Your Best Business Idea

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The Best Business IdeaStart your own small business with the best business idea. My guide, Chart Your Course, makes it easy. Based on 20 years of small business experiences, it comes complete with resources and worksheets to make your journey faster while reducing errors. There is no risk – subscribe today and get the first chapter absolutely free.

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“I regularly rely on this material to make better decisions about how I operate my own small business.  I only wish that I had found Caleb prior to starting!  I’m absolutely positive that it would have helped to grow even faster.” – S Norton, Franchise Owner, Real Estate Industry

Small Business Expert

Caleb Page, Small Business Expert

  • Elizabeth Dianna Perez

    I want to start my own small business, but not sure how to get my idea off the table. Need to know how to start and how to get in contact with suppliers….please help.

    • rais9549

      @Elizabeth – I shot you an email separately so that I can better understand your situation. For the readers, here is a general response. Finding dependable suppliers can be very difficult. First it’s most important that you identify and document your requirements. Nearly everyone has specifics regarding cost, quality, and on time delivery. From there you may have other tangible requirements such as choice of materials, fair labor, and ability to implement changes. Don’t forget the smell test – does it feel good to work with them? Create a list of what is important to you as you evaluate your options. Finding the right supplier can be a matter of looking at your competition and who they use or calling an industry association to see who they might be able to recommend. Remember, most suppliers need you (their customers) in order to stay in business. A supplier who is actively trying to find your business is probably also actively managing theirs. Share your stories!

  • Elyssa cain

    Hi my name is Elyssa Cain I am 13 years of age I have been think of opening a cupcake/sweets shop in my home town in honer of my papa he died befor I was borne but had opend a sandwich shop named cains I would like to open in his honer. I have been thinking hard aboit it all This websit has helped my a bit but still have sooo much to no and find out I would just like to say thank you and wish me good luck!!!

    • rais9549

      Hi Elyssa, It’s great that you want to honor your father. I’m sure that he would be proud of you. It sounds like you have a great goal – let me know if you have any specific questions. Best of luck!

  • Karrina Fudge

    I need help starting my business with no money

    • rais9549

      Hi Karina, there are a lot of ways to do this depending on the type of business you have chosen. No money is going to require a lot of creativity but can be doable. Out of my successful efforts, I’ve bought one with no money and started one for less than $1,000. If you’d like to talk more about this privately, email me at info@startingasmallbusinessnow.com.

  • Karyna Valdez

    Hi!!! I started a small cleaning company a year ago with some partners one of them is my husband the other two are a couple too, but this partnership is driving me crazy because it seem that I can’t get along with the other women in the partnership. I want to star a business on my own but since my partner got the clientele I don’t know how to start what would you recommend me to do, how do I star?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hey Karyna,

      Thank you for your post and for sharing. Your comment hit close to home – my wife and I own a couple of cleaning businesses that we operate together. Some years I take on a larger role and in others she is the main manager. I seem to always handle the marketing and advertising and she usually watches the money. I wouldn’t want to get in her way! I wouldn’t choose to work with anyone else either. My point is that the roles have evolved over time and a lot of conversations. I took the liberty of dedicating this week’s small business blog to you. Check out the link and let me know what you think. I welcome comments from other readers as well!

  • Rodger

    Hy i jzt wana start security company bt dnt knw hw n whr 2 go pls help me

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Rodger,

      Thanks for your comment and I appreciate you coming to my site. There are absolutely some steps you can take to learn more. Rather than rewriting them, can I suggest that you sign up for “7 Steps to Starting Your Own Business”? The e-zine shares some good places to start. You’ll also receive emails with overview videos to my tutorial to start your own business, Chart Your Course. These overview videos share some of the points included in the course absolutely free. As a third benefit of subscribing, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter with the highlights of my blog that is all about how to start a business that’s right for you. This may sound like a shameless plug, but I encourage you to check out the free resources first and then you can decide if it makes sense for us to explore further together. Thanks!

  • tracy

    Hi, my name is Tracy. I live in Dallas, TX. I have been working in the the pawn shop industry for the past 16 years with little or no advancement at all. I feel like I am going nowhere fast, therefore I would like to own my very own pawn shop one day. With the knowledge that I have obtained I know that I am very capable of doing just that, however I don’t have any money, and my personal credit is poor. How do you get funding to open your own new business with these type of the negative financial odds are stacked against you?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Tracy,

      Thank you for visiting my site and subscribing to my newsletter. First, feel comfortable that you are in friendly territory. Many of us did not have money when we started businesses. All of us had some sort of challenge – too young, too old, not the right color, inexperienced, there are a list of reasons that can hold us back. You are fortunate in having industry experience. I would look at either starting small on my own or working with someone who will want to sell their business someday (all business owners have to) or wants a partner in the long term. Do me a favor: read this blog and let me know if it gave you any ideas. If not, we can work on finding some.

