How to Start Your Own Business

Have you ever seen an business opportunity infomercial? I saw one a while ago that was a classic. The product was set against a backdrop of cascading dollar bills (literally money flowing over the equipment). The voice over said something like “want to work less and get rich? – call now!”. In essence they were saying that if you bought their machine you could stop working for a living and easily get rich.

You’re likely not surprised to learn that it doesn’t work that way. At first, starting your own business involves more work not less, money paid out rather than taken in and a steep learning curve. In return you can look forward to earning every dime to which you are entitled, being able to direct your destiny and never having to worry about “the boss”.

I have an expression (at least I think that it’s mine) that goes “Most people want to be successful, few are willing to be successful”. If you want to work hard and sacrifice to get what you want – if you’re willing to be successful – the following will put you on the path to owning your own business.

A successful small business is built at the convergence of a market need and an ability to meet that need. In other words, you need to find something that you do well (and hopefully enjoy doing) that others are willing to buy. Two simple steps to do that, the first:

1. Identify a product or service that you can produce. You may have a business in mind. If so, skip this step. If not, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do your present job skills lend themselves to “side work”. If yes, you can start by developing a business “on the side” while still collecting a regular paycheck. If not;
  2. Can your present line of work (or one that you want to be in) be produced by a small business? If not;
  3. Do you have capital to invest? If yes, you can look for a franchise to purchase. Franchisors are in the business of starting and guiding small businesses. Entrepreneur Magazine publishes an annual list of the “Top 500″ franchisors, it is available online: 500 Franchisors.

    If not:

  4. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. On the left list anything that you can do (as ordinary as “mowing lawns” to as complex as “designing rocket motors”) and anything that you would like to learn to do. Obviously, only list those things that is or could be a saleable skill. On the right side put the types of businesses that use the skills from the left side of the sheet. The right side of the sheet is your “universe” of potential businesses.

Once you’ve identified something that you want to do you need to identify whether it is something that you can reasonably expect to do profitably. The old saw “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” was never more true than when starting a business. Success demands a clear and articulated vision of the challenges and opportunities to come. Common sense dictates that you understand the ingredients for success before you commit time and money to your project. Lenders, investors and other stakeholders depend on your ability to chart the course to victory and they’ll want to see your proposed course in writing. Step two:

2. Create a business plan. A business plan is a written proposal. It describes your business and it’s environment and forecasts it’s future. More importantly, the process of creating a business plan identifies the challenges and opportunities to come and details the key result areas for success. It determines how much money you’ll need and where it will be found. With a business plan you are prepared to win. Without one, you are “flying blind”.

Starting your own business can be exciting, challenging and rewarding. Finding the place where market need intersects with your abilities is the first step towards success. A business plan is the tool to help you take that first step.

Home Renovation Tips – What Flooring Gives Your Home the Best Return on Investment?

We are asked frequently from local home owners about what home improvement in their flooring would increase the value of their home most. We work with many investors who are entirely focused on return on investment (ROI) we have a solid understanding of what flooring materials from highest to lowest to best value. This article will draw on over 35 years of experience and will use the knowledge from investors and apply it to home improvement projects to assist home owners when planning their project. An important home improvement is upgrading your flooring. This article will focus on Ottawa home improvements based on local market prices by sorting the flooring types from most expensive to least expensive;

High Cost home improvement – Natural Stones Granite/Marble:
This type of flooring is usually reserved for high-end condos or houses and will general provide the greatest increase in value. The primary reason for the increase in value is that granite flooring the most expensive type of flooring one can get for their home. The price range can vary from $6 -$35+ sq foot depending on the type, design, and quality of the marble. In many cases granite is more expensive but marble can easily jump up in price if it is high grade marble. We have simplified the stones available to the two most popular, there are also slate, limestone, and flagstone flooring options that we have not discussed. The bottom line is that unless you are going ultra-high end for your project the natural stone installation would not be the optimal investment when compared to the other options available.

Medium-High Cost home improvement – Hardwood flooring
Hardwood is a very common flooring material here in Ottawa, nearly 90% of homes we renovate have this type of flooring. There are many types of hardwoods such as pine, oak, maple, etc. each having its own characteristics in the wood grain. You may purchase the hardwood finish or unfinished, meaning you stain and varnish it yourself. This home improvement can be expensive, ranging from $2-20 depending on the type of wood, finish, thickness, and style. Hardwood is always recommended for increasing the value of your home. It is a very popular home improvement and renovations item.

