Building a Property Business Alongside a Full-Time Job

property-business

Building a Property Business Alongside a Full-Time Job

If you are a full-time employee planning to start your own property business – whether as a property developer, investor, manager, agent or otherwise – the process has the potential to be stressful, tiring and even legally problematic.

However, with careful planning and via a cautious and considered approach, the tasks involved can prove quite straightforward.

In this article, we explore the process of building a property business alongside full-time employment, discussing the potential risks and pitfalls and laying out the most sensible path to take.

Clear Your Schedule Before Laying the Foundations

In the early days of running a business, one of the most hectic and busy stages is also the period when you should perhaps take greatest care. This is the time at which you’ll be drawing up a business plan, calculating financial forecasts and generally preparing for launch.

These tasks require a great deal of precision and concentration, and can take up a lot of your time and energy – particularly if you’re starting up a business alone as a sole trader.

As the jobs begin to pile up, you might consider arranging to take a period of annual leave, holiday or Time Off In Lieu from your main employment.

Make sure you time it right – there may be tasks on the horizon that are even more involved, and running out of holiday allowance at that point could throw a large spanner in the works.

Start Small with Your Property Business

property-business

If you plan to continue with your full-time job for sometime (which is a sensible approach), you need to be realistic about the amount of work your new venture will be able to take on straight away.

This isn’t just about your own wellbeing – although that in itself is vitally important. The fact is that if you have a high level of uptake from clients or users, there may not be enough time in the day to handle everything.

What’s more, trying to squeeze in every task by way of a punishing schedule can lead to stress, loss of sleep and panic, which – no matter how resilient you may be – will inevitably increase the likelihood of mistakes and foul-ups.

Begin with the very basics, and put the framework in place for future upscaling when the time is right. This gives you and your future clients something to look forward to. It also means you’ll be risking less all at once.

Perhaps, for example, you can plan well in advance to free up the time for viewings and to be present at online / offline property auctions.

Stay Accessible for Your Property Business

As we’ll explore later, using company time and resources to respond to calls and emails from your “side gig” is never a good idea. However, if potential clients can’t access you, they’ll go to a competitor instead.

To reduce the risk of this happening, try to put features in place that will allow you to communicate as and when you have the time available.

Set up automated responses for your email account, informing those who contact you that you will respond to their query within a specified amount of time in order to manage expectations.

Record a voicemail greeting too, encouraging callers to leave a message – again, specifying a timescale for your response.

This approach will assure customers that their communications have reached the correct place, and will dissuade them from chasing you.

The timescales you state should be manageable within your personal schedule. If you set yourself targets that are very difficult to hit, you’ll be more likely to let people down or become stressed and overworked.

Keep Clear Accounts

It’s easy for the proper management of your financial records and documentation to fall by the wayside if you’re working two jobs simultaneously, but it’s important that you do not let this happen.

Accounts can be very difficult to straighten out in hindsight – and you could fail to discover major monetary issues or oversights until it’s too late. The same goes for legal arrangements such as tax and insurance.

If you’re a landlord, stick to a clear schedule for rent payments, appliance testing and all other related matters such as buildings, contents and income protection insurance.

If you’re a property developer, make sure you have all the right insurance for any construction work and make sure invoices are organized at the right time.

As a property investor, it may go without saying that you should keep careful track of your investments – but even this can be a challenge when you are pushed for time!

Consider hiring an accountant or other specialist to assist you with this side of things if it’s likely to get too much.

Understand Your Contract and Legal Obligations

property-business

It doesn’t matter if your main job is in the property field or not – it may be that anything you develop or design during your working hours automatically becomes the property of your employer.

Investigate the intellectual property clauses of your professional contract to decipher your individual position regarding this matter.

Furthermore, if you use any resources that belong to your employer for the purpose of running your own business – such as responding to emails from a work computer – you could be in breach of contract.

You should even be careful who you speak to about your company at any length while at your main job, as some employers may consider this a promotional activity, and one you should not be undertaking while on their premises.

Above all, do not record contact details or other data belonging to clients from your full-time work for use in your “side gig”.

This is likely to constitute a major breach of data protection, as those individuals will not have given their consent for an additional business to use their information.

Read up on the Data Protection Act 2018 for more about what you can and can’t do with the data of your own clients and those of other businesses.

Avoid Burnout with Your Property Business

Schedule your activities with care. It can be tempting to spend every second of your spare time on your new business, but you are its greatest asset – and if you do not look after yourself, it is likely to fail.

Stick to your contracted hours where possible while working for your employer and make sure you give yourself sufficient time to undertake all activities relating to your own company without rushing, but don’t forget to program in some downtime and a little self-care too.

Make the Transition at the Right Time

Even if your company appears to hit the ground running, this may not always be the case in the future. It’s a sobering fact that 20% of businesses fail in their first year – and 60% in their first three years.

For this reason, you should wait until your new venture is properly established before you make the leap to quit your “day job” and start working for your own company full time.

Even then, it may be best to make a gradual transition. If at all possible, ask your employer whether you might be permitted to go down to part-time hours so you can have something of a cushion as you prepare to go entirely self-employed.

By following the advice above, you’re likely to find that building your property business alongside full-time work is easier than you anticipated. Careful time management, a keen eye on the legal side, and sufficient levels of self-care are vital for your success.

We wish you the best of luck in your venture.

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MICRO BUSINESSES

Micro businesses, companies with fewer than ten employees, generally work like small businesses but have some differences in getting funding and expanding. However, it is a lucrative venture to explore, and in this article, we will be exploring microbusinesses and all the necessary detail to set up and succeed at a micro business. So, let’s get into it.

MICRO BUSINESSES

different-types-of-small-businesses

What Is a Micro business?

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), micro business is a term used to describe those businesses that typically have about 1-9 employees. This definition may vary from region to region. For example, in Vermont, USA, the definition restricts the number of employees to less than five people, and annual revenue generated to be less than $25,000. The definition for micro businesses could also include sole proprietors with no employees.

Micro businesses vs. Small Businesses

Micro businesses aren’t the same as small businesses. Micro businesses can be viewed as a subset of the term “small business.”

Small businesses, like micro businesses, don’t have a standard definition across the board, as the definition varies among different industries. For example, in the manufacturing industry, a small business includes less than or equal to 500 employees. Simultaneously, in the retail and service domain, the average annual revenue should be less than or equal to $6 million. SBA standards allow for small businesses to have easier access to loans and government contracts than micro businesses.

Examples of Micro businesses

Micro businesses, more generally, operate in sectors like retail, construction, health care, and social assistance. In fact, microbreweries can be categorized as micro businesses so long as they produce fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer annually. Even cannabis-related businesses may be categorized as micro-businesses. For instance, California, USA regards cultivators, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers of cannabis and cannabis-related products within the aforementioned defined scale as micro businesses.

How Does a Micro business Work?

Micro businesses operate in a similar fashion to much larger businesses, with regards:

  •         Deciding on a legal business structure, e.g., LLC, corporation, or partnership
  •         Structuring financial, management, marketing, and operations
  •         Getting business permits and licenses

Taxes for micro businesses largely depend on the formal business legal structure used – sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or LLC. These taxes may include:

  •         Income taxes
  •         Payroll taxes
  •         Sales taxes
  •         Property taxes etc.

