What Business Should I Start?

There’s no sure formula to determine which business to start, but consider some of these points:

Meet a Need, Solve a Problem
Focus on how you can use your skills and talents to solve the problems of people who have money to pay for it.  Everything follows from that.

Make Three Lists.
You’ve seen this one—list your skills, experience and interests, and look for ways to start a business from one of them.  Do remember that starting a business is more than doing what you’re good at or what sounds like fun.  Be asking yourself, “How can use my skills and experience to help others?”

Not sure of your skills?
One way I like to put it is, “what do your friends call you for help with?”  Your strongest, most natural skills are the ones you’re most likely to overlook.  Often my students have good ideas, but negate them with, “nobody would pay for that,” which usually really means, “I can’t afford to pay someone to do that, so no one else can.”  People can and do pay for all kinds of things you can’t afford or wouldn’t buy, so don’t judge your ideas by your preferences alone.

Be Indispensable.
Another recommendation I read recently (and as soon as I can discover where I read it I will cite my source) is to look for a field where you can be indispensable.  Consider a field where your skills (or product) are clearly superior to your competitors.

Beware the “do what you love and the money will follow” mindset.
Your customers really don’t care about what you love—it’s about what they love and want and are willing to pay for.

Think beyond the fast buck.
There’s nothing wrong with making money wrong, but there are pitfalls, the main one being your vulnerability to scams, or to least to expensive training courses that you won’t use.  It also can lead to a business that doesn’t hold your passion or even your interest, which makes it hard to stick with.