Business idea, how to evaluate it?

April 17, 2011 1 comment

With so many scams, marketing frauds, identity thefts and other schemes targeting us these days, we tend to get very skeptical, confused and resistant to part time opportunities that come our way and at times miss out on the right opportunities. How do we find the needle in the haystack of part time opportunities? That is the biggest question alluding us these days.  In this blog post, I would like to share some of my learning on how to evaluate a part time business opportunity/idea:

1. Credibility of the Company & Products

Before we decided to get involved with any company, first thing to do is to study the credibility and financial stability of the company. Here are some of questions, we need to ask.

How old is the company? What is the annual revenue? What are the growth rate statistics? Who endorses the company and its products? Do they have any sponsorships? What is the history of the founders of the company? Is it privately owned or a public company? How much of liquid money do they hold and what is the company’s future vision?

We generally go to Google to get these details, but remember one important fact that Google is a search engine and not a research engine. It is like graffiti on the bathroom walls, where anyone and everyone can post their comments and most importantly not the right source to research on our financial future. We can look for credible information through credible sources like the company’s website/ blogs, Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org), Dun & Bradstreet (www.bnb.com), etc.

2.  Business Educational System

A lot of businesses plans look very attractive, they provide us with access to products and some basic business material and leave the rest to us. With most of us having no prior experience in handling a business, it gets really challenging on how to run and manage the business. One way it to self learn by experimenting and trying out things, but it is the most unproductive and costliest option. The smartest thing to do is to learn from the experience of others experience; from someone who is  already successful and understood the nuances of building a solid profitable and well managed business.

Lot of companies along with the regular start-up package also provide access to learning centers, business building material, conferences/ training sessions/ seminars and also a personal coach who is senior in the business. All this comes with some additional investment, but is completely worth it if we are smart enough to tap into the well established and proven business system.

3. Legality of the business

Is the business legal? I am getting into the right thing? This is biggest question we normally get while looking into any opportunity. Again the best place validate this as I mentioned earlier, is to go to credible business reporting websites like Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) & Dun & Bradstreet (www.bnb.com). They provide various services like business reliability reports, fraud prevention, complaints and dispute resolution, charity reports, truth in advertising, etc.

One of the most common type of part-time business models that we come across these days are Multi-Level-Marketing/ Pyramid models. How to identify a legal from an illegal business model? One simple fact we need to understand is that every large business or organization is always setup in the form of a pyramid. If we are working at an organization, we are part of a pyramid which starts from the CEO, Vice President, Managing Directors all the way to us. When the service that we provide to the company flows up the pyramid and the salary flows down the pyramid, it forms a legal pyramid. If the company does not pay salary, it becomes an illegal pyramid. Similarly, in a part time business business model if our efforts and investment is flowing up and value in terms of services, training,  products and profits are flowing down the pyramid, it forms a legal pyramid.

4. Exit strategy/ Money Back Guarantee

Given all the facts about the company and its legal aspects, is this the right opportunity for me? Will it fit my personality? Can I make it work? Questions like these generally tend to stop us from taking the step forward.

How do we learn to swim? By jumping into the water. What if we drown, is there an expert watching me to pull me out of water? In a similar way, can I test drive the business? Is the opportunity providing an exit strategy in case I figure out after a couple of months that this is not working for me. This is another question that I would ask.  Many companies provide Money Back Guarantee both on the business registration as well as the products. If they are providing that option, it talks about the confidence the company has in their business and also gives us a comfort feeling on our investment.

5. Success Stories and Profiles

I would also look for some profiles of the people who have been successful through the opportunity. I would request the person who is showing me the opportunity to provide me some of the profiles and success stories of the people who have a similar background as mine and with whom I can relate to. It can be either links on the web or some listening content like CD, recordings or some books. This definitely gives us a big confidence booster – if they can do it I can do it too.

