Have you ever had a creative business idea? Maybe you want to start a mechanic shop? Perhaps it’s a new engine design or an innovative new software company? These are all great ideas, but just where would you have the space to execute them? You can’t rent a place downtown because that’s too costly and too much upkeep. You could use your kitchen table, but that would be distracting when the kids run through the house.
Here’s an idea: Get a garage! Did you know that many of the biggest and most successful companies that exist today started in a garage or shop? Read below to learn more and feel inspired.
In 1998, two friends named Larry Page and Sergey Brin took their idea and started working together to bring it to life in Susan Wojcicki’s garage in California. Thanks to her providing that creative work space we now have a wonderful online search tool called Google.
The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”)
Yes, Disney’s first film studio was produced inside Walt Disney’s uncle’s garage. Walt started recording Alice in Wonderland from it back in 1923. You never know what your idea might turn into. Will it be the idea that turns into a company like Disney, which has an annual revenue of over $59 billion (2017)?
As a 20-year-old, William Harley designed an engine to specifically power a bicycle. Then he and his best friend, Arthur Davidson, designed the first motorcycle. In 1903 they formed the brand Harley-Davidson in a small shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their company started from humble beginnings to having an annual revenue of over $5 billion (2017) as a high-end luxury motorcycle manufacturer.
As a technology company that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence, Amazon started in a garage too. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 while working from his home garage in Bellevue, Washington as a way to sell books online. Although it took almost a year for him to make his first sale, his business soon began to grow. Today, Amazon is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Apple, Facebook, and Google, and has an annual revenue of over $200 billion (2018).
Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft from their small garage in 1975 with very few resources. In it they built MS-DOS, their first operating system which they were able to license for $80,000. Shortly after that came Microsoft Windows, known today as Windows 10. Microsoft has an annual revenue of over $125 billion (2019) and has been dominating the computer industry for years.
Growing a business from a garage is more common than many people realize. Other companies that started in garages include Apple Inc., The Hewlett-Packard Company, and Dell. In fact, Nike, Inc. was so modest in the beginning that they used the trunk of their car until they could upgrade to a garage.
What’s next for your big idea?
A lack of “office” space can no longer be what’s holding you back from sharing your ideas with the world and being the next big thing. Those who take action become successful. Those who don’t will always wonder what could have been. Take the first steps to your garage and get started building your business today.
If you don’t have a garage or the idea of cleaning yours out is a more daunting task than creating a startup business, I know a company that can help you out. They have changed many lives with their custom garages. Check out Leland’s Barns & Sheds and go chase that business idea that will change lives and make a difference in the world.