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Business Insider

Starting Your Business After 50 – 7 Keys to Success

We 50+ Boomers are now the fastest-growing group of new business owners in the U.S.

We’re being attracted by the freedom to act upon our ideas as we see fit, the chance to achieve much better balance between our work and leisure lives and the opportunity to enjoy a source of income that’s only limited by our personal ambition.

But, as attractive as self-employment may appear at first glance, it’s important that you carefully consider the following seven criteria when considering whether to take the plunge.

Look for a business whose work will truly engage you. This is especially important if you’re feeling burnt out emotionally from the demands of your corporate career. A good starting point for identifying the right business idea for you can be to visualize how you can turn your favorite work activity in your corporate career into a business, or examine a long-held hobby to see if you can turn it into a full-blown business.

Understand the income potential and whether it matches your needs, and how much you are comfortable investing. Take a hard-nosed look at startup costs, your local competition, and your willingness to risk your savings. Take into account the fact that it takes most new businesses at least three years to break even – if they last that long. Later in life is not the time to shoot craps and risk your financial security. It’s worth sitting down with a reputable accountant who has worked with lots of startups and who can help you determine how much of a gamble you’re willing and able to take.

Match the physical demands of your chosen business to your energy level. A business that requires putting in long hours every day, or hard physical labor, may not suit you at this point in your life. On the other hand, if you love the outdoors, planning and planting landscaping or working in one of the building trades, by all means dig further into the possible business opportunities, but be honest about the sustained physical stamina that will be demanded to earn a steady income.

If day-to-day variety is important to you, rule out businesses that involve doing the very same thing for each customer. The idea here is to find something that will keep you passionately interested. Not every detail of running a business is equally interesting, but you want to assure that your business offers enough different experiences so that you remain eager to get up every day and run your business.

Do you love or hate technology? While most businesses require some computer use, consider the extent to which you’ll need to use other technologies – like wireless gadgets, the Internet, and various types of software – to help you manage your business. If you hate technology and would rather not bother with it, can you afford to hire technical help?

Consider if you’re ready to learn a complete new set of skills or primarily wish to build off of skills you already possess. Every new business owner has to learn some new skills, such as office administration or Internet marketing. But, it’s very important that you honestly assess how well you know the “nuts and bolts” of your prospective business idea, otherwise you face a steep learning curve your first year in business, at the same time you face the daily demands of selling your product or service.

If you find you’re drawn to a franchise opportunity, make sure you determine the total expected investment for the first two years. Be aware that, with a franchise, you will always have a business partner – the franchiser – who takes part of your income. Proceed with caution when considering a franchise: Talk with others who have bought outlets from the same company; make sure you understand everything the franchiser will expect from you (including how disputes, if any, will be resolved); and hire an attorney who specializes in franchising to explain the franchise agreement to you in detail.

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Business Letter

Starting a Handmade Business

Choosing the right product or service to sell can be one of the most important things to consider when you’re starting your handmade business. Having a product that stands out can set you apart in a room full of crafters and get your company the attention it needs to strive. When you go to craft shows and farmers markets you can usually find a similar selection of vendors at each market. There’s a million people out there selling jewelry but the ones that make the headlines and sales are the ones who have found a niche and focused on it. Find something that will be your signature and think of it each time you are creating a new product or line.
But how do you find a niche that will set you apart from all the other designers? First you should look at your personal interests. If you’re trying to follow a trend or mimic another successful designer, you’re always going to be playing catch up. Start with a product or style that you love; chances are you’ll know enough about it without hours of research. Not to mention you’ll enjoy creating it, which will come across in the end product. Techniques can be taught and perfected over time, but you can’t change your likes or dislikes. People always excel in areas they have an interest in.
Now that you’ve chosen a product to make that you’re passionate about, think of how you can make it stand out. Adding your personal style to it is a start but you may need to go one step further. Does your product have a subcategory that you can focus on and really make it great? Instead of trying to make a product that will appeal to everyone or carry a large selection of items, try to tap into a smaller more specific market. You might not be able to make a customer out of every person who visits your table, but you will build a name for yourself as the expert in your niche market.
Combining your passion for a product with the right market will set your company up so it can hit the ground running. What’s really great about the vendors at markets is the fact that everyone brings their own unique style to the table. It’s not so much about keeping up with the trends as it is about starting your own. Crafters aren’t looking over their shoulder to see what their competitors are doing; they’re focusing on their talent and making products that come straight from their heart.

