Category : Business Start-Up

Business Start-Up The Beyond the hustle show

Top 10 Questions Asked When Starting a New Business

Today on Beyond The Hustle, I will be taking a look at the top 10 questions nonpreneurs ask when starting their own business ventures.

 

 

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Business Start-Up Entrepreneurship Featured

5 Things Entrepreneurs Do Not Need to Start a Business

 

There are many articles and blog posts out there that take a look into some of the things that every entrepreneur needs to do. While different people have different views as to what entrepreneurs need based on their experiences and expertise, I believe, however, it is important to note some of the things that entrepreneurs do not need when starting a business.

Though this list is not exhaustive, these are some of the things that an entrepreneur does not have to worry about when starting a business. Some of which, such as, having an office or having a business degree or large start-up budget can confuse some entrepreneurs as entrepreneurial requirements but they really are not.

Below is a list of five things that entrepreneurs do not need when starting a business

1. Permission — As kids we were always taught to seek permission before doing things. Failure to do such could result in severe repercussions for us. Even when working in a company we are required to get permission before doing certain things. With entrepreneurship, this rule does not apply. You don’t need permission from anyone to become an entrepreneur. Some persons are pessimist by nature, and so they won’t hesitate to tell you your business will fail but always remember what Ghandi said,” First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you then you win”. You don’t need anyone’s permission!

2. An office — Gone are the days when having a fancy office was part of the ingredient for entrepreneurial success. We are living in an age where going into a coffee shop with free wifi can become your office; your garage can become your office. This is not a requirement for entrepreneurship.

3. An investor — Whereas it will be nice to have an investor, an investor is not required to get involved in entrepreneurship. There are many businesses out there that can be started for very little or no money. Having an investor is not en entrepreneurial requirement.

4. A business degree — This does not downplay the importance of training and workshops and some of the other good stuff that can help boost your business. But it’s not a necessity to have a business degree or a degree in entrepreneurship to become and entrepreneur.

5. A huge budget to market your start up — In this day and age with the advent of social media sites and other mediums, it is quite convenient and cost effective to market your start-up venture. Gone are the days where by advertising company is needed to prepare an advertisement for you, nor do you have to pay huge amounts for radio and television spots. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pintrest has made it very easy to get the word about your business out there in a very cost effective manner and in some cases free.

HERE IS WHAT YOU DO NEED TO START A BUSINESS

Once entrepreneurs can understand some of these things and realize that these are not indispensable for entrepreneurial success, more persons may be more willing to become business people.

Click on this link for Something you DO NEED to start a Business CLICK HERE

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Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Small Business

One of the most important pieces of real estate that small online businesses can have is their website. While having social media profiles such as Facebook business pages or twitter handles for your business is smart, entrepreneurs do not own these sites. For instance, Facebook can remove a business’ page at any time of their choosing if they think it violates one of their policies. Therefore, for this reason, it is important that business owners create a website for their businesses. One of the most important aspects of a website is the domain name. Consequently, just as entrepreneurs are expected to take the time to carefully select a proper business name, they should do the same for their company’s domain name. The domain name is used for identification on the internet, so it should be easy to find and it should match the business it represents. Below are 5 tips that business owners should employ when deciding on a domain name.

 

  • Make the Domain Name Easy to Type– Using names that are easy to type is crucial because it increases the chance of being found easily online. Persons also should avoid using slangs or even words that have multiple spellings which may affect their ability to be found by customers.

 

  • Use Keywords in the Name– The use of keywords in the domain name will help with the search engine optimization (SEO) efforts that drives organic traffic to the site. Therefore, business owners should always include keywords that are associated with their business in their website’s title. For example, if an individual has a business that is focused on grooming dogs, the person’s domain name can be doggroomers.com. From the onset, such a name clearly indicates what the business is about.

 

 

  • Use the Proper Extension– Depending on the type of business, different domain extensions may have to be used. Whereas the typical domain is .com, there are a number of other domain extensions that can be used such as .org, .net, .info, .co .bi among others based on what the domain name and by extension the nature of the company.

