Should You Start Your Own Electrician Business? – Pros and Cons

Just about anyone would love to start their own business. The thought of being able to call the shots and work on your own really sounds great on the surface, but becoming an electrician is a far more difficult task than most people think. It takes years of dedication and learning to become licensed and to become a credible business is a whole other struggle.

Here are the Pros of why you should start you own electrician business:

• Potential Income – Electricians can make anywhere from $40 – $100 dollars an hour and the electrician business is one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States. For you this means there is going to be plenty of money to make if you can become licensed and insured.

• Self Employed – The great thing about become an electrician is the fact you can run your own business with your own rules. You can work from your home or office as long as you have all the materials needed to perform services.

• Tax Benefits – There are a lot of tax benefits of running your own business. The government will literally give you money for start-up costs. The schooling you need will be costly and the government will help out with a portion of that as well.

Here are the Cons of why you shouldn’t start you own electrician business:

• Apprenticeship – It takes years of being an apprentice to a licensed electrician to be able to become one of your own. Some people just don’t have the drive to make it through the years of schooling and apprenticeship that it takes to become licensed in this business.

• Dangerous – Electricians have the possibility of being electrocuted and killed if the right voltage is discharged. There are stories all over the internet about electricians accidentally getting hurt or even worse, killed on jobs where something went wrong. This is a very dangerous job that has high risks of injury. Keep this in mind if you have children or people that rely on you on a regular basis.

• Competition – The competition is this field is high but if you are licensed and insured, you will set yourself apart from a high percentage of the electricians marketing themselves online or on Craigslist. Most of the electricians that you will find on Craigslist, might say they are licensed but they really aren’t. I suggest that when you get your license, you display it on your ads and website, so people know that you are licensed and insured right away.

Becoming an electrician is not an easy task but if you stay motivated, finish your schooling and apprenticeship, and get licensed and insured, it is very likely that you can become successful in this business.

Getting Into the Bulk Fuel Delivery Business

Whether you own your own gasoline business or if you own a fleet of trucks, having your own bulk fuel delivery company may be just what you need for the future success of your business. It will help you get your own fuel in large amounts at discount prices so that you can save money. There are several steps that you need to follow to get your new business up and running.

The first step that you need to do is to write a plan for your business for your lending institution of choice. This forms the backbone for your company and consists of your vision and mission for your bulk fuel delivery business. This business plan helps the lending institution determine how much risk is involved in financing your business.

It is also important to check out all the competition so that you can see what you will be up against if you get your business off the ground. You can usually get the lists of businesses on the Internet, your chamber of commerce, or your local phone book. Once you have researched the competition, do what you can that will make you stand out in your city.

Another thing to consider if you want to own your own bulk fuel delivery business is to talk to other business people in the industry. More than likely, those in your town will not talk to you because they are the competition and they are not interested in helping out someone who will compete with them. However, someone from another part of the country may be a good source of information as you will not pose as an immediate threat to him.

You do have a couple of options that you need to consider when trying to determine what direction you want your business to go. You can either start up your own from scratch or you can purchase an existing business. If you choose to start your own, you have control of what goes on, but often, lending institutions resist funding new businesses due to lack of history. On the other hand, acquiring a known business is not as big of a risk, so lenders are more willing to finance you.

A third alternative is to purchase a recognizable business franchise. You can find out what is available by searching your local business directory or checking the various websites of possible companies that may offer franchising opportunities in your area.

Doing the proper research may even lead you in a completely different direction, or even to a new town. Your own bulk fuel delivery business may be just what you need to help your fleet be more competitive and efficient.

20 Pieces Of Equipment For Your Cake Business

If you have decided that starting a cake business from home is perfect for you, then you may have some initial questions. Overall, a cake business is relatively straightforward but chocked full of options when it comes to equipment and supplies. Let’s go over some of the general products you may need for your cake business and some of the extra specialty items you may enjoy having.

