How do I determine what business is right for me to start?

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Answered by: Sumei, An Expert in the Become an Entrepreneur Category
What business is right for me? This question exemplifies a major obstacle for many would-be entrepreneurs. They wonder if they will fail by following their passion. They wonder if they should make use of their job title and work experience instead. They may think that jumping on the latest trend offers the best guarantee for business success.

Successful business ideas do not arise from desperation to quit your job or unrealistic dreams of becoming an overnight millionaire: success comes from careful analysis of your strengths and values and research into the industry and what it offers or lacks.

Are you wondering...What business is right for me? The first step is to determine what your strengths are.

Strengths differ in terms of whether they are innate or acquired. You may have a degree in financing but can't stand crunching numbers anymore. You may love woodworking but lack the skills to teach others about it. A true strength is one based on a natural talent. A natural talent is one in which you will get the best return on with use. Why? First, because you will enjoy using this talent. It will feel right and you will experience satisfaction and success utilizing it. Secondly, education, practice, knowledge and experience will deepen this talent and cause it to grow. When you work at building a strength based solely on acquired skills, with no inherent underlying talent or proclivity or desire; there is a cap on how strong it can ever become. There is no limit to the ROI you can get from developing a natural talent.

For instance, Omar is very analytical so his parents pushed him into the medical field. They wanted him to become a doctor or a surgeon. But Omar isn't any good at making instantaneous decisions under great pressure and he doesn't enjoy working one-on-one with people. He would be better suited to starting a medical research consultancy business. Jerry is a natural salesman, charismatic and persuasive. But selling cars sells his talents short. Jerry would shine as the front man for a business, perfectly equipped to be the conveyor of business vision, getting investors on board, and negotiating. A startup investment brokerage firm would be perfect for him.

The next step in finding the business that is right for you is to research your industry and determine how your strengths can be leveraged to serve a need. What is going on in the market and why? How have players in the industry become complacent? What customer annoyances are taken for granted?

You don't have to be an expert in your industry to create a successful niche. An entrepreneurial thinker is someone that sees opportunity before anyone else does and seizes it. Look at the status quo. Look at the trends. Ask "Why?" and "What if?" constantly. Netflix asked: "What if there were no late fees?" Amazon asked: "What if there was no waiting for book deliveries?" Both of these companies changed their industries instead of doing the same thing everyone else was doing cheaper or faster.

It's a losing strategy to jump on the tail end of a trend. It's much better to start a new trend yourself. That way, you're not competing with competitors, especially the big guys. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and ask "What if?" How can your talents and insights provide a product for the under-served customer or neglected need? What unique niche can you create and command instead of compete within? That's how you'll find the business that is right for you.

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