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Types of Businesses to Start

Don’t Be Afraid to Start a Second Company in an Unrelated Industry

Diversification through starting another business can strengthen your financial outlook and entrepreneurial spirit.

Evrim Oralkan

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Starting a business may be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever tackle in life.

But starting a second business? Well, that’s just downright crazy. And when that new venture is in a completely unrelated industry, this can prompt your customers and employees to wonder whether you really know what you’re doing.

That was the reaction I received when I started my cloud-based art-collection business Collecteurs. The concept arose from a hobby and couldn’t be further removed from that of my first business, an online flooring company.

Sure, I was hesitant to move into an unfamiliar space, but the most viable businesses are the ones that arise from a genuine need. And when you need a certain product or service, chances are that someone else does, too. If that product or service doesn’t yet exist, you have the distinct opportunity to provide it.

So don’t be afraid to take on a new industry. As long as there’s a need, you have found an opening.

But just because there’s a need and you have already started a successful business doesn’t mean you have license to take this endeavor lightly. If you’re considering whether to turn an idea into a second business, do the following:

Related: 6 Tips for Part-Time Business Owners

1. Fully develop the idea

Before entering my new industry, I let the idea percolate in the back of my mind for a solid year. I wanted to give myself the opportunity to brainstorm, iron out details and decide whether I had the time to run a second business.

You should do the same before you make any moves.

2. Schedule office hours

Even though I was working full time on my first business, I made a point of setting aside at least two hours a day to focus on my second enterprise.

It doesn’t sound like a lot of time but two hours a day can add up to more than 40 hours a month — plenty of time to get things done little by little.

3. Never neglect the importance of location

Picking the right spot to open your business is an important decision. Consider the location of  your second venture in relationship to your current company.

Take business owner Hamilton Chan, for example. He opened his second business right across the alley from his original business. This way, he could keep an eye on both ventures and capitalize on cross-promotional opportunities.

If your businesses are too far apart, you may inevitably run into problems.

Related: From Idea to Successful Tech Company in 8 Steps

4. Prepare for the launch

Launching a business is a one-time event. There are no do-overs. So take care when planning everything around your new business launch, from the website to the brick-and-mortar storefront.

To add some buzz to the affair, look for media outlets and organisations that may be interested in your products or services to shoulder some of the marketing and PR burden.

5. Gauge your passion for the project

Above all else, make sure you’re passionate about this second venture. It’s much easier to pursue a project that lights a fire inside you than one that’s merely a great idea.

Your entrepreneurial spirit will supply you with more strokes of genius down the line. If you’re not consumed with making your new idea a reality, wait for the next one to come along.

Starting a second business in a completely unrelated industry can add diversification to overall financial fortunes, helping you prevail in the ever-changing economy. If your original business is limping along, that second enterprise may afford you the time to fix what’s broken and uncover new insights into how to expand your customer base.

The new company can also help strengthen your entrepreneurial spirit. You set yourself up to discover new ways to grow and keep your focus fresh. Look at Richard Branson: He’s done it all, from magazines and records to transportation and beverages. So don’t be afraid to become a modern-day Renaissance man (or woman).

 Related: Does Your Business Model Lend Itself to an Online Store?

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Evrim Oralkan is the founder and CEO of Travertine Mart, based in Hallandale, Fla., a boutique online flooring company specializing in premium-grade travertine pavers, tiles and pool coping. He is also a co-founder of Collecteurs.

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Types of Businesses to Start

6 Steps To Building A Million-Dollar Ecommerce Site In 60 Days

Jared Goetz spent only 30 minutes a day and built a colossal Shopify sales machine.

Entrepreneur

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Jared Goetz, serial entrepreneur and member of The Oracles, always had a knack for reaching an audience. At 26 years old, he’s co-founded four multimillion-dollar companies.

Whether he’s throwing the world’s largest foam party with fire breathers and circus acts (“Electric Flurry”) or selling inflatables to college students via viral campaigns (“Dumbo Lounge Sacks”), this serial entrepreneur knows how to turn an audience into a profit machine.

His latest venture, The Gadget Snob, is no different. An ecommerce store that supplies everything from jet-flamed pencils to laser keyboards, Goetz took his business from zero to $2 million in 60 days by plugging into the right audience. That’s no small feat in a competitive industry forecast to surpass $4 trillion in sales by 2020.

Goetz’s secret sauce to reaching the masses? Experimentation. As he explains, “You don’t know what people will respond to until you try a lot of things. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.”

Related: Selling Online: Be On The Right Side Of The Law With Your Ecommerce Start-Up

Goetz shares six key components to building his million-dollar ecommerce store and turning profits in less than a business quarter.

1. Don’t reinvent the merchandise wheel

“Many owners think they have to reinvent the wheel with the merchandise they sell,” Goetz explained. Instead, he suggests focusing on products with a proven track record of success. “An easy way to spot a market trend is gauging how a product performs on social media. If an item is getting 10,000 Facebook Likes in less than a few hours, that’s a tell.”

When choosing merchandise, it’s also crucial to differentiate between commoditised and unique products. Commoditised products are widely available. Unique products are less accessible handmade or niche products that aren’t mass produced.

“If you go niche, gauge demand first. Observe what people are looking for. You might be surprised to see what’s selling.”

2. Create a formula, then rewrite it

Ecommerce comes down to a formula, Goetz says, and the outcome is affected by different variables: Product, advertisement, landing page optimisation, and customer lifetime value.