 

domain name

choose the right domain name for your small business

 

  • Keep the Domain Short– When determining the best domain name, it is important that the name that is settled on is short and easy to spell because using lengthy, complicated names have a many disadvantages. Names that are long and difficult to spell increase the likelihood that persons will have trouble memorizing and spelling it which in turn will directly affect the traffic that the site will most likely receive.

 

 

  • Protect your Domain– Protecting a businesses’ domain name is quite important. To illustrate this concept, a real life example from a popular figure Sara Palin will be used. Unfortunately, she learned this lesson the hard way. She purchased the domain name sarahpalinchannel.com. However, Steven Colbert purchased thesarahpalinchannel.com where he makes a mockery of her because as the owner, he can basically do what he wants on the site. The lesson here is to buy different extensions of your name, misspelled versions of your name, and other versions of your name if necessary. Taking such an approach will help prevent competitors from purchasing and tainting the brand’s image. Plus, protecting the domain makes it easy for customers to find the business.

 

The domain name is an important part of a business, and to reemphasize, entrepreneurs should spend the necessary amount of time to ensure that they have a proper domain name that fulfills the criteria outlined above. Additionally, other useful tips about domain names can be obtained from sites like godaddy.com.

After choosing the right domain name, ensure you are not making these mistakes when naming your business

 

 

 

 

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Best Post Business Start-Up Entrepreneurship

I Have a Business Idea, Now What?

I am constantly contacted on Facebook, via email, or even in person with a question that many people seem to have. They generally say to me, “Hey Kimron, that’s me of course, I have a business idea what do I do now?” The number of persons who have brilliant business ideas but do not know what they need to do next surprises me just as much as the number of persons who have no idea how to spell pneumonia. I hope you recognize the word. Consequently, to assist them and others who might be in the same predicament, the following is a list of steps along with carefully chosen movie references to further drive home the point that should be followed after you conceive your business idea.
1-      Get Feedback– once you have your business idea, discuss it with people you trust to get strategies to perfect it. Be careful of idea killers! Just like Freddy Krueger in the movie
A Nightmare on Elm Street”, they will be eager to kill your dreams.  Therefore, pitch your ideas to people who would give you honest objective feedback.
2-      Build Your Team– similar to Sylvester Stallone in the “The Expendables” series of movies, you need to surround yourself with a competent team.  Persons who would complement your skills, share your vision, display proper work ethic, and partners who would ensure that the desired goals will ultimately be met in a timely fashion should be sought out. Some of the today’s most successful entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Larry Ellison accelerated their successes by building the right team.
3-      Research the Market- once the business idea has been perfected, then it is time to research the market. Your inner Inspector Gadget should now come out to investigate the main players in the industry you want to enter, and your innermost Macgyver should be on show to ensure that your innovation would give you a competitive advantage.
4-      Draft a Business Plan– business plans function like the maps that directed Nicholas Cage in the “National Treasure” movie series. In both scenarios, the documents function as a way to forecast. The business plan in particular gives a blueprint of how your business will be organized, how it will operate, and the steps it will take to accomplish its goals. It takes a look at where you are presently and where you’d like to be. In many cases, people think a business plan is a long formal document. However, such a thought isn’t necessarily the case. Plans can be a very simple.
5-      Seek Funding– while it is possible to start a business with little or no money, in many cases there is a need for funds. Performing illegal activities or taking the “Italian Job” approach is definitely not encouraged. However, I suggest that you make a list of funding sources and the requirements needed to get the funds necessary to start your business then pursue the best avenue.
6-      Build Your Product/ Discuss Your Service– at this stage you  should build your prototype if you have a physical product or seat with your team like the “Knights of the Round Table” and discuss and examine the services you will offer and the need it will fill in the market.

