What is a good business to own

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Do you know what is a good business to own before heading out on your own?

Small businesses continue to lead the way in our country, with growth rates far exceeding that of medium or large sized-companies. 

If you're thinking of taking the plunge into a business of your own, you might be wondering what is a good business to own. And the answer is ... it depends!  

No matter what the economy, there is no one-size fits all answer for choosing the perfect business to start. Fortunately, there are some tips you can use to narrow down your search. 

Look at the fastest growing small business in the U.S.

According to Inc. Magazine, some of the fastest growing business for 2012 include candy and other sweets, liquor, software-as-service, home health care, yoga and related products, and green construction. 

Check out a few lists of the top growing businesses nationally and in your area, and see if something there fits in with your experience and interests.

Your expertise

And speaking of experience and interests, finding your passion is also an important place to start your search for the right business to own. 

My dad once told me that if you love what you do, you will never feel like you're going to work. That's wise advice for job hunting ... and for finding the right kind of business to own. 
Think about what you most love to do. Whether it's gardening or repairing old furniture or writing stories, try to think of ways to turn that passion into a business. 

If you have years of experience working for other people, think of how you can translate work history that into a business of your own. Did you help with the record-keeping at work?  Maybe you could offer that service to small businesses.  If you helped with the baking at a restaurant or in the military, maybe a bakery of your own is a possibility. 

Your experience might not even be direct. Someone who worked in a department store might translate that into service as a fashion coordinator for new graduates or women returning to the workforce.  

Look at the competition

Even if your ideal product or service is on a list of fastest growing businesses, or it's something you've always wanted to do, you need to take a good look at the competition. 

If you want to open a candy store, do your homework and find out where other candy stores are located nearby. Check to see if other businesses also offer that same products, even if it's not their specialty. 

If there is competition, investigate whether there is a significant way to differentiate your offerings from the others. For instance, if bakeries are in abundance, perhaps yours could specialize in vegan or gluten-free baked goods. Or your clothing store could target a different age group, or a unique trend in style. 

Assess the demand

Even the best business, offering the finest products or services won't succeed if the demand isn't there. 

When you're excited about starting that new restaurant or opening the most beautiful candle shop, you must spend time looking at the demand for your product. Sometimes, it's all about the specific location, and a simple change in where to open in town can make all the difference. Other times, there's just not enough demand in your city or region, even if the same business is thriving in other parts of the country. 

Be realistic about costs and potential income

Most small businesses spend the first year or two in the red. And start-up costs for some businesses can be very high. 

Before you commit to opening your new business, make sure you have the capital to pay for equipment, licensing, construction and of course, inventory. And be sure you have the money to survive while the business grows. 

Don't rush

Starting your own business might be the perfect step for you. But take your time and get everything in order before you sign that lease or order those products.  Carefully deciding what is the right business to own for you, and what you need to succeed will help you have a company you can be proud of for years to come.

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