Starting and Managing a Business for Profits and Wealth Part 24: Top Ten Business Opportunities in 2014

Part 24: Top Ten Business Opportunities in 2014

by K.C. See

This is the time of the year where I would be asked by my students and members of the Money Mastery community, what the top 10 business opportunities for 2014, would be. I used the same process I used before called Opportunity Search designed by my guru Alan Weiss. The process is based on the concept that opportunities come from change and from the opportunity; we derive the possible business idea. So the three words are Change – Opportunities – Ideas. So lets start by identifying some possible changes in the market place.

  • Higher cost of living and running a business.
  • Crime rate perceived to be growing.
  • Urbanization of population.
  • Health consciousness continually increasing.
  • Work life balance as younger generation wants different life style.
  • Aging population who higher propensity to spend compared with the previous aged.
  • Younger generation willing to spend more.

You would note that these are strictly my opinion and you may not agree with it and further more, the business ideas are primarily for smaller operations. Some of the opportunities I mentioned last year remain so, as I believe the opportunities still hold for 2014. So they are not entirely new ideas.

1) Area of Opportunity: Business Improvements for SME
Business Idea 1: SAAS ( Software as a service) / PAAS ( Platform as a service) / cloud computing for niche areas
Small and Medium size operations in the past are owned and run by baby boomers and Gen X and although investment in information technology has been emphasized, their resistance to change and the cost barrier to entry makes actual adoption slow and in some cases non-existent. Time has changed, with the younger people taking charge and with cloud computing making initial investment lower creates significant opportunities.
Business Idea 2: Business Consulting/ coaching
For the same reasons above and coupled with the fact that organizations are pressured by rising costs, the need to get external help for new ideas and to improve efficiency provides opportunities for consulting and coaching.

2) Area of Opportunity: Mobile Marketing
Business idea 1: Mobile apps for business
I have a vested interest in this being part owner of the largest mobile app developer in this region. The signs are obvious ; the shift is from computers to mobile devices and every business would need to have their own mobile app. The list of reasons is too long to explore in this article.
Business Idea 2: Wechat / Whatsapp marketing
Wechat has grown at such a tremendous pace ( 600 million and counting) that it is simply amazing and from the perspective of Facebook and the other social media platforms; threatening . So as Facebook marketing is the hot area now; wechat or whatsapp marketing will be the future and it would not be faraway.

3) Area of Opportunity:  Organic & Healthy Food
I repeated this from 2013 list. However the idea of opening up cafes and restaurants are increasingly restrictive as retail rental continues to go higher . I suggest the alternatives.
Business Idea 1: Food delivery
Food delivery is common and big in other countries such as China and in a place where going out to eat for lunch is a hassle, food delivery will be an idea to consider
Business Idea 2: Food trucks
For similar reasons food trucks make this opportunity more doable and viable.

4) Area of Opportunity: Health Empowerment
Business Idea 1: Health analysis & information
As health consciousness increases more and more people wants to take charge of their own health and to follow a preventive regime rather then to look for help only when they face health problems. To empower themselves they need three things; Diagnosis, Information and Solutions. They will look for methodologies, systems and devices to diagnose and analyse. They need more information on health issues and better understanding of causes and possible solutions.
Business Idea 2: Anti aging and weight management
These are two areas that will continue to be big and are million-dollars industries.

5) Area of Opportunity:  Marketing Services
Business needs help and will continue to be challenging as they look for new avenues to market their products or services.
Business Idea 1: Online marketing
Online marketing are capabilities that most small and medium size operations may not have but would require in order to remain successful and to be more global. They need to go beyond the traditional ways on how they do business and would now be more receptive. Providing such capabilities as a service especially in a holistic form would be a big area.
Business Idea 2: Lead generation services
With the implementation of the Data Protection Act( different names in different countries); organizations can no longer do random SMS or email marketing. However getting leads is still an important part of the business process and organization that can provide this as a service, would be of value.

6) Area of Opportunity: Contracting and Outsourcing
Business Idea 1: Online market place for services
By market place I mean providing a platform where potential customers can find and choose their suppliers or vendors all in one place. This could primarily be an online opportunity but have existed as a brick and mortar option as seen in wholesales markets, which are thriving in certain sector e.g. fashion. One example would be an online platform for people to find renovators e.g.
Business Idea 2: Niche outsourcing
There are some niche areas of services that organizations are looking for and would require to outsource or to engage people who specialized in these areas. One example would be property management company which would want to outsource their house maintenance service whether it is plumbing, electrical services or minor repairs. Another niche area is home inspection services required by home buyers who need to inspect their newly bought homes and has no idea how to do that well before they sign off on that piece of paper which absolve the developers from future responsibilities.

