FYI, the following answer was removed by mutual consent:
Subject: Re: Finding on net legit bus-opps, & books on how to
start/run various businesses.
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 25 Apr 2004 16:44 PDT
Thanks for posting a challenging question.
The internet is a fantastic source of information, but it can also be
difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, as you have already
found out. Fortunately, there are a number of time-tested tools that
can help you out in your quest. Key among these are some of the
human-edited sites that not only accumulate materials in specific
categories -- such as business opportunities -- but also rely on
people, rather than machines, to identify the best of the best among
the many sources available.
One such site is about.com, at:
If you visit their home page, you'll see that they are divided into a
number of major topic areas: Health, Travel, Religion, Shopping...all
One of their categories is "Small Business", and if you visit this page at:
you'll find a number of interesting sub-topics:
Small Business Information
Best Small Business Opportunities For 2004
New Rules of Small Business Financing
Activity Tracking - Small Business Success Program
10 Under $20: Legitimate Businesses You Can Start on a Shoestring Budget
and each of these topic areas has further sub-topics that would likely
be of use to you.
It's hard to know exactly which ones would best meet your needs and
interests. It depends a great deal on where you are, what areas of
business interest you, what your prior experiences have been what sort
of financial, technical and other resources you have access to, etc.,
But let me point out some of the key resources at About.com that I
think might offer you some good starting points. Before diving in,
though, please take note that Amazon.com sites include two sorts of
information -- (1) sites and articles chosen by the editor for their
overall merit, and (2) sites and links that are ?sponsored?, that is,
they are advertisements. Though the second category may well contain
valuable information, use these links with added care.
A good overview of emerging business opportunities is this article
that discusses broad trends in consumer spending, and the
opportunities they create for starting up a new business:
Best Business Opportunities For 2004
The topics covered include:
Organic Industry Sales Keep Sprouting
Hot Sales In Hot Rod Accessories
Information Explosion Fuels Data Storage Growth
Foot Care Future Looks Bright
Music Education Budget Cuts Creates Opportunity
Unlimited Demand for In-Home Care
Huge Gap In Pet Insurance
Men's Grooming Market
In each topic area, there are links to additional sources of
informatiion, should you want to find out anything more about the
opportunities and the topic itself.
A similar list prepared in 2003 offers some additional ideas as well:
If money is a big factor (or should I say, "If lack of money is a big
factor..."), then this link might be one of your best places to start:
Legitimate Businesses You Can Start on a Shoestring Budget
These are ideas for how you can spend your first $20 in order to
jump-start a small-scale business venture. The list includes:
3. Housesitter / Petsitter
4. Professional Organizer
5. Avon Independent Sales Representative
6. Personal Services - Shopping & Errands
7. Desktop Publishing
9. eBay Seller
10. Secretarial Service - Typing / Transcription / Proofreading
and of course, About.com provides additional information and links in
each area (by the way, my younger sister is a successful hospital
administrator in NY, and she began by launching her own business in
#10 by offering to do medical transcriptions on the cheap for
impoverished medical students.)
Another site with a variety of resources worth exploring is:
Business Opportunities & Trends
[NOTE the phrase "Guide Picks" under the heading -- this refers to
those sites specifically selected by a person who has expertise in the
field. But the page also includes many "Sponsored Links" which -- as
I mentioned earlier -- are merely advertisements, and -- while they
may be useful, are also of uncertain quality. Once again, be careful
to distinguish between the two].
The site includes some worthwhile reading material:
8 Simple Rules for Rating A Business Opportunity
So you think you have found the one business opportunity that will
bring you freedom, fame, and plenty of profits? Does it meet the 8
simple rules? Before you run out and cash in your life-savings, stop
and separate your emotions from the small business opportunity
The 9 Personality Types of Entrepreneurs
Starting and growing your own business requires many skills to be
successful. Take a look at the business personality types and find out
what you need to succeed. Are you Bill Gates, a Visionary, or an
Improver like Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick?
6 Keys to Avoid Part-time Business Disaster
Part-time businesses allow entrepreneurs to "test the waters" and see
if the business is viable while still earning a full-time paycheck.
