Choosing the right business can be hard, especially if you’re just starting out and haven’t done it before. With so many things to consider – like whether you want to run your own company or work as an employee, whether you want to be your own boss or have someone else call the shots, and whether you need something you can do in your spare time or something that will take up all of your free time – it can seem like there are too many options and not enough decisions to make. Fortunately, with the following 10 steps, you can find the perfect business for you!
1) How comfortable are you with risk?
One of the biggest factors in choosing a business venture is understanding your own comfort level with risk. Certain businesses are inherently riskier than others—real estate ventures, entrepreneurship, and small business ownership are all considered high-risk/high-reward endeavors. If you’re considering a start-up or working on an existing business plan, make sure you’ve thought through what could go wrong and how you’ll prepare if certain risks materialize.
2) What do you want out of life?
At one point or another, you will have to sit down and answer an important question: What do you want out of life? This isn’t about money, it’s about your happiness. Sure, there are external factors that contribute to a happy life – good relationships with family and friends, a healthy body – but ultimately it’s up to you. At least partly. If you don’t know what makes you happy, how can you expect anyone else to be able to provide it for you? So figure out what makes YOU happy before deciding on a business venture. Once again, we must stress that it is not necessary to find the perfect business idea in order to start making money online. There is no such thing as the perfect business idea; if there were, everyone would be doing it and making millions!
3) Do you want freedom or flexibility?
Entrepreneurship can be a dream, but it’s also a lot of hard work. If you’re drawn to an entrepreneur lifestyle because you want freedom and flexibility, then keep your day job and start tinkering on nights and weekends. The best side hustles have low barriers to entry; if it requires a significant time investment, reconsider whether it’s worth investing that time into your new project. Don’t quit your day job yet!
5) Do you want a steady paycheck?
Many businesses offer steady income with benefits, like health insurance and paid time off. You also have a lot of freedom in many careers. If you want a job where your hours are set, stick with hourly or salaried positions rather than taking on a commission-based role that requires long hours to make your money.
If you prefer more freedom, pick a self-employed career. Entrepreneurs are their own bosses and have ultimate control over their income. This comes with increased responsibility, however. If you want health insurance, you’ll need to set up your own plan on top of setting money aside for taxes—that is, if you make enough profit!
6) Can your passion make money?
There’s no question that you need some cash and a bit of extra motivation if you want to start your own business. But before launching, it’s important to check whether or not your passion can bring in a steady stream of income. If it can’t, then it doesn’t matter how much heart you pour into your venture—you won’t succeed. Ask yourself these questions: Is there enough money in my niche?
4) Are health benefits important to you?
Insurance is important when you’re employed because your employer is likely picking up a large portion of your health care costs. If you’re planning on starting a business, it’s up to you whether or not you want to offer health benefits. It may seem counterintuitive if you can barely pay yourself as it is, but offering medical insurance has been shown to greatly improve employee retention.
7) Will success be measured by what you earn?
Knowing what you’re willing to do in order to get ahead can help you pick a business that suits your personality. If money is what matters most, then choosing a more financially-driven career path—like starting your own firm—is an obvious choice. But if you’re more interested in having creative control or making an impact, there are plenty of businesses out there that offer just that.
It’s also worth considering what your definition of success is. Do you want total control over your day-to-day, or do you prefer being part of a team? By examining these questions before jumping into business ownership, you can be sure that whatever path you choose is truly one that suits your style and values.
8) Will friends, family, and partners support your idea?
Do you have a family? Will they support your idea? Entrepreneurship is lonely enough, so don’t let down that first line of support—those closest to you. If they aren’t willing or able to help you, it could be a sign that starting your own business might not be best. Of course, every situation is different and there are always exceptions to every rule. But if you know deep down that your loved ones won’t be supportive, then think twice about going into business for yourself.
9) What are your personal goals?
The first step in starting your own business is figuring out what kind of company you want to run. Do you want it to be a scalable, employee-heavy enterprise? A small family operation? Somewhere in between? The answers will help define everything from what type of work you’ll do (and how much) down to who your potential partners and employees might be. There are no right or wrong answers here—just whatever feels most comfortable to you.
10) How will others perceive this business idea?
A friend or co-worker’s opinion about your idea is a great way to get a feel for how well it might be received. Is your friend receptive? Did he or she have any suggestions? Is he or she even interested in learning more about it? Did you notice a change in attitude as you explained your idea further, if so what was that change and why do you think that occurred? If not, why not? Was there something specific they didn’t like about it? If so what was it and can you fix that problem with your business plan before going forward with launching your business?