Entrepreneurs – Want To Start A Business But Not Sure What Type?
Many entrepreneurs get that itch to start a new business, either because they are fed up being “wage slaves” or they like the freedom that working for yourself can bring. Some even think that they will be richer or have more spare time. Many are not sure what kind of business they want.
First of all – never start a new business because you want more money or more time. Starting a new business takes both lots of time and most, if not all, of your money.
Secondly don’t fall into the trap of starting a business just for the sake of it. Make sure that someone wants what you are aiming to sell! Your fruit cakes, tattoos or begonias may be the best in the area but if no one wants them – then you are going to be going bust very soon.
So how do you find out what kind of things you are going to sell?
1) Look at the type of area that you want to set up your business. A majority of aged clients is not going to be keen to have tattoos but might love your cakes!
2) Look at the other businesses selling in your area. Whilst it is sometimes good to group some businesses together such as car sales – make sure there is enough people left who may buy from you. Similarly if there is a successful company that is not coping – maybe you can inherit some of their clients?
3) Look for gaps in the market. Are their complimentary businesses close by who you can join in with to share customers? Is the market just crying out for a particular product of service.
4) Most importantly go and ask people. Give talks at clubs about your subject and see what kind of reception you get. Hold a competition for the best ideas etc.
Good luck in obtaining a firm foundation for your new business.
To be a successful entrepreneur you are going to have to learn to deal with failure. There is no way around it. Thomas Edison tried over ten thousand different experiments before he finally demonstrated the first incandescent light bulb on October 21, 1879. Bill Gates' first company, Traf-O-Data, was a failure. Michael Jordan was once quoted as saying: "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot; And missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
In my short stint as an entrepreneur I've failed more times than I can count. I have also had my share of success, but its not even close to equal. The failures far outweigh the successes, and Im sure I have a lot more failure ahead of me. Im OK with that because I know that as soon as I stop failing, I have stopped trying to innovate. It's the nature of the business of being an entrepreneur, and of success in general.
If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is naive to think that every good idea that you have will result in a successful business venture. I have yet to hear an entrepreneur say "every single idea I come up with seems to work." More likely, you hear something like "I failed at my first five businesses before this one took off."
Think about that for a second. Five businesses. Sometimes the number is three, sometimes it's 20, but the important point is that most entrepreneurs don't hit a home-run with their first company. It really does amaze me - how many people have the stones to fail five times and still start a sixth business? You have to be supremely confident and treat those previous five times as a learning experience for the sixth. And if number six fails, you have to do the same and move on to number seven.
In my opinion, the most important thing is how you deal with failure. Once you accept that it's inevitable, you are able to learn from your mistakes and move on. It's easy to let the failure consume you - not so much because you are pessimistic, but more so because it is hard to see something that you poured your heart and soul into be ignored or rejected. As soon as possible you need to come to the realization that your business is what they are ignoring or rejecting, NOT you. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can objectively analyze why you failed and learn the things necessary for improvement in the future.
Failure isn't easy and is extremely frustrating, but it's a necessary part of success. Don't believe me? Ask Thomas Edison, Bill Gates or Michael Jordan! Ok, asking Thomas Edison might be a little tough, but you get the idea 🙂
All Fortunes Begin With an Idea!
A new idea is merely the combination of two or more old ideas. The creation of a new idea is the critical first step in establishing any business.
People who dream of setting up their own business but dont succeed, generally fall into one of three categories:
too few ideas
too many ideas or
waiting for the perfect idea.
Any of these three states of mind may hinder the budding entrepreneur.
Would be entrepreneurs with too few ideas.
These individuals typically say if only I had an idea for a business.
Just remember that if you say you dont have an idea it really means you have no-idea! If this applies to you, you need to get cracking on that first idea fast! As soon as you are able to dream something up, youll have the essential ingredient that all successful businesses are built upon.
Would be entrepreneurs with too many ideas.