1. Heavy Duty Mixer – most people own a mixer but you may want to upgrade if you are planning on starting a cake business from home.

2. Pans – As you know, these come in all shapes and sizes. Your three basic include your circular, versatile or character shaped. Tip: Don’t skimp on good quality cake pans, it does make a difference!

3. Large, heavy duty cooling racks.

4. Turntables for decorating. Make sure they are sturdy!

5. Good, quality separators for multi-layered cakes.

6. A camera to take beautiful pictures of your cakes so future clients can see your work.

7. An air brusher is definitely an item that is not necessary. But, as your business grows and your cake decorating art develops, you may want to invest in one.

8. A projector for the more serious cake business entrepreneurs. This will help you intensify the designs that go onto your specialty cakes. Again, this is not a necessity but definitely a luxury for those who want it.

9. Bowls and spatulas for mixing!

10. Food colors for coloring!

11. Obviously an oven for baking the cakes themselves.

12. Icing tubes, icing bags and accessories.

13. Rolling pins, non-stick boards and mats.

14. Brushes for painting if you are into that sort of decorating for your cake business.

15. Thermometers.

16. Dummy Cakes.

17. Knives and Cake Levelers.

18. Flower making accessories are a great investment to help add a little style to your cakes.

19. Books on cake businesses and cake decorating for new ideas and tips.

20. A couple of great web resources such as sites or forums where you can talk to other cake decorators, ask questions and share your knowledge with others!

Now, if you didn’t before, you have a great list to start from. Some of these items are less necessary than others. It is up to you how much you can invest in the start-up of your business. If you just want to begin making one-layered birthday cakes then you may not need everything on this list. But who knows, hopefully your business will boom from the beginning and then you will need every item on this list and more!

Five Characteristics of Great Business Names and Five Popular Trends to Avoid

Deciding on a name is one of the most exciting parts of starting up a business.

The only problem with choosing the name of your business is that so much rides on your business name. It’s a little like choosing a name for your baby. A little like? Make that a lot like! It’s no easier choosing a name for your business than it is choosing a name for your baby.

What’s in a business name? You want it to be everything. Sadly, many business names are nothing. Deciding on a great business name takes time. It takes thought. Moreover, getting it wrong could spell disaster for your business. Getting it right, however, will give customers a reason to hire you, connect you to your niche market, and save you thousands of marketing dollars.

You want your business name to have a big impact on people. This, in turn, will have a big effect on your market. A name that’s too far out may make it difficult to brand. A name that’s too generic and common is easily ignored. Naming your business “Sarah’s Cookies” may make all the sense in the world to you. In most cases, however, your own name means very little to your customers because it says nothing memorable or of distinction.

The key to picking a great name for your business is to make it memorable. Make it distinctive. Don’t make it silly or cute. Your name should reflect your market niche and identity and be able to reach your customer base easily. So don’t mess it up!

Top Five Characteristics of a Great Business Name

1. It’s short.

2. It’s specific and reflects a specialized business: Jiffy Lube, Home Depot.

3. It’s unique. Consider using words that are not in the dictionary: Alkamae, Google, Squidoo.

4. It’s creative. Don’t copy, borrow, or modify existing famous brand names. Got Milk? has its own branding. Leave Victoria’s Secret to Victoria.

5. It’s an easy name to say, spell, and remember. Use proper English construction so that when put in a sentence, it will work: “I just purchased a book from Amazon.”

Five Popular Business Naming Trends to Avoid

1. Don’t abbreviate your business name. Though it may make communication and correspondence easier, acronyms are sterile.

2. Avoid anything that ends in “global”, enterprise”, or “Inc.” They’re passé.

3. Avoid using your own name. Build your brand on your company, not on your name. That way, if you decide to sell your company one day, it will be easier to sell.

4. Don’t hyphenate your business name. It makes remembering and writing it difficult. Plus, a hyphenated web name is hard to read.

