own your own business ideas
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Entrepreneurs are responsible for all financial aspects of their business.
Many people dream of owning a business and see it as a way to control their own destiny. Starting a business is an exciting venture that offers many benefits. However, you should also analyze what it takes to run a successful business. Although no special skills are required, running a successful company takes determination, patience and an understanding of business principles. Not fully understanding the advantages and disadvantages of owning your own company may hinder your path toward successful entrepreneurship.
When you work for an employer, you know your annual salary and little opportunity is available to earn more money on your job. Starting your own business gives you the potential to earn a high salary. Productivity, pricing and marketing plans are all under your control, and the income you earn relates to those activities. Although earning a high salary is not a guarantee, the potential to earn a lucrative income is available.
Owning a company gives you the opportunity to work in a field you enjoy. Working in an industry you re passionate about helps you better handle down times in your business. Owning your own business allows you to create and contribute, which gives you personal satisfaction. Most entrepreneurs working in a field they enjoy also bring their expertise, which allows them to offer innovative products and services to customers.
Entrepreneurship gives you the control over your business. If you operate a sole proprietorship, you make the final management decisions regarding your company. Some individuals thrive in situations where they experience independence. Owning a business gives you the power to control how active you are in the business. You can participate in every step of the decision-making process, or you can hire competent people to make decisions in the best interest of the company.
Many business owners work long and erratic hours, and some people view this as a disadvantage. Work schedules are the most grueling for new business owners, because they usually handle time-consuming administrative tasks. The responsibility of running the business ultimately rests upon your shoulders, so you may experience days when you need to stay in the office until the task is complete.
A disadvantage of owning a business is that you must incur financial risk. Whether you used your own savings or borrowed money for startup costs, the money invested in your company is at risk. Some companies go out of business and cause business owners to lose their initial investment or default on business loans. Even with a solid business plan, economic volatility can cause your business to lose money and eventually close for good.
Depending on your business structure, creditors and customers may possess the ability to seek your personal assets if you default on your business obligations. If a customer or vendor believes you acted in error, he may file a lawsuit against you. To protect your company’s assets, you can seek liability insurance for your business, but some new business owners may find it difficult to afford insurance premiums.
There are thousands of articles cautioning would-be self-employed types about the pitfalls of starting their own businesses, but almost nothing about how great owning your own business is.
One article certainly won t right the balance, but for the benefit of those who are thinking of plunging into the self-employed lifestyle and opening small businesses of their own, here is a summary of the best advantages of owning your own business.
Yep, the be your own boss thing is pretty great. I should lie to you and tell you that that means that no one tells you what to do, but people (customers, suppliers, government workers) will still tell you what to do all the time (and on bad days, might even tell you where to go, too).
The good news is that when you own your own business, you don t have to do what they tell you (most of the time). You have choices and you get to make the decisions.
From one kid who loved Legos to another, you know how satisfying that is. Want to become a multi-national exporter? Or create a program that increases numeracy among children? Or turn people s yards into truly beautiful spaces? When you own your own business, you get to shape and flesh out your dreams.
A TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey found that ninety-six percent of small business owners said that being able to help their customers and clients was one of the top benefits of owning a small business.
Small businesses also help people by creating jobs in their communities and being good community citizens.
For women, especially, owning your own business can give the lifestyle flexibility necessary to raise a family and still have a successful career.
Mompreneurs are a growing trend; according to the State-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 68% since 1997, with more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses operating in the U.S. in 2014 (Fox News).
But it s not just young(ish) women who can benefit from this advantage to owning your own business; people who are close to retirement or already retired may find owning their own businesses gives them both the chance to keep their hands in and to do something satisfying. (See The Best Business Opportunities for Retirees if you re of this age and want to get started.)
You certainly don t have to think back very far historically to come up with the name of a business owner whose enterprise has changed the world. Mark Zuckerberg anyone? Bill Gates? And your business doesn t have to become the next Facebook or Microsoft to be the agent of powerful change. Ten years ago, for instance, Torben Vestergaard Frandsen came up with the idea of the LifeStraw, a personal, low-cost water purification tool that is being used to provide safe drinking water to millions of people.
So okay, changing the world is a pretty ambitious target, but changing just a piece of it for the better is still a worthwhile effort that can be deeply satisfying.
Some businesses make truckloads full of money. Some don t. Most successful small businesses provide their owners with a living, not a fortune. But the point is, owning your own business opens up the possibility of making more than you could possibly make as an employee.
Working on the assembly line that produces cat clocks will bring you in a certain wage but what if, for example, there s a huge surge of demand for cat clocks and the company s profits soar astronomically? As an employee, you won t share in any of those profits. Businesses generally have much more opportunity to make money than individuals do.
The advantages of owning your own business listed above apply to all businesses with the caveat that those who choose to run retail businesses will find it more difficult to create a flexible lifestyle because of the demands of retail trade.
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Imagine handing a letter to your boss that reads, “Dear Boss, I’m writing to let you know that your services are no longer required. Thanks for everything, but I’ll be doing things my own way now.”
