Starting a business has long been the ultimate dream of up-and-coming entrepreneurs across the globe.

Whether they're motivated by money, fame, or passion — perhaps all three — the opportunity and freedom running your own business affords can't be compared to life as an employee bound by a boss. Not for the go-getters out there.

Unfortunately for the 'ideas people' among us, starting a business is also high up on the list of death-bed regrets. Many have lived out their lifetime failing to reap the rewards of the self-employment seeds they wish they'd sown.

And, on the surface, this is understandable.

Taking the leap from the security of employment to stepping out into the unknown is not an easy jump to make. It's expensive, it's overwhelming, and there's so much you need to know before you take the plunge.

Right?

Well, no. Wrong actually!

Yes, start-up costs can be high. Rent, equipment, wages, creating a product…the list goes on and with every financial outgoing on the list giving you more of a reason not to take the leap, many people are left with nothing more than a pile of unfulfilled dreams.

But that mindset needs challenging. 

Because starting a business doesn't necessarily have to be the most expensive thing you'll ever do. If you don't get the bank loan and you don't have the capital to start a company right now, you CAN still start a business today, and make a damn good success of it!

If you have nothing more than a good idea, but your lack of finances is holding you back, here are three businesses which were launched with under $3000 in the Founders back pocket. And, not to underestimate the Founder’s achievements, they did OK…

 

1. Apple.

How it started.

Aged 21, Steve Jobs was living at home with his parents after dropping out of college. He's not the first person to have been in that situation, and he definitely won't be the last!

The difference between Steve and your average college, I hate to say 'dropout', however, is that he and two of his friends Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne had Atari and Hewlett-Packard work experience between them, and a passion for all things electronic.

While his parents nagged at him to decide what to do with his life, Steve and his friends would hang out in his parent's garage and united over a vision of the importance of shared gaming.

In April 1976, Apple was founded with little more than a passion, energy, and an enthusiasm for personal computers.

The first Apple computer was hand-built by Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs' parent's garage. It was made from spare computer parts and retailed for $666 USD.

 

Where are they now?

Today, Apple is worth $750 billion and is one of the most recognised household brands in the world.

In 2015, CEO Tim Cook reported that there were over 1 billion active Apple devices in use across the world.  So next time you use your iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Apple Watch, remember it all started in the garage of a ‘college dropout’ who had no funding!

Apple currently directly employs 80,000 staff across the US alone and are indirectly responsible for job opportunities of a further 1.2 million external suppliers and programmers.

We can only assume that Ronald Wayne regretted selling his share of Apple for $800 three months after its inception.

 

2. eBay

How it started.

EBay (AuctionWeb as it was originally known) was founded in 1995 in Pierre Omidyar's living room. 

With a long-standing interest in computers, as a child, Pierre would skip PE at school in favour of playing on the school computers.

Omidyar was designing web pages from his lounge room when he met his girlfriend who was a Pez dispenser collector.

She was frustrated at the lack of options for Pez collectors so Omidyar designed a web page which would help her connect to those with products for sale across the world.

In 1995, from his lounge room, eBay was launched. There were no fees, no users, no payment platform, and no one to process the piles of cheques that would soon adorn Omidyar's doorstep!

Just a web developer developing a personal website to keep his girlfriend happy. What a bloke.

 

Where are they now?

EBay is now worth $8 billion USD and is a household name across the world.

With 162 million users and over 11,000 staff, eBay is now the world's most recognised online marketplace. It’s no longer exclusive for traders of collectables and provides an outlet for a range of retail items. Budding entrepreneurs now run their own retail businesses through the platform that started out as a personal web page to link a Pez dispenser collector with other collectors.

 

3. Wrigley

How it started.

In 1891, William Wrigley Jr. moved from Philadelphia to Chicago with just $32 in his pocket.

By today's comparison, that's a value of approximately $2500 USD.

He used that money to buy and sell soap and made a bold and innovative move to give away free chewing gum with every purchase.

Noticing that the free gum was attracting more attention than the soap, almost overnight, William Wrigley Jr. struck entrepreneurial gold.

In 1907 during an economic downturn, Wrigley, instead of giving it all up like many of his entrepreneurial counterparts, mortgaged everything he owned and launched a grand scale advertising campaign for his chewing gum. It was this next significantly bold move which saw him take the market by storm and become a household name across the world.

 

Where are they now?

Today, the Wrigley's name is still on the majority of chewing gum packets across the world. 

In 2008, William Beau Wrigley, William Wrigley Jr's great-grandson, sold Wrigley's to Mars for $23 billion USD to create the largest confectionary maker ever known.  William Beau Wrigley is, today, worth approximately $2.8 billion

 

In the 21st century, we're experiencing a digital transformation that makes our opportunities endless. But it hasn't always been that way.

Some of the largest brands across the globe have taken the world by storm without having everything they need at their fingertips.

All very different products, all of those founders have followed four simple trends:

  1. Have an idea.
  2. Start implementing your idea with the resources that are available.
  3. Respond to your market.
  4. Don't stop when it gets tough.

If you've got an idea, the first thing to do today is to make a start.

Start Google researching, set up a Facebook page, write a business plan, watch Youtube tutorials and learn from those who have gone before you. While it can be daunting and overwhelming to start a business, the most important thing is that you take the first step.

Who knows where you might end up?

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Posted 28 May, 2017

dunjajanjic

Copywriter, Content Writer, Proofreader, Marketer.

Dunja is the Content & Email Manager at Freelancer HQ (Sydney). She is an Oxford graduate, and is the mother of a pet parrot called DJ Bobo.

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