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A Primer for the Fledgling Entrepreneur on Selecting the Right Business Venture
A Primer for the Fledgling Entrepreneur on Selecting the Right Business Venture
A Primer for the Fledgling Entrepreneur on Selecting the Right Business Venture
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A Primer for the Fledgling Entrepreneur on Selecting the Right Business Venture


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  • 1. A Primer for the Fledgling Entrepreneur on Selecting the Right Business VentureIn order to give yourself the best chance of success in your new venture, you’ll want totake some time and consider just what the ideal choice should be. This guide presentssome thoughts to broaden your perspective and help you make the right decision.What’s Your Risk Posture?How much risk are you willing to take? How determined are you? Many entrepreneursfail at their early attempts, but learn from them and ultimately succeed. Most run awaywith their tails tucked between their legs after their first failure. Some people just aren’tmeant to be independent entrepreneurs. Others chomp at the bit to be independent..and are willing to take all the inherent risks that come with it. Are you going to behaving 2nd thoughts after your first day? Be honest with yourself.Are You Still Going to Like It in a Year?Your best chance of success is to choose something you love doing. Business has it’sups &downs ..and there are lots of annoying little tasks to be performed .. andsometimes will be better than others .. so you want to choose a business that will have youdoing something you love. You want to be doing something that makes you get excitedto rise out of bed each morning and “have at it”. Getting into something you don’t lovewill reflect in your attitude ..and your work .. and your success .. whereas doingsomething you love won’t feel like work at all.Skills InventoryWhat skills do you already possess that would lend themselves well to a business? Whywaste a valuable skill if it can be put to good use? Is there somewhere you could gowork for awhile that would provide you the knowledge and skills you’re going to need?Maybe it’s time to go back to school. Maybe you should be apprenticing at somethingthat you can ultimately turn into a business of your own. What you’ve done in the pastcan also serve as a guide to your temperament ..which brings us to the next topic ofpersonality assessment.Personality InventoryNo matter what business you choose, there are certain aspects that you willllove ..andothers you’ll despise. If you’re an introvert, you may find face-to-face sellinguncomfortable. Are you detail-oriented? If not, you’ll probably despise the countless littledetails that must be tended to..especially when your business is new and you’re a “oneman band” (apologies to the ladies). Try to pick a business where the majority of yourtime will be spent doing things in your comfort zone ..and minimum time doing thingsyou hate. Of course, we must all get out of our comfort zones somewhat to grow ..butyou don’t want to take on too much at one time. Our basic personalities are formed inchildhood, and don’t change much. Be honest with yourself about where you belong asan entrepreneur. There are lots of honorable and profitable business scenarios. Do youlike working in an office with your mind? Are you the hands-on type? Do you love
  • 2. working outdoors? Love books? Hate math? Like machines? Computer geek? Theseare the kinds of things you need to be honestly considering. Lie to yourself ..and pay theprice.Location ..Location .. LocationThere are a number of other practical factors you need to address in choosing the rightbusiness. How much demand is there for the products and/or services you propose toprovide? How much established competition is already out there? Is the marketsaturated? How will you differentiate your business from your competitors? How will youreach out to your potential customers? How much does location play into your need toattract customers? Can a high-visibility storefront be obtained affordably? This is thegeneral topic area you should be spending the most time on. As a matter of fact, thequestions and answers you raise here will become the backbone of your business plan.The questions are many, and sometimes complex. Do the research before you investyour time and hard-earned money. Jumping into a new venture blind usually has painfuland expensive consequences.Can You Afford It?Starting a business takes money, and in this economic environment even big,established, profitable companies are challenged to find capital. Have you anythingsaved up? Do you have assets you can borrow against? Are you willing and able to riskthem? Have you analyzed how much you’re actually going to need? I can almostguarantee that whatever figure you come up with matter how well thought-out ..should be at least doubled. You’re probably not going to make a profit right out of thegate. What will you live on? Maybe you can start a business part-time out of your home,and keep your “day-job” until the business grows enough to take the plunge.Consider a FranchiseMost franchises don’t come cheap, but they do provide an opportunity to get into anestablished, proven business formula where you’ll have help with such things aslocation selection, setup, and training. You’ll be giving up some freedom, because they’lldictate certain rules and conditions to you ..and of course you’ll be sharing profits withthem .. but franchises work well for some people. If you’re the hard-core independenttype, a franchise is probably not for you.Beware the Get-Rich-Quick HuckstersThere are lots of “offers” out there to teach you the “secrets of success” for a price.Usually the only ones making money from such “deals” are the hucksters. They appealto our greed and laziness by offering a “fast track” to success. Buy in at your own risk.As P.T. Barnum famously said: “A sucker is born every minute”. Don’t be another victim.The Internet PanaceaLots of people think nowadays that all they have to do is set up a website, do a littleSEO tweaking, and money will fall in their laps. Good luck with that. The trail is litteredwith the bodies of other well-meaning but failed internet ventures. The internet is just
  • 3. another form of media. You still need to take into consideration all of the other questionsI’ve raised in this primer ..or suffer the consequences.I could go on and on with ever more detailed questions that you should be askingyourself ..but hopefully this primer will expand your perspective enough to help youraise those questions on your own.taking the plunge.It costs little or nothing to ask questions. Failure to do so can get costly. Do yourself abig favor and prep properly before taking the plunge. Luck plays a role in business, butI’ve found that people usually create their own luck by doing things properly.Good Luck!Alan Walsh, OwnerHuntington Consultancy 465-2749