What’s a good business to put up today?
I’ve been asked this question so many times and I have always answered the same way, “It all depends on what you are passionate about and what you believe you can do.”
After that, I would often see disappointed faces who were expecting a more concrete answer from me.
I couldn’t blame them, their entrepreneurial spirit is still young. It needs nurturing so that it can grow to its full potential.
“Are you really sure you want to put up a business? We can talk more and I’ll help you discover the right business for you,” I’d immediately follow and their disappointment soon turns into excitement.
If you are hoping to start your own business, then be sure that you are prepared to start and see the venture through the end. Building a business is not a leisure walk in the park. Yes, it is exciting and inspiring but it will require discipline and commitment to succeed. So before starting anything, make time for some reflection and think things through.
Are you ready to be an entrepreneur? If your answer is yes, then your next step is to look for that winning business idea.
Do you have any special talents? What are your hobbies? What are you passionate about? Sometimes, we don’t have to look far to discover the right business for us. Evaluate your skills and interests and see if there’s a way to make money from it.
Many successful restaurants, such as Cafe Ysabel, were started by chefs or by people who simply loved cooking. Do you like meeting people and attending parties? Then start a PR firm or an events management company. I know someone who put up a coffee shop because he likes having good conversations over a cup of cappuccino. He now enjoys doing that with his regular customers.
Furthermore, you can also consider the technical skills and trainings which you have learned from your job as inspiration. Are you a customer service representative? Then start an employment recruitment agency and be a headhunter for call center agencies. A local gym in my area is owned by someone who used to work for an international fitness company as a personal trainer.
Think of what you love to do and start from there. Entering a business which you are passionate about ensures that you will have the enthusiasm and determination to make it work.
Setting ourselves to an idea hunt will make us more susceptible to concepts with strong earning potential. Take on an investigative mind and identify current market trends and fads which you can adopt into a business.
Read the newspaper and buy a few magazines about entrepreneurship to get an update on profitable industries to invest in. Try to learn what’s currently in demand in other cities or other countries and see if you can bring that business to your local market. I advise that you investigate in your own niche and industry first so that you can likewise set up for possible innovations.
Stylish underwear was not something that Filipinos seriously thought about in the early 1990’s. Although back then, Calvin Klein is already making it’s mark as the leading brand for men’s undergarment fashion. This trend slowly caught up in the Philippines but only the upper class could afford such expensive brands.
Local clothing company, Bench saw this opportunity and created their own underwear line and marketed it to the middle class. Young urban professionals took the product and this became another landmark in the business success of that company.
Joining a business bandwagon is not a bad idea either. Study the market and look for products and services experiencing sudden but sustained increase in demand. Pinoys witnessed the rapid popularity of Zagu during the turn of the recent century. Not long after, numerous pearl shake stores came out left and right and tried to earn profits from the consumers’ unquenchable thirst for this beverage trend.
If you decide to venture into this type of business opportunity, be sure to act fast so as to maximize your income. More importantly, draft the future action plans of your business so that you won’t be left with losses when the fad runs out of fuel.
Aside from trends, you could also invest in established niches and industries with a track record of profitability. The food business is one of the best examples because it caters to a basic human need. This is the reason why lechon manok or roasted chicken stores continually flourish in the country. It’s general appeal has been inculcated in the Filipino food culture and remains as one of the most appetizing cuisines at the dinner table.
Venturing into this type of business can be difficult because you will be competing with more established companies with an ingrained customer loyalty. One way to solve this problem is to consider acquiring a franchise of these businesses and laying your foundation in an area not yet reached or fully penetrated by the brand.
I was inclined to say Invent as the last way to find a good business idea but I changed my mind and settled with Innovate. While it is true that pioneering minds led to the formation of many great companies such as Ford, GE and IBM, I believe that we have surpassed the period of invention and is now living in an era of innovation.
Most, if not all, of the products and services that come out nowadays are improvements of the original version or an integration of several old concepts. Fostering an innovative mind starts with opening your eyes to what’s around us and allowing ourselves to think different.
Look in your periphery and search for things that you can remodel or reinvent. Start by being critical to the products and services which you frequently avail and ask yourself, “If given a chance to innovate, what would I do to improve and add more value to this?”
My favorite example to this technique is Ice Monster. Their slogan claims that it’s a new way of eating ice – and if you look at their products, the concept is really nothing new. The Snow Cone was invented in 1920 and it became a big hit. Ice Monster just innovated on the idea and instead of the brightly colored sugary syrup, they used real fruits to top their finely shaved ice.
So what’s a good business to put up today?
The best answer lies in integrating the basic principles discussed in this article.
Introspect or find your passion, then investigate and look around for ideas and opportunities that goes in line with your interests. Consider the needs of the people; an entrepreneur is a problem solver. Create a business that will fulfill a desire.
Once you have decided on your niche, study and learn from similar businesses and see if you can imitate their success. Lastly, remember to offer something new to your target market by innovating, offering fresh ideas and giving value-added experiences to your consumers.
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Neumeyer, Kathryn. “Associated Content: Calvin Klein: A Fashion Talent Native To New York”. December 1, 2005
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. “Snow Cone“. February 18, 2008
Photos courtesy of ~ a r u n and Still Life With Roses