Think about it. It used to be that starting a business was a risky and complicated effort, requiring lawyers, expensive office space, big advertising budgets, deep pockets and lots and lots of people with fancy MBAs. Not not any more.
To start a service or tech-based business, you don’t need much — just an idea. Securing a domain name, hosting and website is a snap. Computers and software are silly cheap. And fancy office space is no longer a requirement to prove that you’re street-legal. Who cares where you hang your shingle? Instead, co-working environments like WeWork are becoming preferred business incubators for freelancers, independent contractors and start-ups of all shapes and sizes. Many companies, in fact, never leave, simply to maintain a connection to the lean and agile mentality that permeates these incubator environments.
You don’t need to sit next to someone to work with great people. Great talent is all over the place. That’s why more and more companies are embracing a completely distributed workforce. Now you can find amazing people that share your vision and passion — and do crazy and amazing work — distributed across the country and the world. The real challenge is not finding someone that can do the work; it’s finding the most driven and capable talent that you can afford.
It doesn’t matter when Sally or John clock in or clock out. Hourly-based models are so old-school when it comes to driving organizational performance. What matters most is simply getting the job done, done well, done on budget and done on time. In the end, who cares if the work was done late at night or in a coffee shop? It only matters that the work is amazing. As a result, value-based pricing models for work, rather than time-based models, are becoming more appropriate. (This subject is worthy of its own post.)
There’s an insane proliferation of tools and platforms that make communication and collaboration between team members easier than ever before. Between Google Apps, Square, Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, Office 365, HubSpot and DropBox, so much of our work never leaves the cloud. Expensive tools and proprietary platforms are dinosaurs. Today’s IT challenge is not finding a tool or platform to do the job; it’s picking the right one for you and your business.
The fact is: we already live in a gig-based economy, where rewards for work are based on performance and getting the job done, rather than the marquee value of the lofty title on your business card. These days, even Fortune 100 companies are relying on contractors, start-ups and micro-business for the practical reason: it’s where some of the best work is being done. And because of the models that these new-order companies embrace, it is also where the work is being done faster and more efficiently than ever before.
I could go on and on. But I think the point is already clear — the time is right to start your own service or tech-based business.
So what are you waiting for? Get going.