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Starting a Business

Brainstorming Best Practices:
Choosing The Most Successful
Small Business


How do entrepreneurs come up with successful ideas for a new small business? Most people presume that these business tycoons just read a lot of magazines, newspapers and web pages to devise the winning niche, but in reality, most people found their ideas by working for someone else, according to Scott Shane, author of Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By. Only 33.2 percent of new business founders discovered their ideas on a deliberate search, Shane explains. Moreover, 70.9 percent of new business founders had business ideas that unfolded over time as they gained experience working in a particular industry or market. In fact, over 60 percent of new business owners work in the same industry, targeting many of the same clients, as their previous employer.


Look At Business Industries That Are Doing Well.

According to INC Magazine, the following industries fared very strong in 2011, despite the recession:


  • Online auction sites saw revenue growth of 11.4% and employment growth of 6.1%.
  • Real estate appraisers saw revenue growth of 8.8% and employment growth of 3.9%.
  • Environmental safety consultants saw revenue growth of 7.5% and employment growth of 7.2%.
  • Debt collection saw revenue growth of 4.1% and employment growth of 0.5%.
  • Ad agencies saw revenue growth of 3.5% and employment growth of 2.1%.
  • Job Training & Career Consulting saw revenue growth of 3.4% and employment growth of 2.1%.


Consider Fulfilling Common Needs During The Recession.

According to Fox Business, there are some small businesses that fill crucial roles in modern society.


  • Catering and mobile food service is big because people have limited time and money to spend on lunch.
  • Interior design grew over 6 percent in the last year because people feel good about improving their space.
  • Web design consulting grew over 5 percent as companies downsize and outsource more marketing tasks.
  • Bookkeeping and account services grew 4 percent as businesses look for more ways to free up liquid cash.
  • Landscaping, janitorial and pest removal services grew because people are home-improving, not moving.


Take Your Employer’s Business & Improve Upon It.

Of the “20 Best New Startups of 2011” Business Insider identified, most stemmed from innovating an existing idea.


  • Simple lets people keep their money all in one place and cuts down on banking fees.
  • BetterWorks makes it easier for business owners to offer their employees incentives.
  • Zaarly is a marketplace for people to have last-minute errands run for them.
  • Airbnb is a neighborhood car rental service that rivals businesses like Hertz.
  • Warby Parker took on behemoth discount prescription eyeglass company Luxxotica with great selection.


Many wannabe entrepreneurs obsess over finding “the next Facebook” or “the next iPod,” but in reality, the vast majority of small business owners are working in ordinary industries for niches that are under-served or unfulfilled. Don’t worry if none of these areas created an “AHA” moment for you. What’s most important is that you stay close to whatever your passion is or wherever your knowledge base lies because, ultimately, that’s going to be the┬ámost successful businesses for you.


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Related Articles:
INC Magazine: 6 Top Performing Industries for 2011
Small Biz Trends: How Do Entrepreneurs Come Up With New Business Ideas?
Fox Business: Five Best Small Businesses To Start In 2011
Business Insider: The 20 Best New Startups of 2011

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