Category Archives: Business

Home Business Tips

A home business can be much more than a way to pay the bills. It can be a way for you to take back your future and to take control over your work day and your work week. You can do the things that you love to do, and you can be in total control of the business. This is the big pull for many for the home business, but it is also why it is important to follow some home business tips so that you know what you are doing and you can do it well.

The first of the home business tips is organization. No matter what you are doing, or what you hope to achieve by doing it, it is vital that you are as organized as possible. You want to be absolutely sure that you have all of your business plans in order and that you are able to explain through them exactly what your business is going to be all about. Having business plans in order is a very important part of your home business tips, and you want to be sure that this is the first thing you have done.

Next, when it comes to home business tips, is the idea of having the right type of space for your home business. This is an important thing to think about right off the bat, because you need to be sure that as you begin your home business you really have a handle over what you are going to be doing. You are going to always want to be sure that you have exactly the right type and size of space for your home business. Be sure that you are able to fit everything that you need to fit into the space that you have allotted for you home business.

The next of the important home business tips includes being able to have a website that can really promote your business. Remember that even if your clients are local, every business today is going to need a website, and your business is no exception to this. You want to be sure that you are doing all that you can to make your business welcoming, which will help give you a bigger chance of actually being a success. This is very important for you to remember, so you should be sure that you are having the best website possible.

The last of the home business tips is to remember that even though this is a home business, it is an actual business. This means that you have to be sure that you are putting your most professional ideas out there and that you are treating this business as if it was the biggest and most important business in the world. You always want to present your home business in this manner, because this is the best way that you have to make sure your home business stays a successful as you want it to be. If you can do this you will succeed.

 

Internet Business Tips

Many people have discovered the advantages of having an Internet business run right from their own home, so they have decided to open an online business. The problem is that not all online businesses are successful. There are many reasons that online businesses can fail. Here are four Internet business tips that will help you avoid this and have a successful online business.

The first part of a set of successful business tips will of course involve the idea of your business. A successful business has to start with a great idea. If the idea for a business isn’t something that customers will want to pay for, you will literally get nowhere with it. So, you need an idea that customers are willing to pay money for in order to have a successful online business.

After you have a successful idea for a business, you have to have a website that is appealing. This is the largest of the Internet business tips because it involves a lot of different characteristics and a lot of work for a person that is building a website. The site needs to be informative of course, but it also needs to be simple enough for many people to be able to navigate. The look of the site is important as well. A trusted site needs to fit the type of business you are operating, which is most often a professional look.

As part of this tip, you need to focus on your website content for when potential customers will visit your website. Your content needs to be very thorough about each and every product and service you offer. It should be brief enough for people to not get bored reading it, but it should also contain anything that customers will commonly want to know about your product or service. You should also include information about you and your business, as well as a way to contact you in case of other questions.

In order to bring customers to the site, you have to market it. This is often thought of as one of the most important Internet business tips that are given. When you market your site, you need to carefully market it for your potential customer base that will actually purchase your product or services. This takes a lot of focus on quality marketing versus quantity marketing, and even though it will not take a lot of money, it will take a little more work. But the results will be better.

When you get a customer, you need to focus on customer service. This is the last of the Internet business tips that can help you greatly. Focus on making sure each and every customer is incredibly happy with everything that they pay for.

When you want to open an Internet business, these four Internet business tips will help you make sure that your business will be successful. If you follow these tips, you will be able to make your at h9ome business succeed and not be one of them that will fail.

 

Online Business Tips

I don’t envy new internet entrepreneurs looking to make money online. There are so many business opportunities it is overwhelming which system to select. However, after careful consideration you have finally decided on a business system and you are ready to get started. Where do you begin? Let’s take a look at three online business tips that have their roots in Corporate America, but are relevant to online businesses.

Many times online business opportunities are not viewed and managed like a corporation, and for good reason. Unreasonable deadlines, greed, unruly bosses, and long hours are reasons for the mass exodus from Corporate America to the green pastures of online businesses.

While Corporate America is inherently flawed, there are a few online business tips that can have a significant impact on the success of your home based business. When constructing your online business don’t overlook these important tenants, usually reserved for Corporate America. You will be surprised at how powerful these three business elements can be.

Business Tip #1: Leadership

A determining factor in the success of your home based business is leadership. When starting out, you are not going to have all of the answers right away. That is why it’s critical to surround yourself with industry leaders that can help guide your business. Make sure you listen, read, and follow influential leaders within the online marketing community that are currently getting the results you desire. These leaders are people that are going to help mold you into a successful leader who will create the necessary results that are essential for your business’s growth.

