Are you in start-up mode in your business?
Here’s a question: do you know much about lawn aeration?
It was 1997, and my husband and I decided to start a small business on the side. He was a new police officer and worked shift work which allowed him to have a side hustle and we were both entrepreneurial-minded.
We used a credit card to buy a lawn aerator. It was $2500 and our goal was to pay off our investment the first season with the proceeds from aerating lawns.
We set up a phone number 223-LAWN and printed hundreds of bright green flyers with our information on them. Every evening after dinner we would drive around the city and use packing tape to put these flyers up on super box mailboxes to market our new venture.
Start-up mode wasn’t fancy – at all.
There was no social media. The internet was so new that the best we could do was email you if you happened to have an email address back then.
Sweat equity was the only way we knew to start, build and grow our business. We couldn’t compare it to anyone else because we didn’t have access to that type of information.
So, we worked and worked…
And the phone started ringing, and soon we had to hire someone to help us and within a month of starting, we were able to pay off that machine.
If you really want to start a business or side hustle, you will find a way to make it happen.#StartUpMode? If you really want to start a #business or side hustle, you will find a way to make it happen. Click To Tweet
Start-up mode: 3 pieces of advice
Here’s what I learned about starting a business before the Internet was mainstream and social media was a thing:
- You need to have skin in the game. You’ve got to be willing to invest time and money to get anything new off the ground.
- Getting noticed makes a huge difference. Back then, no one was taping neon green flyers with an easy-to-remember phone number to mailboxes. What we did made us stand out and it made it easy for people to remember how to contact us. They didn’t need a tear-off number, anyone can remember 223-LAWN.
- Once you have a client base, it’s easy to keep that base and expand into new services. Referrals will come, and you’ll have already-loyal customers.
Over time, that little venture turned into Ottawa Organics. We provided lawn aeration, grass cutting and organic fertilizer services to hundreds of homes in the city of Ottawa.
But none of that would have happened if we waited for someone else to approve of our idea, or if we had worried about what others thought.
Your next business venture is an idea and an ounce of courage away.Your next #business venture is an idea and an ounce of #courage away. Click To Tweet
What business idea or venture is circulating in your brain? Put it out into the open – tell us below.