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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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(Image in today's post by MISHA)

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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

Get more tips on remembering names and faces

Get a FREE memory evaluation

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I Want to Start a Home-Based Business. How Do I Make Sure It’s Legitimate?

With tough times, people are looking for ways to either save a little or make a little more money. We’ve been getting more questions about part-time and/or home-based business opportunities. Specifically, we’re being asked how to tell if they’re legitimate.

One of the first things to look at is what they’re promising you. Specifically …

Do they make earnings claims?

george "Many offers will tout how much you can make. Legitimate operators will do one of two things: they won’t make any claim at all, or … they will tell you both the number and percentage of people who actually earn what they’re claiming. In my experience, they’re more likely to not make any claim at all."

Some real world examples

marylynn "I did a search for “home based business opportunities.” I saw six on my screen without scrolling down. Of those six, five made an earnings claim. I saw claims like “$250 thousand or more at home”, “$500 to $8,000 per month”, and $30 to $150 thousand in 12 months”. Then I looked at the most regulated business opportunities – franchises. I typed in “franchise opportunities”. One out of the four franchise opportunities made an earnings claim and it was also one of the home-based business opportunities!"

biz_ad

We’re not saying that being a franchise automatically makes it a legitimate opportunity. Nor are we saying that just because it’s not a franchise means it’s a scam. But from these examples, you do see differences in behaviors of companies that are more regulated and those that are not.

Do they stand behind their own claims?

marylynn "I went to the site of one of the home-based business opportunities. This was the one that claimed you could make $250 thousand. I scrolled way, way, down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the tiny, little link that said 'Earnings Disclaimer'."

george "Mary-Lynn printed it out. It was in ALL CAPS. Unlike the small font used for the Earnings Disclaimer, this was in 13.5 point type. They’re covering their you-know-what."

Here are some highlights …

“ANY EARNINGS OR INCOME STATEMENTS,  OR EARNINGS OR INCOME EXAMPLES, ARE ONLY ESTIMATES OF WHAT WE THINK YOU COULD EARN.”

“ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR REPRESENTATIONS, AS TO INCOME EARNINGS … ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS AVERAGE EARNINGS. TESTIMONIALS ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE.”

And our favorite part …

“WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR IMPLY THAT YOU WILL … GET RICH, THAT YOU WILL DO AS WELL, OR MAKE ANY MONEY AT ALL. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE YOU'LL DO AS WELL.  IF YOU RELY UPON OUR FIGURES; YOU MUST ACCEPT THE RISK OF NOT DOING AS WELL.”

So they make a claim and then they disclaim their claim!
When you see this, exclaim your skepticism!

We’re NOT (sorry, we got used to seeing ALL CAPS) saying this particular example is a scam, but you would definitely want more information before proceeding.

The thing about earnings claims, at least here in the U.S., is they are required by law to disclose both the number of people and the percentage of people who are earning any amount they quote you.

So don’t be afraid to ask for documented proof of any claim. Then check out our article that describes your next steps are when investigating a business opportunity.

 

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I Want to Start a Home-Based Business. How Do I Make Sure It's Legitimate?

With tough times, people are looking for ways to either save a little or make a little more money. We’ve been getting more questions about part-time and/or home-based business opportunities. Specifically, we’re being asked how to tell if they’re legitimate.

One of the first things to look at is what they’re promising you. Specifically …

Do they make earnings claims?

george "Many offers will tout how much you can make. Legitimate operators will do one of two things: they won’t make any claim at all, or … they will tell you both the number and percentage of people who actually earn what they’re claiming. In my experience, they’re more likely to not make any claim at all."

Some real world examples

marylynn "I did a search for “home based business opportunities.” I saw six on my screen without scrolling down. Of those six, five made an earnings claim. I saw claims like “$250 thousand or more at home”, “$500 to $8,000 per month”, and $30 to $150 thousand in 12 months”. Then I looked at the most regulated business opportunities – franchises. I typed in “franchise opportunities”. One out of the four franchise opportunities made an earnings claim and it was also one of the home-based business opportunities!"

biz_ad

We’re not saying that being a franchise automatically makes it a legitimate opportunity. Nor are we saying that just because it’s not a franchise means it’s a scam. But from these examples, you do see differences in behaviors of companies that are more regulated and those that are not.

