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What kind of business should I start?

November 12, 2010

By John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing

 

The title to this post is a question I receive often. So many people want to start their own business these days, but are at a loss as to what to do.

It’s a tough question really and one that needs to be approached as many things in life – from a strategic standpoint first.

See a lot of folks just want to jump right into tactics – what’s hot, what can I make money doing, what are my skills, what’s my background – but that’s only part of the equation.

The first thing you must answer is this – What do I want out of life?

I know, I know, it’s only the biggest, scariest, hardest question on the planet and that’s why so many people just skip it.

Here’s how that applies to your business though.

There are two kinds of businesses, generally, from a strategic standpoint – the business of passion and purpose and the business of profit and practicality.

Now, when these two kinds of business merge, well, that’s just plain magic, but you may need to decide which kind you’re going start, before you do.

A purpose and passion business is one you start because you love to do something, your business itself provides the higher purpose for your life, and maybe you would do this business even if you didn’t get paid. People who are fulfilled in these businesses often make lots of money too but it’s not really why they do it.

This is a tough call because sometimes your passion isn’t all the profitable or practical. For example, I would love to open up a breakfast only restaurant in my neighborhood or create some sort of pet friendly bar with a great big outdoor wraparound porch but, there’s no way I would consider getting into that business. (It’s not a bad business; just not one I think I could pull off)

The flip side though is the business that turns up on some research, taps into a coming trend and looks like a sure thing in the business plan – only, it’s all about the money.

This kind of business can be incredibly profitable, but if it’s not, it will feel like a really bad, low paying, job.

Again, the magic is in fusing these two strategic objectives into a business you love to go to day in and day out that also has the greatest chance of allowing you to make enough income to get what you want out of life.

Assuming you’re considering starting a business to do something you’re passionate about, below is a list of questions you should consider to make that passion pay.

  1. Can you create a product or service that fills a need you have?
  2. Is there already a proven market for what you want to do?
  3. Are there healthy competitors doing what you want to do?
  4. Can you find a way to stand out from others doing what you want to do?
  5. Can you leverage the Internet to generate low cost leads?
  6. Can you make 200-300% profit on what you want to do?
  7. Can you sell a package rather than time?
  8. Is there a similar business you can go to work for?
  9. Can you start small and grow?
  10. Can you see what your picture perfect day in your business would look like in 3-5 years?

So, what questions did you ask yourself on the way to deciding what business to start?

 

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