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Small Business Ideas Forum

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A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry. Topics include small business marketing, generating revenue and small business computing.

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Old 15th November 2011, 07:07 PM   #1

Join Date: Nov 2011
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Default I'm Looking For Online Business Ideas.


I'm new to this forum and my goal is start an online business. I am looking for help with ideas. I've listed my background below to give you an idea about the type of things that might be right for me.

Work History:

* 20 unhappy years in information technology that I happily quit about 5 years ago right before the recession started. So I do have a pretty good grasp of technology and don't mind using it. I just don't want to be cast in the role of a technical specialist anymore getting woken up in the middle of the night for server crashes. I enjoy what technology can do for me, but I am not particularly interested in keeping up with how it all works and the newest stuff. Also, I've concluded that I am much happier working for myself than for a large corporation.

* Since then I have ran my own handy-man, landscape business and worked in construction part time for the past five years. But since I am no spring chicken, this has been hard on the body even though I tend to stay in good shape for my age. I am also allergic to wasps and worry about getting stung while out working one of these days.

* I've worked part time over the years helping to teach film making and within the industry somewhat. I've also worked part time teaching martial arts and tai chi over the past 30 years. I love to teach.


* Currently working towards an online MA in English and writing through Western New Mexico University, so yes, I love literature and am starting to work towards becoming a fairly good writer.

* I recently graduated with a two year degree in multimedia design so I have some basic graphic arts skills and could put together a basic website.

* Bachelor's degree in environmental science.

* Two year degree in computer technology and all the technical certificates that you can conceive of.

* Certificate in documentary film making


* Tai chi, kung fu, and weight training. I have black belts in two other martial arts already from my past endeavors and have done personal training in the past for people and enjoyed it.

* I love all manner of outdoor activities: camping, hiking, water skiing, sailing, kayaking, etc.

Business goals:

I have been jotting down note cards full of ideas, but feel that I haven't quite found the right idea. I am looking to start an online business that I can run from my computer and stay warm and dry without wrecking my body. Even though my income has plummeted from when I was a systems analyst, I have gained more satisfaction from doing a good job putting in a window for someone than I ever did working for a corporation. The things that give me satisfaction in my current situation are that: I found the work myself, do a good job for the client, and that I have much more control over when and what kind of work I do. I also enjoy seeing the clients satisfaction at the end of the job.

Personality: Mildly introverted, but able to get up in front of people and talk when necessary. I have never been drawn to large groups, preferring to forge close personal relationships with individuals based on what I have in common with them.

Sorry if there is a lot of extraneous detail here, but I read what the administrator said and tried to be detailed enough that all of you might actually be able to help me. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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Old 16th November 2011, 12:09 AM   #2

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you have :Tai chi, kung fu, and weight training. I have black belts in two other martial arts already from my past endeavors and have done personal training in the past for people and enjoyed it.

so, why don't you set a training class for this.
well, just take tha advantage of Internet.

In my pinion, if you do online business,you will have to spend much time on the internet, it's so harmful to your health, so why not do more exercises.

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Old 16th November 2011, 04:12 AM   #3
Dane Pymble

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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Default Online Business ideas


I think one of the more simple ways of developing an online business is to find something you are interested in and start writing about it. The best way I can describe this is by example so you can see how you can plan out an idea for an online business from one simple concept.

The idea for my business, Small Business Wizardry came from the desire I had to help demystify the process of starting and growing a small business. It is a truly liberating feeling to follow your passion. I have been involved in starting or running small businesses for nearly ten years now and often was the person family and friends turned to for advice when they wanted to start a business.

Here are the steps I took:

1. Developed a broad outline for the business, centred around the key phrase "starting a small business"

2. Met with a search engine marketer I still engage today to discuss my idea and had him go away and research relevant keywords that our site could target. We came up with 6 categories for which to write articles under being Business Planning, Outsourcing, Business management, Business Financing, Internet Marketing & Bookkeeping

3. Under the above 6 categories he gave me a list of another 30 keywords, five for each category for which to write articles about. So far I have a bit over 20 of those initial 30 articles on the site.

4. During this time I also got my website's logo designed & website established. My search engine marketer also happened to have skills in web development so he got the website established for me

5. I then outsourced the preparation of a professional business plan that I use to manage my business' growth. The business plan centred around writing free articles to assist small business owners & startups, offering products & services in connection with best of breed third party service providers across the six product categories, the first of which being a business plan writing service (the service provider being the third party who produced my excellent business plan) & some onsite advertising.

6. As I began to have a few articles uploaded I began to get more actively involved in forums, blogs & social media related to my niche. I at all times try to provide valuable contribution and where possible link back to my site, so long as it is adding value to the discussion

This is where I am up to at the moment, I absolutely love it and am always looking for new ways to grow but I am doing it quite methodically. I'm not in any hurry.

This all may seem like a lot of work but understand I have done this in my spare time around a full time job over the course of the last six months.

Have a think about what you enjoy doing, perhaps you could write about, filmmaking, tai chi or some other topic of interest. The more you focus your attention you will be surprised the ideas for online businesses you come up with.

Best of luck with your business

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Old 17th November 2011, 02:21 AM   #4
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Location: New York / Philippines
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Smile internet business


i'm so glad to learn more about how you are describing your situation and what you believe would be helpful as you begin your own business.

to begin with, since you've mentioned your personality and your passion, it would be great if you could outline your interests and determine what you'd really love to do as you work for your business. it may be tough at first, but since you're working on your passion, it will do wonders. I actually encountered a book entitled "Will Work for Fun" and it basically serves as the best book you can turn to for advice, especially since it's about online businesses. I'm in no way a marketer of the author, but it also helped me formulate my thoughts about a potential business through the Net.

it would be great if you could pinpoint your very best niche to begin with. narrow down your choices and select the best one you're comfortable with. is it your love for literature, tai chi, etc.? figure that out as you venture onto your biz.

you might also want to start small by building a community of readers who will sort of become your audience. start with a blog/website which will serve as your foundation. let it be known that you are trying to promote yourself as an expert in this niche, so it'll better be polished as you go along.

of course, content, lead generation, nurturing, links, and other aspects of internet marketing come into play here -- so learn them as you go along your biz.

- celine

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Old 17th November 2011, 03:02 PM   #5

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Default Thanks!

Hey Celine, Nicole, Dane,

Thanks for your responses. I'll have to implement some of the ideas you guys have given along with some of the other ones I've gathered from my research.

Hey Nicole, there are a couple of reasons why I haven't gone out to be some sort of trainer again and prefer the internet as a medium to start a business. Since I am in my mid 40s, I don't want to move into an area where I am dependent on my physical condition to give me work. I have a carpenter friend who is now 60 and just had his hip replaced and I want to avoid a similar situation for myself. I like to travel, so a job where I can work from home, or be portable, is ideal. I want a company with low start up costs where I can grow it and eventually the revenue doesn't have to depend solely on my putting in the hours of labor for the income. As an example, my dad is film-maker who still sells his movies online through DVD format. He put in the labor to make the movies for the past 40 years and now just sends the orders off when they sell on Amazon and collects the checks. His work is no longer proportional to the revenue generated by his movies.

Thanks again to all of you and I look forward to corresponding with you some more.


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Old 18th November 2011, 08:49 AM   #6
Gary Barzel
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You can try by starting a blog on fitness, or on technology. It will take some time to build up a following, but once you do, you can then move on to online coaching or some sort of course where you can train your followers.

Gary Barzel - Manager of Business Development
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Old 18th November 2011, 02:10 PM   #7

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You have knowledge about the Technology and also have degree in multimedia why you should not start working on freelance its just like your own business, or set your own business of designing, whatever you do but just try do that thing in which you are relay interested and you think that it will beneficial for your future
wish you all the very best

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Old 18th November 2011, 04:36 PM   #8

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Hey Gary and Jack,

Thanks for the responses. I've done some freelance work , but it hasn't really paid off very well with the outsourcing that is going on these days (why would someone have a site designed here when they can have one made in India for $10/hr). I will have to consider the fitness aspect, and what I can contribute along these lines. Maybe I'll start out with offering free work out advice or some such thing to build traffic after doing the appropriate marketing. My niche in fitness is martial arts, but I am not sure if there is a wide enough market segment for this and in the current kung fu system that I train, I would not be considered an expert by any standard. In tai chi I am considered quite experienced, but if the size of my classes are any indication of the level of interest, this would not be the right thing either. It seems in America, most people are to interested in immediate tangible results to stay intrigued long term with a form of moving meditation.

I have considered setting up some sort of store for martial arts equipment even though there already seems to be a well established competitive market for this out there...


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Old 18th November 2011, 05:37 PM   #9

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Default Thanks

Hey Gary and Jack,

Thanks for the ideas. I tried freelancing, but it is hard to compete with the low cost of outsourcing these days. I may need to start some sort of fitness blog and go from there. I've also been trying to dream up some sort of online store.


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Old 19th November 2011, 09:55 PM   #10

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Default This might help....

My idea for small business is like this. If you don't have enough capital, you can always start free lancing. This will help you gain more knowledge in online business. More like a paid training. Also this will add up to your capital. If you already have capital, you can start affiliate marketing. It is much easier and faster. You can post articles and if you have enough knowledge, you can start link building. May take more research about link wheel. That is the basic of all internet marketing. Hope that helps.

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