Business Tip #2: Mission Statement

Most likely your internet business is going to be just you; however it’s still important to have a well groomed mission statement that invokes inspiration. You want people to be attracted to you and your business and a mission statement is a great way to build your online brand. It’s an extension of your beliefs and needs to resonate with people. An effectively communicated mission statement helps you stay in the forefront of your customers mind and creates your business identity.

Business Tip #3: Collaboration

The competition in today’s business world is fierce. That is why it’s essential to partner with key subject matter experts. You can learn a lot from people within a team environment. That’s why it is critical to align yourself with other online entrepreneurs. Together you can learn what people within the industry are doing to get results. Join network marketing groups, listen to podcasts, participate in events, and attend live webinars. This type of collaboration will foster new ideas and spawn business growth.

Whether you are an industry veteran or new to the online marketing world make sure you carefully consider integrating these three elements into your online business. While these three online business tips are deeply rooted in Corporate America, you may find them beneficial to the success of your online business.

Small Business Tips and Ideas

Deciding to start a business can be one of the most exhilarating decisions you make in your life. We are living in a world wherever everyone wants to make extra money and add to his income. Most people have achieved this by acquiring great business ideas. When one starts up a company, he must be ready to meet competition. It is important to note that you would not need to become rich or popular to succeed in business but have to think smartly. But there are a lot of moving parts and many different elements to consider.

10 basic tips essential to start a business successfully.

Tip 1: Get inspired and Love your idea

Every business begins with an idea you may have imagined of opening your own business for years, or motivation may have hit you suddenly. Nevertheless of the source, the first step of starting your own business is coming up with a business idea. And as important as your idea, you must in love with the idea.

Tip 2: Do Your Research / learn everything about the business

You’ve recognized your big idea, now it’s time to balance it with the reality. Are you truly ready to start a business? Answer the questions below and see what you need to prepare yourself for business. For a small business succeed it must fulfill a need, solve a problem or offer something the market wants.

You can identify this need in many ways by doing research, focus groups, and even trial and error.

As you search the market, some of the questions can be:

• Is there a need for your anticipated services or products?
• Who needs it? (Target Costumers)
• Are there other companies offering similar services or products right now?
• How is the competition?
• Can or how will your business fit into the market?

Tip 3: Make a Business Plan

You need a business plan in order to make your business idea a reality. If you expect to seek monetary support from an investor or financial organization, a formal written business plan is a must.

Even if you don’t need monetary support, a simple business plan can give you precision about what you hope to accomplish and how you plan to do it.

In overall, your business plan should summary your business goals and the inspiration behind them, as well as your plan for realization of your goals in terms of marketing and funding.

Tip 4: Planning Finances

Opening a small business doesn’t have to involve a lot of money, but it will involve some investment.

There are a number of methods you can fund your small business:

• With Small business grants
• By Financing
• With Small business loans
• Or Angel investors

You can also attempt to get your business off the ground by bootstrapping, using as little capital as necessary to start your business.

Tip 5: Business Structure

Your small business can be an individual ownership, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business structure you might choose will impact in many factors from your business name, to liability, and how you file your taxes.

You can choose an initial business structure, and with time re-evaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs to be changed.

Tip 6: The Business Name

The name you choose plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Make sure you think through all of the possible consequences as you explore your options and select your business name.

Once you have selected a name, there is the need to check if it’s trademarked, currently in use and if stills free you will need to register it. A individual proprietor must register their business name with either their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLC, or limited corporations usually register their business name when the creation paperwork is filed.

These days you need to have a website, so please don’t forget to register your domain name once you have selected your business name. The best domains and more valuable online are the ones ending with .com.

Tip 7: Licenses and Permits

There are a range of small business licenses and permits that may apply to your situation, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are placed. You will need to inquiry what licenses and permits apply to your business during the initial process.

Tip 8: The Business Location

Setting up your place to work is essential for the operation of your business, whether you will have a home office, a shared or private office space, or a retail location. You will need to reflect about your place, equipment, and overall setup, and make sure your business place works for the kind of business you will be doing.

Tip 9: Accounting System

One of the most essential systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is essential in order to build and manage your budget, set your charges, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. You can set up your accounting system by your own, or hire an accountant to take away some of the work.