State Intervention Programs for Micro businesses

Like small businesses, micro businesses may benefit from intervention (aid) programs from the government., the degree of such intervention may vary from region to region.

For example, there is a Micro Business Development Program for low-to-moderate-income start-ups to help such micro businesses start and grow in Vermont. This aid covers networking, seminars and workshops, counseling, and networking for the micro business.

Mecklenburg County, Pennsylvania also has a micro businesses aid structure set up with financial support of up to $10,000 to help qualifying businesses navigate through an economic slump.

Consult with your local government structure for specific loan and aid programs for micro businesses.

Pros and Cons of a Micro business

Like any other venture, micro businesses have advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Let’s explore some of the most significant advantages of running a micro business.

  1. There is room for specialization in a specific niche

small business coffee shopIt is a common trend for businesses to start out trying to supply various goods and services. They start out with extensive teams and anticipate and invest hefty sums of money. Only with time do they start realizing which specific aspects of the business are sustainable and which should be suspended. The end result to this a trimming of the unnecessary workforce and more efficient operations

Some other companies take a different route to those mentioned earlier, starting out with a niche and quickly expanding the business to a more significant market only to end up with very little interest in the specific goods/services rendered. Of course, such start-ups could have been better served with a smaller area focus like a community.

Now, these are two polar ends of common business scenarios, and micro businesses allow you to have the best of both worlds. A Micro business allows for a great deal of specialization in the market and remains profitable as the market expands. A niche allows for a greater degree of focus and dominance over the competition concerning the specific good and service rendered.

  1. Greater adaptability and flexibility to change

When it comes to start-ups, it is common to have start-ups pivoting business ideas to accommodate changing tastes. This involves making significant alterations to the structure and even nature of goods/services offered by the business to achieve better results. This was the case of social media giants like Instagram and Twitter, which emerged from pivots and are clearly on a booming trend.

Now, the challenge with achieving a pivot in the midst of changing tastes and preferences in consumers is the team’s size. In the above example, teams constituted behemoths of friends and relatives who pursued their dreams and aspirations in doing what they loved. For such small teams, pivotal changes were a lot easier. With a team of over 40 members, however, not so much. It would take months to achieve pivot.

This is where micro businesses shine. Their small teams allow adaptive changes within small time gaps. It also means whenever there is a shift in industry standards or consumer preferences, they can easily band together ideas and take advantage of new opportunities. Think of it regarding warfare: a small unit of elite warriors is better suited for hazardous or unchartered terrain than a large battalion of soldiers with diverse skills.

  1. Lower overhead costs and fewer expenses

micro business wineryIncreased business size means higher operational costs. Even with a shift from traditional to remote working setups, there is still the matter of comprehensive HR oversight and payroll management. It is an irrefutable fact that many businesses can’t fully operate remotely, necessitating the need for office spaces and other facilities.

In this dilemma, micro businesses present another advantage – the small team sizes allow for lower overhead costs as modern automation systems can be leveraged efficiently without the need for larger team sizes. There is also less need for oversight, especially with side-hustle start-ups like freelance marketing. It’s as simple as putting up campaigns, setting them in motion, and reviewing them seasonally.

Even when there is the need for some form of training or workshops, they can easily be organized as company-wide sessions, rather than departmentally or per team. This will significantly reduce running costs and allow for revenue reallocation towards the growth of the micro business like raising employee wages, investing in better operational infrastructure, setting up advertisement campaigns, etc.

  1. Independence for the Non-Committed

There is great liberty to choose a business path with micro businesses and determine the future you want as an entrepreneur. This freedom not only applies to the business owner but sips to the employees as well.

Cons

Having looked at some of the most significant advantages of running a micro business, let’s look at some of the disadvantages to running micro businesses. Here are a few to consider:

  1.     More significant workload on fewer employees.

overworkedThere is the prevalence of more responsibilities for fewer people to manage.

When it comes to running a modern business, it can be not very easy, especially with variables like content marketing and reputation management in the equation. In this modern age, the repercussions of just a single negative review on social media can be crippling and generate and continuously update content online to keep up healthy marketing.

Now, outsourcing some tasks can be a really decent and yet inexpensive way to get things done. However, it will still require time to outline the tasks, energy to manage communications and ensure deadlines are met in delivering results. Handling everything in-house could be the way to go, but it bring s up another problem – the few members on the team means there may not be available the necessary skill needed at the time.

One of the main reasons more prominent companies hire new employees regularly is to stock up enough skills to get things done efficiently. For example, they may hire a graphic designer to aid in branding and publicity adverts, thus improving the company’s overall productivity. With micro businesses, the fewer employees mean much is left to the charge of fewer individuals. Though it may be fun at first, it can quickly degenerate into a grievous and strenuous venture.

  1. Higher risk of failure and funding challenges

Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Too big to fail, often associated to financial institutions that have had a hand in major financial crises, but since they are heavily relied upon to the point that the collateral damage upon their dissolution would be irreparable, the government instead chooses to encourage and promote them.

So, what’s the point of all this? Well, size sometimes does matter, and a company can survive through some hardship and challenges simply because of its size. The larger the company, the stringer its brand, the greater its turnover, the more recognition it accrues. In the event of a challenge or difficulty, they can fall back to savings, downscale, or even relinquish some assets to ensure survival. Also, more prominent companies would have a lot less of a hassle getting loans or investments since they’d have more significant financial records.

On the other hand, micro businesses are a lot smaller and will definitely find challenges obtaining loans or attracting outside investors. Even when they try to attract investments, they will come off as too risky by their size, and if they simply don’t make an effort, potential investors won’t see much of an opportunity for profit on their investment.

  1. Limited access to valuable resources

Larger businesses usually have a lot less harder of a time attracting favors and discounts from c=various service providers since they have a name recognition advantage that can attract support from other notable industry figures. More often than not, companies over scaling discounts as a way to attract more significant contracts and will generally do so for companies they know would double-back the gesture along the line.

Micro businesses have neither the considerable name recognition nor the size to attract such bonuses and discounts. Since they usually won’t be able to pay for large contracts, concessions on their rates would hardly be made in their favor. As such, it holds that the bigger the business, the better the prices you’d get for goods and services from other service providers, and the easier it will be to convince others to value a potential business relationship. Such leverage is hard to deny and is indeed farfetched for many micro businesses.

Summary

Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of micro businesses

Pros

  •         Simple operation
  •         Ability to grow
  •         Room for specialization
  •         Greater adaptability and flexibility to change

Cons

  •         More difficult to get loans
  •         The more significant workload on fewer employees.
  •         Higher risk of failure
  •         . Limited access to valuable resources

How to Start a Micro Business in 6 Steps

So, are you interested in starting a micro business? The advantages are, no doubt, significant and, like any other type of business, there are challenges to it. But I dare say those with the will to succeed can surely set up and succeed with a micro business. Here’s a step-by-step approach to starting a micro business.

