Small Business Ideas

Tips And Ideas For Starting A Small Business

Small Business Ideas | Commercial Capital Training GroupStarting a small business is a great way to achieve financial independence while keeping operations manageable. However, most people find that the biggest hurdle is deciding on a small business idea. Before you start picking out random small business ideas out of a hat, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

What Are The Best Small Business Ideas?

The best small business ideas fill a need for your customer base. Small business ideas should be accessible, sustainable, and able to weather most economic conditions to ensure long-term success. There is a lot that goes into taking small business ideas and turning them into viable products and services to offer to consumers.

How Would You Like Your Small Business To Operate?

When looking at small scale business models, one of the first things you should decide is which one fits your lifestyle and schedule the best? Do you want to work from home? Do you want to travel a lot? Do you want to have a regular commute to a store front or office? There are small business opportunities for each scenario, but picking one will help to narrow down the options of what you want to do.

Home Office? Physical Location? Virtual Business?

When looking for small business ideas, you will need to think about what type of business you want to run. Do you want to launch business ideas you can run from the comfort of a home office, meeting with clients when necessary, but primarily handling business over the phone? Does your business require a physical location with equipment, inventory, and supplies? Could you run your business online, which lowers the overhead of having a physical store, and allows for a broader reach to potential customers?

What Kind Of Budget Are You Working With?

A budget will ultimately narrow down your small business options considerably, but you need to ask yourself if you want a home-based business with low overhead? Does your dream business require specialized equipment? Do you want to start a turn key operation like a small scale franchise? These questions may seem overwhelming, at first, but the next section should help you dial in on your ideal small business idea.

What Is Your Passion?

Do you like to cook? Do you like instructing others? Do you want to get paid for your experience and knowledge? Do you like exercising? Do you like helping others achieve their goals? If you pick a small business idea based on your passions, hobbies, or areas of expertise, then your business will seem less like a job and more like getting paid for doing the things you love. That in itself will serve as the inspiration to launch and operate a successful small business.

Look At The World Around You

Some of the best small business ideas can be found by taking a critical look at around your house, your neighborhood, the nation, or the world at large. Look at what industries are performing well, or aspects of living which can be improved or made more convenient. Think about what industries are underrepresented in your area, and if those niches can be filled in a viable way. For example, if people in your immediate area have to drive a long distance to get access to certain goods or services, then it might be a great idea to offer those things in a more convenient location.

Look At Market Viability

Simply because something is missing from your immediate area does not mean attempting to fill that void is a great small business idea. For example, if you live in a particularly rural area, building a high-end apartment complex may not be the best small business idea. The clientele does no exist to fill the vacancies, and people usually choose to live in apartment complexes because they offer affordable rates, as well as easy access to shopping, work, and schools. On the other side of the coin, urban areas probably have little need for agricultural equipment dealers. Both examples are obvious exaggerations, but they are designed to prove a point. You need to think critically about your small business ideas and follow them through various scenarios on paper before sinking money into them to make them a reality.

What Will You Do If There Is An Economic Downturn?

During rough economic times, small businesses are usually the first ones to feel the financial strain. The best small business ideas provide something that people will utilize regardless of the economic climate. Consumers will cut back on major luxury expenses first, but have no problem spending money on smaller “fun” things, if they are offered at an affordable price. When there is a recession, fast food franchises stay in business, while automotive dealers experience sharp drops in sales. When trying to think of small business ideas, ask yourself if what you are offering to customers will continue to be in demand if economic conditions take a turn for the worst.

Who Are Your Immediate Competitors?

In every industry there are competitors. No matter the products or services tied to your small business ideas, you will still need a way give customers a reason to go to your business over established companies. It is impossible to be all things to all people. Department stores and mega-stores already exist. Going wide is a sure fire way to go bankrupt right after launching. Instead, try to find your niche audience and gear your small business ideas to meet those potential customers. Niche business ideas have a lot more appeal to consumers because business owners typically have a depth of knowledge that more general businesses do not. It is the same reasoning behind why general practitioners refer patients to specialists. For example, Wal-Mart prides itself on having a wide range of products at low prices. However, Wal-Mart does not have actual salespeople, per se. If you want an automotive part, but are unsure which one to get, or have questions about an appliance, you have to either guess by reading the description on the box, or do a lot of research on your own. However, if you go to a business that specializes in the things you need or want to buy, you will be able to talk with someone, get some insight, and make an informed decision. When launching a business idea, figure out both your direct and indirect competitors, and zero in on your customer base to provide quality service and information so your consumer base stays loyal and comes to you as a person of authority in your field.