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Business Website

Starting a Transformative Business? – The 3 Key Questions You Must Ask

If nothing else, passionate entrepreneurs have eagerness and optimism in abundance. However, in business, as we know, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Each new venture is a learning lab in which the entrepreneur’s ambitions and ideas are tested against market realities and hard financial facts. The birth of a business is an inherently creative process in which possibilities are generated, taken apart, refined, and reconstituted, all to adapt to an uncertain environment that will persist long after the start up phase. Passionate entrepreneurs must guard against betting the bulk of their resources against one single strategy.

So how do we define success?

But what’s the point in knowing your numbers if they don’t help you reach a compelling destination? Mountain climbers are fuelled by an image of themselves on the summit, and successful entrepreneurs are drawn toward a future vision that is often a complete paradigm shift and is so magnetic it gives them the drive to succeed. So, in conceiving your business model, your strategy defines what business you are in: what you provide, for whom, and why you are doing it. You can improve your readiness to succeed as a start up entrepreneur by asking these three questions:

1. Why am I doing this?

Clarify your reasons and your goals. What future would prompt you to give up what you have now and take on the risk and challenge of starting a business? Why are you pursuing this venture? Is your WHY powerful enough?

Maybe you feel a higher calling/greater good to help people, to build something that outlasts you, leaves a legacy, creates a more meaningful way of doing things, or meets the needs of a changing society

Perhaps you have a strong drive to create a workplace based around the themes of a more just society, to work with friends, create a great place to work, and be part of a great team.

Alternatively, if it is your personal goals that drive you, what do you aim to achieve (personally and professionally) in the short-term (next 1-2 years) and longer-term (5+ years)?

The point is, making money should be a result, admittedly a very nice result, but a result all the same of having a business that is driven by a powerful WHY. Your WHY will often come from your past. Get to know your entrepreneurial personality. Who are you? What makes you tick? Look inside yourself, analyse what motivates you and use what drives you for the greater good. You must find a compelling WHY for setting your business up.

2. Is this my great idea or something that really meets a market need?

The problem with the great idea is that it concentrates the mind on the idea itself which is fine as far as it goes. But unless the idea is executed efficiently and with style and originality, then it doesn’t matter how great the idea is, the enterprise will fail. Ideas are certainly important, but so many people attempting to create a start up company become obsessed with proving that their idea is right rather than focussing on execution and making money. So much so that sometimes many years and resources are wasted doing it until the penny drops.

Nobody really cares if the idea is right, except the person who comes up with it. By all means come up with brilliant idea, but also have the guts to back it and see it through. You can be smart and passionate but you need to be able to admit when you are wrong, and move on when you are not.

So, go on, describe your business concept in fifty words or less: What will you offer? For whom? How do you define your market? What value will you create for customers? Are you solving an acute problem for customers, or providing a nice-to-have benefit? What customer pain are you addressing, directly or indirectly? Maybe you see a better solution for an existing problem?

In short, don’t get hooked on your great idea. You need to ensure there will be sufficient and sustainable market demand to support your business and enable it to thrive. Nobody will care whether you think your idea is a great one or not.

3. How can I leverage my relationships and resources?

So you have a powerful why, and a definite market need, but have you asked yourself the hard questions about whether you have the necessary experience, attitude and skills to pull your idea off?

Even if you have the best business idea in the world, without the knowledge and experience to match the passion, drive and commitment to see it through, it still stands a good chance of failing. In a complex world where not many of us have all the skills and knowledge to succeed alone, why try to?

Map your skills and experience. What can you do? What do you know? Who can help you? What assets are available for your use? In today’s knowledge based workplace, two minds or more are better than one. If you can leverage your relationships with other people then you will maximise your chances of success, particularly if they get your WHY.


OK, so this article has just a few more sub questions in addition to the big three to ask yourself, but before you get into the mechanics of planning the operational side of your business, the message is this: you need powerful reasons for setting up a business. Through media such as the internet, we now have the chance to usher in a truly transformative capitalism which places the market back into the hands of the people. So maybe when you have that powerful WHY, have an idea that meets a strong market need, and have access to the resources to execute the idea effectively, then you can aspire to climb that entrepreneurial mountain.

Copyright A� 2012 The Get Rich Mindset. All rights reserved.