      Now after you formulate your business ideas then take the proposed Next Steps, having some professional help to share your brand story online is advised. SocialEyez Media makes this super easy through visual content creation, graphic designs, and effective social media management. Sign up to get additional information on the official launch of SocialEyez Media. When you do, you will receive The 5 Free Online Tools Top Designers use to Create Stunning Visual Content.       Click Here for Free Tools

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Best Post Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

15 Financial Ratios for EVERY Start up Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur sometimes you are required to be everything in your business especially when starting out. Financial management is always a challenge when working without an accountant. Ratio analysis is a tool that allow you to trend in your performance as well as compare how you are doing financially compared to others in your industry.
Here are 15 Financial Ratios that you can use to manage your business when starting up
Profitability Ratios
Gross Profit/Sales = Gross Profit Margin
Operating Profit/Sales = Operating Profit margin
Net Profit/ Sales = Net Profit Margin
Net profit/ Owner’s Equity = Return on Equity
Net Profit/Total Asset = Return on Assets
Liquidity Ratios
Current Assets/Current Liabilities = Current Ratio
(Current Asset- Inventory)/ Current Liabilities = Quick Ratio
Working Capital/Sales = Working Capital Ratio
Activity Ratios
(Account Receivables*365)/ Sales = Account Receivables Days
(Inventory*365)/Cost of Goods Sold = Inventory Days
(Accounts Payable*365)/Purchases = Account Payable Days
Sales/Total Asset = Sales to asset
Leverage Ratio
Total Liability/Owner’s Equity = Debt to Equity
Total Liabilities/Total Asset = Debt Ratio

(Net Income+depreciation)/Current Maturities of |Long Term Debt = Debt Coverage Ratio
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Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

How to Optimize Your Business Facebook Page for Success

Optimize Facebook Pages
Every business, especially small and medium size businesses should have a fully functional Facebook page. However having a page is not just a simple as it seems every Facebook Page needs to be optimized for success especially when looking to undergo serious Facebook Marketing.  The steps to optimizing your Facebook page are as follows:
·         Understand the difference between your Profile and your Page– Your profile is your personal space on Facebook where you add your friends and you can interact with them, you can only have 5000 friends. A Page on the other hand is where people can click like and become fans of your business and there are no limits to these, you must have a page to run Facebook ads, you can’t run ads on a Profile Page
·         Link your Facebook page and your Facebook Profile– In the about section of your Profile, you can select places you have worked. You can click edit your work and you’re able to add your work, in places, you select your Facebook Business page and enter your position. When someone goes on your page and they hover over your work, they can be taken to your Facebook Business page.
·         Have a Well-designed Cover Photo– Every business should have a cover photo and use your cover photo to tell others who you are and what you’re about.  You can show sample of your products or even promotions you are running at the time. The ideal specs for your cover photo should be 851*315 pixels. Your profile photo will cover a part of your cover photo, the lower left corner so this part needs to be kept clear to avoid covering any information.
·         Name your Page– This is important, your Page name should be your business name, not your personal name and this should tell your clients and potential clients who you are.
·         Enter information in about section– Your about section has different categories, and you need to full out these categories.  The about section is indexed by Google so you will want to use Keywords in here.  You can add certain links to different pages and websites you have in this about section as well. However you need to spend enough time and flesh out your about section.
·         Ensure your Private Messaging added– This will allow people to contact you, if you have messaging turned off, then go to settings and general, click messages edit and then click turn on. You need to ensure that you constantly check this section.
     Once you have your page optimized then you are ready to start generating traffic to it, also with a highly optimized page then you can now start engaging in Facebook Marketing.
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Business Start-Up Entrepreneurship

