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Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to find New Small Business opportunities and Ideas in Nigeria

There are so many business ideas that are out there waiting for enterprising individuals to exploit and I can’t mention all of them because they are just too many to mention. But how to come across some of these ideas while they are still available is something I am only willing to share. We have to put on our thinking caps and keep our eyes open to find business ideas.

For the year 2012, a few places to look for business ideas include; studying the business model of other successful businesses, buying existing businesses, investing in a franchise, brainstorming, observing businesses among others.

Let’s start with studying business models. Imagine that you live in a particular place where there is high demand for apartments with a highly informed and internet savvy population. There is a potential for starting an online real estate agency. By studying other successful online real estate agencies and how they have achieved their results over time you get a number of business ideas that can really make a difference with your niche. This is one of the ways to find new business ideas in the year 2012.

Another way is by buying an existing business that isn’t really big but has some interesting potential that is worth exploring. Some businesses are run by people who are not very effective or are inexperienced, this offers an opportunity for business savvy people to buy those businesses and make them more profitable through improved management.

You might also consider investing in a franchise as well. Although franchises are common with retail businesses they however do exist in many industries and markets including manufacturing. So check around for franchise opportunities in 2012 they could be a viable source of business ventures.

Brainstorming questions have a powerful effect as well on finding new business concepts as well. Imagine a situation in which you can ask questions about ideas and opportunities in a very simple format and after say 20 minutes you are having more than 100 business ideas already. That is what brainstorming can do. It uncovers a lot of possibilities and ideas.

Sometimes a fantastic business idea might be staring you right in the face while are patronizing a business. Imagine (this is just an example) while at a queue in a fast food restaurant you notice that the restaurant is unable to manage customer orders effectively and this practice is widespread then you may have an opportunity. A little investigation of the idea might uncover an untapped opportunity.

So these are my suggestions on how to find some viable business ideas and opportunities that may be available in 2012.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Secrets of Successful Small Business Owners



For many successful small business owners, the journey to the top wasn’t easy. They had to overcome many challenges and face many problems along the way in their quest for business success. That journey always seems to be the same for everyone who ventures into business but what they make of it always seems to be the real difference on the long run. So here come the secrets of what many small business owners have done overtime to succeed in whatever business they put their hearts to.

Secret #1

Vision

Why are you in business? What would you like to be remembered for doing in business? That is what your vision should be about. Successful small business owners often ask themselves why they are in business and what they hope to be remembered for, that now serves as a launch pad for their business exploits. A great route to business success always starts with the question why am I in business? Making money shouldn’t be your answer because it is too short lived and narrow minded.

Secret #2

Passion

Do you love what you do in business? That is another key ingredient for successful small business owners, they are passion driven folks who focus much of their efforts on being relevant doing what they enjoy doing and getting paid for it as well. If anyone ventures into a business they are not passionate about, chances are that they will fail in business.

Secret #3

Goal Setting

The journey to the top in business is made much easier when the small business owner has goals he intends to achieve and works very hard to ensure that nothing stands in his way while trying to accomplish it. Goals give direction and purpose which in turn makes it worthwhile and possible to start and finish projects conveniently. With time the process of succeeding in small business becomes a breeze.

Secret #4

Planning

Are you a small business owner and don’t plan? You are asking for trouble if you do that because the lack of planning or the absence of a viable one is a major recipe for disaster in business. Many businesses are accomplished failures because of what planning failed to accomplish likewise operating without one. Better to have a bad plan, fail and learn from it than not to have one at all. It is important to plan in business and planning covers everything from marketing to finance to administration and so on.

Secret #5

Persistence

The quality of never say die, refusing to give up and with so many challenges and odds ahead of one is what makes most small business owners succeed. When you start a business and don’t see results in a few months time it is not enough reason to give up. Ask amazon and CNN why they succeeded although they are not small businesses but their persistence is very much relevant to small business owners as well. Persist provided you have a viable business opportunity to pursue, the only obstacles are the challenges, once you can overcome them then the route to success becomes clearer and faster.

