blue sky

Home     Display     HandyHints

Your Own Business - setting up and keeping going

This one can be a huge trap. The idea for it is often born of a custom-made success, the conviction that mass-producing an adaptation of the original item for general distribution will result in increased sales. Perhaps it will, as long as the product is desirable and well-advertised. In fact, if your creation is likely to be a crowd-pleaser, one of the larger chain-stores could be interested in selling it for you. I've heard of small manufacturers taking this road and doing well, to start with. As the demand for their product increased, they were under more pressure to supply, but it was worth it. When their buyer wanted more than they could currently produce, they had no option but to expand - new premises, more machinery and staff, a bigger stock of raw materials. That wasn't too much of a problem, not with the bank helping them out, swayed by advanced orders in writing from a major multi-national. Then came the day when the new boy on the block was advised that the price had to come down, or forget it! Despite the fact that there was a signed contract, the buyer was prepared to break it. What was the little guy to do - sue the fat-cat? Legal costs would be phenomenal, out of the question. He was already way over his head with the bank. His only options were to continue supplying, probably at a loss, or say cheerio and try to find another distributor. Neither was in the dream-plan; but had he considered human nature, especially the business kind, he might not have been so eager to move too far too fast. The advice for anyone contemplating manufacturing on a large scale is: don't get in so deep that you can't get yourself out - there will always be someone who will use it against you.

Some businesses can't be run without staff. You need enough of the right kind to help keep the customers happy, especially if you are contemplating a store or something in the hospitality industry such as a coffee shop or restaurant. People don't like to be kept waiting. They expect courtesy, convenience and to know that they are thought of as special. And if they only suspect they are being ripped-off, they won't be back. Maybe you can provide a quality level of service yourself, but can you rely on your staff to do the same? If business starts dropping off, you need to figure out why. Maybe one or more of your staff are undermining your good work with their bad attitude and a sloppy work ethic, but dissatisfied customers won't always voice their complaints. So, you should consider getting a couple of friends who are unknown to your staff and have them visit as customers, reporting back to you later on their findings. Then, get rid of the really bad apples and have a serious talk to the ones you believe you can trust. Once they are seen to be doing the right thing, keep an eye on them in case they back-slide when they think you aren't watching. This may all seem quite devious, but your clientele will benefit and your new venture has a better chance of continuing for long enough to become an eventual success.

Maybe you have a flair for fixing things - washing machines, computers, TV's and videos, etc. There wouldn't seem to be much in the way of outlay because all you'll need are a few spare parts bought in specifically for the job on hand. What you are selling here is your time and expertise, and as labour costs are 100% profit, you just need to fix a reasonable price for your hourly rate to make quite a comfortable living. As long as you complete the job to the satisfaction of the customer, there would seem little to worry over. Here are a few considerations you may not have thought about: Whether you be servicing cars, computers, or someone's books as in accounting, you can't always charge for the total time spent to complete each job. You could take an hour travelling to and from the place where you are doing the actual work - unless you've agreed on some compensation for this, it is sixty minutes you won't be paid for, plus travel costs. You may have to make a trip to the store for a new mother-board which you will be able to charge for, but not the time it takes to get it. Offering a Mobile Service can mean you are only achieving five hours of productive work in an eight-hour day. Bear this in mind when you set your rates.

Previous page       Next page

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print complete article.

  Back to beginning of article

Money     Health     Focus     Popcorn     Recipes     eBooks     About     Contact

copyright © 2011-2015  All Rights Reserved