In this chapter, we will look at all the criteria that your new idea should meet to be feasible, before the final rush of this guide.
Don’t worry, if it turns out your new career idea doesn’t match all the criteria, you might want to go back a few chapters and repeat the process by choosing a different niche. But please also remember that one career that fits all the criteria basically doesn’t even exist.
We propose these 10 questions to make sure your new career is going in the direction you need it to go:
- What is your earning potential?
- Who are your target customers?
- Is your career seasonal?
- Do you serve someone’s passion or solve a problem?
- How much money will you make in 1 year?
- What is the legal framework in which you must operate?
- Can your service be booked online?
- Is your career based on a trend, a fad or stable market?
- Can you operate locally?
- How does the competition look like?
1- What is your earning potential?
Earning is really easy to determine, you can quickly get a good idea of how much a job or a service is paid with a quick Google search for jobs. The point of this question is to find out whether doing a job, getting qualified and committing to it is actually worth it.
You need to evaluate this amount of money you will earn against the cost of living in your area. For example, if you live in London the cost is higher than the rest of the UK, so your hourly rate and yearly salary should be higher accordingly.
A personal trainer can earn from £20 to £100 per hour when working for himself and his own business and approximately £20,000/ year if working for a gym. Is this enough for the place you live in?
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2- Who are your target customers?
It’s not necessary to collect too many details about your ideal customer at this point, but you should know the type of prospect you would like to work with and their service affordability.
If your career is about nutrition for obese teens, it’s important to keep in mind that most teens do not have credit cards to pay for your services. Their parents are responsible guardians so when you market your product to teens, you should not forget mum and dad. Similarly, if you plan to work with elderly people, you might have some issues in getting them to use the Internet (say to book appointments through your website). Their adoption of the latest technology is very slow.
3- Do you serve for passion or do you solve a problem?
We have already talked about this point earlier in the guide, but it’s always good to refresh some ideas. It’s an advantage to do a career for passion, it helps you overcome lots of barriers and your commitment levels are high.
If you help people with their own passions and to achieve their own dreams, your new career will be more fulfilling than if you have to keep motivating someone to reach a goal. Also, it’s much easier to be found by customers driven by passion than customers driven by marketing.
4- Is your career seasonal?
A business that is too seasonal can suffer from lack of money. It’s ok to have seasonality, we have seen this phenomenon before about Weight Loss being concentrated mostly in January when people make new year’s resolutions.
But it’s not ideal to be relying solely on different seasons. If you chose a career that can only be done in summers, for example, make sure you can travel to other countries where you can work at summers all over the year.
Pro Tip: look at Google Trends for seasonality of your job.
5- How much money will you make in 1 year?
We have seen before what the earning potential is but remember that you can also have a full-time job and then extra secondary jobs on the side to earn extra money. It’s risky to have only one source of income from which you make all your salary and from which to pay all your bills and lifestyle. It’s much better, if you can, to create several sources of income so if something goes wrong, you don’t find yourself penniless at the end of the month.
For example, if you are a nutritionist, you can work full-time for a clinic and then on Saturdays or evenings you might be a tutor or a teacher for an online course about nutrition.
6- What is the legal framework in which you must operate?
There isn’t anything more annoying than to comply with legal frameworks. Those rules that tell you how to do something, when to do it and to who or whatever is the rule in place. You might have different rules of service according to the country, city or even postcode you operate.
Some careers are not allowed in some countries, while others are very welcome. For example, if you are a nutritionist and you want to educate people to healthy diets, you can only do it under certain rules. Nutritionists are not the same as dietitians. Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Nutritionists are not protected by the law, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, however only registered professionals can call themselves registered nutritionists.
7- Can your service be booked online?
We have already discussed earlier in this guide the potential of the Internet for any service and product, but this question is about finding out whether your specific service can be offered online. If so, your career will benefit enormously.
Being able to receive bookings from a portal, whether your website or a third-party booking service, allows you to receive new appointments automatically, many times over.
Example: Simplybook.me is an online booking software for personal trainers. When you subscribe to this software, you get the booking tool, complete with calendar and other functions to become completely independent in online booking. You can then add this booking tool to your website and manage all appointments from one place.
8- Is your career based on a trend, a fad or stable market?
If your career is based on a fad, you are in a dangerous place. A trend can be lucrative. A stable market is safe and growing market is ideal.
Example of increasing trend: veganism
This is an example of where a phenomenon is appearing to be headed. There isn’t any spike, but there is a steady growth that could last for a long time and it’s difficult to predict for how long a trend will grow.
As an example, in the last few years, veganism as a phenomenon has been growing in popularity. We can see from the graph below a consistent climb, however, this would likely be predicted and labelled as a trend as opposed to a growing market due to the ever-evolving and changing nutrition market.
Example of a stable trend: weight loss
We have seen this before in the guide; a stable market is generally immune to shocks and bumps. It’s neither declining nor growing but maintains itself for a long period of time. But this is a trend, not a market because it’s part again of the ever-changing market of nutrition.
Example of a fad: Apple iWatch
A fad is something that grows in popularity for a very short period of time and dies out just as quickly. A trend can be lucrative if your entry into the market and exit are timed perfectly but this can be difficult to predict and usually a recipe for disaster.
If you were to sell iWatches for a living, for example, you would find yourself without a job by now. Shortly after the launch in September 2014, Apple iWatch interest faded and, as you can see in the graph below, interest died as fast as it started. The only tiny fads in 2015, 2016 and 2017 are due to Christmas, wonder why:
9- Can you be found locally?
If you can be found locally, it means that your clients will be keener to work with you rather than searching for your service elsewhere. Specialists services that are available near the location of your clients are more likely to be successful, as nobody wants to travel long distances to get classes on Pilates, Personal Training and Nutrition. Also, when people search for new professionals, they first search near them, if nobody is available, then they stop searching or book a long-distance professional, which is not ideal.
Example: the search online for anything related to “near me” is showing a huge interest in the last 2 years, because people need close services and do not want to travel long distances. Whether it’s a personal trainer, a shop, a dentist appointment, a train station, s shop or a cinema, “near me” is on the rise.
10- How does the competition look like?
Who are your competitors? Are you the first one to offer something in your target market? Is the market saturated with people doing the same thing?
If you are the first to market, it doesn’t mean is always good news. There might be a reason why nobody else is operating, so do extensive research to find out the reason why you are the first one.
If there are other competitors in your target market and they are doing well, this is a good sign that the market has already been validated.
If there are too many competitors, this could be a sign that the market has been validated and, also, probably saturated. In this case, it’s not a good idea to start operating in this space with the same service everyone is offering. It’s good practice to try and differentiate yourself from the competition and find your own niche to operate in.
The career and speciality you choose is vital for the success of your entire working life and one of the most important decision you will ever make.
Using the above criteria as a guideline can help you better understand the speciality you are considering.
in the upcoming articles, we will further evaluate your career idea by testing your idea as well as the competitive landscape.
Jump to chapters:
- How to find career change opportunities
- Where to look for career ideas
- Trending careers in sport and nutrition
- Choosing a career and specialization
- Evaluating your new career move
- Validating your new career move
- University, online course, or diploma
- Finding a job or building your own business
- Pros and cons of changing career in peak season
- Final thoughts
- Quotes from our career advisers
- About the author - Luca Tagliaferro