3 Ways to Determine the Type of Business You Should Start

Many people dream of starting their own business, and for good reason.  There are several advantages to being an entrepreneur. A few perks include freedom to determine your own schedule, unlimited income potential, and being your own boss.  However, many people have a difficult time deciding what type of business they’d like to start.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share three tips for deciding on a business idea.

Your Personality

There are several personality assessments out there to choose from.  A few of my favorites are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Gallup Strengthsfinder.  Once you know your Myers-Briggs personality type, you can conduct research online about ideal careers or business ideas that suit you.  There are plenty of resources out there, simply do a Google search with your four letter personality code (i.e. “ENFP business ideas”).  The MBTI typically costs $49-$100 USD to complete with a certified professional.   There are plenty of free tests on the internet that use similar typology to MBTI, but please be advised that most of these tests are not as accurate as the real thing.

In addition to the MBTI, the Gallup Strengthsfinder is an excellent tool.  According to Gallup, there are 34 different strength themes, and the Strengthsfinder tells you your top five. Your test results will also include a detailed personalized insights report on how you utilize your strengths.  The test costs $10.00 USD and is well worth the investment.   Once you know your top 5 strengths, you can tailor a business enterprise around them.  

Your Hobbies

What activities could you spend hours doing for free?  What are you passionate about?  Your hobbies are a great starting point for a business idea.   Maybe you’re an accountant who has a passion for baking?  Or maybe you work in marketing, but your true passion is yoga and fitness.  All hobbies can be monetized as a product, a service, or by teaching/consulting. It’s just a matter of determining which approach works best for you.  For example, the accountant who loves baking could sell baked goods (product), teach baking classes (teaching), cater events (service), or start a baking recipe blog (consulting/subject matter expertise).   The approach she chooses is completely up to her.   Thinking about how your talents can be monetized is a great way to discover a business idea.


Do Something That Has Already Been Done

Coming up with a unique business idea is sexy, but many successful entrepreneurs simply replicate an existing business model.   Maybe you enjoy your current job, but would like to step out and do it on your own?   Maybe you love your local coffee shop, but can think of ways to improve the customer experience?  The advantage of replicating an existing business model is that 1) you already know a market exists, and 2) you can study competitors and improve on their existing model.    In addition to replicating an existing business, you could also buy a franchise.  Franchises can be expensive to purchase, but the advantages that come along with buying into an established brand with an established system are worth the investment.   

Deciding on a business idea can be a daunting task, but using one (or all three) of these approaches can simplify the process and get you on the road to entrepreneurship!