Imagine that today is your final day of working for anyone other than yourself. What if—very soon, not in some distant, undefined future—you prepare for work by firing up a laptop in your home office, walking into a storefront you’ve opened, phoning a client who trusts you for helpful advice, or otherwise doing what you want instead of what someone tells you to do?
All over the world, and in many different ways, thousands of people are doing exactly that. They are rewriting the rules of work, becoming their own bosses, and creating a new future.
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose — and earn a good living.
Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth — he s already visited more than 175 nations — and yet he s never held a real job or earned a regular paycheck. Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.
There are many others like Chris — those who ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful. Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn t depend on shelving what you currently do. You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you re sure it s successful.
In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.
Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment. It s all about finding the intersection between your expertise — even if you don t consider it such — and what other people will pay for.
You don t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees. All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid
Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick. Among Chris s key principles: if you re good at one thing, you re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish — sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.
In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold. Today, we know that it s up to us to change our lives. And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs. This remarkable book will start you on your way.
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Find a pick your own farm near you! This website provides local listings of pick your own (also called U-pick or PYO) farms in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other countries. There are crop calendars for each local area to tell you what is available to pick throughout the year, local weather forecasts and really easy illustrated directions to show you how to make jam, jelly, salsa, pickles, spaghetti sauce, applesauce, apple butter and 150 other recipes with step-by-step directions to can, freeze, dry or preserve the harvest.
Whether you call it pick-your-own, PYO or U-pick, it’s easy to find one near you! There is a Start here button (at the top of the left of every page). You then select your local area (country, state/province) and then region/county or local metropolitan area. Just scroll down the page that appears, to see tree farms, lots or events listed by county. The search engine can be helpful, too.
(Other countries are further down this page)
Want to find out when your favorite crop will be ready to harvest in your local area? Just go to this page and click on your state, to see the crop calendar for your area!
Our listings come from a variety of sources: consumers writing in to recommend a farm, the farmer’s themselves and state agriculture departments. We update and add listings every day. Of course, we re always looking for more to add, so we welcome your recommendations! Customers can recommend a farm here and farmers can add (or update/correct) their own farm’s listing by clicking here! And journalists looking for information for a story about pick-your-own farms or home canning should see this media resources page for more information.
I also post crop updates, trends, tips and commentary via Twitter . Just go to http://twitter.com/home and if you haven t got an account, sign up (they re free), then search for Blakepyo. I tend to send out only one or two per week, so it shouldn t be too much!
You can sign up for our RSS feed here!
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields – how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties – which to pick and why!] [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]
I know, we just said that online was for finding customers elsewhere, but search engines and social media outlets have got wise to the power of local businesses.
According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online, so it s important to have a presence online even if you only sell in one location.
All the major search engines now allow you to list your business for free, so that your geographic location and contact details appear when someone searches for your business/type of business and town or city. Sign up for Google Places, Bing and Yahoo.
Paid for search results can also be tailored so that your ads appear to people just in your town or county, meaning you don t pay for irrelevant clicks.
If you have a website, make sure it s well-optimised for local searches by using the name of your town, city or region in the page description, page title and in the content of the page.
Smart local businesses are also using social media to build a loyal customer base and keep them up to date on special offers.
Facebook pages come with a built in map, so people can find the exact location of your business and visitors to your premises can check in there, letting their friends know that they re at your business.
Getting your business mentioned in the local newspaper is not only free publicity for you, but also helps to build your profile within the local community.
If you ve got a story that you think is worthy of a place in the paper, the best thing to do is get to know your local journalists. Read more about getting your business in the local newspaper
PR can also be about being visible in the community, so get involved in local events and charities to support the local area and raise your profile.
Yellow pages and Thomson Local directories are updated and distributed to millions of households every year, but they also have online equivalents and offer small businesses discounts for buying advertising in both.
There are also plenty of free and paid-for local directories, plus local and trade organisations and publications may have directories you can join.
Advertising in local shop windows is the obvious choice for the business owner marketing on a shoestring, but for those with a budget you may want to consider advertising with local newspapers, magazines and radio stations to get the best reach.
Your adverts should be relevant to the title/station and preferably work with the content. Sponsoring a segment on radio or placing your ad next to a relevant feature will get the best return for your money.
Advertising also often works best when it is part of a campaign or series of adverts. Speak to the person selling the advertising to see what deal you can work out for multiple insertions.
It s important for your local business to be visible in the surrounding area and one way of doing this is by distributing printed materials like flyers, postcards and brochures at local information points such as libraries, pubs and cafes, hotels and tourist offices.
Outdoor advertising like billboards are seen as prohibitively expensive for small businesses, but hiring out one strategically placed outdoor ad can cost about the same as an advert in a newspaper and last a lot longer.
Outside promotion placed in close proximity to your business or where people might need to use your service work best. There are also a number of cost-effective ways of getting seen outdoors.
Posters can either be put up at local poster sights (for a fee), you can hang banners from or near your premises, or you could ask local non-rival businesses to display your posters in return for displaying theirs.
And rather than paying for an ad van , you can turn your own vehicle into a temporary advert using vinyl stickers with the logo/name and contact details of your business.
