Entrepreneurs – Want To Start A Business But Not Sure What Type?
Many entrepreneurs get that itch to start a new business, either because they are fed up being “wage slaves” or they like the freedom that working for yourself can bring. Some even think that they will be richer or have more spare time. Many are not sure what kind of business they want.
First of all – never start a new business because you want more money or more time. Starting a new business takes both lots of time and most, if not all, of your money.
Secondly don’t fall into the trap of starting a business just for the sake of it. Make sure that someone wants what you are aiming to sell! Your fruit cakes, tattoos or begonias may be the best in the area but if no one wants them – then you are going to be going bust very soon.
So how do you find out what kind of things you are going to sell?
1) Look at the type of area that you want to set up your business. A majority of aged clients is not going to be keen to have tattoos but might love your cakes!
2) Look at the other businesses selling in your area. Whilst it is sometimes good to group some businesses together such as car sales – make sure there is enough people left who may buy from you. Similarly if there is a successful company that is not coping – maybe you can inherit some of their clients?
3) Look for gaps in the market. Are their complimentary businesses close by who you can join in with to share customers? Is the market just crying out for a particular product of service.
4) Most importantly go and ask people. Give talks at clubs about your subject and see what kind of reception you get. Hold a competition for the best ideas etc.
Good luck in obtaining a firm foundation for your new business.
Financial advisors often find themselves consulting to successful entrepreneurs about how to continue to grow their assets after the business has been sold or taken over through a carefully planned succession strategy. But developing a small business (defined here as having less than $50 million in annual revenues) is not so simple.
After the initial burst of business success and survival in the first three years, many small businesses encounter struggles that can leave them feeling isolated. What can assist a 30-year old consulting firm whose personal presence and paper products face a changing world of electronic presence and high travel costs by helping them with development of electronic products? What can encourage a small playground equipment manufacturer to move from $1 million to $2 then $5 million in annual revenues by helping her with facility expansion issues? What can help a successful cookie baker beat the competition through strategic partners, cause marketing and high tech kitchen equipment?
Small Business Development Centers can.
According to the Small Business Administration these SBDC's gave face-to-face help to more than 247,000 clients last year. A treasury of business answers lies waiting and ready to assist at 1,100 top colleges and universities across the United States, according to the SBA. These centers are funded by a combination of federal, state and local government monies as well as with private sector dollars.
Here are just few examples from the State of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin at Whitewater hosts a Small Business Development Center at www.uwwsbdc.com [http://www.uwwsbdc.com/] Its email is firstname.lastname@example.org This center is also affiliated with the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center, that "takes pride in an extremely high rate of client satisfaction...nearly 75% of clients have been referred by former clients and professionals. The Wisconsin Innovation Service Center charges an "affordable fee" to provide companies with enough information for improved product and market development decisions.
A few diverse examples of this university-related treasury of successes include these:
- A local gardener gained international attention for a unique gardening tool.
- An innovative drywall finishing product offers significant benefits over competition.
- A new product helps a honey producer grow.
- A business in the electrical equipment industry finds new customer segments.
- Investors and inventors find value in a flooring company start-up.
- An environmental product company breaks past the $15 million mark with a new product.
- An ornithology hobby becomes a successful business venture.
- An outdoor equipment manufacturer finds a potential acquisition.
- Customer purchase decisions and perceptions are revealed to a manufacturer.
- An automotive aftermarket tool gains distribution outlets across the U.S.
- A "hot" tool is offered to the propane and plumbing industries.
Part of the success of these entrepreneurs and a couple of hundred thousand others is due to the one-on-one relationship of these advisors with their entrepreneurial clients. Developing business plans, wading through loan applications, securing critical market research, exploring product design options, identifying a lasting competitive edge---these are typical of the services that SBDC's can provide to the entrepreneur.
These services are nothing to be sneezed at. In another state, South Carolina, the economic impact on the state's economy in 2005 alone was $86 million, resulting in a return on investment of $121.11 for every dollar of state funding, according to Regional Director Jill Burroughs as quoted in the Greenville News. Further explaining the power of the program, Burroughs said that breaks down to $45.7 million in capital formation, 1038 jobs created, nearly $25 million in wages paid, $869,000 in additional sales taxes and $15 million in contracts awarded to 381 businesses.
SBDC's are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. If you conservatively cut the impact of South Carolina in half and multiplied by the 50 states, you would have a $2.1 BILLION impact.
This is a powerful treasury of real riches that spills over to the rest of the economy from the struggles of entrepreneurs who refused to let their dreams be defeated by the obstacles they encountered. They got help.
All Fortunes Begin With an Idea!
Some Hot Business Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
These days, a lot of trends in the business arena have surfaced. In a year, several business opportunities for entrepreneurs rank as the hottest. So as a budding entrepreneur, what field would you like to get into? It is believed by many that in opening a business, it must be something within the scope of your own expertise.
You need to have an initial knowledge about what opportunity you are getting into. In managing any type of business, it is a must that you exert a personal effort on it. But then as the times are concerned, it goes to point out that the business of your choice must be something which is within the trends and that which is appreciated by the consumers. Or else, you are opening yourself into some great possibilities of losing in business.
For a guide, here are among the hottest trends of business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the year 2006:
Communications Coach or Writing Instructor. Most American businesses involve the flow of communications. After all, how can a business transaction transpire if there is no communication that exists within the concerned parties? Most office personnel in America lack one skilland that is the power to communicate effectively.
