Friday, November 30, 2012

Should I Start My Own Business?

Many people have business ideas and wonder if they would be viable in the marketplace. Others want to know how to come up with a great business idea. Here are several suggestions for things you can do to explore starting a business.

First, think about your interests and skills and identify expertise you have in particular areas. In doing so, ask yourself, “Does this skill or expertise have the potential to fill a market need or attract prospective customers?” Another way to identify business opportunities is by writing down your own frustrations as a consumer. For example, have you had a need for a particular service and noticed there is no business currently filling this need adequately?

The good news is, you don’t always have to start from scratch. Take a look at existing businesses that interest you and assess whether there is enough consumer demand and room for competition.

Before going further, you’ll want to assess your personal and professional goals and create a business plan for your idea. Many cities, counties, and area chambers of commerce have business centers or Economic Development Departments for critiquing your plan submissions and providing you with feedback. Often, they can also offer you advice on next steps you need to take.

Another important step involves completing a financial plan. This will give you an idea of how much you need to invest in the business, what you can expect as a return, and how long it might take to become profitable.

Of course, you should make the most of existing resources for learning about start-ups. has many articles on starting your own business. Also, several metropolitan areas offer new business planning guides on their websites.

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