If you’re thinking of starting your own business equipped with nothing but a garage and a dream, you’re not alone. Even the most successful world-famous companies didn’t achieve greatness overnight, and they didn’t operate out of swanky offices from day one.
Check out these 5 big companies that started in a garage, inspiring startup business owners to dream big even when they have to start small.
This mammoth multinational technology company didn’t have such glamorous beginnings. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were university students at the time, started their side project out of Susan Wojcicki’s Menlo Park garage in September 1998.
They rented the small space for a year before moving to an office in Palo Alto along with their 8 employees.
Nowadays, of course, Google is the most trafficked website in the world.
The early days of Apple were a far cry from the impressive headquarters they boast today. Founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple Computer Co. out of Jobs’ parents’ garage in Cupertino, California.
Their first big order was with a local retailer who bought 50 computers at $500 each, which Jobs and Wozniak were able to hand-build in the garage in just 30 days.
Coming from humble beginnings, Apple now stands as the most valuable technology company in the world.
It may have inspired the happiest place on earth, but there was a time when The Walt Disney Company’s office lacked the magic it represents today. In 1923, Walt and his brother Roy used their uncle Robert’s one-car garage as “The First Disney Studio” for the company that was then called The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio.
Located just 45 minutes from today’s Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, the brothers used the tiny garage to film the Alice Comedies.
A few months later, the brothers relocated to a larger lot on the same street where they signed with Universal Studios and began their journey to become the highest-grossing media company in the world.
Amazon.com began as an online bookstore in 1995 by founder Jeff Bezos, who stored his inventory in, and ran the company out of, his garage in Bellevue, Washington.
Within the first month, Amazon had sold books to customers from 45 different countries across the world.
Bezos knew from the beginning that he wanted his company to be “an everything store”, and it is now the world’s biggest online retailer.
OK, so this one didn’t actually start in a garage, but the boot of a car is just as impressive. And they had to store the car somewhere – probably in a garage!
In 1964, Nike started as Blue Ribbon Sports and was operated out of the boot of co-founder Phil Knight’s Plymouth Valiant. In 1966, Knight and partner Bill Bowerman opened their first retail store in Santa Monica, going on to launch their own line of footwear and renaming themselves Nike, Inc.
Nike is now the biggest supplier of athletic gear in the world.
Even the most successful companies had to start somewhere. Don’t let the lack of a conventional location put a dampener on your entrepreneurial spirit – take the first step to greatness by getting your business started in your garage.
If your garage isn’t an option, or is too small to contain all your products, take advantage of a National Storage commercial storage unit and keep your inventory and paperwork organised until your big break.