For decades, the idea of building a career predominantly from the role of an employee has been the norm for most industries. We would advance through promotions, increased salaries, and other forms of recognition, but innovation was rarely part of the equation. Today, on the other hand, the idea of starting your own business or joining an existing one in the role of a leader has become a more prevalent opportunity. In fact, more people are switching from their nine-to-five to the entrepreneurial, startup, and franchising realms every day.
Then again, this is not a change one should or can make lightly. There are many different factors you need to consider before you take the leap. For starters, the following criteria are vital in your selection process, and you can use this list to start your new business venture and make sure you’re on the right track!
Evaluate your passions and skills
Although we all know that choosing a business starts with assessing how lucrative it may be to secure your financial stability and future, passion still matters. After all, you’ll be the one hiring others and convincing them they can grow professionally under your wing, and selling a product or service you need to believe in so that others can, too. Once you determine the industry and the market that are of genuine interest to you, you can move on to assess your skill-base.
Do you have the necessary knowledge, training, and preferably experience to meet the needs of that growing market? If you’d like to build your own fitness brand, having the right certification will boost your credibility and let you build a base of satisfied customers from day one. If you don’t have the skills and education needed to succeed, you can do some research to find out what kind of an investment would be needed to earn the market’s trust.
Opt for the right structure
As the business world expands every day, every little detail of your journey will make a difference in how successful you become. To that end, evaluating different ways in which you can enter an exiting market can help improve your chances of success while mitigating the risk of failure. As an example, the startup world is on the rise, but the idea of building something innovative from the ground up is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Other options such as owning a franchise help you work with a known brand in a well-developed market, and grow a business that has a proven track record. Add to that, you’ll have the benefit of ongoing support from the parent brand, training for your position, and an existing strategy that is specific to the industry in question. Some thrive as startup owners, while others flourish when they join a franchise – but it’s vital to know the perks of both before you make up your mind.
Know your market
Even after you’ve narrowed down your options when it comes to your interests, skills, as well as the best business structure, you need to brush up on your knowledge before you jump in. Knowing your target audience, your market, as well as your competitors, makes all the difference in whether or not your own business stands a chance to succeed. For starters, can your particular business offer an innovative solution to an existing problem? What would be your value proposition compared to that of your competitors?
If there’s a gap in the market that you can fill, this is a perfect opportunity to start defining your company and your approach. If there are too many competitors with plenty of loyal customers, can you find an “edge” to set you apart? Finally, you need to keep track of new trends that alter each market, so that you can build up your credibility as a trustworthy business in your niche. If you don’t have the interest or the means to learn all there is to know about car maintenance, then perhaps this is not the best line of business for you.
Mix and match with your current occupation
In case your current career is lucrative and rewarding, but you still have the desire to move forward with your own idea, why not try and manage both? This may slow down your initial progress, but you can use this time to get to know your target customers, the market itself, and to evaluate if you’re up to the task of being a business owner. All the while, you’ll maintain a steady salary and at the very least build a side business that can turn into an equally profitable opportunity.
With today’s technology, we often don’t have to choose a single option. We have the luxury to try different careers while we refine our own original ideas and see if there’s a need for them today. It may require you to adapt your lifestyle, but perhaps starting small is better than making a major life change for your situation.
The beauty of our world is that we no longer have to stay in the cubicle, or confined to a single career for which we’ve educated ourselves. We can attain knowledge online, experience outside of our formal education and ultimately make a difference in the world through innovation. Whatever your professional path may be, you need to choose your business wisely by taking all of these factors into account.