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    15 Replies Latest reply on May 29, 2008 3:31 PM by designer

    Choosing a business

    maggiechris Wayfarer

      How do you choose a business to start? There are so many choices. Elderly care, industrial cleaning business, payroll services. My background is so vast that I'm really confused as to what type of business to start. I have a lot of experience and know I can make one work. I just don't know where to start. When I was in my early 20's I was looking into starting an e-business before you had to pay to direct business to your site and I feel like I really missed out on that opportunity. I want to choose a business that's going to be both lucrative and rewarding. I'm not afraid and like to work hard. Can some one give me some direction. I need help or even a mentor. Thanks for reading.
        • Re: Choosing a business
          Ms.Keyuni Newbie
          Hello Maggie,
          I am new to this online community and I decided to answer your question. I am in the start up stages of my business. The choice of starting my business came into play with what I love. I have worked with children with mental disabilities and behavioral problems for many years and currently doing the same for the police department. With me having the education and the experience in working with Juveniles, My decision was to open my own agency to work with at-risk children and adolescents. It is a struggle for me trying to get everything up and running like it should be, However, I realized that I had to take a risk to do somehthing that I love.
          • Re: Choosing a business
            Matthew Wayfarer
            I would find something that your heart warms to. I see a lot of people that just choose a random business and try to work it. I found a passion years ago, and spent 100's of hours of sweat equity on it before I began to bring it to public attention to make moves on its behalf.

             

            Some people here are really good at online types of things so they do an online business. You know how the rest goes.....follow your heart.
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Choosing a business
                maggiechris Wayfarer
                I too have been looking for years into every thing, spent countless hours & money. I just cant find my passion. I have worked in loss mitigation (foreclosure prevention for the last 5 years) but I'm certainly not passionate about it. I guess I'm just passionate about making money. Please don't get the wrong idea of course my family & children come first but they are older now and I want to focus on trying to make our life more confortable. I know about SCORE & SBA. I've focused so much on my home life and working that I forgot what "I" am passionate about. What businesses have you been successful with? Do I sound rediculous?
                  • Re: Choosing a business
                    LUCKIEST Guide
                    Choosing a business. I am a SCORE counselor and

                    can give you some direction and even be a mentor.

                    Contact me at pdeig@juno.com and include a phone number

                    Again LUCKIEST
                      • Re: Choosing a business
                        maggiechris Wayfarer

                        I too have been looking for years into every thing, spent countless hours & money. I just cant find my passion. I have worked in loss mitigation (foreclosure prevention for the last 5 years) but I'm certainly not passionate about it. I guess I'm just passionate about making money. Please don't get the wrong idea of course my family & children come first but they are older now and I want to focus on trying to make our life more confortable. I know about SCORE & SBA. I've focused so much on my home life and working that I forgot what "I" am passionate about. What businesses have you been successful with? Do I sound rediculous?

                        I have done some research. I know that in the next decade the number of seniors is due to go up tremedously. I was thinking of maybe some type of assistant living or maybe an adult day care facility. What do you think?

                         


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                  • Re: Choosing a business
                    Matthew Wayfarer
                    Oh also if you have any questions Maggie just send me a message. I have drug myself through the muck...learned it all the hard way. I dont know everything, and im sure something ive done can help you out. Dont hesistate!
                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Choosing a business
                      LUCKIEST Guide
                      Choosing a business, Welcome to this web site.

                      How do you choose a business to start?? You start by putting ideas on paper.
                      What would you LIKE to do?? Can you do it and make money at it??
                      Will I need to find an outside location or can I work from home.
                      This is called developing a Business Plan. The Bus Plan serves as an assessment tool.
                      As you work your way through the plan, you will reaffirm the viability of your ideas.
                      A Business Plan changes as your ideas change.
                      Then there is SCORE . SCORE is FREE and will help you get started.
                      Today's (Friday) Wall Street Journal had a great story and a great business to go into.
                      The U S Mint coins silver eagle dollars. Sells them for $1. Coin dealers are selling them for $19.
                      One dealer in Mass. would like to buy 500,000 a week. The mint will only sell him 100,000 a week

                      LUCKIEST

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Choosing a business
                          maggiechris Wayfarer
                          Hi Luckiest,

                          I see you all over the place on this forum. I appreciate your time & feedback. I was wondering, of all the businesses you have checked out that are home based; can you recommend one to try? A side from starting a regular business (not on line) I want to have a home based business that can also generate a little cash.

                          Thanks in advance for your response.

                          maggiechris
                        • Re: Choosing a business
                          Tracker

                          Hi,Let's establish the basis for your business start-up planning efforts:

                           


                          The Starting point

                           


                          That would be you. Define what type of business you would really like to start!

                           


                          Let's walk through the thought process.

                           


                          When deciding on a business, you will want to find one that satisfies your goals and meets your objectives.

                           


                          Start by reviewing your own abilities, knowledge and experience.

                           


                          Do you want a business that will take advantage of those or are you looking at it from the perspective "I want to go in a new direction"?

                           


                          I believe it is always better to play to your strengths, abilities and experience but going in a new direction is OK if you have the core skills and capability to effectively apply them in a business that may not be one you are experienced in.

                           


                          Give some thought to the following:

                           


                          What type of business are you interested in?

                           


                          Do you want to start a manufacturing, distribution, service or retail business?

                           


                          Each has its own unique pros and cons.

                           


                          Manufacturing businesses (and distribution businesses to an extent) tend to allow you to build up nice solid assets on the balance sheet with tangible value. Retail and service businesses tend to have more intangible assets but also are less capital intensive.

                           


                          THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! No matter the type you will want to focus on a business in a solid well-established industry that has a history of steady dependable growth. Don't start a business in a declining industry.

                           

                           

                           

                          Important Tip

                           


                          I would focus on an established industry that is in an uptrend (one place of many where you can find this data online is):

                           

                          http://www.ita.doc.gov/TD/Industry/OTEA/O
                          TII/want2_industry.html. Where:

                           

                          • the business and industry shows growth over the next 5 years

                          • the industry is fragmented, where the companies in the industry tend to be smaller and medium sized businesses

                          • preferably an industry where your background and experience will help you in the business

                           

                          Do you want to run the daily operations yourself or do you want to have a general manager to take care of that for you?

                           


                          One of the worst things you can do is start a business that becomes the worst job that you ever had.

                           


                          In general I would tell you to avoid businesses that are going to require you to be the main sales person for the business if you are not comfortable in a sales role. Or a business that requires you to do some job or perform some function that you do not like or cannot perform.

                           


                          There are cases where it makes sense, instead of starting a business ... you buy a business or businesses that have a team in place to cover all the daily management tasks necessary for the business to run, prosper and grow. Allowing for those management costs under your ownership is something you will have to factor into the viability of the deal.

                           


                          Just remember that you have to identify what you want so that you know what to plan for and allow for that when you are evaluating what type of business to start or buy. You must have clearly identified objectives, wants, desires and criteria in front of you when you get started so that you do not get side-tracked and waste your time.
                            • Re: Choosing a business
                              maggiechris Wayfarer
                              I too have been looking for years into every thing, spent countless hours & money. I just cant find my passion. I have worked in loss mitigation (foreclosure prevention for the last 5 years) but I'm certainly not passionate about it. I guess I'm just passionate about making money. Please don't get the wrong idea of course my family & children come first but they are older now and I want to focus on trying to make our life more confortable. I know about SCORE & SBA. I've focused so much on my home life and working that I forgot what "I" am passionate about. What businesses have you been successful with? Do I sound rediculous?

                              I have done some research. I know that in the next decade the number of seniors is due to go up tremedously. I was thinking of maybe some type of assistant living or maybe an adult day care facility. What do you think?
                                • Finding a business to be passionate about
                                  Tracker

                                  Being passionate about making money can drive you to take on things or get into ventures with only the thought of the money driving your decision.

                                   


                                  Is the money important? Absolutely!

                                   


                                  Is how you make it important? Yes, if making your life more comfortable is also one of your goals!

                                   


                                  This would factor in because if you started something as capital intensive and as regulated as an assisted living or adult day care facility you could find out that the business became the worst high-pressure job you ever had.