5. Avoid geographical names unless you’re trying to create a strong local affinity. The name “Willow Oak Center for Arts and Learning at Robertson County” works because this is a business targeted specifically for Robertson County in Tennessee.

Once you’ve found your name, consider trademarking it through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and registering it through the Secretary of State offices. If your business operates on the Internet, be aware that domain names are not registered through state or local government, so just registering them at domain registration sites is not enough to protect your great business name.

There is more to naming your business than just coming up with something that sounds good, is clever, or you just happen to like. Naming your business is a serious matter. Your business name reflects your image, your brand, and your position in the marketplace. Because your business name is crucial to your overall branding success and marketing efforts, make your business name count.

Make it great!

Advantages Of Setting Up An Office In The Central Business District And In Other Prime Location

When setting up a business, aside from a good business plan, it is important to use the right location. As in the maxim for real estate, it is all about location. Without a good site, a business idea may be good but will have less chances of success. On the other hand when a business is located in a strategic place, the outcome can be entirely different.

Whether one is setting up a business office or shops in retail area or a commercial building, one has to check that the area is in a good location. Getting a prime location can be a wise investment. It has the advantages of enjoying visibility and good traffic. Recognizable location plays an important factor too. People tend to flock to areas that are well known and have good reputations.

Maintaining a business in an out-of-the-way area may hold allure for some people but this would depend on the nature of the business. Unless one’s business is about rest and recreation, setting up the business in an out-of-the-way site defeats the purpose of doing business.

It is important likewise for it to be accessible. Ideally, the place must be near or accessible to housing developments so that the staff and personnel would have no problems going to and from work. Studies have shown that less travel time between job site and one’s home results to more productive workers and positive attitudes of staffs as well. Commuting can be energy draining especially if travel time is long and involves problems such as traffic jams.

One of the best places to do business in any city would be in the Central Business District or CBD area. Another common name for the area would be downtown. It is here that most financial centres and business activities take place. Big banks and important companies would hold office here. Commercial offices for sale and for rent are likely to be more expensive and may sometimes be hard to come by. However, it is also in these places that business can be done conveniently because of proximity to suppliers and clients alike.

Look for real estate agents or online sites that offer commercial spaces for rent in these prime locations. Most reputable realtors would have a listing of office spaces and shop areas. Some of them may even know of possible locations that may soon be up in the auction market that you can take advantage.

Accounting Finance – The Heart of Any Successful Business

At the core of any successful business is a well organized management. Financial accounting is a very important tool for business. Aside from knowing strategies such as bookkeeping, marketing, advertising and production, a good and stable business must also have a competent system for accounting finance.

Whether you like it or not, accounting finance is one thing you cannot dispense with in the world of business. It is a very important tool in determining where and how exactly your money is being spent. Also, it is most important in terms of taxes and other pecuniary obligations.

Good Accounting Means Good Business

Accounting ensures you how much you have, how much you owe, and helpful in assessing the value of your business. Are you generating any profit or operating at a lost? Accounting records will answer your questions. Accounting serves as the proper recording tool of the financial status of any business. Fiscal dealings are best kept right on track with an effective accounting department.

A good accounting system within one’s business is a great help in making business decisions. This also shows how credible you are with other companies. Accounting does not only place you in a very knowledgeable stance, but it gives you that confidence by being armed with the facts and figures revolving around your business. Knowledge is power.

Professional Accountants

It is to your advantage if you are an accountant by profession. But if not, you can still do your own accounting if you are operating a small-scale business. However, if you have a big company it is advisable to hire a professional accountant especially if you do not have the time and the skill for it. You must realize that there are various strategies in keeping various kinds of accounts in a business.

It is also best to check the accounting firm’s competence, credibility and confidentiality issues. It is very important that in any business, you would be able to trust your accountant with sensitive information, including profits and sources of income your business is accumulating.

