Monday, August 11, 2014

Special businesses

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from personal hands-on experience in starting up and running businesses.

     You can make a business out of anything. I've come to believe this after a lifetime of my own businesses and working with others.

     If you're thinking about going into business, consider the activities you love. If you're thinking of changing the direction of your existing business, think about the things that you once loved doing but no longer have time for. Pick one of those passions and go for it.

     Example: Jason loved cars and motorcycles. He spent every free hour growing up tinkering and repairing vehicles. An engineering degree in his pocket, he decided to take the plunge. He set up a business specializing in two things: restorations of older vehicles back to original condition and building motorcycles from the ground up. He brought some of his work to car shows, and his reputation spread. Restorations of cars that are 20 to 50 years old and in poor condition--this takes months, sometimes years. While waiting for parts for the restorations, Jason would concentrate of building or customizing motorcycles for clients. His backlog of work waiting to be done now extends to years. 

     Special businesses can grow out of the interests of youngsters. Those activities that fascinate us early on can become the business of the adult.

     Example: Margit loved designing women's clothes. Her designs brought compliments and sales. She was forced to make a strategic decision. Either she could open up her own high end retail shop or she could become a design house. She chose the latter. Today Margit has her own design house and sells her designs to clothing manufacturers. 

     Sorting out the possibilities of which way to take a business can be daunting. But it is not wise to let the business drift with the times--you want to be ahead of the times, ahead of the waves that will surely wash over your business. (See my previous blog--Business Drift.)

     Example: Several years ago, I met a man who had a business repairing and selling old vacuum cleaners. He had established his business when he retired, and he had attracted a loyal and growing clientele. I was incredulous. Who would want an old vacuum cleaner? Everybody who knows the difference, he assured me. It was an eye opener. He reminded me that old vacuum cleaners were built to last--with all metal parts. Today, vacuum cleaners are made mostly with plastic parts--and they wear out and break. People in the know, he explained, pay big bucks to have their old vacuum cleaners repaired--or they buy one on display for sale. These days, he is repairing vacuums in heaven. But in the years between retirement and going to the great beyond, he built a nice business on his passion for vacuum cleaners.

     A special business can be built out of the things you're passionate about. If you're interested, others are interested. And therein lies a market. 

     Be passionate about what you do. If you're not, you're in the wrong business. Sometimes the best way forward is to figure out where you once were. Your time on this planet is limited. Spend it well. 


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