Archive for October, 2009

Click Here To Download the File!

Click Here To Download the File!

One of the top questions that I get from people is “What’s a good business to get into?” If you’ve asked this question yourself then you are in luck because in this article I will not only teach you how to choose one that is right for you but I will also give you 100+ Business Ideas for you to explore further.

So here are the instructions to download the list of 100+ Business Ideas

1.)    Click on the Icon above (Or Click Here)

2.)   When the Page refreshes, type in your contact details and Click “Register”

3.)    Check Your Email Immediately — The file will be emailed directly to your inbox.

Now let’s get started with the second part. Below are 5 questions that will help you tremendously when choosing and pinpointing the right business for you. If you can say YES to all 5 questions for any particular business in the list of ideas, then congratulations as you may have already found the business that you’ve been looking for.

Now, if after going through the list, you still can’t determine what business to get into, not to worry. Through the 5 questions below, I will hopefully clarify for you where you should start in your quest to find the business that you have been searching for.

The 5 Question Test:

Question # 1.) Am I really passionate about the idea? Or am I just joining a Fad?

Many times people start a business based on fads and not what they really want to do. They get into it because their friends or people that they know are getting into it. Instead of thinking this way, try to figure out what you really want to do with your life. If you find a business that allows you to do this, that’s the first positive sign. Scan through the list and just let yourself gravitate towards an idea or two in the list.

Question # 2.) Do I have a Customer / Customers who are willing to buy from me?

In my business seminars I always tell my students that the first step to making money is to find the customer first then build the business later. I also wrote a little bit about this in my article in Manila Bulletin last September 27 “How To Make Money With Zero Capital” but this question goes a little further, ask yourself. “If I get into this particular business, do I know of any one or groups of people who would be willing to buy from me, emphasis on the word me.

Question # 3.) Do I have any experience or skills in this particular business industry?

A very big plus before you start a business is to already have experience in a particular industry whether it is in sales and marketing, finance or operations, inventory management because one of the secrets of Entrepreneurship is to know how to add value to anything that will make it sell better. Your skills and experience matter. So ask yourself, do I have the experience or skills to allow me to carry out this business idea?

Question #4.) Can I commit the time and energy in getting this business started?

It is a myth to think that you can just hire someone to open and run a business for you from the start. I know because I did that before and it ended up horribly wrong. Abdication especially in the beginning will be disastrous. There is no other way about it — You will have to make time to work on developing this business even if it means working on it when you go home after your day job. So ask yourself, “Am I willing to sacrifice a bit of time and effort into getting this business started?  Can I stay committed to it as the going gets tough?”

Question # 5.) Can I see myself leaving this business to my children or the next generation?

Will you be proud of this business if you make it a success? Because believe it or not, 99% of people who want to start a business, want to start not just a racket but a legacy that they can leave their kids and generations to come. So ask yourself, can I see myself passing this business on to my children if they want to take over someday?

Enjoy and Good luck!

Feedback appreciated: I’d like to hear from you directly whether through my blog or email if my articles have helped you, if you have implemented any of the advices I’ve given and what is your most pressing question is about business. Your feedback will help me come up with even more relevant articles in the future.

As early as I could remember, I knew that making money was already hard coded into my DNA. Allow me to share a few vivid childhood memories with you then afterwards, give you the most important advice that I will ever give.

Let me first bring you back to 1977. My mom and I were house-sitting for my Godparents for a couple of days while they were away on vacation with my cousins. I had just turned 5 years old and as a gift I was given a shiny, second hand instamatic camera with a free roll of film, 24 shots as I recall. “What to do with it?” I remember saying to myself. So I went around the house looking for things to take pictures of.

I did not have to look far because the moment the household helpers saw my shiny new camera, they started offering to pose for me to take their photos. With no hesitation, I counter offered to take their pictures for 1 Peso a click. They agreed. Kaching! I was in business and all I had to do was push a button. 24 pesos in 1977! Not bad for a 5 year old kid. (Of course my mom had to shoulder the expenses of actually developing the film. Thanks Mom!)

Then when I was in grade school, I started a small sideline racket by selling bubble gum scratch cards (made by Fleer, it was a set of 3 PACMAN scratch cards with free bubble gum) to my classmates for 12 pesos while my cost was 9 pesos (a 33% mark-up). At that time, my classmates went crazy for the stuff but were too lazy to go and buy it themselves. I saw an opportunity and took it. Every dismissal time, I would go to Shoppesville in Green hills to get the stuff, bring it to school the next day and do it over and over again. I made a killing and I was only 10 years old.

As I moved on to high-school, I entered yet another money making venture as a sketch artist that designed t-shirts for school events –Yes, I was pretty good in drawing back then. In one project, my seatmate made a deal with me. There is an upcoming school dance he said, I’ll come up with the money to finance producing of t-shirts for the dance but you design the logo and the artwork. I’ll give you 30% of the profits if we make money. but if we don’t make money then that’s my problem. I looked at him and said: I can have your drawing by tomorrow; it was a no-brainer deal.

