I started my own business in 2018.
I always knew that I wanted to start my own business, for many reasons.
In the beginning, I had many ideas but I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
One thing I knew for sure, I knew my business would involve me making money and helping people.
That is all I knew.
When I thought about the things that I was good at, every idea included me providing a service.
At the time, my thoughts were I am good at cooking and I am good at helping people.
At that moment, I decided that I would start a cooking business.
The Stand, the mobile food cart I founded in 2018. At The Stand, I provide the service of cooking food for my customers!
When starting a business, there are 3 types of businesses you can start.
You can have
- A service-based business. Which is a business that you create to sale your personal skills or knowledge.
I am skilled at cooking, so I started a business doing just that.
I went to school to learn how to help people identify their challenges to reach their goals. I now have a business doing that!
- A product-based business. A product-based business is when you sale a product to people for money.
You are not selling the service, you are selling the product itself.
For example, Apple has the product phones. Nike has sneakers. They have products.
- A mixture of both. A business that provides a service and also has a product.
I am noticing that a lot of service-based business are going this route. Even myself, if you check out my store on my website, I have a few products their for sale.
I also like to think of Chic Fil A. You know they sell chicken but we also go there for that good customer service, and I know that I am not the only one that gets mad if Chic Fil A does not meet the standard of customer service that we are use to.
Whatever journey you decide to go on, you have to know that each journey has its strengths and weaknesses. I share few below.
When it comes to starting a business where you are providing a service, here are some strengths that I recognized
- Low start up cost.
With my coaching business it didn’t cost me anything. My education was expensive but I didn’t know I wanted to be a “coach” when I was going to school for Social Work. With my mobile food cart, I paid less than $10,000, and made my money back in 60 days. Great investment!
- You directly get to see the impact you create
You get to see the smile on my customer faces. You get to see the needs of the community you serve. You get to see the beauty you create, the problems you solve, the lives that you change, directly.
I would say the weaknesses include
- Its A LOT of WORK!
If you don’t do it then it won’t get done. Everything is on you. Don’t get me wrong, their systems that you can put in place that can support you in making your job easier, but at the end of the day it is all on you!
- Hard to scale
When you are providing a business it’s hard to scale (grow) your business, especially as a service provider who is hands on and passionate about what you do. It requires a different level of thinking and different set of actions.
- Unpredictable Cash Flow
Depending on the industry you are in the money could be funny in some months. Don’t be scared. Plan accordingly.
- Always doing for others
You find yourself always doing for other. You provide a service, that’s what we do right. Well sometimes people get burnt out from serving. Sometime you have to take time to serve yourself.
The pros of having a product-based business
- Ability to scale
You can grow your business more easily because you are selling a product. Once you have a prototype, you can just keep selling it, making sure the quality is the same.
Some cons that are I would say are associated with having a product based business are
- Upfront investment
You need to pay for the product up front and you don’t know if the people will buy. That’s is a pretty big risk. Right? Do your research you will be okay.
Most people tell me that finding a reputable vendor is challenging. Sometimes prices go up, packages get delayed, communication is a barrier. Finding and dealing with vendors can be a lot.
Customers can be a pain. Some of you probably chose this business model because you like money don’t really want to deal with customers and people like that. Well some things you just can’t get around. Customers can be crazy but you treat them right and they will treat you better.
If you are going to be a business that provides a service and offers a product, I would honestly say conquer one beast before moving to the next.
I am learning that now. And as I am conquering one beast, it is all starting to come together!
If you are starting your own business, I would love to know more about the journey you are deciding to take below. What is the name of your business? Do you provide a service or offer a product?
Talk to you soon!