Tip 10: Promote Your Small Business

As soon your business is up and running, you need to start attracting customers. You’ll want to initiate with the essentials by writing a single selling offer and building a marketing plan. Explore as many small business marketing ideas as you can so you to choose how to promote your business most successfully. Completed these business start-up actions, you will have all of the most important small business bases protected, and be prepared for small business success.

15 Business Ideas to Generate Extra Income

If you want or need to start a side job because you still need to wait a little bit longer to start your own business, here are 15 suggestions for you.

1. Make money Blogging

If you enjoy writing, find a theme you’re passionate about and start a blog dedicated to covering that theme and anything else interesting you enjoy to talk about. All you need is a laptop, some time, and inspiration to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. Creating a blog is free, but if you want to look professional it can cost less than $ 12 per month.

2. Buying or selling on eBay

Thanks to internet there are more opportunities to make money than ever to buy and resell products for extra money. There are lots of people buy at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit.

3. Freelance writing

If you’re great with words, you might be capable to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of product, stories, service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and ability, you could easily be the one to create them. Luckily, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started. You can start here freelancer.com

4. Social media expert

Now a day almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but did you know that many companies are willing to compensate people to support them managing their social media accounts and sometimes you can do it part-time from home. If this appeals you, to find social media jobs you can start by writing companies with a social media presence and visiting sites like Elance.com for opportunities.

5. Proofreading and editing

Do you have strong English skills and outstanding grammar? You may have chances to work as a proof-reader from home. Marketing for this can be hard; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.

6. Virtual assistant

Many companies and individual professionals like having someone who can check and answer their email, organize task lists for them, someone who can update their calendars, and perform other administrative tasks, with minimal communication. The best of being a virtual assistant is that you can offer this service from home with a good Internet connection.

7. Website design

If you know a little bit about web design you can approach small businesses in your community, as they could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. These businesses usually don’t have a large budget for websites and create a great yet simple website is for you, get a bunch of clients from your local community, create sites for them, and maintains them for a small fee. You can easily get enough businesses to have a nice side business of your own with a low investment.

8. Affiliate marketing

Certain types of online businesses will pay you to promote their products and encourage sales. If you’re interested in learning more, check out affiliate marketing programs such as Click-bank, Commission Junction, and these websites are trustworthy and you can earn money by posting their products in your blog, website or Facebook. The secret of online business is all knowing targeting the right public and marketing efficiently. It can be overwhelming with all the information available online as more than 50% of the information is just a waste of time.

9. Become a business or life coach

If you are a good speaker and passionate about the business world and able to inspire and encourage others in a unique way, you could marketing your services as a business or even a life coach. Take your passion and expertise to the next level giving advice and suggest actionable steps people can take to progress their professional and private lives.

10. Start a resume writing service

If you’re excellent at writing remarkable resumes that in the end result in people getting the job, contemplate advertising those services. Most of your work will spin around writing, editing, designing, and proofreading, so you will only need few supplies outside of your computer and basic software to get started.

11. App Developer

Web app development is the creation of application programs that reside on remote servers and are delivered to the user’s device over the Internet. Now a day you can do apps with software’s you don’t really need to be a weirdo to do it, you can be an app developer for Facebook for instance and of course you can do it part-time and home based.

12. Business Consultant

If you are high organized and skilled being a good problem solver this job is for you. Companies bring Business Consultant to identify their problems, provide solutions and optimize companies. The only investments are your skills.

13. Data Entry Service

Many companies and online businesses require some type of manual information tracking, creating a vast amount of data entry work. Although there are many work-at-home scams related with data entry work, there are a lot of genuine chances available for genuine data entry businesses. If you are an excellent typist with an eye for detail, a data entry business is a great idea for you.

14. Freelance Writer

If you have the skill to write and inform people in a certain area, you can write small books or guides and sell them online, the biggest books platform is Amazon.com, where you can display your books for free and when they are sold, you will receive a percentage from the selling. Payments are made every month depending on your sales. Investment is only your time to write and imagination.

15. Internet Researcher

The Internet provides a vast amount of information. If you can quickly and efficiently navigate through that wealth of information, and essentially find a needle in a haystack, you can create a very successful business as an Internet researcher. Search for this kind of job online or about a company which is looking for this of service.

I give you only a glimpse what you could do, and these are just a few ideas, but many ideas were left behind.

First of all I advise you to think what you like to do as a hobby or in your free time, why don’t you make profit from what you are doing already?

