Friday, March 1, 2019

small business ideas from home

small business ideas from home

Four Clever Ways To Discover Disruptive Business Ideas - Forbes

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 07:20 AM PST

The most successful brands and products aren't often the copycats. They're the originals that bring something new to the market. Here's how to discover those disruptive ideas.ISM | Justin Kwong

The most successful brands and products aren't often the copycats. They're the originals that bring something new to the market. Even if your idea isn't a completely unique, never-before-heard-of concept, there's no denying that if you want to make an impact and grow a sizable business along the way, you need to be disruptive.

The importance of this concept really hit home during an interview I recently had with Justin Kwong, founder of ISM, a maker of high-quality bags, backpacks and other lifestyle goods here in San Francisco. Kwong's disruptive approach to creating stylish men's backpacks and other products helped his company go from prototyping to a $1 million run rate in less than a year.

Pulling from lessons learned along the way, here's how you can discover your own disruptive niche business ideas that'll help you find similar levels of success.

1. Focus On Solving Your Own Problems

I've long written about the importance of using your own experiences to find the right business ideas before, and Kwong serves as another great example of how important this concept is when looking for disruptive product ideas.

For Kwong, his initial idea for an entrepreneur-friendly bag, "Stemmed from a problem and an opportunity I saw while I was working as a freelancer. I really saw this need for a backpack I could carry around with me, that would look professional enough for a client meeting, and could also carry my laptop without being a hassle."

What was the niche problem Kwong identified?

He couldn't find fashionable bags that also had functional laptop compartments and came at a halfway reasonable price here in the United States. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this led Kwong to think, "Maybe there's an opportunity here to create a really high-quality bag that looks great, is stylish to other young professionals, and still functional because it's going to serve as a work bag rather than a fashion bag."

2. Identify Competitor Weaknesses

For Kwong, a major opportunity that he discovered when initially conducting research for his product was the price point—his closest competitors were typically selling their products for several hundreds of dollars. They were the types of products that a well-established, middle-aged businessperson might use during their travels, but not something the average young professional would be able to splurge on.

Business bags aren't a new concept, nor is the idea of offering stylish backpacks. But what Kwong identified was the fact that nobody else in his niche was selling bags that combined style, functionality and affordability. Thus, he had the perfect opportunity to offer a new, disruptive product that met a previously unfulfilled need.

The same concept is just as applicable in other industries, too.

Take some time to research other brands in your niche—both the major market leaders and the smaller, newer brands. As you evaluate their products and services, you'll likely be able to identify gaps where they don't quite meet what a segment of their target audience is actually looking for. Positioning your brand as one that can deliver where others fall short, could prove to be key in disrupting your niche.

3. Look For 'Third Places'

Wondering where to find new customers so you can gather novel insights about how to disrupt your industry? Start by examining the "third places" where your customers congregate those locations where they choose to spend their time outside of home, work or school.

To learn more about this concept, I reached out to Esther Crawford, CEO of Squad, a disruptive mobile app that allows users to screen share from their smartphone with friends.

"You have to be mindful of where your audience is spending its time and what they're doing when they get there," Crawford explains."Teens today spend much of their free hangout time in digital spaces rather than physical places. Apps are to Gen Z what the mall was to Gen X—they're places to have shared experiences with friends."

"Entrepreneurs need to actively look for ways to become integrated into these new third places so they can better understand their consumers and make a stronger impression," Crawford adds.

If you already have an idea of who you wish to target for a new business idea, try learning more about how they spend their free time first. This could open up new approaches to how you can further differentiate your product and get an edge over existing players in the market.

4. Be Willing To Iterate

"You don't need to have a perfect product from day one or day ten. Make something and get it out there, then make the second version a little bit better, and the third version a bit better than the previous one," Kwong advises, noting that this is just as applicable when you're creating a physical product, as it is to building a digital product business.

While you obviously shouldn't rush a low-quality product to market, you also can't afford to wait around and tinker with it until you achieve perfection. You don't know how long your window of opportunity will last, so timing is always of the essence—even if you're starting your business on the side of your day job.

"The longer you wait, the more likely it is that other entrepreneurs are going to recognize the same issues you did and try to take action themselves," Crawford adds. "Even if you came up with the idea first, if you let others beat you to market, you'll be viewed as a copycat. Use customer feedback from your initial launch to fine-tune and reiterate things so you can maintain your position when other brands arrive in your space."

If we've learned anything in today's age with companies like Uber, Tesla and Airbnb, it's that long-established industry norms don't need to stay entrenched forever.

As you think outside the box and look for niche business ideas that others aren't yet addressing, you'll be better positioned to introduce the products and services your target audience is searching for. Disruption is possible in practically every industry.

When you're the one leading the charge, you'll be well on your way to entrepreneurial success.

5 Low Investment Small Business Ideas in Hyderabad -

Posted: 20 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

The old city of Hyderabad serves as the capital of the southern Indian province of Telangana. The city is bipolar in a record of advancement. The old piece of the city is all that you would expect from an old Indian city; narrow lanes along with markets, meandering animals, hues, old engineering, rickshaws and whirl of chaos. While then again, the younger part of the city is Hi-tech. Since the 1990s, this city has ventured into the modern world with its accessories of glittery shopping centers, multiplexes, clubs, bars, and crazy eateries. Small business also starts blooming since then.

Hyderabad is the biggest supporter of the GDP tax and different incomes of the Indian territory of Telangana, and the fourth biggest credit focus across the country. From little tea stalls to extensive Indian ventures, Hyderabad is a hive of business activity.

In addition, Hyderabad is a celebrated vacation destination. It is the home to a portion of the world well-known tourist spots and legacy structures, displaying sublime relics of a differing cluster of design styles. Acquiring a rich culture, it is well known for its writing, expressions and crafted works, pearls and gems, music, films, or more all, its food.

You will discover various business thoughts in this city for Business Consultants in Hyderabad, yet it is difficult to set up a business here. You need proper business thought that has a decent development rate, is one of a kind and beneficial. Hyderabad is where there is dependably a great deal of organizations that open each day with a one of a kind idea. This article discusses 5 business thoughts in Hyderabad.

1- Wedding Planners and Photography:

It's already well-established fact that Indians go big on weddings. A business in wedding arranging can turn out to be very rewarding. It has to be very up to date regarding the most recent patterns in design, stylistic theme, styles, hues, sustenance for example nearly all things everywhere. Moreover, you have to completely comprehend and adjust the requests of your client and their financial plan in the meantime. A little aptitude in photography can add more income to the business.

2- Catering Business:

Gathering individuals dependably search for good cooking administration. Also, Indian celebrations are rich and numerous in numbers. On the off chance that you are great at giving great sustenance and providing food administration this could be another great business thought. It can possibly extend from a little, low venture business to a substantial providing food firm.

3-Tailoring Business:

Tailoring business is a truly beneficial business idea for Business Consultants in Hyderabad. Having procured the expertise of tailoring, you can even begin the business with only one sewing-machine and extend it to a huge tailoring house, contracting tailors as representatives.

4- Restaurant/Food Truck:

Naturally, individuals love to eat regardless of what their monetary circumstance is. In addition, Hyderabadis are a foodie. Henceforth, owning a diner or an eatery is the most successful and worthwhile business thought. Additionally, if your eatery is mobile, you can target several types of crowd by moving around the city.

5- Poultry Business:

To be in the poultry business, you need land, capital, and hardware. In any case, you can begin by a little capital and grow your business to huge poultry firms.

Western Pa. business owners finding right fit in downtown communities - Tribune-Review

Posted: 28 Feb 2019 10:30 PM PST

When considering where to open her new business several years ago, Jenifer Amundson says there was never any question on location.

Greensburg is her hometown and where Amundson, 52, and her husband, Jon Amundson, 53, make their home.

"We were looking for a building in downtown Greensburg. We were going to purchase it as an investment," she says.