Accounting standards you should know

To the untrained and unsuspecting eye, accounting principles might seem hard, intimidating and complicated, but it is in reality very simple if you get past all those figures. All you have to know in accounting are these: Accounts are always divided into three types, namely assets, liabilities and equity. Each account is unique and simple yet forms part of the very foundation your business is operating on.

“T” accounts can be managed by drawing a T like figure with a left and right section divided by a vertical line. On the left side, you can place all your debits or the so called assets. On the other side, you can list down all your liabilities or what we call credits.

The general rule is that for every liability, there must also be a corresponding asset so that a balance will be achieved. If the credit is more than your debit then perhaps you are already generating a loss in your business.

Mastering these simple accounting principles will help you in determining where your business stands. You will also be more confident in presenting these financial records even if federal agents pay you a visit for an audit. GP

Starting Your Own Check Cashing Business

If you are currently thinking about starting your own check cashing business, there are things that you first need to consider. The path leading from conceptualization to realization can be a scary and uncertain route, and it is difficult for most people to know the proper steps to take. In this article, we will give you the information that you need to know before starting your own check cashing business.

The first and often most difficult hurdle in starting your own check cashing business is the initial investment. On average, the start-up costs for a check cashing business can range anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000, and unless you have a substantial savings, you will need to have solid credit in order to secure financing. In addition to paying for a location and having funds available to actually cash checks, there are many other expenses that you may not think of initially. For example, you need to figure in the cost of computers, furniture, monthly expenses (electricity, heat, etc.), employees, insurance, rent, advertising, licenses, and fees just to name a few. In addition, by the very nature of dealing with money, a check cashing business needs to have certain security measures in place to keep both your assets and employees safe. This may require hiring the services of a check-scanning company (such as TeleCheck), security cameras, alarms, and special glass to protect your workers. As you can see, your start up investment will play a large role in determining future success.

The second thing that you must do before starting your own check cashing business is to acquire all of the proper licenses and permits. It is advisable that you check with your local and state authorities to make certain that you possess all the necessary documentation needed to operate a business. It is also worth mentioning that you will have to comply with the federal and state government’s usury laws, which are in place to prevent financial outlets from charging exorbitant interest rates.

Let’s say that you have cleared these first two obstacles; what step should you take next? You should now turn your attention towards hiring responsible, and more importantly, honest employees. It is crucial in a check cashing business to hire only the most trustworthy of people, so you should take any safeguard necessary to ensure this. This step should include an extensive interview as well as background and credit checks. Do not rush this part of the process just so you can open up your doors to the public. This is one instance where your patience and sound judgment will definitely pay off, and it could end up saving you a lot of money that could otherwise be lost to employee theft.

Starting your own check cashing business is a difficult and involved process. By covering all of your bases and following through on the information provided above, you should find yourself well on the way towards operating a successful and profitable check cashing business.

How To Start A Roasted Corn Business

Corn roasting is a simple yet very profitable small investment business. The successful corn roasters make full time living working just the summer months.

To start a roasted corn business you will need to acquire permits and business licenses from the health department and from the state. The following is a typical checklist to start your business.

1. Decide the size and the scale of the operation.

2. Decide on the menu for your concession business.

3. Purchase your equipment and tools.

4. Register your business.

5. Apply and obtain all the required licenses and permits needed to run a food concession business.

6. Secure events and have fun running your concession stand.

Permits, Licenses, and Inspection

Every state has laws governing business licenses and permits. Most likely, you will have to register your business with the state agency, so you can do business in the state. A tax ID number, business license number, and tax registration number can be issued to your business, depending on the state in which you are operating. You should verify with the city or county that the business location is zoned for that activity. You must have commercial liability insurance, both for your business and for your vehicle and trailer.

Health Department and Food safety

As a business owner and a food worker, you will be preparing food for other people. Contact the health department of your county or state to receive a copy of a food safety guide that will help you greatly in learning more about food safety. Roasted corn is considered a less hazardous food, but if you are going to sell potatoes and turkey legs you may have to pay higher fee.

