About a decade ago when I started my first business, my desire was borne not out of the passion or a need to solve a problem. Rather, I was driven by the zeal to make quick money. I was blind to the many facets of starting and running a business. Paul, a close friend of mine was into the same business and was doing pretty well, so why should I fail? I thought. But I was so wrong. My first business failed even before it began.
Question: So what did I do wrong?
Answer: I chose the wrong business.
A common problem faced constantly by new and aspiring entrepreneurs, like yourself, is the issue of narrowing down that long list of business ideas to the final one to be launched. If you have a list of ideas all of which seem to have the potential to be a great business, how do you choose the one you want to run?
This decision can be a tough one to make, as in the years to come you’ll be spending a lot of time and money on this project. You may also have to work long hours in the beginning without earning a lot of money, so it’s important to spend the time now choosing a business idea that you like and one that fits your long term life goals.
A solid business idea requires creativity, soul-searching and lots of preparation. To choose the right business idea, these three strategies can be of help.
Go through your list of passions
Ask yourself, What are you passionate about? Select an idea, activity, hobby or skill that genuinely excites you. To avoid coming across as unenthusiastic or flat, select a passion you can speak about confidently anywhere and any day. If nothing comes to mind, think about something you do that makes time pass quickly or something you have always wanted to do.
Go with what you already know or what you wouldn’t mind going through a painstaking process to learn. You don’t need to be an expert right away, but leveraging skills and experience you’ve gained can increase your chances of success.
Evaluate business-lifestyle fit
If balancing work and family life is important to you, then avoid businesses that could require 60 hours of work a week. If you hate being stuck in office spaces, then look for businesses that can be operated remotely from anywhere. Bringing the business idea into line with your lifestyle can prevent burnout.
Put your idea to a test
Before you go all in, make sure you’ve done all the final checks. Ask yourself: Is there enough demand in your market for the product or service? Can you afford the costs of startups? How are you going to stand out from your competitors? No matter what business idea you choose to try, writing a business plan that outlines your goals and how you plan to achieve them is a good way to begin. A business plan will compel you to look at the viability of your business idea and give you a better shot at success.