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Select the Right Small Business for You

by Cindy Venckus

Current statistics suggest that small businesses play a major role in the U.S. economy. An article written in Forbes, by Jason Nazar states that small businesses have generated more than 65% of the new jobs created in the U.S. since 1996, and it appears the growth of small business will continue to progress in 2015. According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of businesses without paid employees in the U.S. reached 22.7 million in 2012 marking the third straight annual increase in non-employer businesses.

Entrepreneurs are starting successful small businesses all over the country.

Are you one of the many people interested in starting your own small business and looking for the right opportunity to fit your talents and interests? The secret to small business success is realizing something you are passionate about and using your talents and skills to turn your passion into a paycheck. Follow these steps to start a small business that is right for you.

1. Determine your passion.
Your passion can also be considered a hobby. It is something you willingly spend your free-time doing. Maybe you are passionate about decorating, computers, or food. Your passion could be reading, creating fun activities for children, or planning parties. Each of these activities can be turned into small business opportunities.

2. Consider your talents.
Your talents are the things you are inherently good at, things that come naturally. Maybe you are organized, creative, or a good communicator. Other examples of talents are self-motivation, public speaking, and critical thinking. Are your friends always picking your brain for decorating ideas or advice on landscaping even though you have never taken a class in interior or landscape design? You could be very talented at something without any formal training.

3. Assess your skills.
Your skills are your learned ability as a result of study, effort or training. You are born with talents but skills are developed over time as you study and acquire knowledge. For example, a creative person may use their talents to learn culinary arts, lesson plan design, or website development.

4. Pull it all together.
Make three separate lists of your passions, talents, and skills and use the lists to generate business ideas.

5. Ask yourself these important questions to determine which idea has the best chance for success.

Is there a need for my business idea?
Do people want or need your product or service? Is your business idea answering a need or want in your community?

How much would people pay for my product or service?
If your service is to teach cooking classes and the cost of the food is $30 per person, how much do you need to charge for the class to reach your financial goals? Are students willing to pay that amount for your class?Along the same lines, if you are making widgets that cost $1 to produce, how many widgets do you need to sell and for how much to make your desired income? Write a business plan to help you answer this question. You can find lots of information online on how to write a business plan and business plan outlines.

Can I make my desired income from my business of choice?
The answer to this question will vary depending on your financial situation and your reason for starting the business. Maybe you are starting the business to fulfill a need in your community and only care to cover your expenses. Maybe you are interested in working part-time and contributing to your family income. Or, maybe you are planning on running your business as your sole source of income and you need to earn a specific amount to make ends meet. What is your purpose for starting your own business and how do you visualize success?

Starting your own small business can be personally and financially rewarding

if you follow your passion and utilize your talents and skills to create a business idea that is sure to succeed. Ask yourself if there is a need for your business and research the profitability of your business idea by writing a business plan. Finally, determine your purpose for starting your own business and how you visualize success. Follow these simple steps and you are on your way to owning the small business you have always dreamed of.

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