Why Some Business Ideas Don't Work

"Hot Business Ideas For 2018”

“Business Ideas That Guarantee Success”

“The Top 25 Business Ideas Of All Time”

“50 Business Ideas That Have Generated Millions”

“7-Figure Business Ideas”

We’ve all seen these headlines, or ones like them.  Juicy, enticing headlines designed to pull you in.

They all essentially offer the same promise, which is to help you find THE perfect business idea by showcasing ones that have worked wonders for others.

The problem with this approach is that what works for one Entrepreneur is unlikely to work for the masses.

In fact, the elements that must line up to make a successful business are staggering! Mindset, education, experience, stamina, finances, market, potential customers, attitude, competition, economy . . . the list is endless!

I once worked with a client who told me that he started his business during the recession of the early ’80's. That was a *bad* time! Record HIGH interest rates that exceeded 20%. Double-digit unemployment rates. High bankruptcy rates. It was a time of global economic turmoil.

I commented to my client that it must have been really tough establishing his contracting supply business during such a bad economic time.

His reply astonished me!

He described to me that it was the BEST time for him to start . . . in his industry.

His competitors had already been stung by their clients who were declaring bankruptcy. His competitors also had heavy debt loads that quickly grew in the years preceding the recession.

This combination meant that they didn’t have the money to pay their suppliers, which meant that they couldn’t supply materials for future jobs.

Apparently, according to my client, it was the BEST time to start his business.

What he said made a lot of sense because from his perspective, this is what he had going for him:

  • He didn’t have any personal debt starting out.
  • He had good personal credit. He also had a bit of equity in his home to secure a business line of credit.
  • He had some experience in the construction industry.
  • He had identified a need for a product that he could easily source.
  • His competitors had essentially put themselves out of business by getting caught up in the financial drama of the recession.
  • He identified and proved that there were still customers in need of his product.
  • He insisted ALL clients pay for his products UP FRONT. He never had bad debt.
  • He had a great mental attitude and had the ability to tune out the noise and focus on one task at a time - until completed.
  • He also had the support of his young family. It was a good time, for him.

There were many other elements that were aligned, but I think you get the picture.

When I think back to that era (the 1980’s that is), I cannot think of any other individual who could’ve pulled it off like my client.

For the same reasons, I don’t place a lot of hope in identifying business ideas based on what’s currently “hot” or “popular.” It doesn’t make sense to me and besides, the businesses generally flop.

There are just too many “stars” that need to line up to make one idea become a reality!

Pooper Scoopers
Yep! You read that right!  I’ll never forget the time in the early ‘90s when I had 3 people apply to my business skills program with this same idea. In fact, I interviewed them all in the same day. It was so bizarre.

As it turned out, they had seen the idea on a marketplace-type television program about innovative businesses. Apparently, this was a new service that was pooping up (er, I mean popping up) in large urban areas (population 1-million plus).

Now, all jokes aside, today, dog poop removal services are actually quite viable. Generally however, they are only profitable in centres with a population base to support (1 million plus). Outside of these areas, these businesses are operated by summer students, and they tend to struggle unless they diversify.

I did not end up working with any of these applicants as they were not able to show me how self-employment was a good fit for them. I explained to them that the business idea is only part of the equation as you’ll see below.

Now, I’ve been working with small businesses for 3 decades. I’ve been asked countless times, “What are some of the successful business ideas operated by your clients?”  I always answer the same way . . .

First of all, I never talk about my client’s businesses unless I have their written permission to do so.

Secondly, and more importantly, it’s never the business idea that determines success. Never, ever, ever! It’s just not ever the business idea that determines success! Period.

Ultimately, what does determine business success is
the person behind the business . . . the Entrepreneur.

I’ve documented that successful entrepreneurs generally:

  • respond positively to change
  • respond positively to challenges
  • have personal initiative & great perseverance, and
  • they learn from their mistakes

The most successful Entrepreneurs have all of these traits. Furthermore, I don’t have a single client who lacks all of them.

If you examine these traits, you’ll see that they are all rooted in “attitude.” The other thing you should notice is that they are all learnable.

I say this, because, if you’re the type of person who resists change, hates challenges, lacks initiative, gives up easily, and tends to repeat the same mistakes, then it’s not to say that Entrepreneurship won’t work for you. It is fair to say however, that it will be a stretch for you!

BUT . . . take comfort in the fact, that because these traits are learnable, you should be able to adopt them if you are truly motivated to be self employed.

So, stop looking for the next “best” idea. Take the necessary steps and measures NOW to line your stars up to make self-employment a reality.

Purchase good books on attitude and mindset instead of “top business ideas.” Then, conduct a thorough self-evaluation to be sure that you are a good fit for self employment. Not everybody is!

In our training, we use a tool called a “Personal SWOT Analysis” to guide our clients through a careful self-evaluation. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The idea behind the Personal SWOT Analysis is to take stock of your personal strengths and weaknesses. That way, you’ll be in a much better position to identify business ideas that are a good fit for you. Eventually, you’ll narrow it down to that one “perfect” business idea!!

We offer a free mini-training: Identifying A Business Idea That Fits YOU. This training includes the Personal SWOT Analysis tool.

If you’re struggling to find a business idea, then take part in our training. It's designed to point you in the right direction so that YOU can easily identify a business idea that's a perfect fit for you!

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