Author Topic: If You Could....  (Read 1104 times)

diesel

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If You Could....
« on: July 19, 2021, 12:26:27 PM »
As someone who becomes more and more intrigued by the idea of starting "something of my own" by the day, I'd like to hear from some of the more seasoned veterans of this forum.

If you could (or are) start a new business/side hustle right now, what are some things you would look into?

Obviously I know there is more to it than just taking someone's idea and running with it, but I am interested to hear from some of the entrepreneurial minds about where they see opportunities in today's market.

valsecito

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Re: If You Could....
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2021, 05:50:22 AM »
software solutions: freelance or consulting.

cool7hand

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Re: If You Could....
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2021, 11:23:42 AM »
What's a service or product that you think should exist but doesn't? Would creating it serve one of the six human needs that you most identify with such as growth or contribution? And here is a paraphrase of three questions Seth Godinís says you should ask to help know whether to pursue a business or opportunity: (1) What sort of resources are you willing to commit, including time, money, and emotion? (2) Who are your customers (because if you hate your customers, youíll hate your business)? (3) Are you looking for something that makes every day better or something that is a grind with a prize at the end of the endeavor?

Malcat

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Re: If You Could....
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2021, 01:14:54 PM »
There are really several ways to have "something of your own", so you will have to define exactly what that means to you in order to get any meaningful help.

I've literally never had a full time job as an employee for anyone, all of my jobs have been self employed and they've all been so wildly different, I can't draw much of a commonality.

For example, I was self employed, but worked as an independent contractor in a role that was very similar to being an employee. But technically I was.self employed.

At any point I could have purchased the business I was contracting for or partnered with the existing owner. I didn't want to because it was not a business model that I wanted to be leveraged in.

I had multiple consulting side gigs, which were also self employment, but more independent than the main contract gig, so I really wasn't reporting to anyone.

My family own brick and mortar retail businesses, and my mom was a dog breeder and a management consultant. In addition, my brother is a photographer, a cousin owned a paint store, a few family members are writers, one owns a vegan protein supplement company, another owns a speaker company, and another owns tons of real estate, two of my exes own small software companies, another is a filmmaker, another is a partner in a law firm, another co-owns hospitals, and a dear friend owns a bunch of religious websites. This insane range of self employment all falls under the umbrella of "having something of their own"

The world of "having something of your own" is actually broader in scope than the world of being an employee. There's way more range and possibility.

You need to narrow down though the key factors of self employment that you are looking for.

The main benefits of self employment are:
-greater autonomy
-full ownership of the profits

These can both be pros and cons. Full autonomy also means full responsibility, which really is a double edged sword.

Full ownership of the profits also means full ownership of the expenses and losses. Remember how I said I avoided ownership in my industry? This is because after the business loan costs and overhead, I was taking home over double what the owner was and I was working part time.

So first narrow down what you are looking to gain from having "something of your own" and then work from there to find something that can meet your goals.

From there, you need to figure out if you want to capitalize on a professional skill you already have, or break into a totally new line of business.

Smokystache

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Re: If You Could....
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2021, 07:22:04 PM »
I think there is a big difference between a) wanting to build a business that is your entire focus and want to make a full-time income vs. b) side-hustles that will likely stay side-hustles. If you want some extra money, then I think there are lots of gigs (Amazon reselling, etc.) that you can find on different websites/lists. The problem with many of these is that there is not much barrier to entry and other people will likely copy you and then undercut you.

If you want to build a business/career and be self-employed, then you need to focus on either serving a local market that you can create an advantage in (and build relationships with your customers) or serving a niche that might be spread over a larger area, but still something you can focus on. The industry I serve is primary ~20,000 privately owned small businesses in the US. I have about 1% of them as clients. That is enough that I can focus my marketing, build relationships, stay abreast of the field, etc. Can someone else provide the service I do? Sure - but they're going to have to convince my customers (who I know by name) to switch away from me and take a chance on them. Unless they can offer something at a much lower price or much higher value, it isn't gonna happen.

The other thing I'll mention is that I foolishly thought I needed to come up with something (product/service) that was completely new. That rarely works. Look at what people are already spending money on. Find out a way to make it even better for the customer (less work for them/more valuable). Borrow ideas from other fields. But focus on services/products that are already working and have been shown that people/businesses will purchase.  Good luck!

SeattleCPA

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