Secret #6

Focus

Start and remain focused. Don’t deviate from your central theme don’t pursue various goals without allowing one to mature before swinging to another. Staying focused gives you a clearer understanding of your business. It makes you understand why you must succeed and how to succeed. It keeps you going on and helps maximize your resources while pursuing those goals you set for your business.

Secret #7

Constant quest for improvement

Do you like to learn and make improvements as you work? You are following the right path in business if you are always learning and improving yourself and your business processes, products and services. The strong desire to always learn and make necessary improvements in your work and business is a key ingredient many successful small business owners hold on to. So learn as much as you can and apply those lessons to yourself and your small business.

Secret #8

Diligence

Hard work is good but smart work is better. Diligence means being productive and resourceful not necessarily hardworking although hard work is still part of it. Formulating an effective way to manage your time and accomplish your goals will enable you make sense of your business exploits so that you don’t work hard and achieve nothing at the end of the day. Follow the path of diligence and watch how success is not a distant dream to experience any more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home based Business Ideas: Benefits and Challenges



There are a number of home based business ideas one can work on in order to start making extra income or part-time income. I have categorized these ideas into the following groups.

1.       Crafts Businesses
2.       Passive income Businesses
3.       Professional Services
4.       Online Part time Jobs
5.       Freelance Services
6.       E-commerce Business

Let’s start understanding these businesses one by one to see if by chance they are fitting for anyone looking for a side business or additional source of income.

1.       Crafts Business

The crafts business involves the production of handmade items such as drawings, paintings, toys, baby dolls, clothes, cardigans, even footwear and so on. There are so many products that can be made as crafts and this business is often times good for people who have hobbies that enable them express their creativity. So if you love to paint, decorate or do great things with your hands and are looking for an additional source of income then you should be giving crafts business a thought.

2.       Passive Income Business

These home based businesses often times generate residual income indefinitely. Income that comes from jobs that were done months or years ago not income that comes from every job you do. One of the best sources of passive incomes comes from internet marketing opportunities. People fail to realize the potential of the internet and the few that do are making a massive income from their blogs or websites even while they sleep in as much as the work they did initially has been several weeks, months or years ago. Internet marketing that results in residual income often takes the form of affiliate marketing and blogging although besides these one can write an ebook and publish online on a reputable book website and still make passive income. The challenge however lies in breaking into the market and dominating your niche because internet marketing is a highly competitive field.

3.       Professional Services

Are you a gifted graphic designer, web designer, programmer or expert in a particular field? You can start a home based business marketing your skills to a global audience online with your blog or website or even using a free listing website such as craigslist.com. The wonderful thing about rendering professional services is that you don’t really incur much costs and your earning potential is unlimited however you have to do a lot of marketing especially online or have a great reputation within your industry in order to make a head way in your business.

4.       Online Part time Jobs

For people who want to work from home instead, this is still a home based business. There are companies that offer people an opportunity to work from  home for instance www.elance.com is one of the world’s largest place for home based people to find work in various fields such as writing, programming, graphic design, web design among other services. Some people have even found work as customer service agents working right from home. This idea has the benefit of offering one great work and income but with domestic work possibly suffering if the job itself is very tasking.

5.       Freelance Services

This is closely related to working from home except that with freelance one is more flexible. You are you own brand and business. Look around the internet these days there are many people who render freelance services to companies as consultants. Some people write as bloggers for companies, some help companies manage and enter data while others still are programmers on their own. Freelance workers don’t have to face the hassles of regular employment but the disadvantage in it is the lack of job security. You have to make your bones as a freelancer.

6.       E-commerce Business

E-commerce businesses are gaining ground everyday as more businesses take their marketing campaigns online. Businesses are growing their presence online and many big brands are doing a lot to get their businesses, products and services to be seen by as many people as possible. For enterprising folks, companies such as ebay and amazon offer them the opportunities to start home based businesses. Some people make cool money on ebay selling used items while others make money on amazon as associates – referring paying customers to the amazon marketplace. The beauty in all this is that with e-commerce, you can conduct multi-million dollar businesses every year but still have no real office other than your home office. The drawback is in having to risk lose or waste a lot of money in marketing/advertising your website and possibly hiring professionals to do your marketing for you. But I’m not saying e-commerce isn’t lucrative only that it is highly competitive and has high operational costs.

