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Your Questions About New Niche Businesses

Daniel asks…

What are the new food safety standards for organic farmers & growers?


The article linked in this question suggests that Monsanto has successfully lobbied the US Federal Government into passing an Act that outlaws organic agriculture in the USA by setting minimum fertilisation and pest control standards set by Monsanto, one of whose directors is related to the Government official who got this law through.

I am from the UK. Does this mean I have to boycott American produce if I wish to support an ethical form of agriculture?

Should I also write to my MEP to extend a ban on American produce throughout the EU, because it fails to respect this method of producing food, yet still claiming to be the Land of the Free?

Despite the election of President Obama, is America still putting the interests of big business corporations above ethics and the backyard American trying to fill a niche in the market?

New Niche Finder answers:

Ah HR 875. This bill was not introduced by Monsanto, nor written by Monsanto. This bill is still in committee and will likely never be voted upon by the US house of representatives much less signed into law by president Obama.

Most of what you read on the Net about this is simple fear mongering not based on much reality. This bill will not out law organic farming, it will not shut down farmers markets nor will it out law back yard gardening. From the statements i read by DeLauro (the bill’s author) and other sponsors the bill will go after producers who net more than $250K per year and do either interstate (national) distribution or international sales. It will not effect small growers such as myself in any way shape or form.

I find it amusing that those of us who are politically active and savvy and make our living from small farming and selling food direct to the public are not upset at all by this bill but people who have no idea how a bill becomes law and do not farm or even buy locally are all paranoid about it.

I will say as it stands now this bill is too broadly written and because of that one could read it as an attack on the small farmer but if one reads it rationally they can see there are not many threats in the bill (which has had at least one rewrite to make the language less broad and upsetting)

I say a lot about this on my blog http://www.boulderbelt.blogspot.com

and here is another rational article about this bill http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_17370.cfm

and this

no you do not need to start boycotting American food or getting your MEP to extend a ban on US produce as nothing has happened to kill organics in the US and there is almost a zero% chance this will happen. But you can boycott Monsanto products on principle.

Mark asks…

I’m having trouble finding a new career…Any advice?

I have been a retail manager for over 10 years and have come to the conclusion that it is not my niche or at least the areas of retail that I have been employed in. With over 25 years of customer service, working in various jobs (i.e. retail, business to business collections, working with local police at a High School as a security guard/counselor, and some basic computer installation/repair knowledge) I seem not to be able to find a career that will allow me to make a difference, earn at least $50,000, and finally have a career and not just a job. I’ve been stuck for so long I don’t know where to start. I am a hard worker and am determined to find my spot. I desire to work for a company that values my skill sets and will give me the training I need to be a greater manager and an even better leader. I need a job and I am networking to whom ever may be able to help me. I am willing to relocate as well. Thank you very much and have a great day.

New Niche Finder answers:

Pick up a catalogue at your local community college. Read about some of their two year degree programs, what classes they require, what skills they require. Do any fit you? This may give you some insight re: what different skill sets different careers now require. You need to sell yourself using the current lingo. If you see you are lacking in a skill you might want to consider going back to school. Most careers require a bachelor’s degree (minimum associates). I have many returning students in my classes these days, as many people have either lost their jobs or are looking to change. Good luck! (pick up that catalogue, it will give you ideas!)

Sharon asks…

should I seek a new career?

so I graduated college in 2004 with a degree in Business. I have been working for a reputable insurance company for the last 4 years. I have done pretty well there but have yet to really find my niche and find something that I would really want to do there for the rest of my working career. I guess you could say I’ve been “coasting” the last 4 years but have managed to receive excellent performance reviews. Recently there have been lay-offs, and outsourcing of jobs and it has gotten me thinking that maybe this is not the best industry to be in. I would hate to be 40 and then one day be laid off. What kind of jobs are out there that are truly “lay off proof”? I have been leaning toward radiologic technology and possibly teaching but don’t really know where to begin.

New Niche Finder answers:

Generally speaking the insurance industry does not lay off unless there’s a merger or big changes in technology. The bigger problem in your case is that you feel you have been “coasting”. That’s the feeling you don’t want to have at age 40!
In this century there are probably no jobs that are really lay-off proof as jobs were for our parents. The biggest growth industry now is anything medical — from x-ray technicians to doctors. In a few years jobs working with new energy sources, such as wind and solar, will be plentiful. You need to think about what aspects of your job you like and do well, which courses you enjoyed in college, and consider how you can use those skills and interests in another field where you will be challenged and enjoying your work. Then make plans to find a job that meets your specifications and start working on your plans. Of course, don’t quit your job until you have another one! Find something you enjoy. Good luck!

Chris asks…

Should I learn P&C insurance business by working in an agency, or just get license and start selling myself?

I have online marketing skills and have sold med supp in the past so I know the companies offer a lot of supprt. I’m wondering if it’s worth bringing my marketing skills and new license to an agency and learning the ropes there, or just going out on my own.
Also, what are profitable and less addressed niches? I’m in Massachusetts and will likely end up in California in a few years.

New Niche Finder answers:

95% of new agents wash out. You’re much, much better getting a job in an agency and learning about how the industry works, than trying to start a business with limited knowledge and experience about how it functions.

Carol asks…

How do I start a drop shipping web site?

I want to start a home-based business and I’ve been wondering if drop shipping would be a good choice. I’d rather have my own ecommerce site using drop shippers than sell on eBay, since lots of other sellers there would be using the same suppliers as me. So what I need to know is:

If I purchase only a drop shipping list of resources, how do I build the web site myself with all the shopping cart buttons and all? What web hosting features would I need?

How do I promote a drop shipping web site?

How profitable is a New Age niche?

How reliable are drop shippers and how do I do deal with product inquiries, reeturns, etc.?

Do I need any type of licensing or permit? How do I get it? What about taxes?

Please don’t try to promote any drop shipper in your replies.

New Niche Finder answers:

You’d need a web hosting account (I’d recommend HostGater.com).

For the e-commerce functionality you can sign up for PayPal Merchant Services – probably the Web Payments Standard package. This allows you to put shopping cart buttons and buy now buttons on your site with different prices.

For the business questions (taxes, permits, licensing) you’d have to register with your local government to incorporate and they could answer what questions you would have.

This looks like a fairly serious venture, and to hire a web developer to put together a full e-commerce site will most likely run you upwards of $2,000.

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