What Are the Best Small Business Opportunities?

What are the best small business opportunities? I could just throw a list of opportunities at you and tell you that I had thoroughly researched the topic and found that these, the ones I've listed for you here, are hands down the best small business opportunities out there. Some of you might say "great, I'll choose one of these". The more astute reader would be inclined to say "oh yeah, the best how, or according to who"?

No one opportunity is the best for everyone reading this. We all have our own priorities and preferences to consider. Instead of trying to give you a "top ten list" of the best small business opportunities, I would rather give you a list of criteria to consider when choosing an opportunity. That way I'm teaching you how to compare all of the possibilities you might run into instead of just pushing you in a direction that might work well for me and poorly for you.

So here's my list of "things to consider before choosing a small business opportunity":

* How Much Money Can I Make Doing This -- We all knew this one had to be here, and it really doesn't require much of an introduction. I will say that many people never get beyond this one criteria when choosing a business for themselves. Many of those people fail because of one of the other criteria on this list.

* How Long Will It Take To Start Making Money -- This is sort of a partner to the first one, but one that is often overlooked by those who are too focused on the "how much" and not enough focused on the rest of this list. If you choose the one that pays the best but you go broke while you're waiting for the torrent of money to begin, that's not such a great deal.

* How Much Money Will I Need To Spend To Get It Started -- This is another one that takes a surprising number of people by surprise. People who haven't done it before tend to think of owning a business as a purely income centric thing. Almost all business require some startup money, but the amount varies widely from one business to the next.

* What Sort Of Red Tape Is Involved -- Another one that catches many a novice entrepreneur by surprise. We live in a very heavily regulated society. Gone are the days when good intentions are the only requirement for permission. The government regulates almost everything, and business is certainly no exception. These regulations are seldom intended to be for the greater public good. Most of it is the result of corrupt politicians making life better for their business partners and the rest is primarily invented as yet another means of taxing the public. Some of the best business opportunities are ruined by excessive regulation.

* Will I Be Swamped With Paperwork -- Many small business persons fall victim to this problem. They develop a business that more or less requires several forms of record keeping and billing and bill collection and payroll and taxes of every variety. It is easy for the small business person to get swamped by all of this "busy work" and have very little time to devote to further developing their business.

* Will I Have To Deal With Employees -- Talk about red tape and paperwork! It is almost true that a small business person can never hire just one employee, because that one employee will require a whole other person just to deal with all of the overhead that having employees brings with it. Add to that things like employee turn-over and training, personnel problems like drug use and no-shows, employee theft. Many small business owners work themselves to death just to avoid all this.

* Does It Have Unrealistic Time Requirements -- If you're a late sleeper or somebody looking to improve their free time situation by starting a small business of your own, you need to thoroughly research your choices on this one. Maybe you're thinking "day trading", but you live on the West Coast. The markets open at 6:30am, and you need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed before they open. Maybe the business you were thinking of requires your presence to deal with customer orders. Will you ever allow yourself the luxury of being away from the business and missing orders?

* Does It Require Me To Be Always In One Place -- Whether your idea involves raising animals that need to be fed every day, or the use of machinery that is too large to take with you, you need to consider what kind of a toll it will take on you to be always anchored to one spot and unable to take a few days off and go somewhere.

* Can I Get Out Of The Business Easily -- People change and their interests change. What seems like a fascinating area to work in today may seem like pure torture after you do it 60 hours a week for a few years. Is this a business that has some sale potential once established? Many small businesses are so dependent upon the skills of the owner that they are difficult or impossible to sell. After you put so much effort into building a business, it is hard to just walk away from it without some compensation.

* Will The Income It Generates Always Be Tied To How Much Time I Spend Doing It -- Few people would immediately think of song writing or writing books as a business. Usually you first think of such things as artistic _expression rather than a business. But, those two activities do earn money, and they have an interesting property that would be very welcome in a small business. Residuals, or getting money for the same bit of work over and over again. Residual income is one of the main things you should aspire to get from a small business. Without that, it tends to be just another job, but with a lot more risk and a lot more stress. You want to build yourself a perpetual money machine, that keeps on spinning after you stop turning the crank.

Well, there you have it, ten criteria you can use to compare any small business opportunity you come across with others you have considered. This list will go a long way towards narrowing down the field when you are choosing a small business opportunity. In fact, some people complain that there is nothing left after they apply this list to the ideas they've been working on.

One reason that the Internet has created such a big boom in the small business world is that many of the best small business opportunities (according to an analysis against my list) are among the most common types of Internet businesses.

Take a website business for example: Huge income potential if you do it right, almost no startup costs, no regulation (except for fraudulent activities), no paperwork or employees required, work whenever you want, grab your laptop and go, good sale of business potential, and among the best businesses there are for residual income.

About the only one of the criteria above that this one fails on is the startup time. It will often take several months to a year to get a new website up to speed and generating lots of traffic and income. Some of the other Internet businesses don't suffer from this downside, but do have other transgressions against my criteria. All in all though, as a class of businesses, you just can't do any better than an internet business when using the criteria I've set forth above.

Scott J. Patterson is a self-proclaimed Dunce, yet last month he earned $12,124 from one of his online businesses. To find out how YOU can do the same, download his free ebook- The Secret Guide to Home Businesses: http://www.duncemoney.com/wbarticle.html

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