Step 1: Establish a mission and vision statement.

It is essential to develop and clearly state the intents and purpose of the business. This is the foundation of the business and surmounts the mission and vision statement. When there isn’t a clear vision and mission statement, growth will be hindered as the path to realizing the business’s more detailed plans will be blurred.

Well-structured vision and mission statements also reveal what the business stands for and will attract customers and investors who are interested in the business’s core values.

Step 2: Draw up a good business plan

business plan for micro business

Your business plan is a written document encompassing and clearly outlining the objectives, forecasted cost, and detailed strategies for running the micro business. If you need to attract investors to the micro business or acquire loans, then a formal business plan is a prerequisite.

Research shows that people who write up great business plans are more likely to start up the business. Writing up a business plan also triggers critical question for the success of the business like:

  •         What market is available for my product or service, and what is its current outlook?
  •         Who would be my market competition, and how would I stand out from the crowd?
  •         Who are my potential customers?
  •         How will I reach them?
  •         What will it cost me to survive my first year in the micro business?
  •         Where will the needed money come from?

A business plan would typically include financial details—projections of sales, expenses, assets, and cash flow. The financial documents needed for a formal business plan include:

  •         Balance sheet, showing what you own and what you owe
  •         Profit and loss (or income) statement summarizing revenues and expenses every three months (quarterly) and annually (each year).
  •         Cash flow statement (or forecast), showing working capital for better expenditure predictions.

Step 3: Decide micro business structure

Setting up a successful business is essential to establish the business structure – legal entity –to run the business.

Sole proprietorships (which are single-owner businesses) and partnerships (having two or more owners of the business) are the least costly business structures. In these setups, owners have all the power in business decisions. They also are obliged to make reports detailing income and losses and are, thus, personally liable for any and all business-related debts.  In the event of business failure, they may file for bankruptcy, which may allow them to abandon debts, but damage personal credit history in the process.

A corporation is a legal business structure that is legally separate from the people who own it under state or federal law. Like people, corporations can also own property, incur debt, sue, and be sued. Most corporations exclude members from personal liability with corporation dealings or lawsuits.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines a corporation’s features and those of a sole proprietorship or partnership. An LLC offers some protection of personal assets and from personal liability and is a suitable option for both one-owner or multi-owner micro businesses.

LLCs also require more legal documentation than much simpler sole proprietorships or partnerships, but the legal requirements are fewer than corporations.

Step 4: Establish detailed operation plans for the business

The next step is to outline plans of operation for the business clearly. There are numerous moving parts in a company, but it all simplifies well-structured goals and milestones with timelines to organize day-to-day activities. And to make things easier, there are diverse technological tools today like business model canvases or one-pagers to address any potential issues that may arise in the running of the business

To achieve an effective plan of action, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  •         Who are my key partners and suppliers?
  •         Where does my micro business function?
  •         What facilities do I need, and how much do they cost?
  •         What is my business structure?
  •         Who are my target customers?
  •         What ways can I possibly use to meet the needs of my target customers?
  •         What is my cost structure/revenue stream?

Step 5: Anticipate financial needs

financial needs for micro business

As a sub-focus point to step 2, you should establish a projected balance sheet, itemized income statement, and cash flow statement for your micro business. It would be best if you achieved this using a well-researched and thoroughly prepared financial plan, such that you pitch to outside investors and lenders.

Many businesses fail primarily because of lack of funding, and it is imperative to assess financial needs before setting up a micro business carefully.

Such funding anticipations should include operating costs for at least a year. Having reliable predictions of the micro business’s running cost will enable you to prepare a reasonable budget better to accommodate your business plan.

The estimates should include:

  •         Your salary needs: This is the money from the micro business you’ll live on if you’re quitting a salaried job.
  •         Initial (start-up) costs: This will include the cost of equipment, installations, remodeling, professional and legal fees, licenses, etc.
  •         Direct costs: This will cover the cost of raw materials or inventory
  •         Overhead Cost: This will include rent, office supplies, utilities, and maintenance
  •         Recurring costs: This will include salary payments, tax payments, advertising and promotion costs, as well as micro business insurance costs.

In many cases, micro businesses start with the founder’s savings, so it follows that having a saving will bail you out of tight corners in your micro business. However, even without saving to start up with, you could still borrow the needed capital. Taking loans requires a good credit history, a means of repaying the debt, and, in the case of larger loans, collateral.

Here are some familiar sources of people use to start micro businesses:

  •         Use money from savings
  •         Form a partnership
  •         Applying for a Small Business Administration loan.
  •         Tapping individual life insurance.
  •         Leasing equipment, rather than buying it.
  •         Bartering—or exchanging—property or services directly

Step 6: Organize a marketing strategy

Marketing strategy is an indispensable requirement for a successful micro business and is especially important seeing the small team sizes with micro businesses. You must understand your customers and develop ways on how to reach them, backed by proper research. Such information will enable you to launch online campaigns like Google ads, social media ads, email marketing, and content marketing/SEO.

Step 7: Research and test your product

Prototyping is an excellent strategy to better your micro business from consumers’ viewpoints. Some research examples for microbusinesses include:

  •         Surveys
  •         A templated, pre-launched, or preview website
  •         Offers to build an email list
  •         Calling vendors and potential customers

When there is resistance or opposition from people to test your product or service, jump on it as an opportunity to request feedback on how to improve your product or customer service.

Step 8: File your micro business and Start

After establishing an operational mission and vision statement, operation plans, financial plans, marketing plans, legal framework, and adequate research on the product you’re marketing, it’s time to officially file your micro business with the government for the legal backup to operate.

With the above steps, you’re sure to start up a micro business effectively.

So, there you have it, folks! Here is a blog on 51 Best Start-up Ideas and a Business Startup Checklist!

 

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51 Best Start-up Ideas to Try

start-up

Creating an excellent idea for a small business to start-up can prove a daunting task, especially with the apparent feeling that all the great ideas for business are already taken. However, it’s still possible to expand on a current set-up or build on a much older idea. One thing is sure; being self-employed presents far more benefits than the challenges that come with it, and it is, thus, completely worth the effort. Over the years I have done 12 business startups, and that really adds spice to my life.

As a business coach I work with many business owners including entrepreneurs who are doing startups. For the most part these amazing clients are successful. All it takes is a good idea and a willingness to learn, learn, learn and work, work, work!

That said, here are some start-up ideas to inspire you, which you could implement this year!

business startup

51 Small Business Ideas to Try in 2022

Let’s get creative. Find inspiration as you explore this exhaustive list of ideas from varied fields like nutrition-based, travel, writing, etc., and take up what works for you.

  1. Specialty Travel Tour Organizer

For a travel-based start-up, consider a specialized travel tour company. This company would offer the service of catering for travelers’ individual lifestyle preferences, taking into consideration varied aspects as travel preferences of travelers, diet-preferences, or even age of travelers. Such a company will specialize in attending to a well-defined set of preferences travelers have and would exist to meet those needs.

