How Big Companies Started For Nothing

Mega Companies Started For Nothing

There is a misconception that to have a huge mega-national company, you need to have a lot of money to start it up. However, the truth is that there is plenty well known companies that have started in a garage with next to nothing in funds. By looking at these companies, you can see that your dream of being a successful business owner can happen, even if you are just starting in a garage.

  1. Whole Food Market: Started by a college dropout in 1978 and his 21-year-old girlfriend, the couple borrowed money from friends and family and opened up a store, which within one year resulted in them being evicted from their home because they used it as storage for storage. With no home and very little money, they moved and lived in the store. The couple lived in the store, bathed there using a water hose and tried to make ends meet. Within two years they merged with another store in Austin, Texas and increased the number of employees. In four years, the company expanded to other cities and today, is ranked 369 on the Fortune 500 with $3.2 billion in revenues.
  2. Apple: Started in a garage by Steve Wozniack and Steve Jobs, these two men created a personal computer, which Wozniack designed and Jobs helped to sell. They were broke and had to order parts for their first purchase order on credit. The company now ranks 103 on the Fortune 500 and is one of the leading companies on the planet.
  3. Dell: At one time, it was the largest seller of personal computers and servers on the planet. Currently ranked 34 on the Fortune 500, with $61 billion in revenue in 2008, the company was started in 1984 by Michael Dell in his dorm room with nothing more than a $1,000 investment. In 1985, the company produces its first computer and by 1988 had its first public offering worth $88 million.
  4. Mattel: A married couple by the name of Ruth and Elliot Handler decided to start a company just after World War II in the garage of their California home. Initially a company to make picture frames, soon after opening they began to make dollhouses with scraps left over from the picture frames. Thanks to starting to make toys, and picture frames, just as the Baby Boomer were growing up, they were able to benefit immensely from this new and large market. By 1955, their company, Mattel, was sponsoring The Mickey Mouse Club and soon after that they created Barbie. Currently, they have a revenue of $6 billion and rank #413 on the Fortune 500.
  5. Starbucks: In 1971, three academics used $1,350 they had to open a Starbucks location in downtown Seattle. After the opened, things were tough so they had to borrow $5,000 from a bank just to keep going. Initially just roasting coffee beans, the company began to sell coffee exclusively in the 1980s. In 1992, the company went public and had a rapid expansion in the 1990s, opening one store per day. The company currently ranks #277 on the Fortune 500 with revenues of $9.4 billion.

First Published: Sep 19, 2010