You have the world as your disposal, but for a business to work out the first thing from all things is, it doesn’t matter what you intent to do, but you have to love it. If you love what you do it doesn’t feel like a job, you will be doing it with joy and this way you will be successful.

There are some side business opportunities that have grown more common in the past few years. And thanks to internet you have much more opportunities, ideas and help to develop your business.

How to Find the Best Business Ideas

If you’ve come to the conclusion that working for someone else isn’t for you, becoming an entrepreneur may be a shrewd move. While starting a business on your own may be difficult, the hardest part might just be coming up with an idea that can be successful.

The International Finance Corporation’s SME Toolkit advises potential entrepreneurs to create three separate lists to determine what might be a good fit.  The lists should focus on what you’re good at, what skills you’ve acquired over the years and the things you like to do.

“Keep these three lists in an accessible place (for instance on your desk) for several weeks, and when small business ideas come to you, jot them down in the proper category,” the SME Toolkit advises.

Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of Docstoc, believes the best way to generate a business idea is to think of a problem that can be solved. But, he also noted, it’s imperative the problem not just be your own.

“What’s a problem that a lot of people have?” Nazar says in a video on the Docstoc website. “That’s a really good starting point for a great business idea.”

Brad Sugars, founder and chairman of ActionCOACH, wrote in an Entrepreneur.com article that the best business ideas tend to be ones that are most narrowly focused.

“Category leaders tend to be highly focused, and many times, that focus can appear too narrow,” Sugars wrote. “But companies with focus grow precisely because their niche is so distinctive.”

While some like to be as secretive as possible when crafting new business ideas for fear of having a great concept stolen from underneath them, entrepreneur Chris Dixon believes the opposite approach is best.

In his blog, Dixon, the co-founder and CEO of Hunch, advises those who want to start a company to create a spreadsheet where they list every idea they can think of. He advises they then take that spreadsheet and get feedback from as many people as possible, such as venture capitalists, other entrepreneurs, potential customers and people working at big companies in relevant industries.

“The odds that someone will hear an idea and go start a competitor are close to zero,” Dixon wrote. “The odds you’ll learn which ideas are good and bad and how to improve them are very high.”

Money also needs to be taken into consideration.  When deciding the best business to pursue, author and franchising expert Joe Matthews believes any idea that is deliberated should also be measured by how profitable it can be.

Matthews encourages potential business owners to run three different financial scenarios — best-case, average case and worst-case — for their prospective business.

“Shoot for the best case, but make sure your decision is based on the average case scenario,” Matthews wrote on Entrepreneur.com. “Also, make sure you can survive the worst case.”

Many good ideas for a new business can be found where you’re already working.  In his book “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By” (Yale Press, 2008), author Scott Shane writes that interactions entrepreneurs had with customers in previous jobs is a great source of inspiration.

He points to a study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses that shows that a business founder’s prior job was the source of the idea for a new business 43 percent of the time. In addition, 61 percent of new businesses serve the same or similar customers as their founder’s previous employer and 66 percent of the new businesses were in the same or similar product line.

While following all of the advice won’t necessarily lead you down the path to a profitable business, it will help you get on the right track.

Home Based Business Ideas

business-analysis-courses_600x600circleIn the book, Forest shares her journey to a successful home business and her experiences working part-time for an employer. Here, she gives BusinessNewsDaily readers 10 home-based business ideas that will help women – or men – achieve the perfect work-life balance.

Bookkeeping – So many people including  hate doing their accounts and tax returns. As a bookkeeper you are taking their pain away.

Media & Public Relations – Likewise many small business owners don’t know where to start with getting publicity or how to manage their social media. You can provide a solution to this problem.

[10 Signs You’ve Got What It Takes to Start a Business]

Human Resources & Recruitment  – From big to small business, many recruitment activities are outsourced to individual consultants or smaller firms. It’s a great opportunity if you are experienced in the field.

Professional Business Writing – This can take many forms from copywriting and media releases to big jobs like research reports and training documents. Source your clients through online sites and by real world networking.

Graphic Designer – It’s super easy to meet a client’s graphic design needs from a desk in your own home and there are diverse ways to find clients online or by word of mouth.

IT and Web Programmer – Many business owners aren’t skilled in designing their own websites or shopping carts and are very happy to outsource this.

Daycare – Working parents are actively looking for good quality care for their children. If you love kids and are skilled in education and creative play, this could be great work for you.

Online Retail – Finding your niche and the right platforms (e.g.: Etsy or eBay) may take time and practice but it can be highly flexible for moms who can also source good inventory.

