I started my business with just $350 – now I make $2 million a year

Moon safari / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Moon safari / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Starting a successful business from humble beginnings is the dream of many aspiring entrepreneurs. While having startup capital will certainly give your new business a head start, lack of funds doesn’t mean you can’t still be successful.

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Many entrepreneurs who started with almost nothing have turned their small ventures into successful, high-profit businesses. This just proves that you don’t need a lot of money to be successful.

Brian Town is the CEO and founder of the award-winning marketing and branding agency Michigan Creative. However, when he started his business, he had very limited resources.

“I left my teaching job on Friday and started Michigan Creative on Monday,” Town said. “With no savings and no investors, I landed an office in a small incubator in East Lansing, Michigan.”

All he needed to get started was $350, a small shared office space and a desktop computer. Today he owns his own building.

As Town explained, “Thirteen years later, we are in seven figures and working with clients across the country.”

Here’s how Town built his company from scratch.

Use your existing skills

When starting a business, it only makes sense to use the skills you already have. But you may also find that your previous experiences can be used in unexpected ways in your new company.

His teaching experience at Town gave him the communication and leadership skills that were essential for a successful marketing agency.

“Through teaching, I honed my public speaking and leadership skills, which proved invaluable on my entrepreneurial journey,” Town said. “The first step was just to do it – try different things, fail and try again.”

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You don’t have to do it all yourself

This is a hard lesson for many entrepreneurs, but a key element to success is getting help. You don’t have to do everything yourself – in fact, if you can, it is worth hiring employees whose skills complement yours and fill in the gaps.

“I quickly learned how important it is to surround myself with people who are smarter and better than me,” Town said.

Delegation is also important. If you know when to delegate, it will allow you to focus on the parts of your business where your skills are most valuable.

Have a clear brand identity

You’ve probably heard it many times, but it bears repeating: a strong brand identity is essential to stand out from the competition.

This is especially true if you don’t start with a lot of capital – you have to rely on a strong brand to attract and retain customers.

What does this mean exactly? Well, developing a clear, consistent message that resonates with your target audience and reflects the spirit of your company. This includes your logo, social media, customer service, and anything else customer-facing.

“It was very important for people to know who we are and what Michigan Creative stands for,” Town said. “We had to communicate our unique position in the market. We focused on telling our story and showing how our values ​​set us apart from the competition.”

Stay the course

The most important lesson is this: if you want to be successful, you have to stay the course. As long as you can stay afloat – and don’t ruin your financial future, because that’s key too! – you should move on.

Remember that entrepreneurial success can sometimes take time. Building any business comes with many challenges, especially when you start with limited resources. And since failure is part of the process and an opportunity to learn, think about how you can use it to grow.

“The journey has been challenging, but each failure has been a lesson that has pushed us forward,” Town said.

“By using my teaching experience and focusing on clear, consistent communication, we have built a strong brand that has gained recognition among customers. Today, Michigan Creative is not just a company; it is a testament to perseverance, adaptability and the power of clear vision.”

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This article originally appeared on I started my business with just $350 – now I make $2 million a year