It’s simple to find an easy business to start with just a laptop and a few dollars. There is endless information available on how to start a website, build traffic, and get customers. Unfortunately, none of this matters if you can't choose the best business to start — for you and your current situation.
And yet, there are people every day wishing they could do it. Not doing it because they think they need a million dollar idea before they start. Is this you? If so, you could start with our business goal setting worksheet.
Perhaps you have an idea, but you are afraid to take action in case it’s the wrong idea and doesn’t work out. Maybe, like me, you have a notebook full of ideas. Only you don’t know which one to choose.
If you are sitting on your hands because you don’t know what business to start, let me tell you what I’ve learned.
The idea matters, but it also doesn’t matter at all.
In fact, there are some things far more important than the idea itself.
So ask the internet, “What’s the best business to start with just my laptop?” and the internet will tell you, “Dropshipping!”
But I’ll tell you to ask some better questions when looking for the best business to start – whether you want to go full-time or you're looking for side hustle ideas.
The best business idea for YOU
Intuitively, it makes sense to look outward for a great idea. Something brilliant just might fall into your lap if you’re open and aware and if you research enough.
But while you’re waiting, here is a more fundamental starting point: Look inward.
The success of your new venture depends mostly on you. On your knowledge, skills, and ability to take action.
So it makes sense to start with finding out some things about yourself before you start looking outward for a perfect idea that doesn’t fit with you and your life.
Your natural talents, specific interests, and hard-won experience are unique. Nobody else has the same combination.
You probably don’t even realize all of the assets you are starting out with.
For starters, here are some questions to think about:
- What do you like doing?
- What subjects do you know well?
- What career are you already trained for?
- What industries have you worked in?
- What personal, educational, or work-related skills have you developed in your lifetime?
Ask yourself these questions, and then ask people that know you well. It’s hard to be objective and easy to be dismissive of our attributes, so second opinions can be beneficial.
The best business idea in the hands of the wrong person is worth nothing. But when you locate the intersection where your skills, your interests, and a market opportunity overlap, you will find the best business to start.
From there, it’s up to you to stick with it, try things out, and change course as you go.
Unique business ideas: Do they matter?
I’ve just finished telling you how your best business idea will leverage the skills, knowledge, and contacts you already have. So what if that business turns out to be something that’s been done already? Should you go back to the drawing board?
If your idea is already being done, that's fine. It’s not being done by you. You can build a successful business in any market, even an already crowded one, because there are endless ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.
You could use different branding to appeal to a different customer base. You could provide faster delivery than any competitor. You could offer a unique perspective on an already well-covered topic.
Competition in your field is a sign that there is an opportunity there. An opportunity to do something better than anyone else, or different in a meaningful way.
Best business to start: Persistence and flexibility
There are lots of contradictions in business, like the idea matters but also doesn’t matter.
Here’s another one:
You have to be persistent, but also willing change course entirely.
Sometimes that means abandoning a project altogether. That’s right. Sometimes your perfect idea doesn’t work out, and you have to leave it behind.
But wait, doesn’t persistence mean never giving up?
Yes, it does. If you're in it for the long-haul, you can never give up on your overarching goal. If your life’s goal is to sell fidget spinners, you will only be able to do that as long as the current fad lasts.
So look a little deeper at what’s motivating you. Do you want to provide a certain lifestyle for your family, or earn a particular amount of money? Do you want to help others achieve something you’ve done in your own life? Do you want to create massive change?
Look at how the great business ideas you’re considering will contribute to that goal, and evaluate accordingly.
Success is about both persistence and flexibility.
If your initial business idea doesn’t work out, you have to either change direction and save it or leave it behind and start something else.
That’s why many successful entrepreneurs start one business after another – we've interviewed over 400 of them on the HTE entrepreneur podcast. A big success is usually the result of hard lessons learned, personal connections made, and opportunities created by initial failures.
The true value lies in the execution
Ideas are worthless until you do something with them.
Stop waiting for a lightning strike of inspiration, and start trying things out. The true test of value for any idea is putting it into practice and seeing if you can make it work. Stop procrastinating and create anything – just start.
Don’t wait. Get to work.