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Do You Need to Invest Big to Start a Profitable Business?

Have you ever dreamed of starting a profitable business of your own, but believed it was impossible because you don’t have a lot of money to invest? Maybe you don’t realize it, but there are literally hundreds of ways that people realize this kind of dream–not with money, but by capitalizing on their existing experience and knowledge.

We’re going to offer you some examples in this series of ways to start your own profit-making enterprise without joining some club or group or putting down a lot of up-front money.

Our first case study going to start with an individual who owns some basic home workshop tools and has experience fixing things around the house. But it’s going to be applicable to other instances of small businesses that profit by doing things for other people.

Identify a Niche

Do you know anyone who doesn’t have complaints about the little nagging repairs they need done around their house? Maybe they could fix it themselves but don’t have the time or the confidence. The valve on the toilet needs to be replaced. An overhead fan or light needs repair. The porch steps have a broken board. The deck needs cleaning.

A lot of people would willingly pay a reasonable fee to get these “nuisance” jobs taken care of–and a lot of contractors just can’t be bothered with jobs this small. This is a real opportunity niche for the enterprising home handy person.

What do you Charge?

There is a standard formula financial advisers suggest for pricing services in this kind of small business. Figure what you think you would have to pay a “lone wolf” handyman–say $15 per hour, depending on your local market–and triple that. Your business will offer home repair services for something like $45 or $50 per hour.

Get a Gimmick

You will need to attract some initial attention to start your profitable business. Think of an introductory promotion that will make your services too good to pass up. For instance, you might offer a special “All-You-Can-Eat Home Repair Day,” where someone with an accumulation of little projects can hire you for a whole day at a reduced rate to do “whatever they need done” from your roster of offered services. If you would ordinarily charge $360 for a day’s work, you advertise your special deal of a whole day’s work for $225.

How do you find clients?

This doesn’t have to cost a lot. Post your services at local on-line sites like craigslist and put eye-catching signs on the bulletin board in local stores. For a relatively small fee you might place an ad in the local penny saver. Spread the word through your friends and family. If you’re comfortable in the sales role, you could even knock on doors.

What should you expect?

Some of these techniques should get you business pretty quickly. Maybe you’ll line up 4 or 5 jobs in a week. At your “introductory” rate of $225, that could come to $1,000 for one week of labor. If you’re using a telephone promotion, new jobs may be lining up while you’re at work. And when you’ve got a few free hours, you can put them to use further promoting your services.

As long as you can provide the quality of service people are looking for, your business will soon start to grow on its own. Once you’ve proven yourself and your customers know they can rely on you, they are likely to return and be willing to pay your full rates. They’ll tell their friends about you. Next thing you know, you may be hiring people to work for you and expanding the range and profitability of your services.
So yes, you can start a profitable business and build financial success and independence without needing a big starting investment–other than your own skills and energy.

Reasons Why You Want to Start a Business – Financial Security?

Most new entrepreneurs come into their new found venture very optimistic, full of hope and reams. The way it should be. There are dreams of money and freedom, I had those by the way. So what happens afterward? For most entrepreneurs comes a high learning curve, it is the realities of risk taking versus reward reaping. Eventually the rewards will be reaped but in the beginning there is a lot more giving than taking. First you should set realistic financial goals ones that you can achieve, you should also set time frames for those goals.

Financial planning is a broad topic so here lets just focus on the aspect of financial goal planning as a budding entrepreneur. You should set your sights on earning more than what you think you need because it is better to have more cash than less.

Second you should borrow as little as possible to get started, in most cases that is nearly impossible, but you will be surprised at all of the alternative options available after you put some research and thought into it. Each case will be different and only you as the expert in your business knows how to get it off the ground. Your goals should be realistic such as increasing your revenues 10% or earning an extra $300/week for example. Do not set goals that will be nearly impossible to achieve, I know if you are an entrepreneur you confidence exudes out of you but please do not set yourself up to fail, its not a good feeling.

You should also set financial goals that have a time frame, for example, how much you want to earn in five years. The same rules apply as already stated. Having a time frame for your finances will help you know how much you have progressed in your new career. Both short term and long term financial planning will aid you in avoiding a lot of wasted money as time passes.

On last thing to mention is that plans are just that. Flexibility is the key and it is your job as an entrepreneur to adjust you sails of the winds of change of the business world and direct your venture to where you want it to go. One basic rule to remember is that plans are good for charting a course, but your ability to adapt to the certain changes that will always happen is what will get you to your destination.

After your financial goals are clear you can then plan on other aspects of your business. Always remember to set aside in your budget money to put away in reserves. No other method is so financially sound as that one. Savings will always give you security and greater command of your business. Next to savings are investments which again should be conservative until you have enough to be more aggressive.

You financial security will largely depend on how well you set goals, budget wisely with savings included, and invest conservatively. There will be time to be more aggressive with your business financial affairs, but at the beginning you should take it easy until you have a steady flow of income.

Why the Taxi Driver Can Make You Tens of Thousands of Dollars Investing in Commercial Real Estate

It may sound hard to believe, but, when it comes to where and what kind of apartment or commercial property you should be looking at investing in and or becoming an owner of, the taxi cab driver and TV reporter are sometimes your best indication of what kind of property you should choose.

I know, sounds like I may have finally fallen off of my rocker. Upon reflection, it does sound a bit crazy, so, having said this let me explain it in a little better detail for you with a story.

A few months ago I needed to do some traveling and I flew into a well known city located in the SE part of the US.

I grab my luggage from the airport and find a cab to take me to my hotel. The gentleman or cabbie driving me was very helpful. Not only was this cabbie helpful with my baggage but he also helpful in telling me that I should not buy any real estate in this market.

How did a cabbie convince me that this was NOT the place to buy real estate?

By proceeding to tell me that the marketplace was hot. People are buying properties and turning around and selling them for hundreds of thousands more the same day or in some cases the next day. If I was smart he says I would be going to buy this property so I could profit on this too.

No offense to my cabbie friend OK. But, if a cabbie is telling me how hot the real estate market is that tells me that the market is about ready to either have a major slowdown or a huge correction.

Why? I will tell you in a bit.

So, I get out of the cab and proceed to my hotel room. The first thing I do upon getting there was flip the TV on. Well, while flipping through channels I run across a local TV news program and a local reporter is telling me about, you guessed it, how hot the real estate market is and how much money people are making.

Once again, the decision NOT to buy here was made even stronger to me.

Some of you may be thinking something along the lines of, “Darin, you had two people tell you how great the market was and this was all in the same day. So, why not buy there, wasn’t there evidence that the market was good?

Yes, there was evidence, but let me tell you something. When the “common folk” such as a cabbie start to tell me what kind of property I need to be investing in that is a sure sign that this is the property to avoid. In other words, if these folks know about it, if folks “on the street” and “not in the real estate know” are experts in this it is time to run away from these kind of investments and this kind of property.

Look what happened in the recent dot com bust? Same kind of thing. Only the same kind of rules DO apply to real estate as well.

The big lesson? When it comes to owning and investing in apartments and commercial investment property, the smart thing is to do is WHAT OTHERS ARE NOT DOING – Make sure you do not follow the masses. Do what 99% of the people don’t do.

This will be the best path to success for you in the apartment and investment real estate business. Let me tell you, you will be tempted. Don’t fall for it.