Thursday, April 17, 2014

Choosing your business

     Free daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that.

     This is all about how to decide what business to go into. This can be helpful before you start up a business, and it can be helpful if you want to change the direction of your existing business.

     Many people consider starting a business. The opportunity to start a business of your own is one of the great things about America.

     Look to yourself before starting a business or before changing the direction of your business. Everyone has an intense interest in something. It might be a hobby or it might be sports or it might be creating works of art or it might be inventing a new gizmo. 

     An honest look in the mirror can provide the answer to making a business, getting it off the ground, and doing what you love to do.

     My experience in this is both personal and with others. As head of the Business Owners Institute in New Jersey, I advised many--personally and in group seminars. 

     A lady came to me once wanting to know how to buy a Dunkin' Donuts. She had a large payout from her corporate position which had ended, and she told me firmly that she was ready to go into business. 

     Well, not really. I asked her what she knew about donuts. I asked her who would be getting up at 4 a.m. to make the donuts. She gave me a blank look.

     At this point I held up a mirror which I kept handy--for just this purpose. As she looked in the mirror, I asked her what she was interested in. During all those years of corporate meetings, what were the activities she had dreamed of? What turned her on? How did she spend her spare time--to relax, to deal with the stress of the corporate world. 

     After a couple of additional conversations, she decided against the donut career. She turned her hobby of throwing pottery and finishing the items off with special glazes into a business. It took her several years, but the 16-hour days flew by. She studied the market for glazed pottery. She honed her skills. She turned her passion into a business.

     Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that any passion can be turned into a business. If you have an interest, there are others out there looking to buy the products and services you produce. That's the market you want to address.

     If you are already in business, you can change directions to better serve to your passion. With clear focus, you can morph your present business into a completely different one.

     I know a man who started out as a landscaper--cutting lawns, trimming shrubbery, doing yard cleanups and distributing mulch for clients. At his home, he had an intense interest in his small fish ponds. Over several years, he began changing his business. Now he specializes in designing, stocking clients' ponds with fish and plants, as well as designing and planting the surrounding area. It's a niche market, but it's profitable for him and he's doing what he loves. 

     Starting up a new business or changing the direction of an existing business takes some serious planning. You must think through your interests and match the market. Do the projections and do the numbers. In your business, you deserve to be doing what you love.

     Questions? Email me direct at and put BLOG in the subject line. 
     I'm retired and I'm not selling anything. Your privacy is always respected.  

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