      Do keep in touch – asking these types of questions is the way to get started!

      Caleb

  • Matty

    Hello,
    I would like to have my own business in giving a service to my city by taking people to the airport and pick it them up.
    But, I do not know how to start.

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      @et1857 – thank you for visiting my site. It sounds as if you’ve found an idea that you like. When I get a new business idea, I start by talking to others in that business. I’m a pretty structured guy, so I develop a list of questions and force myself to find at least 10 other people who are doing what I think that I’d like to do. It usually gives me a solid understanding of some of the challenges. I also take a look at best in class examples that I can find online. These help me to think of ways to differentiate from what others are currently doing. As a fairly frequent user of airport transportation, my guess is that the challenge will be to build a consistent base of customers that call you before trying any other service.

      Lastly, I suggest subscribing to my newsletter. It’s free and gets you access to my blog with all sorts of ideas on how to improve your business. Yes, you’ll be asked to buy my course at the end of the initial emails. During those initial emails you’ll also be receiving overview videos to help you get your business started correctly.

      Let me know how it goes,

      Caleb

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    I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually seldom do I encounter a blog that is each educative and entertaining, and allow me to let you know, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is something that not sufficient folks are speaking intelligently about. I’m highly pleased that I stumbled across this in my lookup for some thing relating to this.

  • Lucilla Garcia

    I want to start a small business a restaurant here in Houston Texas Hispanic authentic food but no money to do it I really believe it will work cause the idea I got nobody has or competition for it

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      @Lucilla – it sounds like you have found your idea. That’s a great first step that many people cannot accomplish. Be sure to research everything carefully while you’re trying to find the money you need. You’ll want to know the closest thing to competition including substitutes for your business like other restaurants. I’d also study the reasons that restaurants fail and make sure that you’ll address these. Talk to some owners of restaurants that will be outside of your competitive area. Lastly, if you really can’t pull the money together you’ll need to find someone to work with you or for whom you could work that is supportive of your concept. You may want to look at buying my tutorial, Chart Your Course – it addresses many of the issues that you’ll have to face. Best of luck! Caleb

  • Desean Johnson

    hello how are you? Well I’m trying to get a great idea for a business I’m thinking a club or a restruant its going to be a family business I just dont know which one I really need help because its time to get it started may you help me please

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      @Desean: I’m glad to hear that you’ve committed to starting your own business. If you’re looking at clubs or restaurants then you may want to talk to owners of other clubs/restaurants in order to learn from their experiences. To answer your question more specifically, what type of help is that you want? Let us know and others may chime in as well. Thanks!

  • Laura Easterling

    Hi, I am trying to start a business with a line of workout clothing, how does on search for suppliers for the sewing manufcturing?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Your idea sounds great. The answer is that it depends on your willingness to take on risk. Alibaba.com has a comprehensive listing of Chinese manufacturers that may be able to meet your requirements. You could similarly check with economic development centers in Indonesia or the Philippines to find potential suppliers there. The same goes with Mexico, although they have lost a lot of textile volume to the other places that I mentioned. Do you have a product that you have already manufactured locally? It’s important to dial in the designs, process, and quality before you start looking for lower cost production. Please post your comments and let me know how this site can be of help.

      • Laura Easterling

        No, I have not started anything yet, just trying to get direction. I love working out but had shoulder surgery a couple of years ago and pull over sports bras are too hard to put and off. I want to design something for people like me with ease of on/off. So I am trying to find out how after I get a basic design, I find pattern makers or cloth advice.

  • Gloria A.

    Hello I am interested in starting a jewelery business online and I am confused on what’s the best way to go about it. I am wanting to sell jewelery from wholesalers and eventually being able to sell my own creations. I don’t know exactly how to advertise to get my name out and website known, I do have a facebook acct. But, i really need to know all the ins and outs of how to start a business. With about $500.00 to spend.

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Gloria – it’s great that you have an idea that can work for you. Do you already have your web site up and running? Share it here! The first step that I’d take now that you have a product is to define your target market and figure out who your competition is. Then take some thought into identifying the best to reach your target market. Research your competition to see what they are doing – perhaps there are similar actions that you can take. With $500, you’re going to have to invest time as most of your money will be consumed by product. Perhaps there are trade shows, markets, or friends who want to make a few extra bucks selling your jewelry for you (think Avon or any of the other markets)? I’m very interested in following your story – please let me know how I can be of more help.

