Best Small Business To Start For A Beginner in 2011

by J.Crawford on December 6, 2009

What comes to mind when you try and think of the best small business to start in 2010?  To think of the best small business I’d say most of us would  look around our community and would find something missing or a business that could be improved, maybe even a business that is no longer around.  For a beginner, a person who is first time entrepreneur, choosing the best small business to start is probably going to start with what your doing now or something peripheral.

I recently wrote a post about the 5 factors important for choosing the best business to start for 2011 business ideas I invite you to give that page a read as well.

I make a full-time income online with a small network of websites I own. To many it wouldn’t seem like a business at all. I don’t have employees, expenses, or headaches…. all things commonly associated with owning  a small business.  It took me a couple years to generate a significant income… It can be done much faster though. If your a beginner looking to create an online income, I recommend checking out the article I wrote titled, “Top Online Business for  Beginners” ,it list three specific paths to creating a passive income that are uniquely designed for a novice.

Some of the best small business ideas are so simple it makes people wonder how they ever work and others that make millions you probably don’t even realise are out there. Focusing on serving an end customer is key.

Thousands ( because I’m too lazy to look it up) of businesses are started every year by technicians who know how to “do it” and figure they can do it better than the chump they are working for.  One of the best small business coaches, Micheal Gerber, calls this the “E-myth” and refers to an “entrepreneurial moment” as the actually realisation that you could indeed deliver better service or deliver a better product faster than the company you work for.

For example if your a drywall finisher and an employee, it would make sense that starting your own drywall business is logical.  Indeed this is one of the most popular paths to first time entrepreneurship.

Is the business that makes the most logical sense the best small business for a beginner to start?

Probably not….

The answer didn’t set well with me when I first learned of the idea that just because your a great drywall finisher doesn’t mean your a great entrepreneur. But what did I know.

Ten or fifteen years later it all makes sense. I was in my early twenties then and nothing made sense to me unless I did it.  My sole decision making process relied on my “knowledge”.  I only knew it if I did it.  When you know something, you have knowledge of it and the best way to get it, maybe the only way, is to do it.  I’ve since learned that knowledge is expensive, especially if its my own.

Tip: The next best thing to personal knowledge….Someone Else’s!

The Best Small Businesses

All of the best small business ideas, the successful business start ups, have several things in common. I don’t pretend to be a trend spotter, cause I’m not, but studying small business start ups and entrepreneurs for the last 15 years has shown me some things. I’ve learned to stick with businesses that I’m genuine interested in. I like fresh produce and spreading the idea that eating good food is important, most of us eat garbage! So I’m developing a group of produce markets. I also like the game of making money. I love my Internet business and making money online is really fun. I like passive income but hate the idea of rentals. My parents had rentals I helped with growing up and I just don’t like the rental business. I’d say on of the best businesses to start for  a beginner is Affiliate Marketing.

Working with others who have success and knowledge/experience in areas you may not is the smart way to go about  starting a business. Money magazine says that online catalogs or stores is a booming business. I wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to that so I’d find someone who does.

Its kind of like reading books on wealth creation, success, and leadership.

Did you ever notice, after the 15th business book or so, they kind of all saysuccessfulbusinessowner the same thing?  I call those same things “principles”. They are old but not rusty because they are used everyday by millions of successful entrepreneur, parents, and professionals around the world.

So what are some of the recurring themes of the best small business enterprises today?

  • Scalability.
  • Ease of Innovation.
  • Accessible Target Market.
  • Likelihood of a loyal following.
  • Relevant.

I’ll add minimal downside to the list because that is a huge factor when we are talking about a first time entrepreneur starting a small business, more about that in minute.

Scalability, simply put, is will it work in the beginning AND when you’ve hit it right on and the business screams GROW!  This is a big deal when you are choosing the best small business and how you intend to start and grow the business.

Example: If you wanted to develop a blog network and you just started a couple wordpress blogs, making nice posts like this one, its great, but it ain’t scalable.  Unless of course you had a plan to build a platform that would launch a more scalable business idea like a crowd sourced content creation strategy.