By the end of the day, we had sold all the shirts. I netted P5,000 (Equivalent to P15000 today). I made money yet again, this time no capital needed from me.

Then, when I graduated from College, I decided to try the corporate life. Within a few weeks, I found a high paying job, eventually got hired by a bigger transnational company and then again by an even bigger multinational company all in a span of a few short years. My salary at this point was staggering. I started to change my lifestyle, bought anything I wanted on a whim justifying it by saying, well I deserve it anyway. Life was good. At least that’s what I thought.

You see for all the money that I would earn, I would spend it all on useless stuff because I thought that I could always make more of it anyway. In fact, I became so careless about it that my credit cards were always used up and for some reason would never be paid off.

I needed help but I didn’t know how or even where to start until I met my wife Jhoanna. The day I met her, was the day I became a true success.

She became my greatest inspiration. If you remember the movie of Jack Nicholson “As good as it gets” there is a line there that truly captures what I felt for her back then until now: “…You make me want to be a better man.”

How can I get married to Jhoanna, when I’m neck deep in debt and careless about money I asked. Well, I think Jhoanna overheard me because she seconded the motion.

So with a lot of “Tough Love”, she made it a priority to help me get out of debt, by teaching and helping me create a money management system to follow. Every Month I had to put in a big chunk of my earnings into a special bank account that we set up which I could never ever touch. She would use that to pay off my credit card debts first, then the rest would be for our wedding fund. It took us a little over 3 years to fully pay off my debts and get back on track but if it wasn’t for my wife, I would never be who I am today.

Today, I lead a group of companies that are 100% debt free and profitable.  I am a successful businessman, forex trader and trainer. So my best advice ever for you in Money is this:

“All of your success in making money will mean nothing if you do not know how to manage your money properly. If you do not know how to manage your money get help from someone who does, better if it is your spouse.”

Thank you Jhoanna, because of you, I am and continue to strive to be a better man.

Author Box:

Mark So is the CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila, as well as CFO of Teach It Forward, a non-profit organization for community livelihood. Together with his wife and partner, their main goal in life is to help others improve their lives personally, professionally and financially.  For more information about the products and seminars they offer, please call 6874445, 6874645 or 6873416 or visit www.businessmaker-academy.com.  You may also email him at markso@zerocapitalclub.com.

Manila Bulletin:  BIZMAKER Column – By Mark H. So – October 11, 2009

During countless business seminars that I’ve conducted since 2003, one of the most common concerns of people in starting a business is about the risks involved and the fear of failing. A very valid concern indeed, one which to the inexperienced is incredibly intimidating and very limiting to a person’s full potential.

So in this article I’m going to explain in very practical terms how entrepreneurs like me beat failure every single time. Let me take you now to one of my seminars and I want you to imagine that I’m talking directly to you with a calm, soothing, and handsome voice.

“My friend, let’s talk about why you are afraid of failing, (Tell me if you can relate)

  •       Is it because you are afraid of losing the money that you worked very hard to save up for?
  •       Are you afraid of all the horror stories that your friends tell you about business?
  •       Is it because you have tried it yourself and almost lost everything you’ve got?
  •       Is it something else?

If you answered yes to one or even all of these questions, let me tell you now that you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world feel exactly the same way. Do you know that 95% of start up businesses fail in the first 5 years, and then for those who survive, another 95% may also end up failing in the next 5 years? (This isn’t exactly encouraging I know but continue reading as I assure you it’s worth your time).

Let me tell you the number one reason why the 95% fail, it’s because they’ve never really discovered the true secret of an Entrepreneur. And that secret is not talent, it’s not  just connections or customers, and it’s definitely not about capital or the lack thereof…It’s something far more basic — It’s about knowing how to totally eliminate the  risks right from the start.

Repeat after me:You can never fail if you have nothing to lose in the first place.

Now let me explain in very practical terms what I mean by this (Please feel free to write down some notes). Okay, let’s first quantify what failure really means. 99% of failure in business is about losing the money you put in, correct? And the 1% is about losing face or a deflated ego. So let’s talk about the 99% or losing money. Many, many times people put way too much emphasis in having start up capital first (I discussed why this is wrong in my article in Manila Bulletin last Sept 23 – How to Make Money with Zero Capital). And the problem is, most of the time people put in capital that they can never really afford to lose.

So what happens, if the business closes up? They’ve lost the money and most of the time, end up devastated. Is there a better way you ask? Yes and it’s far more simple than you think.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if there is a way to start it without putting in any money first? This is called starting with Zero Capital. If your answer is “Yes” then proceed with your money making venture, and if the business closes up, did you really fail? Not at all, you might experience a deflated ego or hurt pride, but that is really nothing if you think about it. Again, you can never fail if you have nothing to lose to begin with.