                                   


                                  The elder care market is one that is growing but is also a highly competitive and regulated industry (and may become increasingly so). Unless you have a lot of money behind you it is better to think tactically than strategically about entering such a market.

                                   


                                  I tell clients and people that I talk with about starting or buying a business to be methodical in how they approach either one. Don't jump ship, leave your job and pin all your hopes on something (the start-up or business you buy) trusting that all will be well. Sometimes they aren't.

                                   


                                  I've been successful in several businesses (from writing, publishing, manufacturing to business services) but have also had flops. That's normal experience for someone who's been an entrepreneur for 26 years. Often you learn more from your failures than you do the successes. Odd but true.

                                   



                                  Here's how to learn from those things that don't work out:



                                  1. Take the elements of the things you have tried in the past that you spent time and money in exploring as business opportunities (and even do this for your current job) but that did not work out.
                                  2. On a sheet of paper draw a line down the middle of it. On the left at the top of the page write "Bad" and on the right top write "Good".
                                  3. For each thing list out the bad and the good; the bad will constitute the determinants of why it did not work out for you or why it did not fill you with any passion. The good are the positive elements that helped offset the bad but did not carry enough weight to make it work for you.
                                  4. Once you have done that look at what you've written. Take a new sheet of paper and transfer all the good things to that page. This becomes a profile of the things that were positive that you need to look for in a business or opportunity that may ignite your passion.
                                  5. Now with your "Good" profile in front of you, if the elder care market (or any marker or industry) interests you, think about how you can utilize those good aspects in a business of your own serving that specific market or industry. Make notes about the different businesses that you can start or buy that have those good aspects to them. Those should be your focus.
                                  6. Once you've done that calculate what I call your Personal Economic Burden (all your monthly personal expenses that you need to pay to live: mortgage, rent, insurance, food, utilities, car payments, etc.). Total that up and add 20% to it (10% for miscellaneous and at least 10% for savings). Take that total amount multiply by 12 and divide by 365. That is the daily amount your business must generate for you to be "comfortable". We'll call that the "Comfort Number". That's not making you rich but if you achieve it; it will give you a solid foundation to build on so that you can make even more money
                                  7. When you have that daily number and with it in mind, review your notes from number 5 above and research to determine if you feel that business can generate what you need to meet your Comfort Number. If so, then that is a business you should focus on starting or in finding to buy.

                                  I have a book in work right now on this subject so I hope the above helps. Please let me know if it was helpful.

                                   


                                  I'll also post this as a topic since it may help others as well.

                                   


                                  Dennis Lowery

                                   

                                  Adducent, Inc.
                                    • Re: Finding a business to be passionate about
                                      maggiechris Wayfarer

                                      Thank you for your response. You have givin me baby steps which is exactly what I need right now because I can be a little compulsive. You put me on check and are making me slow down. I think your feedback is priceless and is better than any "How to start a business" book I've ever read. I hope you don't mind but I'd like to stay in touch w/you. I like reading what you have to say. Thanks again.
                                        • Re: Finding a business to be passionate about
                                          Tracker

                                          You're very welcome. Its a busy world that many of us live in and it can feel like we are being pushed to make decisions quickly or that we don't have enough (or have taken too much) time and need to "jump" right now. Sometimes it is better to "walk", then "run" ... and then if you feel like it "jump". Feel free to stay in touch ... I'd like to hear about how things progress for you. You can find my contact info at my web site (via my profile).

                                          Take care,

                                           

                                          Dennis Lowery,

                                           

                                          Adducent, Inc.
                                  • Re: Choosing a business
                                    Danifer Wayfarer
                                    To echo some of the posts above - go with what makes you happy. It's the easiest road to success.
                                    • Re: Choosing a business
                                      designer Tracker
                                      Do what you love and are passionate about. Then, the work will seem like "life" and play. The money will follow. It sounds corny, but true.

                                      I make jewelry. I am not the Tiffany Co. with private jets and villa's in the South of France. But, seeing my handcrafted piece in a magazine or worn on TV is "priceless"...it feels like Christmas to me each and every time it happens!!!

                                      Kenneth Fron
                                      www.kennethfron.com