First decide what product or service you want to provide. Then, seek potential buyers or clients. Since you are not looking for investors at this point, you do not need a comprehensive business plan or detailed financial projection. For starters, all you really need is a good idea! Keep it simple. Everything else can follow. Over the years, I have started more than a dozen successful businesses with little or no money.
A good example is Canyon Creek, a massive, four-thousand acre housing development in the communities of Richardson and Plano, Texas. When this gigantic project first broke ground in the sixties, major tract-home builders rushed in to start construction, while smaller, individual, custom home builders continued to be active in other areas of Dallas.
That is when I came up with a game changing idea. I contacted twenty-seven custom builders and asked them if they would build a home in Canyon Creek with an all-electric Gold Medallion kitchen, if I could get them $5,000.00 of free advertising. Since that was big money back then, they all said, “Yes”, and signed exclusive letters of intent with me.
Then I presented these impressive Letters of Intent to Dallas Power and Light Company and asked if they would invest $5,000 in advertising for each custom home we build in Canyon Creek, featuring their new, “All-Electric Gold Medallion Kitchen”. They loved the idea and immediately gave me an initial advertising budget of $135,000. This was just the beginning. More and more custom home builders signed up for this program and my advertising budget grew to more than a million dollars!
Today, whenever I drive through Canyon Creek, a huge, sprawling, meticulously maintained, upscale community, it gives me great pleasure, knowing that I started a business with no money that resulted in thousands of beautiful, custom homes.
(See “Dare to Be Rare Attractions” on Page 91)