Travelling the Road to Financial Independence – Steps to Starting Your Own Business

There are thousands of viable business ideas out there, and while identifying the idea right for you is a critical first step – that’s all it is – a first step. Once you have your idea, that is when the real work begins. The fact is, most businesses fail before they even start. A great idea is only good if the right person brings the idea into reality. That said, here is some good news: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

“About half of all new establishments survive five years or more..”

There is a commonly held belief that less than 1 in 10 businesses survive their first five years in business. This simply isn’t true. If you are willing to invest the time and energy into researching, planning, and investing in your idea, you can maximize your chances of success and build your road to financial independence. Here are the high level steps you will need to follow in order to turn your idea into a viable business -

Phase 1 – Initiation

In this phase, you will identify if your idea really has merit in the business world. You will invest more time here than money, and the key is to determine if your idea will be profitable before you invest too much money in it. The ultimate goal of the initiation phase is to reduce your personal risk as much as possible.

  • Conduct Market Research: You can do this yourself or hire a company to do it for you. Essentially, you want to know if people will be willing to pay you for your idea / service / product. The only way to know that, frankly, is to ask. I’ve found that one of the best online resources available for market research is GreenBook.org, but there are many other resources available.
  • Identify Your Target Demographic: Know who you’re selling to and target your market research to that audience. If you have a talent for developing mobile apps and you want to know if people would be willing to pay you for that service, you will need to target your research to businesses who are offering services or products that would benefit from the use of a mobile app.
  • Conduct a Cost Analysis: Businesses require money to launch. There is no way around it. How much money depends on the business itself. You need to determine how much money you need to open your business and whether or not you will be willing to invest that money. The fact is, few people have the personal funds available to startup their own company, but that does not mean that they should let that get in their way. There are plenty of companies and resources available that are willing to help you get the funding you need to open your doors. You simply need to have a solid business plan, good credit, and in most cases, collateral. The Small Business Association (SBA) is a great place to start exploring your options.

Phase 2 – Plan

In order to ensure that your business has the greatest chance at success, you need to create a solid business plan and follow it. The vast majority of businesses that fail in their first year, probably do not have a solid business plan. Operating a business without a plan is a lot like driving a car with a blind fold on. You will not be able to see where you’re going or how to get there.

A solid business plan consists of the following basic components:

  • Executive Summary: A summary of your business objectives, mission statement, and the components necessary for success.
  • Operational Plan: This section will describe company type, ownership, hours of operation, service or product description, a list of suppliers, management descriptions, and locations.
  • Marketing Plan: Here you will include the results of your market research and describe your strategy for obtaining customers. Marketing plans should include both online marketing and standard advertising strategies, a defined budget, a competitive analysis, and a results analysis. Your marketing strategy will be a work in progress and will become more effective over time as you determine what the most successful avenues for marketing are in your niche. Don’t let poor results in the beginning discourage you.
  • Financial Plan: In your financial plan you will include a profit and loss statement as well as financial forecasts based on your best educated guess. Completing this section of your business plan will often give you insight you haven’t had before. The key is – be realistic.

The SBA provides a great deal of information on how to write and prepare an effective business plan.

Phase 3 – Execute

You’ve done the market research and created a plan that you feel will yield long term success. Now it’s time to bring the plan to life. Here’s some of the initial steps that should be done prior to opening your doors -

  1. Obtain your Federal Tax ID number. It is free to obtain one and does not take very long to apply. Do some research ahead of time and know what type of business you plan to register. Each business type has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s really up to you to understand what type of business will be most beneficial for you. Wikipedia has a great article on the different business types available in the United States.
  2. Register your business in the state you will be operating in. The best way to find out how to do this online is to visit the SBA website. They have a large amount of information on how to start this process within your own state. Fees vary by state.
  3. Obtain a business license. There are a variety of licenses and/or permits that you may be required to obtain depending on what type of business you plan to run. Fees vary depending on a number of factors including the city you plan to register in or the type of permit you are looking to obtain.
  4. Register with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is a great resource to get yourself involved in your local community and to start networking with other business owners. It also adds credibility to your brand.

The Fight For Money – Arm Yourself With Stock Trading Education

Stock Trading is a premier battleground in mankind’s quest for riches. Practitioners of this trade are often compared to warriors; living and breathing their craft. So if you have plans of becoming a stock trader and are thinking it’s just like art class that all you have to do is sign up, then think hard and then think some more. In this world, the weak have no place and even the strong can get devoured in a matter of moments. You have to be ready and arm yourself with these trading education tips.1. Just like in a real battlefield, you have to be familiar with what you’re doing right from the start. Find a reputable stock broker online and open an account with them. You don’t have to trade just yet, but it will give you the opportunity to have a feel of what the real thing is all about. Plus, being an account holder, you can ask the pros for help in finding your way in the business. Think of it as a trial version. At the very least, should you find out it’s too complicated for you then you’ve saved yourself from flushing down thousands of dollars down the drain.

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2. Stock trading education requires you to be a reader. Don’t be too lazy to open a book or magazine about stock trading. You can never read too much on anything. You can even find free articles on the Internet and you have to capitalize on that. Five decades ago, you need to buy books if you want to learn about anything. They were very expensive and if you can’t find what you’re looking it’s either you buy another one or borrow someone else’s. Today, you can Google almost anything.3. Consult Experts. The veterans of this trade are more than willing to pass on the torch to willing students and it should be you. Attend seminars these gurus often hold. Buy their books. You will be able to acquire stock education by doing that. Don’t be afraid to ask questions no matter how elementary they may sound. It’s better than losing real money because of a mistake that you could have avoided if you only asked the right persons.4. Stock Trading Simulation. Rookie traders are very lucky today because simulation stock trading software is readily available on the Internet. Some programmers even market them as games. Try them yourselves and see if you can master the ropes without actually spending money. Talk about free stock trading education right at your home!

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There are numerous guidelines and tips on the Internet that you can tap for help if you’ve decided making a career in stock trading. But they won’t mean anything if you don’t go out and get your feet wet. You can have all the stock trading education, but real experience is the best teacher and you have to accept early on the fact that you will lose money along the way. It’s inevitable and even the best in the business will tell you that.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!