  1. Develop an Airport-Centric App

Consider setting up an all-inclusive app that enables travelers to navigate through airport information and make informed decisions in real-time. This is seemingly non-fallowed ground when it comes to start-up ideas and could be quite lucrative. While it is apparent various travel apps exist, an all-in-one app that shows information like amenities, TSA line wait times, ground transportation options, and airport maps could be quite useful to travelers.

  1. Wedding Destination Planner

If you’ve ever been close to someone who did a wedding, then you know planning such events isn’t as seamless as the event may seem to unfold, and you could step in to relieve the hosts of weddings of the stress as a wedding venue planner. This would also allow you to explore various parts of the globe as you pick out suitable venues for weddings based on the couple’s preferences. Though working hours for this start-up may be extended and pressure ever great, yet if you love exploring new places, then you’d do great with this option.

  1. Creating Local Guides

If you’ve ever been a tourist in a place you’ve never been to before, then you know having a local guide could mean the difference between life and death, and that could be an excellent start-up option – making local guides. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re versed with the locality or not. You could help tourists enjoy off-the-beaten-path experiences in your locality with themed guides and highlight attractions. And it doesn’t need to end there; you could get in touch with companies in your area and land advertising gigs as well.

  1. Setting up a Local Grocery Delivery Service

With very minimal start-up cost, needing virtually just a cell phone and a vehicle, to begin with, a grocery delivery service is a great option to consider. You could stand in the gap to aid senior citizens or people who are just too busy to pick up their groceries themselves and make a living while doing it. You could set up partnership agreements with local grocery stores in your area and get to work.

  1. Become an Event Planner

Consider setting up an event planning company in your community. To achieve such a feat, networking and careful research are necessary to succeed. It is also interesting to note that you could set up and run such a company remotely for ultimate flexibility.

  1. Open a Coworking Space

With the rising popularity of remote working, you could capitalize on this by setting up modern coworking spaces. Simply select a suitable location, incorporate necessary and sought-after amenities, and reach out to the community for primarily local impact.

  1. Meal Preparation Business

The world has gotten a lot busier than it used to be, and people no longer have the time to cook their food all the time, and where there’s a problem like this, you could provide the solution with a meal preparation business like restaurants. You could focus on generally ordered foods or diet-specific options, all depending on the community you find yourself in.

  1. Devise a Food Waste Solution

Developing a solution to deal with food waste would not only make you a lot richer. Still, it would significantly impact the food industry, helping grocery stores and restaurants save a lot of money.

  1. Capitalize on Veganism

Veganism has been on the rise in the past decade, and being able to provide plant-based food options can be a great business idea to consider. Setting up a vegan supermarket, restaurant and rolling out vegan alternatives of traditional foods are great places to start.

  1. Start a Dropshipping Business

The e-commerce dropshipping model is quite fascinating because you don’t have to purchase inventory upfront. Selling high-end products with low shipping costs would prove quite lucrative and could become profitable quickly if you do thorough competition research.

  1. Deal in Zero-Waste Products

Not only is this a smart option, but it is eco-friendly and an ethical thing to do. Zero-waste products include reusable and recyclable products like reusable bags, bamboo toothbrushes, and even zero-waste packaging materials. Such products would appeal to a world plagued by climate change.

  1. Curate Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes have become quite popular and a lucrative business venture. Simply identify a niche and curate this specific set of items to modern customers.

  1. Produce Pet Products

Over 85 million U.S. households have at least a pet, and you could tailor your business to meet the needs of these companion animals. Consider making toys, clothing, and accessories for pets.

  1. Deal in Phone Accessories

The average person owns a mobile phone, and dealing in phone accessories has the potential to flourish in almost any setting. Though there is apparent saturation in the field, there is always room for one-of-a-kind smartphone add-ons.

  1. Engage in Electronics and Mobile Phone repairs

You could consider engaging in electronic equipment repairs and, especially, mobile phones, helping people get their electronics working again.

business startup is hard

  1. Create Custom Clothing

You can become a custom clothier, dealing in custom clothing, such as using dye sublimation printers for designs on garments, or rendering tailoring services if fashion is your thing.

  1. Sell Vintage Goods Online

Like it’s said, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure (or something like that)!” you could consider dealing in used merchandise, selling thrifted, vintage, or upcycled items online, and there are tons of sites to make that possible.

  1. Become a blogger

The key here is to identify a comfortable niche like sports, technology, lifestyle, etc., and create engaging content on the subject. With time, as the audience expands, you could make money via advertising, affiliate links, and even sell products.

  1. Write E-book

Perhaps you’ve got a way with words and know-how to present stories in ways that captivate and arouse the desired emotional response in the readers. You could put those skills to use by becoming a self-published e-book writer and selling your work on virtual platforms.

  1. Consider Ghost-writing

Perhaps you have the skill to write, are good with words but don’t mind always attaching your name to your work, then consider becoming a ghostwriter for other busier professionals. It’s a great option to consider with minimal start-up cost.

  1. Become a Resume Writer

Everyone needs a resume, but not everyone can write out a great resume, and if you’re good at something, then you don’t have to do it for free. You consider resume writing as a great start-up, with little start-up cost attached.

  1. Become an Online Coach

If you desire to see others achieve success and attain their desired goals in whatever aspects of their lives, online coaching is a great start-up option to consider. You could set-up a YouTube channel with niche-tailored resources to help people reach their goals as you reach yours.

  1. Engage in Website Flipping

Website flipping involves buying a website, making alterations to the site, and then selling it to make a profit. Such a start-up would require some starting capital as well as some tech skills in web development but could quickly pay off.

  1. Engage in Web Development

As the world increasingly becomes digital, the need for custom websites continually increases. As such, skills like mastering programming languages and working with WordPress could really come in handy and open doors for a lucrative start-up.

  1. Start a Podcast

A podcast could be a great start-up, especially if you find that you’re knowledgeable or passionate about a particular subject matter.

  1. Be a Social Media Influencer

If you can successfully build a following large community on social media platforms like Instagram or YouTube, you could create a stable income source through influencer marketing.

  1. Create Online Courses

If you have hobbies that people could be interested in mastering, then you could set-up online courses to teach these skills. This is entirely dissimilar to coaching as it’s more passive but will still yield a meaningful income.

  1. Become a Marketing Consultant

If you have digital marketing skills, then consider becoming a marketing consultant helping small businesses engage their audiences by providing SEO, social media, or copywriting services. Even without the necessary experience, you could take online courses to get you started.

  1. Engage in App Development

Your big break could be in creating an app. All it takes is the right skills and a great idea, and you could get the jackpot. And what’s interesting is, you don’t need a lot of coding skills nowadays to build a great app.

  1. Make a Smart Appliance

In an incredibly digital world, developing a healthy and needful appliance could be the big break you desire. All it takes is a great idea. To be inspired, carefully consider the average person’s daily life and figure out what tasks at home or at work would be significantly facilitated using an appliance.

  1. Look to Virtual Reality Experiences

VR is the future, and that future has already begun. Join the community making VR by creating virtual reality experiences or accessories.

