Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Which Way?

You've got an idea. Now you want to find the fastest route to making it a reality. One of these 5 ways to start a business is sure to be right for you.

This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Start Up.

You've got the idea buzzing around your head. You know you want to start a business, but you're not sure how. Perhaps you've got your eye on a fast-growing franchise. Maybe you'd rather carve out a specific niche or come up with an entirely new idea and build a business that way. You may have your sights set on a local business for sale that you can buy and build into an empire. Or maybe there's a business idea already out there that you want to reinvent for yourself. Choosing your business path probably won't be easy, but we've assembled a quick-study list of expert pros and cons of each startup method, along with a quintet of inspirational entrepreneurs who've been there, to help you develop your startup strategy.

Feeling for a Franchise
If you've ever gotten your hands on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500®you know that there's a franchise to cover nearly every industry or business idea you can imagine. Someone has gone before, perfected the system and, for the price of a franchise fee, will show you how to do the same. The plus side of choosing franchising as your get-into-business track: "The sense of confidence it gives you. You're stepping into a system that has already created success," says Michael Clark, founder of Business and Beyond, a small-business management consulting firm in Greenbrae, California. The franchisor's established methods can include systems for things like bookkeeping, as well as built-in relationships with vendors. An established franchisor may even be able to help with financing.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks