FAQ: What is a Good Business to Start?

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A frequently asked question on the Internet is “What is a good business to start?”

My short answer to that question is: “It depends.”

Here are ten variables (in the form of questions) that could impact your ability to start and succeed in your own business:

  1. Do you possess marketable skills, experience, degrees, certifications, training, and strengths?
  2. Do you have passions, interests, talents, and abilities that could be applied to a business?
  3. What is the competitive environment in your local area?
  4. Is there capital and other resources you have access to (or can get access to)?
  5. How much time, energy, and attention are you willing to devote to a business?
  6. What previous business management skills and experience do you have?
  7. Do you possess any sales and marketing experience or ability? (Most businesses require it.)
  8. How much savings or other income do you have to meet your needs until you’re able to generate enough income from a business to cover your expenses, personal requirements, and business development goals?
  9. What is your tolerance for financial risk? All businesses entail a degree of risk.
  10. Do you possess a strong work ethic and the ability to consistently motivate yourself and others to take action, follow through, and provide superior customer service?

The above list contains many of the requirements and conditions needed to launch, sustain, and build a small business. It can also be used as a self-assessment checklist to see if you have the basic traits and characteristics to be your own boss.

Finding Good Business Ideas

Once you’ve determined your strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities, the next step in finding a good business idea is to peruse money-making ideas that have worked for others.

One of my earlier blog posts features a list of 250 businesses that may help you discover the best entrepreneurial ideas for your personality, level of ambition, skills, talents, startup funds, tolerance for risk, and competitive environment.

I also invite you to visit my website, Marketing Survival Kit, for more information on how to start, run, and market your own business.

Stay tuned to this blog for more business startup ideas, marketing tactics, and resources.

–Joel
Business blogger, Internet marketer, Freelance writer
email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

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Thanks for checking out my entrepreneurial blog. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

*FYI: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, products, and services I link to on this blog, as well as on Marketing Survival Kit.com

What Constitutes a Good Business Idea?

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There are a lot of good business ideas out there, but there are none that offer a guarantee of success or a road map to riches. Whether a business startup idea could be considered good or great depends on a lot of variables. Here are a few of them:

  1. Demand for the product or service: Do you have reason to believe that there is a strong and ongoing demand for the product or service you’re thinking about offering? Feedback from one or two people (or a “hunch”) is usually not enough of a reason to forge ahead with an idea for a new business.
  2. Competitive factors: If there are already several dominant and well established competitors in your market — whether local, regional, national, or global — ask yourself if you genuinely believe that you have a realistic chance of penetrating that market and gaining a sufficient market share? If there IS stiff competition in the marketplace, then it’s especially important that you offer your customers unique benefits and distinct advantages. Developing a marketing plan* and a unique selling proposition (USP) is one of the first and most important steps to entering a competitive business environment. To put it bluntly but accurately, you have two choices in the business world: “Differentiate or Die!” A marketing book of that title, written by Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin, elaborates on how and why it’s essential to stand out from the crowd to survive in “an era of killer competition”.
  3. Budgetary factors: Although this would not apply to starting a business with no money (and there aren’t a lot of good business ideas that fall under that category), most business startups require (at the very least) a computer, an Internet connection, a phone line (preferably a dedicated one), a supply of business cards, and a couple hundred dollars for miscellaneous marketing and other business expenses. Small business survival depends on a lot of factors, including having enough money to fuel your business growth while meeting your living expenses and financial obligations. Assuming you meet the requirements for a business loan, such as creditworthiness and relevant business experience, financing can often be obtained from financial institutions, the U.S. Small Business Administration, crowdfunding websites, and/or family, friends, or other investors. Writing a business plan is often the first step to securing financing and creating a realistic, goal-oriented business strategy.
  4. Do you have the right stuff? Everyone and their brother talks about starting their own business some day, being their own boss, and escaping the rat race, but only a small percentage of those people have the initiative, the practical experience, the organizational skills, the tenacity, the entrepreneurial mindset, the salesmanship abilities, and other qualities necessary for small business success. Before starting your own business, it’s highly recommended that you have that candid conversation with yourself, as well as with people whose opinions you value.

So there are no quick and easy answers to the questions “What business should I start?” and “What is the best business to start?” It all depends on what you’re good at, what you have a passion for, your tolerance for risk, your financial resources, whether there’s a sufficient demand for your product, service, or idea — and, or course, the positioning of the stars (only  kidding about that last one!)

