Business Startup Ideas: Can You Combine What You Know and What You Love?

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With a whole universe of business startup ideas to choose from, which one is right for you? We suggest that you do what you know and/or do what you love. Doing what you know gives you a leg up on the competition; doing what you love, well, is doing what you love. In either case, it will be hard work. Don’t believe what you hear that if you do what you love you will never have to work another day. To drive a business to success and profitability and keep it there year in and year out is work, hard work, plain and simple!

Business Startup Ideas

To fully develop your business startup ideas, begin by creating two lists. List A are things you know really well and List B are things that you love to do. Try to come up with 20 concepts for each and look closely for connections between the two lists. That is, start a business that combines your expertise and your love offers you a great chance to succeed and be happy.

For example, if you have been teaching Chemistry 101 for the past 15 years, your areas of expertise might include high school teaching, student counseling, student tutoring and, chemistry. The things you love could encompass 100 different pursuits but let’s narrow them down for argument's sake to hiking and backpacking--those are your passions!

In the case of what you know well and what you love, there are obvious overlaps and connections. These could be developed into the best business startup ideas for you. You could start a business where you take students out into the wilderness for a week or two at a time and teach them what they need to know about surviving in the wild, backpacking, camping and self reliance. It is a business you could run seasonally in North America or all year around if you wanted to travel to other continents. Or you could market the business online in the winter with great photos and expert articles and undertake the business in the spring, summer and autumn.

Another example of expertise and love of something would be a person who has worked for a golf equipment manufacturer for a number of years and knows all there is to know about the sport from an equipment perspective. Oh yes, and by the way, the person loves to play the game!

This presents a variety of options that the typical new small business startup actually faces. That is, you love golf and want to start a business in the sport, but where do you jump in to the distribution chain? Do you want to open a pro shop and sell golf equipment at retail? Do you want to get in at the distribution level? Do you want to get in at the manufacturing level? Perhaps you do not want to handle equipment but rather perform a service? Are you good enough to teach the sport? Perhaps you want to combine golf with another love and set up tours to golf courses around the world! On those courses, you would get to play golf, teach the sport and travel to distant lands all while making money!

Where are you comfortable jumping into the distribution chain, if you will handle product? If you open a shop, you or someone you are paying has to be there most of the time to serve customers. There is a lot more to handling a retail business than knowing the product you are selling; you need to know, appreciate and understand retail…a business of great challenge. If you are uncomfortable jumping into retail alone, perhaps you might consider a franchise business where you are taught virtually everything you need to know to be successful. Another alternative is to find someone who is an expert at retail to partner with you. That way, you both bring different expertise into the business—you are product smart and he is retail brilliant.

If you want to handle golf at a retail level but do not want the hassle of a bricks and mortar store, there is always the internet and you have a vast opportunity to set up a golf business on the web. You could sell a variety of product and with your expertise and love of the sport, you could create a host of interesting and informative articles that would bring those interested in learning about the game to your website. You might even start an "Ask the Expert" column that would become the talk of the industry.

Another level to get in at is distribution. This requires a much different knowledge base than retail and would require a much larger dollar commitment. You could also jump in at the manufacturing level. Perhaps there is an item that golfers really need but are not supplied with at this time. You could open a business supplying that item. Product manufacturing, like product distribution and selling product at retail, requires its own set of skills, finances and ways of selling it.

Once you come up with a firm concept for your business startup idea, you need to undertake a business plan and marketing plan to see how the concept will float.

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