Start-up Costs of a Corn Roaster Business

Brand new corn roaster with warranty: 10,000-$12,000.

Used corn roaster: $5,000-$8,000.

Additional equipment and accessories: $1,200-$2,000.

Used van or truck: $2,000-$10,000.

Food cost for first two events: $300-$1,000.

Event sign-up fee: $800-$3,000.

Fuel, utilities, and miscellaneous: $200.

Equipment Required to Start a Corn Roasting Business

A professional corn roaster, minimum 200-500 corns per hour.

Hot plate for melting butter

Steam table for storing cooked potatoes and turkey legs.

Two 20-lb. propane tanks

Fire extinguisher

Commercial quality tent

2 tables,

Hand washing unit (portable) very easy to assemble one

Mics. Little things

Google “Corn Roasters” and search for companies that will help you get started before buying the equipment if you are strapped for cash. One of the company Texas Corn Roasters help.

How to Find Events and Festivals

There are many sources for finding festivals and events, such as your vendor friends, the local Chamber of Commerce, auto racing, fairs and festivals, flea markets, rodeos, and theme parks. The Internet is one of the greatest sources for finding events. Many good sites provide this information. Always send a professionally done proposal with your application if you want to beat the competition.

Suppliers and Producers

Suppliers and produce wholesalers are your key to success in this business. You cannot afford to buy the food from retailers, so you must find producers capable of providing you quality food at wholesale costs. Every state and big town has a local supplier who delivers food supplies to local restaurants. “Wholesale food distributor” in the Yellow Pages is a good place to start. Corn is cheap if buy from a wholesaler.

Serving food at the festival

The way you serve can also improve your business. You will need certain condiments for every item you server. For instance sale, black pepper, Cajun spice, garlic powder, lemon pepper and more.

Signage

You have probably heard the saying “flash is cash.” It is very true when it comes to the festival business. You could have the most delicious food, best prices, well-trained staff, and a festival with thousands of people. If your booth fails to attract customers,, it is probably the poor signage.

Tribal knowledge

Like many other small profitable business the roasted corn business is run by tight lipped vendors who do not share tribal knowledge. There are not any website, or sources for a newbie to find any information. The tribal knowledge could help you make extra 25K a year. There is a very helpful book “Earn an entire year’s living with corn roaster”, that covers this business with very granular level of details. It is worth buying.

If you plan on making your concession business a full time job, consider an RV that can tow your corn roaster trailer and getting on the list of concession vendors that follow a fair rout.

Accounting and numbers are also very important aspect of this business. Festival Concession business offers financial and personal freedom like no other small business does.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Business Networking

Business networking has a world of positive benefits. However, with everything positive, comes a few negatives at least. So, without further ado, let’s begin with the positive/pros in support of business networking:

The first point on the up side is;

You’re being active in the accumulation of business contacts and letting yourself be seen. Many people complain that they are just not meeting enough of the right people to help in their career direction.

When you are actively involved in business networking, you are increasing your chances of meeting those right people. Furthermore, if you are networking correctly by sharing referrals, introducing people, and following up with those you meet, the rewards will speak for themselves.

The 2nd positive point is;

Your 1 on 1 people skills will slowly develop into expert status. This is a benefit not talked about a lot but through trial and error, building great relationships will seem effortless. Consider the fact that when your 1 on 1 people skills are adequate, you will see a phenomenal increase in the positive results you get using all other communication, for example; telephone, e-mail, etc.

3rd, on the optimistic side is;

After being consistent, you will notice your own center of influence expand. If you are engaged actively in meeting, communicating, and generally helping many individuals, you will be liked as well as respected. When these type of things occur, your center of influence grows and you will become well-respected by default.

4, on the high side is;

Networking regularly gives you the opportunity to speak a lot about your profession. You will have the opportunity to educate many people about what you do when you meet them. This situation causes you to be on your toes and more knowledgeable about your profession.

