How to Start a Business with Limited Resources: Knowledge.
“We don’t have the resources.”
These are 5 words we dread to hear from many small businesses. Being successful in your small business doesn’t mean you need a lot of capital (to start), a formal education, or 10+ years of experience. Try shifting your perspective from what you don’t have, to asking yourself, “What does my business have, and how can I leverage that?”
To give you some ideas, we've created a list of resources easily accessible to anybody willing to look for them. This list is made for you to analyze and use to start creating a strategy to bring your business goals to life. If you don’t have money, education, or experience right now, don’t worry. You can still start today.
Read through this list and follow along with the steps provided alongside each resource to fully realize the assets you may not know even exist within your own company.
“Scientia potentia est,” or “Knowledge is power.” - Sir Francis Bacon.
Simply put, there are things you know how to do that other people don’t. A good rule to live by is approaching any situation with the understanding that the other person knows 10% of what you know. You’ve pursued different careers than other people have, you have a different combination of interests, and you’ve accumulated knowledge in a way that others haven’t.
This is something you can use to your advantage by becoming extremely self-aware of the areas that you excel in, succeed in, or naturally find easier to do than others do.
Before you do so, however, let's talk about what knowledge isn't:
Knowledge is not always:
Formal education: a diploma, degree, or certification. Knowledge is simply knowing things: facts, tactics, strategies, tidbits, how to create something, how to make something, where to go for the best tacos in your city. Get creative and simply differentiate the things you know.
Having 5 years of experience in the field you want to pursue. Experience is an asset, but it's not the only asset, and it's not the most important one. If you didn't start yesterday, you can always start today. It's easier now to learn new skills more than ever. My 15 year old nephew learned how to fix up a motorcycle (and ride one!) all using YouTube. Knowledge is quite literally at your fingertips.
Redefining knowledge looks like:
For these intents and purposes, knowledge can be:
The things you understand now, that you didn't understand a year ago. If there is something that comes easy to you now that didn't before, chances are you recently learned how to do it. The best things to teach to others are things you didn't understand yourself. This is because you probably had to learn about these yourself, and now not only have the knowledge to do it, but have the knowledge on how to do it as well. You understand the process, journey, and steps you need to take to get clear on whatever it is you now have expertise in.
The interests you have outside of your business. Do you play sports? Play guitar in a band? Eat at restaurants a lot? Set aside a time to manage your personal finances? These are all sources of knowledge you can tap into to improve your business as well. Be it direct knowledge, such as how to tune a guitar, or which restaurants to visit for happy hour every day of the week; or indirect knowledge, such as the lessons you've learned from playing soccer as a child, or how to organize a budget - you'd be surprised when you start to see your knowledge as appreciating assets.
The things you've been wanting to learn for yourself but haven't found the reason to. Balancing your own books, approaching leads, how to perform a cold call, public speaking, marketing yourself on LinkedIn are all things you might benefit from yourself as a business owner. You can also flip your knowledge once you understand it, and use it as a tool to help serve others. If you didn't know it at first, chances are someone else doesn't know either but needs to learn. Herein lies an opportunity you can take advantage of.
Action Steps For You to Take:
Set aside half an hour to yourself to assess your existing knowledge assets. Make a comprehensive list of what you know, what you want to know, skills you learned recently, and hobbies you've done extensive research on.
Ask your friends and family how you can help them out. Help them out with what you can, and write down the things you really enjoyed helping others with.
Fine-tune these abilities and hone in on the top 3 you do best. Focus on these, delegate the rest.
The rest of your assets lie in partnerships, connections, technology, equipment, and your employees. Visit our next blog posts for similar, in-depth pieces of how to utilize the assets you didn't know you already had!