3 Ways To Build Instant Credibility For Your Brands

Brand Credibility
One of the most talked about aspects of building a business as of late is that of growing your brand. There are millions of brands out there bombarding consumers on a daily basis and more coming in stream daily. It is important to understand how to properly brand yourself and your business so you can stand out among the noise and register in the mind of consumers. Having an effective brand can give you a major competitive edge over your competition.
Your brand is a combination of your promise to your customers and also what your customers and others think about you. However you are registered in the mind of people is very crucial because if you are trying to build a brand for being a modern and cool clothing company and persons think you are old fashion, your brand will then be an old fashion one despite you wanting it to be modern and cool. Hence the importance of protecting your brand and building its credibility.
It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to understand that there are three aspects to branding for success. They need to first cultivate their personal brand. People do business with people they know and trust. Branding your company is also crucial, in order to communicate your company’s culture, its values and its promise to customers. There is also a need to brand your products, do you want your product to be one that is cheap or expensive, good quality or poor quality, high end of low end. Branding your product will help determine your success.
Having a brand and not credibility is one of the pains that most entrepreneurs experience on a daily basis and I will share three simple ways that business people can build credibility for their brand
Getting testimonials from experts who can include influencers and celebrities– When an expert endorses the brand, it adds instant credibility to the brand.
This is great for adding instant credibility to a brand, many influencers whether on LinkedIn or Twitter and other social media platforms have huge followings. Many people don’t trust sales messages and would prefer to buy based on a recommendation from a friend or someone who they consider to be an authority on a certain topic. You can reach out to these influencers on social media and build a relationship with them, engaging them and this can prove beneficial to you in the long run.
The same applies with celebrities as they have huge followings, and people often are heavily influenced by their endorsements. Getting an endorsement from a major celebrity can add instant credibility to a brand. One of the problems faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs is that of not having the budget to pay for endorsements from celebrities. It is not nearly as difficult as people may thing to get endorsements and testimonials from celebrities. Sites such as Bookingagentinfo.com and IMDB Pro are celebrity databases they can use to get in touch with celebrities.
Once you can connect these people, you can turn them into brand advocates for your business and enjoy the success that major brand experience.
Through Content Creation and Curation– Another way that entrepreneurs and small business people can build credibility for their brand is through content marketing.
Content marketing involves sharing business insights and information with consumers without selling to them directly. This strategy can help build credibility for an entrepreneur and also establish them as thought leaders and experts in their field. Content marketing can take many forms including videos, infographics, blog posts, and articles. When people know they can come to you for insightful information without you trying to always sell them something, it becomes easier to sell them something. There are many mediums for creating content even if you’re a beginner. Canva and Pickmonkey are great sites for creating visual contents and the best part is that it’s free. There are many tutorials from outstanding entrepreneurs showing how to craft the perfect blog post and video creation platform such as PowToons will allow you to create outstanding videos for use in branding yourself.
While creating contents is great, content Curation, which is simply sorting through the vast amount of information available on the internet and presenting the best ones that aligns with your area of expertise and sharing it with your community. This can add credibility to your brand since people will constantly see you as the person or business that’s always giving them something without trying to get something in return. Scoopit and PostPlanner are both tools that can be used to curate contents and share them with your community on the web.
Setting up strategic Partnership with Established brands– This is a simple and effective way to build instant credibility for your brand.
Strategic partnerships are awesome because many entrepreneurs and small business may not have the resources needed to go out and build a brand from scratch. Marketing and advertising can be painfully expensive. Establishing strategic partnerships with established brands that share your values whether it is to host an event or getting an endorsement (see point one above) can prove very beneficial.
Partnering with other brands not only brings you credibility and exposure but increased revenues, customer loyalty and retention. To partner with brands it is important to establish a relationship with that brand, and connect the right people within the company. You can often use Twitter or LinkedIn to find and connect with influencers within the company.
You need to be genuine when trying to partner with another brand. You want to make sure you’re offering something that will help them achieve their goals. You need to be patient and persistent, things may not work out the first time, but keep at it and your success will follow
Conclusion
Every entrepreneur and business has a brand, whether they want it or not. Once you exist people will form an opinion of you and what you do. Using the point above you can develop and establish instant credibility for your brand and ensure your brand stand above the noise.
This article is written by Kimron Corion and Originally Published on Business2Community.com, the link is as follows Three Ways to Build Instant credibility for your Brand

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Think Big, Work Smart Hustle Hard: Business Start Up Series Part 3

Identifying Your Target Market
In Part 3 of this Business Start-Up Series, we will be taking a look at the Target Market and correctly identifying your target market for success. Find a PDF version of this presentation  Here
Identifying Your Target market

