I combined an old southern dessert, the need for extra income, and some basic entrepreneurial concerns to complete a short story.
Readers don’t always need a 500 page document in order to understand your thoughts and ideas. If you have lots to say, all is well. But if you feel the need to hit all the important points with a short story or essay and shut it down, it’s still OK.
The Banana Pudding
Let’s face it. The economy has not been nice to anyone lately and no matter how many up-to-the- minute reports we hear about jobs and current employment statistics, we are still trying to figure this thing out. Actually, the condition of the current economy has basically put everyone into a survival mode by any means necessary.
As financial responsibilities increase for all of us I am beginning to hear from friends who are using old school tactics to generate additional income for themselves and their families. It is still true that necessity is the mother of invention, especially during a financial famine that seems to have no end.
As you drive to your job or home from the supermarket, you are beginning to ask yourself:
• What can I do to increase my income or generate a cash flow?
• What can I create that people will want or need and come back for more?
• How do I decide on the price(s) for my service or product?
• Do I need a business partner or do I need to do this alone?
• What resources do I need?
• Who do I contact for advice?
• How do I jumpstart my idea?
Help! I need to do something extra and different to make ends meet and where do I start?
Everyone has Gifts
This may seem a bit strange, but somewhere or sometime in your life, you have received compliments about something that you do very well. If it was something that you do easily without thinking, you probably just smiled, said thank you, and thought nothing of it. It is also true that others see talents or gifts in us that we sometimes ignore or dismiss. These talents could be the key to your future success.
It’s time to put those compliments to work! Identify what you do well with little or no hesitation, it’s easy, and you enjoy doing it. It could be one thing or several items. It’s best to work with one thing. So, sit down, do some thinking, make a list of the items related to your talent, and think about viewing your gift as a small business.
Research Your Idea
Is my idea beneficial to a specific group or generic enough to attract a variety of customers?
• Is my idea beneficial to a specific group or generic enough to attract a variety of customers?
• Is my idea already available?
• If so, does the public need another version of the same service or product?
• Will my service or product be short-term or long-term?
• What are my startup costs?
• Do I need insurance, bonding, or an official business name?
All of these factors will need to be considered and researched before you put a plan into action. If not, you will face them as you proceed with your idea and the costs could be detrimental to your business initiative. Although all entrepreneurial ideas are a risk, an early exploration of the challenges will save you the grief of expensive lessons in realtime later.
Do you need a business partner?
If you choose a business partner, be aware that the person must have the same business mindset and mission that you project. For instance, if you are always on time and your potential business partner is outstanding with product development, but habitually late, it will cause some conflict. There will be missed deadlines and opportunities, customer complaints, and lost revenue. On the other hand, it would be wise to choose a partner with some technical or networking skills that you are lacking or still developing. You could communicate with this person by email, Skype, or phone when necessary and tardiness will not be an issue. Never ignore the talents of others, but be cautious as to how they will fit into your business endeavor. Food for thought: many great business projects have been undermined or sabotaged by an uncommitted business partner.
Talk to a small business owner in your family, community, or place of worship.
• How did they begin?
• What changes did they experience over time?
• What do they say about the good times versus the bad?
• How did they identify and contact resources?
• What situations did they avoid, accept or modify?
• How did they manage weeks or months without making a profit?
• When is it time to close shop or change my target goal?
Listen to their highs and lows of owning a business and the sacrifices involved, both financial and personal. Then, consider your current circumstances, level of patience and persistence, and make an informed decision. You don’t need an MBA to own a successful business, but you do need every available ounce of information available about the venture you are about to undertake. For instance, an important reality for new business owners is being aware that the first few months or years may not yield a profit. Those challenging times must be considered as part of the planning process because many new business fail due to unrealistic goals and grandiose expectations.
Finally, I must stop here because I need to pick up a banana pudding for an afternoon meeting. Yes, I did say banana pudding. I have a friend who has developed a home based business from her mother’s banana pudding recipe and if I don’t get there within the next 30 minutes she will have sold out!
P.S. I forgot to add: she didn’t quit her day job. She’s still employed at GM and she will be there until her home based business is able to show growth and stability. Smart cookie!
Did the reader get some valuable tips for starting a new business? I hope so. So, mix it up, combine some elements, and cook up a story.