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What’s Hot in 2009: Businesses

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we continue the five-part series by looking at business opportunities.

In the last quarter of 2008, we witnessed some significant shifts in consumer behavior. We’ve written an article on hot businesses for 2009 after doing extensive research on how these shifts will affect businesses.

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You gotta know when to hold ‘em

One of the things we learned is that people are holding on to what they have longer. So if your business idea involves replacing something old, think again about starting up in 2009.

But if you know how to repair something, or can partner with someone who does, 2009 is a great time to get started. For example, one of the hottest businesses in the country right now is shoe repairs. People are repairing, rather than replacing, even the basics.

Every second counts

Somewhat related to repairs, if consumers have to replace an item, they’re often looking for something used. Businesses that sell second-hand items are thriving right now. Resale clothing shops are reporting record sales. From kid’s clothes to wedding dresses, consumers are buying previously worn garments.

Used office furniture suppliers are also doing well. While buyers are feeling stingy, they’re finding it hard to resist some of the premium quality furnishings flowing out of financial institutions these days.

Used book stores are also reporting strong sales as people return to reading as an inexpensive form of entertainment.

It’s a small world after all

The overwhelming majority of businesses are really, really small businesses. They consist of one or two people, in many cases operating from their home. It appears that these tiny businesses – which have been dubbed micro-businesses, are only going to continue capturing a larger share of the total business pie.

What special skills do you have? What are you an expert at … or could you be an expert at?  Thinking along these lines may help you discover your opportunity. A lot of the best opportunities are businesses you rarely hear about because they’re small niches within a larger category so they’re hardly newsworthy.

Just like other consumers, businesses are looking for ways to save money. If they can contract for needed services, rather than hiring an employee to provide them, they don’t have the costs that go with a full-time employee. They can also maintain more flexibility to adapt in a rapidly changing world, which is worth money to them.

From your perspective, look at it this way – instead of a job serving one employer (think of your employer as your only customer), would you feel more secure if you had ten employers (since it’s your own business, you’d call them clients)? If one of them stops doing business with you, you might only lose ten percent of your income.

It may sound crazy to many people to even think about starting a business right now. But keep in mind that many of the most successful businesses began in a downturn. You may discover it’s the perfect time to find your bigg opportunity! 

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Thanks for reading our post today. Again, check out the article we've written for more information on businesses that will be hot in 2009. Join us next time as we continue this series by looking at threats to be aware of in 2009. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00302-010608.mp3

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Top Threats to Your Career and Finances in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-17-08

caution

We’ve all heard plenty of bad news recently, but the bad news now is that there is more bad news to come. While we must think about the opportunities in front of us, it’s also important to consider the threats to our careers and our finances so we can prepare appropriately.

Recession

Consumers, businesses, non-profits, and governments, all over the developed world, are learning a hard lesson about leverage. We will climb our way out of this recession but it will take some time. Before it’s through, it will be one of the, if not the most, severe recession since the Great Depression. 

Layoffs will continue. In most recessions, layoffs occur mostly at the bottom of the earnings / education spectrum. Expect this recession to be more evenly distributed, if not hitting higher end jobs harder.

Outsourcing

Companies will continue outsourcing, but here’s the difference. Manufacturing jobs have been getting shipped overseas for some time now. As fuel prices rose, there actually seemed to be a resurgence in companies bringing manufacturing jobs back on shore.

Now more white-collar jobs are at risk thanks in part to technology that allows information to be shared instantly from any place in the world with internet access. We found a great article that discusses the characteristics of jobs that can now be easily outsourced and jobs that can’t. It also lists what you can do to make yourself less vulnerable and provides a list of jobs by their level of risk to offshoring.

Deflation

Expect deflation to continue as everybody keeps a tight lid on spending, the credit markets remain relatively tight, and inventories of everything from housing to cars remain comparatively high. The good news is lower prices will remain, but …

Inflation

Governments in the developed countries have poured money into the world economy at unprecedented rates. At some point, once the credit markets loosen up and demand returns, inflation could become a problem.

We’ve just witnessed prices on everything from gas to groceries rising quickly. We could see it again. It will take wise leadership to know when to slam on the brakes on economic stimulus without tightening so much that another recession ensues.

If this happens, that cash stash will quickly lose its value. Investments in hard assets have typically performed well in times of inflation.

Delayed retirement

A number of retirees are being forced to look for work after the freefall of their portfolios. Even more people who planned to retire soon are putting those plans on hold because they need to bulk up their assets again before they stop working. This will create even more competition in already tight job markets.

Benefits

Employers are under intense pressure to cut costs. It’s reasonable to expect them to cut benefits. Even if it’s promised now, don’t count on having health insurance provided to you as a retiree. Even while you’re working, expect to cover a greater share of the premiums.

Also don’t be surprised if your employer cuts back or eliminates the matches on your 401(k). These aren’t the only benefits at risk, but they’re two of the most significant ones.

Access to credit

It won’t show up on your personal balance sheet, but your credit score will be an incredible asset. Cash will be king as long as prices remain in a deflationary state. At some point, cash along with the ability to access credit will open doors for opportunities that most of us will never see again in our lifetimes. 

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Is It Lonely at the Top of Your Own Business?

By Bigg Success Staff
07-29-08

Bigg Success in Business

at_the_topIf you believe the statistics, an overwhelming majority of people dream of owning their own business. For many, it’s because they have a romantic view of working for themselves. Owning your own business means answering to no one. You’re the man (or woman)!

