How To Start Your First Business – The Startup Triangle

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If you’ve never started a business, the whole idea can be daunting. In this article, I’m going to give you a 10,000-foot view of how to start a business.

I want to be very clear, this article isn’t a step-by-step guide on how to start a business.

Eventually, you will need a more detailed plan but for right now you need to understand the three resources that everyone uses when starting a new business and you need to decide how much of each of those resources you’re going to invest in your new business.

Plan to Startup A Small Business

Three Resources Used To Start A New Business

It is 100% true that every new business is launched using a combination of these three resources and it doesn’t matter if it’s a small home-based business startup or a multi-million dollar launch.

Now before I introduce those three resources, I want to be clear that the vast majority of business startups use some of each resource to get off the ground. That’s where the Startup Triangle comes into play because it maps out what your startup is going to look like based on the resources you have available.

But we’ll go into the Startup Triangle later. First, let’s introduce the three startup resources.

With Time You Can Start A Small Business


The one thing that we all have in equal amounts is time. Well, we at least have the same amount of time each day, but I guess we don’t all have an equal amount of days.

Still, compared to the other two resources that can be used to start a business, time is the one that we all have in equal quantities.

If you invest enough time, you can complete any task.

Small Business Startup Timeline Ad

Do you want to dig the deepest hand-dug well in the world? You can do it if you invest enough time in the project.

Want to start a home-based prepared meal delivery business? Yup, you can do that too if you are willing and able to invest limitless time into the effort.

However, if you have some of the other two potential startup resources, you can reduce the amount of time that you must invest in starting a small business.

With Skill, You Can Start A Small Business


This should probably be labeled “Skill/Knowledge”. If you have skills or knowledge, you can seriously reduce the amount of time you need to invest in starting a new business.

Even the smallest home-based business requires sigificant skills and knowledge to be successful.


With enough time, you can gain the skills and knowledge you need to be successful, but it’s way faster (and easier) if you already have some of those resources available when you are ready to start your first home-based business.

What kinds of skills will you need to start up a small business and grow that small business into something that supports your family and eventually bless your family? Don’t get freaked out (read on after the list), but you’ll need the following skills and more.

  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Self Motivation
  • Self Direction
  • Leadership
  • Public Speaking
  • Writing
  • Marketing
  • Website Maintenance (or even creation!)
  • Accounting
  • Book Keeping
  • Photography
  • Graphic Design
  • Being Interviewed
  • On Video Ability
  • Video Editing
  • Audio Editing
  • SEO
  • Negotiation
  • Basic Law
  • Basic Tax Law
  • Basic Or Advanced Repair
  • Product Design
  • Interviewing
  • Remote Hiring
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Zoning Knowledge
  • Licensing Knowledge
  • Big Picture Thinking
  • Project Management
  • Delegation
  • Customer Service
  • Business Insurance Knowledge
  • Research

Don’t freak out.

You don’t have to have all of these skills and knowledge to start a small business. You don’t even have to have all of them to run and grow a small business. You can replace any or all of these things with either time or the third resource, money (spoiler).

However, the more of these skills and knowledge that you personally possess, the less time and money you’ll have to invest in your business.

As your business grows, so will your experience and skills.

Where you are now is not were you will be tomorrow. Just make sure that tomorrow you are further along than you are today.


Don’t let your missing skills stop you from starting your own small business, just know that you’re going to have to earn those skills with an investment of time or you’re going to have to hire people with skills using the final resources for business startups.

You don’t need money to start a business, but it helps.

3. Money

I’m not going to lie, having money makes starting a business much easier.

With money, you can buy the time of other people to do the things that have to be done to start a business.

With money, you can hire people who already have the skills that are required to start and grow a small business.

Money helps, but I want to be very clear.

You do not need money to start a business. You can overcome a lack of money by investing time and skill. If you are starting a business with no money, you need to not only accept but embrace the truth that it’s going to take you more time.

Without money, your small business startup is going to be a grind. You’re going to be putting in a lot of time before you see any real progress.

Starting a business with no money takes more time, but you can do it.

You just need to know that before you start and prepare yourself for the grind through the dead period of starting up your business with no money.

What Resources Will You Use To Start Your Small Business?

You are going to use some combination of Time, Skills, and Money to start your business. This means that you’re going to be somewhere in the middle of the Startup Triangle.

For example, if you have little Money and just a few Skills, then you’re going to be investing Time. The Business Startup Triangle is going to look like the image below.

Starting A Small Business With No Money – Startup Triangle

On the other hand, if you have a great full-time job, you probably have Money and some Skills, but you don’t have much Time to invest in a business startup.

In that case, you’d be closer to the lower left corner of the Startup Triangle.

Starting A Business With Limited Time – Startup Triangle

Any combination of Time, Skills, and Money will make it possible for you to start a business.

There is no one right way to start a new business, but there are some wrong ways.


What is the wrong way to start a business?

Trying to build a new business using just one of the three resources will always fail.

If you just invest Money to hire people with the time and skill to build a business, you’ll never learn how to run your business and you will fail. Sure, you can be an investor, but it will never truly be your business.

If you just invest Time, you’ll never get anywhere without developing real skills. I’ve seen so many people fail when starting a small business because they just plan to outwork everyone else. I respect the sentiment but hard work is not enough. You’re going to have to get some skills or some money to add to your startup.

Finally, Skill alone won’t get the job done. It doesn’t matter how good you are at building websites or marketing funnels, if you don’t invest the Time to get the job done you’ll never launch.

Business Startup Triangle Infographic

That’s a wrap. I hope you found this a valuable investment of your time.

If you want more guidance in starting your first business you should jump over to my article where I outline the 8 steps of starting a business.

If you did, you should consider inviting me to be your self-employed friend. Just signup to keep in touch via email at the bottom of this page.

Oh! If you’re on Twitter, please follow me over there and interact with my content there. I’d really love to grow that audience. Thanks.



With over 15 years of experience starting, running, and growing home-based food businesses, Stacey is the #1 home-based food business coach in America. Stacey is the author of the Advantage Meals: By The Numbers Book.

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