So these are some of the home based business ideas I have classified and for which one may want to do but it all depends on what you want and can do by yourself. Just remember that as they have their benefits so too do they have challenges.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best ways to make money during Xmas - Business Ideas for Xmas Season



Here are 5 of the best easy to start businesses that can be explored this Christmas, actually at every Christmas. So it’s December and Xmas is around the corner, what are some of the businesses that can be pursued about this time?

1.       Preparing Xmas gift Hampers

There is hardly anyone who doesn’t believe in the spirit of the season which is sharing. A lot of people have a lot to share with others at Christmas especially with colleagues, their bosses at work, friends, lovers, relatives, church members, neighbors and so on. Think of the multitude of ways in which these gifts can be packaged. There are gift baskets called hampers, simple gift boxes and so on. So there is an opportunity to help people package gifts they can send to family and friends either as a way of impressing others or a way of demonstrating love for them.

2.       Xmas Decorations

Everybody loves to keep a well decorated ‘Xmas house’. Christmas trees, lights, and other decorations that give a home a traditional Xmas feel are usually in demand about this time of the year.

3.       Xmas Souvenirs

Souvenirs are also in high demand about this time. Some people would love to have special Xmas versions of popular items such as toys, branded shirts, even movies, 

4.       Xmas Party Planning

This may be common with kids but also adults do have their own Xmas party. At the office for instance or at other places of work parties are held to mark not just the end of the year but to celebrate the special Xmas season. Organizing parties for schools, offices and churches is a potential money maker during this season.

5.       Xmas Shopping Discounts

A lot of people do shop around Xmas. It is perhaps the busiest time of the year for shops and retailers and one thing shoppers love is discounts and other attractive reward programs. Stocking a store with valuable items that are relatively cheap will make shoppers troop down to your store if you’ve got one or alternatively for a few people that can order for large volumes of these items before the Xmas rush, would have the opportunity to sell off these stuff as if they are really cheap meanwhile all you have done is leverage on a seasonal opportunity of buying cheap ahead and selling cheap by offering discounts. That doesn’t mean you won’t make money though.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Make money Selling toys and Baby Products from Home


There is a money spinner in sale of toys to different markets but more especially for the rich and middle class. Children love to play and have fun and most parents are willing to do what they can to provide for their children. They love to see their children smile and be happy and wouldn’t mind doing what they can to put smiles on their faces. One of the ways kids love to have fun is to play with their toys especially toddlers and pre-teens (kids between 5 and 10 years). There is a range of products that can serve this market from baby dolls to toy guns, crafted super heros, comics, teddy bears and toy vehicles the list of potential products are quite many. But not all parents are satisfied with buying toys, some want their children to learn while having fun so they may want educational toys to be sold to them as well. For instance board and word games such chess, scrabble, jigsaw and other riddle games are also worth considering when thinking of going into the business of selling toys.

But there is another opportunity in baby products as well. Hair lotions, baby oils, nappies, baby clothes, shoes, cots and toys are also potential money spinners. Babies are adorable creatures and no better way to show them love than for their parents to buy things that will make them more comfortable and happier. There are also baby showers to consider. Selling a gift bag or basket containing a host of items targeted at babies isn’t a bad idea either. These items can be sold off to people and presented as gifts at child naming ceremonies, birthdays or even at weddings. Young married couples who are expecting to children very soon will especially be grateful for the opportunity to buy their unborn children lovely gift items to keep them happy.

The market is huge and the opportunity is very real, most middle class and upper class folks consider buying toys for their kids a part of the growing up ritual whereas baby items are a must for all classes. Tapping this opportunity is really worth all the trouble because there is a waiting market and what’s even better is being able to start the business with little capital and from home for that matter.