Example: Starting a nation wide fast food chain by building a restaurant down the block isn’t scalable, however developing a franchise business model to accomplish this (in one life time) is…. i.e, MacDonald’s.

Ease of Innovation, used to be “innovative”.  An innovative small business idea doesn’t cut anymore. Its not about how innovative a small business idea is, its about how fast you can innovate within the small business you create.  I see it like you have to have a tight niche target market that is loyal, because you rock, yet you have about a dozen different ways you can go to keep the market, grow the market, or increase spend from the same market you have. How easy is to offer something different, how fast can “what’s next, be next”

Example: Walmart (not the expert here) started with stuff.  They sold a bunch of other people’s stuff.  It was about distribution. They had a great business idea and developed the best distribution model. They didn’t make a thing…Except CASH.  Fast forward 20 years and now Walmart offers eye care, hair styling, banking, shoe repair, automobile service, and on and on.  They basically started to distribute service the same way the did products. I think that sums up what I intend to explain when I say ease of innovation and how the best small business is the one that can grow many different directions without loosing you current loyal following.

Accessible target marketis sort of a no brainer, but think about it. Not every business start upis going to be profitable especially if it is geographically challenged.  If your small business start up is going to rely on a target market that is spread across the world, how will you reach them? Can you reach them via the web? If so, how will or how can, you develop a loyal following.  Where do they congregate now?

Example: Where I live we have a farmers market, you probably have one too.  The surrounding communities and local governments worked to provide a place for farmers markets. Its great for farmers who bring their produce and handmade crafts on a Saturday morning and great for the people who need the items.  It was a way to make the market accessible to the farmers and the customers, saving both time and money. Not bad!

The last two items on the list go hand in hand.  If you have a relevent business idea, it should be likely a loyal following could be developed. I think the ease at which this happens is a crucial point when deciding what the best small business to start is in your community.

What’s the Best Business to Start in 2012?

The best small business to start in 2011 is no different than the hot business start ups of a decade ago in principle.  The products the business offers or the services rendered will change, and man do they ever, but the best small businesses are solving apparent and relevant problems, making someones Else’s life easier, or entertaining someone who is.

What are your thoughts on starting a business in 2010, any tips?

Oh I almost forgot. Downside.  I read a neat article the other day that talked about downside I think it was on The point Neil made was that no downside is a hell of a lot more important to the person who is starting a business for the first time that a huge upside.  It follows “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.  If you only have a couple sources of income it probably isn’t best to chase down a small business idea because of a huge upside, it will involve risk. Risk that could take you out of the game.  Partnerships, timing, and creative business development are all ways to minimise downside on large upside business start up. Think about it!

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Courtney Jones Media June 29, 2011 at 5:41 am

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. So helpful post.
Courtney Jones Media´s last blog post ..Empowerment in Action|Business informations June 19, 2011 at 3:23 am

I like your website,i’ll bookmark it.

Mark Kezar April 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Like so many, I too have fallen prey to MLM’s and get rich quick scams. How be-it, through my experiences I have learned that I am weak in entrepreneurial, persuasive speaking, and sales skills. This perhaps is what lures me to online based businesses as I do not have to face the individual head-on, nor over power them with persuasive speeches to make a sale. I simply say what I mean, mean what I say, and deliver based on my commitments. Herein lies the challenge.

I have worked in Information Technology for 15 years as a SQL Server Database Developer / Business Intelligence Analyst. The bulk of which was spent with a leading hospitality corporation. I am 43 yrs old with little to show for my name and no retirement insight. What makes matters worse is that with so many companies outsourcing to overseas, employment opportunities for me are scarce.

Building a home-based-business, via the internet, using my skill set that can quickly turn-profit within a short amount of time at little to no cost upfront is key. Once I have a few successes, I am certain my confidence would improve. Success is addictive, but in order to get there I need someone who is successful, and one who can coach me along the way. If you are such a person, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Ryan March 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

Blogs and anything online are incredibly easy to start and I think a good launching pad for beginners… that or a lemonade stand 😉
Ryan´s last blog post ..7 Free Photo Editing Programs For Small Businesses

Paul White December 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Very informative tips, thanks for sharing them.