Do they stand behind their own claims?

marylynn "I went to the site of one of the home-based business opportunities. This was the one that claimed you could make $250 thousand. I scrolled way, way, down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the tiny, little link that said 'Earnings Disclaimer'."

george "Mary-Lynn printed it out. It was in ALL CAPS. Unlike the small font used for the Earnings Disclaimer, this was in 13.5 point type. They’re covering their you-know-what."

Here are some highlights …

“ANY EARNINGS OR INCOME STATEMENTS,  OR EARNINGS OR INCOME EXAMPLES, ARE ONLY ESTIMATES OF WHAT WE THINK YOU COULD EARN.”

“ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OR REPRESENTATIONS, AS TO INCOME EARNINGS … ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS AVERAGE EARNINGS. TESTIMONIALS ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE.”

And our favorite part …

“WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR IMPLY THAT YOU WILL … GET RICH, THAT YOU WILL DO AS WELL, OR MAKE ANY MONEY AT ALL. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE YOU'LL DO AS WELL.  IF YOU RELY UPON OUR FIGURES; YOU MUST ACCEPT THE RISK OF NOT DOING AS WELL.”

So they make a claim and then they disclaim their claim!
When you see this, exclaim your skepticism!

We’re NOT (sorry, we got used to seeing ALL CAPS) saying this particular example is a scam, but you would definitely want more information before proceeding.

The thing about earnings claims, at least here in the U.S., is they are required by law to disclose both the number of people and the percentage of people who are earning any amount they quote you.

So don’t be afraid to ask for documented proof of any claim. Then check out our article that describes your next steps are when investigating a business opportunity.

 

Related posts

Success Snake Oil – Know When You’re Getting Scammed

Freedom Or Security – Which Do You Choose?  

(Image from eggheadmarketing.com)

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Ben Franklin Got It Wrong

Change. A word that sparks fear in many people.

We work to get to that comfortable spot, and we want to stay there.

“Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
Ben Franklin

We think he got it wrong, not in the message, but in the semantics. We think he should have explicitly included change as something that is certain, rather than making it implicit in his quote.  


Will you lead or follow?

Even when it’s change that we’re creating ourselves, it can be scary. But it’s especially frightening when it’s a surprise.

For example, picture Jane telling her boss that she’s accepted a new position. She’s going to experience change. But isn’t that more comfortable than Jane’s boss telling her that her job is being eliminated?

It’s better to be a leader of change than a follower.

Who’s in control?
However, you can’t always control change. What you can control all the time is how you choose to respond to it.

You can also try to anticipate it. For example, as technology continues to develop, change is occurring more and more rapidly. Isn’t it safe to assume that this will continue?

So you have a choice to make. You either develop the skills to anticipate change so you get ahead of it or you just respond to it, after the pain becomes too great to do anything else.

Bigg action item – Separate the change into fads and trends
There are fads and there are trends. Fads come and go, so don’t worry about them. Trends are long-term. Get on board with them.

Divide a sheet into two columns – one called “Fads” and the other called “Trends”.  In your chosen career, think about the things affecting your industry. Now start putting those changes into the appropriate column.

What will affect your future income? Something will – for good or for bad!

Is it a short-term phenomenon? Or is it likely to continue? You can position yourself properly by seeing the change coming.

What opportunities will be created? What skills will be important? Do you have them? Can you get them?

Develop a plan for what you need to do to position yourself to take advantage of the trends.

Where do I get this information?

We’ll look at two examples. Search for the name of your industry followed by the word “association”. For example, “beauty salon association” yielded a half-dozen or so associations in Google.

You can also subscribe to magazines for your industry, or just about any industry you’re interested in following. They’re often free, supported by the advertisers. Amazon has an excellent resource that lists magazines by industry. It’s an extensive list!

So there are a number of ways to get the information you need so you can embrace change rather than begrudge it.

 

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(Image by bob923)

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