FAQ: What Business Should I Start?

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I’d make an educated guess that there are millions of people, right now, who would love to start their own business, but they’re hindered by a lack of focus and resolve. In my opinion, a lack of clarity is one of the top reasons aspiring entrepreneurs do not follow through and take the first step to starting their own business.

The second reason is fear. They’re afraid to fail. They’re afraid of being criticized. They’re afraid of losing money. And that’s the short list!

Are those fears realistic? To a certain extent they are realistic, although people often magnify the risks in their minds and blow them out of proportion. Small business failure is a common occurrence, but there are many ways to reduce risks, capitalize on opportunities,  make the most of your resources, and tip the scales in your direction.

One thing’s for sure, though: Starting your own business definitely requires courage, careful planning, and a willingness to take calculated risks.

Why Do Businesses Fail?

There are dozens of reasons businesses fail, but I believe that the undercurrent of fear that I mentioned is one of the primary causes. Here’s why: When you go into any endeavor in a fearful or tentative way, that state of mind saps your energy, diminishes your creativity, reduces your drive, and clouds your resourcefulness.

The harsh reality of business is that not everyone is cut out to deal with the challenges of setting up, marketing, and managing a small business. Establishing a business is often an uphill battle — at least in the beginning — and it takes a tenacious, goal-oriented, self-confident person to surmount obstacles, overcome setbacks, and persist until they succeed.

So whether you want to start a home business, an online business, or a bricks-and-mortar establishment, you need to first assess whether you possess the motivation, self belief, and mental fortitude to make a go of it. If you possess those qualities, then you already have an edge over much of the competition. It might take some time to realize that advantage, but — to quote one of my favorite sayings — “persistence breaks down resistance!”

How Do You Choose a Business to Start?

There is no simple answer to that question, but here are a two guiding principles and ideas which may help point you in the right direction.

  • Experience and marketable skills: If you have specialized skills, professional training, practical experience, or college degrees, then you may have the basis for a potentially profitable business. There are countless possibilities to consider, including service businessess, distributorships, consultancies, website businesses, retail stores, product lines, inventions to market, or other entrepreneurial pursuits. Note: Although skills, knowledge, and experience can be strong starting points, a stumbling block for many entrepreneurs and business owners is marketing and how to do it effectively. Without effective marketing tools and strategies, such as well-written business proposals*, your chances for business survival and success are small. (For more insights into marketing techniques and tools, visit my website Marketing Survival Kit.) By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about the value and purpose of business proposals, then check out this article: “It’s All About Trust.”*
  • A passion for a product, service, or worthy cause: You’re probably familiar with the old expression (and book title) “Do what you love and the money will follow.” While that concept doesn’t necessarily hold water 100% of the time, it does contain more than a grain of truth. If you love what you’re doing and find it personally rewarding, then that enthusiasm will help win over customers and clients. A feeling of passion for a career or business also fuels your own motivation, resourcefulness, perseverance, and sense of purpose.

100+ Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

So getting back to the question of “What business should I start?”, here’s a variety of business ideas that will hopefully help you clarify your goals, narrow your focus, and trigger some actionable ideas for becoming your own boss.

  1. Photography business
  2. Consulting
  3. Residential or commercial cleaning business
  4. Lawn care, lawn mowing, or landscaping
  5. Construction
  6. Graphic design and/or website design
  7. T-shirt business
  8. Real estate sales or investing
  9. Tutoring business
  10. Catering
  11. Retail
  12. Computer repair
  13. eCommerce*
  14. Jewelry business
  15. Pet-related business: grooming, dog walking, pet sitting, boarding, breeding, dog training, or making dog treats*
  16. Clothing business
  17. Trucking
  18. Food business: restaurant, food truck business
  19. Home health care
  20. Personal training/coaching
  21. Carpentry
  22. Wedding planning
  23. Event planning services*
  24. Payroll service
  25. Tax preparation
  26. Handyman services*
  27. Medical billing and coding
  28. Vending machine business
  29. Gym/ fitness center/ health club
  30. Painting business
  31. Greeting cards
  32. Marketing and advertising agency
  33. Party bus business
  34. Carpet cleaning
  35. Daycare business
  36. Craft business
  37. Wholesale business
  38. Cake business
  39. Non-emergency medical transportation
  40. Mobile oil change service
  41. Property preservation or management services
  42. Junk removal
  43. Plumbing
  44. Silk screening
  45. Paintball business
  46. Bookkeeping
  47. Tax preparation
  48. Security guard business
  49. Bail bonds business
  50. Contracting business
  51. eBay business
  52. Flea market business
  53. Window cleaning
  54. Pressure washing
  55. Rental business
  56. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  57. Taxicab service
  58. Photo booth rental
  59. Lead generation service
  60. Virtual assistant business
  61. Mobile locksmith services
  62. Print shop
  63. Roadside assistance services
  64. Wine business
  65. Spa
  66. Welding services
  67. Background check services
  68. Staffing and employee recruiting
  69. Moving company
  70. Home inspection services
  71. Furniture business (retailing, woodworking, being an antique dealer, etc.)
  72. Manufacturing
  73. Social media marketing
  74. Balloon business
  75. Hair salon
  76. Food delivery
  77. Financial planning services
  78. Personal chef services
  79. Fashion business
  80. Boat charter business
  81. Senior care services
  82. Decorating business/ interior design
  83. Massage business
  84. Candy business
  85. Trash removal
  86. Shoe store
  87. Floral business/ flower shop
  88. Courier services
  89. House flipping
  90. Gift baskets
  91. Sign business
  92. Counseling practice
  93. Snow removal
  94. Recycling
  95. Pest control
  96. Gymnastics business
  97. Contracting: Home remodeling, roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical services, HVAC services (heating/ventilation/air conditioning)
  98. Resume writing
  99. Makeup artist services
  100. Solar panel installation

Is There a Market for Your Business Idea?

If you have reason to believe there’s a market for a particular product or service you’re considering, then you may have the basis for a viable small business. Keep in mind, however, that a viable business idea is only the “raw material” for a successful small business.

To succeed, you may also need resources like marketing skills, specialized knowledge, funding, permits and licenses, salesmanship ability, customer service skills, equipment, machinery, supplies, vendor relationships, a physical place to do business, insurance coverage, employees, additional training and education, and the advice of a qualified accountant, attorney, and business insurance advisor.

For more entrepreneurial and small business startup ideas, I invite you to check out other posts on this blog, such as 250 Ideas For Self Employment.

Feel free to link to this post or pass it along to other entrepreneurs you know.

Contact me if you have any questions!

Thanks!

–Joel
Freelance writer, blogger, Internet entrepreneur

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, training materials, software, and marketing tools mentioned (linked to) in this blog. Unless otherwise noted, I am not currently endorsing specific products, services, or websites.

21 Pet Business Ideas

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When you think about the enormous popularity of pets throughout the world, it’s no wonder that there is a large market for products and services that cater to dog and cat owners.

If you’re looking for pet-related business ideas, there’s no shortage of choices. Here’s a list of ideas that other pet entrepreneurs are now pursuing:

  1. Pet sitting business
  2. Starting a pet shop
  3. Pet waste removal service
  4. Pet photography
  5. Dog grooming and/or mobile pet grooming
  6. Dog training
  7. Pet food delivery
  8. Pet boarding (dog kennel)
  9. Cat and dog daycare services
  10. Dog walking
  11. Selling pet food, treats, supplies, and and/or clothing
  12. Pet bakery business
  13. Cat feeding service
  14. Dog breeding business
  15. Cat and dog transportation services
  16. Self-serve dog wash business (I have no idea how that would work!)
  17. Electric fence installation for dogs
  18. Breeding and selling rabbits for pets
  19. Online retail business for pet products [Note: Shopify is one option for setting up and starting your own online store. Try it for free.*]
  20. Pet cremation/pet crematory business (I’m guessing that this business model has a lot of very specific requirements, costs, and regulations associated with it.)

One of the prerequisites of being a successful pet business entrepreneur is that you love and appreciate pets and are able to effectively communicate that feeling to prospective customers. Having the ability to earn people’s trust is a major factor in attracting customers to your pet services business. (As a side note, the attire of the woman pictured below is not recommended for meetings with prospective customers!)

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Tips on Starting a Pet Business

Here are a few other important tips to keep in mind if you’re considering starting any kind of service or product-oriented business geared to pets and pet owners:

  • While there’s a lot of opportunity in the pet industry — both locally and globally — some niches and locations may already be saturated with a heavy amount of competition. It’s always wise to do some competitive analysis and market analysis to determine whether there’s a sufficient demand for the pet service or products you’re considering offer. Ideally, there should be a low amount of competition, too.
  • Among the key aspects of being successful in the pet business is the willingness and ability to deliver exceptional customer service, superior quality, and competitive prices. Pet owners — like most other consumers — are looking for value. In other words, they want to feel like their money was well spend and that they’re getting their money’s worth. The bottom line is that satisfied customers lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising and referrals.

Side note about starting your own business: Although many pet business ideas have the potential to be profitable — either as a full-time business or income supplement — all businesses involve an element of financial risk. So whether you thinking of starting a pet sitting business, a dog walking business, a dog day care service, an online retail store, or a bricks-and-mortar pet store, it’s advisable to carefully plan your strategy and study all relevant aspects of the pet business. Mapping out a clear marketing strategy, for example, can be an indispensable navigational tool as you travel down the sometimes bumpy road of self employment and business ownership.

Thanks for checking out my latest thoughts on startup business ideas and small business marketing strategies.

Feel free to comment on this blog or contact me via email at prowriter30years@yahoo.com if you have any questions, inquiries, or requests.

Stay tuned for more tips, resources, and startup business ideas for entrepreneurs. In the mean time, best of luck in all your small business pursuits!

–Joel
Business startup blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategist

P.S.:  More information and resources, below, on starting a pet business.

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Websites, Business Guides, Training Videos, and Books on Pet Business Ideas*

Online Resources for Entrepreneurs

  • If you’re looking for a list of steps for starting and running a business, the U.S. Small Business Administration is one of the best resources to turn to for guidance and information.
  • The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides a checklist for starting a business.
  • Additional business startup advice, educational programs, and mentoring can be found through websites and organizations like SCORE.

One final note: When starting a business of any kind, it’s wise to consult with a CPA, a business insurance specialist, and an attorney to help  you anticipate and plan for your present and future needs.

*Disclosure: I am a compensated affiliate of Shopify ecommerce services and various digital products, ebooks (starting a business books), business proposal software, and email marketing services featured on this blog and on my website Marketing Survival Kit.