The quick answer to this question would be yes and no.
But there is more.
Interesting bits that will take a few more words and make everything way clearer.
Want more than the yes and no answer? Good.
First, I’d like to tell you what inspired this post.
There have been many searchers to this site looking for the answer to this question. It is a topic I have avoided writing about for various reasons.
You know, for example, there are people who want what they think works best and attracts massive profits. They want to be pointed to a list of best businesses whose practices and success they can replicate in the shortest time possible.
Then there’s the question of, ‘What if I don’t address this issue and a reader of this site continues with their search, only to realize later that years have passed, they don’t have the well-doing business and the answer they were looking for all along was inside them?’
And so, here we are, me and you, to share our thoughts on this. Ready?
Let’s start with…
What makes people look at some businesses / ideas as the best?
1. The businesses are successful
One of the reasons is that the kind of businesses they are focused on may be the best at what they do. With several customers and profits that keep increasing every year.
Businesses like these have a way of making heads turn. They have a way of attracting cameras and taking a big chunk of TV time.
They are studied and profiles written on them. They make headlines. They become news that seem to never go stale. And most of the things people hear about them are positive.
See all that? Everything that can make someone abandon their idea and simply settle for what they are told is the best, hoping for similar or better results.
The image we have of other businesses is enough to, at times, keep us searching for other best businesses in niches we want to be a part of, believing that if the search yields whatever it is we are looking for, then things will be more exciting, easier, faster – leading to quick profits and rapid expansion.
2. They are drawn by the assumptions they have about certain kind of businesses
Online businesses for example.
We hear stories of people who set up some kind of website and made thousands or millions of dollars from their little corner of the web.
When we look at how much they spent to start the whole thing – pennies!
When we turn the page and look at how long it took them to reach the heights of success – the kind the media likes to cover – mere months!
And right there, a lot of people are sold on the dream – of passive income or net riches.
It is game on. Time to reverse engineer everything and then start the process of replication – to build the perfect business.
There are also other assumptions that attract people to online businesses.
They are easy to start, take little work, and as John Chow puts it, gives you time and location freedom. And all this is true – for people who put in the hard work.
Some, however, hear, ‘Earn while you sleep…’ from some experts but don’t give much thought to the amount of work it takes to reach the point where they can literally make profits in their sleep – an example where a person wants to own a business but isn’t ready to put in the work and use what they already have to build something others can look at and think of as best.
What happens when a certain kind of business suddenly strikes a chord with so many people?
What happens when everyone seems to want to get in and have a piece of the market?
It will be labeled the opportunity of a lifetime.
One you can’t afford to miss.
It will be described in glossy details.
Then there will be spokesmen and spokeswomen reeling you in, almost forcing in your hands your little piece of the delicious cake.
The barrier of entry will be low (for awhile) and the businesses raking it turned into case studies.
All this is good.
But the herd mentality that is common in times like that, it is the spoiler.
It ruins everything for many people. Some even end up letting their dream of business ownership remain just that – a dream.
Why this idea of the best business ideas doesn’t cut it – deep
1. I can tell you about the best business to start. But say, you are not interested in the industry, don’t have expertise in the area or time to take the business to the next level (if you start it), what happens?
The majority will be stressed and even think of quitting. A few people will look for talent, contract to freelancers or get a few employees to help.
There are people who will hold on, persevere and keep things going.
Some will come to the realization that, even though, that’s what (the best) they initially set out looking for, it isn’t what they want to be dealing with anymore.
They quickly realize that, at the end of the day, who and what defines best comes down to the customers and the numbers – profits, losses etc.
2. The idea alone can make you comfortable and so sure of success – to the point where it prevents you from working hard and exploring more.
That is not a position you want to be in, unless you are comfortable with competitors shrinking the market share that currently inspires your comfort and confidence.
3. Soon everyone seems to copy you. If you can’t differentiate yourself (have a unique selling proposition that wins you new business and earns you customer loyalty) you are walking land filled with mines.
If you fail to differentiate yourself and more people join, competition will increase. Prices are likely to drop to the bottom and your margins wiped out – a big portion of your profits.
And that leads to this: best business that barely makes enough to pay for its expenses and growth.
4. We tend to want to do something we think is best (as per our interpretation of other people’s success stories) and fear creating our version of the best from the ground up.
Where does all this leave you?
It is still fine to search for the best business ideas. However, the successes, stories, business models and failures of the kind of businesses we admire should be used as lessons.
Lessons to inspire us to create the best business according to our own standards – a big part of which is to solve problems the best way we can, for the people who gladly pay when their needs and wants are met.
Download this PDF: 10 Things to Look at If You Are Thinking of Starting a Business. Click here to get it.