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What Kind of Business Should I Start?

What Type of Business Should I Start?

Many people would love to be their own boss, but do not really know what type of business to start. If you are in the very early stages of becoming an entrepreneur, the question you may have asked yourself is this: what kind of business should I start? Often, people approach the answer by trying to match their likes or personality type to a particular industry.  That might help, but that is really not the best way to identify a good business opportunity. Even if you can easily come up with an answer, that is only the beginning.

Better Questions to Ask Yourself

There are plenty of good small business ideas out there and perhaps more than one kind of business you may be suited for based on your skills, likes and personality. Whether or not these ideas and types of businesses constitute a good opportunity for you is another matter entirely. Asking yourself, "What kind of business should I start?" is good to get the ball rolling and get you thinking about the various businesses you might like or be able to launch. There are, however, a few questions that are much better in terms of actually leading you toward the right type of business for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

What Business Am I Most Familiar With?

Many business owners get their start by working in an industry then spotting an opportunity within that industry or acquiring enough knowledge to eventually  go out on their own. If you have experience in a particular field and you wish to start a similar or related business, you have an advantage over someone starting from square one.

Being a long time customer of a business or type of business can also help you identify opportunities to provide a better or cheaper product or perhaps faster service, but you have to be cautious and really conduct your research thoroughly. Things are quite often not what they seem when you are standing on the other side of the counter. Gaining some experience before you take the plunge would be extremely beneficial in this situation.

If you have an idea for a business, but lack experience in the field, you might want to become more familiar with the industry from the inside by working for someone else at least for a little while. It might not be the quickest path to ownership, but your chances of success will be better if you already know or have experience with things that a small business startup in your chosen industry might struggle with. Things like pricing, knowing where to find customers, establishing relationships with suppliers, and other issues.

What Are My Strengths?

Finding a business well suited to your strengths and particular skill set would be ideal for the vast majority of potential business owners. Taking a personal inventory of your skills and strong points will also help you eliminate potential businesses where you might have to spend a lot of time doing something you are not very good at or have no desire to learn. Which leads us to the next question you should be asking yourself.

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What Kind of Business Should I Start?

What Are My Weaknesses?

Knowing what you are not good at is just as important as pinpointing your strengths. You might have terrific sales skills or have an in depth knowledge of your product, but perhaps you lack skills or knowledge in other areas like managing people or marketing. While your strengths should serve you well, they may not be enough to make your business successful. You may have to develop certain skills like negotiating. Or you might need to hire someone offering payroll services for small business if you lack bookkeeping know how. An honest self-assessment where you take inventory of your weaknesses will help you identify areas that may need improvement or require outside help.

What Do My Potential Customers Really Want or Need?

Focusing on customer needs and desires is another good way to determine the answer to the question, "What type of business should I start?" This is also another question you can answer by having worked in an industry or having been a customer yourself. You can conduct your own research by asking people you know, talking to business owners or checking online as well. Sites like Twitter and Yahoo! Answers are filled with people telling you exactly how to market to them. Pain points are on display for anyone to read on review sites and shopping sites all over the web. Customers know what they need and are often not shy about telling you. Provide a solution that delivers what they need and what they desire, not what you think they need.

Soliciting feedback and maintaining a customer centric focus once your business is up and running can also help you gain new customers, outshine your competitors, come up with new products or services, grow rapidly, and be successful. Keep that in mind before and after you find the right type of business for yourself.

Do I Know Any Potential Customers?

Identifying your potential customers is the logical next step after you understand what they need and want. There may be people or business owners you already know who have been clamoring for a better product, better service, or lower prices. This means going beyond profiling your potential customer or coming up with a target demographic. Identify customers by name. Get them lined up, ready to buy from you on day one rather than hoping somebody notices you.

Can I give them what they really need or want?

In order to be successful, you will have to address a particular need or needs. Your product or service must offer more value or do something that your competitors are doing poorly or not at all. Your customers and potential customers know what they need so your offering has to be based on them and their needs rather than your opinions and what you think they need. Your goal is to be a provider of solutions. You need to determine whether your product or service truly meets the needs of the people who are most likely to purchase from you.

What Type of Business Should I Start? Wrong Question.

Asking yourself "What kind of business should I start?" is just the beginning. There are much better questions like the questions above you'll need to answer if you really intend to go from wanting to be an entrepreneur to actually becoming an entrepreneur.

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