Creative Teacher – From cooking and pottery to freelance writing and quilting, a dedicated and experienced teacher can book up the time she has by teaching at different sites online and offline.

Party Planning –  Working with an established and respected party planning company is great for women with a background in retail, keen to start their own business with support provided by the party planning team.

How to Start a Restaurant

For those with a passion for food, opening a restaurant is the ultimate entrepreneurial dream. Perhaps you’ve already envisioned it: You start off in a tiny space with a couple of tables and a small kitchen. Before you know it, your eatery has become a beloved local dining establishment with a line out the door every weekend.

Running a restaurant is certainly rewarding, but it’s no easy task. Like any startup venture, restaurant ownership takes a lot of hard work, unwavering dedication and a willingness to overcome the obstacles you’re sure to come up against along the way. Six industry veterans shared their tips for navigating the business and launching a successful restaurant.

In any industry, doing your due diligence before starting up is critical for success. This is especially true for the restaurant business, where simply knowing good food isn’t enough. Even if you have worked in a restaurant, there are still many legal, managerial and marketing lessons to be learned.

One area that many would-be restaurateurs overlook is local licensing and health-department regulations. Michele Stumpe, a Georgia-based attorney specializing in alcohol licensing and hospitality litigation, stressed the importance of knowing the legal policies in your restaurant’s location, especially since state (and even county) laws can vary. Aspiring restaurateurs planning a launch should factor in the time various permitting and inspection processes will take, Stumpe advised. Costanzo Astarita ran into this issue when opening his Atlanta restaurant Baraonda in December 2000.

[10 Business Ideas for Foodies]

“The first couple of months were hard,” Astarita said. “We didn’t have a liquor license, and opening when everyone was busy for the holidays proved very challenging. We scraped through until Valentine’s Day, when we received our license and got a review published in the local paper. We had a great weekend, and the restaurant finally took off.”

You might have an incredible concept, a well-trained staff and the best menu, but without a good location, your restaurant is doomed to fail. In the 30 years she’s been in business, Paola Bottero moved her Manhattan eatery three times before settling on her current location. Marco Pipolo, owner and executive chef of Marcony Ristorante in New York City has learned valuable lessons from each of the five restaurants he’s owned, but one of the most important is that location can make or break your business.

Daniel Shemtob, owner of Los Angeles-based TLT Food, got his start in the industry with his mobile restaurant called The Lime Truck. While lower inventory costs and the ability to move around mean a much lower risk when starting a food truck, location can still present an issue.

“On our first day, [my co-founder and I] were in the middle of nowhere — we didn’t have propane to cook, and the truck wouldn’t start,” said Shemtob, who recalled having to hotwire the truck and wait for someone to come help them. “Then, there are other factors, like traffic,” he added.

Getting your bearings in the restaurant industry as a first-timer can be difficult. If you don’t have any previous experience in the business yourself, it’s important to partner with or hire someone who does.

When Astarita started his restaurant, he and his partner had worked on both the food preparation and management sides of the industry, but he didn’t know much about commercial leases.

“I wish I had understood how to negotiate them when I started,” he said. “I think that any new restaurateur who is unfamiliar with commercial leases should hire a lawyer who specializes in that field.”

Tony Doyle, owner of HK Hospitality Group, has worked in restaurants since age 12 and has opened several successful restaurants, but he still had a lot to learn when he opened his first establishment.

“There were a lot of things I’d never dealt with before — employees, payroll, taxes, bank-account management, etc.,” Doyle said. “You need to get a general knowledge of the working of the business before you start. There are a lot of issues that people don’t see.”

While being consistent in food quality and service is important for success, the restaurant business is far from static.

“I have found over the years that you constantly need to be updating, renovating and evolving with the ever-changing taste of the public to be successful,” Pipolo said.

Shemtob agreed, noting that his menu is constantly changing to allow for newer, more innovative dishes. When you come up with your concept and menu, it should be flexible enough to adapt when your customers ask for something new.

According to a recent Ohio State University study, more than half of all restaurants fail within the first three years. If your venture does fail, assess what went wrong and try again, keeping those things in mind. When Highlands Restaurant Group co-owner Donal Brophy and his business partners founded their most recent restaurant, Whitehall Bar + Kitchen (New York City), they used the lessons they learned when one of their restaurants was forced to close in 2011.

