The Best Business You Can Start

I stumbled upon a question on Quora the other day asking, What is the best business anyone can do ever?

Initially, I scrolled past the question in the feed, dismissing it for its vagueness. As I was reading beyond it, I found my brain fixated on the question – repeating it in the back of my head. So I decided to scroll up and give it some thought.

What is the best business anyone can do ever?

Identify a market need

To answer this question, we need to go back to the elementary existence of a business: to solve a problem or satisfy a need. Logically then, the best business anyone can do ever should solve a problem. Businesses in a market compete on the grounds of who solves the problem better. For example, I need to access the internet. Google Chrome is a solution and so is Windows Explorer Edge. However, you’d pick Google Chrome because it does the job faster (ie better). This is an example of a functional job that the customer is trying to make progress in. Customers’ jobs are broken down into three types: functional, social and emotional. Businesses that tap into the social and emotional aspects of customers’ problems tend to be more lucrative. For example, one of the main jobs customers try to make progress in is: I want to showcase my personality to the world and get social validation for it. This is a social job that customers could hire Facebook, Twitter or even offline local gatherings to accomplish. Understanding and picking an important problem (or job) customers have and solving it through an offering is detrimental to a business’s success.

The best business is personal

The other aspect of the best business anyone can do ever is more personal. To YOU. It involves understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are. For example, if you are really good at coding, then perhaps an IT-related business is the best business YOU can start. Alternatively, if you don’t understand social media and the digital craze, then a digital marketing consultancy is probably not the best fit for you.

Get actionable

Let’s get one thing straight: you probably didn’t just magically figure out the best business you can start ever – yet. The reality is, you need to prepare yourself for your best business ever. First and foremost, carry around a little notebook you’re going to call The Little Book of Problems. In it, you will religiously record every problem anyone ever has with anything. Friends, family, and coworkers. Whenever someone whines about a product, a service or the price of something, you jot it down. No intervention on your end and certainly no analysis. You’re simply jotting down problems. After a while, you will start to repeat some problems. You will realize that there are some patterns. You will realize that a cluster of problems sticks with you – as if it’s calling out your name to solve it. Cross check that problem with your expertise, your tendencies, and your skillset, and if you have a match, go for it!

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