7) Area of Opportunity: Human Resource Management
Business Idea 1: Free-lancing providers or sites
Free-lancing will continue to be an opportunity as organization finds it challenging to recruit and employ permanent staff in some job areas. They will have to shift to using free-lancers or similar forms such as contract staffing. Whilst there are online sites that would be a market place for this, niche areas freelancing could be an opportunity.
Business Idea 2: Human Resource and performance monitoring systems
There will be more and more employees working from home and as many organizations and managers are not equipped to manage and monitor this category of staffing; technology and performance management system to do that would be required.

8) Area of Opportunity:  Recreational and lifestyle
Business Idea 1: Specialized sports and niche hobbies
As work life balance is treasured more people would embark on personal pursuits and especially niche and cool areas  such as mountain biking, marathon running or even belly-dancing.
Business Idea 2: Home-based entertainment systems
People spending more time at home will need to find home based entertainments, be it in exotic games and or home based equipments
Business Area 3: Pets Services
Pets are big businesses. Most things that relate to pets cost more than for normal human beings; such as pet grooming, pet hotels and toys for pets.

9) Area of Opportunity: Services for Seniors
Business Idea 1: Tours for seniors
Seniors’ holidays are different from the normal. They can’t do the 6-countries-in-6 days tour, typical Asian style. They need more time and specialized care.
Business idea 2: Retirement planning & homes
This opportunity has often been talked about but more can be done. The elderly today wants to live in a more holiday type resort for their retirement and the market that can afford this is increasing.

10) Area of Opportunity:  Smart Devices
Smart devices go beyond smart phones and Ipads or the like. Technology advances to include wearable technology and over the next few years, no homes would be without some form of these ‘smart’ devices.
Business Idea 1: Repair services
Obviously there is a need for people who will look after these areas as reliance become more. Try to be without your smart phone for a week.
Business Idea 2: Accessories
Especially for the younger generation, personalizing your ‘toys’ is a self expression of who you are, they want to ‘customize’ their ‘toys’ and accessories for these becomes their fashion statements.

You are welcome to write to me at kcsee@masteryasia to discuss these suggestions.
“KC See is the Founder of MasteryAsia an organization dedicated to coaching people for multiple sources of income. He is a serial entrepreneur with businesses ranging from health to mobile technology and runs the renown Money Mastery Mentorship Programme since 1997.”

Starting and Managing a Business for Profits and Wealth Part 20: Why Giving Customers Personal Experiences Can Gain Market Share

Part 20: Why giving Customers Personal Experiences can gain Market Share

Consumers today are skeptical lots unlike 20 years ago when they would believe your marketing messages and your claims of what your product or services promises. As Doug Hall Doug Hall in his book “Jump Start you Business Brain” puts it; you need to give them a “real reason to believe”. It is therefore not enough for you to tell your potential market how good your products or services are and how much better you are than your competitors. In a very ‘noisy‘ world where we are bombarded with endless advertising and promotions, we become partially deaf. Not unless you can show me that you can indeed deliver what you promise. However the consumer‘s reality is often a perception rather than a fact. So if we can get the market to ‘perceive’ that we can deliver as we promises, we can win the battle of the mind or at least part of it. Eventually the promise has to be delivered in order to gain long-term customer’s loyalty.

One of the strategies to gain ‘beliefs’ is  “personal experience”. This involves providing the potential customers with an opportunity to see, feel and experience what your products or services can do and what benefits can be derived. This calls for an engagement of some sort.

Perhaps the most common way to do that is sampling. Sampling is done in different industry in different forms. Sampling can be seen from consumer products been tested and in some cases, ‘tasted’ in supermarkets to free ‘previews’ in the seminar business. Even in the online business; you get a certain amount of free usage up to appoint where you will have to pay money for it…once you are ‘hooked’.

So when you tried that ‘new’ juice that they let you taste at the supermarket does it taste better than the one you had before. You walk away carrying a perception and the likelihood that you will probably pick up a bottle when you leave.