  1. Develop a Dating Site

While it is true there are tins of dating websites and apps out there, you could stand out from the crowd by presenting a niche-tailored dating website targeted to meet the needs of a rather specific group of people.

  1. Develop a Chatbot

Even with really knowing much about coding, you could create a chat box that uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people—to help businesses improve their communication.

business startup

  1. Offer Matchmaking Services

This is a step further from just setting up a dating website; it requires a more active role in accessing, based on the users’ provided info, who is best matched and most suited for who. Matchmaking could be completed online or in person, helping you make money and develop relationships simultaneously.

  1. Become a Virtual Assistant

Online assisting is quite a promising start-up alternative, as it can help in administrative tasks in both professional and personal lives.

  1. Reinvent Exercising

Exercise is essential for healthy living, but it can get boring, especially when it comes to following the exact same routine daily. So then, how can people exercise but still find ways to have fun while doing it?

  1. Eco-Friendly, Health-Friendly Makeup and Beauty Products

Yeah, that’s quite specific. As more people become aware of the environment and the need for eco-friendly products, even makeup and beauty products should align to such standards. Creating safe and eco-friendly beauty products could be an excellent start-up option and one that hasn’t got a lot of congestion.

  1. Try a Food Truck

Perhaps, starting a restaurant may have been the idea, but you could consider a food truck instead. Even though you’d most likely need the qualification and background in food handling, a food truck may be more feasible a start-up idea compared to a restaurant as it would require less workforce and fewer resources to pull off.

  1. Start an Organizing Company

Some persons have a knack for organization – keeping things neat and tidy, where everything has its place, and others do not. If this is your thing, you could engage the start-up idea of organizing homes, offices, kitchen utensils, bookshelves, etc., for people who are clearly not gifted or less busy doing it themselves.

  1. Interior Design for Your Professionals

Everyone (or almost everyone) will appreciate a well-designed house, one that feels like home, but not everyone can achieve that. It requires picking out the right furniture, setting up with the right design, decoration, paint color, and even smell of the house. And if you have an eye for decorating, then interior designs could be a great start-up to consider.

  1. Become a Freelance graphic designer

It’s all about pictures in a social media age, and you can capitalize on that as a great start-up option. Decide the projects you work on, apportion your time and build a portfolio. You could consider graphic content for websites or blogs to company specifications for all manner of projects.

  1. Start up a Translation Gig

Do you speak more than one language? Then you could offer translation services. For optimum results, you should identify a particular domain or specialize in, like medical, transportation, finance, etc. You could expose yourself to tourists and get paid to aid in communication.

  1. Engage in Photography

Photography is arguably more of an art than science, and you may just have what it takes to excel in it. You can test yourself with small family events and build a portfolio with referrals. As you get known in the community, more gigs would come your way, which is progress. Also, use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc., to make your rade known.

  1. Set-up a Handyman Service

Perhaps you may be good at fixing things and improvising solutions when things fail. Or maybe, people around you always need your attention when things need fixing; then consider becoming a handyman. Find a domain that works for you and grow by asking for referrals.

  1. Become a Woodworker

If you’re good with wood and delight in crafting out beautiful furniture, you could set up a woodworking business. You can start out with a local base, meeting locals’ needs in the community while building an online following as you showcase what you can do.

  1. Become a Videographer

Though videography is a start-up that would require some capital upfront to invest in the right equipment, its demand will never run out. So, give it a shot. Create samples and advertise online, and have interested viewers queue up to demand your services.

  1. Car-detailing specialist

Cars – who doesn’t love ’em? Car dealing specialists are in demand highly, and if you can pay attention to intricate details, then this may be your big break. You may also need to be mobile, and you should have the necessary flexibility, transportation, and equipment for the job.

  1. Home inspector

This is a more formal start-up option and may require certification and a great deal of expertise. You can supply services like confirming licensing requirements and inspecting land assets for sale or purchase. You may need to take a few courses on the subject for this start-up and expand your knowledge and expertise.

  1. Housecleaner

With almost no qualification whatsoever, you could start-up a house cleaning gig. To succeed at this, you should consider making your services known through the community to get more bookings, clients, and, of course, more bucks.

  1. Personal chef

We all need to eat, but not everyone has the time to cook and are comfortable eating out. As such, you could provide the service of becoming a personal chef. This is especially needful for special-diet individuals like vegetarians or patients. And as an added hack, you could group clients with similar feeding preferences and cook for them in bulk.

How to Choose the Best Start-up Idea

As much as these ideas are all great and you’re feeling anxious to jump on that idea, there are a few things you must consider. First, there must be a need you’re meeting in choosing that start-up; there should be demand for what you’re considering in the locality you’re envisaging. No matter how appealing the idea on this list is, you’d be setting up for failure if there isn’t a demand for it in the community you desire to start up.

Secondly, you should have a well-articulated business plan. Where there’s no plan, there’s ample room for failure. The business plan will help your business stay on track, so it’s a must-have.

You should also take into consideration your skillset, what you can do, and choose wisely. Even if you desire to learn the new skill, you should still assess whether it’s a feasible route to take.

To wrap things up

The opportunities for start-ups are limitless; all it takes is an opportunistic vision to jump on every demand and start-up a business. Whether or not you choose from this list, stay motivated and strive to succeed. Read this article to view a Business Startup Checklist.

Here’s an article about Deciding on the Right Business Structure.

 

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Business Start Up Checklist

business start up check list

Starting a Business: A Checklist

You have a great product or suite of services to offer the world. You’ve made the leap to go into business for yourself … but, the path to starting a small business can be surprisingly complicated. Let us help you navigate the way. You have a fantastic product or service to sell. But beginning a small business is not always easy by giving an ideas on how to have a business start-up checklist.

Even if you’ve settled on your business type, there’s a lot to consider before taking that big step and starting a business. We’re covering topics around:

  • Investigating demand for your products or services
  • Marshaling strategic partnerships
  • Financing your business
  • Telling your story
  • Checking off the TO-DOs
  • More …

Research Your Business Start Up

You’re probably very enthusiastic and optimistic about your business idea. This could be your dream come true. First, though, conduct research about a business start up a checklist so you don’t dive into shallow waters. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Have I proven there’s a demand for my product or services? You might think that starting a chiropractor’s office is a great idea, but are there dozens of other chiropractors in your locale? Does your town need another hair salon? Is there a need for a video rental store when there’s so many ways to view movies and TV shows at home?

Out of the millions of people who think about starting a business, only a minute fraction actually bring that to life. Of that fraction, 50% will fail with a few years. Take time to do a little market research.

If you serve a limited geographic area >

  • Google to see how many similar local businesses are out there
  • Attend your area Chamber of Commerce and chat with members – float your business idea to get their reaction; you can also do this at free business groups, masterminds, associations, or meetups
  • Hire someone to do a short survey gauging interest in your products or services; this can be done at malls, local gathering places, or on the street
  • Set up a booth at area events like festivals, trade shows, or flea markets

For starting a primarily online business >

  • Check for your products or services on Google Trends
  • Pay to view trends, competitors, and market data on sites like datamonitor.com

Whether you’re starting a local business or one on the internet >

  • Solicit feedback on social media
  • Enter keywords related to your offerings in Google Adwords to see if there’s a demand
  • Engage a market research firm
  • Do I know my target audience? If you believe your business can serve everyone, then it probably won’t serve anyone. The key to getting customers is knowing who will buy what you produce. How does this audience spend their money? What do they look for or need?

