If you want to start a business, the best business for you will be one that involves an activity that you enjoy. Many times, you’ll find that you excel at this activity as well. So start by listing the top 4 things that you do best.
If you’ve never run your own business, you may wonder what type of work you may enjoy on a daily basis. Think about activities or events that you have been involved with, not just hobbies or your previous work experience. Here are a few factors to consider:
A. Craft-Type Work: Do you enjoy building or repairing items? Are you handy or artistic? Are you curious about how things work?
B. Creative Jobs: Are you creative or enjoy solving puzzles? Do you find it easy to think outside the box and find interest in new and different ideas?
C. Service Businesses: Are you a social person who enjoys being around and meeting new people? Do you like helping others -even people you don’t know? Would you rather work in a group or around others than independently?
The success of your business not only depends on how much you like it, but how much your business benefits others. As you would expect, if you offer something of greater value, there will generally be a higher demand for it. The next step is to list the ways others could benefit from what you do, as in the “4 things that you do best”.
Now you’ve got your two lists of (1) the things you do best and (2) how people can benefit from these things. Now combine both lists to come up with ways to give people what they want. Get creative – this is a good time to brainstorm and think outside the box. One brainstorming technique is “reverse thinking” where you take a typical action, result or response in a certain situation and change it to the opposite.
Next, take a look at the current market for your potential product or service. Who offers similar services? Are there many competitors? Do potential customers place a high value on the product or service you want to offer? When you start your own business, you want to establish a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) which basically differentiates your business from the rest of your competition. Studying your market prior to launching your start-up will help you know how you can make your company stand out.
Make you company stand out – and you’ll have a better chance of success (assuming people want what you offer). Look at what other successful businesses in your field have done to achieve results. You don’t want to waste time reinventing the wheel if you don’t have to – if you have seen an income-building strategy that has worked for other companies, it may work well for you also. At the same time, don’t forget to recognize the failures – so you don’t repeat the same mistakes. Look at past issues of magazines like Entrepreneur or Inc to read articles about other business start-ups.
Now that you’ve come up with a possible business idea with profit potential, it’s time to put together a business plan. Starting a business with a plan will give you a realistic understanding of start-up costs, how much time and money it will take to run your small or home business, how you will get clients and a timeline for future profits. To keep it simple – and make sure you do it right, I’ve found that business plan software comes in really handy. It’s like a business coach handing you a blueprint to follow.
If you want to find out more about the type of business you want to launch before you create a plan, you’ll find many specific start-up guides at your local library or online at Amazon.com. Many times you can pick up a used copy for less than $10, a small investment for a career.
Many successful entrepreneurs are also happy to share their experiences and advice to someone who is just starting out – they are often overlooked but truly valuable resources on how to start a business.