I am looking for a business opportunity. Help me!


Dear Aunty B,


I was just wondering if you guys could help me decide on a business to run. I’ve wanted to run my own business for about four years now and I just can’t decide on something. Do you know of a systematic approach to deciding what would be best for me, based on my interests and the location??


Kind regards,


James Hilton






Hi James,


Boy where do I start? You must be a self-absorbed Gen Y, but why on earth would you care about location with your wireless laptop and BlackBerry? So now I have you pegged as a wealthy baby boomer who wants to buy himself some entertainment.


And can I remind you that running your own business is the great Australian fantasy, up there with writing a book and owning the biggest barbecue in the neighborhood.


Surveys show that half the population at any one time wants to rush out and hang a shingle on their door – and it’s not JUST for tax reasons.


You have a few choices here. It sounds like you really have no idea what to do so try buying yourself a job by getting a franchise. You get an established brand, supplier relationships are set up, you get some operational and marketing support and feel part of a large team.


Yes, you have to pay royalties to the franchisor, you may have to reinvest in your business when it doesn’t suit you, you have to pay a royalty to the franchisor and you don’t have total control.


Of course it also limits your expansion plans unless you buy another franchise. But if you buy a franchise you can decide on your interest and your location.


If that doesn’t suit you will have to start your own business. But you need a big idea.


How do you get the idea? Look at your past experience. What can you do better than anyone else, that the marketplace actually wants and will buy at a price that will give you a profit?


Half of the successful entrepreneurs work in a business that is their passion but half do not, which means you don’t have to be obsessed about your work to make it work (though it helps.)


When you have some ideas approach some possible mentors and run through the ideas with them. Ideally these people should have run successful businesses before and be well-connected or in involved in the industry you have chosen.


Run your ideas past any friends who are accountants, lawyers or marketers.


You could also do an entrepreneurship course at a university or join an entrepreneur’s network. Whatever you decide to do requires grunt work, research and hard networking because ultimately it will form the basis of your business and marketing plan.


Good luck!

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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