But that’s the problem for many … being THE one. It really can be very lonely at the top.

Staying on course may mean changing the course!

You’ll hear all kinds of opinions about your business and your plans. You have to develop an intestinal fortitude like never before. You need to have the courage of your convictions, to press on even when others tell you that you’re crazy.

At the same time, you have to learn when it’s time to change your strategy based on new evidence. To abandon what you thought was the right course for some new direction.

Many entrepreneurs succeed in a business they didn’t start!

They adapt. As they gain new market information, they respond to their customer’s needs and wind up in a completely different business.

But there’s another pitfall. Does the opportunity align with your passion? There’s a reason you started a business in the first place. If the required strategy takes you into an area in which you have no interest, you might be better off with a regular job.

Are you ready to go out on your own?

If this discussion dissuades you from going out on your own … good! It’s better to learn now than after you’ve invested time, money, and emotions in a new venture. Starting a business is tough for everyone, but it’s much harder on anyone who’s not fully committed to it.

On the other hand, if it excites you even more, you may be ready to start your own business. So it’s time to take the important first steps.

The first most important step is …

… get started. A lot of people TALK about starting their own firm, but that’s as far as it goes. Nothing will ever happen unless you get started. Even if getting started means doing more research, then get going!

The second most important step is …

… get a support network. This includes your professional advisors. However, you also need people who have lived what you are going through – fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches. They will help you when the load seems unbearable and keep pushing you when things are going well. 

The next most important step is …

… your next step! Every day in an entrepreneur’s life is a challenge with all the noise. You have to filter through it all to do what’s most important to move your business one more step ahead.

Focusing all your energy every day on what’s most important doesn’t guarantee success. However, it does make the odds a little bit better. 

3 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

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Stay Alert with Alerts

By Bigg Success Staff
07-22-08

Leading-Edge Applications

alert

The internet makes it so easy to keep the information you want flowing your way. For example, you may use Google Alerts to notify you when a reference is made to you, your company, a trend you’re tracking, news items, and more.

With Alerts.com, you can customize your alerts or choose one of their “off-the-shelf” alerts. One particularly popular choice is their gas price alert, which notifies you of the lowest priced fuel in your neighborhood.

You can use Yahoo Alerts to get alerted to breaking news, low air fares, stock prices and more.

With BBC’s Desktop Alerts, you can feel like you’re the reporter with the latest news and sports headlines popping up right on your desktop.

ProQuest alerts you to new articles that fit your recent searches.

Most of these services allow you to choose the frequency which you’re updated so you’re not inundated with messages. How’s that for a deal? The information you want, when you want it.

3 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

 

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Unforgettable Techniques to Help You Remember Names

Today we welcomed Bill Clennan, the Memory Man. Bill is a professional speaker who has given presentations at over 10,000 events and been inducted into the Speakers’ Hall of Fame. In his career, he has helped over one million people improve their memory.

marylynnOne of my weaknesses is remembering names. How can I get better at it?

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billPeople don’t remember names because they don’t think they can. It’s almost impossible to do something if you don’t think you can.

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marylynnSo we have to spin it around and start thinking that we can remember names.
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billExactly. In fact, what I tell people is … decide that you’ll remember 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time.

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georgeHow do you suggest we do that … is repeating it back the best way?

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billI never suggest to people to repeat it back. If we meet someone who uses our name over and over, we start wishing they would back off. But here’s the good news – just by thinking of the sound of somebody’s name, that part of your brain shows increased activity. To your brain, thinking about that sound is the same as saying it. I’m emphasizing the sound because when we meet people, we hear their name … we don’t see it. That’s one of the things that makes remembering names rather difficult.
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The fusion technique – fuse the face with the name
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billAt the moment I hear a person’s name, I look at their face. So I take that information along with the sound of their name and, just for a moment, I bring them together. I connect the two things. So when I see their face again, there’s a place in the brain where those two things originally came together. The next easiest thing … I might say to myself, “Tryin’ Brian”, “Shirley Girly”, “Silly Billy”, “Fancy Nancy”, “Slim Jim”, or “Georgie Porgie”.
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georgeThere you go – except I’ve figured it out. Mary-Lynn’s been using this fusion technique for years because she always calls me “Georgeous”! I think I like that better than “Georgie Porgie”!

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billFor a huge portion of the history of our species, we did not have the written word. Information was passed along in rhythm, rhyming, chant, and dance. So why not use that technique?

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“Syllable-ize” – break the name into sounds
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billWhen you meet someone who has a multi-syllabic name, break it into sounds. I met someone named “Ken Oracheski”. So I just pictured him with an oar stuck through his chest and he was on skis.
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The rhythm method
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billI met a guy in Honolulu whose name is “Takabayashi”. The very moment I heard his name, I went “talk-a-bye ashi in the tree top, when the wind blows …” When you tie things together in sound, get the first part the rest of it comes along for free. So listen for the rhythm. This is one of the clues if you have to meet four or five people in a hurry. Tie them together in sound and you’ll remember the whole string of names. I call it the rhythm method. It’s especially for Catholic folks!
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georgeI was going to say that I’d heard of the rhythm method, but it didn’t have anything to do with remembering names?

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billYeah, but this one works better!

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Bill’s links

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