“We learned so much from the closing of our restaurant, Mary Queen of Scots,” Brophy told BusinessNewsDaily. “The food must be spot-on from the beginning. The layout and flow of the space needs to work during a high-volume atmosphere. Most importantly, we learned how important it is to communicate well amongst the partners. It was such a tough time for all of us, but we made it through and opened Whitehall, which has been a massive success.”

Everyone knows that a successful restaurant needs to serve impeccable food, but there are so many other factors that contribute to the success of your venture. If there’s one thing Bottero wishes she knew when she started out, it’s that creating a loyal following is difficult and takes time, even if your menu is top-notch.

“Customers make the place,” she told BusinessNewsDaily. “You have to earn their trust by making sure they’re taken care of and providing the best service possible. In today’s market, you also can’t succeed without social media. Good food is important, but so is good technology.”

How to Start a Pet Care Business

For entrepreneurial pet lovers, there’s almost no question as to what type of business they would want to start. Becoming a trainer, groomer or sitter is likely a dream job for those who want to spend their days working with and caring for dogs and cats. But, as any pet care professional can attest, being a part of this industry is no easy task.

“Pets are often regarded as family members, and the responsibility of caring for those pets is not one that should be taken lightly,” said Daryl Conner, manager of Yankee Clipper Pet Grooming and certified petcare dermatech specialist. “[Pet care professionals] don’t just play with puppies all day. We work with living creatures who can often behave unpredictably.”

Starting a pet care business is certainly an achievable goal, but you won’t succeed without a strong knowledge of both animal behavior and business basics. Before you start writing up that business plan, here’s what you need in order to work in the industry.

Regardless of what type of pet care business you want to start, a basic education in animal care and handling is the first step to working with animals. While you don’t necessarily need a degree in animal science, reading books, taking courses and attending industry events are essential to expanding your knowledge of animal anatomy and behavior. Groomers and trainers are responsible for more than simply washing and cutting fur and teaching tricks: They are often the first to spot issues like fleas and ticks, which they will need to know how to deal with.

Consider getting certified by a reputable industry organization with rigorous testing and training requirements, such as the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors or the National Dog Groomers Association of America. This will not only give you a good educational background, but also build up customer trust when you do start your own business. However, a good pet care professional knows that his or her education is never complete.

“Always continue your education,” said Mandy Massara, founder of All Aspects Animal Care. “Keep refining your craft. We don’t know everything, but we want to.”

While books and classes are a good start, a theory-based education can only get you so far. Firsthand experience handling animals is critical to starting and running a successful pet care business. Most groomers and trainers started out as apprentices under more experienced professionals before branching out and starting their own practices.

“A lot of pet owners don’t know what goes on behind the scenes,” said Teri DiMarino, president of the California Professional Pet Groomers Association. “[For groomers,] getting the cut right is one thing, but handling the pet is another issue entirely. What happens if a dog gets in a fight, or needs first aid? You have to be prepared.”

Linda Kaim, founder of Lionheart K9 Dog Training, said that many industry certification programs don’t include hands-on training to work directly with animals, and that knowledge-based tests are an insufficient assessment of how a trainer or groomer will perform when dealing with pets.

Similarly, Sandy Blackburn, author of The Everything Dog Grooming Book and owner of The Groom Room Pet Spa, noted that online courses are okay for refining skills once you have experience under your belt, but as a novice, this route is not recommended.

Because animal behavior can be unpredictable, protecting both yourself and your customers through proper licensing and insurance coverage is a must. Massara recommended doing thorough research into local ordinances and taking the proper steps to comply with them.

“Consumers should be wary of unlicensed businesses,” she told Business News Daily. “They have no recourse if something goes wrong.”

In the pet care industry, one must remember that professionals work with both pets and people. While the bulk of a trainer, groomer or sitter’s day-to-day activities involves the care and handling of animals, it’s the owners who ultimately drive your business. George Quinlan, NADOI member and founder of All About Dogs Behavior and Training Center, said that liking people and being able to communicate with them is just as important as loving animals.

“Without good communication skills, you’ll lose half of your clients,” he said.

A true love of animals and experience working with them only make up one half of the equation for an independent pet care business. The other side, of course, is knowing how to run a business.

“Having a good grasp of basic business principles is a must,” Conner told Business News Daily. “Many groomers [and other pet care professionals] do not understand how to figure out the cost of running a business, and because of that, they have no idea how to structure their pricing. They end up setting their prices to be comparable to other professionals in the area, with no way to compare overhead, and do not charge what their service is worth.”

