R&R Focus: What Business Should You Start?

Starting my own business has always been a dream of mine. I've always had a creative, entrepreneurial flair to my personality and I've always been intrigued and amazed by companies like Carol's Daughter that go from a dream that someone starts in their living room or dining room to a multi-million dollar and multi-faceted enterprise. Figuring out what you have to offer and what you can be passionate about enough to make it profitable is half the battle, but this self search and reflection is the foundation that will determine if your endeavor is destined to be the next iconic brand or the next dream deferred. Since I'm starting this process myself I'll share what I've already learned. Make A List Of All The Skills You Have

Whether you got these skills through a degree program, from jobs during high school and/or college, or from a hobby that you enjoy, these are all skills that can be translated into some form of marketable product or service. Try to solve people's problems. There is a whole market of products for curly, Tracee Ellis Ross type hair because of entrepreneurs like Shelly Davis, creator of Kinky-Curly products, who experienced problems with finding the right products for their hair and thus launched their own line. Many times if you are wondering about something then there is someone else ( or even a lot of people) who are wondering the same thing. Use the list you've made to come up with a second list of services and/or products that directly involve your talents. Hobbies Can Turn Into Careers

One thing that I realized about starting a business from the beginning is that if you are going to devote the time, money, and energy to something as taxing as starting a business, it better be something that you can draw enough passion for to take you through the tough and not so fun times ( like sorting out tax and legal issues for your business to be legit). Many people overlook their hobbies as potential businesses, but they are a great place to start when you don't know what type of business you want to get involved in. Do you like to dance? Maybe you can start a dance company. Like to do people's makeup? Look into what it takes to have a professional makeup artist studio or even start your own cosmetic line. If you think hard enough, some things that you may consider to be far fetched dreams can be harnessed into practical and lucrative small businesses.

Research Your Dream Job

I think the key to any start up is doing lots and lots of research. I've got a copy of Black Enterprise Guide To Start Your Own Business that I've got to dig up that's pretty much a starter course on getting a start up started. All of this research is going to make it very easy to write your business plan and you'll be surprised at how much it takes to legally run and operate even a business that you think would be simple.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. And even though you are going out on your own, keep your networks from any jobs you've held in the past tight. They could serve as mentors during this process or they may have some resources that could help you as you transition from employee to (one day) CEO!