After my article about 5 reasons why you need a side gig, a number of people reached out to me that they would like to start a business, but were confused about which business to start and how to even go about starting it, so I decided to provide some guide lines on finding the right business for you. A few keys to starting the right business are:
- Determine if you have what it takes to run a business: this is a very important first step because not everyone is cut out to run a business and that’s okay. To run a business, you have to be self-motivated, resourceful and have the discipline and will power to stick it out. Unlike in paid employment where someone gives you a job description and tells you what to do; as a business owner, you create the work and the value you would offer. So you need to be sure you can deal with that.
- Identify your talents and gifts: once you have determined that you still want to start a business, the next thing is to identify your strengths and possibly your weakness. You would most likely thrive doing a business that utilizes your natural strengths and talents so my advice is not to start a business that you are not inclined towards no matter how lucrative it looks from a distance.
- Come up with business ideas: now that you have identified your natural talents, come up with ideas that would utilize your talent or gifts. For example if you are a good communicator, you can start a teaching or training business, you can do voice overs, you can become a compere, you can start you own talk show and so on. If you are good with your hands, you can start a business using your hands to create something. I have a friend who is a multi-talented ‘hands’ person. She is good at making bead, hats and decorative pieces. She is also a great cook. She has started businesses using her talents.
- Examine the viability of the ideas: as much as I recommend that you should start a business using your talents or doing something you are passionate about, you must make sure that it is a viable business that is capable of making MONEY. Make sure that it is a product that has sufficient demand and that people are willing to pay for. If you come up with multiple ideas, drill down to the idea that is the most viable and choose that as the business you would start.
- Come up with a plan: finding the right business is very exciting, but don’t just jump the gun and rush into it, settle down and come up with a business plan. If you can’t create a plan by yourself, get an SME consultant to develop one for you. Your plan should capture your business strategy, products and service offering and how you intend to distribute your products and promote your business.
- Determine your startup cost: how much would it cost you to start the business? One of the mistakes business owners make is that they don’t properly determine their startup cost and the funding the business would require for growth and expansion. Make sure you calculate all the possible cost and make provision for some reserve, because most times a business needs more money than you think it needs and might not make money as fast as you think.
- Set a launch date: one of the things that would give you the courage and motivation to start is when you set a launch date. When you have decided on the date, announce it to people close to you who can keep you accountable and motivated and then create an action plan from now till the time you launch.
I hope this has demystified the business startup process. Starting a business is for the courageous, but you can do it if you believe you can. If you need more guidance on starting a business, check out our Quick start business work sheet that provides a step by step guide to starting and launching your business from idea to actual launch.