Entrepreneurs "Do It Yourself" Marketing Month on June, 2017: what are 5 most important questions to ask yourself when starting a business (idea)?
June, 2017 is Entrepreneurs "Do It Yourself" Marketing Month 2017.
As a former failed entrepreneur I will offer this piece of advice first....don't go into a sweat equity business with two other partners that you REALLY don't know. I was a technical/marketing type person and was asked to join 2 others in an oil/gas pipeline services enterprise. They were to provide the money and contacts to open doors. I was to develop the concept and provide marketing expertise.
I did my part...sourcing an instrument to do the job (new concept...no commercial instrument on the market) and developed the software after it was built. They did not do their job. They started to encroach on my side making promises I could not deliver to clients...being a third party I was always out voted. Luckily, I demanded some form of protection by insisting the company at least had existence as a private firm with equal shares among the 3 of us. Though we did not earn any money as salary (sweat equity) when I finally had enough and left I was able to sell my shares back to them for some money for my efforts.
We had many successes technically and lots of interest in the process (my work) but I guess I made it so easy the other 2 partners felt anyone could do my job.....the company struggled for another 6 months then folded. A sweat equity operation with 3 partners is slavery.
I tell you this story as I learned an important lesson for myself....if I was to get involved in a business, I would not be equal partners with 2 others...I would be the boss and hire the expertise in other matters that I would need.
The questions I would ask are:
1. Is this a great idea that is currently not done...or are you thinking on IMPROVING on something that is already done
2. If it is a manufactured product...Are you going to do the manufacturing yourself? Contract the manufacturing to someone else? or simply find a company in the field, license the manufacture and distribution to them and simply collect a royalty for sales.
3. If it is a manufactured product, how are you going to protect your intellectual property. Patents and the process of getting them are expensive...and don't forget to expand that patent to other countries...not just your local area.
4. How much money is the venture going to cost? Where are you going to get this funding? Just developing a prototype for patent purposes and proof of concept costs a fortune.
5. How are you going to market the product or service? Do you start locally then run the risk of good ideas getting copied and leap frogged over you in other market areas...advertising, timing
6. if it is a small ma/pa store type business, you still must spend time searching your area for the customers demographic and location to get the best chance of success...negotiating suppliers, rents or do you buy the building to insulate you from landlord problems once established.
7. How is this business going to affect your family life? You will be putting long hard hours getting established...it WILL be hard on relationships...especially when stresses associated with the business demand your focus over family.
That is 7 ....I could go on....I don't think that there are MOST IMPORTANT questions...at some time ALL questions become important....you cannot jump into things without really thinking things through and developing a comprehensive Business Plan where the questions are addressed in writing. Product or service/ delivery /suppliers /employees /MONEY /location /competition .... there are 7 issue areas right there each is important.... then comes the last FAMILY... are you putting them and your relationship at risk?
How to get into the stock market for absolute beginners?
Before you spend $0.01 on any investment, you must know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how to do it. Before you invest in any security, the first investment you should make is in yourself, and the best investment you can make is by educating yourself.
Start your education by learning why you should invest and the importance of being able to make your own decisions or how the pro’s make theirs.
Here is some reading material that can get you started in the right direction,
Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered, by Gallea
From Riches to Rags, by I.C. Freeley
Millionaire Traders, Lein & Schlosberg
How to Make Money in Stocks” by William O’Neil
24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success by William O’Neil
The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham
Common Stocks, Uncommon Profits, by Philip A. Fisher
One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Stocks for the Long Run, by Jeremy Siegel
The Interpretation of Financial Statements by Benjamin Graham
The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing by Paul B. Farrell
The Warren Buffett Way by Robert Hagstrom
Trading for a Living, by Alexander Elder
Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits by Joel Greenblatt.
