How to Choose a Profitable Idea for Starting a Business
You’ve finally decided to navigate the sea of entrepreneurship and look into starting a business. Maybe you are finally ready to give into those ambitions that have haunted you for years. Or maybe you’ve reached a ceiling in your day job that caps not only your ability but your earning potential.
If that sounds like you, starting a part-time business without quitting your day job could be the perfect bridge to the prosperity and freedom you desire.
Now comes one of the most challenging decisions when it comes to starting a business – how do you decide which business idea is the best for you?
Do you have a certain hobby that you would like to extend into a business? What if you have too many interest or lots of no particular interest at all? What criteria other than thinking you might be good at something can you use for narrowing down potential paths of entrepreneurship?
Here are a few different approaches you could take to narrow down the most profitable part-time business idea:
1. Doing what you are passionate about– Make a list of all the things that you enjoy doing. Whether it is writing, web designing or simply cleaning. Then, see how you can extend this interest into a business idea. For example, if you are keen about writing, you could either start a freelance content writing business or just create a blog where you jot down your thoughts. If you like cleaning or organizing, you could start a cleaning and/or organizing business. Or you could start a website dedicated to collecting resources that will help people get organized and clean their properties more effectively.
Whatever your interests are, if you use your imagination, you are bound to find ways in which you can transform this small hobby of yours into a profitable business idea. However, there is one small catch here. Not every hobby or passion can translate into a financially successful business opportunity that you can launch part time.
- For example, you may be passionate about growing cacti and decide to start a business growing and selling rare cacti. While you may find a few people who are interested in purchasing them, the numbers are not enough for you to make any real profits. Therefore, before you plunge into the business end of things do some market research to see if you can really make money from starting a business based on a hobby. If you feel there are enough business opportunities for you, then you should go ahead and make use of them.
2. Using opportunities already present – Maybe you don’t have a special hobby or have too many to mention. In that case, you might want to speak to someone who has already set sail on the sea of entrepreneurship. For example, if someone you know is working online and is earning well, you could ask that person about their journey. Even though you may not have much technical experience, your friend could guide you giving you an opportunity to easily learn the best way of doing things – from content optimization to driving traffic to knowing which ones are the best money-making programs to use. If you have managed to collect a lot of antique items, you might consider starting a business selling antiques on the weekend or on eBay.
3. Looking at businesses with potential – Not every venture into entrepreneurship should be linked with something that you are passionate about. If you think that a business has potential either now or in the immediate future, it may be worth it to consider starting such a business. This will certainly be challenging since you may not have anyone to guide you. You can read up as much as you can about similar or complementary businesses and see how they function. You can read up books on how to start new businesses, browse through websites and go through trade magazines. You may learn a lot and stumble a lot as you go along but if you are patient enough and your research has been thorough, your labors will start to bear fruit in due course of time. Starting with a business that has a high profit potential is the fastest way to move from employedpreneur to entrepreneur.
4. Selling what you have created – This is a more unusual approach to starting a business but one of the most profitable if it works out well. If you are the type who keeps tinkering around stuff and thinks up all kinds of useful inventions, you can certainly start a home-based business developing these inventions and then marketing them. You could either sell the rights to your product to an interested party or just receive your royalties or you could take the plunge and start working on your invention by yourself. Of course, you will need to look for funds to help you develop the product and you also need some marketing savvy to spread the word.
- You can find many stories about inventors convinced about the utility of their product and about their rags-to-riches story (Like Sarah Blakely of Spanx). The key to success is to be able to identify a need that a large majority of people have and then to develop the product that will answer exactly this need.
5. Consider your immediate needs. If you need to increase your additional income sooner rather than later, long term business models that require a lot of start up planning and cash, like a franchise or tech start up are not going to be at the top of our list. Depending on your background and network, you might find it easy to offer your skills as a consultant or your experience and expertise as a speaker to create a revenue stream. While there are some businesses that require very little start up capital, no real business with long term potential for high profit has ever been been an overnight success.
- Avoid part-time business scams and schemes that appear as opportunities promising a high return in a quick time period with little effort. If you are short on time, patience, resources and a willingness to learn, entrepreneurship may not be the right path for you.
With these five checkpoints, you’ve got a starting place for evaluating and choosing a profitable business idea. For more information on how to start a profitable part-time business, grab a copy of our free ebook: 12 Steps to Starting a Business without Quitting Your Day Job. (There’s a bonus chapter with 77 Part-time Business Ideas too). Click here for more details or sign up below.
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