Interviews

Published

How to spot your next business venture

4 Mins

Potential for profit is one of the key phrases that spring to mind when looking for the next business venture. 

But whether it’s looking to set up your first or next in a line of businesses, there are plenty of other bits of advice that you should bear in mind, some of which require you to work out the potential for profit afterwards. 

1. That looks easy and I can do better
One thing I can say for sure is that it won’t be easy! But you can certainly do better. Some of the best businesses are inspired by seeing others and seeing ways of improving the model. 

My first business venture was setting up an online retailer. I’d ordered a few electronic gadgets through retailers on Amazon and eBay and looked into buying direct from suppliers. Alibaba was a great resource for this and I soon discovered that, if I could save money on items for myself, then others could – even with me making a slight profit. The business was formed when I was 18 with £3,000, and I went from selling electronics from my bedroom, to the garage, and now from a warehouse with a turnover of £3.5m. 

2. Find a problem and look to solve it
Not being able to find affordable and quality products, something you know that others will be interested in, is certainly a problem to solve. I also had another. 

In 2011, a family member was struggling to stop smoking cigarettes and I wanted to try and help them. I’d come across electronic cigarettes through a supplier from my other business so I ordered some samples. I was immediately impressed with the quality and simulation element it provided and knew others would also see them as an alternative to smoking tobacco products, so I formed a business.

3. Utilise your interests
As with anything, if you’re not interested, then you won’t succeed. Utilise your passion and intrigue in a subject. I’ve always had an interest in cars, from how they look to their design and also the competitive sports derived from their existence. I’ve just launched a new business venture which looks to sell parts to BriSCA F2 racing drivers, again by using existing suppliers I have prior business relationships with. This leads nicely on to me next point…

4. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel
If you already specialise in a successful business sector, then use that experience. As with anything in life you will encounter difficulties and things that need to be overcome which then means you know how best to deal with similar situations in the future. 

No one ever had a successful venture without making one or two mistakes along the way, and as long as you learn from them then you can use those lessons in your next business. You have a blue print of an already working wheel, don’t try and reinvent it. 

Ben Wilson is the founder of Freshcig electronic cigarettes and Oval Motorsport. His brother, Sam, now runs his first business venture, online retailer Jazooli.com.

Share this story

BYOD: What do businesses need to think about?
Seven tips for breaking into the US market
Send this to a friend