Making Money With Your Own Business

We all want to make money in our businesses. Most of us go into business for ourselves for that very purpose. If we went into it for the pleasure of the business, then making money is a great benefit that allows us to continue pursuing our dreams and reaching our goals. But the big question is how do you make money owning your own business?


Before we begin, are you still in the initial stage of setting up your business or are you already conducting business and wanting to know how to improve it? The answer to that determines where you begin.

Initial Stages

So, you want to go into business for yourself and make some money.  Where do you start?

1.       Unique Idea – There are dozens of coffee shops in a few block radius.  What would make yours any different?  If you included it with a bookstore, you’ve narrowed down the similar competition to just a few thousand.  You need to come up with something that makes your café stand out among the millions around you.  You have to have an idea that is unique and fills a niche.   If you are lacking idea, check out 105 Business Ideas.

2.       Determination – Starting a business cannot be a passing fancy.  It will take sacrifice and determination even when it seems that things are not going well.  Keep your chin up and have a great support team.  You might have to give up your hobby time and sacrifice some family time in the initial stages.  Make sure that you and your family are ready for that.

3.       Business Plan – It might sound like something that only a large business idea might need, but that is a dangerous myth.  Without a plan, there is much more chance to get off course, spend in areas that you did not plan, and sink your ship faster than an enemy torpedo.  Write one up and stick with it.  Ideas are great!  But getting it all out on paper and formatting it makes a world of difference.

4.       Research – Don’t make decisions on a whim.  Research funding, capital, location, name, marketing, and partnerships.  Nothing is done quickly.  Weigh all the pros and cons.  Contact the Small Business Association and any other local support agencies.  They will have advisors to help you make decisions.

5.       Mentor – With anything that you do in life, choose a mentor to bounce ideas off of.  They are great to raise flags when you are so caught up in the excitement and stress of getting your business off the ground.  Choose someone who is wise and has experience.

6.       Legal Questions - Consult with a lawyer to make sure that you have all the legalities in place.  You might need to incorporate or set up an LLC.  Maybe your business idea is more of a not-for-profit.  They know all the details and are willing to help out.

7.       Savings - Have a savings set up so that you can focus on your business and not have to worry about your personal bills.  The first years of a small business are tight.  More than likely the ending balance each day will be in the red.  You’ll need at least two years set aside to hold off the downpour.

8.       Marketing – Have a detailed marketing plan.  Learn what works for your niche and what does not.  What works in one city might not work in another.  Look at your market.  There are so many things that you could do to actually insult your market basis and ruin your business before it really gets started.  This could be one of the most crucial parts of starting your business.

9.       Customers – Remember that the customer is important.  Treat them with respect.  Without them you do not have a business.  They should be a focal point for you throughout all your business endeavors.

10.   Personnel – Don’t go out hiring a dozen workers.  It might be better to work it alone at first.  You might even include your immediate family: spouse and children.  But beyond that be extremely careful.  Even family can hurt your business and strangers could destroy it.  It takes awhile to trust individuals with your livelihood and be able to relax when you are away from the store.


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Turning Your Business Around

You’ve had your business for a few years and you barely break even.  How do you turn it around and begin to make money?

1.       Business Plan – Re-evaluate your business plan.  Life can throw curveballs.  See what has changed since you opened and see what you need to do to change your course to match the world around you.

2.       Remodel – Yes, this involves spending more money, but it could really pay off.  Has the store looked the same for twenty years?  Has your clientele moved on to more modern stores?  Maybe just a fresh coat of paint would change the entire look.  Ask opinions of those that you trust. 

3.       Incentives – Offer your customers something more.  They are always looking to get more for their money.  Give them a club card.  Give them a special coupon.  Create a referral program.  This gives your customer something while your sales increase.  Have a special of the month.  It gets their attention and keeps them coming back.

4.       Affiliate programs – This is a great way to get your marketing done without the excess cost.  Create an affiliate program that gives your customer up to 15% of any sales that are made by others due to their referral.  This has become a great way to make money on the internet.

5.       Trends – Check out the latest trends.  The green movement is big right now.  Is there a way to market your products to show sound environmental connections?  Look for eco-friendly packaging.  If you have a coffee shop, offer organic blends.  There are so many ways to explore this area.

6.       Community Partnership – Here is a great way to get your name out and help others out in the community.  Check with the local food pantries, shelters, Red Cross, and other groups that are community driven.  See what you can do to help out.  You could have a day where half the proceeds go to the organization.  Maybe offer your products into a raffle.  See how each of you can help the other.

7.      Internet – Not on the internet yet?  What are you waiting for?  More and more people are looking to the internet to get what they need and what they just want.  You’ll expand your product awareness and broadened your customer base by the millions.

8.       Gimmick – Ok, gimmicks are really big turnoffs, but……  What I’m saying here is not creating a way to bring them in and then give your customer lots of fluff.  I’m saying that you could find a way to spark their interest to get them to come in.  The best example I have is not even a business, but the whole town can’t help but keep driving by.  There is a lady in a neighborhood of northern Milwaukee that has four fake penguins in her yard.  Big deal, right?  Ah, but you never know what they will be wearing or doing.  The first week of the new school year has them in crossing guard outfits.  When summer hits, they are wearing bikinis and using a slip and slide.  We all love to drive by and see what they are doing today.  You can do the same with your business.  What are you up to today?  They’ll come in and buy a little something just to appease their curiosity.

9.       Club – This all depends on what your business is about.  Using the coffee shop example, start a coffee tasting club that meeting once a month or so and tries new blends or new concoctions.  People love to get the chance to try something new and to socialize.

10.   Sponsor – If you own a business like a bookstore, look at sponsoring an animal from the shelter.  You’ll bring in children and animal lovers and be helping out the shelter by promoting one of their own.  Once again, community awareness.


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Step Ouside the Box!

Most of the ways to make money at a business is to think outside the box.  Just because you’ve always done it that way before does usually means that you are preparing for the financial funeral.  All successful businesses are willing to think in unique and innovative ways.  These ideas are just a small few that are out there.  Brainstorm.  You never know what kind of genius idea could come out of it.

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