The other way to gain your personal experience is using demonstration. This is meant to give product or services a visual impact and enables the vendor to show off what they can do. I am sure; most of us have seen demonstrations in the shopping malls of various kinds. From the ‘ wonder’ knife that cuts everything to the ‘wok’ that does not stick and fries without oil. How about that ‘before and after‘ look when you sat down at the cosmetic counter to get a ‘free’ makeover? All designed to get you to believe. Demonstrations are powerful ways to move products. Designing a ‘killer’ demonstration could be the corner stone of success for some companies.

One other way to gain consumer’s confidence through personal experience is sensory feedback. This involves providing potential customers with inputs that reinforce effectiveness of your product or services. Touching their senses through what they can see, feel, smell, taste or touch enhances the experiences.

My favorite example is the doughnut business. The first doughnut brand that came into Asia in a big way is Dunkin’ Donuts. Over the last few years there are a couple of brands that can successfully gain market share, namely Big Apple and J Co; both very similar to the U. S giant; Krispy Kremes. So what is the difference with these newer entrants? The big difference is that these new brands have their outlets designed whereby you can ‘see’ their people making the doughnuts right in front of you and therefore giving you the perception of freshness. Does it mean that Dunkin Donuts are not as fresh? Well probably not but the perception is different.

Similarly how do you know that a Famous Amos outlet is nearby when you walk into a shopping mall? Well you can ‘smell’ them before you can see them. Impacting the senses creates perceptions of reality. So why do you think that the clever sale assistant in the department store prompts you to ‘touch’ the soft leather of that expensive bag that she trying to get you to buy.

Passion Income – Making Money Doing What You Love

What is a passion? and how does that relate to money? And what is a passion income? I like to define a passion as something you love to do. Something you love so much that you will do it even if you don’t get paid to do it. Like someone who loves to work with children would want to engage herself in a vocation that involves working with children and would probably do it even without financial considerations. In some cases you might even pay to be given the privilege to do it.In the context of income-building; a passion income is therefore an income you make doing what you love. Think about that, wouldn’t that be fun? I have a number of my Money Mastery Community members who loves to share and to add value to people’s life. They share the same passion as myself which is to train and to coach. And that would be a good example of a passion income.

A passion can be a job, a business, an activity or an indulgence that you find meaningful, that you can relate to; something that you enjoy and that you can’t wait to do. It is your purpose in life. It is what you classify as fun. It is what you are made for. When your income is a passion income, you wake in the morning every morning and you cant wait to go to work. You whistle your way through the day simply because what you do is no longer work. Confucious apparently said that, “Find a job that you love and you never have to work a day for the rest of your life.”

The same thing that is a passion to one person, could be chore to someone else; such as cooking might be a passion to a celebrity cook but could be a menial task to a maid. As would be speaking to a group of people – it could be a passion for someone but a frightful and unpleasant task for someone else.

Why do we need to find our passion and embark on it? Because let me ask you ….how many life do you have? If you say one (and you should) then shouldn’t you want to spend the rest of your life doing what you really love to do?Discovering your passion is finding your key to happiness and success in life. What you are passionate about, you will do with enthusiasm and energy, which you then will excel in, and that will lead to great success. As an old adage in I Ching says: “He who possesses the source of enthusiasm, achieves great things.” When harnessed well, passion becomes a powerful creative force in literature, art or any other profession or calling, including of course wealth creation.

When you do what you love to do, invariably you will do it better and more successfully. Why? Because passion sells. Passion gets you noticed. Passion adds meaning to your life. Look at Oprah. Look at Mother Theresa, Steve Jobs , Barrack Obama, Bill Gates and Richard Branson… countless others whose passion has gripped the world. People who love what they’re doing so much that even if they put their life on cruise control, they will never take their foot off the accelerator.

Is happiness more important or money more important? If you believe that happiness is more important, then we need to know what happiness is. So what is happiness? Happiness is when you can do what you want to do. If you agree with that then finding your passion is finding your happiness.
Your end goal should be your passion. Money should not be the end goal. However money could be the means to help you achieve your passion. It provides you with the time and the ability to do what you want to do. However if you make money without know what your real passion is then you can still be very rich but possibly still unhappy.

However having said that, there are many who goes to work every day wishing that they can do some thing else. Most merely wishes but never are able to get out of their comfort zone. As work occupies a significant part of our life; working without passion would be like having a dispassionate life. That if you think about it, is really sad. To be willing to compromise on our life and to accept the idea that you can spend 8 hours doing something that you don’t really want to do and that you find little sense in it, is tragic.
Why does that happen? The main reason is simply because we are brought up by our education system and by our society to accept that. The other reason is because a large portion of people don’t really know what their passion is. They don’st really know what they want.

