Unfortunately, entrepreneurship requires an inordinate sacrifice. This sacrifice is calculated based on your time and money. Entrepreneurs sacrifice their time and money for the opportunity to create a business. The sacrifice of time is complex. Sacrificing time includes your personal life such as sacrificing your family, friends and loved-ones. In many ways, entrepreneurship is meant for the wealthy or those with resources ample enough to make that sacrifice.
Jason Saltzman on incubation explains that entrepreneurship is a “privileged term.” It’s true that the ability to pursue entrepreneurship is privileged. The only way to increase entrepreneurship is to lower the barriers to entry or the sacrifice necessary to start a business.
The primary barriers to entry are startup investment and on-going carrying costs. Startup investments equate to equipment, education and other expenses that arise before you’re able to obtain your first customer. Avoiding businesses where purchasing equipment is vital for the scrappy entrepreneur. This means that finding service industries to enter is the best way for an entrepreneur to begin. For example, childcare services on average cost families $1,385 dollars monthly. There is very little equipment necessary to provide childcare services.
On-going carrying costs are usually rent. Rent is the single gravest concern for an entrepreneur. The phrase “making rent” exists for a reason. The best way to deal with on-going costs such as rent is to avoid them entirely. In the example above, it’s common for families to search for childcare services and request that the care provider watch their children onsite. Thus, rent is no longer an on-going concern. If rent is necessary, then defraying that cost by sharing space through co-working or subleasing is always an option.
Giving customers the ability to obtain the services they want without having to travel is a way to lower your costs and to provide a greater level of service. It serves to benefit you in multiple ways. As your business expands, you’re able to obtain space and afford rent. There are entire companies and industries based on this concept such as DoorDash, UberEats and etc. Customers are lazy and they will look for the easiest option.
Initially, traveling to your limited client base is cheaper than rent and it is an expense that is easier to control. As the business matures, it will naturally grow to the point where you’re unable to service your customers individually. It is at this point, where you’re able to support the rental costs to expand your business and increase revenues.
There are an infinite number of resources that are available today to help entrepreneurs that are from humble origins to start their entrepreneurial journey. I followed the same path described above to start a firm. I visited each client individually, until it became unprofitable. I later leased an office to meet the growth that I faced. Today, I’ve expanded to government contracting and I no longer find the need to lease an office. The development of technology has reached the point where it is no longer necessary for an office. My clients are able to communicate anytime via phone, video conferencing and etc. Files and documents are held entirely online.
But, my entrepreneurial journey took twelve years to reach this point. For anyone that is walking this path without a safety net like me, it will be a long and arduous journey that is fraught with obstacles and failures.