Your Business Startup:Have You Chosen the Right Business? Mike Armour I routinely ask encore entrepreneurs why they chose to start a business. As you might expect, their answers range far and wide. And I’ve noticed that the responses fall into … Continue reading
5 Reasons There’s Never Been aBetter Time to Start a Business Mike Armour This is the greatest time in history to start a small business. Sure, money for startups is not easy to come by. The economy, while technically in … Continue reading
While planning is always important, many startups do not need an in-depth business plan to get underway. This is particularly true for initial projections of revenue over the first two years of the company.
Sometimes you just don’t have the data to make those projections. And focus groups are notoriously unreliable as a predictor of how the market will receive a product.
Therefore, your best strategy is not to bet the ranch on a single product or service, but instead to build your business by making a series of “small bets.” Put two or three products or lines of products in the market, holding your investment to a minimum, then monitor how potential customers react.
When a product or service seems well-received, expand it. When one is not well-received, abandon it and place another small bet. Success is more often than not the result of winning a lot of small bets rather than winning a single big one.
Without a doubt, there are unique challenges to starting a business in a low-performing economy. What’s often overlooked, however, is that there are equally distinct challenges for startups in good times.
When an economy is booming, retail and office space are more expensive, often notably so. Qualified workers are in shorter supply. And lower supply usually means higher wages.
Moreover, during strong economies, rates for advertising, equipment leases, and supplies typically increase. And because startups multiply so rapidly once an economy takes off, you may face more intense competition at the very time that you are still trying to establish your business.
Thus, while finding customers or clients is likely to be easier in a strong economy, the cost of launching your business is greater. So, too, are the early demands on cash flow.
In summary, then, you must contend with serious challenges, regardless of when you start a new business. Looking for the ideal time is likely to be more futile than fruitful.
Studies of thousands of business startups indicate that there is a significantly higher success rate among those founded by men and women who are 50 or older. In addition, as compared to businesses begun by younger entrepreneurs, those launched by encore entrepreneurs survive in much larger numbers when the economy is in retreat.Continue reading
Only a fraction of the people who consider starting a business actually follow through and launch one. Many factors hold them back. But none is more daunting than fear.
Fear itself is inevitable. We never know when some unforeseen event may trigger it. This leaves us but two choices. We will either manage our fears. Or our fears will manage us. Success with your business startup depends largely on which choice you make.
Here then is a seven-step process for managing the fears which may come with owning a small business.
Last week two of my clients launched a product which was immediately the buzz on sports blogs and news sites all over the web. This week television shows are calling, asking for interviews.
The product, called Schutt Vision, is the first point-of-view camera that is small enough, light enough, and rugged enough to be incorporated into a football helmet and provide fans with an opportunity to see the action from the perspective of players on the field.
Any business startup can profit from four lessons taken from the rollout success of the company that created the helmet camera.
Is Your Personality a Good Fitfor Your Business? Mike Armour Statistics tell us that the majority of encore entrepreneurs will start businesses in which they are the sole provider or the primary provider of services. The business itself, then, becomes … Continue reading
There seem to be far more ways for them to go bad than for them to succeed. Not that I would discourage anyone from entering a partnership. But you must do so with your eyes wide open. VERY wide open. I’ve spent much of my career as a business coach trying to salvage partnerships that were in trouble. From that experience I can truthfully say that having a dysfunctional partnership is a curse that I would not wish on anyone.Continue reading
For encore entrepreneurs, who often have a short time horizon for making their business fortune, buying a franchise is an attractive option. As a rule of thumb, properly chosen franchises cash flow much quicker and provide a faster return on investment than a business which you start on your own.
There are downsides to owning a franchise, however. And the cost of entry is often rather steep. So is buying a franchise right for you? And if so, what kind of franchise is your best choice?Continue reading