In part one and two we took a look at what type of entrepreneur you are, and you came up with a great idea for your business so now you are ready to rumble. However not quite, now that you have your business idea, you need to now try to figure out your market. Generally you can sell to consumers and also to businesses, and in some cases to both businesses and consumers.
One of the mistakes businesses make, especially small businesses is that they try to be everything to everyone. The best thing to do here is to segment your market, the narrower you can make your market the better. Many business experts recommends this approach, it is a process known as creating a niche. Many businesses try to do everything and are surprise when things don’t work out , not realizing they may be confusing themselves and their potential customers.
There are demographic and psychographics one can use to segment their target market some demographic factors include:
  • ·         Age
  • ·         Location
  • ·         Gender
  • ·         Income
  • ·         Education
  • ·         Occupation
  • ·         Ethnicity
  • ·         Marital Status
  • ·         # of Children

Some Psychographic factors include:
  • ·         Personality
  • ·         Attitudes
  • ·         Values
  • ·         Interests/hobbies
  • ·         Lifestyle
  • ·         Behaviour

According to Lynda Falkenstein, the author of “Nichecraft: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market and Make Customers Seek you out”. Creating a good niche is a seven step process.
1-      Make a Wishlist- This involve taking a look at with whom you want to do business and try being as specific as possible.
2-      Focus- You need to clarify exactly what you will like to sell, you should already have identified this from part 2 of this series.
3-      Describe your customer worldview-  Look at the world from your customers view point and try to determine their needs and wants
4-      Synthesize- Your niche should start taking shape by now
a.       It takes you where you want to go
b.      Somebody else want it
c.       Its carefully planned
d.      Its unique
e.      It allows you to develop different profit centres and maintain the core business
5-      Evaluate- evaluate your product or service against the qualities in 4 above
6-      Test- This happens once you have found a match between a niche and a product, test market it
7-      Go for it- Now it’s time to go hard or go home, it’s time to implement your idea
Identifying your target market is of utmost importance because it allows you to build a solid foundation for your business.  And as a small business, it becomes easier to compete with the larger companies if you go after a niche market.  All this does not mean however that if someone who isn’t part of your target market comes to buy, you will not sell. You will, however, you will direct all your marketing and promotional effort to a particular type of people.

Having a target market is crucial, ensure that you identify clearly who your target market is, and follow the steps above and comment below if you believe anything is missing or you wish to add to this post.

Part One of this Series can be Found Here  Part Two can be  Found Here

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4 Extraordinary Programmes and Resources for Caribbean Entrepreneurs

Caribbean Entrepreneurs Resources

In my day to day dealings, I come across Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs from the Caribbean all seeking information and resources for their businesses. This has prompted me to put together a list of some of the resources and programmes that I believe Caribbean Entrepreneurs and aspiring Entrepreneurs can fully benefit from. The top four (4) resources are as follows:

 1- SME ToolKit Caribbean– the SME toolkit is one of my favourite resources. Here Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs will find information on starting and running a business. This is one of those resources that Caribbean Entrepreneurs should constantly have access to when managing different aspect of their business. There you will find, How to Articles, Business Forms, Tools and Resources and many more. The best thing someone can do right now is check out this amazing resource at The Website Here

 2- Caribbean Innovation Challenge– the Caribbean Innovation Challenge (CIC) is a regional competition and business start-up accelerator for young entrepreneurs in the CARICOM and OECS Member and Associate states. The CIC is a Programme organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), in collaboration with National and Regional Partners in the Americas. The CIC identifies and awards innovative ventures led by young people, which respond to the most urgent economic and social issues in their communities, the programme supports projects becoming sustainable businesses. Citizens between 18 and 34 years old (by 11:59 PM, May 31, 2015) of CARICOM and OECS Member States are eligible to participate. Participants can register under any of the following categories: • Social Innovation • Economic Innovation • Environmental Innovation Aspiring and existing Caribbean Entrepreneurs who fit into the criterions should make use of this opportunity. More information can be found here On this Link

 3- Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship (Caribbean) – The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean was opened in Montego Bay Jamaica by Sir Richard Branson In September 2011. The Centre is a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs. Their mission is to offer practical business skills, access to coaches to offer guidance, mentors to share their experiences, professional services to build strong businesses, exposure to networks, finance and investment opportunities. Though located in Jamaica, the Branson Centre is for all aspiring Caribbean Entrepreneurs and it’s a programme that entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from.