Now, if the business really needs start-up capital, like a coffee shop or a grocery where you need to invest some money into it, then ask yourself 2 simple questions:

1.)    How much money am I willing to put into this business?; and

2.)    Am I willing to lose this money if ever the business does not succeed?

Now if you come up with a peso figure to the first question and say “yes” to the second question, then congratulations, right there and then you have beaten failure yet again.

Now if you answered “No” to the second question then go back to question number 1, ask yourself how much money are you willing to put into this business that you are willing to lose.  Repeat this as many times as possible until you get the answer.

So now you ask— if this is the only amount that I will put in, then I can’t start the business yet…what do I do? Should I get a loan to cover the difference? No, not even close, the first answer I’ll give you is simple and uses common sense – If you cannot afford it, then scale down the business that you want to get into. Just learn to modify your plans a little bit so that it fits your budget.

Okay, so that answer is not going to stop you right?  In your mind, you adamantly say “ I want to put up a coffee shop even if I cannot afford it”.  You are head strong and stubborn I’ll give you that, but I will also tell you that’s the spirit and here’s what you should do:

Learn how to get Capital without getting into Debt. This is called learning how to raise capital using some technical know.

Is that even possible? Of course it is. I teach this in my Capital Raising and Cash Flow Management Class where I share what I have done successfully and it’s not just something you read from a book. Life has taught me well and the lesson I am sharing with you is a jewel that I picked up a few years back.

Now I’m not yet finished with our one on one discussion. This is just the start of our journey together, what I’d like you to do now is to continue reading my future articles in Manila Bulletin every Sunday in the Classifieds section (usually C or D section). If you have missed my previous articles, you can always come back here and leave a comment. Talk soon and more success to you.

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  A sought-after Business Trainer, he has taught thousands of people practical insights and strategies to win in business.  On October 17 and 24, he is scheduled to conduct the ZERO CAPITAL BUSINESS WORKSHOP, a two-day intensive seminar with four one-on-one coaching and consultancy sessions to help you get started in business.  For more information, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit www.zerocapitalclub.com.

Bizmaker1I was invited to talk to a public crowd in the Fil-Negosyo expo in SM Mega mall a few years ago about how to start and succeed in business. And I happened to mention in that talk what I believe to be the golden rule that any business person (or individual) should follow. Now this saying is as old as the bible itself as this is where it comes from:

“Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.”

Here’s a true story that will prove my point.

A few years back, I had partnered with a local IT Training company to bring in a foreign Software company into the Philippines. (I’m leaving the names out as you will see why in a bit). This was a 60/40 arrangement, I had 40% of the profits but I do not spend a dime. They agreed to have 60% of the profits but would shoulder all the financial requirements (How I did it will be a story for another article).  We needed an IT trainer who was knowledgeable and seasoned enough to head the training program. So I chanced upon the resume of this guy who stood out from the rest. He really wasn’t that senior and he didn’t have that much experience with the particular software but after I had a chance to talk to him, I knew he was the guy. I asked him how much his salary was at the IT company he was working for at that time, kept mental note of it then told him that I would get back to him within the week.

I pushed for him as the man for the job, negotiated a compensation package with the IT Training company and they agreed. Long story short, when I told him he was to report for his new role for head of technical training, the next Monday he was near tears as his income more than tripled.  I had helped him move up.

Soon after, the partnership became a success, project after project we were making good money, but after a year and a half, the IT company had re-organized and the new management had different plans. the partnership was dissolved and the guy that I helped had moved on. Well, at least it was good while it lasted I just said to myself.

Many months later, out of the blue, I get a phone call from an unknown number. I picked it up and wouldn’t you know it, it was him, the guy I helped hire. He was pirated by an even bigger company and wanted to thank me for what I did for him before, and there was one more thing, his Clients from the past wanted him to handle a specific IT training for them. He could easily do it by himself he said, but he just couldn’t do that to me and felt an obligation to bring business to my door.

I asked him how much the deal was and what he needed from me. He said, he’ll only take a small training fee and the rest of the profits will be mine. The deal was for P535,000 and he only took P50,000 for his teaching fees. The project was for next month he said, all I have to do is say yes to it and he would make the necessary arrangements. The project pushed through and several projects more, this time he had repaid me with the same (if not more) prosperity as I had provided him. This is called Reciprocity. And this is why I say in business, the golden rule is: Do unto others as you want others to do for you.

Now, how can you practice the art of Reciprocity in your everyday lives and not just in business? Well, in general, and if you have not yet done so, simply be nice to the people  around you – smile and they will smile back at you, frown and they will move away from you. Help them with something that they need help with without asking for anything in return. Keep doing it until it becomes a part of you and you will see what I mean.

In Business, like life, learn to give first truly and sincerely and somehow,  some way, some day you will receive something too.

Sidebar: Last week, the Philippines was hit by the worst flash flood in more than 40 years. Practice the principle of reciprocity not just in business but as Filipinos. Help those who need it and in turn you will be helped when you need it as well.