Starting a Business

Business Ideas

business ideasWhat business should you start? This is one of the most common and important questions you could ask. It’s a very personal question so there’s no easy answer. The simple answer – it depends.

To help you find the answer to this question some guidelines can be helpful. The following guideline applies not only to what business you should start, but also to careers in general. Success and happiness with your work involves figuring out three things:

1) What do you do well? Come up with a list of what you do well. This list can include any hobbies and interests besides strictly professional skills. For example, a short list might include:

  • Tennis
  • Graphic design
  • Socializing
  • Spreadsheet work
  • Basket-weaving
  • Teaching

2) What do you enjoy doing? Out of all of the things you do well, which are the ones you enjoy the most. Let’s say your favorite activities are graphic design, basket-weaving and teaching.

3) What is currently in demand in the marketplace? Let’s say, (hypothetically of course) you determine that there are way too many graphic designers out there at the moment and very little demand for that skill. Well, you can take graphic design off your list. This leaves basket-weaving and teaching. Let’s say you determine that there is demand for these skills.

Of course you could get a job in an organization as a teacher or a basket-weaver but we’re talking about starting a business, so we can focus on what business prospects might be possible for these skills.

Maybe you start a basket-weaving company and sell your baskets in retail channels and/or on the Internet.

You could start a business teaching others how to basket-weave. Why not create instructional basket-weaving videos and start off by selling them online? There are many possibilities.

Growth Industries

If you’re looking for markets that are growing, businesses that cater to the needs of the aging baby boomer population is a great place to start. There are plenty of boomer related business opportunities including providing travel packages, financial planning services and assistive technologies. Another growth market is for green technologies. Businesses are increasingly hopping on the “green” bandwagon. The market for green technologies and services are likely to grow for some time to come.

Ask Others

Float your ideas by family and friends that you trust. It’s always good to get other opinions and possibly ideas. Remember, there will always be folks that don’t like your ideas but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t good ones!

Starting a Business

Why Start a Business?

start business Why would anyone want to start a business in the first place? The are risks associated with starting a business are not the types of risks most folks are used to. Starting from scratch can be stressful and discouraging. You might feel that you’re assuming much more responsibility than you’re used to. You may often be alone with your problems because help isn’t always easily accessible. It seems like a daunting prospect with many pitfalls.

Many of us get used to a job routine with a steadily growing salary. We become accustomed to an increasingly expensive standard of living. The thought of starting a business and suddenly having little or no income can be frightening. Gradually, a new venture seems less and less like a viable option. Nevertheless, there are many reasons to start your own venture. Here are just a few.

Greater potential

Let’s face it, working a job in most companies means you have a salary that won’t increase beyond a few percentage points per year. If you play your cards right, a business of your own has the potential to generate a lot more wealth. According to the authors of The Millionaire Next Door, roughly “two-thirds of American millionaires are self-employed.” Of course, any business can fail, but the potential is there.

Less risk?

Many people think that being an entrepreneur is risky because you’re not guaranteed a steady salary. True enough, but today’s workplace doesn’t offer high levels of job security. Companies (large and small) have near absolute power to lay off their employees, cut their benefits, hours, or other employment terms, often with little or no notice. As we have seen, these are far from rare occurrences.

Owning your own business can be less risky than most people think. Start-ups often also cost less than most people think – most companies get started on a low budget. Once your business is established, you get to decide how to serve your customers, and you reap the rewards!


You might start your own business out of necessity. Maybe the job market is slow or you simply can’t find a job that appeals to you. Starting a new venture is an alternative that can lead you down a new and exciting path.


Maybe you’re just fed up of working for someone else. How many of us had a boss or job we grew to hate? Maybe you want to try something new or want to follow a dream. Maybe you figure “life is short, so better try!” Wanting to make a life change is a perfectly valid reason to start a business.

A caveat is in order here. Entrepreneurs sometimes loose their shirts on their ventures. Be sure to set milestones and be ready to withdraw at a certain point. A business plan will help you set these objectives. Closing a business that you are emotionally vested in is difficult but far better than spending your life savings trying to salvage a doomed venture. Some use a rule of thumb that if there’s no significant progress after 2 years, consider closing shop.