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  • maritza lopez

    I want to start a small business import and expot and I dont had money

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      @Maritza: I think that an import/export business makes a lot of sense. One way to start in this business (any business) is to start small and grow from there. That’s one way to let yourself test the market and also limit how much you invest in it. Perhaps you can start with a trial run of your idea with one shop owner or two? They’ll give you great feedback as to what works and what doesn’t and you won’t have lost a lot of money. It will also help you to learn the least expensive way to move your product from the supplier to it’s destination. I’m sure that there are a lot of mistakes that can be made. If those mistakes are based on a percentage of the value (like tariffs/duties), then they are less expensive to learn with a small shipment. Please let us know how it goes or how I can help further. Good luck!

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  • Sireena

    Hello, I am interested in opening my own business. I have no idea where to begin. I was wondering if there is any way you can help me out and maybe give me a guideline of some sort. Thank You

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Sireena,

      You’re saying the exact words I used when I started my first business years ago. This site is all about starting your own business. I created a tutorial titled Chart Your Course that is focused on helping you through the steps you need to take to get started. It was written specifically for people like you. My suggestion is that you read the free information on this site and others and then consider purchasing the course. It will easily save you a lot of money in lessons learned and time spent on distractions. Let me know if I can help further.

      Best of luck,

      Caleb

  • Ronnie

    I would like to start my own small business. But I’m not sure how I could really use some help or tips

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      @Ronnie – Sorry for the delay in replying. My first thought is that if you’d like to start your own business but haven’t, what’s holding you back? That might be the first place to get some support. We all have sticking points as we develop our businesses. To me, that’s a signal to talk to someone who might have another point of view about how to handle the situation.

  • http://www.importspecracing.com Neify

    Hello,

    my name is Neify i own a small business call import spec racing in Boston is a performance shop for cars my problem is the i am not getting a lot

    of customers in to my shop i also have a website http://www.importspecracing.com also my shop is inside of a barbershop witch i also own with two of my

    brothers we have 8 months open i have done advertisement to my website on google but only a few customers shop do you any ideas for me to get customers

    in to my shop.

    Thank You

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Neify,

      You ask a great question. This is typically the next question for small business owners once they’ve gotten over starting their business. Pay per click advertising is a common way to generate traffic to a site, but it may not be the best. If you’ve written a business plan, take a look at your target customer again. Who are they? How do they buy? Where can you find them? My take is that your customers are probably web savvy, but would rather spend their time talking to other people who enjoy the same hobby. Can you find a way to meet these people?

      One example I like is Harley-Davidson – many of their shops organize weekly rides that start from their location. I’m always impressed when I drive by the dealership in my area on a Saturday. There are hundreds of enthusiasts hanging out with people like them. You can bet that many of them pick up something in the store while they are there. How can you create that kind of culture about your products?

      You state that you’re in a barbershop. That’s probably not the best location to attract walk-in or hang out customers. I get it that the rent is probably priced right. That just means that you’ll need to take your show on road. Go fish where the fish are.

      As to your site, I took a look at your home page. There are a lot of things that you could do to improve the optimization and user friendliness. Think about the customers that you want to attract and how you can connect with them emotionally on your home page. What is the one action that you want them to take? How do you make it easy for them to take that action? My thought is that you’d like to get their contact information so that you can email them information that they’d like to receive.

      I’d like to hear more about the ideas that you come up with for marketing to your customers. Let me know how you proceed or if I need to give better suggestions! I’m happy to discuss this offline with you – just respond to this post and I’ll contact you separately.

      Best of luck,

      Caleb

  • http://www.howdydiddlydo.net Kimberley Loverdi

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to reach my goals. I certainly love reading all that is written on your website.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!

  • Cheezee32

    Hi, I’ve always wanted to start my own business, I know it’s going to take a lot of time, and money but am willing to work hard at it. I’m only 16 but it’s always been my dream. Not sure exacty what but was thinking a sock line or something of the sort. And eventually a restaurant in the future. I don’t have much money at the time or don’t know where to start or how to start. Can you give advice or help me?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Cheezee,

      It’s great that you have the goal to start your own business. It doesn’t necessarily have to take a lot of money, but it will require a lot of time to become an expert. Everything does. My suggestion to you is to start with something you like that is fairly easy to do. The goal at this point is to get some solid experience. I’m not sure of how much time you have available, but I assume that you’re still in school. Things that can work around your schedule are tutoring, a web site that gives advice (you’ll have to learn a lot; I still am), or some of the other traditional services such as lawn care, painting, snow shoveling, etc. Don’t overlook manual labor services – I think we all know people that paid their way through college with these businesses.