The 5th benefit of business networking is;

You are greatly increasing your overall options. While networking for better business returns, you will meet an abundance of individuals who aren’t directly connected to your goals. Meeting individuals like this can benefit you in other ways like; finding a good plumber, helping you to get hired at a new company, and any other specialist in a particular field. A personal referral usually holds more merit.

And now for the alternatives or the down-side/cons of business networking:

#1. If you are an extreme example of a socially inhibited individual, getting out and networking could be very traumatic for you. I’m not saying that it’s something you can’t overcome but it could very well turn out to be a not so positive experience.

#2. You may find several events that may not be to your liking. This is an occupational hazard of business networking in which you attend business networking events with high expectations but are disappointed by the outcome. As with anything, this is not justification to give up but it does happen.

#3. People in your newly found network been as receptive as you would like. It is very true that many people talk a good game but in the heat of the moment, when you need them most, they can let you down.

#4. An unruly, undesirable individual may enter your life through networking. I know that this is an aspect that’s not discussed too frequently but I must be honest. Sometimes you can attract individuals through your friendly networking activities, which could prove energy draining if not detrimental to your career.

And #5. Networking doesn’t work for everybody. Yes, there are some individuals out there, as rare as they may be, where networking and building relationships with different people just isn’t their cup of tea. A small minority of people will find that no matter how hard they try, it just won’t deliver the desired results. This is sad but it is true.

So now you see the pros and cons on both ends. Personally I believe that business networking is very important and can work for most people in a positive way. Now, you have to ask yourself, “Is it bad or good?” The answer is “Good” and “Bad”. It all depends on the perspective of “you”, the reader.

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The Importance of Business Analysis

Today, businesses require effective business analysis in order to maintain competitiveness in a highly competitive business world. Effective business analysis involves taking information gathered from a variety of sources and analyzing for the purpose of forecasting future trends, finding ways to make improvements in business strategies, improving businesses operations, and making smart business decisions to improve the company’s bottom line. Understanding key marketing areas is essential to helping a business generate revenue and cut down on excess waste.

Business analysis can include market research analysis such as analyzing consumer data from such sources as transaction records, consumer surveys, polls…etc. It can also include financial analysis, inventory analysis, product and service analysis, and much more. Effective business analysis helps a business avoid making incorrect decisions that can result in time and money being wasted when going back to fix any problems as well as finding the right solution. The result of finding the right solution the first time is projects get completed in a timely manner, strategies are executed with the results benefiting the business, and there is effective monitoring of the project that allows for the best adjustments that results in the best outcome.

Effective business analysis allows managers to make sure accurate information is distributed and understood by the entire project team. With the correct information, the team is able to work together in an efficient manner to create a plan that has a higher chance of success. Today, there is effective business analysis software and applications that allows managers to not only keep up with current consumer shopping trends as well as forecast future trends. For instance, a supermarket that analyses and tracks customer purchases will be able to design and implement marketing strategies around their customers’ personal shopping habits. As well, data from surveys is another example of analyzing the information to determine the best way to market products and services.

It is not just consumer analysis that will benefit a business. Financial analysis is also important for a business. This can include analyzing budgets, cash flows, inventory costs, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets. By performing effective financial analysis, a business can identify spending waste and streamline operations to make the business more profitable.

Due to changing demographics and consumer habits, it is important that a business has a clear understanding of their current and future trends in order to meet changing consumer preferences. Fortunately, there is quality data mining software available that can help a business collect and analyze relevant data to improve operations and marketing strategies. As well, it helps identify populations and lifestyles including current and future behavior trends, and helps forecast future business decisions.

In today’s highly competitive market, you cannot run a successful business without understanding your customers as well as all facets of the company. Effective business analysis ensures the right decisions are made that will best benefit the business and mitigate incidents of unrealistic expectations that results in disappointments and loss of revenue. Effective business analysis allows a business to take the guess work out of business decisions. The result is an overall improvement in the businesses bottom line.