But there are many traps to avoid when moonlighting. Learn the 6 keys
to avoid part-time business disaster.
and some useful links to other resources:
Free Agent Nation
Daniel H. Pink, author of bestseller, "Free Agent Nation: The Future
of Working For Yourself" provides a website for free agents. Site
includes Dan's articles on the topic and a chance to join other free
agents in the F.A.N. (free agent nation) Clubs.
National Association for the Self-Employed
The National Association for the Self-Employed has been helping micro
businessess and self-employed business owners for over 22 years.
Members benefit from savings in over 100 ares, such as health
insurance and tax talk. Basic membership starts at under 100 dollars.
Scattered all over the about.com pages, but particularly on the
left-hand side, and on the bottom of the page, are links to additional
about.com sites related to the same topics of starting up your own
business. Check them out.
If you're considering a work-at-home option, a good starting point would be:
which can help you sort through the almost countless numbers of
work-at-home offers on the web, to pick among the best and most
And in case you should want to explore the franchise opportunities a
bit more (despite your reservations about them), then have a look at:
Another tremendously useful and credible site is available through the
generousity of Uncle Sam. The U.S. Small Business Administration has
amassed a great deal of information -- sources, training, advice,
access to human advisors, legal information -- at their website at:
If you live in the U.S., the first thing to note, is that dead center
of the page is a box to provide you information on SBA field offices
in your geographical area...find out the number of your local office
and use them -- as often as the need arises -- as a source of
information, advice, leads. I have always found the SBA staff to be
wonderfully service-oriented, and they have bent over backwards to get
me information that I was looking for. I'm sure they will do the same
Even if you aren't located in the U.S., the SBA site is a terrific
source of information. For instance, there's a ton of information on
starting your own business here:
including a page devoted to business opportunities:
In addition to the local SBA offices I mentioned above, there are
other sources of counseling and professional advice which are listed
The SCORE program, in particular, can link you up with retired
business people with experience in your areas of interest...the
program has a terrific reputation.
Your question also said you are looking for sources of reading
material. SBA is a valuable reference for this as well, with an
online library that includes more than 200 ebooks and publications:
Another great source of suggestions for worthwhile books is the
Amazon.com list of bestsellers in different topic areas, such as
Small Business & Entrepreneurship
New Business Enterprises
Home Based Businesses
For instance, the list under "new Business Enterprises" includes
several hundred books listed in orer of popularity. The top ten
Crossing the Chasm
by Geoffrey A. Moore
Inc. & Grow Rich!
by C. W. Allen
Starting an Online Business for Dummies, Third Edition
by Greg Holden
Business Start-Up Kit
by Steven D. Strauss
How To Start And Run Your Own Corporation: S-Corporations For Small
by Peter I. Hupalo
Small Business for Dummies, Second Edition
by Eric Tyson
How to Start a Magazine
by James B. Kobak
Start Your Own Computer Business: Building a Successful PC Repair and
Service Business by Supporting Customers and Managing Money
by Morris Rosenthal, Reva Rubenstein
Import/Export: How to Get Started in International Trade
by Carl A. Nelson
Kick Start Your Dream Business: Getting It Started and Keeping You Going
by Romanus Wolter
Finding these lists at Amazon is a bit of a challenge, so let me walk
you through the process. First, head to Amazon.com:
Click on the tab (near the top of the page) that says "Books".
On the next page, click on the text in the green bar that says "Bestsellers"
Then, on the left hand side of the next page, click on the link to
"Top 100 Bestsellers", which takes you to a page where you click again
on: "Business & Investing"
You may want to look over this list for a while of the bestselling
business books, but when you're done, click (once more, on the left
hand side) on: "Small Business & Entrepreneurship" which will take
you to the bestsellers in this category, and also allow you to click
(yet again!) on the other categories I mentioned above (e.g. Home
It's a lot of clicking, but the lists are good, and the effort is well
worth it (by the way, I would have provided you direct links if I
could, but my experience has been that Amazon links don't hold up very
well, and often will take you to an error message rather than a viable
lavergne-ga, there are some terrific resources here, and I hope they
are what you need to get you started in your efforts. I've tried to
lead you information on finding credible new business opportunities,
as well as strategies for identifying the best books to meet your
However, this is such a broad area of exploration -- and there are so
many possible directions to veer off into -- that there may well be
particular areas of interest to you that aren?t yet addressed by this
If that?s the case, just let me know.
