With the economy in turmoil, many people are considering starting a new business venture. As I spend time in forums and blogs, helping people with start up questions, business concerns or how to start and manage a virtual business, there is an interesting commonality amongst many of them. Surprisingly, most of the doubts they have is not the legality, or the mechanics of starting a business. Instead, their biggest concern is what business to start. Now, this is not in the legal sense, but instead what product or service to sell.
A major challenge potential entrepreneurs seem to have, is figuring out what business to go into. They wonder if they can make a business out of whatever expertise they may have. In many cases, they cannot even figure out what that expertise is! Although for years entrepreneurs have started businesses either on a hunch, personal expertise, family business, or market research. They have seldom started a business based on who they are.
Therefore the number one requirement to start a business, even before knowledge or expertise, it is to work on yours strengths and passion. Why? Simply because being in business is like a roller coaster, sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. Using your strengths and passion to start and build a business, will increase your chances of success. This will give you the strength to keep going during those “rough” times, when you wished the world would stop so you could get out.
However, what are your strengths? What is your passion? What business can you excel at? How do you find out? How do you truly know without guessing?
Here are the steps to follow:
- Find out your personal strengths: To do this, read “Strengths Finder” by Tom Rath. After you are done reading, take the online test that comes with the book (you will get a pin number inside the book). It is a one time shot, so make sure you use it wisely. Set everything aside and have peace and quiet when you are ready to take the test. When you are done, you will be enlightened to find out who you truly are!
- Find out the best business-relevant interests, values and abilities that fit your personality: Now that you know who you are, you want to find out what businesses fit you best. Go to CareerLeader.com and take the test for individual clients. At the time of this writing, the cost of the test is $95. Most likely, the best money spent before you spend a penny starting any kind of business…Why? Simply because it will provide you with an expert assessments of your unique pattern of business-relevant interests, values and abilities.
- Find your niche market: Now that you are empowered with your personal and business strengths, go to MarketSamurai.com and download the 30-day free trial. Follow the instructions and find a PROFITABLE niche that fits your personal and business strengths AND can make you money along the way!
- Test your findings: You are not quite ready yet. There is one more important step. Now that you know your personal, business, and market strength; you want to test what product or service will have the highest chance of success. These findings will help you optimize your virtual business endeavor for maximum business results. Therefore next do a split-test of your potential products or services. Go to Google Website Optimizer and follow the instructions.
- Build a virtual business: Now it’s time to start building that business you have been thinking about. Therefore the next step is to build your virtual business. Why a virtual business? This is because in this new economy, building a virtual business will also increase your chances of success. The cost of entry is low. The market reach is greater. It allows you to build systems and processes at little to no cost. You don’t have to invest or borrow thousands of dollars. You can hire virtual employees on a per need basis. These are just a few benefits, and I am barely scratching the surface here!
NOW that you know your personal, business, market and product strengths; you are ready to build a real, sustainable virtual business with a much greater chance of success!