Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Starting a business, day 364.;-)

Hope all of you who are joining me in starting a business this year are ready to hit the pavement;-).

My idea is a sort of educational nightlight. I got a light box at a thrift store about three years ago when my dad had back surgery and had asked to see the x-rays. The doctors let him bring them home, but he and my mom had a hard time seeing them, even holding them up to a sunny window. So when I saw this for $6, it was sold before my hot little hand could pick it up. It helped my parents and then sat in their basement until mom asked me to take it home or donate it.

As I was looking at it, it reminded me of a beautiful museum I had once gone to where they had pictures of the universe, back lit in a sort of light box like this. And when I saw those, I remember thinking how cool it would be to have one in our bedroom to study the cosmos as I went to bed.

Later, in one of my 1000 self help books I was reading how it is important what the last image you see before sleep is because your subconscious sort adopts this. That's why some (my husband excluded) avoid television right before bed;-).

I've also been using educational posters for quite some time in my older son's room and I thought how it would be kind of cool to have the one of the map of the United States lit from behind as a sort of educational nightlight.

So I start today with my thrift store light box, which you will see has one of my class overheads on it to give you a sense of what it looks like and a fun road ahead.

And I have my first list of "Due Diligence" questions to answer. Apparently, before getting a mentor, it is a good idea to have at least some sort of rough business plan.

My dear hubby forwarded me a set of 20 or so questions to start chewing on. They would be applicable to almost any business, so feel free to dig in;-). Here are the first six.

1. What is the size of the market in the U.S.?
2. Who are the major buyers? (gov't, consumers, military, etc.)
3. Who are the major producers?
4. What is the market share of the major producers?
5. What is the cost to produce the item?
6. Who are the closest competitors using alternative technologies.

And thus, clueless, I begin. Good wishes and thanks for the question set Greg.


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