As an entrepreneur, my mind is always filled with new business ideas and opportunities.
But which one is worth the time, energy, and money?
With already 3 businesses (I like to call them projects) running and managing over 100 staff…I have to choose which project to start carefully.
And even if you’re just starting your first business, it is crucial to pick carefully which to really sink your energy into. Because choosing the wrong business to start may result in some massive setbacks in your life. And even though people say that “failure” is good, you should still be strategic about which business to build.
Even if the whole project goes south, you’ll end up learning a lot more if you go through the process methodically and with intention.
Here is how I decide which business to start:
Have The Key Components And Resources
When it comes to business development it really comes back down to what are my chances of winning as opposed to yours.
Me VS. You.
Whenever I look at a business opportunity, I see whether I have all the key components and the resources to make sure that these components are all taken care of.
If I do have all these things, I honestly believe I have an incredibly larger chance of success compared to you.
Basically my chances of winning > your chances.
There are two key components and resources for this to happen:
1) Having A Major Advantage In Your Industry
When I was creating my ice cream brand, 720 Sweets, I thought about the major hurdles and major advantages that is important when developing a dessert chain.
Ask yourself: What is the biggest obstacle and advantage you would have when creating your business?
For any food and beverage business, that would be your supplier since it comes back down to the quality of your products. One of the biggest costs when it comes to developing a product is also connected to your supplies.
If you can control that, it’s a huge advantage for you compared to others.
I was fortunate to be connected with the owners of the biggest Bubble Tea suppliers in Western Canada. It also helps that they own a high-quality tea farm in Taiwan.
Finding him as a resource and as a partner was important when I was deciding whether or not I wanted to enter this business.
If he wasn’t on board, I most likely wouldn’t have chosen to be in the ice cream and bubble tea business.
So when you’re choosing what business to start or amongst the different business opportunities, see whether you have a major advantage over the competition.
2) You Must Have A Dedicated Spearhead
The second component and second resource I look at is whether there is a dedicated spearhead for the business.
Because I’m handling multiple different projects at the same time, there must be a spearhead who is 120% dedicated into that project. That person, that spearhead, needs to be extremely dedicated and committed right from the get-go and all the way to the end.
If you’re purely focusing on one business project, you can take the place of being the spearhead. This is most often the case if you’re starting out. You would be the person who manages the daily operations and strategic vision of the business.
Luckily, I was able to find Brian, who became my partner at 720 Sweets. He’s been super dedicated throughout, which helped support the operation of the business. He became my spearhead for my ice cream business.
By having a major advantage through my supplies and having a dedicated spearhead, I was able to go ahead with this ice cream business.
At the end of the day, it happened because I was resourceful when it came to this business.
If I were to open this shop versus you were to open this shop, I would have a bigger advantage in doing so. My percentages of winning would be at least 60% to 70%, in comparison to everyone else in the market.
That’s when I decide to enter into business. And that’s how you should think when you’re choosing the business idea to start.
What do you have that increases your chance of success compared to others?
Many people will say that they don’t have the same resources and same network as me to create that advantage. But I disagree with that.
The key is to be resourceful and create that advantage for yourself.
How Do You Be Resourceful?
A lot of times when a budding entrepreneur, they try to do something, they handicap themselves by thinking that it’s all them.
That they are the ones that are in charge of developing the whole business. That they’re not going to reach out for help. As if it is a solo mission.
But that shouldn’t be the case. Each person has a network that can create that major advantage for you.
It is about whether you have the guts to reach out for help. To put yourself out there.
Audit Your Circle
Look at your circle of friends and look at what they do.
Whether it be your relatives, whether it be your uncle, uncle’s dad, or your dad’s friend…Look at what do they do and what kind of resources they have access to.
Where do they work? What is their position? Who do they know?
When you’re able to really fully audit your whole resource and your whole connection, you would start to naturally fill in the gaps.
For instance, if I was launching a new food product, I would think who in my circle would be able to help spread that. I know that Jason’s the guy that knows all the Instagram Foodies and Bloggers, I would talk to him for help or for a partnership.
When you can start being creative and resourceful around the people that’s around you, that’s going to increase your level of success. The chances of you succeeding in the business is when you become resourceful to the people around you.
What If You Don’t Have A Network?
A lot of people ask me when they’re first starting out: “I don’t know anyone. I don’t have any network. I can’t start this business or I can’t do E-commerce because I don’t know anyone in the game.”
That is only an excuse.
It takes years to develop relationships that you can count on, but that shouldn’t hinder your level of success just because you don’t have the connection to do so.
Nowadays, there are so many networking opportunities out there with meetup.com and with business associations in your city. These are the places where you get to meet new people in your industry.
And when you put out the intention of seeing your friends and family as a potential resource, putting it out there as, “Hey, can you make an introduction to someone you know who does this?”
When you put that intention out there, automatically they would have someone in mind.
If someone asks you, “Hey, I want to start an ice cream shop. Who would you go to automatically?”
You would be like, “Oh, Wilson. I know Wilson. He started an ice cream shop.”
It is putting the intention out there and seeing it from a different perspective. Not seeing them as someone that you poach or someone that you take advantage of.
This is how I choose amongst the many business opportunities available. I encourage you to look at the resources you have available to you. Do this by seeing what major industry advantage you could have and having someone who will put their 120% into the business.
Being resourceful is the number one way to achieve those two things. This means auditing your circle of influence and going out there to network with people.
All the greatest business owners in the world didn’t have the network either when they first started. You need to be creative and be uncomfortable.
Wilson is a serial entrepreneur that helps transform e-commerce businesses into scalable and sellable brands. He is also an avid fan of personal development, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.