In all levels of business, the staff members are asked to communicate orally, verbally, or technologically. But then most of them fail to do well in the task. They cannot even generate sensible sentences for that matter. Unfortunately though, a lot of English classes held in high school and college levels tend to overlook this matter so the graduates are not molded for these kinds of situations. One of the hottest business opportunities for entrepreneurs this year is to put up groups that would coach people in the entrepreneurial level in terms of communication. Many American companies seek the services of communications coaches and writing instructors.
Blogging. In a technologically advanced world, most information, ideas, and transactions are already done via the net. Blogging is one of the hottest and rising business opportunities this year. Whether the phase is internal or external, the blog must be well written so that it will be highly effective. Most companies involve blogging as part of their marketing strategies and if the blog is more or less poorly conceived, you know exactly what it will reflect for the company. The corporations that employ blogging as part of their businesses should provide ample training background in writing skills to their staff members.
Security and IT Privacy Consultant. For companies that mainly run technological-based industries, what they need are people who are IT competent and who knows how to troubleshoot technological problems. Since they deal much with information, they also need sufficient security. That is why masters in these matters are very much in-demand. As an entrepreneur, you can put up a business that relates to this need.
Some Construction-Related Operations. The country cannot rid of constructions of all types since it is moving towards global competitiveness. In the midst of all these constructions are great opportunities for entrepreneurs that are concerned with the plumbing, electric, carpentry, drywalling, and general contracting services.
Home Caregiving. In America per se, the aged individuals are always put in Home for the Aged institutions as their children are busy to care for them. It has been a custom to hire home caregivers for them. In the rate of employment, there are several individuals who go for caregiving since it is a highly paid job. If you may be interested, you can put up a home caregiving agency and earn much because of the high demand for such services.
Medical Technician or Home Healthcare Nurse. This business opportunity is likely related to the discussion above.
Virtual Assistants. The demand for virtual assistance is all the more increasing. People who would like to have online secretaries who can take charge of anything which they need pay much just so they can avail of the service. As an entrepreneur it will be beneficial on your part to come up with a set of staff members to work as virtual assistants.
Ebay Trading Assistants. People certainly love to shop on ebay especially with all those auctions. Being a seller in the website can invite lots of money for you.
Mobile Phone Applications. People cannot be detached from their mobile phones these days. So the demand for more advanced and upgraded phones increase each day. Outlets for mobile phones sales and repairs all the more prove to be successful this year.
There are more and more business opportunities that may knock on the doors of budding entrepreneurs. If you know how to handle a business, you will likely succeed.
Computer Consultant Startup: What's The First Step?
A new idea is merely the combination of two or more old ideas. The creation of a new idea is the critical first step in establishing any business.
People who dream of setting up their own business but dont succeed, generally fall into one of three categories:
too few ideas
too many ideas or
waiting for the perfect idea.
Any of these three states of mind may hinder the budding entrepreneur.
Would be entrepreneurs with too few ideas.
These individuals typically say if only I had an idea for a business.
Just remember that if you say you dont have an idea it really means you have no-idea! If this applies to you, you need to get cracking on that first idea fast! As soon as you are able to dream something up, youll have the essential ingredient that all successful businesses are built upon.
Would be entrepreneurs with too many ideas.
Can you ever have too many ideas I hear you say? Well if your creative process leaves you feeling overwhelmed for choice then its definitely a possibility! Many highly creative people experience inertia in business purely because they have so many ideas. They dont know where to start or which idea to implement first!
If you fall into this category, just pick one of your ideas (it doesnt need to be your best one!) and begin to mentally develop it further. Consider the first key steps you need to take to push your business idea forward. Remember that you dont have to have a 100 page business plan or a fully formed idea before you can start taking action! All you need is a little focus.
Would be entrepreneurs waiting for the perfect idea.
This is the equivalent of expecting to know how to swim once youve found the perfect swimming costume.
If you fall into this category, even if you do manage to find the perfect idea, ask yourself whether or not you are going to have the right skill base to get it off the ground. Many successful entrepreneurs have failed many times before their perfect idea came along. It is through being prepared to fall down and stand up again that you develop the tenacity required to succeed in business.
Stay Ahead of the Game.
Whatever your circumstances, whether you are in business already or looking to start a business, creating ideas and being innovative will help keep you on top of your game. The way we are doing business globally is changing at such a rapid rate that if you dont consistently innovate, you will soon be out of business.
Cultivate your Innovation skills.
All the entrepreneurs that I have met have been possibility thinkers. By this I mean they keep their minds open to new opportunities and new ways of thinking. The best way for you to cultivate this ability within yourself is to spend time around other creative thinkers. Challenge each other to innovate.
A Simple Idea Creating Exercise.
Two nights ago I had a brainstorming session with a couple of entrepreneurial friends over a meal. We did a little 5 minute exercise where each wrote down as many ideas as they could on how to create a million pounds within a year. The quality of the initial ideas was absolutely irrelevant. What was really valuable was what came afterwards, when each person read out their individual lists and we discussed how these particular ideas could work.
We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and generated a couple of really great business ideas (as well as plenty of ordinary ones!), purely by focusing our brains to answer a simple question.
So how many entrepreneurs does it take to change a light bulb?
Well Im not entirely sure on the answer to that one! But I do know how many ideas it takes to start a business
Copyright Damien Senn 2005. All rights reserved.
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