Choosing your business

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Working from Home - Self Employment Step by Step

Choosing the business you’re going to start is a  matter of finding out how you can package that which you enjoy doing, what you’re good at and what you know, into something that is a viable product or service.

An effective way to start the process of choosing your business is to make lists (in a the form of a grid ) which include:

1. your strengths and weaknesses -  (in terms of skills and personality)

2. what you love doing,

3. the topics that make you excited (this should also include things that you might feel passionate about even though they're negative (such as cruelty to animals, or child abuse - anything that gets the blood circulating a little faster!)

4. the topics you know a lot about

Seeing this all written out on one sheet of paper helps in the process of bringing it all together, and helps you focus on what has been written – i.e. the “facts” about who you are, and what you enjoy doing. 

Sometimes we just don’t recognise what it is we’re good at, or we don’t even notice how our eyes start to sparkle or how animated we might become when there is a discussion about something we’re passionate about. So, if you battle with completing the grid, get people who know you involved as well.  

Even if you know exactly what it is you want to do, it’s still a good idea to do this exercise as a form of self evaluation and a way to generate new ideas.

I’ve included a sample grid below to help you give you some ideas - try and include at least five items for each heading on the grid.   

Click here to view the example grid. (A pdf document will open in a new window).

In choosing your business you have to be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. If your weakness is public speaking, you shouldn’t be thinking about starting a business that relies solely on that particular ability. Public speaking can, however, be learned, and if this particular business is something that you really want to do, then you would need to include something like joining Toastmasters within your overall plan.  What you need to do is use all the information you have about yourself realistically, i.e. would you actually join Toastmasters, or will you use it as a reason not to continue on your journey?

We'll discuss this more in our next article, which will help you transpose the grid into business ideas. 

I suggest you buy yourself a thick, hardcover, A4 book to use for everything related to this journey – it’s great to have and easy to find. A sturdy book to fill with ideas will also be the “living testament” to your journey and the decisions you make. Besides that, it’s such fun, and very rewarding to look back and see the progress you’ve made as you’ve gone along. It’s also another reinforcement of your commitment.

 Read our next article in the series: Choosing your business - transposing the grid.