Collaborate with other small local businesses to offer a special deal to customers locally.
The aim is that each business involved will make an offer which benefits the other partner s customer and encourages them to take up both services. Between the businesses you can save money on promotional costs and get valuable referrals.
One of the benefits of being local is that you get to meet your customers face-to-face. One way to do this is through events, either ones you attend or host yourself.
Offer free promotional products or demonstrations of your service and be sure to collect as many details of potential customers as possible.
Promotional offers and giveaways can be a great way of bringing in new customers. To engage existing customers, introduce a loyalty scheme like a stamp card to encourage repeat visits.
92% of people trust the recommendation of friends and family*, and this can work to your advantage, particularly in a local community-based setting.
Go the extra mile for your customers and they re more likely to tell people about it. Also, make it easy for them to recommend you through referral and reward schemes.
It s no secret that the internet has quite literally opened up a whole world of potential new customers for small and medium-sized businesses but many still operate on a local level. In this hot tip, discover how to go about finding new customers right on your doorstep.
So, you have a small business or have been tasked to advertise for one. But unless you re working with a company like Apple, Honda, Coors, or FedEx, you won t have millions of dollars set aside for your advertising campaigns.
In fact, most small businesses and start-ups are lucky to have a few thousand dollars to make a splash, let alone a bankroll that could feed the third world.
So, what little money you have needs to be spent wisely.
Think smarter, and think laterally. You have to make the most out of the ad dollars you do have, no matter how limited you are. These cost-effective ways to advertise your business give you a variety of options to choose from, especially if you re on an ad budget die. Don t let the advertising game intimidate you.
There are so many opportunities out there for you to advertise your company that don t involve thousands of dollars. If you re willing to do a little legwork, you ll save money and find the best, inexpensive way to advertise your company. And all of them will give you a great return on your investment:
Podcast ads are easy for you to create on your own and podcast ad time is a very reasonable buy. If you can find a popular podcast that s related to the types of products and services your company sells, sponsoring that podcast may also be a good option for you to consider.
Think of remnant advertising in the same way as cut-price hotel rooms from a site like Hotwire. You will get a hotel room in the city of your choosing, perhaps even on the date of your choosing, and with the stars you want. But, you won t know which hotel you re staying in, how far it is from the airport, and what the amenities are around it.
Many business owners think they only need a website if they sell products online. No matter what type of company you have, you NEED a website. Potential customers hit the Internet looking for companies in their local area. If your competitor s online and you re not, guess who has the advantage. Build a Web site that s beneficial to customers, though. You want to make a positive, lasting impression and having a poorly built Web site is a terrible way to advertise your company.
If you do have a TV commercial, get more shelf life out of it without having to pay for more air time. YouTube is an often-overlooked advertising vehicle. It costs nothing to post your commercial on the site and you can promote it on your own Web site so customers in your area can watch your commercial(s) online.
Creating your own flyer to advertise your business is simple, inexpensive and it s a great way to generate buzz about your company. If you really want to make your flyer an effective advertising tool, offer incentives or discounts to people who bring in your flyer. This also gives you an informal way to track how many people are coming in just because they saw your flyer.
Wait! Before your eyes skip over this section, thinking it s just for those who can afford a TV commercial, keep reading. You can advertise on cable through crawls, full-screen ads and above program listings. These alternative advertising methods are very affordable. Crawls can cost under $10 a day.
National companies partner every day because it s an excellent ad tool to reach new customers and cut the advertising costs at the same time. But partnering isn t just for corporate giants. Going in with other businesses helps you save advertising money while increasing your exposure to customers.
A newsletter/email helps you keep in touch with your current customers and tap into a market of potential customers.
Your newsletter shouldn t be used to send ads to your customers, though. Use your newsletter to provide your customers with valuable information that makes you the company they remember when they re ready to buy.
Don t ignore radio as a means of communication. Yes, times have changed and it is not in the same league as it was 40 years ago. But, there are still millions of people out there listening to public radio, and ad space is cheaper than it has ever been. You can have the radio station create the ad for you (which can result in dubious quality ads) or you can hire an agency to do it for you. There s always the option to do it yourself, too, and if you have a family-owned business with a friendly feel, your own voice can be a great selling tool.
There are plenty of non-profit and not-for-profit advertising strategies and tactics that you can take advantage of. For a start, you can ask professionals to donate their services for free, or a reduced rate at the very least. There are special services available only to non-profits, such as Facebook s Donate Now button. And the Google Ad Grants program could award you $10,000 in free advertising if you qualify. Even if you re not a non-profit, consider partnering with one to spread the word about your business and their cause at the same time.
If you ve ever watched a show like Man Vs Food, or Bizarre Foods, you will notice that a lot of the places visited by the host have something outrageous going for them. It s eating 50 hot wings in under 30 minutes, or devouring a 7-pound burrito in an hour. A challenge can spread the word about your business for free, but this clever strategy is not just applicable to eateries. If you can get creative, you can apply it to your own business. Think of a way that you could challenge your customers to do something, and get their names on a board. Or win a prize. It will go viral if it s good enough.