Can you ever have too many ideas I hear you say? Well if your creative process leaves you feeling overwhelmed for choice then its definitely a possibility! Many highly creative people experience inertia in business purely because they have so many ideas. They dont know where to start or which idea to implement first!
If you fall into this category, just pick one of your ideas (it doesnt need to be your best one!) and begin to mentally develop it further. Consider the first key steps you need to take to push your business idea forward. Remember that you dont have to have a 100 page business plan or a fully formed idea before you can start taking action! All you need is a little focus.
Would be entrepreneurs waiting for the perfect idea.
This is the equivalent of expecting to know how to swim once youve found the perfect swimming costume.
If you fall into this category, even if you do manage to find the perfect idea, ask yourself whether or not you are going to have the right skill base to get it off the ground. Many successful entrepreneurs have failed many times before their perfect idea came along. It is through being prepared to fall down and stand up again that you develop the tenacity required to succeed in business.
Stay Ahead of the Game.
Whatever your circumstances, whether you are in business already or looking to start a business, creating ideas and being innovative will help keep you on top of your game. The way we are doing business globally is changing at such a rapid rate that if you dont consistently innovate, you will soon be out of business.
Cultivate your Innovation skills.
All the entrepreneurs that I have met have been possibility thinkers. By this I mean they keep their minds open to new opportunities and new ways of thinking. The best way for you to cultivate this ability within yourself is to spend time around other creative thinkers. Challenge each other to innovate.
A Simple Idea Creating Exercise.
Two nights ago I had a brainstorming session with a couple of entrepreneurial friends over a meal. We did a little 5 minute exercise where each wrote down as many ideas as they could on how to create a million pounds within a year. The quality of the initial ideas was absolutely irrelevant. What was really valuable was what came afterwards, when each person read out their individual lists and we discussed how these particular ideas could work.
We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and generated a couple of really great business ideas (as well as plenty of ordinary ones!), purely by focusing our brains to answer a simple question.
So how many entrepreneurs does it take to change a light bulb?
Well Im not entirely sure on the answer to that one! But I do know how many ideas it takes to start a business
Copyright Damien Senn 2005. All rights reserved.
Entrepreneurial Failure - Get Used To It
Why should you consider refinancing real estate investments instead of selling them? Maybe you've owned a rental property for years, you've paid down the mortgage, the value is up, and you want to cash in on that equity. You will do better to refinance. Here's why.
There are two problems with selling. First, selling means paying a large capital gains tax. You can avoid this if you reinvest through a 1031 exchange, but then the point is that you want your money, right? Second, you'll be giving up your inflation-indexed retirement plan. A good rental property generates more income as rents go up.
Refinancing Real Estate Investments Is Better
If you refinance, you can get much of your gain out of the property, without paying a penny in taxes. You see, borrowing money is not a taxable event. Take your loan proceeds and spend them however you want, and still keep your rentals. Doesn't that sound better than losing a big chunk of your equity to taxes?
Now, let's look at an example. We'll suppose you have owned a small apartment building for several years. Let's say you bought it for $340,000, with a down payment of $80,000. Interest rates at the time were at 9.5%, giving you a payment of $2,106 monthly on the balance of $260,00 (30 year amortization).
The property is now worth $560,000, and you owe $220,000. Your cash flow is around $2000/month. Now, how do you get at some of that equity? If you sell, you will give up the income, AND pay a big part of the profit in taxes. What happens if you refinance?
If a bank will loan you 70% of the value, that would be $392,000. Pay off the first mortgage, and you are left with $172,000. You can spend it any way you want, and no taxes are due.
It gets even better, especially when interest rates are low. If the new interest rate is 6.5%, your new payment will be $2295. In other words, you get $172,000 to spend any way you want, and you still have over $1,800 cash flow each month, from an inflation-indexed retirement plan.
Here is an even better scenario: Spend $50,000 of the loan for high-return upgrades to the property, such as carports and a laundry room, and raise the rents. You could have $122,000 left over to spend any way you want, AND have higher cash flow than before! Isn't that sound better than selling your retirement plan? When you want that cash, consider refinancing real estate investments.
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