Speaking with other entrepreneurs, both in and out of the industry, can help in determining pricing structure, hiring needs, necessary equipment (if any), marketing and other essential elements of starting a business.

How to Start a Pop-Up Business

During the holiday season, most major U.S. cities open up temporary public marketplaces for people to purchase gifts, treats and other seasonal items. But pop-up stores aren’t just for the holidays — all year round, both new and established brands set up limited-time retail locations to generate buzz about their products.

Whether you’re an e-commerce merchant testing out your goods in a brick-and-mortar setting or an entrepreneur scouting out a good permanent location, a pop-up store can help you achieve your business goals. Business News Daily spoke with two industry experts about why pop-ups work, and how to open one successfully.

The pop-up model’s temporary nature offers several advantages over a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront.For one,pop-up store owners can afford to be more creative and experimental in the design of their short-term space, said Jeremy Baras, author of “PopUp Republic: How to Start Your Own Successful Pop-Up Space, Shop, or Restaurant” (Wiley, 2015). There are also fewer inherent risks when you don’t have the long-term commitment of a commercial lease.

Melissa Gonzalez, founder of the Lion’esque Group and author of “The Pop Up Paradigm: How Brands Build Human Connections in a Digital Age” (Lioncrest Publishing, 2014), agreed that pop-up stores’ limited engagements give them an edge, especially when it comes to establishing corporate partnerships.

“You can test partnerships [with a pop-up],” Gonzalez said. “They can share a space [with you] and see if [you] work well together.”

Consumers love pop-ups, too. Gonzalez said that shoppers come into a pop-up store with a different mind-set — instead of expecting consistency as they do from regular retail stores, they’re coming into pop-ups to discover new things and “be surprised and delighted.”

“Customers love a F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) experience, and given the exclusive, ‘here-today-gone-tomorrow’ type of atmosphere that pop-ups offer, customers are naturally drawn to them,” Baras added.

Despite their benefits, pop-ups do have to deal with a few challenges that traditional retail businesses don’t face. One of the biggest issues relates to the process of planning and marketing. Opening any type of store requires an enormous amount of work to coordinate all the logistics. But whereas regular brick-and-mortars have time to build momentum, pop-ups need to generate tons of interest and sales right off the bat to make their investment worth it.

“Marketing is challenging because you’re there in a temporary space,” Gonzalez said. “If you’re Marc Jacobs and have millions of followers, you put it out on social [that you’re doing a pop-up], and people will show up. As a new brand … make sure there’s a proper plan to notify your following and build your digital footprint … throughout the duration of the pop-up, so people know.”

To achieve this goal, Gonzalez recommended a slightly longer pop-up time frame (several weeks instead of several days) to allow time for word of mouth to travel. She also said to set a large enough budget to give you room for the right location, décor, staff and promotional activities.

The other major challenge pop-up stores face is the ability to properly license their business. Pop-ups aren’t quite a mainstream retail concept yet, so there haven’t been any special licenses or permits developed specifically for them. Baras said securing the appropriate documentation will become easier as economic development and local government officials learn about the benefits of pop-ups and how they can affect communities.

Gonzalez and Baras offered the following advice for entrepreneurs looking to succeed with a pop-up model.

Have a goal. Don’t open a pop-up just for the sake of doing it, Gonzalez said. You should have a larger objective in mind for your brand.

“Be clear on your goal [and make it] something specific,” she said. “It should be to test a new product, enter a new market, educate [consumers], etc. Then, understand the customer you want to go after.”

Review your options. You don’t necessarily have to seek out a full-scale storefront for your temporary shop. Baras said that the “store-within-a-store” concept — setting up a small booth inside an existing store to sell similar, complementary products — is becoming popular, and Gonzalez noted that mobile units and kiosks are great ways to enter the pop-up space.

If you do decide to go for a brick-and-mortar location, apps like Storefront can help you find available retail space in the city you want to open your pop-up in. Storefront allows you to search by geographic location, and the rental fees for most of the locations are listed as the price per day.

Keep the customer relationship going. Your relationship with the people who shopped at your pop-up doesn’t end when the store closes. Gonzalez said it’s important to think about the long-term marketing implications of the data you gather during your pop-up event.

“Your pop-up is open for a week and you make some sales, but it’s the information you’re collecting about customers that drive sales throughout the next two quarters,” she said. “Where are they sharing information — Facebook over Twitter? Instagram over Facebook? What products, colors, etc. [did they buy]? How many people are coming inside [and] converting?”

