Unemployment is at an all time high and thousands more jobs are at risk. In these tough economic times many ambitious people, and those who simply need to meet the needs of their family, are looking to start their own business.
While starting your own business can lead to greater freedom and the chance to make more money than you did as a worker drone in the collective, many new business opportunities are nothing more than a fraud, selfish shams stealing money from the desperate. Many other business opportunities, which seem good at the beginning, quickly leave you burdened as an hourly slave (think retail stores) or at the mercy or economic tides that ebb and flow. Who wants to own a business they cannot control.
So how then does one determine if a business opportunity is a good one?
After reviewing hundreds of business opportunities, I have found 7 key characteristics that nearly every good start-up business opportunity contains:
1. Customers Can Be Obtained This Week
Your ability to get customers (and the cash they give) quickly will have the greatest impact on how long you will stay in business. Most new start-ups fail because they weren’t able to get paying customers quickly, in a volume sufficient to pay the bills and their salaries. Before you begin any new business venture, be absolutely certain you know exactly who your customers will be, where and how you will contact them, and how much it will cost you to get those first critical customers – in terms of advertising expense and time.
2.Start-Up Cost Less than $ 1000
You really are taking on an enormous amount of risk if you are shelling out huge sums of money before you ever get that first customer. The most successful businesses start small then reinvest a significant portion of their PROFITS back into the business. The best practice is to grow from your profits, from what is working, rather than dumping a whole bunch of money into something unproven. Don’t begin in the hole buying expensive business equipment, office space, and paper supplies. There are so many businesses that can be started small which quickly turn to bigger incomes that you’d be silly to be digging out, when you should be digging in. Many online programs are available to help you start a new business. The best ones show a quick return on your investment.
3.Sales are Made Based on Emotion Rather than Commodity
Let’s face it, certain business are limited in what they can expert to earn. If you decide to go into business as a plumber you can only expect to make what every other plumber in your town makes, and probably less to start. Same if you want to clean houses. And if you choose to sell a particular item you had better find something unique that everyone can’t say, “Oh that’s only worth so much.” You want to be offering something unique, something which you get to decide how much to charge and how much profit you’ll make. Something which gets your customer thinking, “I have to have that, no matter how much it costs.”
4.Not Trading Time for Dollars
This relates closely to numbers 2 and 3. The most successful and rewarding start-ups let you choose the hours you work, how many and when. Your income and profits will be tied more to what you are selling than to how long it takes to produce it.
5. Endless Pools of Repeat Customers
Avoid a business where you sell something once and might never see your customer again, no matter how great the profits on that one sale might be. Lots of real estate salespeople quit because most folks aren’t repeat house buyers. If you fall into this trap you’ll find you spend most of your time prospecting, finding new customers, rather than doing what you love to do. Frequent repeat buyers, even at smaller profit levels, prove to be worth many times more as your business grows. They’re like compound interest… growing and growing exponentially.
6. Mentors and Cheerleaders Available for Free
While starting your own business is the surest road to ultimate wealth, it can often be a lonely journey. You’ll have questions along the way. Many so called gurus are more than willing to sell you their guidance, but beware their game. Often times it’s a money sucking operation that gives you just a little info, then requires you pay even more for the complete answers. You’ll be digging a pit of greater and greater dependency even as your business fails. The better option is to go where there is a free forum of folks just like you. The best business opportunities have online forums where you can get advice from the experts for free, critiques of your work, and a little cheerleading and hand-holding when needed.
7. It Should Be a “Smile” Business
True, people are dying to get into the mortuary business, but ideally you want to pursue a business that makes you happy to get out of bed each day. A business that makes others smile as well. Life is short and if you settle that’s all you’ll get. The business opportunity that proves most successful is the one that’s easy for you to commit your heart and soul to; the one that you’re proud to tell your family and friends about. The one that leaves your customers smiling too, as they gladly hand over their hard earned money and make plans to come back for more.
There are many great business opportunities available both online and off. Using these guidelines will help anyone a chose a business that’s fun and profitable.
Robert Schwarztrauber is an author, speaker and expert marketing consultant who provides many online resources which help people lead healthier, wealthier lifestyles. For more information on changing your life for the better in these tough economic times, visit http://PhotoBizReview.com
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