This is the perfect way to get the knowledge to start a real business successfully – without spending years failing first.
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4 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
It's cool to be an entrepreneur.
I mean, think about it – you have the potential to make a lot more than most jobs, and you become your own boss.
There is no one looking over your shoulder underestimating or underestimating you, and there is absolutely no one telling you what to do every moment of every day.
Entrepreneurship is increasing. As of 2015, 27 million Americans started or ran new businesses, and that number continues to grow.
The question is, how many of the 27 million Americans are actually making a profit and how many are losing their savings?
These statistics worry me. I was the guy who lost everything because I was determined to make it but didn't have the knowledge to do it.
Related: Your first year in business is mostly about survival
When I think back on my first business, it occurs to me that I was paying over $ 1,000 for a nice logo and WordPress website for my contract security firm.
I still remember vividly how I went to this website every day and asked myself –
Why are people visiting my website? Why am I not getting any emails or calls?
I was absolutely clueless. I didn't know anything about google analytics, search engine optimization, targeting, marketing and techniques to connect with the right people and drive them to my website.
Every single dollar I spent in the first few years has simply been wasted, and I worry that there is a significant percentage of those 27 million people who are exactly in the position I was in years ago.
Related: How to Start a Business Without Money
Hoping to save other people lots of money, I recommend that every new entrepreneur sell used books online as their first business. Here's why:
The entry barrier is very low. Used books are cheap and the amount of money you can lose is minimal. By using platforms like Amazon and eBay, you can be introduced to ranking systems and algorithms similar to those of a search engine like Google. You will learn about strategies and methods for sourcing and selecting books with specific sales rankings and minimal profit margins. It's a great introduction to corporate accounting. You will have the opportunity to learn and keep track of profits, losses, inventory levels, and consumables needed for shipping. The customer is always right, so you can monitor and learn about ratings and customer feedback and the impact it has on your overall performance on third-party platforms. In addition, you will learn how to deal with customer complaints and customer returns. You will learn how different types of books work on different platforms, and over time you will develop strategies and criteria that will determine which books should be listed on which platform and which books should be listed on multiple platforms. The most important factor: it is actually a very profitable and scalable business.
While this may not be the most exciting business out there, it's now easy to get started. Over the course of the next year, you can learn about companies and online marketplaces and gain the knowledge you need to build something truly valuable.
Related Topics: How Online Marketplaces Are Changing The Face Of Entrepreneurship
This is experience and knowledge that I have learned for years and tens of thousands of dollars – you have a chance to acquire some of that knowledge this year without losing a single dollar.