The former teacher, however, always wanted to open her own salon. Soon after buying the building on Maple Avenue, she opened Spa 309 Salon & Boutique, offering skin treatments, massage therapy and hair and nail services.

"I absolutely love this end of town. (The building) screamed 'charming,' " Amundson says.

Space behind the property allows her to offer customers free parking. She and her husband undertook extensive renovation work to transform the former dental office into a salon. She employs nine people, including Marci Yuhas, who also leases space upstairs for her Roxberry Boutique. Joe Haynackie also leases space for his business, The Executive Barber.

Amundson makes a point of patronizing other downtown businesses and supporting local charities.

Pink facials help promote the annual Westmoreland Walks to fight breast cancer. She joins other local vendors for the Westmoreland Cultural Trust's annual runway fashion show fundraiser. Amundson encourages other downtown businesses to become similarly involved in the community and, she says, "Pay it forward."

"It's my hometown. I want to see it thrive," she says.


Investing in, stabilizing downtowns

Amundson is not alone, says Chad Amond, Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

Her salon recently hosted a member breakfast, one way local businesses can learn about and support each other, Amond says.

"It was a packed house," he says.

The chamber plays a role in the county's comprehensive plan, and a core objective is repositioning downtowns, Amond says.

"We are seeing the retirement generation and the millennial generation want to live downtown and in walkable communities. That is not just in southwestern Pennsylvania, but across the country," he says.

Amond also notes Westmoreland County is creating more affordable downtown co-working, meeting and office rental space, including New Kensington's The Corner.

"I think downtown communities are expanding. One of the things we need to make sure of is the downtowns are on board and embracing the businesses," he adds.

Throughout the region, entrepreneurs and businesses are finding the right location fit through renovation and preservation of existing properties.

Among recent business owners putting their faith in downtown Greensburg are James Bosco, who opened Major Stokes restaurant in a vacant, damaged building on Pittsburgh Street in November; and owners of the Sun Dawg Cafe, who plan to expand into the storefront formerly occupied by Trice Professional Optical Services.


Rural rising

Tiny Herminie in Sewickley Township has welcomed several new businesses, including Studio C by Andi Sharp, the Herminie Diner and Zala's Cafe, all opening in formerly vacated buildings.

Jerry Batis, 65, opened the Herminie Diner in a building that has housed, over the years, an automobile dealership, hardware store and feed lot.

He leases the building, but invested his own money in renovating the empty site at 103 Sewickley Ave., before opening in the fall of 2016, he says.

Batis formerly operated restaurants in McKeesport and North Huntingdon. His primary reason for opening was to help out a friend who formerly operated the Palace Lunch in Herminie, and whose customers he believed would follow her to a new place.

"I was not really interested in a huge business," he says.

The big breakfasts, daily specials and gyros he serves offer locals a place to dine and pay dividends beyond monetary through the "friends and family" he calls his customers.

He believes the restaurant, which currently serves only breakfast and lunch, will attract a buyer's eye when he retires.

"We're going strong," Batis says.

Sewickley Township Supervisor Brian Merdian calls the recent businesses blossoming in Herminie "tremendous," from property renovation to job creation.

The township has, he says, a "pro-business, pro-growth, pro-development agenda."

From a Main Street revitalization program with PennDOT to working with the Westmoreland County Land Bank to help eliminate "eyesores," Merdian believes the township is "back on the map."

"Word is getting out there, and I think that is why you see a lot of the start-up business," he says.


Promise in formerly busy towns

Late last year, partners Dave Baustert and Meredith Baldock found a home for their Crooked Creek Distillery in a former Ford dealership with a view of the Youghiogheny River on West Newton's South Water Street.

The Irwin couple sees promise in a community along the busy Great Allegheny Passage, and the foot and bike traffic it brings into town.

In Jeannette, Sobel's Obscure Brewery plans to open a microbrewery in the former Gillespie Building on Clay Avenue downtown.

Mayor Curtis Antoniak greeted the news with excitement. "It is one of several developments that will continue to spark life into our community," he said shortly after the December announcement.


