest thing I have ever done. Harder than being a
father, husband and son. The company is on track to hit 200 customers in
5 states by the end of the year. We have reached break-even after 7/8
years and may actually throw off a little profit for the first time in
We have not
raised additional money, despite the constant pressure of feeling like
that is a bad idea. We have had plenty of people and groups wanting to
own a piece of the company, but I just can’t get past the feeling that
everyone is just “playing start-up”.
tell early stage people all the time, focus on building a business. The
product, the idea, the business plan they want you to write..it all is
meaningless if you’re not cashing checks. Find something that creates
value that someone else is willing to pay you for, focus on that and
everything else will fall into place!


6 years ago

I looked at your profile page and I was very impressed with your Vegetarian recipes. Here in the USA... many many people are very overweight from eating meat and dairy products. I think you could put together ten or twenty easy recipes from your country and type them up into an e-book. Then go to amazon.com and upload your ebook to their website for people to download for 3 dollars into their kindle reader. Amazon gets a small percent of your 3 dollars (20 or 30 percent I'm not sure). Make sure to carefully label your pictures as to what each item is on the picture because some of the ingredients used in India may not be available here in the USA... or items may be called different names. Your e-book would have to overcome these small problems, and I think that would be a GREAT way for you to start a small business. Most businesses start SMALL and grow bigger over the years. So don't expect to make BIG money at first. I know a man who runs a big company and he started very small with ONE truck... then two trucks... and after 20 years, now he has 20 or 30 employees working for him and he makes a lot of money. So start small and don't give up on it. Keep at it. That's another tip he gave me. Most people GIVE UP because 5 months later they are not making lots of money. It takes time... months and months... to build up a business into a success.


6 years ago

1. You have to have buyers

2 You have to provide something they need or want (or you have to create that want)

3. You need to ability to manufacture or procure what your selling at the right price. i.e. so you can make a suitable profit - work out what that profit should be.

4. You need to make/gather stock and

5 you need to let your buying audience know that you have something to sell that they need/want.

Example, Assuming your going to makes something to sell.

A product that can be sold for a profit of £5 per unit.

I want to make an income after tax and expenses of £30,000 a year.

£30,000/52 = £576 a week.

so £567/£5=115 this is the number I need to make in a week to have a chance of making £30,000 a year

115/5=23 per day

23/8= about 3 per hour so my manufacturing process must be able to turn out 3 units per hour to make my profit.

I need to sell them so that takes time - this is on top of my manufacturing time so I have to allow for either more manufacturing time or get someone to sell for me.

You can see from this that a) I need to sell my product for more than £5 to cover expenses, tax, wages and selling time.

b) The longer a product takes to make the less money you will make because your making fewer items so the longer it takes to make the more expensive it has to be.


A machine that makes an item every 15 minutes that can be sold for £15 leaving £10 profit after expenses will net you £83,200 a year - a nice income for watching a machine work.


6 years ago

If you don't know what kind of business you want to start then that suggests that you also would not have the knowledge to even run a business. with that said i would suggest that you wait until you have an idea and some basic knowledge of the business and finances.

see my follow up of my personal businesses!


Answer 6 years ago

Sorry forgot to do spell check!

When I was ten I started a firewood business. I asked my dad to help me cut some trees then i split and bundled the wood. BUT that was unsuccessful because i chose a business with TONS of competition (and it got robed alot). When i was twelve(last year) I started a Miniature straw bale business. That one was succesful because i learned every thing about small bussnesses and making mini bales the most helpful was intalling some online inventory and finance programs.

My point is that you need to learn about what you are doing.


6 years ago

What about using your Instructable skills for jewellry making ?

Your profile doesn't say where you are in the world - the feasibilty may depend on that


Answer 6 years ago

thank you for replying... i stay in India..