With the explosion of the internet in the last decade, came business after business and new industry after industry. Solely due to this fact, business competition has gotten more and more fierce and, subsequently every industry vertical has gotten more and more crowded. Therefore, as an aspiring entrepreneur, the odds of you finding an industry to enter that has little competition and is not overcrowded is almost nil.
There are exceptions, but unless you have millions of dollars backing you and you’re into some sort of manufacturing business, there prove to be very few circumstances that almost no competition will exist in the business you are contemplating moving forward with. Instead of fearing the competition, embrace them and understand that there is room for you to compete.
Where to Look For Ideas
To find the best resource for a multitude of well thought out ideas, you’re going to have to get off of the couch, get away from the internet and visit your local bookstore for hours upon hours. Finding the right ideas to short-list takes a lot of studying. This is true even if you are almost 100% sure about what you want to do as you’ll be surprised what you find at the local Barnes and Noble.
Why can’t you just use the internet to look for ideas?
The problem with using the internet as a reliable source is that you don’t really know the person who is giving you advice. This is not to say that you “know” the author of the book that you are going to begin reading, but since a publisher vouched for the individual, your odds of getting good information are a lot higher.
Also, a book store is a great way to get away from the negative views on entrepreneurship written and constantly coming up on blogs from those who have failed and like to point fingers when they should be looking at themselves.
As an aspiring business owner, find a quiet corner at the bookstore and begin reading just like they did in the old days – from a book.
Reseller, Franchise, New Business – Product or Service Based?
Regardless of start-up funds (most people reading this won’t have franchise as an option due to high start-up costs), I highly recommend that you don’t resell a software or some form of insurance. Especially don’t sell a tangible product as your initial costs will skyrocket as you will soon find that factoring in manufacturing, procurement, shipping, warehouse and a slew of other costs will be thrown in your direction.
Instead, find a service-oriented business to start. Service oriented business, to begin, are cheaper and you can be more flexible with your offerings. If you start selling a product and find out you were wrong about the market, you are in for big financial loss and almost immediate bankruptcy. Service based business are flexible and can easily adapt to the market.
What Type of Service Should You Offer?
Choosing this facet of the entrepreneurial set-up is obviously the most important. At first, your list of potential services to provide to the open market should be broad in nature such as do you want to provide accounting services or do you want to help organizations sell? To chose your vertical effectively, make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Are you good at accounting? Are you a people person? What are you going to enjoy the most? Then, once you have formulated a short-list, you have to ask yourself the following questions to truly narrow your decision down:
1. Ask Yourself. What makes you an authority in your field? Why should people buy from you?
With all the competition out there, why are firms or individuals going to use you? How do they know that you truly know what you are talking about? This should narrow down the list of potential businesses you are currently considering significantly. If you are unsure as to your expertise, practice writing a 4 sentence bio that includes your qualifications and see how the writings come across. Don’t be afraid to show this description to a multitude of people.
Of all the qualifications you wrote up for all the businesses you have listed, which one lends itself to a possible client accepting the fact that you understand your business and, thus can take care of their needs.
Even though you are getting other opinions as to which industry you seem to be the most marketable in, when all is said and done always remember that your opinion is boss. Either way, you should consistently be working on your credibility throughout your career.
2. Do research on your perceived competitors in each field.
This is where many people fall short and make the wrong decision as to what type of business to get involved in. The reason why is that they do competitive analysis on the major players in the field instead of the smaller competition that they are going to be directly going against.
After finding and researching the small guys in the industry, choose the business idea that you feel that you can get a quick competitive advantage in. Just like a football coach, find holes in the opposing defensive line and exploit them. Chose the industry with the most Detroit Lions not New England Patriots.
3. Get to Work
You now have your business idea. Take the idea and run with it. Formulate your game plan and use every business tool that you have, work hard, enjoy yourself and, most importantly execute.
|Ken Sundheim runs KAS Placement, an executive search firm with multiple divisions:|