Fewer things interest more in business than the idea of running a multi-million dollar empire from a lawn chair on the beach. But that is exactly what excites me the most about some of my more recent business ventures.
It was year 2006 and I was in the third row of Dr. Bell’s Studies in Entrepreneurship class. “I wanted to start a business I could run from a lawn chair on the beach”, our speaker told the class. My mind was blown as he described how he did it.
For years, the idea of running a business from a lawn chair on the beach inspired me to think outside the box and challenge the current assumptions of the old school brick and mortar business approach. This idea has been stucked in my mind as I’ve ventured into other businesses.
In today’s economy, the idea of running a business on the beach is more feasible than ever. We live in a more mobile world where hard products no longer dominate the consumer market. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are some of the most successful businesses on the market at the moment and they don’t sell a physical product.
Building a business that you can run on the beach is a reality that can be achieved by following a few simple rules:
Focus on tech. To build a successful business on the beach, your product must exist in cyberspace. This make believe world in the cloud is the world’s most blossoming market. Build a product that exists in cyberspace such a eBooks, mobile apps or other digital product to keep yourself away from the warehouse and out by the sand castles.
Work in the cloud. All my work is stored on Dropbox and backed up to my own server. All the data on my computer, cell phone, iPad and other business tools is stored in the cloud. This keeps them accessible from anywhere. Using Google Chrome and extensions like Tab Cloud means I’m in my office whether I’m at home, an office or the beach.
Work remotely. Using Skype, FaceTime, cellphones and dropbox for sharing files, the modern office building is no more. Full time employees can be replaced with freelancers from Elance, oDesk and 99Designs. Administrative duties can be outsourced to Va’s. Mail and incoming calls can be outsourced to virtual offices such as BusinessSuites.
Outsource everything you can. In today’s marketplace, you can outsource nearly everything. The speaker who gave me the idea had workers scattered all across the country compelling data. This data was instantly fed to the offsite server they had outsourced and displayed on a website they had run by yet another company. They had no offices and no desks. Only a cell phone and a lawn chair which he’d perch fittingly on the coast.
Liberate yourself from the office. Desktops can be replaced with laptops. Office phones are replaced by cellphones. Files are stored in the cloud. Meetings take place over the web and your next business can be run from a lawn chair on the beach.
Seven years ago my mind was blown by the idea of running a company from at the beach. Today, it is easier than running a business in a traditional brick and mortar sense. Escape the cubical and head out for some fresh air. It may be the next great business idea you’ve been looking for.
Have you ever tried working remotely?