Old buildings new again

Business operators in New Kensington also are finding the charm in older buildings. Often spacious, with multiple floors posing the possibility of leasing extra space, they can present a nostalgia factor downtown shoppers and residents enjoy.

Sustain-ABLE Matters (s) owner Sean Watson has a vision for the building he purchased across from The Corner, where he runs his business.

The Lower Burrell resident anticipates an overhaul that will make the building appealing for potential mixed use, with apartments on the top floor and a small business on the first.

And Autumn Walker, 36, has found a thriving home for her BoHo Bath & Bubbles by Apothecary Soap Co. in the former G.C. Murphy store in New Kensington.

She and fiance David McGuire, whose profession is electronics design, relocated from Florida, seeking space for his Large Scale Systems Museum (on Fourth Avenue) and her soap business (on Fifth Avenue).

She enjoys both foot traffic and a healthy online business, and the couple are "volleying back and forth" ideas for the Fifth Avenue building's top floor, she says in an email.

Walker's business has expanded to include women's shapewear.

"I think because of the specific products that I sell, it makes it very easy (to) gain traction via word-of-mouth promoting from my customers," she says.

Walker participates in several groups working to improve the area, and says downtown festivals and farmers markets are "all part of what has grown out of the bettering of New Kensington."

A self-described "foodie," she hopes some recent property purchases will find second lives as brew pubs or eateries.

Downtowns such as New Kensington, Walker says, offer "beautiful architecture" and rich history.

"New Kensington has my heart, without a doubt, but other small towns like ours are all around the Rust Belt area. There is so much potential just waiting to be tapped into, from the buildings to the people," she says.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter .


Louis B. Rudiger | Tribune-Review

Autumn Walker is shown inside her New Kenginston business, BoHo Bath & Bubbles by Apothecary Soap Co., in this 2017 photo.


Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review

Gifts and accessories are available at Greensburg's Spa 309 Salon and Boutique.


Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review

Spa 309 Salon and Boutique nail technician Ally Breakey helps client Kensie Porterfield choose a manicure color.


Mary Pickels | Tribune-Review

Ally Breakey, esthetician with Spa 309 Salon and Boutique in Greensburg, administers a DMK basic facial.


Facebook | HerminieDiner

The Herminie Diner serves a steady clientele in a formerly empty building.

24 Ideas for Your Next Small Business in 2019 -

Posted: 02 Jan 2019 12:00 AM PST

More than 20.5 million Americans own their own businesses.

Another 53 million work freelance full or part time in various fields ranging from computer programming and rideshare driving to, yes, journalism and writing. (Hello!)

Most of the rest of us want to. The OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) found that 58% of women and 69% of men in America agree with the statement "I would rather take a risk and build my own business than work for someone else." The numbers say that you, dear reader, would like to be your own boss.

So what holds us back? A lot of things, really. Money for one. Starting a new business can take quite a bit of startup capital that few people have just lying around. The bigger issue, though, is often ideas.

Thousands of talented people want to write a novel, if only they could think of a story. Many more would start a band if they had a catchy tune. Then there are the millions of entrepreneurs who would open their own business if they could come up with the right thing to do.

To help with that process, here are some ideas for small businesses to get you thinking.

Food Service

The restaurant business is tough. While not as bad as people say, it's still a competitive industry. On the other hand, if you know what you're doing this can be a business model that people love, that fits into any community and that faces almost no competition online.

1. Fast Casual Restaurant

Picture a Five Guys or a Chipotle (CMG) . These are the modern version of old-fashioned diner dives, a long counter where someone serves up good food fast. They're a step up from fast food in quality, a step down from full service in price and overwhelmingly popular. Better still, this model requires less overhead since you can run it with fewer staff and a smaller footprint.

2. Bar and Coffee Shop

Hugely popular and astonishingly rare, the bar/coffee shop hybrid answers three questions: What does a coffee shop serve at night? What does a bar serve in the day? And why is it that the same people seem to go to both places… Serve espresso at 10 a.m., craft beer at 10 p.m. and keep that marginally employed writer (hello again!) spending money all day.

