So you've decided to become your own boss. Good for you!

But now you're faced with a very important question: What kind of business will you start?

Will you turn your hobby into a money-making venture? Buy an existing business? Purchase a franchise and capitalize on the franchiser's existing brand identity?

Choosing the right business for you is a life-altering decision, one that will affect you for a long time to come, so you should do some serious soul-searching before you make your "final" decision. Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • What am I good at?
  • What life skills do I have that will help me run my business?
  • Do I have enough money for start-up costs?
  • What is my ultimate goal--financial freedom, more time with my family, the prestige of business ownership?

The answers will help give you direction in choosing the right type of business for you. You have basically three options:

1. Start your own company.
2. Buy an existing business.
3. Purchase a franchise.

Many budding entrepreneurs are attracted to the idea of starting their own company. There are basically two ways you can go with this:

Home-Based Business Opportunities
These include businesses based on your skills and/or hobbies, such as a consulting or coaching business, virtual assistant business, daycare, custom clothing design, desktop publishing, copywriting, bookkeeping, or even a mystery shopping operation.

Traditional Bricks-and-Mortar Business
This is a business that requires a location outside of the home and can be something as simple as a stand-alone kiosk in a mall to a restaurant down town. These types of businesses require pedestrian traffic of some sort.

Each type of start-up has its advantages and disadvantages, but the pros and cons of starting your own business are the same:


  • You get to be the boss. You've got total control over the company's operations.
  • You decide on what location you'll work from, what hours you'll work, and what services/products you'll offer.
  • You can work as much or as little as you want.


  • Financial risk--the start-up costs can be quite high, especially if you're opening a shop outside your home, and until the business starts making money, you've got to cover all expenses (including your own salary).
  • You've got to create your own brand identity and attract enough customers to keep your business alive.
  • It takes longer to build a business from the ground up than to open a franchise or purchase a turn-key operation.

Of course, you could "ease" the burden of starting a business by buying one that is already in existence or getting in on a franchise, (which I'll cover in Part 2 of this 2-part series). However, no matter what type of business you choose, your success will depend on your entrepreneurial drive, your passion for making it work, and your commitment and dedication to its daily operations. Make the choice that's right for you, then make your dreams come alive with your actions.

Author's Bio: 

Carma Spence-Pothitt has more than 20 years marketing and public relations experience. You can read more tips and advice on how to grow and nurture a business you truly love by visiting the Women's Business Gallery at