Friday, June 13, 2014

What business?

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that in several small businesses.

     Many people have asked for my advice about business. They want to talk with someone who has run a business. Sometimes a quick discussion with an experienced person can trigger answers to problems.

     That's for people who are running a business. 

     Others have asked for advice about starting a business. These budding entrepreneurs want to go into business, but what business? I've always advised them to look in the mirror.

     When you run a business, it's 24/7. Juggling all the pieces takes your total attention and effort. If you love what you do, you don't mind the grind. If you do NOT love what you do, you're setting yourself up for failure--or worse, a heart attack. 

     Examples: Straightforward businesses can be set up built around your interests. I know many small businesses that have been built around the owner's interest in music. Some remain one-person affairs, like the local piano teacher. Another used his knowledge of the guitar to begin by teaching others, and then he expanded into his own shop--selling new and used instruments, repairing and stringing, etc. 

     A compelling interest in sailing led a man to the establishment of a sail shop. The owner loved sailing and spent lots of time on the local lake. He set up a sail shop with all things boating and offered sailing lessons to others. Now certified, he instructs groups on water safety, and he sells sailboats and supplies.

     Many businesses I know began life as one person operations. The arts and crafts field offers many opportunities for getting a small business off the ground. I know small businesses built around beads and beading, fibers and wools, painting and pottery, wood turning, basketry, quilting, glass, metal work--the list is endless. Shops, studios, and Internet sites offer the artisan's productions, as well as opportunities to expand by teaching others.  

     Deciding what business to go into can be frustrating. Yet it is simple. It's similar to the complaint heard from young people--I don't have the experience to get the job, but I can't get the experience without having the job. 

     Look inside. Start with what you know and love doing, and take it from there. Then you have options--keep your one-person business or expand it into something larger.

     For ten years I headed up the Business Owners Institute in New Jersey. Before that, I spent 20 years founding and operating businesses in typesetting, printing, publishing, real estate, antique glass, and other endeavors. Today, I advise, coach and write about business. You can email me your questions for quick, free answers. Send to and put BLOG in the subject line so I don't delete. 

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