If you want to open a franchise selling tractors, you better be in an area that draws in a large new supply of farmers. If you want to open an online gift shop, you must know who will buy your stock of candles, soaps, and baskets.

  • Who are your competitors?  There’s always competition in any arena of business, so you must know about them to be successful. Why would customers choose you over them? What do they offer? How long have they been in business? What do their customers say about them online?
  • What is your unique selling proposition? Your USP statement defines what sets your business apart from the competition. You can use it in your slogan, ads, and marketing materials. It expresses your reputation and value to potential clients. It’s the selling point that makes you stand out and that magnetically attracts customers.
    • Are you selling a brand new or original product?
    • Do you offer a guarantee that competitors lack?
    • Are you open 24/7?
    • Does your team have certifications or training that set your business apart?

Make sure your USP is clear and memorable. Avoid making it too long or technical.

What makes a good versus a poor unique selling proposition? Read our full article on Developing Your Unique Selling Proposition.

Your Business Advisory Team

Who will you recruit to be on your advisory team? You will need an accountant, attorney, business coach, financial planner. Meet with these professionals to decide who will be a good fit for you and your business. Eventually, this will give you an idea of what is great for your business start up checklist. 

Consider Business Partnerships and Investors

No business owner can do it all. You can be a whiz on developing new products or services. You may be a charmer at networking events. You may make great videos. But are you aware of the necessary tasks which are not your strengths?

There’s a bundle of skills every business owner needs which might not be their strong suit – maybe they’re weak in accounting, marketing, social media, writing, or graphics. In this case, it’s best to make partnerships with folks who do have those strengths. 

Such a partner can also make a financial investment in your business. How much money are they willing to invest into the business? Will it be a one-time investment or made over a period of time? How will profits be divided, and how often?

Choosing a business partner is not that different than choosing who you’ll marry. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and making a lot of serious choices together. Surprisingly, many business partnerships are formed by just an encounter or two at a networking event.

Get to know them. Pick a partner who’s going to help you to be successful, not create roadblocks and drama. Pay attention to their personality, traits, and business philosophy >

  • What proof of their actual experience do you have? Can they provide a resume and references?
  • How do they handle stress or react to difficult moments?
  • Do they have personal issues that could impact their commitment?
  • What are their honest thoughts and expectations about being self-employed, your business offerings, and financial gain?
  • How would this person handle staff problems like tardiness, bad attitude, or not complying with safety rules?

Capitalizing Your Business

Do you have the financial resources or backing for your venture?  If not, what are the options for raising the needed capital:

  • Bootstrapping?
  • Small business loans?
  • Angel investors?
  • Second mortgage?
  • Grants?
  • Crowdfunding?

Be aware of the requirements and obligations you’ll take on with each of these financing alternatives.

Other Business Start-Up Factors

For your business start up checklist, create a budget for startup costs:

  • Office: space, furniture, secretarial support, supplies, computers, software, electronics, phones
  • Printing/graphics: logos, business cards, printed materials
  • Online presence: domain names, websites, social media sites
  • Third-party vendors: copywriting, marketing, advertising,
  • Business costs: licenses, registration, legal services
  • Memberships: fees for networking groups, meetups, associations, or clubs

Part of this research will involve pinpointing current, realistic costs.

Tell Your Business Story- Again and Again!

Everybody has a story … and everybody loves hearing that story.

Build your general story with these basic ingredients:

  1. A common situation that piques interest. Identify a condition or pain point with which your ideal customer can identify, such as poor health.
  2. A problem or dilemma that arouses curiosity. Cite a health problem with which many suffer.
  3. A resolution that brings satisfaction. Reveal a product you offer that’s proven to help with a particular medical condition.

There are many facets of your journey to business ownership.

How did you come to this decision? 

Maybe you worked in a gray cube for a large corporation for decades, saw younger employees get all the promotions, and decided to live out your dream of being self-employed. Maybe a major life change (like divorce, medical problems, or the loss of a loved one) created a desire to do something that gave you more satisfaction and happiness.

What are your unique vision, values, and mission?

Your vision and values should answer the question: What words, phrases, or statements do you want to reflect the philosophy, culture, and mission of your company?

Draft a business start up checklist of the defining qualities and characteristics that you want your business to be known for … to take pride in … to live by. Examples are:

Ecologically responsible Gets results
On-time delivery Creative solutions
Exceptional quality Pioneering products

Do you offer something of positive value?

Include in your story how you will make a positive impact on your community or on the clients you intend to serve. Your business might benefit college students through life coaching to prepare them for their life journey. Maybe you want to provide organic produce for local restaurants and grocery stores.

Spin your own story, and share it when the opportunity arises. Embed it in your pitch. Blend it into your marketing. Make it a part of your brand.

Wait … there’s more

The work continues. This part may require the engagement of a part-time consultant or a professional with a specialized skill.

Develop a Marketing Plan

Create a strategic marketing plan. Use these suggestions as a launching pad.

  • Apply your USP and guarantee
  • Focus in on different objectives of marketing: to raise brand awareness, to get website visitors, to make sales
  • Keep your target client in mind
  • Consider an education-based marketing approach (articles, videos, etc.)
  • Make your marketing compelling (with a bonus, giveaway, call-to-action)
  • Email marketing, social media, local mailings, in-person events

Next, build a tactical marketing plan that measures ROI (return on investment) from marketing tactics. Refer to these case studies pertaining to specific industries:

Using a Tactical Marketing Program in a Law Firm

Using a Tactical Marketing Program for a Dance Studio Client

Create Website and Social Media Platforms

Build your website with these thoughts in mind:

  • Start with a unique though easy-to-remember domain name
  • Make it mobile-friendly (50% of users search using their cell phones)
  • Research the keywords that prospects search to find your business – try Google Adwords. Insert these words and phrases into your pages, content, and blog
  • Include contact information – numbers, email address, location, hours of business, directions
  • Second most visited page is the ABOUT tab – use this space to establish a connection with your ideal client and detail who you are and why you do what you do
  • Add icons linking to your social media pages
  • Include your logo and use branding colors, fonts, and imagery
  • Create the best content possible on your products and services
  • Testimonials – a must-have

For your social media presence, be sure to post content that is relevant, compelling, and worthwhile for your target customers.

business start up checklist business start up checklist

Get Referrals

Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful way to get new customers. Here are some suggestions for spreading the good word about your business.

At networking or other business events, share what you offer with other business owners and ask if they know anyone who could use your services.

Connect with strategic partners who will refer you to potential clients. For example, if you’re an artist who specializes in portraits and know another artist who does only landscapes, you can cross-refer clients to each other.  

Ask customers for referrals – offer future discounts or other incentives for resulting new clients.

Ask for referrals from personal contacts: friends, family, neighbors, et al.