If you’re looking for a part-time business with small investment, then you can also try a courier business. Starting a courier business is relatively stress-free. There are a lot business which rely on courier services such as banks, legal offices, accountants, etc. What you need is a reliable transportation, communication equipment (phone), and a bit of computer equipment to manage clients (such as invoices, etc.). You won’t also be competing with big companies such as FEDEX or UPS because the specialize in national parcel delivery. There are a lot of websites such as which can help individuals who are starting out with their courier business.
Paul White´s last blog post ..Taxes – Part 2 – Taking a Home Office Deduction

DaveK October 20, 2010 at 2:53 am

Your suggestion that affiliate marketing is one of the BEST small business ideas needs a HUGE disclaimer to ride along with it. As a beginner, you have many professional affiliates to compete with, and fend off, as they steal your commissions from you. And you have a LOT to learn about marketing online, and there are thousands of snake-oil salesmen ready to take your cash and deliver little or no value. Yes, it IS possible to make a decent income from affiliate marketing, but as was mentioned in a few of the comments above, you need to tune in on your strength areas, and delegate other things which might be a weakness.
DaveK´s last blog post ..Strengths vs Weaknesses

michael @ credit cards October 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

No matter how long you spent building your reputation as a legit online seller or an affiliate what matter most is that how serious you are. It is not easy to have your own business online; it will take you a lot of patience and hard work. Once you are dedicated on what you are doing, you are happy, and love, the things you have made everything will do well.
michael @ credit cards´s last blog post ..Foreclosure Rates Spike – Over 250K Homes Seized

Davida Yemi-Akanle September 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I really believe in the power of entrepreneurship, I’m currently trying to convert my Career friends over to it. I agree that Sffiliate marketing is a great and easier opportunity for a startup entrepreneur. I say easier.. because it still means hard work, and there are a lot of tools on the internet that can help you work smart too. I would also like to say having a mentor, coach or ebook to start one off helps you get started faster.
Davida Yemi-Akanle´s last blog post ..Best Web Site Builder

Pinoy Bisnes August 10, 2010 at 5:53 am

Thank you so much for this very informative post. I enjoyed reading it. I’ve learned a lot from your discussion above especially when you said “Working with others who have success and knowledge/experience in areas you may not is the smart way to go about starting a business.” and i’ts very true! That’s why I’m inspired by those so-called rags to riches billionaires. Before they became billionaire, they started as worker for others and in later time when they have enough experience and knowledge they would start building their own business. Such an inspiring story.
.-= Pinoy Bisnes´s last blog ..8 Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Business =-.

LM Stamper June 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

Great read.

Regardless of what’s going on in the economy today, starting your own business is always the way to go.

The great thing about it is with technology the way it is today, and even if you’re currently working for someone, you can begin to create your own financial future and gradually ‘ween’ yourself from corporate America.

You just have to go for it!

Julie Hodges May 7, 2010 at 3:27 am

I don’t think it is so easy to really find something that works. I have spent the last 12 months researching home based business…Tried a few concepts that I thought had potential. Got burned by a few.

It took almost a year in time and effort but I was gaining more understanding and information as I searched. I have found a company that mirrors my business ethics. And it is eco friendly.

Sometimes you can find a great niche market – but the products lack in quality – I can’t promote something I don’t see the value in…!

Reading as much as you can & taking your time in the research phase pays off,

Things to look for – No or Low investment, Quality Products, Money back warranty, Company support & training…A Business with a successful history & repuation helps alot.

Kent December 10, 2009 at 7:49 am

I’m making my blogs too, want to make money at home, would you like to have a link exchange with me? Thank you
.-= Kent´s last blog ..Compress The Website With GZIP Compression =-.

Clayton Shumway December 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Great article, innovation through entrepreneurship is what’s made America what it is today. And its the small businesses that will get the economy back on track.

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