Inside Fizzle there’s a course called “Choosing a Topic.” This is one of our most popular courses, and it’s at the beginning of the roadmap.
This course helps people in three different situations starting out on the entrepreneurial path:
- “I have too many potential business ideas and don’t know how to choose just one.”
- “I don’t have any ideas, how do I come up with a good one.”
- “I have my heart set on this one idea, is it any good?”
The course guides people through a series of lessons aimed at helping them choose the best business idea for them, based on several essential criteria.
One of those essential criterion is something we call “business boosters.” A business booster is something that gives you an advantage over the competition.
On today’s episode of The Fizzle Show podcast we discuss five categories of business boosters guaranteed to give you a meaningful competitive advantage. Any business idea you choose should have at least one of these, preferably more than one.
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“5 Business Boosters Guaranteed to Give You a Competitive Advantage”
Here are the 5 business boosters, along with some examples for each. Listen to the episode above for more examples and a full definition for each booster.
1) A new and fast growing topic
When a topic is fresh and fast-growing, it’s much easier to become an expert because there are no true experts yet. The people who know the most about a new topic may only have months or years (not decades) of experience.
Contrast that to a long-established topic. You might have to compete with people who have turned such a topic into their life’s work, literally.
A new topic can be fertile ground for a new business.
Example: when I started blogging, I initially wanted to write about life and career, and the relationship between them. Quickly I stumbled onto new and hot topics including “lifestyle design” and “location independence.” I pursued these topics and wrote about them weekly. Because there were few established experts, I was able to gain recognition easily, and ride the wave of growing demand, which led my new blog to over 500,000 readers it’s the first year.
2) Existing expertise: something you’re already deeply invested in and good at
There’s a tendency among new entrepreneurs to pass over existing expertise in favor of starting over in a completely new field or topic.
This can be a huge mistake. Even though it may be tempting, don’t throw away your expertise and start over. Instead, see if there’s a way to leverage that expertise in a fresh way that is fun for you and the basis for a great business idea.
Example: Scott Devine worked as a professional electric bass player for years, touring with bands and teaching students one on one. When Scott decided to build a business, he leveraged those years of expertise instead of starting over. This led him to Scott’s Bass Lessons, one of the most successful instrument teaching businesses online.
3) Something you love more than most people, something you eat, sleep and breathe
Excitement, curiosity, love for something can be a great motivator that can give you a distinct advantage over other people who don’t care as much. If you eat, sleep and breath a topic, it will be easy to out-effort your competition, simply for the love of it. Your care for what you’re doing will impress potential customers.
Example: Scott Dinsmore was obsessed with helping people find a career that they truly love. He was known as the go-to guy among friends and colleagues who were unhappy with their jobs and careers. He spent hours meeting with and discussing options with people, because he simply loved seeing people transform when they finally found something they loved. This led to creating Live Your Legend, and his passion gave Scott an advantage over so many other career change focused projects.
4) Inside connections: knowing someone or having access to resources that can give you advantages in a particular industry
They say it’s not what you know, but who you know. Well, who do you know? If you have a connection to someone or something that can give your new business a boost, you should consider ways to put that connection to use.
Example: my father-in-law had to change careers at around 50 years old. Imagine how hard that must be, to switch gears completely after spending 30 years building your career. Luckily, one of his best friends was a real estate appraiser. By leveraging this connection, he was able to start up a new business as an appraiser relatively quickly, much faster than if he had chosen a different path without a similar connection.
5) The wild card: anything else that can give you an important advantage over the competition
The best competitive advantages are often not obvious ones. Before you choose a business idea, make a list of every ability, skill, resource, connection, experience and opportunity you have. Consider how each of these could help your new business get off the ground.
Example: Chase has a background as a designer, and I’ve worked as a software developer. This became a huge advantage in starting Fizzle, as we created our community and learning platform quickly and cheaply, building something that no other online community shares.
There are many more examples and details for each of these business boosters in our podcast episode above. Check it out for more ideas on how you can put these and other business boosters to work for you.
The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business
Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.
One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »