Venturing into any sort of business is risky, to say the least.
During the mid-1990s, Internet access became available to the general public. Although having been used by large companies, governments and the military, no one expected how popular society would make this online world. At its peak, over 450 IPOs -- Initial Public Offerings -- were registered, channeling millions of dollars based on "what could be successful." Many of the stocks doubled in price just after the first day of opening. The investment mindset could be summed up as, "The Internet is still [relatively] new, surely this business will succeed and make boatloads of money!" Five years later, the iconic and quite devastating "dot-com bubble" finally burst, with the NASDAQ dropping in value a whopping 78 percent.
Roughly six years ago, real estate was on the rise with an average four-bedroom, three-bath house priced in the $500,000 area. In 2008, the real estate market reached its point of no return, exploding into dismay and leaving much of the population financially unstable. How did this happen? Banks lent money they didn't have to investors who then bought up-and-coming real estate. This caused a buyer's market -- a system in which the supply exceeds the demand, giving buyers the upper hand in negotiation.
Once the borrowed money ran dry and individuals didn't have enough monetary support, they defaulted on their loans. Banks and money lenders foreclosed on houses, eliminating the "middle man" between the bank and consumer. Quite hilariously, banks now "owned" houses that needed to be sold. With no one able to afford the inflated prices of the pre-crash market, banks were forced to sell property and residences as "short sales" -- where the buying price falls "short" of covering the debts and/or liens held against the home. This spiraled the real estate market into more of a downturn due to real estate agencies' lack of revenue. The average house at the collapse's worst cost around $100,000.
Why am I telling you of the two most recent financial debacles? Because having a successful business provides a test to the motivated, financially sound and mentally adept. On the other hand, starting a business is relatively easy.
At the moment, the market is now recovering from the 2008 economic recession. Individuals are now starting to have faith in the economy. Unemployment continues to drop and the real estate market is now on an upswing with the amount of short sales dwindling per month. The heartbeat of our nation is slowly returning back to normal. Now is the time to capitalize on the goodwill and good-spending of society.
Technology will continue to benefit your wants to make shoes for pets. Go ahead and reach for your dream. Make sure to follow these five steps in order to save all the cats' feet.
1. Do your research
It could be argued that the aforementioned crashes occurred because it was a case of "too much too quickly." Many individuals followed their neighbor into the rat trap and came out chewed up, never wanting to invest again. But, alas! There is hope at the end of the scorned tunnel. The Internets can now work in your favor, you wannabe Warren Buffet. Utilize the vast array of information at your fingertips to hash out all the potential problems in your new business venture. Want to go into fashion? Check out the forums and blogs around your area to gauge the level of success or failure had by those in the game.
2. Social media will be your best friend
The big three. Have a business idea? Create a page for it! Thankfully, access to most of the public can be had for zero dollars. What do I mean? There are billions of people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram everyday all day. The ability to create a want or need across the nation -- potentially across the world -- is easier than ever. Make the page and tell your friends. Then your friends will tell their friends. Sooner or later, some random guy from Utah is messaging you about your product and how much he loves it. Social media is a great platform for the public to become visually invested in your product or business.
On many occasions, a home-based business can be fully supported by social media. Don't buy a website to sell your homemade scarves. Post pictures on Instagram and give part of your fashion line to your friends. When others see your well-finished product, a buzz will surface. Sooner or later, you'll be receiving inbox messages for orders. Once capital and interest is established, build a website -- Wordpress and Wix are two great options.
3. Find a niche
Remember all those cliques in high school? Small subsets of individuals that share a common interest or activity? Common sense tells me that the leader of the Brain Squad Club doesn't hang out with the quarterback of the football team. They do not have a shared point of interest. Find an area where the possibility for demand of supplies can and will increase. Thanks to Pinterest and the want to carry a small dog everywhere, personalized pet treat shops have become a feasible business.
Attempting to build a niche is extremely risky. If an area or city of high traffic lacks a certain business, there might be a logical explanation. Observe similar business ventures prior to opening and remain updated on the societal peaks and valleys.
4. What are the three rules to real estate?
Location. Location. Location. After a niche has been found, planning where to place your business (if a store front is needed) can be one of the more tricky steps. Find an area that will have a steady flow of traffic, high potential for expansion, and a low potential for isolation. Buying a store front in a shopping plaza that doesn't have any other businesses will not allow for your own business to prosper. However, buying into a completely full plaza in the middle of nowhere will also be detrimental to your business. Find an area that has plans for -- or is in the process of -- construction. A perfect mix of residential and business properties is the key.
5. Take the plunge
After countless hours of research, development and planning, the last step happens to be the most daunting. Laying down a large sum of money in the hopes of having your start up be successful places a lot of pressure on yourself, and on all of your possible investors. A poorly planned business quickly becomes eaten alive in the real world. Don't be laying face down in a gutter hoping to find your next "big idea." Your business is only as successful as your wanting to be a success. Take pride in your work and that will show in the product.
Popular comedian starring in Comedy Central's Broad City, Hannibal Buress, talks in his stand-up act about how he never puts the napkin on his lap when eating out. People inquisitively ponder, "Why doesn't he put the napkin on his lap? Alfredo sauce can spill onto his jeans. Oh, the humanity!" Hannibal's answer is quite simple: confidence. He's a grown-up who believes in himself to not make a mess. Buress believes in his ability to take food from his plate to his mouth without making a mess of his shirt.
Be like Hannibal Buress. Believe in yourself and your business.
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