What business to start? This is a crucial question against the backdrop of economic uncertainty. I’m going to shed light on it and offer several options depending on the size of your capital, experience, and field.
What Business to Start: Options for Newbies with No to Minimal Capital
Many people see business as running their company. Nonetheless, this concept is much broader: a business is a thing that belongs to you—in whole or in part—and brings you income. The easiest way to start your business is to turn your hobby into a career. This way, you’ll be also working online and in your free time apart from the primary job.
It’s a super popular type of online earnings when you advertise other people’s products and brands. The pros are that you don’t need immense start-up capital for a start. The cons are that you have to compete a lot harder, and it also takes time to build your audience. Becoming a successful blogger makes you be sociable, find your style, and work on your content all the time. Of course, you can get lucky, like the cat Stepan, who was reposted by Britney Spears, and this made the cat from Kharkiv a world-famous star.
Many people know how to embroider, paint pictures, make furniture for dolls, forge beautiful things, etc. But only a few turn their skills into a business. The pros are that you don’t need immense start-up capital (we’re not talking about the money you spend on buying stuff for your creativity), and there are video courses you can get online for improving your skills. By the way, you can not only create something beautiful and unique but also make video courses on how to create beautiful and unique things.
The cons are that you need to not only create but also do a promotion part: doing social media, creating a store, etc. For sure, you can sell your products on platforms, but the competition is much higher in this case. As experience shows, a business like that is focused more on foreign buyers who are ready to shell out significant amounts for hand-made items.
Digital production is a go-to way for how freelancers can make money today. Many students opt for it. The pros are that you can earn a lot from this online job. The cons are that you can’t do it without special training. For a successful journey, you want to understand how various social media work.
It’s a common way to make money: selling goods through marketplaces or your store. The idea is simple: you buy something cheaper and sell it at higher prices somewhere. The pros are that there are a lot of online webinars on how to start making money from marketplaces, and this type of business requires no special knowledge. The cons are that you want to understand how sales work. Also, you want to build a customer base and reputation.
As you can see, the above options require no immense start-up capital, which is an advantage for novice businessmen.
Your Business with Help from Outside: Launching a Franchise
A franchise is one of the most popular answers to the question, “What business to start.” You buy the right to use the name, brand, and trademark owned by a well-known company. In fact, you’ll make money using someone else’s reputation.
Franchising brings costs:
- A lump sum is a single payment for the right to use a franchise. This amount usually fluctuates within 10% of all start up costs.
- Royalties are a monthly fee for using the brand, trademark, patents, etc. It can be either a fixed amount or a percentage of turnover, or there may be no royalty at all. It all depends on the terms of your franchise program.
- An advertising fee is money that goes towards advertising. There may be options as well: from a fixed amount to none.
- Start-up capital is the money required for getting your business going: renting retail space, ordering equipment, buying goods, etc.
All in all, a franchise is, on the one hand, a pricey thing, but it’s less costly than opening your own company. The advantage of franchising is that you benefit from a brand with a good reputation, and you don’t need to spend time conducting ad campaigns, searching for suppliers, etc. Franchising enables you to get all of that.
The cons are that you have to follow the rules: from the colour scheme of your menu to suppliers and business guidelines. But the severity and list of these rules depend on your franchiser.
To my mind, the promising franchises include selling and renting out sustainable transport, operating in the food industry (restaurants and cafes, including mobile ones), and selling clothes. It’s something that will be in demand regardless of the economic and political upheavals in your country and worldwide.
Business of the Future: Start Today to Get Rich Tomorrow
Blockchains, virtual worlds, and metaverses. What seemed like science fiction in The Matrix movie will soon help you earn a stable income. Of course, without using people as batteries.
The metaverses give you a variety of options for starting your business. First and foremost, we’re talking about state-of-the-art equipment for various industries: from medicine to entertainment. Also, you can write special programs and so on.
How you can make money on the metaverses and blockchains:
- Launch a start-up that offers development services in this area. These can be hardware products, cloud services, payment systems, gaming products, etc. The pros are that you can set up an extremely successful company in the future. The cons are that developments like that require a solid capital base. It can take a long time to find an investor if you have no idea where to look for an investor and how to pitch your company the right way to those who are all set to invest in it. And while you’re looking for capital, someone else can bring your idea to life. But if you’re afraid of hardships, you shouldn’t even wonder what business to start.
- An NFT stands for a non-fungible token, i.e., a digital representation of a unique item: from your child’s picture to a president’s aphorism. If we’re talking about tokens, it’s all about blockchain technology, the one that underlies cryptocurrencies. In essence, NFTs are a way to monetize your unique content. Fans and collectors are those who mostly buy NFTs. For that reason, it’s beneficial to make a whole series of NFTs. Also, you can create a game, as digital artist Pak did. He authored The Merge, one of the most expensive NFTs, which sold for $91.8 million. The Merge consists of many items. How does it work? Once sold, NFTs turned into tokens of different sizes, which could merge with each other. The holder of the most mass gets Alpha Mass. The project is still selling its tokens. As a result, one person can get all masses within the game.
The pros are that almost anything can be turned into an NFT. Tokens bring a decent profit. There’s a lot of talk about NFTs because this type of art and earnings is super popular and is of great interest to investors. Besides, you can create NFTs on special platforms without special programming skills. The cons are that you can’t predict how people react to your artwork, plus you want to have an original idea. Also, the bad point is the high competition among developers and tokens.
What Business to Start: Opting for the Right Niche
Choosing what business to start is an all-important step. In this case, you don’t want to focus only on profit or trends. You want to listen to yourself. After all, if you don’t like your niche, even gains won’t bring you proper pleasure.
Answer these questions to find out what suits you and whether you’re ready to do your business at all.
Here’s a checklist about what business to start:
- What am I good at?
- What business/niche would I be comfortable with?
- How much capital am I willing to invest?
- Am I ready to look for investors and interact with outsiders about my business?
- How much time am I willing to spend on my business?
- What am I willing to do to set up my company?
- Am I ready to quit my job for the sake of my business?
- Am I ready for other changes for the sake of your business?
- What will I not be ready for when doing my business?
Once you’re done with finding out several niches, markets, or directions, go compare them:
- Evaluating my knowledge in this area.
- Evaluating my experience in this area.
- Evaluating my resources for starting a certain business.
- Evaluating my start-up capital for a certain business.
- Evaluating my niche: risks and prospects.
- Whether I can interest investors.
- Whether my company can grow and scale.
After you analyse everything, you can choose which business to start.
Your business isn’t only about earnings, as that’s a big responsibility. I’m responsible for hundreds of employees who work for a group of companies I co-own. For that reason, I make every decision with the utmost care. Doing business is about calculating risks and quickly responding to different situations. It’s about planning and goal setting. You must be ready for this responsibility. And if you’re ready, I wish you good luck in your business.