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Do You Need Consultation in Starting Your Own Online Business?

The world is run by money and business. People, who know how to do business, know how to earn more money than most people. The difference in the world nowadays is that most of the population is busy finding employment or working. These people often tend to start doing business after retirement. The world needs money to survive and one way of earning it is either finding a job or starting a business.

There are many business opportunities that can now be found online. This made others to start their own online business. Starting your own online business is easier than other businesses. This is because it you can take your business as far as you want to go and you can do it anywhere. You can get business planning assistance if you are not sure what to do. There are also many available business ideas in the online.

These ideas are very useful to get you started in planning what business you would want to do and what business really suits you. Most housewives who have access to the internet now have discovered that they can also earn a living even when they are at home taking care of their families. Home business opportunities abound through the help of the internet. When you engage in online business you can decide how many hours in a day you’re going to spend on your business.

If you want a larger market you can use the internet to advertise your products or services. This then generates more work and income for your business. Internet nowadays is not just a means to find new friends and lovers; it is also a good way to find new clients and consumers that will use your products and services. This is also a reliable way of communicating to people, especially your clients. Placing orders on the net is now possible and deals are sometimes done today through video conferencing.

When the business goes bad, you can easily find people online who offer online business consulting. This gives you more options on how to find the right business solution for your problem. It not only gives you more contacts or advisers, it also expands your network, which in turn, helps spread word about your business. Getting online business assistance actually gives you more options because you can get more than just a second opinion.

Business is always good to have around to give you income. You can also get money from doing what you love doing the most. The good part about the new changes in technology and the times is that it has brought business to a new level. It has brought business on the internet. This gives virtually everyone, the opportunity to improve their living conditions and aspire for something more by creating and starting their own business online.

Succession Planning Best Way to Get Top Dollar For Your Business

Growing up in a small business environment, watching your parents work harder and harder to make a good life for us as children I believe that my parents probably worked too hard and didn’t give themselves the opportunity to maximize the value of their businesses before retiring.

Succession planning should start earlier, not at age 65 when people retire, but several years before in order to determine an exit strategy which either passes along the family business to the siblings or to get the businesses ready for sale.  In Canada according to a CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) 70% of small businesses owners will retire in the next 5 years.  That provides 2 business scenarios for small business owners, one, that the businesses will be hopefully passed along to one of their siblings in order to quickly deal with the succession planning issue or two, that there will be a lot of small businesses coming up for sale.

But I believe that one of the biggest hurdles to succession planning is that small business owners who have had businesses for a long period of time actually think of their businesses as being part of the family like another child and there’s the emotional tug of war on deciding to give up the business even to their children if that’s the route they choose.  The more difficult decision is to decide to sell the business to an outsider and that’s probably one of the biggest reasons why people outside the business might view it as procrastination, but to the small business owner it could be more an emotional factor.  My parents were already past retirement age when they decided to sell some of their businesses and hang onto a few others.

This delay hurts both the employees of those businesses as well as the owners in that their is a definite lack of plan of going forward and the owner’s passion has already waned and they’re no longer really interested in running their businesses, but don’t want to necessarily letting go.

These businesses have been profitable but the owners’ have had a hard time taking time away from the day to day running of the business, or taking a step back to look at their business at the 10,000 foot level and trying to setup their business to become saleable at the most attractive price.

A study released late last year by business transition specialists ROCG Americas found only one in 10 owners received a price for their business near what they wanted or expected. The primary reason given was improper or lack of planning.

ROCG conducted the survey in North America and found that businesses with revenues between $1 and 100 million said that they were either too busy to plan for a business sale or it was too early to start thinking about it, even though 84% of them said it was important to their retirement plans.

“Many business owners are not aware of the complexity involved in the succession planning process, particularly in executing a divestiture transaction,” says Michele Middlemore, vice-president of Aon Corp.’s M&A Transaction Advisory Group. “Almost always, they underestimate the time and work and difficulty involved in getting something like that done. More often than not, they tend to postpone dealing with it and are not prepared adequately when the time is upon them.”

Businesses should be planning 2 or 3 years in advance for the divestiture.

One of the big ideas to put in place is the movement of the value of the business is from the business owner to that of the business itself.   Since small business owners are generally the drivers of the business, it’s usually been in the sales and marketing roles and this is one of the areas which has to be transitioned over to the company.  This is easier said than done, in that one quite often that there isn’t the bench strength to take over and this has to be brought into the company.  Their might be changes in technology which might be needed to brought into the company as well to allow to compete better.

One can look at the succession planning in a way is like embarking on a new business plan and here a corporate financial advisor can help with getting an independent valuation of a business to let owners know where the strengths and weaknesses lie and what to expect as a potential starting point for a dollar value of a business sale.

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, business succession is a process that requires thought, planning and time to arrange and execute: “Whatever your definition of success, making the commitment to let go of the business and place it in the hands of someone else is perhaps the critical factor that ensures your business transition goes smoothly and profitably,” the bank notes.

Just remember though that succession planning shouldn’t be determined by what the economy is doing or the stock markets, but by personal circumstance, if you’re ready to retire, then you should be planning for it in advance by 2 to 3 years.  The process is a complex one and is similar to building a new business plan, except that you’re trying to help build for the next set of owners’ to succeed and by doing so you and your family will get top dollar for your business you have built over the years.

