What is the best business to start?

This is really a trick question. No-one can tell you the answer to that without knowing you really well.

The best business to start is the one that suits you the best. This starts with getting to know yourself. Only after you have made a clear assessment of yourself, your talents, abilities, interests, values etc. can you start to look for opportunities that fit you and your circumstances the best.

Do not listen to advice from experts that claim one business is better than the other. Most of us are biased towards our own interests – quite natural but disastrous as a basis for giving advice.

The only bit of advice that is true regardless is the best business to start would be:

  • Profitable (the higher the better).
  • In an industry that is not very competitive. However, this easier said than done. High barriers to entry will lessen competition but also make it difficult for you to start up, for example these barrier would typically relate to high financial costs, high level skills, difficult legal requirement to be met etc.
  • Can be sold once it operates successfully. In other words you should not be the business.

However, the best business to start will also suit your skills and interests. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your interests (passion if you want to, but if something will hold your interest and you will enjoy looking for one extraordinary passion is sometimes counterproductive and possibly even discouraging).
  • Remember you are not married to the business. You can sell it once it is up and running and start fresh.
  • What do you enjoy doing? This is related to your interests, although it is slightly different. What do you do and time just disappears, you are so engaged in your work?
  • What are your skills? What are you good at doing? This could also be included in your strengths.
  • What will challenge you and what will you find meaningful? What will give you a sense of achievement?

Simply put, the best business to start should be both highly profitable and highly suited to you as an individual.

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