You may well ask how long is a piece of string (11 ¾ inches I have one at home!). Because this really depends on what type of business you want to run. There are several options.

Open a shop, let’s consider the costs, find a business model and research it, find some premises pay out for the lease, stock the premises use your own capital to stock it or get a bank loan if you can. Then there is insurance, rates and utility bills to find the money for. Simple just open your shop and wait for the passing trade to drop in and spend a few quid on the items you have for sale simple.

Well may be not this approach could prove to be very expensive huge amounts of capital tied up in stock especially if no one wants what you are selling plus the added bonus of working 7 days a weeks. If you are not there every minute how can you make any money?

Perhaps an easier way is to buy a business franchise; this has many advantages over going it alone. With a top franchise you are buying into an already successful business model, you will get the support and training you need from a proven business formula.

You may baulk at the price of a franchise but are the very cheap ones worth the investment; unfortunately all franchises are not created equal or indeed offer the same value. Lets take a well know high street brand and a respected franchise Subway.

Why Subway? Well one has just opened in my home town and the shop it moved into was formally a charity shop. This has been fitted out in the Subway corporate image I have no idea how much this has cost but it will not have been cheap.

A subway franchise costs about £6,000 for the franchise fee plus the fitting out of the premises, and all the other costs above. So how much this will cost in the end could be frightening but I saw a figure on a franchise forum listing £120,000.

If the though of preparing all those sandwiches and working long hours 7 days a week is your bag and you have the funds it could be the one for you! NO? How about this?

Clean out wheelie bins, this one is £16,750 now if you charge £6 a bin then you will only have to wash about 3,000 bins to get your franchise fee back! I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to get started on a cold January morning cleaning out stinking bins.

With too many of these franchise opportunities all you are buying is a minimum wage job for years to come. Believe it or not you don’t have to risk your children’s inheritance on the words of Theo Paphitas you can start off for just a few pounds, you can minimise the risk to yourself and you can work the hours you want.

“It sounds too good to be true, but tell me more”.

You can start an eBay business for just a few pounds in listing fees, start by selling the stuff you no longer want or need and use the money you make as your starting capital to purchase some new products to sell. Did you know that you can sell the same products on Amazon? In some categories you will get a better price than you will get on eBay.

To me for the small retailer without a unique selling point and a hungry market the retail model is flawed and you will always be waiting for your customers to come to you.

What about working for yourself online? Easy to use template drive e-commerce packages are available at a very modest monthly cost for most hosting companies, why pay eBay’s extortionate listing and final value fees if you don’t need too when you can keep the profit for yourself. Sound good to you?

Watch out for Part 2 where I show you how to change your whole perspective about business. Rob..

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