Deciding on a Business That is Right For You

How do you decide on a good business idea and determine if that is the right business for you? Well, 61% of the time, people get their ideas for a new business from their prior job experiences and hobby or personal interest. The balance of the people get their ideas from a suggestion from another person, educational courses, a chance event, from a family business, and the activities of friends and relatives.

There are 600,000 to 700,000 new businesses created each year. Downsizing has created legions of workers who are looking to strike out on their own by starting a new business. Another group of entrepreneurs is immigrants with limited English speaking abilities or with skills and experiences that are not marketable or who see their opportunities limited while working for others. Then there are women who are entering the world of small business ownership in record numbers.

Although prior experience and personal interests are the main sources of business concepts, there are plenty of people who don't have a clear business idea and want to know what business opportunities are out there/

If you are looking for a business idea, most important of all, find a business which you like doing. You spend many hours working and it is important for your mental and physical health that you enjoy it. The following are suggestions to assess business ideas:


  • Consider consumer needs that you can fill and that may not be met or "under" met.
  • Read, analyze and study to find trends and ideas that you can capitalize on.
  • Stay away from overcrowded fields unless you think you can do it better.
  • Investigate industries that interest you and look for opportunities where expansion can be expected.
  • Look for new uses for old things or new markets for old products.
  • Keep a file for "ideas"
  • Network with people to find out what they think and what their ideas are.
  • Brainstorm with people who know you and your abilities.


Remember that you can find a business idea that you like but you still need to determine if it is really a business opportunity for you. Do you have the skills and experiences to turn the idea into a good business? Find out how much capital is required in a business venture. You may find an attractive opportunity but don't have the money to make a go of it. Can you make money from the business venture? Do you have the financing to run it profitably? Who are your competitors? Who are your customers? What are the potential downsides? Is their room for growth in this business?

When you have decided on your business idea, you need to complete a business plan to evaluate if your idea is really an opportunity for you (See section on Business Planning). Remember, entrepreneurs are made and not born. You can study, do research, take courses and learn from others the skills that are required to make you succeed.

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