What Works on Wall Street by James O'Shaunessey
You Can Be a Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt
Your Money and Your Brain by Jason Zweig
Get into the habit of making daily visits to some websites like MSN Money and Yahoo Finance. ( ,
Other website that can provide instructions and help with procedures and terminology are Investopedia -
Visit some of the more professional websites like Zacks Research - Smart Money - Schaeffer’s Some of these web sites will have advertisers who are worth looking into also. And remember, if they offer free information, get it. Or you can meet others who are trading at
Attend all the free seminars you can, just be careful and don’t get pressured into anything you really don’t want or need. Most schools offer courses in finance and economics, but very few will have courses on the mechanics of the investment markets, if they do try taking the course. You may want to consider on-line courses, the New York Institute of Finance use to have such courses. Try to get some fee information from the stocks exchanges they all have (had) free booklets, SIAC and some of the regulators (FINRA SEC MSRB CBOE) may provide some free literature.
And when you think you want to invest/trade, try some paper trading to test your skills without spending you money and/or
You at least have made the right decision to start investing, this is the first big step and it won’t be your last. Keep taking those steps forward and along the way never take the advice from people that are not in the market or try to tell you not to invest.
Good luck on your journey, study hard and you’ll invest well.
Some job ideas for an Guy with a entrepreneur mindset?
I feel your pain brother. There are several ways you can go about this, and its totally up to you how you choose to do it.
The first way to go about becoming your own boss is to start small. I highly recommend this method. As the old saying goes, it takes money to make money, so you're not going to make a lot of money at first, if you don't have much money to invest. So let's just say you have $200 burning a hole in your pocket, and you want to turn it into $400, and you want to do it by selling motorcycle related products.
So, you can't buy much with $200, but lets say you search online and find a good deal on gloves emblazoned with the Harley Davidson logo, so let's pretend that they are at an awesome deal, only $25 each, and you buy eight of them. Since your strapped for cash, you can't afford a booth at the local flea market, so you decide to post them online, maybe on ebay, or craigslist, and price them at $50 pair, because they are regularly priced at $69.95 at your local Harley Shop (they're high quality leather gloves remember).
So you flip pizzas for six months, and at the end of that six months you've sold all of your gloves! Now you have $400 to invest, because you didn't spend any of it. Not only that, but you decide to invest an addiontal $100 of your own money. This time you diversify your stock. You found an excellent deal on some Zippo Harley lighters by searching out a supplier in China online. You also buy some bandannas, a few more gloves, license plates, and a harley clock. Now you've got enough stock that you feel like you might make a showing at your local flea market, or a citywide yardsale.
Long story short, you keep reinvesting until have a sizable stock of merchandise, and you continually grow your business. This can be a very slow processes, but it allows you to have total control of your business. The good news is, it also allows you to identify which products sell and which don't, and to adjust accordingly. The better the products sell, the faster you'll get your RTI (return on investment). Eventually, you'll be at a point where you can start giving yourself a paycheck, rather than pumping additional funds into the biz.
Okay, method 2, I don't recommend. It involves banks and loans, and fast tracking yourself by going into debt. The banks don't like us little guys these days anyway, so its probably not really an option anyway.
Method 3 would be to pursue an education in business administration, marketing, or entrepreneurship, and try to convince other people to let you play with their money and grow their business for them. That's fun for some people, but I prefer to be in business for myself most of the time, becuase it is just that, FUN.
So there you go. The way to get unstuck is to slowly unstick yourself. Keep a close track on your expenditures, don't fall for any scams or get rich quick schemes, and grow your business a little more each year, until its as big as you want it to be. You may encounter set backs occasionally, but the way I look at it is, I invested $200, everything beyond that is just gravy. As long as you have something to fall back on until you really grow your business into something that can sustain itself and you too, you'll be in no danger of really losing anything, except for a little time, and as long as you're having fun, that won't seem like a real lose either. I personally get a thrill out of every sale, so I love it. I hope you do too. Best of luck to you.
Sincerely, Varon Cook