Accomplish Something As a Small Business Entrepreneur

The idea behind the small business opportunity is usually the first place a person looks towards to find an additional form of finance. In the past the first place a person would consider to develop extra income was with the search for a second job. The evolution of the internet has placed a stop to the idea of the second job in favor of the generation of the small business entrepreneur. The internet is the new source of residual income business that most of the small business entrepreneurs look towards. There are many opportunities available to the new small business entrepreneur and the following covers only a few of the many avenues available for a residual income business.

The most popular form of small business opportunity comes from generating an online store to sell multiple items to consumers all over the internet. This is a model of comfort based on the physical stores in existence that survives every year through the profits of selling multiple small items and accumulating a profit. Some individuals have found success with this strategy when they find a demand or niche that can be filled, however most fail. The theory is good for a residual income business opportunity but it requires the backing of a major company or the financial stability to wait for a business to become established with brand recognition. A residual income business of this nature is a long term investment of time and possibly money that may pay off in the long run if a person can survive that length of time.

The creation of a new small business from a company that already exists is an additional form of residual income business opportunity. You see advertisements on a regular basis for a small business opportunity to generate an at home business based on an existing program. The small business entrepreneur can receive help form these companies as they receive assistance with website development, product identification and sales processing options.

If you are selling a large number of smaller items then the establishment of a company such as this will only assist your residual income business opportunity. There is a catch though when you are creating a residual income business with these companies. The assistance offered with these companies often require that you find methods to generate traffic to your developed site. The drive to create online traffic is another way of phrasing that you will be responsible for the advertising of your site, a concept that can be quite complicated online. Choosing not to pursue advertising will ultimately lead to the destruction of your residual income business opportunity.

The last small business opportunity is finding a company that offers the “Big Up-front Profits and Residual Income” system. The high generation of profit from the results of selling big ticket goods is what this system offers an interested individual. This is due to the fact that the profit from the sale of one of these big ticket items is equivalent to the profits of many smaller items. In addition, finding a company that will not only help you design your sight but offers advertising assistance is gold in this type of market.

New Business Entrepreneurs – If You’re Looking For an Investor Without a Track Record, Scale Down

If you are looking to go into business for yourself and are hunting for an investor, but don’t have a proven track record in business, or in the field that you have chosen, you may have a very difficult time raising funds. Why do I say this–because I have been there and experienced the doubt and uncertainty that people have when you come to them with an idea for a business venture without having anything that will give an indication for future success. This doesn’t mean that they necessarily doubt you or your character, they just don’t see any previous accomplishments to give them enough confidence to invest in you.

It also doesn’t mean that you may not be successful in raising capital without a track record. You may have connections that will overlook your inexperience and give you the money you need. The odds, are, however, very low. When forming a business plan for a start up enterprise, it is much better to begin your venture as a scaled down, streamlined version of your larger vision. There are several advantages to doing this, regardless if you have funding or not. Here are some tips on how to proceed.

Focus on one product or service that you can market, promote and distribute with the least amount of expense. Choose one area, in other words, that you can master. Also, form a team of like-minded small businessmen and women who have the same overall goals that you have and brainstorm together. Bring in experts in their own fields like online marketing specialists and web site developers, as well as those who have businesses in related fields. When you network together with other entrepreneurs each will find in the other new sources of information and social business connections. For those of you who want to start a business but don’t have the money or the experience, there are several excellent companies, often called hybrid marketing companies, that you can find on the web that look for budding entrepreneurs. They offer free training and support and you won’t need the experience to get going. Whatever your circumstances, the only limitations that any of us have are the ones that we place on ourselves. Remove them and start your business life anew today.

Learn From My Experience – First Year Tips For Small Business Entrepreneurs

The Number One first year tip – it’s ALL about finding customers and keeping them happy

Whether you are at the feasibility, seed, or launch stage, you need customers!

If someone is showing interest but is not asking about prices, then you may have a new hobby, which is nice, but not a business.

Why? Ideas and plans are a dime a dozen. Cashflow is King. A potential customer is proof positive you may have found a genuine demand or gap in the market – but only when they start talking price.

A vision means squat without a plan for customers.

“A customer base equals capital”

Attracting investors will be much easier if they can see you are already generating a cashflow.

Also customers will attract people interested in working with you – and eventually you will need a team to go anywhere significant.

A customer means you are not dreaming!

Don’t wait for qualifications

You could be forgiven for thinking that in the 2010’s you need a string of qualifications and / or an MBA before making a move. It’s not the case. Examples abound and if necessary you can hire to cover the gaps. Rather, try to emphasise product, ideas and team.

Which book learning are we skipping over here? What are some of the nice to have’s you might defer?

In the initial stages of a business there are marketing skills – be content with seeing the original gap and creating a product to fit. Then finance skills – skip high finance and stick to the basic organisation of personal and business finance to cover risks, and finally time management skills where the essentials can be mastered quickly.

Later in the development phase we have operations – leadership, management, IT, property, culture/psychology, teamwork, loyalty, communications and regulations – the list goes on.

While it may seem heresy to some, the fact is there are many successes in business who started young with no management training.

Beware Franchising

Starting out under the protection of a franchise is a seductive option. Beware! While it may be a way to start-up with less risk, pay particular attention to:

· The franchise sale

Franchise operators are very good marketers – of their franchises. Be wary that you are not sucked in too much by the promises and pictures. Seriously, it’s their job to sell you, just make sure they have a viable plan and you can sell their product.

