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How to Decide What Kind of Business to Start

There are many people, millennials especially, who are interested in starting their own business. The only problem is that many people are unsure of what kind of business to start. Below are some ideas on how to narrow down the type of business you want to have so you can become an entrepreneur and start living your life on your terms.

Assess Your Strengths

Chances are, you already have some idea of the type of business you want to start, and it likely revolves around your passions. For example, if you love to cook, maybe you want to start a business as a private chef. If you love taking pictures, maybe you want to become a lifestyle photographer. If you enjoy writing, perhaps you can start a blog. Regardless of what it is, write down your strengths and interests and jot down 2-3 ideas of possible business you’d like to start.

Determine Start Up Funds

Some business are relatively inexpensive to start. For example, starting a blog only costs a few dollars at first. However, starting your own food truck might require the purchase of the actual truck, kitchen equipment, and more. Let the amount of savings you have and the startup funds required for your business help you decide what kind to start. Remember, you don’t have to go into tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt to start a business. Many very successful businesses were started with very little money.

Determine the Time Commitment

If you have a full time job currently, you might need to start a side business. It’s best to build your business slowly while you work and then switch over to being a full time entrepreneur when your side business income starts to make almost as much as your full time income.

Many people make the mistake of quitting their jobs to start a business too quickly, but slow and steady wins the race. Some businesses take a lot longer to start and grow while others might start making money right away.

Talk to Others In Your Field

It’s important to talk to other business owners who work in the field you want to get into. Don’t approach them as a competitor who wants to take their customers away. Instead, simply try to get a feel for what their life is like. For example, if they run a photo booth business for weddings, ask them questions about their start up costs, time commitment, and profits. Try to let their answers help you decide if you want to break into a similar industry.

Ultimately, starting a business is an incredibly rewarding experience. I started my business with only a $10 URL and was able to become a full time entrepreneur after four years of building my business on the side. Entrepreneurship is definitely not a get rich quick scheme or an easy path, but if you take your time to figure out what the best business is for you and how much money and time you will need to devote to it, you’ll be well on your way to having the life of a business owner you’ve always dreamed of.

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Financial Writer and Blogger
Catherine Collins Alford is a nationally recognized author of the book Mom’s Got Money, an award-winning freelance writer, and the co-founder of

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