OK people - let's get real here -
Arpangel wrote:I think I've got to be honest with myself, I'm not passionate about recording,
Good! That's a start! And it's a pretty good start at that!
You can be passionate about whatever it is that you are recording - but only unbalanced nerds and loonies get passionate about bits of equipment. In other words, it is the end result that should be your motivation and NOT the process!
We can forget equipment hire for starters - too expensive to get off the ground and the marketing costs for a start-up will kill you!
What does work is to find a gap in the market for some goofy little thing that usually sell for silly money and buy that in bulk from China and sell it/them on eBay.
Look around you. Look at what you have bought in the past few months. Was there something there that was just too expensive for what it really is? Or was a cheaper version just not available on eBay? Some footlingly stupid little thing, a bit of cable, some kitchen device, some photography gizmo that seems to cost a small fortune for just a piece of metal with a screw in it?
And here's how the gig goes -
A typical example is a wi-fi dongle. The wi-fi connections built into most laptops and PCs are rubbish and large workstations usually don't have wi-fi built in. I needed one, just one. We also need two more in the office for the laptops that could not get decent connections using their onboard wi-fi. There's a bloke selling dual band and really good wi-fi dongles for £7.98 each on eBay. Now I know that they cost just $1.50 each in boxes of 500 pieces, so about £1 (FOB) - which translates to £2 delivered and cleared. So he is making about £4 gross margin after envelopes and postage on every single one - and good luck to him!
Looking at his feedback on eBay, he is selling about three a week and he also sells loads of other stuff, DP cables, HDMI cables, ethernet converters - penny-ante stuff like that. Each item represents about £500 investment in a box of the damn things but translates into £10-£50 turnover a week, about half of which is mark-up. He has a job, his house-bound wife (kids!) sends out the stuff and manages the eBay and PayPal accounts.
He now has 140 items in his eBay shop and the spare bedroom and his front room are both filled with shelves and boxes of goofy stuff from national flags to smartwatches, from HDMI switchers to false eyelashes.
He started with one box of cables bought via the made-in-china website, after being charged £15 for a poxy little HDMI cable at PC World. He bought a box of them for pennies each!
As for people who start up with hare-brained schemes that seemed doomed to fail and manage to come up trumps - for every one of those there are a hundred or more that fail. I get to see them in all their glory!
You could start by getting the excellent book 'Starting a Business for Dummies' by Colin Barrow (I have a copy which you can have if you want it! Call!)https://www.amazon.co.uk/Starting-Busin ... 1118837347
The following is just a short piece I wrote earlier on how to get going if you don't happen to have a million to spare. This is how I did it. This is how others did it. And this is how you can do it. If you don't happen to have a money-hose, this is just for you!1. Just do it!
Don't say "I want to start a business." Start a business. The moment you say "I am a business person." you are a business person. It's that simple. The very act of wanting to have a business is your very first step in your journey through life as a business person. The very act of wanting it means that you are one already. 2. Aim high!
I don't care how ridiculously high your ambitions are, they are perfectly achievable. Aim high and maybe, just maybe you will get there. If you don't aim high, your chances of achieving that goal are zero. You must play the lottery if you want to win the lottery! Except that the chances of winning the business lottery are about one million times higher than getting six right on a Saturday night! 3. Prepare!
Understand the business you are about to enter. Work in that business. Watch what others do. Study every aspect of the business. It may look easy from the outside, but there will be things you don't know that you don't know, so find out what those things are. In business, preparation is everything!4. Make mistakes!
Yes, that's right - make all the mistakes and get them over with. Keep making mistakes but make them just once. Write down all your mistakes in a book and then read that book regularly. We call making mistakes 'Experience!' 5. Do it your way!
How often do we get to hear "You must do it this way!" when what they are really saying is "That is how we have always done it and we can't think of any other way of doing it!" You must always study and learn the accepted wisdom - but that does not mean that you have to follow it. Your unique way of doing things makes what you do and what you have to offer itself unique. Let that be your USP!6. Calculate!
You must understand the numbers in your business - all of them. Understand the difference between margin, net profit, gross profit, fixed costs, variable costs, piece costs. Understand all the costs of hiring people, payroll taxes, insurance, pensions, canteen, space for cars, etc. Understand how to calculate risk and the role fixed costs play in risks. The difference between a business person and just another Schmo on the street is the business person can calculate!7. Do it cheaply!
You can start a limo company with a beautiful used stretch S-Class Mercedes for £5k or you can buy a new one for £250k. You can start a movie company with a $1m Arri-Alexa6 with grips and lenses, or you can use a DSLR for £1k. You can use sunlight and old PAR lights or you can use $1m worth of HMIs and a generator. You can start a taxi company with a brand new Audi for £50k or you can buy a used Toyota for £8k. There are several bookkeeping programmes out there for silly money and even better ones out there for free! Solve your investment problems with intelligence and initiative - you don't have a money-hose!8. Tell the World!
The idea that if you build a better mousetrap, the World will beat a pathway to your door is total bunk! The World has to know that you have a better mousetrap first! That means a sexy website that scores well for the search engines, that means leafleting, that means getting the message out to the press, that means infesting every forum, blog and idiotic social media going. That means having a YouTube channel and putting something new there every week. That means shouting your message across the rooftops. You can't afford to be shy! 9. Be creative!
Never stop that Blue-Sky thinking! Keep imagining what else you could be doing. Every day and in every way, you must set aside some time to dream and think of a better way of doing everything involved in your business. 10. Rationalise to be productive!
Use every possible tool to be more productive! Use the fastest software. If using an automated CNC machine will double your output, get one! This is all about calculating. Car companies make cars for tiny sums of money, usually between one-fifth and one-eighth of RRP. They do this by automating every possible process. You must do the same. Look at which type of customers are the most profitable. Deal with them and drop the rest. Rationalise each and every aspect of your operation. From bookkeeping to sales, from stock control to prepping in a restaurant kitchen, every process must be as efficient as humanly possible!