The Problem with the Traditional Business Model

“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

One of the side hustles that Little Miss Fire is looking at doing is creating her own line of cosmetic products.

She currently uses a face wash that she made herself and is very impressed with it. Having a little experience previously with making bath bombs, she knew that there are laws around how you go about making anything that touches the skin. It having been several years since the bath bombs we needed to start looking at how the law has changed.
I turned to google to try and find out as much about this as possible. So I googled the below

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282 million results, seems promising, let’s start with the first page. Scrolling down I find a question on a forum and a wikihow article. The first thing I need to go according to wikihow is

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What?! I need to go get a degree to start this! Surely there must be some mistake. Lets go have a look at the forum.

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Feasibility study? Sounds expensive. Market research, Seems reasonable to make sure we aren’t copying anything. Business plan – well we already have an outline really. Ah now legislation great that is what I want. Oh there isn’t any real information maybe later on. Oh wow a couple of million and now I’m turned off the idea and go back to the endless scrolling on Facebook.

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Herein lies the problem. I would say these are two classic cases of how a traditional business model isn’t relevant to how people should start business today. Loading up with debt to get a degree (not to mention the time aspect involved) and then searching down the back of the sofa for a couple of million pounds isn’t a realistic prospect for 99% of the population.
Fail Fast, Fail Cheap
The reason a couple of million pounds puts many people off is because the fear of it failing. At my current salary rate it would take me about 59 years to save that much. As long as I don’t pay any tax, get my food, drink and housing for free and not spend a penny of it. If we were going to do this I would want to spend the minimum amount. I would do this by

– Holding no stock
– Only fulling orders when they come in
– Buying the needed ingredients in small quantities to start with and sourcing bulk deals once the concept is proven
– Prove the concept by making a small amount and then trying to sell it at fairs, exhibitions etc.
– Keep website costs to a minimum.
– Comply with legislation at a the lowest level i.e. only get product certificates relevant to
what is being made at the time

By doing this to start with I keep my costs very low. If I done sell anything I have not really cost me too much. In essence I would have limited my downside exposure while maximising my upside. Having done this I could go on and doing something else using the same methodology. After that I could do the same thing again and again and again. It’ll take me over 100 years to spend over £2,000,000 starting businesses. If my average for starting a business is £1,000 then I can start 2,000 businesses for that £2,000,000 and I would have diversified my income. How’s that for a Brucey bonus.

Further Reading
A lot of what is taught is universities isn’t relevant to me and you. I don’t want to create the next Facebook, uber or amazon. Just want to start earning extra cash on the side. In my opinion everyone should use the information created by the pop up business school and try and attend one of their events. These guys give you the tools that are right for a new business today. There needs to be a mental shift from “I can’t do that it’s too expensive and if I fail I’ll end up without my house” to “I need to limit the amount of money I can start a business with so how can I do it.”

3 thoughts on “The Problem with the Traditional Business Model

  1. It sounds like you have a great business idea. You should totally go for it! You’re right that the internet can often make things more difficult and out of reach than they really are. To me the key is just getting started. Really it’s the hardest part as you’ll usually figure things out along the way through trial and error. I wish you success in your endeavor!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The one thing we have learnt over the past couple of years is that you need to start if anything is going to happen. I always remember the famous Chinese proverb (that I may or may not have made up) “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” which sounds like an awesome blog post title!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Full English Accompaniment – The rise and rise of P2P lending – The FIRE Shrink

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