Choosing the Best Small Business to Start

What business should I start? It’s not always an easy questions to answer. If starting your own business is something that you have been thinking about for some time, then you have probably toyed with many different business ideas.

There are as many different types of businesses as there are personalities of the people running then. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit and a strong desire to start your own business then this checklist may help you to narrow down your choices.

When trying to think of the best business to start, the first thing you should do is to perform a personal inventory. We all function better at tasks that we are good at, or those for which we have a natural ability.

So, ask yourself;

what are you good at? what experience have you gained at work, school or through sport? what are your likes and dislikes? what are your personality traits? do you prefer to work in a team or on your own? what are your natural skills and abilities?

Performing a self assessment will not necessarily provide you with the perfect business to start, but it should indicate which businesses will not be ideal for you. Then, work through the following list and apply these questions to some of the business ideas that you may be considering.

Your Market

who will buy your product or service? how much will they pay for it? what advantage will your product/service offer over the competition – ex why should customers choose you? the industry that the new business is in – is it in a growing industry, or is it on the decline do you have industry contacts? if not, how difficult will it be to enter this industry as an unknown – with competitive industrie,s for example fashion, you may find it very difficult to enter a competitive market as an unknown if you don’t know the answers to these questions do you know where to find them? You should never launch a product or service without first researching your market.

will you be producing a product or providing a service? have you thought about distribution methods? do you know which methods are most cost effective? how will you get your product or service to your customers?

will you operate your business from home or from leased premises? if you plan to lease or rent can you easily accommodate additional staff, stock and customers as your business grows? do you need parking facilities? Is is available? can the premises be fitted out to suit, without too much of an investment from you?

who will they be? is there a minimum purchase amount? what is their lead time? are they reliable – can they provide a consistent and reliable service? do their costs enable you to make a profit?

will you be using specialised equipment? what are the costs to service or repair this equipment? are spare parts readily available? if entering a declining industry how available will this equipment, and/or spare parts, be in the future? are special skills required to operate this equipment? will you lease or buy your equipment?

how many staff will you require? do they need specific skills or training? do you know the hidden costs of hiring staff?

how much capital will you need to purchase stock and equipment and to see you through the establishment phase of setting up your business as well as the first three months trading? if you need to borrow money do you know where to go and what the lenders will require from you?

As you can see there is a lot to consider when starting your own business. The above is in no way an exhaustive list. I have put it together to give you an introduction of the areas that you need to consider when deciding which is the best small business to start.