Quick Change

How fast can you make a million? For these companies, the answer was one year. But who knows? Maybe you could do it in less.

Despite what you may have read in Get Rich Quick! Volume 33, there's no foolproof plan for making $1 million in your first year. Most start-ups never make that kind of annual revenue at all. "People are running away from the big splashes," says Robert Lattimore, president of CCSBI (Contra Costa Software Business Incubator), a Concord, California-based incubator for technology companies. "A year ago, the discussion was macro, not micro, but now people are interested in consistent growth, results and profit."

But that focus on the long term can yield results in the short term. Start-ups that stuck to business basics during the dotcom hysteria of the past few years are now reaping the benefits. Consider these fledgling firms:

  • MyPrimeTime Inc. focused on profitability, not valuation, and grossed more than $1 million in its first year.
  • Shunra Software Ltd. made more than $1 million despite the fact that it received no outside funding and was run out of a garage.
  • Pacific Coast Reprographics made more than $1 million while competing against the largest reprographics conglomerate in the nation.

While these companies' owners all took different paths to their first million, they share one common thread: an intense focus on sustainable growth and profitability.

Need some inspiration to create a million-dollar company?
Take a look at Young Millionaires, 3rd Annual 10 Under 30 and Some Like It Hot
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This article was originally published in the July 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Quick Change.

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