“Once you figure out what produces the best margin, copy that. Most who fail in ecommerce are 90 percent there but haven’t worked out all the variables in their formula,” Goetz shares.

For Goetz, a pivotal variable was drop shipping. “I spent a lot of time bootstrapping my earlier companies. Drop shipping was a game-changer because it allowed me to advertise before securing the inventory, yielding greater outcomes.”

3. Build a legit Shopify store

Shopify

A successful Shopify store must win confidence. “In the sometimes-fraudulent digital ecosystem, you have to earn a consumer’s trust,” Goetz says. “A money-back guarantee and free shipping guarantee are great places to start.”

Related: 5 Ecommerce Myths That Are Sabotaging People’s Businesses

Goetz also suggests choosing a theme that’s congruent with your industry. “With branding, you want to look professional, not spammy or creepy.” Gadgets are fun and technical, so his site has bright colours and precise language. “If I were running a men’s fashion store or toy store, I’d change my theme to match the merchandise and brand. Branding is key to converting customer views into sales.”

4. Find winning ads with huge ROI and scale

For Goetz, marketing comes down to one word: testing. “The only way to find out what works is to test it many times,” he says. “Test 10 audiences on each product, so you know where to invest your energy.” For The Gadget Snob, Goetz hired an ad manager to optimise Facebook campaigns. “When you strike gold with a successful ad, replicate it, but scale incrementally to ensure you’re staying targeted.” He suggests increasing ad spend 20 percent per day, not 500 percent.

When building campaigns, it’s also vital to use language that’s shareable and creative. Sales psychology is your friend. From his perspective, classic scarcity techniques have been around for centuries for a reason. “Try incorporating a quantity incentive: if you buy one, it’s full price; if you buy two, it’s 50 percent off and so forth.”

“Creating an email list is also vital. Email campaigns have a higher conversion rate than cold Facebook campaigns, and you can incentivise email campaigns with rewards. You can make money by merely pushing ‘send.’”

5. Hire a VA, then specialists

For Goetz, hiring a virtual assistant was essential to scaling. “At first, my VA helped with everything,” he says. Once his site got off the ground, Goetz hired people with specialised jobs for specific tasks.

Related: 5 Basics To Success When Starting An Ecommerce Business

He also stresses the importance of universal procedures. “Having clear onboarding processes and procedures is key to growth. Make your systems as easy as possible because while you might have 100 orders today, tomorrow you’ll have quadruple that.”

6. Get your customer support airtight

For a store to operate at full throttle, Goetz stresses the importance of customer support to maximise your profits. “You need your customer support to be airtight and available 24/7,” he says. “Online shopping goes all night and people place orders at all hours.”

To support questions and concerns, Goetz says that live chat and around-the-clock customer service is a must. “In our era of Amazon Prime, customer service expectations have never been higher, he says. “The last thing you want is a minute hiccup or technical goof obstructing a sale.”

Ultimately, ecommerce allows entrepreneurs to reach untapped markets and reap the rewards. As Goetz puts it: “My ecommerce site affords me ultimate freedom.” By following a few basic steps, you, too, can build a Shopify store to run from anywhere in the world, and perhaps even create your own million-dollar sales machine.

Related: 4 Methods For Building A Successful Ecommerce Brand

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time

Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.

Nadine Todd

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Start your part-time business today

Contents

  1. Public Relations
  2. Freelance Photography
  3. Corporate Videos
  4. Small Business Advertising Agency
  5. Writing, Editing and Proofreading Services
  6. Internet Marketing Consultant
  7. Web Design
  8. Tax Accountant
  9. Business Consultant
  10. Business Plan Consultant

Launching a company – even if it’s operated part-time – is all about drawing on your skills, talents and interests to create a viable business. What you know and what you’re good at form a good basis for a part-time business because these companies either become an extension of what you enjoy doing most or they are based on your strengths.

Working part-time while still maintaining a permanent job is time consuming and often exhausting, so choosing what you take pleasure in or are good at can keep you focused and motivated. The right fit is important when it comes to launching a part-time business. Selling a service rather than a product does not require large start-up costs, which means you can grow your business without financing until it becomes self-sustaining.

Are you looking for a business that you can launch in next to no time?

Read: 10 Business Ideas Ready To Launch!

Corporate Communications & Promotions

Corporate communications covers a host of areas, mainly because this is the sector that takes care of how companies look to the outside world – something that is very definitely a service, but also that is not often taken care of in-house.

If you can write, edit, have a knack for advertising, can take photographs or create promotional and corporate videos, you can offer your services part-time to companies both large and small that are in need of these services.

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Types of Businesses to Start

10 Business Ideas Ready To Launch!

Where do you find a good business idea? Right here. Here you’ll find several innovative business ideas that are ripe for plucking.

GG van Rooyen

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Where do you find a brilliant business idea?

It’s not as hard as it may seem at first. In fact, the idea is arguably not all that important. There’s a reason investors talk about backing the jockey and not the horse: It’s often not about the idea, but the execution.

A great entrepreneur can turn even a mediocre idea into a success; all that’s needed is a USP and great customer service.

That said, some ideas are undoubtedly better than others. And some businesses are easier to get off the ground. In the following pages you’ll find a curated list of business ideas that have reached a point where they’re just waiting to be exploited.

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