Be generous. Giving referrals will get you referrals!

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Key Documents for Your Business

A business builds its foundation on documents outlining its structure, strategy, rules, and agreements. Documents can protect, inform, guide, limit, and control the facets of day-to-day business. While having this on your business start up checklist is not all inclusive, it’s a good beginning.

  1. Business plan. Though not a legal document, a business plan will be needed to seek investors, lenders, and partners. It should provide an insight into your business goals and your blueprint for achieving them. List your products and services, risks, assumptions, and other critical start-up needs. 
  2. Employee handbook. Outlines the contract between your company and employees. It could contain information like conditions of employment, safety guidelines, company profile and history, organizational charts, phone lists, and procedures.
  3. Confidentiality agreement. Every business needs to protect their privately held information like designs, inventions, and employee/vendor/client data. Ensures all contractors, employees, and other business partners with access to confidential information are legally bound to not disclose such information.
  4. Policies and standards. Policies are high-level strategic statements covering a variety of workplace topics like data management, customer service, security, application management, attendance, and recruiting. Standards are more detailed guidelines about how to implement the company policies. 
  5. Partnership agreements. Outline roles, rights, responsibilities, and expected contributions (such as labor, management, finances, and decision-making as well as equipment, property, and materials). Can include other agreements regarding topics like distribution of revenue, the individual impact of losses, voting, and limitations of partnership.

Legal Requirements for Your Business Start-up Checklist

Do you know what the federal, state, and local legal obligations may apply to small businesses?

Federal State Local
Permits if you sell alcohol or firearms Registration with state business office License for food or liquor sales
EIN (Employer Identification Number) Licenses for services or products Registration with city or county treasurer for tax purposes
Awareness of employment laws (record keeping, regulations, reporting requirements) Assigning a DBA (Doing Business As) name Registration with county or city clerk’s office
Familiarity with American with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act Sales taxes; income taxes Sales taxes
Annual income tax return; estimated tax; self-employment tax; employment tax; excise tax Special business permits or professional licenses Zoning– contact local planning agency
Special business permits or professional licenses Checking with the state Environmental Protection Agency for applicable environmental regulations Special permits or professional licenses
Checking with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for applicable environmental regulations    

Free resources are available on www.sba.gov, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), SCORE, Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), Veterans Business Outreach Programs, and SBA district and branch centers throughout the U.S. 

Business Start-Up Checklist

  • Business name:  ___________________________________
  • Registered:  ___ Y  ___ N
  • Products and/or services: ________________  _______________                   ________________
  • Location of store or office:
  • Physical:  Street address ______________________________________________________
  • Online:     Web address ______________________________________________________  
  • Business structure:  Sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company, S Corp:                                            _______________
  • Insurance or Bonding:  ___ Y  ___ N
  • Mission statement(What You Do Every Day): __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Vision(What Your Business Will Look Like in Five Years):  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Values(How You Treat Others): __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bank Accounts:  __ Checking  __ Savings

Business Partners: (investors or sharing skills/products/services) _________________   _________________   ___________________                        ___________________

  • Team:     __ Attorney __ Accountant __ Coach __ Consultants __ Employees __ Temps
  • Office:     __ Furniture __ Computers __ Software __ Phones __ Utilities __ Signage
  • Legal Requirements:  __ Federal __ State __ Local
  • Research:           __ Demand __ USP __ Target Customer Defined __ Research Competition
  • Start-Up Costs:  __ Office __ Printing/graphics __ Online presence __
  • Memberships______________________________________________________
  •    __ 3rd party vendors __ Business costs __ Other (______________)
  • Raising Capital:  __ Bootstrapping __ Small business loans __ Angel investors __ Grants __ Second mortgage __ Crowdfunding __ Other (______________)
  • Website:             __ Domain Name __ Hosting
  • Social media sites:      __ FaceBook     __ Twitter    __Instagram                   __ YouTube      __ eBay   __ LinkedIn       __ Etsy    __ Tumblr          __ Snapchat __Alignable  __ BizSugar      __ Pinterest      __ Google+
  • Story/One-Minute Pitch:  ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Marketing Plan:  __ Strategic __ Tactical
  • Referrals:             __ Business contacts __ Family __ Friends __ Former colleagues            __ Customers __ Partners __ Neighbors
  • Key Documents:  __ Business plan __ Employee handbook __ Confidentiality agreement __ Policies & standards __ Meeting minutes __ Partnership agreements

As you have seen, there is a lot to consider when starting a business. But don’t be discouraged. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Use this information to create your elephant and then take a bite every day until you have eaten the whole thing.

Congratulations on starting your small business! This will be one of the most exciting, rewarding journeys in your life!

 

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Succeed in business
The Movie: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

If you’re a Baby Boomer, you might know the title reference to a 1960’s movie. The story centers on an ambitious young man, J. Pierpont Finch, who reads a book about how to succeed in business and uses it to rise at a dizzying pace from mailroom to executive suite. (More recently, it was adapted into two Broadway musicals, one starring Nick Jonas and the other with Daniel Ratcliffe.)

This is our take – without the romance, drama, and musical numbers – on the things that might make it easier to succeed in business.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Stay open to trying a new approach or considering a worthwhile suggestion, and go further than you expected to succeed in business without really trying hard.

Choosing Your Small Business

If you’re 100% sure that you want to start your own business, but not 100% sure of what business you’ll choose, then we’ve got some suggestions for how you can succeed in business with minimal agony.

Loving The Business You Start

For those starting out, the best advice for an easier path to succeed in business is to do what you love … or at least enjoy a lot. Maybe you’d adore making a living by creating art sculptures, recycling furniture, or running an animal rescue. Maybe you yearn to start a business doing landscaping, graphic design, or blacksmithing. 

From the following story, it’s not hard to understand how much more successful you can be if you really love your work.

It’s also about feeling real passion for an occupation. After years of the corporate grind, many people want to create a business to help others – which could center around specialties like counseling, environmental conservation, or coaching.

Here’s a story about how a passion became a path to succeed in business.

Paul Tima of Solutions-4-You – Industry: health & wellness products.

Along with his wife Cheryl, Paul sells natural personal care items, vitamins, and organic foods. Their business sprang up from years of research which disclosed how commonly used household products and foods are poisoning us “one cell at a time.” Their long quest began after Cheryl contracted scoliosis (which causes the spine to “collapse”). As they learned more, Paul was shocked by the fact that 85% of their household articles (from soap & makeup to cleansers & sprays) contained carcinogenic ingredients. He felt as if “God was hitting me on the head” to do something about it.

This all turned Paul into a man with an intense passion for educating folks about the damaging effects of common household goods on our health, and for providing new and time‑tested natural therapies, food, and household products that puts prevention before prescriptions.

“We still need our medical community of nurses and doctors,” he says, but we also need “to understand the body and how to take care of it.” We should make a choice to know what’s in the products we eat, drink, inhale, and use on our skin, and what it’s doing to us.

