By Stuart Skorman
During my career, I’ve started four intentional businesses and a couple of unintentional ones. Through it all, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to pick a winner.
Here is some food for thought:
Base your decision on logic, not emotion. Many people let feelings and passion steer them toward a business, but don’t let your heart call the shots. Starting a business is a logical decision.
Stay focused on the important questions: Who are you? Where do you fit? Who are your competitors? Stick with the familiar. Choose something that feels comfort able. Pick something else if it doesn’t feel like a natural fit for your skills and personality.
Prioritize fun. If you don’t enjoy your work, you won’t succeed. Look for a business with the potential to be deeply satisfying. You are about to dedicate your life to this business, so it better be something you love. If your customers see you having fun, they’ll keep coming back.
Choose a business within your grasp. The desire to create your ultimate dream business right away is tempting, but you need to start small. Think of your first business as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things.
Enter an established field. If your business idea is 100 percent original, there is a reason that no one else is doing it. Look around at what other businesspeople are doing. What works for them, and what doesn’t? Both mistakes and innovations are best learned by watching others make them first.
Know your risk tolerance. Make sure you pick a level of risk that is appropriate for you. Various businesses have different levels of risk. For instance, a franchise can be very low risk because everything has been worked out. Creating a new business model, however, is extremely risky. How much risk can you accept and still sleep well at night?
Focus on short-term goals. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Forget about designing a business for the next decade; instead, prepare it for the next year. If you’re already envisioning your business as a successful national chain, take a big step back.
How will you get there? How does the business ramp? How will you get through all the early hurdles to establish yourself? The small bumps, in the beginning, are usually more treacherous than the enormous obstacles down the road.
Source: Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur
by Stuart Skorman
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