“Most people don’t get what they want in life because they don’t know what they want.”

So in conclusion, to add meaning and purpose to financial successs we must end up doing what we really love to do and want to do.

72.57% of people have only one source of income

egg in one basket

There is a deluge of seminars on creation of wealth and how to create more income source. In a recent financial survey among working adults in Malaysia and Singapore carried out by MasteryAsia, a mentorship organization that has been coaching individuals in wealth and income creation over the last 14 years; came out with some interesting results:

Fact 1:70.22% of all the respondents will not have sufficient financial resources if they do not go to work tomorrow
Fact 2: 72.57% of them does not have any other additional sources of income.
Fact 3: 59.72 % admits that they don’t know how to create multiple sources of income
Fact 4: Only 29.31% say that they are up to date with the latest income opportunities in the market place
Fact 5: 73.98% agrees that financial re-education is a priority
Fact 6: Most interesting is as much as 31.36% confess that they do not know what their passion is.

Continue reading “72.57% of people have only one source of income”

Money Beliefs; The Source of Wealth

Who Taught Us about Money?

We all carry with us a certain understanding and certain beliefs in relation to money. Our money habits are basically extensions of all these beliefs. Likewise our financial results are a reflection of what we believe in and the money habits that manifest from them. You will realise that whatever financial results we have achieved right now such as our net asset worth, our annual earnings, our savings; all come from the financial decisions we made in the past and habits that we carry. Theses financial decisions and money habits we have come from one source…our money beliefs. So if you want to change your financial results you have to go to the source; you have to change your money beliefs.

Whom did we learn these money concepts and where does our money beliefs from? Our parents can also be the single most important influence on money. Although they don’t sit down and teach us, we absorb what they tell us, how they behave or think and this knowledge form the basis of our money beliefs and values.
What about our education? Well we all know that the only thing that school does for us is to prepare us to go out there and look for a JOB. But this is powerful enough to stick into the mind of a lot of people that carries with them what we refer to as the “job-mentality”,such as something is wrong with you if you don’t have a job.

The conversation over the family dinner actually has a great impact on a child’s subconscious mind. What your parents say to one another over dinner and how they say it can greatly influence you.

We all know such sayings as “Money is the root of all evils” and “Money does not grow on trees.” Where did we hear this? From our parents!

Of course they say this to us with good intention. Our parents always want the best for us! When our parents say, “Money does not grow on trees,” they mean we must take care of money and not waste it.

The flip side of this is that you believe you have to work very hard to get money. Our parents reinforce this belief by repeating that if we want to be very successful, we have to work very hard. Perhaps more importantly, we should work smart and effectively rather than just working hard to create wealth.

However, these beliefs picked up early on become ingrained into our minds, shaping our habits and action. While all of us do have the intention to improve our financial situation, we find that at times we are unable to do so. This can be due to our own beliefs. So we strongly suggest that you go back to your younger days, review and evaluate the source of your values and beliefs. Why do you think the way you think now or why do you do what you do today?

Is it because of your past? The environment that you grew up with could have influenced you and your current beliefs. Remember what you believe in, you become. This is what we call “self-manifestation”. If your values and beliefs are stopping you from achieving your dreams, then you may first need to do something about them. You may need to “undo” your current negative beliefs or values and reprogramme or recondition your mind .

Everything, whether you aim for the moon or dream of becoming financially free, the intention comes from your mind. Therefore some of the limitations can be from your inner constraints. When you have an intention and become emotional about it, this will lead to actions and results. But if your intentions are limited because of your conflicting emotional values and beliefs, you are not able to take necessary actions and achieve what you want to achieve.

It is said that you reap what you sow, therefore what you sow in the mind, you reap in your life. Your outer world always reflects your innermost beliefs and values. So understand your own money beliefs and values and do what you need to do to remove any inner constraints that are stopping your intentions from becoming actions and results.

Discarding Negative Money Beliefs

Therefore before anything else, you must first examine your beliefs about money and wealth. Just like you, we too thought that working hard is crucial to being successful. We were programmed to believe that our success relies on hard work.

However, as we progressed in life, and our network expanded and as we are more exposed to what is happening around us, our eyes opened, and our mindsets shifted, we realised that rich people don’t necessarily work hard or at least not for a prolonged period. Instead, they leverage on others working hard for them. In fact, a lot of them don’t work at all!

So we went back and reevaluated our beliefs. If one of them, such as “You must work hard to create wealth,” may not be entirely true, then what about the others?