Written by Richard Wong, CMA [email protected]

Mompreneur Advice – How to Get Started With a Business Idea

So, you’re thinking about starting a new business? Whether it’s to find a job that balances your work and family life or to create the next big idea- knowing where to start can be tough.

Once you’ve decided that you want to start a business the hard part is deciding what the business will be. There are literally thousands of business ideas out there. One of the most important parts of your decision will be to really think about what your goals and your core values are.

What kind of lifestyle do you want?

How much time are you able/willing to devote to it?

Do you have measures in place to help you with child care?

What hours do you want to work (9-5 or any time of the day or night)?

Are you willing to give up your weekends or holidays to devote to the business?

You are going to be spending a lot of time with your new business so you will want to make sure it is something you feel passionately about.

When I started One Tiny Suitcase it was based on a successful business model and service I had personally used while travelling. Baby Equipment Rental companies were quite common in the United States and I could see how it would be a good fit for a stay at home parent. When I got home from our vacation, I couldn’t shake the idea that this type of business was something that Calgary needed.

That’s one way to generate ideas for the type of business you want to start, by modelling it after what is working in another geographical location. But, there are lots of ways to start generating ideas:

- Improve on something that is currently on the market- There’s got to be a better way

- Follow an emerging trend ex: Eco-friendly

- Inspiration or frustration from your day to day tasks

- Using a skill you have developed or a passion of yours ex: photography

Once you have your “big idea” it’s time to do some research to see if it is viable.

Don’t be afraid to talk to “people in the know”. Have a great idea for a new baby bib design? Stop by some specialty boutiques and ask them what customers are asking for or what they would like to see. If they are already serving your potential customers they will be a great source of information.

I started asking local magazines, consignment stores and travel agents if they ever got requests for baby equipment rentals. The feedback I got was so valuable. Their answers encouraged me to keep going!

It can be hard to talk about your idea before you are up and running for fear that someone will start a similar business before you get going. Just remember, starting a business is hard work and anyone else who likes your idea would have to do just as much leg work to get it going.

Sharing your idea with friends is a great way to get feedback. Not only will your friends be a great source of support, they will be honest too. The day I told a friend about the business I was thinking of starting was nerve-wracking. I hadn’t really told my friends about my idea yet and wondered what her response would be. I said, “You know that baby equipment rental company I told you about in Hawaii? What if I started something like that in Calgary?” It was great to get her honest feedback about my idea.

Talking to other successful Entrepreneurs can be a good idea too. Don’t know anyone personally who has started a business? Do some research.

I always refer back to the story of the Entrepreneur behind the famous footwear brand ROBEEZ. Sandra Wilson was downsized out of her airline job and was looking for a business that would allow her more time to spend with her young son. She started ROBEEZ out of her basement and sold it years later for millions. Although her story might not be typical of many entrepreneurial ventures it provides some great inspiration.

Internet research is an essential part of the business planning process. You may be frustrated to find someone is already making your ‘big idea’ or that the demographic of where you live isn’t suitable for your product. You may also find that there is a gap in a market that you could fill. Using the internet, I was able to find examples of other similar businesses that proved my idea could work.

You can visit virtual stores all over the world, get statistics instantly, research trends and hot topics on news sites. Look at what is working (or appears to be working) elsewhere and see how you can tailor that to work in your area. When you are developing your business idea, the more research you can do up front, the better your odds are for success.

If, after doing some research you find evidence that may not support your business idea, you have to be willing to let it go and move on to the next idea. Getting stuck on an idea that isn’t supported by good information may mean that you waste a lot of time and potentially money.

When I started out somebody once said to me:

“You don’t necessarily want to be in a business that has NO competitors”

If no one else is doing what you want to do, make sure you ask yourself- why not? There might be good reasons why it hasn’t worked in the past. Or- maybe you will be able to tweak the idea and make it work. Analyzing your competition is part of the process.

It’s not the fun part but, you will have to take a look at your finances. Do you have some money saved up to get your business off the ground or will you need financing? If you plan to get external financing, you will usually be expected to contribute some of your personal money as well. This is a good time to ask yourself how much you are willing to risk. The rewards of entrepreneurship are great but so are the risks.

Having a supportive partner is crucial at this point. If your family relies on your income or if you will be starting your business with money from a ‘joint’ savings account, your partner will have to be on board with the level of risk too.

When I started my business, I chose my business in part because it did not require external financial assistance. Part of my ‘business idea’ was being able to run the business while still being at home with my kids. If I had to get a traditional bank loan that would have added even more pressure to an already ambitious venture. My husband and I agreed that I would withdraw $5000 from our personal line of credit to finance my start up.

Once you have an idea and you’ve done some research go back to the beginning and ask yourself what your goals are. Extra money? A challenge? An empire?

I’ve been lucky. I started my business to support my decision to stay at home with my twins. When they were young and the business was starting off slowly it was a good fit. Answering emails during naptimes and delivering orders in the evening worked. As my business grew, so did my children. Now I answer emails on my blackberry when we go to the park and deliver orders while they are in preschool.

Your overall goals will help you narrow down a business idea that works well for your lifestyle. The business will grow and you will have to make adjustments along the way. Start with a plan for the first year of two to get yourself started.

I have one very ambitious friend and fellow entrepreneur who says, “Too many people plan for what to do if their business fails but never plan for the possibility that it totally takes off and is a raging success.” She is a constant reminder of not only planning for set backs but also planning for success! Are you ready?