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Ready to start your own adventure in entrepreneurship? How to Choose What Small Business to Start.

what small business to start

Last Updated on March 15, 2024 by Treana Wunsch

Starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding venture, but with so many options available it can be difficult to decide what small business to start. Whether you have a passion for baking, love to travel, or are an expert in marketing, there is likely a small business idea out there that will suit your skills and interests.

But how do you choose which small business to start? This is where things can get tricky. With so many factors to consider such as financial investment, market demand, and personal goals, it’s important to approach the decision thoughtfully and strategically. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of deciding what small business to start by exploring some key considerations along with tips and resources to help you make an informed decision.

Why small businesses are important

why small businesses are important
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Starting a small business is important for several reasons. For one, it allows individuals to pursue their passions and interests while also creating a source of income. Additionally, small businesses are crucial for the economy as they often provide employment opportunities and contribute to the growth of local communities.

When choosing what small business to start, it is important to consider various factors such as personal interests, skills and experience, market demand, competition, and financial feasibility. Conducting research on these factors can help entrepreneurs determine if their business idea has the potential for success.

It is also important to have a solid business plan in place before starting a small business. This includes outlining goals and objectives, identifying target customers and markets, developing marketing strategies, determining financial projections and budgeting accordingly. A well-thought-out plan can help entrepreneurs stay focused on their goals while navigating any obstacles that may arise during the startup process.

I have an entire series of articles dedicated to writing a business plan. Check it out now, soon it will be turned into an ebook and won’t be free to read.

Assess your skills and interests

assess your skills and interests
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Assessing your skills and interests is crucial when it comes to choosing what small business to start. Knowing what you are good at and what you enjoy doing can help narrow down your options. Start by making a list of all the skills that you possess, whether they are technical or soft skills. This list can include anything from graphic design to customer service.

Next, consider your interests outside of work. Think about hobbies or activities that you enjoy doing in your free time, such as cooking or photography. These interests can be used as inspiration for potential business ideas. For example, if you love baking, opening a bakery could be a great option.

Finally, take some time to reflect on past experiences and accomplishments. What projects have you completed successfully? What challenges have you overcome? Reflecting on these experiences can help identify areas where you excel and may give insight into potential business ventures that would play to those strengths. Overall, assessing your skills and interests is essential in determining which small business idea will be the best fit for you and the market.

Analyze the market demand

analyze the market demand
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Analyzing the market demand is a critical step when deciding on a small business to start. It involves identifying potential customers, their preferences, and their purchasing power. One way to assess the market demand is through surveys and interviews with target customers. This process enables entrepreneurs to gather valuable insights into what products or services are in high demand and how they can position themselves in the market.

Another approach to analyzing the market demand is by examining industry reports and trends. These reports provide information on growth patterns, consumer behaviour, and economic factors that can impact the success of a small business. Entrepreneurs can use this data to determine if there is a gap in the market for their product or service offering.

Understanding customer needs and behaviour as well as industry trends are essential components of analyzing the market demand. By conducting thorough research, small business owners can make informed decisions about their products or services’ viability within a particular marketplace. This knowledge also assists them in developing effective marketing strategies that will attract consumers and drive sales over time.

Determine your budget and funding options

budget and funding
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Determining your budget is a crucial step in starting any business. It involves figuring out how much you can afford to invest without going into debt. The first thing you need to do is create a list of all the expenses involved in starting and running your business, such as rent, utilities, supplies, marketing costs, and employee salaries. Once you have a clear understanding of these costs, it will be easier to determine how much money you need to raise.

Funding options for small businesses include loans from banks or alternative lenders, grants from government agencies or private organizations, crowdfunding campaigns on platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and personal investments from friends and family members. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, loans may require collateral or high-interest rates, while grants may have strict eligibility requirements. Crowdfunding campaigns can be effective but require significant time investment in marketing and promotion.

I’ve gone into more detail on this topic in my article How to Get Funding to Start a Small Business.

Ultimately, choosing the right funding option for your small business depends on several factors such as the amount of money needed and the purpose of the funds. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to thoroughly research each one before making any decisions about financing your business.