      You may even consider working for a good entrepreneurial company that will offer some training in how to run a business. Enterprise car rental has always been an example of a great place for this. Think of the skills you’ll need in your own business and see where you can get them. My experience selling Cutco knives gave me an insight into sales that I use on a nearly daily basis. Sales skills are a life skill that will help no matter what you do.

      Let me know if the advice gave you some paths to take. I’m happy to make it more specific if you want to share more about your constraints.

      Thanks,

      Caleb

  • Cheezee32

    Ok thanks!!! I’m actually working for a car dealership and doing gardening/landscaping so I inderstan some!! I’m enrolling in a business entrepneuer class at school also. Would you have any insight on how I can go about actualy getting into the field of my own sock line, jumping into the start as time allows?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Cheezee,

      It sounds like you’re all over it. I don’t know anything about apparel design and sales, but the fundamentals are the same for any business. Go talk to some people that are already in the business. Where would I find them? Go look at socks and contact those companies. Go to stores that carry socks and ask where they buy them from. Talk to those people. The intro is easy, “I’m a student and I’m doing a research project on what it takes to start a sock line. Would you have 15-20 minutes to talk to me?” Have a list of questions that you’ve personally tried to answer but couldn’t and take them through it. Have fun – I really enjoy the market research part of starting a new business. Let me know how it goes!

  • manoj kumar

    i want to start my makeing a pellets bisness in smell i dont know what to do or how am talking about the pellet which in waerhoses to laod n unlaod itemes with fork lifet

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Manoj,

      It sounds like you are interested in a pallet business. You also state that you don’t know what to do or much about the business. Could I suggest going to some warehouses that use pallets and find out where they buy them and problems that they currently have with them? The fact that you are online allows you to look at other pallet companies. How are they marketing their products? Could you compete with them in your area?

      The first steps to take for nearly any business are to understand the problem and then figure out if you can profitably solve it better than the current providers.

      Let me know if this helps,

      Caleb

  • http://kennangreene9454.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/american-airways-flight-attendants-reach-contract-agreement/ Grant Caffarel

    Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my site something like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my website?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Grant – of course you can. I’d appreciate a credit mention and a backlink if you don’t mind. Thanks.

  • Enrique

    I want start my own shoes busines what do i have to do to get it started?

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Enrique,

      I’d need to hear more about how you define your shoes business. Do you want to manufacture your own or resell existing brands? Let me know and I can be more specific with advice.

      Thanks,

      Caleb

  • Kimberly

    I have wanted to open my own business for a few years now. I have ton’s of ideas, but have NO idea where to even start. I currently work for a large market retailer and have been part of the management structure for 3 years. With all of my sales and customer service experience I am sure that I can do it. I just do not know what the first step is. I don’t have much money either. I am not looking to start tomorrow, but defiantly to start soon and start somewhere.

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi Kimberly,

      Have you signed up and downloaded the first chapter of Chart Your Course? I’ve written it exactly for people like you – lots of ideas but challenged with focusing them into the best one. I invite you to go through the free download to see if it helps you to clarify things.

      Let me know what you think,

      Caleb

  • A.J.

    I’m a retiree and would like to start a small business from my home. I don’t have much money. Would you please make suggestions that I may follow-up on.

    • http://www.startingasmallbusinessnow.com Caleb

      Hi A.J.,

      Starting a business from home makes perfect sense for someone who can’t or doesn’t want to invest money at the beginning. There are a ton of possibilities that you can do. The thing is that they all start with you – your experience, your beliefs about business, and your goals. There are lots of people who are willing to sell you on their idea for you. I prefer to help you figure out what you think that you’d like to do so that you can find the small business that’s the right fit.

      A.J., have you downloaded the first chapter of Chart Your Course? It’s absolutely free and it has simple worksheets that will give you some starting ideas about what you could do. I invite you enter your email and go through the download. I promise that it will help you out!

      - Caleb

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.roland1 Liz Roland

    65 yrs old moved to Hawaii with ideas of starting a business. Please email the first page that you mentioned in your video to emwhdes@Gmail.com. Thank you

  • http://startingasmallbusinessnow.com/ Caleb Page

    I just emailed the 1st chapter to you. You can receive updates to my blog by subscribing in the box at the top right of this page. Hawaii sounds like a great place – I recently spoke with a man with a recruiting company focused on finding mainland labor to go Hawaii because of the staffing shortage they have on the islands. Let me know how I can help.