Take Advantage of Neglected Business Markets

One way to succeed in business without really trying is to choose a business without a lot of competition. Are there no acupuncturists in your town? Very few event planners? Not enough DJ’s, nutritionists, or life coaches? Is your area lacking an upscale restaurant, dance studio, delicatessen, or winery? Improve your chances of success by providing a business that’s in demand but lacking in your community.

To succeed in business you could consider offering a less common service:

  • Concierge for high-end clients. Executives, politicians, and TV stars don’t want to waste their time or energy on tasks like lining up concert tickets, finding handymen and contractors, or making reservations for a weekend getaway. There are 10.8 million U.S. millionaires out there who could be your next client.
  • Providing expert witness services for legal cases. Maybe you have skills that a lawyer might want in court – like a physician, security pro, or forensic scientist. You could also be a broker of expert witnesses – locally, nationally, or globally.
  • Services for seniors. As the Baby Boomer generation (born 1944-1964) ages, there is high demand for in-home companions and care providers. This group of 76 million Americans is also seeking an assortment of services to navigate:
    • Medicare, Social Security, Veteran Benefits, Long-Term Care
    • HHHousing, Downsizing, Reverse Mortgages
    • Legal Help (will, power-of-attorney, medical directive)

What Businesses Are in Demand?

Alternatively, consider providing products or services that are new or emerging. Changes in technology, lifestyles, and our stress levels are constant. We’re listing a few industries that seem ripe for the pickin’. If these aren’t just right for you, let it be a jumping board to discern what fits you in particular.

  • CBD or Hemp Oil. Become an online distributor of health-related trends. These oils are free of THC (the hallucinogenic stuff) and have become very popular.
  • Everything pet-related. When I heard a co-worker say she was building a $30,000 sunroom just for her four cats, I was shocked and dumbfounded. I then heard about a nearby restaurant just for dogs. Fido can play with his new buddies on Astroturf and have a doggie birthday party. Amazingly, I read that owners spent $69 million on their pets in 2017.

This industry is open for pet sitters, walkers, and trainers. You can start a mobile pet grooming business or a doggie daycare.  Or, start your own pet bar.

  • Tiny houses. There’s a growing trend toward downsizing and living more simply. From singles to retirees to young millennial families, people are choosing to move from their large suburban homes into a 300-square-foot tiny home on an 8-foot wide trailer. They not only want to reduce their “footprint,” but also have the flexibility to move when and where they’d like.
  • Selling alternative energy sources. Solar, wind, bio-fuel, photovoltaic, geothermal. As research, technology, and costs make environmental-friendly energy more attractive, business- and homeowners are wanting to become more “green.” Opportunities can be found in design, sales, distribution, repair, installation, and maintenance.
  • Personal coaching. This field has boomed in recent years due to society’s increasing struggles like divorce, layoffs, stress, and addiction. People are also looking for answers in the areas of spirituality, health, relationships, and self-improvement. Life coaches, business coaches, and marital coaches are needed to fill the demand.
  • Healthy fast food. Quinoa, free-range chicken, tailored juices, and tofu burgers. It’s a thing. The calorie-rich burger, fries, and soda just aren’t cutting it for everyone. Not only do we feel guilty eating that kind of food, but our waistlines grow proportionately with each happy meal. You could open a drive-thru restaurant, operate a food truck, or become a personal chef.
  • Virtual assistants. Every year, more people go into business for themselves. The owner may have a great product or service, but they need help with the office work:
    • logging appointments and checking email
    • finding suppliers, contractors, or vendors
    • making or fielding calls
    • ordering goods and equipment
    • tracking data like invoices, customer information, or budgets

This is an attractive option for a work-at-home business.

  • Software developers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software developers is expected to increase by 17% each year through 2023. The median pay in 2017 was slightly over $100,000 per year.
  • Skilled trades.  Masons, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters are recession-proof jobs. A significant portion (40%) of current tradesmen will retire in the next few years, so this field will be open.

Pressing the Easy Button In Your Business

There are other easy ways that your business can be a joy rather than a job.

Using Your Business Network

A great way to succeed in business without really trying is by leveraging your network of friends, business contacts, family, relatives, clubs, and other alliances. Connect with neighbors, social media lists, and former co-workers.

Build a community of support, word-of-mouth, and referrals through people you already know. Send them emails and social media posts to forward on to their network. Give them business cards and brochures to share. Sweeten the pot by offering discounts or gift cards when they refer someone who becomes a client.

Make a point of talking to members of groups you’ve joined such as clubs, associations, networking groups, masterminds, or meetups. Ask the group host if you can set up a table in the back of the room, or give a 5-minute pitch. Offer a free showcase event, e-book, or video about what you do and how it benefits the audience.

You can expand your network by joining a trade group like a barter exchange. Members provide products and services to each other cash-free. The work you perform for other members accrues credit to purchase services within the exchange. You not only save on expenses for services like website design, coaching, and marketing, but you also are now a part of a strategic community.

Apply Your Business Talents & Gifts

Instead of setting up a business just to rake in the cash, consider following your calling instead.

Are you artistic and creative? Then you can start a graphics design shop, photography studio, or art gallery. These pursuits may certainly make you money, but you’re using your artsy talents and fulfilling a dream.

Do you hate clutter? The world is looking for organizers to help purge, sell, donate, and re‑organize the things accumulated over the years.

Are you someone who loves to write? So many people need help to make their content clear, well-organized, useful, and compelling – from blogs and web copy to magazine articles and books.

Settling for a high-paying job might bring in a healthy paycheck, but may make you feel as if you sold out. You know what you were really meant to do.

Follow your intrinsic talents. A business won’t be hard work if you do something that comes naturally.

Become the Business Go-To Person

If you prove yourself as the reigning expert in your field, then to succeed in business will come easier. Our suggestions for establishing yourself as the guru for any particular job:

  • Do one job. A lot of entrepreneurs have many talents, but if you want to be that go-to person who known for one niche then stick to just that. You may be renowned as a business coach but can also do website design … keep that secondary skill under your hat because that can confuse your client and muddle your message.
  • Develop deep knowledge. Read books, take webinars, attend classes, and practice. Knowing your business exceedingly well will cast your reputation as the go-to person in your field.
  • Define your unique selling proposition. Take time to flesh out what makes your business stand out from the competition. Tell the story of how your company is different or better. These questions might help:
    • What customer problems are we solving and how do we do it better?
    • How do we compare to the competition – faster turnaround? guaranteed one-day service?
    • What do clients say is best about what we do or provide?
    • What are our distinguishing qualities – customization? open 24/7? American-made?

(Read the related blog about USPs on our website.)

  • Publish. Write a book, blog, or post around your area of expertise. Find the right magazines, newspapers, or trade publications, and submit related articles.  Keep the content appropriate and relevant for your intended audience. (Note: Make sure to have it edited; nothing kills credibility like typos and mediocre writing.)

Starting a business can be exciting and heady at the start, but can be a tougher path to follow than expected. You can succeed in business without really trying by doing something you love, know thoroughly, or that which comes naturally. It will also help to use your existing connections, to choose a market that’s in demand, and to establish yourself as an expert. 

 

small business coach

Margaret Collier: An Artistic Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

small business coach