How to choose a business to start

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In my travels around the country this summer and fall promoting my book, I ran into a lot of people who were frustrated because they had a whole slew of ideas and could not choose which business to start.

Inspired by a great idea seeded by my members of Quickstart to Self-Employment, I shared the concept of decision criteria with them, which really helped to shake them out of paralysis.

If you are wrestling with too many different business ideas, check out my new post at American Express Open Forum for Small BusinessHow to choose a business to start.

Update: if you came here before and the link wasn’t working, it is now, thanks to @MarkWSchumann ‘s excellent Twitter consulting. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!

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8 Responses to “How to choose a business to start”

  1. Rob says:

    Hi Pam. Great article ‘How To Chose A Business To Start’. I like the idea of getting started – moving the concepts into reality. Reminds me of Innocent Drink’s advice, which goes something like: ‘whatever you’re thinking of doing… just start (start small, but start). In my experience it’s also worth incubating an idea because it will undoubtedly change huge amounts as you research and develop it. Was it Seth who said don’t fall in love with tactics and defend them to the hilt? Change the tactics and stay true to your vision. Thanks for all your great insights – I’ve been reading for a while but first time commenting! Rob

  2. Hey Pam it was a nice post. Most important it was not like those boring posts teaching you how to think or how to have a entrepreneur mindset. Having handy formulas or tables like the one you have discussed helps one to come up with the most viable solution, but I also believe though the idea is important the execution is equally important. People at times tend to think that a monkey with a cool idea will rake millions even though he doesnt understand anything about business. That’s not true.

    Finally having more ideas and not implementing even one is equal to having no ideas. At times we need to – Just Do It !
    .-= Chanda |´s last blog ..7 lessons from the companies who make 6.5 million dollars using Twitter! =-.

  3. Christina says:

    A nice read, including comment posted by Mark W Schumann. Thank for sharing your thoughts on the topic.

  4. Yes, yes, yes, what Sital said.

    A key part of this is that you will know more and more as you go along. Which means you know less and less the earlier you get in the process. Why would you want to set a long-term direction when you’re guaranteed to be the most ignorant?

    There are some career paths that require a gigantic time and money and emotional investment up front: medicine for example. You really have to commit something like ten years of your life to becoming a doctor, and if you change your mind partway through… huh. But most small business aren’t like that!

    Try, learn, repeat.
    .-= Mark W Schumann´s last blog ..Access: Why not? =-.

  5. Sital says:

    Pam, in my experience, the key to making such decisions is:

    1. Do some objective evaluation as you suggestion
    2. Listen to your gut / intuition
    3. Make a decision and just get started on a small scale with ONE idea
    (with minimal financial risk involved)

    The clarity, insights and lessons come from *getting started* rather than excessive research and evaluation. And it’s rare that the first idea is’exactly’ what you’ll do for the next 5 years. It’s just a first step.. !

  6. fas says:

    Its simple, choose what you like and there you go!
    .-= fas´s last blog ..Questions & Answers – Round 5 (Car Buying Advice) =-.

  7. You’re too kind, Pam. Good advice in the linked article though.

    Although you didn’t purport to list all possible selection criteria, I’d like to add this one: “Fails fast and cheaply.” It addresses your first point about feeling like your choice might preclude other, better choices. If your first choice fails quickly and without much loss, you’re free to try the next thing.
    .-= Mark W Schumann´s last blog ..When your C# has to be fast. =-.