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  • #967463
    Alchemisst
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    Hi, guys, I’ve wanted to start a business for a long time, never really been sure what though, I know what type I don’t want to start; anything to do with food or restaurants/cafes. I have some cash saved up so buying an existing business would be an option though I’d likely still need some type of loan. I’m always looking on ebay and business for sale websites for ideas/ possibilities but its not really going anywhere I guess. Any advice?

    #1026339
    rowan
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    Hi,
    My advice to you is not to jump into something on the spur of the moment. There are heaps of opportunities out there. Here are some questions you could ask yourself.

    1, What is you passion? Do you have any interests or hobbies that you love and are good at? If you have a specific interest, you might be able to see something that is missing in the supply chain, or a service that the others don’t do as well as they should.
    2, Do you like to work with your hands making, or repairing things? Maybe you have enough knowledge on a topic to teach or advise others about it.
    3, Would you prefer to work part, or full-time for yourself?
    4, Do you really have the passion to work for yourself, with all the problems and long working hours it takes; or is it just something to dream about, and you really would be better working for someone else who can take care of all the paperwork?

    If you can whittle down what you want to do to a certain area send me a private message, and I may be able to help with a solid direction.

    I would advise you to start slow and not spend too much at first until you are sure you are going in the direction you want.

    Cheers,
    Rowan

    #1026340
    FletcherTax
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    I agree with Rowan

    Find something connected to your passion. Running your own business involves long long long hours – so you might as well find something you enjoy doing. You’ll find that leads to better growth too!

    Happy searching and don’t give up,

    Janna

    #1026341
    Karen Wardle
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    I agree with Rowan, especially the part where he says, not to jump into anything on the spur of the moment.

    What is the best start up business for one person will be entirely different for the next.

    Rowan has provided a good list, when compiling it, also think about whether you prefer to work indoors or out, in a team or on your own. Answering these questions, along with the ones Rowan has suggested, might not give you an immediate idea but they will certainly eliminate some poor choices.

    Think also about your personal traits and attributes. Are you patient, creative, methodical, a good listener, better with people, words or numbers. The list goes on. Start with a personal assessment, include your likes and dislikes and see what you can come up with.

    Once you have done so you can then look at businesses that ‘fit’ with your interests, strengths, budget etc.

    Good luck, please let us know what you decide :)

    #1026342
    Alchemisst
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    Thanks for the replies. Always seem to get asked those questions, I have no idea what my passion is I’ve been trying to figure that out for a long time (money would be my only answer.. even thought that’s the ‘wrong answer’) Other than that I’m not sure what I’d like to do I’d prefer indoors though.

    Regards,

    Alex.

    #1026343
    Karen Wardle
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    Hi Alex

    What do you like to do in your spare time. If you have a day off work what do you enjoy doing.

    If you had everything taken away from you what one thing (other than family and friends, health etc) would you miss the most?

    If you didn’t have to work for financial reasons and could do what ever you like, what do you think you would do? Can you get involved somehow in whatever that activity might be.

    We are usually good at the things that we enjoy, so what do you enjoy?

    #1026344
    Alchemisst
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    Investing/ the stock market I guess, though couldn’t really turn that into a business. And sport, but can’t see anything out of that either unless I wanted to be a fitness instructor or a coach.

    #1026345
    rowan
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    You need to think outside the square. Sports people need managers for their sponsorships and other deals – but that line of work would be difficult to get into without inside contacts and proven experience.
    Sports writing, a sports magazine, sports photography, niche sport clothing store – some potential sport related business ideas that come to mind. How about specialising is arranging for well known sports people as speakers at functions or opening events?

    Investing in the stock market is a popular business, it is something that you can start with only a few thousand dollars – as long as you do your research beforehand.

    I would suggest that you get some education in one of these fields if you are interested in pursuing them. A few degrees or other ‘papers’ can go a long way to developing credentials. This will also give you some confidence and give you some other ideas.

    #1026346
    Alchemisst
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    Sports- looked into it from a few angles. I only really enjoy ‘playing sports’ a lot of my friends did sports related degrees at uni because it was what they enjoyed. None of them got a job in the area. So I think I’ll just keep to playing sport. Trading, I already trade shares, but to make it a full time job I’d have to become a day trader which imo doesn’t work.

    Regards,

    Alex.

    #1026347
    Aikibizcoach
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    Hi Alex
    It’s common to not know exactly what you want to do. Very few of us know from an early age that we want to be a e.g. doctor. Take the pressure off yourself. Perhaps start by setting some personal goals for yourself without worrying about the business. Also the mere fact that you are sharing your interest in a business with others will help stir up opportunity.

    I agree with Janna, Rowan and Karen when they say find your passion or at least something that interests you because you will be spending a lot of time doing it. If you think of an interesting idea, go research it for a week or so. There is a mountain of information online and you can go talk to people in that particular business. As one of the other soloists said earlier, there is nothing like more knowledge to stimulate opportunity.

    It sounds as though you are ready to spend and borrow a significant amount of money on a business when you find something you like. Before you take the leap please do your homework and make sure that there is real demand for what you offer. Sometimes passions can be very unprofitable.

    Good luck
    Gary

    Business coach, Financial planner, Aikido enthusiast
    http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

    #1026348
    Karen Wardle
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    Aikibizcoach, post: 31524 wrote:
    It sounds as though you are ready to spend and borrow a significant amount of money on a business when you find something you like. Before you take the leap please do your homework and make sure that there is real demand for what you offer. Sometimes passions can be very unprofitable.

    Great advice!

    #1026349
    James Millar
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    I tend to disagree with the “find your passion first approach”. I think the first step is determine whether you’re primary motivator / objective is investment (and profit motive) or whether its passion / lifestyle. More often than not the two are mutually exclusive (or they end up being – despite the best intentions). Of course there are some SME’s that start with a passion and end up being very profitable but they are unfortunately the vast minority (it does of course depend on what you consider “profitable” – i.e. minimum acceptable rate of return / opportunity cost evaluation for both time and money spent).

    Passion tends to cloud better judgment – it’s a personal choice. I’ve posted this up here before (http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/starting-business/5348-self-appraisal-why-am-i-going-into-business-what-my-capabilities.html) but I suggest you try and make an initial assessment of what is more important to you – passion or profit / ROI. The basic extract for this is (a completely honest rating self assessment is required for each)

    Motivations for going into business (rating 1 to 5)

    (a) To achieve financial goals and profits 1 2 3 4 5

    (b) Lifestyle reasons (such as flexibility with working hours, conditions and control) 1 2 3 4 5

    (c) Family business and succession of 1 2 3 4 5

    (d) Personal interest or a passion for the underlying business product or service. 1 2 3 4 5

    The motivations tool allows you to determine where you sit on the spectrum, starting at pure profit motive at one end through to pure lifestyle at the other.

    Even though this is widely regarded as a “small business forum”, it is also a small business “investment” forum. Owners are “investing” their time and money to achieve an acceptable rate of return (whatever that is). How many people on this forum would sell boring old widgets if it provided them with massive net margins each year (as is hundreds of thousands / millions of dollars)? I think if that opportunity arose, many would depart their traditional careers despite the fact that they have no personal interest in widgets. And yes – such opportunities do really exist.

    Food for thought.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1026350
    rowan
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    I agree with you on some points but personally, I could not do a good job if I was not interested in the theme of my business, or in the products that I was selling.
    A person with a real interest in his/her products will not only be passionate about selling them, but will have personal knowledge of them.

    Example – If I was a customer looking for the right wheelchair for my disabled father (real life scenario) I might ask some in depth questions that a person who just sold disability aids with only profit in mind would have trouble answering. If that business owner had a real interest in disability aids, s/he would be able to tell me all the pros and cons of particular chairs with personal knowledge – and I would know that I was getting the right one for my particular circumstances.

    I also could not find the will to go to work and work those long hours if I did not love my business.

    I do agree though that many people do make bad choices based solely on their passions, without doing enough (of the right) research.

    Just my take,
    Rowan

    #1026351
    James Millar
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    • Total posts: 1,739
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    No doubt – if you want to work “in the business” rather than just “on the business” then detailed operational knowledge and expertise is critical. Certainly if you are involved in the face to face sales process with customers then you need an detailed knowledge of what you are selling, how to maintain it etc etc. Typically a micro business operates this way.

    If you want to just work “on the business” (managing) rather than “in the business” (operational) then detailed product knowledge and enthusiasm for is less important. More typically an SME thats progressed beyond micro stage.

    I agree though – it is very hard to sell something day in day out (at the coal face) unless you enjoy what you are doing.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1026352
    Alchemisst
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    • Total posts: 26
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    JamesMillar, post: 31645 wrote:
    I tend to disagree with the “find your passion first approach”. I think the first step is determine whether you’re primary motivator / objective is investment (and profit motive) or whether its passion / lifestyle. More often than not the two are mutually exclusive (or they end up being – despite the best intentions). Of course there are some SME’s that start with a passion and end up being very profitable but they are unfortunately the vast minority (it does of course depend on what you consider “profitable” – i.e. minimum acceptable rate of return / opportunity cost evaluation for both time and money spent).

    Passion tends to cloud better judgment – it’s a personal choice. I’ve posted this up here before (http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/starting-business/5348-self-appraisal-why-am-i-going-into-business-what-my-capabilities.html) but I suggest you try and make an initial assessment of what is more important to you – passion or profit / ROI. The basic extract for this is (a completely honest rating self assessment is required for each)

    Motivations for going into business (rating 1 to 5)

    (a) To achieve financial goals and profits 1 2 3 4 5

    (b) Lifestyle reasons (such as flexibility with working hours, conditions and control) 1 2 3 4 5

    (c) Family business and succession of 1 2 3 4 5

    (d) Personal interest or a passion for the underlying business product or service. 1 2 3 4 5

    The motivations tool allows you to determine where you sit on the spectrum, starting at pure profit motive at one end through to pure lifestyle at the other.

    Even though this is widely regarded as a “small business forum”, it is also a small business “investment” forum. Owners are “investing” their time and money to achieve an acceptable rate of return (whatever that is). How many people on this forum would sell boring old widgets if it provided them with massive net margins each year (as is hundreds of thousands / millions of dollars)? I think if that opportunity arose, many would depart their traditional careers despite the fact that they have no personal interest in widgets. And yes – such opportunities do really exist.

    Food for thought.

    Thanks for the replies, I did the assessment and I’d definitely be going into business for the profit aspect and running my own business rather than having a passion for the type of work I guess, as I don’t really know what type of job I’d ‘love to do’ day in day out. I don’t know many people that love their jobs either.

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