You need to look back and reevaluate your own beliefs. If working hard alone to create wealth is not the best way, then what is the best way? What about the other negative beliefs that you had. Do you need to discard all those beliefs?

One of the most powerful thing I learnt from Robert Kiyosaki was when he says “The rich does not work hard for money; they make money work hard for them”. This impacts me significantly and makes me realize that most people only know how to make money using time. The same goes with me; up to the point when I was studying under Robert, all my businesses were time based…my time. I was literally traumatized to realize that I have been working hard but really not that smart ….to the point I wrote my first book based on what I learnt. I wrote a small book which become a best seller; “Leveraging Time to create Wealth”. In that book I talk about the various types of income and which types does not rely on time.

So we still have a lot of people who cannot see how they can be financially successful without having to work hard and use time. So their constant excuse especially if they hold a full time job is; “No time …so how to make more money?”. If this belief does not change it will be difficult to change your financial results.

How Your Business Can Capitalize on the Present Economic Situation and Beat Your Competitors!

If we believe what we read in the media, the world is heading for the worst global economic slowdown since the Great Depression. Fact is, your business will be affected whether you like it or not.
For those who do not believe this, you might end up doing NOTHING and that can be dangerous. On the other hand, for those who believe it, you might just panic and react in different ways: Pressurizing sales staff to bring in more sales, trying to work longer hours, reducing your marketing expenses, or expand new product lines and hence confusing the focus of your business.
Question is: Are these the smartest ways to deal with the impending economic slowdown?
What we suggest that you should do is to start by re-examining your business model and exploring alternatives. When the market change, the business must change, otherwise the chance of surviving this economic storm is going to be minimal, let alone beat the competitors.
But change can be DIFFICULT, if you depend on internal initiatives. Drawing only on your internal resources and experts is unlikely to help your organization, especially so if they have been working in the same environment year in year out, blinded by industry norms. You just can’t see things from the inside. Great ideas always come from the fringe or even outside your industry.
Every crisis has its opportunity and this could actually be a great time for your business to surge ahead of your competitors. Do you see the opportunities, and are actively taking advantage of it? Or do you only see the threats?
You need a clear, systematic way of how you can beat the natural human tendencies to look ‘inwards’ and then putting in place smarter strategies which will ensure that your business will not only survive, but will thrive regardless of the economic climate.
THere are many areas you need to look at but lets just take one area and talk that through with you: SALES.
Whatever the approach might be…Sales is the Key!
Sales is the key to all business success. Ask yourself what does it takes for you to get a new customer? How much does your customer buys from you and why is he not buying more and more often? As part of your review strategy, you need to have clear specific answers to the following questions:
? What is your current cost per sales and do you realise that it will go up further?
? Is the competition biting into your market? Are your competitors coming out with similar or even snazzier products/services to take away your customers?
? How fast or easy is it for you to fill your business with new potential customers? How good are you in getting them to buy?
? How much business are you getting from your current customers? Are they buying from your competitors as well? If so, why?
? Are you overly dependent on some customers? Are they squeezing you for price and payment terms?
? Are you managing the relationship pro-actively and advising/updating customers on other products and services that you are also offering?
? Are your sales affected by an underperforming sales work force and you are not getting the results you want?
Your answers to the questions above will probably make you realise that there are opportunities to build a stronger and more successful business. It is just that nobody is asking you these questions at this moment. And we are only asking questions on your sales area, and have not touched production, supply chain management, financials or your marketing area.

This is your business, you control it: Make sure you do. Taking a second look at your business is critical and has to be done NOW before it is too late.

How to write messages to on line communities that will get you the response that you need.

One way for you to get connections and support for what you are working on is to write to relevant interest groups or online communities. You will realise how exciting it is to write a message and have lots of people respond to you. However you must know how to write it well (I am not talking about grammar or language proficiency).

Here are the rules that would guarantee you better results.

  1. Write to give not to get. You get better results if you attract people to what you have, rather to push things to others and try to get what you want.
  2. Be open, honest and don’t give the impression that you have something to hide. So give your full name and any other details that would be relevant to the recipient.
  3. Write to others with a respect for their intelligence. Some of the message I came across is so blatantly sleazy and treat your readers as if they are not able to see through what you are trying to do. You might as well be honest and you will get more respect.
  4. Write to explain and to give people a bigger picture not just to “get down to the business” mentality.

I believe this will help some of you. What is your experience with this?