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Small Business Ideas

This forum has a lot more potential than its demonstrating. With more and more IT workers losing their jobs to outsourcing, advice on starting a business (and entrepreneurship in general) is becoming more and more important.

Well, this is as good a place as any to post your questions and/or advice about making the transition from "IT employee" to "IT entrepreneur". So, let's hear what everyone has to say! Don't be shy--speak up!

I'll even start by providing you with this one piece of advice:

"Look at the market before you choose the specific business and/or niche you want to get into. Most people choose the business first--and then go looking for customers. That can be an expensive mistake!"

Sincerely, JDM

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anyone considering home automation?

In reply to: Small Business Ideas

I've been investigating this market for several months now and it's really beginning to take off. The recent popularity of home remodeling shows, consumer device and pc price drops, as well as the steady growth in the home building market have really opened the door for these services. There are two approaches, specializing in one type of service or having a broad range of services. I've opted for the latter. Currently, I'm building a business plan to gain more capital needed for marketing. My business caters to residential services - a lot of companies in the industry are too busy with small to medium sized businesses to focus on home technology. I've gotten some great leads and I'm considering going full-time with it along with adding more service offerings. I've started with PC/game console/ media server networking, PC repair, and consulting.

I'd like to move into structured wiring. Does anyone have any experience?

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Sounds like...

In reply to: anyone considering home automation?

you've done your homework pretty well. There is definitely a need, and now is definitely the time.

I assume you'll be looking to cooperate with some of the more progressive builders and/or real estate developers. What you're suggesting tends to work better if it's included from the concept phase on. (You'd definitely profit by reading the book "Dr. Deming".)

As for structured wiring, I personally don't know the first thing about it. However, there seems to be a lot of good info on the web in "how-to" format. Google rules!

Wink JDM

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Examples abound ...

In reply to: Small Business Ideas

Where you selected a business with no customers. Telephones, cell phones, internet...

If you only ventured into a business that had ready customers you would find someone already there.

Bob

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Not exactly what I meant, Bob.

In reply to: Examples abound ...

But thanks for the opportunity to elaborate! Wink

When I say "look at the market", I don't mean only from the point of view of existing products and services (although, those are important). It's important to look at what the market needs in terms of utility, convenience, price, etc.

No one thought they needed a "stereo in a box" when Sony first came out with the Walkman. However, people did have a need for "portable entertainment".

Carburators were replaced by fuel injectors, because there was a need for "greater fuel efficiency". Fuel injectors were also much cheaper to manufacture than carburators, so it was win-win all around. People needed "something better" than carburators--not "better carburators".

Do you see what I'm getting at? Examine the market for "underlying needs"...and then consider what you have to offer.

Sincerely, JDM

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This wonderful idea...

In reply to: Small Business Ideas

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Go to that guy's website.

In reply to: This wonderful idea...

Bandwidth limiting absolutely sucks for web hosting agreements.

Poor guy.

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I think...

In reply to: Go to that guy's website.

he probably never expected to have so many hits.I also believe that the level of interest his product has generated would've overwhelmed a much larger site. Silly

Wink JDM

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I'd buy one.

In reply to: I think...

If I could actually see it. If it is like a 3.5-5inch mount with a removable ion collector that wipes like the ion breeze that sharper image makes -it's GENIUS!!!

Anything less would actually be a disappointment.

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Same here!

In reply to: I'd buy one.

There's not a lot of detail in the story, and the guy's site is down...but the concept is great. I especially liked his statement that "anyone" could install it.

He's basically just found a simple way to solve a recurring and potentially expensive problem. I really think we need more guys like this in the small-business world...especially in IT.

Wink JDM

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Got an idea for a Small Business?

In reply to: Small Business Ideas

Well, let's hear it! It can be extremely helpful to run your idea by a few people and get some honest and heartfelt feedback. I'm always willing to share--and the people at CNET are the best!

And don't be overly concerned about people "stealing" your brilliant idea...most people won't believe it's brilliant until "after" you've made it work. The guy who started Federal Express got a "D" when he presented the idea to his teachers at business school. They believed that no one would pay for overnight delivery when they could use the U.S. Mail. The rest is history.

Wink JDM

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Got an idea...?

In reply to: Got an idea for a Small Business?

JDM, Jamie, et.al.,

I spent 10 years in the internet / IT field. In Southern California.

Can you say bubble?

POP!

2001 - unemployed... resume that looks more like a travel itenerary (i.e. not staying in one place long).

Like so many I've talked with, I've thought about starting a business for a long time.

My business was established May 2002. I am still working on developing and growing it. Jamie, you might be interested in knowing that I work with home automation technologies as a low voltage contractor.

Well, if you folks still check this thread, maybe there will be more to discuss.

Until then, God bless.

Morgan Harman
The Tech Source
http://www.TheTechSource.net

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Yup!

In reply to: Got an idea...?

A lot of people got their lives popped along with the tech bubble...but times are changing once again. Sit back and gloat a bit, my friend...'cuz the resurgence is here, and you're still standing.

Wink JDM

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re Yup

In reply to: Yup!

U're right in the sence that resurgence is on it's way but in a very slow pace and less respect that it used to command. Let's face it, IT world is here to stay just as the regular jobs, though it's innovative but no longer the bubble we're all used to. Healtcare industry seem to be gaining momentum in various aspect - informatics, HIS, etc. Though, I'm still in IT for a major co., just waiting for the right time to move into Home Automation just like Morgan.

Babs

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Small business forum - go here

In reply to: Small Business Ideas

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Retail and Affilliates?

In reply to: Small business forum - go here

What do you think about something like Ebay where you can become a retailer that sells wholesale at retail prices, home owned items, items acquired by Garage Sales, Pawn Shops, or other people that you can sell for.

I have also looked at the possibility of combining affilliate partners and so far am very optimistic.

Aloha,
Harold

Check out.....
http://www.thebacosfutureonline.com/

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I find it hard to believe...

In reply to: Small Business Ideas

that there are so few people with innovative business ideas participating in this forum. Come on now, don't be shy! There must be a least one "better mousetrap" in here somewhere!

Wink JDM

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Years Ago,,,

In reply to: I find it hard to believe...

Where I worked there was a plan to reward employees with a percentage of what they saved the company. My idea to use an obscure utility in our computer system to send routine memos was laughed at and I was told that people would NEVER use the computer to communicate. Then there was the stain removal tool idea I had, imagine when I saw the clorox bleach pen advertised on TV. I got more, everyone does its only a matter of a million or two and committment.

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Patent It

In reply to: Years Ago,,,

To anyone who has ideas like parent and a little capital Patents are the way to go. A full on patent by a qualified preparet is 3-5k depending on complexity. But you can get patent pending status for about $700. Have it prepared by the right people though. If the idea really is that good it will be challenged legally by the big boys and a poorly written patent is much more likely to be overturned.

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Of course there are

In reply to: I find it hard to believe...

He he. I have six awesome ideas that are either not being done all or are not being applied in the way I will be applying them. Although I agree that most people will not think an idea is brilliant until after it is successful I think the odds of someone recognizing it as a good idea on a thread like this are VERY high. So no, I will not share today, thank you.

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