I really want to start my entrepreneurial career, the problem is I don't have money. I am mid-level IT manager, read lot of startup blogs, articles and books and keep planning (aka dreaming) about starting business. The problems are
Any ideas, please?
I just wrote a blog post today about that. I think your first startup should definitely be B2B and the short version is:
Long version: watch the video I mentioned in my post.
Do you have to have money to start something?
Do you have to have startup culture around you to start something?
I my opinion none of these necessary. Most important is your determination on doing something. It's the same in any job. The more determined you are the more success you are going to have. Don't get distracted about your situation.
Sure, if you exectute wrong you could fail, but you also learn from it. Right now you are in a situation where you have probably nothing to loose, but a lot to gain. Just be determined to start.
Btw. I am not 100% sure if that works for your country, but you can try something like kickstarter (aka crowd-funding) to raise some money.
I'm assuming you'll want to bootstrap a software product.
Most bootstrappers are jack-of-all-trades, working on their products on free time while staying in their full-time jobs to finance the new business.
To take that path, you'll need to know how to:
If you have money, you can outsource some of the work. Still, you or your core team should have all of these skills.
The core of bootstrapping is to charge from day one, preferably even before.
Many bootstrappers don't have the funds to start with a software product, and they write ebooks and create other info-products. They market them via their blogs. If you want an inspiring example, look at Nathan Barry (http://nathanbarry.com ). He came from "no-where" and his books have brought in more than enough money to build his first SaaS. He even took the risk and outsourced it.
Another good thing about that approach is that you'll be able to gain following before your product is out. You can use that momentum to build your product empire brick by brick. Business is all about customers, and sooner you have them, the better you can serve them.
In addition to Nathan, you might want to take a look at Amy Hoy's blog, http://unicornfree.com. She's the queen of bootstrapping and most of what I've learned from bootstrapping comes from her.
It sounds to me that you are choosing bootstrapping because you don't have any funding available. Here's my post that brings up couple of other points that make bootstrapping a good option, even when funding would be available: http://www.happybootstrapper.com/2013/why-i-love-bootstrapping/ Good luck to your new business. You can do it if you really want.
All the suggestions are valid. Though I think there's something Eric Ries mention in one of its books that keeps to be essential:
Check out this NPR article for inspiration: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/05/24/186275257/can-this-man-bring-silicon-valley-to-yangon
Find a problem - something that bugs you or/and the people in your network
Invent a solution - start with an idea storm, and you'll soon come up with twenty ways the problem can become less painful
Tell your story - pick a solution you like, and see if you can get in front of someone who has the problem, to tell them how you are going to make it go away (don't worry you can't deliver - most people are going to throw you out because they don't get it, because they wouldn't want it, because the problem is just way down their list, because...)
Take the learning, and apply it. Repeat.
If you're sufficiently determined and persistent, and willing to discard everything that's not getting through, sooner or later you're going to come across a customer group you can reach, with a problem that they would pay you good money to solve.
That's the moment you're ready to start. It's the first moment you need to ask the question, "bootstrapped or funded?" And trust me, if you've made it to this point, you're going to find a way to access the resources you need to make the work you have done building knowledge and connections turn into a viable business.
Your opportunity isn't defined by your present limitations: you have a goal, so start.
Maybe you don't need a lot of money to start, do Lean and start small by validating the problem you might want to solve using some landing page. Then you'll see if the idea if worth developing.
You might also want to check to a presentation of mine about the tools I used to test my idea: http://slideshare.net/ndeverge/how-to-bootstrap-your-idea-where-you-are-a-developer
So since you have programming skills, you can develop your own product. You wont need to spend on software development since that is top two highest costs. The other of the top two is marketing and getting the product to the market.
Now, you need a idea. For that you need to look inside. If you are thinking, of getting a idea that will make you super rich, then forget it, get a job and be happy.
If you have a idea, there are 2 ways to go about it.
I for one, did what very few people do 1. Now most people will give you advice to do 2. But its for you to decide your mistakes in life. Listen to everyone, take notes, think, but Make your own decision.
Create a bunch of advisers you can trust, and people who care about you and your success. Most of them will tell you things that you dont want to hear. And when you get mature enough to listen, understand, think and decide, that is when you have started being a entrepreneur. If you listen, respond, try to convince every point people make with/about you, then you need more time to mature. Wait it out, get a job.
Entrepreneur is about self attitude, self belief, self skills, self passion and self maturity. Learn everyday and move ahead.
These advisers, make sure that you talk to them atleast once a week. Dont loose touch. Trust me, the more you talk the more your idea will mature. May be someone may also give you a idea. I know I got my idea from a friend.
All the best.
You need to find a small project you can complete yourself (or with a partner if you have one) in 1-3 weeks.
Then you need the money for a shared hosting account (approx $5/month) and a domain name (approx $10/year), you setup a web site about your new project and you start "selling" it (that is, getting people to the web site and collecting e-mail addresses, because you didn't build the product yet).
When you are happy with the number and rate of signups you take a vacation or work night and weekends and build the first version of the product.
Now you have a product and a list of potential customers, you start selling and go from there - basically keep working nights and weekends until you can quit your job.
The trick is to start small with a simple product people need, leave the big project that will change the world for your second startup you fund with the money (or reputation) from your first small product.
Before ever getting involved in any business venture, the first thing you want to do is research,Research the marketplace, research competitors, research trends, research the major players, research what is working and what is not working, etc.
Thorough research and knowledge is very important to put you in a position to succeed where many others may fail.