Technology can also help you stay connected with customers after they’ve left the store. Customers often use pop-ups for “showrooming” — visiting a physical retail location to see and touch a product, and then purchasing it online later. With technology like in-store tablets and augmented reality, pop-up owners are able to extend their inventory offering without bringing the actual items into the store, Gonzalez said.

Enjoy the ride. As with any entrepreneurial venture, you’ll have a lot more success with your pop-up store if you’re passionate about it and truly enjoy what you’re doing.

Great Places to Find a New Business Idea

All successful entrepreneurial ventures have one thing in common: They solve a specific problem. Whether they fill a gap in the market or improve upon what’s already out there, good business ideas demonstrate what the issue is and why they have the unique ability to address it.

If you’ve been racking your brain for a way to start your own business but keep coming up short, you might just need a change of scenery. You never know where inspiration will strike, so get up and explore these 10 places to find solvable problems — and, therefore, great business ideas.

Think you’ve found your perfect startup? Do some research to make sure the idea is legal and feasible, and then visit our step-by-step guide to starting a business.

In the “there’s an app for that” era, it may seem like every mobile application under the sun has already been thought up and built. But that’s not necessarily the case, as many people discover when they scour their smartphone’s app store searching for something that doesn’t exist. Perhaps an app you recently downloaded doesn’t function the way you’d hoped it would, or doesn’t offer a certain feature you wanted. To find out if there’s interest in the newer, better app you want to create, ask friends, family and others in your network. Once you’ve done your due diligence, you can use a DIY app maker or, if you have very little tech experience, hire freelancers to build it for you.

If you’ve ever done an exhaustive Internet search for a specific item that returned no results, you have three options: settle for something close enough, give up entirely or do it yourself. If you’re the kind of person who chooses the DIY method (and can do it well), you have the opportunity to turn a frustration into a lucrative business. Check forums to see if others are searching for the same product(s), and then open up an online shop to sell them. This can also work well for specialized service-based businesses.

If there’s one thing people like to do on social media, it’s air their grievances about everyday life. Most of the time, these types of updates are mundane (and probably a little annoying), but if you pay close enough attention to those hashtags and status updates, you might start to see some patterns emerging. Look for phrases like, “Why isn’t there a … ” or, “I wish there was a …” — you may be able to offer a solution.

As with social media, people love to talk about the products they’ve purchased and places they’ve visited on sites like Amazon, Google and Yelp. Most consumers will read and use negative reviews to determine if they should avoid the product or establishment, and that company’s loss could be your gain. See what people are complaining about, and try to come up with a business idea that would fix the problem.

Look around your house or apartment. What are some of the frustrations you encounter there? Dusty air vents? A messy bathroom? Unraked leaves on your lawn? If you’re noticing these things in your own home, there’s a good chance other people are experiencing the same problems. By launching an in-home service business, you can help others take care of these time-consuming household tasks.

The people who live near you can be a great inspiration for business ideas. Think about the demographics of your neighborhood or local community. If your town has a lot of working parents, a service that offers to run errands or provides child care might be in high demand. A neighborhood with a lot of senior citizens could use independent home health aides. Are there a lot of dog owners nearby? Try a pet-care business like pet sitting or dog walking.

If you want to start a part-time business outside your current job, ask your co-workers what kinds of products or services they’re missing in their lives. Maybe someone else with a side business is looking for a bookkeeper or financial adviser. Others might be looking to enroll their children in affordable art or music classes. Small talk in the break room is bound to lead to at least a few viable ideas.

Are you a food lover? Seeing what’s missing from the shelves at the grocery store or farmers market could help you come up with a made-to-order culinary business idea. Jams, baked goods and specialty diet items (gluten free, vegan, etc.) are especially good choices for an artisanal food startup. Alternatively, you could test your gastronomic skills with ingredients from the supermarket and open up a restaurant or food truck.

While you might not actually open up a brick-and-mortar retail location, perusing your local mall might give you some ideas for a business of your own. You could launch a line of homemade natural cosmetics to rival the pushy salespeople from that kiosk, a clothing line to produce something different from the same old items in every apparel store window or an online craft shop to offer personalized alternatives to generic card-store knickknacks.

If you’re a parent, you know that any product or service that will help your child is worth the money. Think about the gaps you see in the market, and next time you pick up the kids from school, ask other parents if they feel the same way. Not a parent? Ask family members or friends with children what kinds of things they want (or want improved) but can’t currently find for their kids.