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What kind of business should I start?

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Clients sometimes come to me with a clear vision of the business they want to start but many others are unclear. Consider the following questions when choosing the kind of business you want to start.

1. Why do you want to start your business?

It’s important to understand why you want to go into business. Your ‘why’ should include how your business will matter to you personally and also, how your business will make a difference in other people’s lives.

Watch this video by Simon Sinek (or read his book ‘Start With Why’).

2. What kind of business do you want to start?

Most small business owners spend long hours working on and in a new business, so while it’s important to choose a business that will make you money, it’s even more important that you create a business you love.

What are the things you love doing?

What do you loathe doing?

What do you love talking about or learning about?

3. Is your business scalable? Does it need to be?

Many of the business owners I work with start a small business so that they’ll have freedom to work their own hours and the flexibility to do things their own way. They’re not interested in creating an empire so scalability isn’t important. This is perfectly ok but if you’re someone who wants to build something that outlasts you, you might want to give some thought as to how you can scale your business.

4. What is your offering? How is it different?

What are your services and/or products? Go into detail about what you’re planning to sell in your business and think about your point of difference. What will be unique about your offering? How can you bring yourself into your business? Can you create products or services that are offshoots of your main offering?

5. Does the market want what you have to offer?

Once you’ve worked out your offering, do some market research with friends and/or colleagues to find out whether your products or services are of interest to people. Ask them specifically what they would look for in if they were buying such a product or service, what they’d be willing to pay and any other relevant questions to help you refine your offering so that it is relevant. You’re not going to please everyone so listen to your intuition too.

Make your market research look professional by creating a short survey using Survey Monkey.

6. If you’re still not sure about the kind of business you want to be in, read a few of the articles below for ideas.

Five Top Business Ideas that Made Millions (January 2013)

How Did You Come Up with Your Business Idea (May 2013)

Huffington Post Article – 5 Businesses You Can (and Probably Should) Start Now (April 2013)

55 Businesses You Can Start from Home (July 2010)

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Kate James

About the author

Kate James is an author, coach and mindfulness teacher. She works with people who care about living purposeful, creative lives. Her clients want to clarify their personal values, identify their strengths and learn how they can make a difference in the world in their own unique way.