Please don?t rate this answer without first posting a Request for
Clarification to tell me what sort of additional information you would
like. I?m more than happy to do some extra, focused research to fill
in any blanks that need filling. Just let me know how I can help.
Best of luck....
search strategy: Made use of bookmarked sites for about.com, SBA, and Amazon.
Request for Answer Clarification by lavergne-ga on 26 Apr 2004 21:53 PDT
Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately it doesn't address my
question. Perhaps I should have mentioned in my question that I have
been researching businees opportunities on the net for a couple of
years and many years before that offline and industry-specific "how to
start and run a (insert specific business here) business" books for a
couple years online and many years offline. However it is the only
subject I have done extensive research on. I should perhaps have
requested only information on searches & not have mentioned any other
option and left that to your discretion to mention a particular site
ordirectory or other method. I do not need or request general type
business information. Nor do I need sites with specific ideas with
very little information on how to implement them. I have dozens of
books that list thousands of ideas without much detail. Perhaps I
should have listed the question under reference instead of business.
Perhaps I should have priced the question higher. I think the
question is stated clearly. Of course I will clarify further as
Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 27 Apr 2004 17:24 PDT
I've been tied up for a good part of the day, so please excuse me for
taking so long in responding to your comments.
I'd be happy to continue to assist you here, but I'm still not 100%
clear about what you would like in an answer.
If there are specific types of business opportunities you would like
me to research for you, I'd be glad to do so, and can probably come up
with some detailed "hands on"-style resources about getting the
business up and running.
If you would like a list of books that are specific to individual
types of starts-ups -- such as the book "Start Your Own Computer
Business: Building a Successful PC Repair and Service Business by
Supporting Customers and Managing Money" that I mentioned already --
I'd be glad to compile such a list.
If you want generic searching advice, I can probably help, but I need
to know a bit more about what it is you want to search for.
Please give me as much additional clarification as you can as to what
type of answer would best suit your needs, and I'll do my best.
Request for Answer Clarification by lavergne-ga on 27 Apr 2004 19:52 PDT
I have reread my original question and two clarifications and I
must say they seem to me to be stated much more clearly than you do.
How you think I may want help in finding THE business for me and
then find resources to set it up, given my initial question and two
previous clarifications--I don't know what to say.
What I want is some way to better way to word my searches to come
up with MORE legitimate business opportunities per result page so I
can find them. (Please read the original question for all types of
things I don't want in the search results which crowd out the
legitimate business opportunities,dealerships, licenseses to sell,
etc.) I also want a way to word searches to find books, ebooks,
manuals, videos, etc. on various industry-specific "How to Sart/Run
the___________ Business" type books without also being crowded out by
publishing industry sites and retail book store industry sites.
Perhaps there are search engines that I'm unaware of that are well
suited to this.
Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 28 Apr 2004 04:38 PDT
I think I'm getting a better understanding of what you're after.
If you'd like, I can ask the editors to withdraw my answer, so that
another researcher can have a crack at your question. If you want to
do this, just let me know.
However, I'd like to get your feedback first on the links below. Are
these the types of listng you're looking for on the internet? IF so,
I can assist you in finding others like these:
Let me know how you would like to proceed.
Request for Answer Clarification by lavergne-ga on 28 Apr 2004 08:49 PDT
I would like to have my question reposted.
Regarding the links you asked about. The first one lists the
type of business opportunities I would call legitimate and many are
workable for the right individual depending on any number of factors
including: his/her interests, previous background in the form a hobby
or job or other business, people skills, available capital and other
assets, region of the country or rural vs. urban, perhaps artistic
ability, relatives to help out initially, etc. etc. (These factors
though would be impractical to enter into any search as far as I can
tell. It would just bring up thousands more non-bus-ops,
non-dealerships, non-licenses to sell, etc. to make it that much
harder to find the bus-ops, etc.) However these business
oppportunities have all been around quite a while and I have seen them
before. The other links are not of interest to me.
Thank you for your efforts.