3. Bakery

Everyone loves a treat and these days bakeries have an edge in that market. Social media positively melts down for psychedelic frosting or a cookie that looks like it will bite you back. With creativity and a novel approach, a bakery has the ability to stand out in a market that many other dessert shops lack.

4. Coffee Shop

A regular coffee shop can work. In fact a popular one can succeed brilliantly, but beware. This is a low-margin business that depends on moving a positively enormous amount of product. What's more, your regular customers will be money losers. What, you think a business actually profits off someone camping on his laptop for five hours after paying $2 for a dark roast?

Professional Services

The big advantage to a professional services firm is that you can open one cheaply. You're essentially selling your own skill and expertise. Especially today, you may need little more than a web presence and a business card to get started. These are just a very small number of the ways you can do it.

5. Contractor

Can you fix things or build things? You may want to look at construction and contract work. Maybe you'll go into carpentry, helping people remodel their houses. Maybe you know how to fix plumbing or rewire electrical systems. Whatever you can do it's almost certainly in high demand.

6. Accounting or Law Firm

Obviously this is a niche field. Unless you currently are a CPA or a JD there's not a whole lot of value in hanging your own shingle, and you can probably expect an unpleasant visit from the real thing if you do. However, for white collar professionals there's a lot of value in launching your own offices. Just have some runway capital on hand. It will probably take a while to succeed.

7. Consulting

This one is a little more nebulous… The question is, ultimately, what are you good at? Do you currently work in PR? Maybe it's time to offer those services on your own. Do you do human resource work? You sound like a terrific career coach. Have you spent years in a bank? It might be time to offer financial planning. Whatever you're good at, someone out there could use a consultation on the subject.

8. Graphic Designer

Graphic design combines two fields that rarely overlap: Technical competence and a creative eye. If you can look at a blank page and not only see what belongs there but also know how to make it happen, there are literally thousands of companies out there who will need your services. From designing logos to helping a business create its entire look, graphic design is a strong and growing field.


Media is an upside-down place to work at the moment. While many business models struggle to survive, others have emerged and made individual bloggers and YouTube stars millionaires. You probably won't be the next Ariana Huffington or PewDiePie, but there's a lot of room here to make a living.

9. Freelance Journalist

Outlets have begun relying on freelancers for an increasing amount of coverage, so there's lots of opportunity to work as a reporter and be your own boss. Just beware… Work can vanish in an instant and you cover all your own costs. Not a problem when writing from your desk, but it can make it hard (if not at times impossible) to get out in the world and do the shoe-leather work of real reporting.

10. Freelance Writing and Editing

Firms need people to write PR copy for them. Other companies need someone to polish up their website, edit books, ghostwrite articles or help clean up white papers. Today every business in every business model produces many, many times more written material than they used to. Someone has to ensure that it all sounds crisp, clean and professional.

11. Blogger

Here's the secret that most people don't realize about being a blogger: It's a business. Shocking, right? Yes, to succeed as a blogger you have to write catchy, interesting articles. You also have to understand SEO, audience engagement, bounce rates, monetization, affiliation and partnership deals and much more. This is a marketing and technology business, and if you've got a flair for that you might have the makings of a successful blogger.

12. Social Media Consultant

This overlaps with consulting, but then again most things do. Most businesses know two things about social media: First, it's incredibly important. Second, almost no one really understands it. If you're one of the few people who do get the marketplace of ideas on Twitter (TWTR) , Instagram, Facebook (FB) and more, you might have a thriving business opportunity.


The best thing about starting a business in technology is that it's generally location-independent. You can solicit business from all around the world and may well get to work with clients who can afford to pay top rates for outstanding work. This is a high-skill field that's in high demand. If you've got the chops, consider opening a business as a…

13. Web Developer

Bespoke web development, like graphic design, combines technical savvy with an eye for aesthetics. This isn't a field to enter without experience, but if you're a sharp, talented coder who can lay down a clean user interface against a sharp color scheme, it might be time to start seeing which local companies look like they still use Geocities.

