Looking Deeper To Find The Best Business
It has been said many times that you should follow your passion when choosing a business. Conventional wisdom says that the challenges of being in business are so numerous and difficult that if you don’t like what you’re doing, it is highly probable that you won’t last. Add to this the tendency to be more knowledgeable about the things that interest you, and the argument for the need for passion for the business is further solidified.
Liking the business you plan to start is good advice; the main problem with this is that most of us love the same things. And when too much demand chases too small a market, the usual result is meager profits. That’s why the most attractive ventures are usually overcrowded. In fact, during informal conversations, many of the entrepreneurs I have talked to half-jokingly claim that funeral parlors and septic tank cleaning are two of the best ventures you can start due to lack of competition. Although I have no hard data to back up this claim, it does sound plausible.
It may seem simplistic to look for the “best” business to start since what’s best is different for everyone; yet knowing a list of businesses that have good chances of making profits, and then selecting what suits you best, seems a reasonable strategy. Most people I know say they could easily learn to be passionate about a boring business, as long as it is very profitable. On the other hand, they would just as easily lose all their love for an exciting venture that’s bleeding money.
Finding the Right Fit
Looking deeper, there’s another way to satisfy your passion besides choosing the type of business you like. The key to this is to realize that businesses have many functions that may be close enough to what you want to do. For example, all businesses have to generate sales, and in the marketing and sales function, there may be plenty of creative tasks to do. As the owner of the business, you may want to do most of the marketing if you believe you would enjoy being creative in making and implementing your marketing plan.
If you’re the type that can’t bear being stuck inside an office the entire day, then you can focus on the sales function and be out looking for clients most of the day. What’s important is that you’re doing tasks that contribute substantially to the company. While you still must be able to manage the other activities, these can mostly be delegated.
Since it appears easier and more pragmatic in most situations to just adapt your inclinations to the needs of the business, it seems that the bigger problem is to find a profitable business. So how do you go about looking for this? I suggest studying the industries that have excellent long-term prospects if you aspire to eventually expand your business. Too many entrepreneurs are limited by going for a business that’s only good because of a particular location, especially if they own the location and will not be paying rent. This isn’t bad if you are willing to be satisfied with limited success. If demand for your product or service is not projected to rise fast, then it will be like rowing your boat against the current.
Pick An Industry
Recently, there has been a series of very positive economic reports and you should see what industries are part of this rapid growth. Even within a favored industry, there are particular niches expanding faster than others. For example, manufacturing may be going strong, but you must know what sector of manufacturing is growing.
To get a better idea of the long-term prospects of the industry, you can compare the current industry size to other countries that closely resemble our situation. This is why tourism is regarded as very promising because neighboring count countries like Thailand have a much greater tourism industry. This means that tourism here has the potential to grow larger.
However, do not pick a business based on the macroeconomic indicators alone. Check, too, if the location you are considering is conducive to the business. The local market must also be positive to your venture. In addition to this, you either must have or can hire the needed competence in the key success factors of that business.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. D-6 , Sunday, June 9, 2013. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.