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Generally speaking, the approach consists of researching the market, identifying a need, and creating a business to fill it. More specifically, the steps of the process are: Select the industry you’re interested in working in. Research the kinds of businesses and various business models within that industry.
1.1 You and the idea
1.2 Research tools
Needless to say, this is not something you just knock out in a weekend. The most obvious problem with this approach is that it’s extremely labor-intensive and potentially expensive to even decide whether or not to go into business. Of course, that time spent on the front end reduces the risk of failure down the road.
The other problem is that you may very well end up realizing far too late that you’re doing something you really don’t want to be doing, just because you figured you could make some decent money at it. Even when you’re the boss, you can still end up feeling stuck and unfulfilled.
Do What You Love, and the Money Will Follow
In recent years, this philosophy has become increasingly popular following the success of the book Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar.
While the approach sounds great, as career coach Dr. Marty Nemko puts it, “Millions of people have followed their passion and still haven’t earned enough money to even pay back their student loans, let alone make even a bare middle-class living doing what they love.”
The problem is that most people don’t read the book and go through the intensive self-discovery exercises it prescribes.
Some of the possible sources for business ideas include:
It doesn’t matter where the idea comes from. What matters is what you do with it. And no matter how brilliant you think the idea is, you need some external input – a “sanity check”, if you will. Even if you don’t have the time or money for extensive formal market research or business planning, do the informal research yourself to find out if there’s a market for your idea and to assess the viability of your business concept.
Here is a list of the most common industries:
Agriculture & Chemical
Construction & Engineering
Education & Training
Energy & Environment
Healthcare, Medical & Pharmaceuticals
House & Home
IT & Telecommunications
Media & Marketing
Packaging & Office Supplies
Printing & Publishing
Security & Defence
Transport & Motor Goods
Travel & Leisure
More detail on each can be found below
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In an era where Amazon steals most of the headlines, it’s easy to forget about brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart.
But, even though the market values the Bezos e-commerce juggernaut at about twice the sum of Walmart, the blue big-box store is very formidable in other ways. For example, revenue and earnings are two areas where Walmart still reigns supreme, and the stock just hit all-time highs yesterday on an earnings beat.
That’s not all, though. As today’s map shows, Walmart is dominant in one other notable way: the company is the biggest private employer in America in a whopping 22 states.