Figuring out what business to start can be a pretty big first hurdle to tackle if you would like to turn your career path around. Many of us are attracted to the world of social entrepreneurship, because it can mean changing the world, making an impact on our community, and making a profit, all at the same time. However, figuring out what business is needed, and what you will want to do every day is a pretty big hoop to jump through. There are some things that you can think about when trying to answer these questions.
• Your natural skills. Are you a leader? Are you creative? Do you have an interest in local issues? Figure out what are your personal strengths that can be fostered in your new business. If you start your own business you want to make sure that it is something that you really want to wake up and do. Don’t create a new career for yourself that you end up hating.
• Your untapped skills. You might be creative but not know it. There are some skills that can be nurtured through business development or leadership workshops and courses. This can take advantage of skills you didn’t even know you had.
• Talk to local business leaders. Approach your local Chamber of Commerce or business group, and ask them what they wished existed on a local level to help their business run better. They could need a specific part, or even a specific business service. If one business needs it, the chances that another business needs it is probably pretty high.
• The skills of a local workforce. If you are considering a new business that will end up scaling into a much larger business, you don’t want to have to train an entire new workforce. Look at the local community around you. Is it a traditional manufacturing center with people skilled in making furniture or textiles? Are they farmers? Are they skilled in using computers? Knowing this in advance will keep you from having to provide unnecessary training to people unfamiliar with the basics of your new industry.
• Learn how to write a business plan. Even if you don’t have your idea in stone, you can still write a business plan for an imaginary business. Many local colleges offer workshops in developing a business plan. Once you have figured out what type of business to start, you won’t be delayed by figuring out how to write a business plan. It can give you a head start when it comes to actually getting your business off the ground, and provide practical insights as to whether your idea will work in the real world.
Once you have your idea, the only thing holding you back will be you, so make sure that you believe in your mission.
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