 4- Caribbean Small Business Academy– This is a resource; started by a Caribbean Entrepreneur (Sandra Baptiste) is one that Caribbean Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs should definitely take a look into this. Their mission is to support Caribbean Entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their businesses to live the life they desire. Within the Academy, you’ll find audio and video training, resources, templates, expert interviews and much more to help you grow your business. While it is a paid membership site and business, there are a number of free resources that Entrepreneurs can use including a three part business series and a copy of the book, Unlock the Code. More information can be found  Here

Related Content: Business Start-Up Information

 These resources and Programmes are not all that there is, however they are a great place to start as an entrepreneur or if you are thinking about taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. If you know of any more resources that can benefit Caribbean Entrepreneurs, please mention them in the comments below

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Think Big Work Smart Hustle hard: Business Start-Up Series Part 2

Generating Your Business Idea

Download and save a PDF version of this topic to your computer Your Business Idea 
In part one of this series we took a look at what type of entrepreneur you are or what type of entrepreneur you can be. We also took a look at some of the myth surrounding entrepreneurship, part one of this series can be found here Business Start up Series: Part 1.
In this part of the business start-up series, we will take a look at where business ideas come from and how you can generate a business. Many of us wonder when it is a good time to turn their idea into a business, there is never a right or wrong time for doing this. Some of the most successful businesses have been started in depressions when the economy was not doing well.  Greg Brophy once said “ it’s not the business you’re in, but the way you do business that makes the difference. Every business has a formula for making money; you just have to figure out yours. “
So how exactly do we start the process of idea generation, one of the first things that are to be done is to do an audit of you, make a list that highlights?
  • ·         Things that you’re  good at
  • ·         Things that you’re  not good at or dislike doing
  • ·         Things you enjoy about your current work
  • ·         What skills you possess, whether you excel at them or not

Once you do this, you should start looking for emerging patterns such as whether or not there is a need for one of the skills you have or whether you can start a business doing one of the things you’re good at.
Hobbies are a great way to generate business ideas. If you like writing, there may be a business in there for you. You may be able to write articles for businesses and other publications or do freelance writing work.
Is there something that you observe that can be improved in your community, maybe your peers and friends and families keep complaining about the way a particular business or company are doing things? How about taking a look at what they are doing and do it differently and better, you will already have a ready market, because these persons are frustrated and will be willing to make the switch to you if you offer a better alternative. Listening to people`s frustration is another way to generate several solid business ideas. Even if persons are not complaining, searching for a better way of doing things tend to lead to some positive business ideas that can result  in being  successful for many individuals.
In school maybe we are involved in certain projects, this is another great source of business, and can a school project be converted in a business. In Grenada, many students leave the Junior Achievers programme having run successful small businesses. Can these businesses be continued even after school? Even if these students do not want to continue these businesses. It is a source of inspiration to visit the JA expose to see what businesses these students have developed and get ideas from this to start your own business.
Many individuals have what I call an AHA moment, maybe they’re in the shower and an idea just came to mind. AHA moments are powerful and once they hit, you should take a look to see how feasible it is to take to the market. Another way the idea can just hit you is by being present in life, being present in life means being fully observant of what is happening around you, going places where you may not normally go and from these great ideas can come. You will also need to think outside the box for many of these.
Business ideas may come in the form of an“ add on“ for a particular product. You may be using a product and wonder, wouldn’t it be nice if this product can have this feature, this works well with technology.  Many technologist are now developing apps and other products that can work well with smart phones and computer programmes, these are a great way of getting a business idea.
To wrap up this second part of this series, I would suggest that you read a lot, meet new people, hear their stories, share your ideas with people you trust, do research, and take a look at your working experience; these are all great ways for generating your business idea. Anyone can start a business; you just need to have that drive that willingness and it can happen, entrepreneurship is not for a very few select people. Steve Jobs said it best when he made this statement
When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life and try not to bash into the walls too much…that’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact—everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you…shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it versus make your mark upon it. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again. Don’t just live a life; build one

Look out for part 3 of this series right here

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