How to Choose a Profitable Business

Want to start a business, but don’t know which one will be profitable? Choosing a business isn’t a quick and easy process. Consider this advice when making your decision.

Dear Janet,

I’m a single young mother and I’ve just relocated to another town to help out with health care of my goddaughter. I need to know what home-based biz will be the most profitable.

–Ms. Indiana


Dear Ms. Indiana,

A business isn’t something you can choose off the shelf like a can of beans. The most profitable business for you to start won’t be what someone else tells you will produce a lot of income. To be successful – and profitable – a business has to be something that matches up with your abilities, interests, skills, lifestyle, time available to work, personal contacts, ability to find new customers and the money you have available to launch the business. 

Many people build successful businesses by doing the same kind of work they did as an employee. For instance, people who work as artists often start their own graphic design firms. Writers sometimes start newsletter businesses or other businesses in the communications field. Corporate software developers start their own businesses as computer consultants or programmers. Some people get their start by turning former employers into customers. 

Others start successful businesses by turning hobbies into income-producing ventures. And sometimes people teach themselves new skills and then launch successful businesses based on those skills. 

Your best bet for finding the right business is to do a self-assessment. List all the things you know how to do and like to do. Consider ways that each can be turned into money. Then consider who would buy each of the things you might possibly sell and what you’d have to do to find those people to buy your product or service.

Look for matches. Is there anything on your list of skills and interests that ranks high as far as the number of people who need that item or service? If so, do you know how to reach those people? And would you have enough money to launch the business and wait for a few months to get back your costs if you start to be successful? 

The more “yes” answers you can honestly give to any business idea, the more profitable it is likely to be for you. 

Good luck!

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