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Small Business Ideas

Advice For Dads Starting an Online Business in 2013

Play to your strengths:
Are you a Dad who throws himself in at the deep-end with new ventures? If so, people are probably always telling you to slow down and look before you leap. However, you are what is known as a quick starter and this is how you could achieve your best results: by following your instincts.
Are you a Dad who needs to research things heavily and read lots of books before you begin? If so, people probably assume you’re a procrastinator, when in fact you are simply driven by the facts and need to know the details before attempting something new. Be true to yourself, as this is your best way of achieving success. If so, find a niche, research what people want, what they are prepared to spend money on and create a product (or three!) that will add value to people’s lives by giving them great solutions and highly valuable information.
Are you a dad who likes to seek expert advice and tuition before starting something and only then can proceed? If so, get a coach, follow a successful proven to work programme and use the internet to set you free!
As with any business model, it makes sense to start a business that you have an established skill set in, as well as one that you will wholly enjoy being involved in. We all know that some businesses are borne purely from a passion and often that is all that is needed to see you through, but some business acumen is always going to be necessary unless you have enough financial backing to outsource to professionals immediately. However, a mixture of both skill and passion means a strong starting point in starting up your business. We all hear about people who love what they do for a living, and we all quietly envy the fact that they do, unless you are one of the fortunate ones who is in their perfect role. But by choosing an online business where you are honestly over excited about what it is about, minimises the risk of you not enjoying it by vast amounts.
Whilst of course trends, methodology and preferences can vary vastly from country to country, there certainly exists a strong element of overlap. Not only does this mean that potentially you may be able to take a business model or idea that has become a proven success in another country and be among the first to bring it to your own nation, but it also works the other way around too. You may well discover a market for your business in another country, and even potentially sell or franchise your business idea abroad also. However, bear in mind that your business will have to prove its worth, profit potential and future longevity first. Always take one step at a time.

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Business Checks

Setting and Starting Your Own Jobsite

Type in the words ‘jobsite’ on any Internet search engine and you will get, at last count, some 9 million items. Many of these jobs sites are general services offering positions varying from teaching jobs to telecommunications sales people. Invariably, most of these sites have very few positions available and consequently very few hits. However, some 8% of the job sites online are large profitable organisations turning over a net profit of over $2 .5 million a year. This is an average figure.
To create a commercially viable jobsite that has a chance of distinguishing itself online there are a number of things you must do. The first thing is research, research, research. Spend some time on identifying a gap in the market. After that, your next task will be to create a market in that gap.
If you have some experience working in a certain profession for a number of years then this is a good place to start. Specialising in one particular type of occupation or profession gives you several advantages. First of all, you are able to use your previous contacts in order to spread the word about what you’re doing. Although paid for advertising will have a role to play later on, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth is a great way to start the ball rolling.
Secondly, you may already belong to a professional organization within your field. Contact them and let them know that you have a jobsite tailored specifically for their members. If you are already registered with this professional organization, you may well find that they are open to the idea of advertising your agency for you.
It’s also important to quickly identify who else is offering a very similar service to the one that you’re proposing to launch as a business idea. In order to ensure your project survival it’s important to adopt a ‘blue ocean’ strategy of business management. According to management strategists, the red ocean school of thought relies purely on undercutting your rivals, flooding the market with your product to muscle them out and (in some cases or) offering your goods or services at a price that leaves a very thin profit margin for yourself.
This strategy creates a red ocean which is quite literally awash with either your blood or that of your competitors. The blue ocean school of thought advises you to focus on growing the market by introducing something new. This ensures that you have no competition, at least for a little while, while also providing consumers with an alternative to existing products or services. So, identify who else is in your market, what they’re doing, and how your jobsite will add to the overall industry.
As your business will be an online one, search engine optimisation will be essential to its survival. Making sure that your site comes up whenever someone searches for relevant keywords in your industry will help boost your Google rankings and also direct jobseekers and agencies your way. There are many aspects of search engine optimisation that you can do yourself, although it’s always advisable to get an expert on board. There are also online forums that can provide you with free pointers on what you can do to boost your sites visibility.
Once people come to your site it has to be easy to use and intuitive to those who may not be expert Internet surfers. Make sure that all of the links work and that all of the pages are updated regularly. It’s a good idea to view your new site in many browsers for example Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and the new Google Chrome. You may find that the site looks slightly different from one browser to another. This will allow you to iron out any wrinkles that users may experience depending on which browser they have on their PC or Mac. People also feel more comfortable if they can get hold of the site administrator should any problems arise. Giving a working contact number or e-mail address in the “contact us” section is a good idea.
The most important aspect of any jobsite has to be the availability of jobs. There are a handful of companies that will provide a vacancy population service for your site. None of these services are free, and most of them charge fees starting from $4000 a month.
A more viable option would be for you to talk directly to companies that are already advertising positions and asking them if they would like to place their job vacancies on your site. This can be a laborious and time-consuming endeavour but, ultimately, it’s one that will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Also advertising on the free classified sites that you have a job service available online is a pretty handy way of spreading the word.
Lastly, give it time. The most successful websites often take months if not years to become big hits with Internet users. There’s no reason why yours shouldn’t be. Just work hard at it every day, involve to solve (that is, involve people in order to solve problems) and put yourself in the position of both the jobseeker and the job agency. Ask yourself: “how can I make their lives easier?”
The answer may well give you an insight that others have overlooked.