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What Business Should I Start?: 7 Steps to Discovering the Ideal Business for You Paperback – July 1, 2004

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Want to start your own business, but aren't sure which one to start? Want to find a business that's right for you—for your interests, skills, and goals—that will also be successful?
America's foremost small-business advice guru Rhonda Abrams offers readers seven steps to identifying the right business for them, from determining their entrepreneurial type with the E-Type™ test, to exploring a wide range of business options, including 23 in-depth analyses and a listing of 450 hand-picked businesses ideal for new entrepreneurs. This book is packed with worksheets, resources, and insights from the author's rich experience in this field. Abrams's engaging, upbeat style offers inspiration as well as a step-by-step plan to help would-be entrepreneurs find the business of their dreams.
From the Publisher
Millions of people dream about owning their own business—most never do. This book helps you become one of the fortunate ones who succeeds! Highlights if this book include:
·         Listing of 463 hand-picked businesses ideal for new entrepreneurs
·         In-depth info on which businesses make money
·         Helps you define your aspirations, expectations, and financial goals for your new business
·         Learn how others have been successful, part-time or full-time
·         Comprehensive descriptions of E-Types and the best businesses for each
·         Learn the secrets to increasing your chance of success
·         Identify your niche and learn how it will make you more money
·         With a Foreword by Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, makers of Quickbooks!

From the Publisher

"What Business Should I Start?" guides you through a unique seven step process to identifying potential businesses you could start--making certain they meet your needs, suit your personality, fit your interests and goals--and that they have a realistic chance of success. The book then provides a framework for helping you choose among those potential businesses.

This book is for you if:
* You’ve been saying, "Someday, I’d like to own my own business."
* One of the things stopping you from launching your own business is that you aren’t sure which business to start.
* You have a few serious ideas for different businesses but don’t know how to choose one and get going.
* You have absolutely no idea which business to start; you don’t know which businesses would suit you—your needs, personality and interests, financial situation and goals.
* You’ve had hundreds of ideas for new businesses but need help figuring out which ones to eliminate.
* You have an idea for a business but you want to make sure it’s the right one before you take the leap and make the commitment.
* You’re at a turning point in your life or career and are looking for direction.
* You’re about to retire and are considering starting your own business.
* Friends and family keep suggesting business ideas to you, but none seem to be the right fit for you.
* You’re trying to decide whether to launch a business or look for a job.

You probably do not need this book if:
* You have already decided which business you want to start and are confident that it is the right one for you (in which case you may benefit from the companion to this book, Six-Week Start-Up, also by Rhonda Abrams).

Millions of people dream about owning their own business; most never do. This book helps you become one of the fortunate ones who succeed!


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Planning Shop; 1st edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096696358X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966963588
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rhonda Abrams was born in Los Angeles, CA and earned degrees from both UCLA and Harvard. She has advised, mentored and consulted entrepreneurs and small business owners for over twenty years. Her knowledge of the small business market and her passion for entrepreneurship have made her one of America's most recognized advocates for small business. Her weekly newspaper column, "Small Business Strategies," is the nation's most widely-read column about small business, reaching more than 20 million readers through 130 newspapers,,, and Costco Connection magazine.

Rhonda's first book, The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies, was acclaimed by Forbes magazine as one of the two best books for small business and by Inc. magazine as one of the six best books for start-ups. Now in its fourth edition, it is used as the primary text for business plan classes by hundreds of business schools.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Etienne L. Capiaux on October 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a retired executive quite mentally alert and keen on doing something useful with the rest of my life. This book is excessively stimulating in pointing out business opportunities which initially I had not considered,It is probably the book that provides the most in-depth review on the topic. I enjoyed in particular the part that matches your entrepreneurial type with the field of opportunities. This analysis is to my knowledge quite unique and was very useful to me. The info about franchising and franchises is so clearly presented that it denotes on the part of the author a clear, concise intellect. Real life data is most useful and complements a book that is essential to making an informed decision. A must buy.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By L. Busch on August 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rhonda Abrams' newspaper columns are so well written, packed with information, and sensible that I have clipped and saved many of them over the years. I had high expectations for this book.

It promises to "find a business that's right for you." Unfortunately, there is little connection between the self-analysis sections of the book and the business sections. Although it tells which general business areas are good for each E-type, it does not tell which E-types (or other attributes) are good for each business. Since it doesn't work both ways, the book doesn't help you make a match.

A possible exception would be the 23 individual businesses profiled in enough detail to guess whether they would be right for you. They are mostly independent contractor-type jobs such as animal groomers or Web site designers with a few larger businesses such as general contracting and restaurants thrown in.

Another criticism is sloppiness: punctuation and capitalization style suddenly changes from question 34 to 36 of the E-type quiz, headings in the abilities inventory worksheet are the same as those on the interest inventory worksheet, and page number references to worksheets are wrong. Furthermore, the worksheets seem repetitive and the index is skimpy; you probably won't be able to use it to go directly to your pet business idea.

On the positive side, the information it does provide seems realistic. There is no false encouragement. And a worksheet for brainstorming peripheral approaches for businesses is especially helpful. If for some reason one of your interests isn't suitable for a business, perhaps you could teach about it, provide equipment for it, maintain it for someone else, and so on.

Overall, though, unless you're interested in one of the 23 businesses you are no better off after reading the book than before.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Babbitt on October 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is full of information that is helpful in learning about or selecting a business to start. It is broken into seven steps that help readers learn about themselves, their ideas, and a variety of small businesses that may fit with their aspirations. I found the "popular business categories" and "popular individual businesses" sections to be full of interesting and useful information including details and statistics about the business, references to places to find more information and ideas to help you in starting that type of business. There is also a section on franchises that I found interesting. I'd recommend this book to someone who is looking to start a business but needs help in sorting out their strengths and areas of interest, and to someone who is looking for a great resource of information on about different types of small businesses.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
So many of the start-your-own-business books out there focus on *how* to get a business up and running--but here's one that focuses on deciding *what* business to start, which seems to be just as critical to launching a successful business as anything else.
How do you determine if your business idea will work? How do you turn your past work experiences and training into a business that will be successful? How do you take all your ideas and determine which are best? How do you turn the things you love doing into a way to make a living?
Abrams' book answers these questions (or, rather, shows us how to answer them ourselves) through a series of self-analysis exercises, discussions on what makes a small business successful, and reviews of the most popular industries and businesses for new entrepreneurs.
I'm impressed with how Abrams manages to exercise both sides of our brains in guiding us towards our final business idea. She gives us a lot of right-brained introspective self-discovery tasks to help us understand what we'd like to do and be good at, but also delivers plenty of left-brain oriented data and statistics to help us understand the realites of how our ideas will work out in the real world.
I'm especially grateful for her "can-do" attitude. She makes it clear that you don't need to be a Type A, salesmanish, work-a-holic to own a successful business. That alone was worth the price of the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
The whole book is so well laid out and helpful, and it completely met and exceeded my expectations. I have used one of the author's other books--The Successful Business Plan--in college, so I have some idea of her style: clear, honest, and very inspiring. I was afraid that there would be a lot of MLM pyramid-type schemes, but the businesses in this book all seem to be viable. She backs up the selected businesses with government outlook and industry data, which really helped me look at my options with a well informed perspective. And if a business is very hard or expensive to start, or has a high failure rate, it says so--no sugar coating in this book. But the real gem in this book is the E-Type test. Very perceptive. Abrams has discovered the way for me to match my goals and skills and tendancies with a good sized list of practial business options. This is a great book for anyone who wants to start a business and doesn't know exactly what kind, or for someone who already has the business idea but wants to verify that it's the right one!
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