Starting your own business now? You are not alone...............

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 06:19AM by Registered CommenterEarl L. Sigmund | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

    Why NOW? For the first time since the recent recession, business startups are exceeding business failures. The % of individuals in the US actually starting a business is up 50% since 2010. If your current workday is one that is going nowhere fast................why not at least look into determining if self-employment is for you?

       It has never been a better time to take the plunge.  It has never been cheaper to start a business- technological advances, cheap interest rates, the ability to work more at home, and low-cost social media marketing and networking; all these factors make your initial cash investment smaller than ever.

      A new business is all about using your brain and figuring out what goods or services the world, your state, your city, or even your neighborhood needs but can't get; or to get that good or service it is either just too hard to get, too inconvenient to obtain , or just doesn't exist at all.  Research your idea - you can never do enough research. Then test market your idea on your target market and see if your idea for a new business makes as much sense to others as it does to you. Is your product or service one that really solves someone's need or pain? Is it really unique? Is your idea a realistic one considering your current lifestyle and financial situation?

      We all need to go thru this thought process at some time time in our lives. Is this YOUR time?


What will kill your business in 2017?

Posted on Friday, January 1, 2016 at 08:52AM by Registered CommenterEarl L. Sigmund | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference | EmailEmail | PrintPrint



The 16 Major Blunders that will Kill Your Business in 2017

                              By  Earl L. Sigmund, President 

                         New Business Learning Center, Inc.   (215) 801-8031

Every person who works for someone else in today’s business world dreams about someday owning their own. This so-called “entrepreneurial itch” peaks during times of job-stress or unexpected home pressures that help make up the adventure that we call life. Recent studies show that more than 50% of all workers are “unhappy” in their current job and long for a business to call their own.

The passion to start a business on your own is tempered by the natural fear factor of failure which grips the mind of every would-be entrepreneur. Nobody likes to fail ……….and fail you will if you don’t properly plan your escape route from your “employee prison”.

After working with thousands of businesses over more than 30 years, I have identified what I call the “sweet sixteen”  most common blunders made by entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses.

Avoid these blunders, beat the odds, and go live your dream:

Blunder # 1: Choosing a type of Business that you do not Truly Like – but others make money in it.

 This is actually a lot more important than running out of money.

Blunder # 2: Failure to find your Niche (eg: Selling an identical product or service that the large chain stores sell)

Blunder # 3: Underestimating the initial total Capital Investment required to get the

business off the ground

Blunder # 4: Failure to have a Realistic Written Business Plan drawn up at startup with realistic sales projections.

Blunder # 5: Failure to set up a Workable Referral Network prior to opening the business- a free sales force for your business.This is crucial – don’t leave your current job without it.

Blunder # 6: Under-Pricing your product or service

Blunder # 7: Lack of Outsourcing of some business functions to others…hire a clone quick!

Blunder # 8: Misclassifying Employees as Subcontractors

Blunder # 9: Insufficient time and funds spent on Marketing & Selling your product or service

Blunder # 10: Under-Insuring and/or failure to incorporate or set up a LLC entity structure

Blunder # 11: Physically Over-working- the all work / no play concept

Blunder # 12: Failure to inform people who care about you that your work hours and work habits will drastically change and obtaining their acceptance of the situation

Blunder # 13: Spending too much on Equipment & Overhead

Blunder # 14: Lack of knowledge of tax laws & local regulations

Blunder #15: Extending too much credit to customers

Blunder # 16: Lack of adequate Research of the industry and marketplace before starting up.

Avoid as many of these blunders as possible and remember to keep your hands out of your wallet

 until you finish all your homework.

Then go out, take a deep breath, and show the world that you

made the right choice!




You Should Need to PASS A TEST to start a business!

Posted on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 09:15AM by Registered CommenterEarl L. Sigmund | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

  With the high number of business startup failures reported each year continuing to outnumber the number of new registered startups, maybe it is time to consider this unconvential idea. I hate government regulation as much as anyone, but I hate even more seeing individuals ruin their lives over a business startup gone wrong.  Since most business opportunities, multi-level marketing schemes, and even franchises for the most part escaping government scrutiny until a real level of public outcry is heard, I think it is a time for us to consider an approval process for all new businesses.

   NO REALISTIC reviewed business plan = NO issuing of a business name, or approval of any legal entity formation by the powers to be. I do not want goverment involved at all in approving the plan for merit. I just want non-partisan professional business people familiar with the type of business being considered to review a simple written business plan put together by the applicant, make recommendations for revisions, and the applicant be required to sign off that this process was performed. The applicant then will be asked on every government required to open the business, a question asking whether the applicant had a business plan prepared and reviewed, and that the applicant fully understands the risks involved BEFORE taking the plunge. Too many prospective business owners are "sucked-in " by fast-talking salespeople and get too excited about their new venture to think with a clear and rational mind. I just want prospective businesses to be forced somehow to sit with someone who will clearly point out the risks involved in starting any new business venture.

   The current easy liberal democratic way of letting everyone start any business they want without a viable business plan reviewd by a professional just isn't working today. It is time to put a form of  required "second opinion" approval of some kind before the new business venture is officially hatched.      


Every Business Needs a "Critical Friend" to Survive....... 

Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 06:46PM by Registered CommenterEarl L. Sigmund | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint


Every business professional, and especially small business owners, need from time to time what I call a "critical friend”- that certain special someone that you can always count on to honestly assess a difficult business situation with you. You could call this person a mentor or a coach, but these special "critical friends" go much further than just doing mentoring or coaching for you for a fee. These friends really know you and how to help you think thru a problem in a well-thought out way so as to always provide you with a constructive way to think thru an issue. They provide you with support, direction, and clarity that you need at that special time in the life of your business to help you work thru some really big crucial business decisions. Your "critical friend" is truly the lifeline for many businesses- they are always there for you providing a more more structured unbiased way of looking at your business issues and suggesting various no-nonsense approaches and solutions for you to ponder and decide. As a result of these amazing friends, we business professionals and owners are able to more clearly focus on how to resolve business issues that prevent us from making more money and truly enjoying running our business lives. If you have a "critical friend"- take the time to express your thanks to him or her from time to time. If you don't have a"critical friend", look around and try to find one - it's only a matter of time before you will really need one.

How NOT to host a Networking Event.............

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 06:14AM by Registered CommenterEarl L. Sigmund | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint




 Yes it's great that you wanted to host a networking event at your place of business. It's an awesome way to get people to learn about you and your business in a captive setting - your castle! But the reality is - Hosting a Networking can be dangerous to the health of your business and cost you more than its actual $ cost to you.

     As a result of attending networking events over the last 25 years, too many I fear, I have come up with a list of DO'S and DON'TS if you decide to host a networking event in the future:


DON'T - SKIMP on the FOOD and BEVERAGES- buy extra and either give the extra away or take it home. Your guests are hungry and need their nourishment to stay in a happy frame of mind.

DON'T - Hold the event in an area or place that is TOO SMALL for the estimated # of guests or that you know has bad acoustics. A NOISY room becomes a SHOUT FEST which makes most people uncomfortable. It's better to co-sponsor an event in a large nicely decorated place.

DON'T - Be late setting up. Be Organized and setup early and be sure everything is up and ready to go a half-hour before the announced setup time.

DON'T - Hold an event without a clean and fully equipped RESTROOM facility.


DO - SMILE a lot and show a lot of confidence.

DO - DISPLAY everyone's business card on a corkboard to help your guests more easily seek out desired connections.

DO - ALLOW 30 second commercials for all attendees to facilitate your guests event plan. 

DO - have a BOARD to display the business cards of all attendees and give these to the host at the end of the event

DO - ask for 2 business cards from each attendee, put one in a bowl, and give away a nice door prize (display it at the sign-in table) about half way thru the event ( you must be present to win)