· Your independence

The bottom line is that you have decided to become an entrepreneur, for reasons which quite likely include working for yourself, and by signing up with a franchise you have immediately given that independence away.

Will you be happy working for a head office? How much input to the business do you really have? Have you just bought yourself a job?

Take a real close look at your marketing plan

How are you going to find and reach customers? Your first job is to run like mad just to find them:

First, are you in an active sector and do you have a ready path to market? Where are you sourcing your leads – today?

Watch out for your own psychology. When starting out you may want to just go with the first half decent opportunity you come across. Relax; try to look at things objectively.

Beware of the “1% of the market is huge” syndrome. Yours may be a billion dollar market, but how do you get any of it? What do you think the competition is doing right now?

Any idea of the cost of acquisition of a new customer? Will your model develop repeat customers? If not you will be forever selling, and this is not a good place to be.

Most forms of marketing except word of mouth are very expensive. When starting out there is no doubt the best marketing model is word of mouth.

Branding. Despite the hype it’s nothing new. Don’t even think about mega-brand style exposure. A start-up is about a reputation, person to person sales and keeping a handful of customers happy.

What is the shelf life of your idea? How are you going to protect it in the internet age?

How smart is the business model?

A business model is the way we do things – how we find and reach customers, differentiate the business from the pack, price, sell and deliver our product.

But there is more. Other desirables include a residual structure, one that compounds growth, and which is leveraged either in time (employees) or money (loans).

Is it going to be a dynamic business or a job?

Realistically – are your finances strong enough for the first year or two?

Being an entrepreneur is a gamble and you must be prepared for the worst if it happens. How do you view losing money? Perhaps try investing on small bets in the stock market and see how it feels before investing in your own ideas.

Don’t get into debt you cannot handle. We should be bold but not take risks. Avoid betting your lifestyle, limit the investment to what you can “afford to lose”, then do everything to make sure that does not happen.

Entrepreneurs should always have backup plans. Not everything will work by any stretch of imagination.

How many hours are you working?

Have you really planned your diary? How will you fit everything in? Not all of us can survive on 4 hours sleep per night.

Remember the working rule – hard and smart.

And if you do work all hours, what is your effective hourly rate? Planning any time off?

Do you have a good business partner?

If you aspire to anything other than a micro business, you will have to think “team”. The synergy gained outweighs potential downsides. While a committee of one gets things done, eventually you need others in your corner.

Are you ahead of trends?

No business can ignore trends. Try to have an eye on the picture three to five years ahead.

The SOHO as an Online Business Model for the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Future

Sometimes to understand the future we have to have some historical perspective.

We often forgot that before the 19th century, and prior to the industrial revolution, nearly all offices were small offices and/or home offices, with very few exceptions. Now that small business and the self-employed represent the backbone of the current economy, it seems that history does indeed repeat itself.

The US economy no longer is dominated by giant corporations. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that fully 99% of all independent enterprises employ fewer than 500 people. This accounts for 52% of the US workforce according to the SBA.

Additionally by the end of 1999, the service sector had grown to 104.3 million jobs, representing 81% of non-farm employment, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, construction, and mining represented 25.2 million jobs, or only 19% of non-farm employment.

I do not know how many farm related jobs there are, but I do know that 81% and 19% add up to 100%.

This tells me that since at least the year 2000 probably over 80% of jobs are now service related and less than 20% of us are now employed in manufacturing. That means as a nation we do not really manufacture much any more. Can you say trade deficit?

We no longer have an industrial economy, just like we will never again have an economy based on agriculture.

The advent of the personal computer in the mid 1990s, along with breakthroughs in voice and data communication, created opportunities for businesses to decentralize and allowed for a return to the trend of the small office concept.

Since the end of the 20th century the term “SOHO”, an acronym for “Small Office/Home Office” has come to be used to define this important business niche.

New technologies will continue to create a demand for individuals who work from home or in a virtual office. Many people are now employed as consultants, independent contractors, or organized as small business entities with very specialized services designed for the project outsourcing of larger companies, often not even industry or country specific.

The SOHO or online virtual office is not just for consultants and independent contractors any longer. The members of many other occupational ranks, and especially online business owners now help comprise this diverse sector.

A large array of products and services also are designed specifically for the “SOHO” market. Many books are published specifically targeted to this business model, everything from general business advice to guides on setting up fairly sophisticated computer systems, telecom systems, and Internet and Intranet systems.

The small business entrepreneur generally has demanded and usually has always benefited from high technology, allowing small business to be competitive.

So, if you do not own a farm, chances are that in the future you will be working in the service sector and quite possibly from your home office. This probably holds true in most other developed countries as well, due to an increasingly underemployed labor force and shrinking job markets.

The online virtual office is here to stay and is for anyone that seldom needs an office. If you own a laptop with wireless connectivity you may be lucky enough to work pretty much anywhere, if you have access to the Internet.

But let’s take it one step further for those who would dream of living where they wish, and working online from wherever they are. Work is no longer necessarily site specific.

Is it really just a dream? Not any more.

More and more people are finding that with increasingly more affordable technology, VoIP services, videoconferencing, and reliable worldwide courier services, they at one time or another may find themselves working from a beach, or a mountain top…and in some cases may rarely have to make an appearance at the traditional office again.