Many Americans dream of owning their own business and the financial independence that comes with it. Plus, it means being your own boss, making an impact on the community, and focusing on something you love. Even with these aspirations in mind, however, it can be difficult to actually go for it. Starting a business generally requires all of your attention and quite a bit of money up front — these are significant barriers to getting started.
Still, new enterprises are started every day. Some people truly have the personality that makes them apt to start businesses, and they aren’t held back by the fears that others experience. Even if you are not one of these people, all hope is not lost. There are a few ways that you can be entrepreneurial without quitting your job and risking it all to start a new company.
Create a “side hustle”
This is one of the easiest approaches to starting a business. The concept of a “side hustle” is that you focus on something outside of your normal work hours. By developing and growing your enterprise outside of work, you aren’t forced to cut into your income or quit your job to be a business owner. This is an especially great fit for something starting an enterprise they’re passionate about. That way, it won’t feel as much like extra work.
Luckily, there are plenty of blogs and resources online to help you define your side hustle. It can take the form of whatever makes sense for you as the owner: a blog with affiliate links, a homemade farmer’s market product, a food truck, or anything else.
Open a franchise
If you’re looking for a bigger commitment and higher potential earnings then a franchise might be a good option for you. Essentially you would be opening a business that’s already clearly defined by an existing company, and you’d be a franchisee within it. Some of the most popular new franchises include Rent-A-Center, uBreakiFix, and Cinnaholic, but there are plenty of smaller companies looking to expand.
With franchising there is typically a structured approval and onboarding process that requires you to have a certain amount of investment available upfront. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure you have the funds ready if you take this route.
Buy an existing business for sale
Who says you need to start a business from scratch to be an entrepreneur? Buying an existing business is a great option for someone looking for less risk from the start. Unlike with franchising and side hustles, you’d know exactly how the business would perform when buying one that is established. Of course, you’d pay even more upfront since there is inherently more value to a running enterprise.
To find these you can look at broker sites where businesses are listed, or you can “shop” around locally. Owners in your area may be open to the idea even if they’re not seeking it, so it wouldn’t hurt to contact people in the area to see if and when they would be open to selling.
Being a business owner doesn’t have to be complicated up front and it doesn’t have to mean putting your entire life on hold. Luckily for any aspiring entrepreneur, there are a multitude of ways to make that dream come true relatively easily.