Dear M&M: I am thinking about starting business, what would be a good thing to get into? — Joe

Dear Joe: I can think of two things everyone should consider before starting a business. The first thing to consider is someone else already selling what you plan on selling in your market? Can you compete? Are they strong competitors or can you take them on? Also, take a good look at what it is you are trying to do and where you are trying to do it at?

Considerations from substitute products to disrupting technologies that are about to enter your market need to be looked at. What other changes in your marketplace are about to happen that could affect you? The second thing is to consider, do you have the passion to do it? Running a business is a twenty-four hour a day job that takes place seven days a week. Very rarely does it stop. Do you have the stamina and passion to keep it going? Are you flexible, willing to make changes and are you continually looking all around you to react to marketplace or consumer shifts?

The short answer is to get into something no one else is doing and have the drive and passion to continue as things get harder, because they will. Keep in mind there never is only two things to consider. What about what price can I sell for? What location can I sell from? Where am I going to get dependable employees? Do I have enough capital and where can I get more if I need it? How am I going to attract enough customers to sell to offset my expenses?

According to the US Business Formation Statistics (BFS) in 2010, 2.5 million new businesses started. In 2020, 4.35 million applications were submitted. That’s an increase of 74% more. In addition, it is a 24.13 % increase from 2019. Now is a good time to start looking at what business I should start.

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.