How “Niche” Is Your Business Idea?

Related to competition and market viability, there is a danger some businesses run into of being too focused to draw regular business. If you live in an area with a bunch of hamburger franchises, opening another one would make no sense. The market would be saturated with businesses specializing in hamburgers. There is no “market share” to grab because customers are already spending their money at other establishments. So you rethink things a bit and decide to open a business in an untapped market in your area. You decide to narrow your focus to set yourself apart from any competition and open a brick and mortar business specializing in restoring classic Dodge Darts. People love classic cars. People all over the country own classic cars and like to keep them in good condition. Of all the classic car owners, only a few have a Dodge Dart in their garage. And of the people who own classic Dodge Darts, it is highly unlikely that any live within driving distance of your business. On the odd chance that one or two do, how many sales will you make? Enough to sustain your business? There is a point where specialization can go too far. While it is great to launch a niche business idea, you do not want to narrow your focus so much that you exclude yourself from potential sales.

Where Is Your Industry Headed?

If you are looking for small business ideas in a specific field or industry, you have to remember that nothing is set in stone. You have to consider what changes are on the horizon, and what might come down the road five, ten, or even twenty years from now. For instance, the mom and pop video rental stores, along with the big box chains, refused to embrace changes in technology and went under with the advent of digital streaming services on home and mobile platforms. While it is impossible to anticipate every single trend and emerging innovation, it helps to choose small ideas that have room for growth, and which can adapt – or be adapted – to changes in technology, consumer philosophies, and economic conditions. If we look at a business like Coca-Cola, the main product, Coke, has undergone a number of branding changes over the decades. One of its biggest marketing successes heralded a shift in the soft drink and fast food industry. It was no longer about “buy our product, it tastes good and refreshing.” Suddenly it was about having fun and doing things with family and friends. The product did not necessarily change, but the company adapted to embrace the change in customer attitudes. We see this in other products, when marketers emphasize qualities such as “eco-friendly” or “high in antioxidants” or “organic” or myriad other bullet points to reflect and play with consumer interests and awareness.

How Will You Finance Your Small Business Idea?

Financing a small business idea rarely involves small expenses. Whether you are opening an online store specializing in handmade goods, a small storefront in town, or your own event planning business, startup capital is essential – not only for launching the company but to sustain it until it starts turning a profit. Most emerging entrepreneurs turn to small business loans to cover the requirements of launching their small business ideas. Rarely, if ever, should you use your own savings or personal lines of credit to launch a business venture. Making a small business venture a reality is a big risk, even if it is something the public is clamoring to get. There is no reason to put your personal finances in jeopardy. Remember, owning a business is a big undertaking, and you need to retain your savings to cover personal expenses. One of the first rules of business financing is never to mix working capital with personal money. Work with a financial consultant when you are putting things together to launch your small business ideas. They will be able to walk you through the various options available so you can organize and affordable funding plan for your small business ideas.

Successful Small Business Ideas

If you are still mulling over the above concepts, we have compiled a list of some of the most successful small business ideas to help give you some guidance.

For individual households, offering services as a small business involved in energy conservation could mean lower utility bills. For businesses, it could mean lower bills and (potentially) tax breaks. Energy conservation is a great idea for a small business, and it can involve everything from walkthrough consultations, to the distribution of LED and energy saving lighting. Some entrepreneurs even expand their small scale business concepts to include water conservation consulting and distributing the appropriate plumbing fixtures.
As society continues to focus on “green energy,” more people are becoming interested in the money they can save (and in some cases, generate) by making full or partial conversions to solar power. Solar has become more efficient, less unsightly, and brings with it many energy and money saving benefits. Starting a small scale business by distributing solar panels or consulting with customers to come up with a solution that fits their needs can be very profitable.
If you have a penchant for things such as website design or hosting, you can start a small business that can yield a sizable income, right from your home. The major domain sellers and site hosts are willing to pay good dividends to people who become affiliate marketers. On the website design side of the coin, entrepreneurs can make a healthy revenue by designing appealing sites with WordPress or Tumblr templates and implementing extras such as shopping carts, social media integration, and set up pay-per-click advertising. Not many clients have the knowledge or the time to learn how to do those things on their own, and all it really costs you is time. In fact, many small businesses in this field can bring in large profits while still maintaining rates that are lower than what the competition offers.
Travel agencies have some of the lowest overhead costs (typically a computer with internet access and a dedicated phone line) of all small business opportunities out there, and the revenue is very substantial. As vacation and resort prices become more affordable and people find themselves with more free time – especially the Baby Boomer crowd, who are now enjoying their retirement years traveling around the world – travel agents can find the best deals on plane tickets and bundle in sight-seeing activities, resort stays, and other extras, along with their own fees, and still offer vacation packages that are extremely attractive without breaking the bank. Some travel agencies operate as a franchise, with low buy-in prices, low overhead, and fantastic earning potential.
On the upper end of small business ideas is the commercial real estate field. Commercial real estate is a balancing act of finding properties for a low price, renovating the structures on the land, and then either flipping them for a profit or renting them out for a steady stream of income. Commercial real estate investors typically run their operations from a home office, and travel to the properties for inspections, sales, and during renovation (especially if they are more of the DIY type than hiring contractors). The drawback for many getting into the commercial real estate business is that the property price, plus the closing costs, and the cost of renovation, can be rather intimidating unless there is an additional source of financing. Most real estate investors work with commercial finance professionals to get the additional working capital they need in order to purchase the properties they want and turn them around for a profit. The big benefit of starting a small business in commercial real estate is that even a single small sale can yield tens of thousands of dollars after all is said and done.
Of all the small business ideas, perhaps the most profitable is in the arena of commercial finance. Commercial finance is founded on the premise that business owners are always in need of money, and lenders are always looking for businesses in need of funding that can turn into profitable relationships for all parties involved. The catch is that very few lenders will talk to business owners without first having them screened through a commercial finance intermediary. These intermediaries being both parties to the table to work out an agreement, and then take a percentage of the entire contract as payment for their work. Commercial finance professionals can also work recurring fees into their part of the agreements to ensure a steady income stream.

Invest Into A Lucrative Small Business Idea

The Commercial Capital Training Group (CCTG) offers emerging entrepreneurs the training they need to become commercial finance professionals, as well as the tools and lending products to get business owners the funding they need, especially when banks are declining loan applications left and right. The field of commercial finance is an economic staple, with dozens of options to offer customers, or you could focus and specialize in playing to your strengths or field of expertise. Our business model provides for a lot of customization, so that even if you narrow your focus, there is a potential client base in need of the solutions you offer. We will give you the comprehensive training you need to converse with business owners in all industries, whether they are seeking help with launching their own small business ideas, or if they are long-time entrepreneurs who need a solution that allows for growth and expansion to carve out a larger market share for themselves.

Additionally, CCTG graduates get access to our board of lenders, as well as out support network, both of which are available seven days a week and are comprised of experts with decades of experience. What’s more, you will get to own your own business with the potential for limitless profits (many CCTG graduates take home more from two deals than most business owners see in a year) and true financial independence.

Our small business idea offers a recession-proof model which can withstand the ups and down of the economy that other businesses cannot. Instead of launching a business that requires constant financing, we will train you and give you the resources necessary to launch a business that provides the financing solutions entrepreneurs need.

Best of all, we have done all of the market research and resource gathering for you. You will get a business of your own, plus marketing complete with your company’s name and logo. Our team of experts will provide the content and marketing materials to attract customers and generate business. We also offer around the clock support for everything from clarification on concepts discussed in training on up to making sure everything is in order for you to close a deal. We will give you a presence so that you stand out in local and national markets, to maximize your reach with your target audience.

If you are thinking about starting a small business that can be run from a home office, with little overhead, and on your schedule – with tremendous earning potential to boot – contact us at the Commercial Capital Training Group.

Further Reading