Where To Start As A First-Time Entrepreneur


By Ryan Velez

More and more people are drawn to entrepreneurship in order to have more autonomy over their careers and lifestyles, but sometimes, the path isn’t obvious. The Network Journal recently gathered a selection of industry experts to pose the question as to what fields are the best for an entrepreneur just starting out. Some of the answers are expected, but some others may be quite a surprise.

John Arroyo of Arroyo Labs, Inc, says that the answer is a personal one, namely, what matches your skill set. “Start with something you have some background in and that you are excited to learn more about. You will need to dive deeply into this topic, so starting out with a background in it is a big advantage. It will also help you make the venture less risky. Whatever field you pick, get ready to learn daily and hustle. If you are not ready to work hard, keep your day job.”

Todd Giannattasio of Tresnic Media has a similar answer, but coming from a different place. “The advantage of being your own target audience is priceless. It’ll save you countless hours researching for product development and sales and marketing. It also helps because you’ll be passionate and knowledgeable. Building a business is HARD. If you are passionate about it and already have an idea of what you’re doing, it will make those long nights and early mornings easier to push through,” he says. This sentiment is shared by Jessica Baker of Aligned Signs.

“Our company was built on staying true to yourself. As such, you will attract the right people to you. While there is no specific field per se, it is important to do some inflection on what you find yourself drawn to and figure out what your dreams and passion are. Then, make that the field that you work toward. Finding something you are naturally interested in will move your business forward,” she says.

Sometimes, though, the market makes some paths better than others. Steven Buchwald of Buchwald and Associates points to online retail as an example. “You’ve probably heard about how e-commerce is a cutthroat field, and that there are way too many digital storefronts. And all that is true. I’m not talking about hosting your own storefront; I’m talking about establishing yourself as a merchant on a site like Etsy or eBay. Doing this is cost-effective but also teaches you a ton about marketing, customer interaction and research.”