14. Freelance Coder

Many companies rely on outside contractors to help finish big projects, especially during crunch time. Like all freelance businesses this is generally a boom-and-bust model. You might spend three weeks looking for work then spend a month barely looking up from your computer screen. If you can make the income stream work, though, this is a lucrative field with many opportunities.

15. App Development

The best part of app development is passive income. Every product you create will sit out there on the iPhone and Android stores making money for you long after you stop putting a single hour into it. Of course, that depends on getting those products in the public eye. So brush up on your marketing skills, come up with a few ideas and enter the world of independent development.

16. Security Consulting

From white hat hackers to security analysts, the market for security consulting right now is enormous. You can even build a thriving business just speaking to company employees, helping IT fix its PEBCAK errors. This is a high-skill field that demands an outstanding resume, but if you've got the right background it can be incredibly lucrative.


Modern retail is at once a challenge and an opportunity. Online stores have stolen customers from brick and mortar at a devastating rate, it's true. But their biggest victims are the large-footprint businesses like Sears (SHLDQ) , Borders and Best Buy (BBY) . In their place has opened up plenty of room for the small, highly-curated shop that provides an experience as well as a sale.

17. Bookstore

Don't click away yet! Bookstores may struggle, but that doesn't mean they can't succeed. If you can build an identity and experience into your store, with a well-chosen selection that makes life easier than clicking around through Amazon's (AMZN) vastness, you may well have a healthy business model on your hands. If that doesn't convince you, think about this: Americans love to read, and two-thirds of them would rather do it on paper than pixels.

18. Clothing

Clothing has an edge over most other retail spaces these days, because try before you buy matters so much more in their space. You can't slip on a blouse or see just how those jeans fit while clicking around a website. Especially in the far more lucrative women's market this is a critical feature. If you've got an eye for fashion and can build a selection that will get people in the door, this business model comes with a built-in killer app: The changing room.

19. Food Shop

People need to eat. People who want to eat rarely want to wait two or three days for shipping. Get where we're coming from? Whether you open a niche shop that caters to specific interests or sell general goods to the millions of Americans who live more than a mile from the nearest grocery store, a well-placed small grocer can succeed and thrive.

20. Online Retailer

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. One of the best things about online retail is using breadth of audience to make up for niche demand. Whether you want to sell artisan products, like hand-carved jewelry, or creative works like your very own board game, chances are someone out there wants it. With a storefront you'd be out of luck unless that person coincidentally happens to live a few miles away. Online, though, your customers can find you from anywhere.


These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning and launching your own business. The truth is, for almost any skill set there's someone out there who needs it and will pay good money in exchange. The best way to come up with a business idea is to sit down and think about what you can do, what you love to do and what people need. Here are a last few ideas to help with the creative process.

21. Bespoke Travel Planning

Yes, the internet put a stake through the heart of traditional travel agents. Good riddance. That was a business model built entirely on having access to booking systems and little else. Enter the bespoke travel planner. You help your clients have the best possible trip for their money, booking them into hotels, tours and restaurants they never would have found otherwise. You don't sell access, you sell expertise. That's a winning formula.

22. Storage

You know what isn't sexy? Storage. You know what makes an absolute fortune these days? Storage. Whether renting lockers to individuals or bulk warehouse space to companies, secured storage is a booming business model nationwide. You'll need more startup capital than most businesses because this requires lots of square footage, but if you're looking for a business that people need… Well, look no further.

23. Diet and Fitness

Some people look great in tailored shirts and yoga pants. The rest of us would like to look like those people. If you know how to build a diet and exercise plan for losing weight and looking great, we've got some news that's hardly new: You're sitting on a product that lots of people want. Get out there and sell it.

24. Landscaping

Perhaps you simply love working with your hands. You have a talent for helping things grow and shudder at the thought of sitting behind a desk all day. Now consider that there are far, far more people who own homes and lawns than who share your gifts. Yep, right now there are millions of Americans looking at desiccated dirt and mournful trees wondering, "how do I fix this?" Consider that your bat signal.

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