An overlooked source of business ideas that may help you find yours

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Copyright Chesney Bradshaw 2017

Many people are sitting pretty now that they own two or more properties and draw incomes (with annual increases) — monthly incomes that will keep them going for the rest of their life.

These people had the good fortune to inherit money or they made it over a long period before they could buy their two properties.

This is an incredible form of secure income. So don’t read further if you are awash with money.

This post deals with people who want to come up with lifestyle business ideas.

A while back a team of marketing and advertising consultants suggested that a key horse to ride in your career could be coming up with a new business idea. But they cautioned that often the person who comes up with a brand-new idea doesn’t have the wherewithal and required investment to make it work. This team of experts suggested that it was better to copy or imitate what is already available on the market.

Where do you look for businesses that have already proved successful? Where do you find a source of ready-made business ideas? If you were challenged to come up with a new business for yourself, what would you do?

One often overlooked source of ideas comes in printed form and can be found in most larger towns or communities. It provides you with a list of businesses that are already operational and may have proved successful over time. What I am talking about here is the small business directories that are made available through small publishers to local communities. I recently came across two that provided a number of new business ideas. The thing that separates the businesses that advertise in these small business directories is that the owner is serious about marketing their business through advertising, has a contact number and very often has a physical address. These are real businesses run by real people.

With directories on the Internet, this is not always the case. Some of the Internet directories provide small business listings for free but because the so-called advertisers don’t pay, you are often faced with businesses that are no longer in existence or have just been listed to test the waters or fly a kite.

When you look through these small business directories skip the usual businesses such as banks, estate agents and dentists. In fact, I was surprised to see in one small town that there was a total of something like nine dentists — all these dentists to serve a small community. Rather look through the directory for businesses where you may have the experience and perhaps even expertise to start a similar business.

In these directories you can see small businesses such as a professional organiser and life coach who helps you with moving including packing, unpacking and selling your furniture as well as decluttering or organising your home office. Another small business offers leak locations services to prevent water loss and save money. This leak location specialist not only does detection and repairs of burst and leaking water pipes without unnecessary “chopping” but also handles consumption reports issued for municipal water account rebate applications. A fishing charter small business offers a business that is capital intensive because of the need to buy a boat but for those who wish to follow this lifestyle occupation the personal and financial rewards can be satisfying. This fishing charter company offers deep sea big game fish and tuna charters, offshore and inshore game and reef fishing, crayfish charters in season and scenic and eco-tours. A small although interesting business is the spit braai which is a barbecue and catering company specialising in handling small, medium and large functions. If outdoor cooking is your forte, such a small business could be enjoyable and a source of additional income.

If you are looking for small business ideas in the news here, get hold of a copy of your local small business directory or even some from other towns and go carefully through them selecting businesses that you think you would be able to do yourself. It might only be a wish list in the beginning, but it will help you trigger ideas for starting something of your own.

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