Is it dumb to set up a niche business now?

Dear Aunty B,


I have identified a niche in the takeaway food business market and am contemplating setting up my own small business. The business requires a minor injection of capital to set up but will, I hope, have limited overheads. I am 26 and have a full time position in a professional services firm.


My questions are:

  • Is it foolish to contemplate setting up a small business in the current economic climate?
  • Is it even more foolish to contemplate setting up a small business in an area in which I do not have industry experience?
  • From what you know of setting up small businesses, would I have to leave my current employment to get it up and running?
  • Given my circumstances, would I be better off developing my idea as a proposal to pitch to someone else (with a view to my holding a minor share in the business)? Do you have any tips on how to do this?
  • Are there any books or other resources which you would recommend I consult?


Niche idea but nix know-how!



Dear Nix Know-how,

Of course it isn’t foolish setting up a business in this environment. In my opinion there could not be a better time! All your competitors are cutting back on staff, marketing and service as they battle the downturn in dollars, they won’t be innovating. They won’t have the energy to delight the customer. So that would not stop you.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have industry experience. But do you have passion for the industry and your idea? If you have neither, forget it. You won’t succeed. With one, you have an OK chance. With both, your prospects are great.

You can do a lot of work on the business before you leave. In fact don’t leave until you are sure it will work. However you can’t run a business like this with a day job.

Why on earth would you pitch the idea to someone else? No one is going to pay for your idea. People have hundreds of ideas at the pub every night across Australia. It is the doing that creates the value.

Go and get hold of “The Knack: How street smart entrepreneurs learn to handle whatever comes up” by Norm Brodsky. At least you will know what you are in for.

And one more thing. Here is my wish for takeaway food. A largish café which has “home-cooked” meals at reasonable prices that are tasty and spicy (no shepherd’s pie) and with car spaces right outside so I never have to cook again.


Good luck!

Your Aunty B.

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

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