Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FREE PREVIEW: The First Step -- An Encyclopedia of Small Business Ideas

Do you have a good job? 


That is not surprising.  Today’s employment market is in crisis and the days of job security are gone.  Positions are often contract or part-time.  To earn a decent living you may need to have two or three part-time jobs.  One of the few business sectors constantly expanding is the small home-based business. 


Ask yourself a few questions. 
ü  Does it bother you that the amount of money you earn is decided by someone else? 
ü  Are you tired of making other people rich on your labour? 
ü  Are you tired of worrying about your financial future, especially when you can barely make ends meet? 
ü  Do you hate the drive to and from your job every day while someone else raises your children?

As more and more people struggle just to make a living in these difficult times, more will turn to the challenge of self-employment.  Self-employment offers the opportunity to make an income that is not based on someone else’s idea of your worth.  You will be able to have more freedom to set your own work hours.  And best of all, you will be able to raise your own children because you are working from your own home.

So, what's stopping you from becoming self-employed? 

What’s stopping you is coming up with an idea for a business that you know you can make work for you.  Selecting the right kind of business is a difficult process.  Many people dream of starting their own businesses, but remain dreaming because they do not know what business to engage in.  Good ideas seem to be a dime-a-dozen.  Get rich quick schemes are everywhere, especially on the Internet.  Newspapers are filled with stories of how people are reaching financial success on very simple business concepts. 

But what business is right for you?  That's what this book is for—to help you find YOUR BUSINESS.  The First Step offers hundreds of interesting, and sometimes unusual, business ideas and some very basic information on education or experience that might be required.  One of these ideas may be just what you are looking for to earn that needed second income or to start your own part- or full-time business.

Some of the ideas you'll look at and think, you must be nuts! How could anyone make money doing that?  Other ideas you'll look at and think, I could probably do something like that.  Perhaps there'll be that one idea that, when you see it, a light bulb will go on.  Your idea may not be a carbon copy of one you’ve read in this book, but you may read something here that sparks something in you, and that’s OK!  I’m here to provide you with inspiration.

It can be daunting to try to wade through all of the ideas to zero in on the one that is best for you.  Where do you start?  When choosing a home-based business, it is important to take your time.  Instead of choosing the first business that comes to mind, take the time to explore your options.  Check out your business ideas.  Read books and trade magazine articles on trends and market demands related to your business idea. 

Do a Self Inventory

Determine your goals, interests, wants and capabilities.  Make a list all the interests, hobbies, leisure activities, work experience, job skills and volunteer activities that you enjoy and do well.  Do you like to be around other people or do you prefer to work alone?  Do you prefer physical or mental work?  What equipment do you own?  How much money do you have to invest?  From this list you may develop your personal business idea.  Narrow your list down to the three or four businesses that appeal to you the most. 

As you zero in on a specific business, visualize the daily work you will be doing.  It would be foolish even to consider a business if the daily work will not be pleasurable or fulfill your personal goals.  You should select a business that fits well with the schedule of your family.  Get your family members involved in the business and have fun together working together. 

Be Realistic

Passion is essential, but you need to realize that passion may not be enough.  While you may have passion for a particular skill, hobby or craft, you must consider its true business potentials before turning it into a home-based business. 
ü  Do you think there is a demand for it? 
ü  Will it bring you recurring income? 
ü  How saturated is the market? 
ü  Are there barriers to entry? 

You will need to do a lot of pencil pushing and calculating to determine the financial viability of your business idea.  It may sound like a lot of hard work but this is one of the most important steps in assessing whether the business you’ve selected can make you money.

Think about whether you can and want to handle every aspect of your business.  While you are focusing on the strategic direction of the business, you will also need to collect receivables, track expenses, cold call customers, and do thousands of other tasks.  You will need to think of how you are going to handle all these tasks.
Where are you going to run your business? 

Do you have enough work space in your home?  Remember, you are starting a business at home to save on overhead costs, so make use of every possible nook and cranny that you can use in your home.  Make sure your business space meets the highest of safety standards, especially if you have children at home.  Check with an insurance agent to determine the kind of insurance coverage the business is going to need. It is just good planning to determine what insurance is necessary to minimize your risks and protect your business.  If you don’t have room in your home for a business or your business isn’t suitable to run from your home, you will need to find an appropriate location in your budget.

Make sure that local regulations will allow you to run your particular business in your home.  Ensure compliance with local zoning laws and ordinances.   Take careful note of the regulations governing business signs and types of businesses that are allowed at different locations.  You will also need to check provincial and federal regulations such as taxes and other requirements.  You need to learn what licenses, permits, education and qualifications you will need.  

I’ve given you lots of homework to do before making your final decision.  You can just jump into a business but if you want it to succeed you really should do the hard work required.  Testing the waters first by starting your business on a part-time basis might be wise.  The rest is up to you.  How hard do you want to work?  How much money do you need--or want--to earn?  The sky could be the limit if you plan and run your business carefully and well.  The important thing is that you must enjoy your business. The most successful entrepreneurs feel passionate about what they are doing. 

To read more, go to http://www.lulu.com/shop/pam-hedden/the-first-step-an-encyclopedia-of-small-business-ideas/paperback/product-17158081.html and purchase your copy now.

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