Whatever type of business idea you decide to pursue, remember to get expert advice on tax planning, choosing a business structure, business insurance, meeting legal requirements, and so on. When starting a business, one of the most authoritative websites to visit for is the U.S. Small Business Administration. As I mentioned, the SBA is also a potential source of small business loans. Free small business advice and entrepreneurial mentor programs are also available from SCORE.

Best of luck in all your small business pursuits!

BTW… If you’d like to download a step-by-step guide to starting a specific business, I’ve posted links to several small business startup guides* at my website Marketing Survival Kit.

–Joel
Business blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategist
Feel free to post a comment on this blog or  email me if you have any questions.

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*Disclaimer: My business ideas blog and small business marketing website feature links to websites, digital products, and services for which I am a compensated affiliate. Although there are a few exceptions, I do not currently endorse specific products or services.

How to Create Good Business Ideas

At any point in time, thousands of people are actively searching the Internet, brainstorming with their friends and family, and wracking their brains for good business ideas that are unique, innovative, creative, profitable, lucrative, successful, and — if at all possible: inexpensive to start and run.

We’ve all heard inspiring stories about successful businesses that got their start in someone’s garage, basement, on a kitchen table, or from a home office. Why are these success stories the exception rather than the rule, though? I think the answer to that question is relatively simple: Many entrepreneurs are looking for a shortcut to success, and are easily discouraged when they realize that business ideas require the following ingredients to become successful:

  • An existing or latent demand for their product or service
  • A low to moderate level of competition
  • A strong motivation and firm commitment to persist until success is reached
  • A desire and willingness to continually raise the bar on service, product quality, and customer value (perceived and actual)
  • A targeted, integrated, and cost-effective marketing program often combines elements of website marketing, SEO, blogging, public relations, relationship marketing, email marketing, advertising, branding, social media marketing, direct mail marketing, and B2B proposal writing. (By the way, if you need help with proposal writing –and who doesn’t — then visit this website* for all the proposal templates, documents, and contracts you’re likely to need.)

Where Do Great Business Ideas Come From?

Some of the best business ideas are created by entrepreneurs who have either developed a new product or service that struck a chord with the masses  — or they’ve improved upon an existing product, service, or technology. Although some businesses are successful because of their unique identity and the effective way they market themselves, the cornerstones of a successful business are usually superior quality, remarkable service, innovation, and outstanding customer value.

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Ideas for Starting a Business

Here’s a list of 60 top small business ideas that many entrepreneurs are currently researching and preparing to start. If you’re looking for the best small business to start, perhaps one or more of these ideas will be a good match to your interests, talents, and business startup budget.

  1. Cleaning business
  2. Catering business
  3. Child daycare
  4. Your own clothing company, store, or clothing line
  5. Photography business
  6. Video production company
  7. Record label
  8. Bookstore
  9. Online boutique
  10. Jewelry business
  11. Cattle farm, chicken farm, ranch
  12. Property management company
  13. Real estate business
  14. Landscaping business
  15. Lawn care service
  16. Pest control business
  17. Bakery
  18. Cupcake and/or cookie business
  19. Coffee shop
  20. Restaurant and/or bar
  21. Liquor store
  22. Juice bar
  23. Beverage company
  24. Grocery store
  25. Bed & Breakfast
  26. Hotel
  27. Gift basket business
  28. Construction business
  29. Nursing agency
  30. Staffing agency
  31. Travel agency
  32. Title company
  33. Tax preparation business
  34. Insurance business
  35. Consulting business
  36. Private security company
  37. Beauty salon
  38. Nail salon
  39. Beauty supply store
  40. Barber shop
  41. Laundry business
  42. Recording studio
  43. Wholesale business
  44. Nursing home
  45. Assisted living facility
  46. Adult daycare
  47. Medical transportation business
  48. Trucking company
  49. Towing company
  50. Car dealership
  51. Gas station
  52. Manufacturing business
  53. Consignment shop
  54. Flower shop
  55. Publishing business
  56. Advertising agency
  57. Marketing agency
  58. Dog kennel
  59. Delivery business or courier service
  60. Cell phone business

Those are among the top small business ideas now being researched on the Internet.

