ST. PAULS — Business expert Mike Collins knows all about “hot” new business trends.
But Collins said the best business ideas are the ones tailored to an individual’s skills and talents.
Collins, the president of The Perfect Workday Company, a Raleigh information company, recently led a free three-hour workshop at the R.E. Hooks Community Building on the best small business to open.
“I can’t really tell any one of you what to do,” he said. “So many people come to this program looking for a list. They want to see some list of businesses that will be successful. But believe me, you don’t want a long list. What you want is a very short list that fits you like a glove.”
Collins is the author of four books and hundreds of business articles. He has a bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from Duke University.
Rather than presenting “a hot list” of business ideas, Collins, a Lumberton native, said he wanted participants to figure out the best business for them.
To get started Collins suggested fledgling business owners go online or check out publications like Small Business Opportunities magazine for ideas on how their skills match certain fields. Once people develop a better idea of what businesses might click, Collins advises joining a trade association.
He also advised paying attention to trends.
“If you can can figure out what trend is operating in the society in which you live, you can take advantage of it and business will come to you,” he said.
Still Collins was willing to share some business trends that he expects to do well:
— Food. Businesses that focus on healthy food and businesses that provide a lot of food for a reasonable price are both expected to well, Collins said.
“Nobody is going to stop eating anytime soon,” Collins said.
— Vending. Everything from DVDs to soft drinks to cash can be delivered through vending machines.
“The issue of vending is about convenience and convenience is a trend,” he said.
— Kids products. From clothes to cars stuff to music for young people. “That market is just exploding.”
— Housecleaning. “People hate doing it and and are willing to pay for it.”
The seminar was a joint project between Robeson Community College’s Small Business Center and the St. Pauls Small Towns Economic Prosperity Committee. The goal of the workshops is to help St. Pauls businesses market themselves.
The first workshop was held in January and there are two more seminars planned.
On May 14, Martin Brossman will lead a seminar on how to improve the visibility of your business with free tools on the web.
On June 16, there will be a workshop to show how to use the professional networking site LinkedIn.
Each of the remaining seminars will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the R. E. Hooks Community Building.
To register for the seminars, contact Bob Moore at RCC. He can be reached at by calling 910-272-3630 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.