Business Start-Up Questions
By: Dan Miller

Frequently asked

1. What is the attraction to start-up entrepreneurial businesses?
More and more Americans are looking for greater control of their destinies and
for the chance to apply personal skills to earn income. Most people are not
as interested in material wealth as they are in time freedom. According to the
Small Business Administration (SBA), 60 percent of all families will have some
type of home business by the year 2002. Over 800,000 Americans are starting
their own businesses each year and that number is growing.

2. What are the key ingredients for success?
The ability to Plan, Organize and Communicate. And remember, 85% of your
success will originate from your people skills -- attitude, enthusiasm, self-discipline, and 15% will be due to your technical skills.

3. Don't most new businesses fail?
Once upon a time, someone churned out the statistic that 4 out of 5 small
businesses fail in their first five years of operation. No one can trace the source
of this mysterious figure, and not only is it illogical, it is totally untrue.
According to a Dun & Bradstreet census of 250,000 businesses, almost 70% of all firms that started were still around ten years later. The study pinpointed the true failure rate at less than 1% of all businesses per year.

Currently, we are gathering new information that helps us understand the
information about businesses staying in business. Knowing the characteristics of
entrepreneurs, they often simply choose to close a business and go on to a new
one. That does not mean that the old business was not successful or even
unprofitable, they just choose to go on to a new venture.

4. What are the primary factors contributing to the failure of those that do fail?
Managerial incompetence: A: Sales & Marketing -- 48%
B: Poor cost controls -- 46%

5. Will we really see more and more small businesses?
Many of you have already experienced the downsizing of large corporations.
IBM, General Motors and other American standards have cut their work forces dramatically. A recent article in Time announced an average of 1,963 job losses
each day in America. The good news is, since 1982 alone, the number of small
businesses has grown by 50%, to approximately 24.5 million. In the last ten years small business has accounted for 71% of the nation's new job growth, now adding
over 2 million new jobs each year. Small businesses employ 54% of the American work force. What we are seeing is a healthy return to the kind of business that started
our country.

6. Are there any new ideas left to start?
Experts estimate that over 80% of the products and services that we use today will be obsolete in 5 years. The airplane, tape recorder, heart valve, soft contact lens, and personal computer were all new ideas in past years. With the changes we are
experiencing in today's market, there are thousands of opportunities for new ideas.
Keep in mind that today there are over 2 Million people working in Internet
related jobs. Ten years ago no one would have been able to foresee those

7. What if I'm not creative?*
You don't have to be original to be successful in business. If you can do
something 10% better than it is currently being done or provide added value,
you can be wildly successful. When Dominos got in the pizza business, they did
not make better or cheaper pizza, they simply added delivery to a very common
product. Meeting the desire for speed and convenience, Dominos created millionaires all across the country. Also, know that creativity is not a function of intelligence, it is a function of

8. If I share my idea, will someone steal it?
Ideas are a dime a dozen -- It's not even the quality of the idea but rather the
quality of the action plan brought to that idea that determines success. Share your
idea with others, get their input. Try your idea on friends and family. Make one
prototype and see if people will buy it. Then gear up for a business supporting
that idea.

9. Should I buy a franchise, distributorship or business opportunity?
The attraction of these is that they are a tried system for a business concept.
Normally, that means a proven track to run on, marketing support and name
recognition. But, buyer beware. Make sure you research carefully, so you
don't overpay for something you could do yourself.

10. Should I buy an existing business?
If we take an average business cost of $120K -- will require $40-50K down for
net of 35-45K, plus "deep pockets" for operating capital. This is generally not a
very attractive proposal. Yes, there are good deals on existing business, but look
closely at why the business is being sold, and are you buying “blue sky” or
“goodwill” or actual tangible assets.

11. Is there one characteristic that is central to business success?
The ability to sell -- where there is no ability to sell, the finest product or service
will fail. It may be a passive method of marketing, but someone must be selling
in one form or another.

For a complete business plan, see 48 Days To Creative Income at:


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