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on ideas for starting a business. I’ll be compiling more lists of ideas to start a business in coming weeks, and will be focusing on other topics of interest to entrepreneurs and business owners, including small business marketing ideas. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to start and succeed in a specific small business, visit my website, Marketing Survival Kit.

Some of the topics I hope to cover over the next few months include home based business ideas, small town business ideas, online business ideas, and much more.

–Joel
Business blogger, marketing strategist, freelance writer

Email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate

Note: This blog was created to be a source of business startup ideas, inspiration for entrepreneurs, helpful tips on small business marketing, and self employment ideas. It is not intended to be a source of financial, legal, or compliance advice. Starting a business is intrinsically a risky endeavor, and should be undertaken cautiously and with the advice of qualified experts in the legal, accounting, and insurance professions. Additional business startup advice, educational programs, and mentoring can be found through authoritative websites and organizations like SCORE and the U.S.Small Business Administration.

How to Find Good Small Business Ideas

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There’s no magic formula to finding a good small business idea. Whether a small business idea has the potential to be lucrative or even profitable depends on the answer to these questions:

  1. Is there a sufficient demand for your product or service? In other words, do you have reason to believe that there’s an abundant supply of available customers or clients  for your products or services? One of the first steps to evaluating a potentially great business idea would be to clearly identify your target market and create a list of reasons that your prospective customers would want to do business with you instead of the competition. (And speaking of competition…)
  2. Is the marketplace already saturated with other businesses and entrepreneurs offering the same or similar services that you’re considering marketing? If the competition is too imposing or well-entrenched, then it may prove to be an uphill battle (or a losing battle) to try to penetrate that market or carve out a profitable niche. On the other hand… If your research and first-hand experience indicates that needs in the local (or global) marketplace are not being adequately met, then that might represent an untapped business opportunity for you. Even if there are other existing businesses that are already offering what you want to offer, there still may be the opportunity to effectively compete — based on factors like lower prices, more attractive payment terms, delivery options, wider selection, superior quality, better customer support and service, convenient locations, flexible business hours, or other features that can get you noticed and give you a competitive advantage. If the competition is coming up short in the all-important areas of customer satisfaction, convenience, quality, and value, then that might present an opportunity for you to step in and meet or exceed those unfulfilled expectations.
  3. Do you have the expertise, experience, and “people skills” to set up a business, market it, and consistently deliver a high-quality level of service? Evaluating your readiness to be your own boss hinges on a variety of factors, including your motivational intensity, your work ethic, your financial resources, and your organizational skills. Note: It’s always a good idea to consult with a CPA, an insurance advisor, and a business lawyer when setting up a startup business and anticipating future needs.

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What Business To Start

Choosing the best business to start for your particular situation depends on your own personal strengths, skills, passions, and available opportunities. Taking the time to sit down and do a thorough self assessment can often clarity where you’re strengths lie and what products, services, or self-employment situation you’d be best suited for.

Here’s a list of 25 service business ideas and categories which may help you zero in on the startup business ideas that would best suited to your interests, qualifications, and competitive environment:

  1. Information technology
  2. Web development or graphic design
  3. Photography or video production
  4. Advertising and marketing
  5. Event planning
  6. Wedding planning
  7. Hospitality business
  8. Travel and tourism
  9. Catering business, restaurant, or food truck operation
  10. Farming, agriculture, and ranching
  11. Fashion-related or clothing business
  12. Vending business
  13. Janitorial or residential cleaning service
  14. Home care service
  15. Security business
  16. Building construction and contracting
  17. Real estate sales, investing, development, property management
  18. Business training services
  19. Employment or staffing services
  20. Financial services
  21. Legal services
  22. Transportation and logistics business
  23. Medical or healthcare practice
  24. Insurance sales
  25. Personal care services

If you’re considering starting any of the above service business ideas, one key to success (besides having relevant experience and personal contacts) is to have the ability to prepare a business proposal — one that highlights your professionalism, credibility, and qualifications.

To learn more winning competitive bids and presenting a convincing case for choosing you over the competition, read the article “It’s All About Trust”.*

Thanks for checking out my latest blog posts on startup business ideas and potentially good businesses to start.

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Stay tuned to this blog for more tips, ideas, and resources on how to start a business.

–Joel
Business blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategist
Email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com
*compensated affiliate