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About Starting a Business Selling Existing Products and Services

Starting a business selling currently available products and services, or an Unstructured opportunity, is a very attractive option to many people, and is probably the most frequent alternative entrepreneurs try.

People who do well in an Unstructured Opportunity tend to fit a profile best described as a Natural Entrepreneur.  These are people who are hard working, educated with a commitment to life-long learning, are well organized, and work well with others.  They tend to be most comfortable in free-wheeling situations where they make their own decisions and create their own road map to success.(To better understand whether a structured or unstructured opportunity is best for you, take my quiz, What Form of Business is Best for You.

The risk of going it alone is greater than working with a franchise or direct sales business, but it also means that you, the owner, create your own business, make your own decisions and feel that the business is truly of your own creation. 

The fact is that most successful new business start-ups are really variations on a existing theme -- known as "niche" marketing.   When you're starting a new business, don't try to re-invent the wheel.  The further from the norm or standard product offering a new business is, the less likely its chance of your success.

From a financial perspective it usually takes most new businesses anywhere from six months to three years to start earning money for the owners, but when it is successful your income can be very good, plus, you can sell it when you're ready to retire, or, you can turn it into a franchise system that you can market regionally or nationally, making yourself a nice bundle while helping others achieve their dreams.

Getting Started
Starting a small business from scratch in an existing industry is what most people think of when they talk about starting a small business, and in fact is the topic of the many thousands of business books available today.

I want a business that’s been around for 100 years or more.”

The key to starting a small business is to start something with competition already existing.  To quote Inc., Magazine small business start-up columnist Norm Brodsky, “I want a business that’s been around for 100 years or more.”  This is another way of saying, if you want to give yourself the greatest chance of success in a business of your own, and you don't want to work for a franchise or direct sales overlord, sell existing products or services ~ and put your personality and ideas to work for you.

Another way to say this is, your best chance of success is to get into a business that is well established with well-established competitors.  Just do it your way.

There is a risk of wasting time and resources re-inventing the wheel with this option, so do a little DIY industrial espionage and visit as many prospective competitors as you can.  It's much more important to read through one or two business specific guides such as "How to Start a Coffee Shop," "How to Start a Bed and Breakfast," and so on.

Powell's Books, the nation's largest entrepreneur owned, independent bookstore (the kind of people we should support, right?) has a substantial list of these books on hand or can order them for you.  Just type in "How to start a" and the name of the business you're thinking of in the search block below and click "go".  (Or, just type in how to start a business, and look through the complete inventory.  You'll be amazed by the possibilities.)

If you don't have a specific business in mind, start with one of these handy guides:

How to Start a Business
by Pecolia James Silver



  1. Very conceptual information about Selling a Business very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing such help.

  2. Very conceptual information about Selling a Business very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing such help.

    small business start up

  3. Thank you! I'm new to direct sales and I'm trying really hard to come up with new ideas to get clients. I'm going to start leaving my business card places.

    Direct Selling Franchise


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