How do you settle on an idea to pursue?

Dare I mention it again? Chris Guillebeau, author of “The $100 Startup” has an excellent tip on how to evaluate your business ideas to determine which ones you should focus on.

He lists all his ideas and then rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the following criteria: Impact, Effort, Profitability, Fit with Vision.

Then he totals up all the scores, and the ones with the greatest impact, profitability, etc. float to the top and the other ones that don’t meet his criteria end up on the bottom. I plan to do this for myself with the trillion ideas I have floating around in my head. Don’t worry, I won’t write them all down at once.

I hope you find this information useful.  And sorry, I can’t help myself. I don’t like to spend full price on books and seldom do. That’s why I picked up The History of Furniture for $5 (and was later disappointed that they dropped the price to $2, and no I haven’t read it yet.) So,  I just have to say The $100 Startup is worth every penny of the full price I paid for it. Hopefully, it will be worth more once I actually start to follow through with it.

Until next time. Write those ideas down. And if you have any input or suggestions, you are welcome to comment.

Down to Business – A Great Place to Start

If you haven’t already done so, check out the Business Link website. It provides all the information you’ll likely ever need to start a business in Alberta. They offer sessions throughout the year on everything from business plans to marketing and much more. They are sponsored by the Government of Alberta and a great place to start. They also have networking sessions as well.

Some of the upcoming Business Learning sessions that the Business Link in Edmonton is offering are:

  • Improve Your Profitability! Leverage Your Customer Advocates on Thursday, November 29, 2:30pm-4:00pm
  • Small Business Bookkeeping and Payroll on Tuesday, December 4, 9:00am-11:30am
  • Start Your Business! on Wednesday, December 5, 1:00pm-4:00pm
  • Income Tax Basics for Sole Proprietors & Partnerships  on Tuesday, December 119:30am-11:30am

These are just a few of the titles. Prices to attend vary according to the workshop.

They also have an office in Calgary for those of you located closer to Calgary.

In addition, they have a large library of business resources that you can check out.

Unbelievable Coincidence

So, I’m sitting in my living room, talking to my brother-in-law, and he starts to tell me that I must read this fabulous book that he has been reading, “The $100 Startup“. What are the chances of that happening? Before he spits out the name of the book, my sister is already starting to laugh. She finds any discussions on starting up a business extremely boring as evidenced by the eye-rolling and desire to go lie-down while her hubby and I enthusiastically talked about our ideas.

Just saying .  . . I’m not the only one who thinks this is a great book.

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Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

As of June of this year, more than half a million Canadians were in the process of starting their own business, says a new report from CIBC World Markets Inc.

Guess who’s driving this surge?

The fastest growing segment — by far — is the 50-and-over group, which accounts for close to 30% of the total start-ups. That’s more than double the rate seen in the 1990s. “This trend represents not only an aging Canadian society, but also increased propensity to start a business among baby boomers,” writes Benjamin Tal, the report’s author.

“The affordability and availability of technology enables older Canadians to provide services from home,” adds Tal. “They are also able to use their well-developed skills and take advantage of their wide business networks and connections more effectively.”

The CIBC report mentioned several other trends. Among them:

•   Only 20% of those who started their own business in the past two years…

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Generating Business Ideas and “The $100 Startup”

Further to an earlier post, I actually went out and bought the book “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau. I haven’t exactly made my first $100 (although undoubtedly he has, as I spent $26.95 on the book). However, I don’t regret it. He has a lot of good advice and research. In all my research, (which I excel at), I have discovered the greatest advice comes from Nike, “Just do it!” Continue reading

This just goes to show you the importance of believing and doing . . . an awesome story to encourage you entrepreneurs out there.

Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

A few years ago, Emily Deane was being bullied at school.  So her mother Julie decided to do something about it.

Julie went and found a nearby school that promised a happier environment for her daughter. She wanted her son, Max, to go as well. But it was a private school — and Julie didn’t have the money to send them there.

In 2008, Julie Deane started The Cambridge Satchel Company in the UK to earn the money she needed. She was in her early 40s and had no business experience. But she did have the unwavering support of her mother, Freda — and apparently a very good business idea. Today, the company’s bags are in hundreds of stores. It has 70 employees and ships its products all over the world.

Here’s a video about Cambridge Satchel’s story.

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When Things Go Awry . . . As They Often Do

I admit, at the first sign of defeat, I was defeated. Not a good start to starting out. I was so gung-ho. I found this fabulous website promoted by Google, RBC, and Yola.ca called Get Your Business Online. There was even a video from Dennis O’Leary of the Dragon’s Den promoting it (which I see has now since been removed). It offered (offers) a free website and domain for a year through Yola.com. So I signed up. Here’s where the defeat sets in. I signed up with a non-existing e-mail account and could never access my website again. I was puzzled until I contacted Yola.com support and they told me I hadn’t received any notices because everything was being sent to another e-mail address. Well to get the e-mail account switched to my active one was a long drawn-out process that made me want to give up on the spot. But, I decided to give it another try and created a new e-mail account with Shaw with the incorrect e-mail address that I had used to setup my website account. And it was available and so I now have that e-mail account ID as well. Now I can access my website once again. However, it is still in the building process. Once I get it up and running I will link to it. So moral of the story is . . . don’t give up! Find ways to make it work! When you make idiotic mistakes don’t assume that makes you an idiot. After all, I did find a work around. Until next time . .. .