Colin Grussing, a 28-year old Yale graduate, is pursuing a bold and herculean task, starting 52 businesses over the course of one year, a new start-up every week. Grussing launched his ambitious venture on March 17 and now is in its third week. When asked why he wanted to engage in this seemingly impossible endeavor, his response was that he wanted to show that starting a business is not super difficult, if done diligently. Grussing’s project will have a team of three employees and five interns and the base of the operation will take place on a renovated 1980s cerulean bus, aptly nicknamed “BOB” (Business Operations Bus). Grussing and his staff will create and market test the first 20 ideas and then accept applications from fellow entrepreneurs for the rest. The entire undertaking will be documented via 52businesses.com, blogs, podcasts, webisodes and social media.
Grussing, a seasoned serial entrepreneur has an impressive resume of start-ups, the Louisiana native started BeGreenMan.com, a company that makes green Lycra suits that fans wear to sporting events to distract the opposing team. He launched RootSuit.com, a manufacturer of zany, stylish, skin-tight body suits that landed him on the hit show Shark Tank. He formed a dealership that sells motorcycle sidecars sourced from India and has made numerous real estate investments. Grussing’s idea of starting 52 businesses a year was inspired by the 2009 movie, Julie and Julia, the film is about a blogger, Julie Powell’s difficult effort to cook all of Julia Child’s recipe from a book, The Joy of French Cooking, in one year. He pondered applying the concept to business start-ups, initially wanting to launch a business every day for a year until friends dissuaded him, realizing a week was more realistic, which the idea of “52 Businesses” was born. He did not put much serious thought in the notion until May 2013, due to his other business ventures.
The first venture of his 52 start-ups, is the namesake of the entrepreneurial challenge, 52 Businesses, which was launched as a LLC entity; it had a website, basic marketing and content strategies and hired a plumber to install a working toilet on the bus, in less than a week. Grussing says he has an arsenal of business ideas and intends to stay four weeks ahead of the game, as far as planning in his head and expects to attain profitability in seven days in some of his ventures. His target projection is a 100 percent success rate, but him and his team will be satisfied with 75 percent. As an experienced business owner, he is aware that some business ideas will not go far and other business concepts will be created in a matter of hours.
Grussing is well-versed in bootstrap entrepreneurship and at the tender age of 28, has earned enough passive of income to go into a comfortable retirement. This was the path he desired before realizing that his passion lies in the process of starting an enterprise than the financial rewards. He recognizes that his strength is starting a business from scratch and creating a cash flow that he can add to his portfolio. Grussing is in no way a conventional businessman because it takes an unconventional businessman to initiate 52 start-ups, one every week for a year.
By Isriya Kendrick