Medium Cost home improvement – Porcelain flooring
One of the strongest flooring materials you can install due to its toughness, strength, and translucent characteristics because of the glass and mineral mix fused at very high temperature. Porcelain can be much stronger then stone and can vary in price, in Ottawa the price range can be from $3-12 for porcelain tiles. Porcelain looks beautiful, come in numerous shapes or designs, and last a very long time. The durability of Porcelain makes it one of the best value installations you can do for your home flooring and is highly recommendation for home improvements.

Low-medium Cost home improvement – Ceramics
Ceramics a very common flooring home improvement, primarily because of its general acceptance as the standard for kitchen and bathroom flooring renovations. Ceramics can be as cheap as $1-12 and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Generally you can tell the quality of the ceramic by the thickness, the cheaper the ceramic the thinner it is.

Medium-low cost home improvement – Laminate
This is perhaps the most under-estimated value packed upgrade to a home. Many commercial clients prefer this upgrade to vinyl or carpet. This home improvement is low cost and provides a great alternative to hardwood; it is excellent for basement renovations due to its heat insulation. Price range of laminate can be $1-6 depending on thickness, style, and design. We always recommend porcelain over laminate for main rooms in the house and only if the project is in the basement is laminates recommend. As a general rule of thumb, installing laminate will not subtract or add to the value of the house and is considered a neutral upgrade by most Ottawa general contractors.

Low-cost home improvement – Carpet
This is also a very common home renovation request. As general contractors we get many clients wanting to purchase carpets and install them, many are unaware of the costs and value associations. Like vinyl carpet will depreciate the value of your home. Carpet can get dirty, carry allergens, and has a low life expectancy. You also have many cases of moisture leaks, carpet bumps, and many other problems associated with carpets. Carpets are also not cheap! They can get very expensive with prices ranging from $0.5-20 a sq foot! So always be weary when installing carpets because they provide no return and in most cases it will depreciate the value of your home.

Low cost home improvement – Vinyl
This is the cheap alternative to all other methods of flooring. This is great for new home builds due to cheap materials and standard installs. Vinyl can be a single sheet or can be in tiles, they are designed to provide the “look and feel” of tiles without the cost. Inherently vinyl is simple plastic tape on-top of your sub-floor and we highly discourage customers to go with this option. It would be far more beneficial to pay the extra money and go for something that lasts 5x longer, is more durable, and looks much nicer. Vinyl would not be a good home improvement because it will depreciate the value of your home almost guaranteed, unless you are primarily focused on a very low budget renovations we highly recommend going with either laminate or ceramic as an alternative.

Upon review we can safely say that based on our experience and dealing with investors, agents, and home owners hardwood and porcelain/ceramics provide the best return on your hard earned money. These two upgrades will increase the value of your home the most when taking into consideration material cost and general contractor installation cost. As with all projects, it may seem easy on TV however we highly recommend you get a professional general contractor to install your flooring. We hope this helps with your next home improvement and will add knowledge when talking with your home renovation experts.

ABC of WHY You Should Consider Starting An Internet Home Based Business

A- Attractive

Starting a home based business is very attractive because of the many benefits.

Of which TIME and MONEY are the main two.

TIME, if you are living in planet Earth, you are entitled to 24 hours.

And most of us ALWAYS complain that we need more time!

With a home based business, you will need more time, UNLESS, you set it up on autopilot which has been achieved by many ordinary individuals who are living the internet lifestyle.

People who have done it are having quality time for their family, for recreation and they are living the life that they have always dreamed of.

Next, MONEY.

It has been clarified that, “the LACK of money is the root of all evil.”

Running an internet home based business has one of the lowest overhead, as compared to traditional business.

And once you set it up correctly, You literally have a ready ATM machine loaded with cash at your disposal.

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B- Be a Boss and Own A Business It is a business!

Most of us wants to be our own bosses, and with the internet, it has made it possible for ordinary people like you and me to start a business, and be our own bosses!

If you can treat the low overhead like how you would treat a million dollar investment in traditional businesses, learn from mentors who are where we want to be, and move in the right direction.

I have every confidence that you will succeed if you believe!

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C- Convenience

In this fast paced society, it is all about SPEED, SPEED and SPEED.

We want things fast, we even want our food fast, and that’s how fast food came about.

With the speed of the internet, by using broadband, your business will be visible to not only your community but the BILLIONS of population online!

And isn’t it great to wake up when we choose to and not when the alarm clock rings?

And isn’t it marvellous to work in your pyjamas?

Forget about the irritating long hours spend on fighting the traffic, you will be enjoying a nice

breakfast at home at your own time while checking your emails for cheques coming in.

This is the ABC of WHY you should consider starting a home based business on the internet. Quick recap: -A: Attractive -B: Boss & Business -C: Convenience

Are you ready to take action?

Make This A Reality For You!

—This article is copyright by JY Chia—