Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Picking a business

     Free daily tips, information and advice for small business
     from personal experience--been there, done that.

     My first business was computerized typesetting. It was the early 1970s--before Word and before Bill Gates arrived on the scene.

     At the time I knew computers and I knew typesetting. It was an easy choice to put the two together.

     Many years later, I headed the Business Owners Institute in New Jersey. People came for help, advice, and to talk through problems with someone who had been there, done that in small business.

     Others came looking for advice on what business they should go into. This led me to establish a workshop for people wondering what business they could establish. The sessions were popular, both at the Institute and at Kean University. 

     Picking a business to start is not difficult. Look inside yourself. 

     Example: A local doctor told me that he had allergies when he was a youngster. His experiences made a lasting impression. College and medical school prepared him to become a doctor. Today, he treats patients suffering through the ragweed season--together with other allergies throughout the year. 

     This was a long term proposition. But the doctor has built a business on a childhood experience.

     Example: A local teacher spent a career in the public school system teaching swimming. When he retired, he started his own business teaching people how to swim--beginners and advanced students alike.

     Example: Growing up, Sarah was fascinated with jewelry. She made bracelets and necklaces using seeds and stones. She made brooches and pins out of dried flowers and folded papers. Today she is in the jewelry business. Along the way Sarah took training in working in silver and gold. She now supports her family, selling to a growing list of customers she finds over the Internet and at shows.

     Wondering what business to go into? Look at your own background and interests. Settle on the thing you love, the thing you're passionate about, the thing that fascinates you. 

     Then make a business based on that. If you're interested in something, then be assured that others are interested as well. They are your market. Go for it!

     Your business is your life. Make sure you love the thing you are doing. I never wanted to be in a business that I hated. That's why, at 16, I told my dad I did not want to take over the dairy farm where I grew up. At the time, I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew it was not cows. The thing that makes America great is it's a place where you can follow your dreams. 

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