6. Give your best

This is where 90% of the people lose out on. Once we are done with our research and made a smart decision to get started,  to be successful in any opportunity it is very important to backup the decision by actions, by setting up specific measurable goals and by having a game plan to work towards achieving them. It is extremely important to give our 100% commitment to evaluate the opportunity in the right way. Lot of people, take it with a casual attitude and if it does not work they blame it on the business since it is the easiest thing to do.

Wish you great success and hope my article would help you in making a right decision for your future.

My special thanks to jscreationzs & Idea Go for the pictures.

Top 5 Reasons On Why We Need to Look at Different Ways to Making Money

March 19, 2011 6 comments

My intention of writing this blog is to discuss on the changing economic and financial scenarios and how they are influencing our lives and our future and why we need to come out of our shells of traditional money making ways and start looking out for other options available in the market. Here I present the “Top 5 Reasons Why We Need to Look at Different Ways of Making Money”:

1.    Peace Of Mind/Backup Plan

We are always in the lookout for peace of mind in our day-to-day lives. We are in a financially uncertain world and it is increasing day by day. We worry about terrorism. We worry about war. We worry about earth quakes and tsunamis. We worry about losing our jobs. All this directly or indirectly is affecting our financial situation and peace of mind. As I hear from my friends “When our neighbor loses a job it is called recession, but when we lose a job that’s depression”.

This worry is understandable, given the state of the world at the present time, but there is no question in my mind that, with the right attitude, right tools all of us can rise above any situation that life hands us. All of us can live a fulfilling life in the middle of the turmoil provided we have a backup plan for our finances, something on which we can fall back on in times of need.

2.    Dream Circle

When we were kids, we always dreamed of beautiful and ambitious things in life – huge lake front houses, sports cars, breathtaking vacations, grand parties and the list goes on and on. But when we grow up, start working on jobs and make money the reality of life hits us. We slowly start shrinking our dream circle to force fit the dreams into our income circle.

Nothing wrong with what we are doing, it is just that the way we are making money does not provide us those options. As Robert Kiyosaki says from childhood we have been always taught to get a good education, get a good job and our life is set. But in reality, making money and chasing big dreams does not come with the traditional jobs.

3.    Happy and Balanced Life

How many of us get so lost in the mad race of daily routine and lose control over our lives? Life becomes like a treadmill, where every morning we are going to work, coming back in the night and repeating the same everyday but nothing changes in life, you are at the same place. We are guilty of letting our life control what we do instead of being in control of our own time and life.

The reason for working multiple jobs and making money is to create a happy and secure life and we end up putting so much time and effort in the process that we lose focus on why we are doing this. So where do we draw the line and how do we strike a balance?

We need to understand one harsh reality of a job is that it is an active income. Once we lose the ability to work or we lose a job, the income stream comes to a screeching halt. Creating an ongoing secondary income on the side will help relieve the mental stress of a job and helps us plan our priorities better and lead a peaceful and balanced life.

4.    Fire The Boss

Given a chance, we always want to be our own Boss; we always want to work in our own terms, in our own ways, implementing our own ideas. Aren’t we sick of coming up with new excuses daily on why we are late to work or why a certain work was not done, so on and so forth?

A secondary income may not completely eliminate the boss right away but at least give us better chances. Something is better than nothing. If at certain point in time, once we see consistent success through the secondary income source and we can always decide to Fire the boss and walk away like a free man. A tiger in the jungle is always happier than the tiger in the circus.

5.    Fight Inflation

In 2003, the gas prices were under $2 a gallon, how much is it now? Hovering around $4 a gallon? The gas prices have gone up 50% since 2003, how much did out salaries go up? Similar way, consider food prices, car prices, insurance prices, everything has gone up may folds; did our salaries go up in the same proportion? The answer is a big scary NO.

If we are putting all our eggs in one basket called JOB, our life style would in fact keep going down as time passes by and we will never be able to even catch up, forget about thinking of having a better lifestyle.

My special thanks to photostock & Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot for the pictures
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