Most people go about answering this question in a backwards fashion. Their inclination is to think about the product or service that the business will offer first. Another popular approach is to consider unmet needs in the marketplace that they could address with a new business. Both of these are logical approaches, but unless you want your life to revolve around your business, it is far better to consider your lifestyle objectives first. The greatest thing about starting your own business is that you can structure your lifestyle according to your own preferences instead of someone else’s.
Each type of business will have specific implications on your day to day life. Owning a restaurant for instance will give you a very different work week than owning a business consulting firm or a cleaning service. If you really enjoy playing golf, you may think owning a golf store would be ideal, but a retail store owner’s work schedule may not be conducive to playing much golf. Your town may be in need of a bagel shop and that type of business could do well, but do you want to get up at 4 am every day? These tend to be the things that will make or break a business for the owner. In order to most effectively choose which business is right for you, it is useful to explore why you want your own business.
What are your motivating factors and what do you wish to accomplish through business ownership?
• Is your goal to make more money?
• Are you trying to have better control of your time?
• Are you looking to achieve a better life work balance?
• Do you wish to pursue a particular passion?
• Are you trying to build something that will accumulate equity or just generate a paycheck?
The next step is to determine how you want your work life to flow. Consider things such as when, where and how much you want to work. Then consider what environment will suit you best (i.e., retail, office, industrial, mobile or home based). Once these considerations are identified, then you can determine which business model will support the type of lifestyle you desire. If your first consideration is about the product or service you will offer, then you may need to structure your life to accommodate the business instead of creating a business that gives you access to the life you want.
About the Author
Dan Brunell is President of Dearborn West, LLC, a national consulting firm providing franchisee and distributor recruiting services to hundreds of leading companies worldwide. In addition to matching entrepreneurs with franchises, distributorships and licensed business opportunities, Dan also serves as a training consultant and mentor for new franchisee recruiters.
He can be reached at 951-587-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.