Consider legal and regulatory requirements

legal and regulatory requirements
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Legal and regulatory requirements are important considerations when starting a small business. Depending on the nature of the business, there may be specific licenses and permits that need to be obtained before operations can begin. For example, food-based businesses may require health department inspections and permits, while construction-related businesses may need building permits.

In addition to licenses and permits, small business owners must also comply with various regulations such as labour laws, tax laws, environmental regulations, and safety standards. Failure to comply with these legal requirements can result in fines or even legal action against the business.

It is important for small business owners to thoroughly research and understand all legal and regulatory requirements before launching their venture. Consulting with a lawyer or accountant can also be helpful in ensuring compliance with all necessary regulations. Being proactive about meeting legal obligations not only protects the business from potential penalties but also helps establish a strong reputation within the industry.

Evaluate the competition

evaluate the competition
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When starting a small business, it is essential to evaluate the competition. This evaluation will help you determine whether your business idea is viable or not. You must assess the existing market and identify the competition’s strengths and weaknesses.

One way to evaluate your competition is by conducting research online. You can check their website, social media accounts, customer reviews and feedback, pricing strategy, and marketing tactics. Another way is to visit their physical store if they have one and observe their operations and customer interactions.

By evaluating the competition, you can identify gaps in the market that your business can fill. It also allows you to refine your business idea by incorporating successful strategies from competitors or avoiding unsuccessful ones. Remember that competition is healthy as it drives innovation and improvement in products or services offered.

{RELATED ARTICLE: How to Write an Effective Business Plan: The Competitive Strategy}

Easiest small businesses to start

easiest small businesses to start
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One of the primary reasons that people choose to start a small business is because it allows them to be their own boss. However, starting a new business can be a daunting task, and many potential entrepreneurs may not know where to begin. One way to make the process less overwhelming is by choosing an easy-to-start small business.

One option is a home cleaning or organizing service. This type of business requires minimal startup costs, as most household cleaning supplies are relatively inexpensive, and there is always a steady demand for this type of service.

Another easy-to-start small business is pet sitting or dog walking. Many people need someone trustworthy to care for their pets while they are at work or on vacation, so if you love animals and have some free time during the day, this could be an excellent opportunity for you.

Finally, freelance writing or graphic design services can also be an easy way to start your own business from home with little investment required beyond your own skills and equipment such as computers and software programs. With today’s proliferation of online platforms like Upwork or Fiverr connecting freelancers with potential clients around the world, there has never been a better time than now to pursue these types of businesses as work-from-home opportunities in various areas of expertise such as copywriting or logo design.

Check out this list of easy businesses to start by Hubspot.

Making an informed decision

making an informed decision
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To summarize, making an informed decision when choosing a small business to start is crucial. It requires thorough research, careful consideration of personal strengths and weaknesses, and a realistic understanding of the market and competition. Rushing into a business without fully evaluating these factors can lead to failure and financial loss.

One way to ensure an informed decision is to seek the advice of experienced entrepreneurs or industry experts. These individuals can provide valuable insights and perspectives based on their own experiences. Additionally, attending trade shows or networking events can give aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from others in the same field.

Ultimately, making an informed decision means weighing all available information against personal goals and values. It may require taking risks but doing so with sound judgment and preparation can lead to success in starting a small business.

Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful in choosing which business you should start. As always, if you have any questions, comment below!

P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you.

Online Business Management. I will assess your business and make recommendations for improvements. Together we’ll create a plan to streamline the daily operations. My goal is to simplify your business so you can focus on what’s important.

Business Plan Writing. Take the first step to building your dreams.

Digital Marketing. If your business doesn’t have a digital marketing plan, you’re leaving money on the table.

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Dan Richards
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Treana has been very flexible, not only with making time for our requirements, but also with the tasks on the ever-changing "to do" list for her. She has also leveraged her experience to connect us with other service providers that we would not have found on our own.
Brandon Mack
Brandon MackOwner | Black Atlas Creative
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Treana did all the legwork for the business plan I was putting together. I started going through the process myself, but figured after about 5 headaches in that it would probably be better to hire someone who knew the ins and outs of putting one together. Glad I did! Saved me tons of time and has everything I needed!
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Dzurka Plumbing Inc.
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Very professional, on the ball, and very insightful on how to make an efficient business stay progressing and making good profits. Very quick at responding and honest and sincere. 10 out of 10.

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