5 Steps to Choosing the Best Business Idea

Category: Entrepreneur

5 Steps to Choosing the Best Business Idea


Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors of ice cream, and trying to decide between mint chocolate chip and rocky road can be tough. Now take that feeling and multiply it by 4,000. That’s what choosing a business idea can feel like.

More than 4,000 businesses offer franchise opportunities in the U.S. The International Franchise Association estimates that about 26,000 new franchises opened their doors in 2021. And that doesn’t even consider all of the non-franchise small business opportunities that are out there.

With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fall victim to analysis paralysis. You keep digging around, keep researching, and move no closer to actually starting a business and changing your life.

Because what if you choose the wrong one?


5 Steps to Choosing the Right Business Idea

If deciding which business idea to go with feels a little – or more than a little – overwhelming, take it one step at a time.

  1. Come up with a plan. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and jot down a list of your favorite business ideas. Whether it’s a simple notion like a hot dog cart or a complex idea like a hot dog factory, write it down. At this stage, you have only two criteria: Does it interest me? Can I see myself running it?

  2. Weigh the pros and cons. Take a Goldilocks approach and immediately eliminate ideas that are “too much” or “too little.”

    Research the ideas that are left. Is there a market for this kind of business? How competitive is that market? What kind of capital will you need – real estate, inventory, personnel? How risky is the business, and is it a level of risk you’re willing to take on? What kind of profit can you realistically expect, and will that amount support the lifestyle you want to live?

    This exercise can help you narrow down your long list of business ideas to those that are the most plausible and have the best chance for success.

  3. Ask your community. Once you have a short list of ideas, bounce them off your most trusted and respected confidantes. Ask for honest opinions, and try to keep an open mind. Listen to the questions and concerns they have and consider whether those concerns are valid.

  4. Get expert advice. Ask a consultant what they think. Franchise consultants have a deep understanding of the marketplace and can offer insight on an idea’s potential you’ll never get from a Google search. They’re on top of current trends and forecasts and can steer you away from fading fads and towards business ideas poised to take off.

    Your consultant has the statistics, analysis, and expertise to match you with the business idea that can give you the life you want. They may even have the inside track on a perfect idea you never considered.

    When you’re down to your top two or three finalists, your consultant can walk you through making a final decision you feel good about. They can also help you prepare a road map of what’s next.

  5. Put your plan into action. Now that you have chosen a business idea, it’s time to take the next step, whether it’s buying into a franchise, purchasing a storefront, or taking out a loan. Your consultant is a critical partner at this step, protecting you from signing contracts or finance agreements you don’t fully understand.


Now take your passion and make it happen. Change your title from “employee” to “entrepreneur” and step into your bright new future.

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