Before starting a business, you can determine whether it will be profitable by looking at the astrological chart derived from the hour, day, month and year of birth. The astrologer will tell you which elements are useful for you. For instance, if the fire element is a positive element for you, then running a restaurant or catering business may be profitable. Each type of business is associated with one of the five elements - fire, earth, metal, water and wood - and you should go with the flow of the elements within your birth chart. When looking for premises, consider the location and orientation of the unit, and its previous history. If past occupants had financial problems, you should choose another unit, or carry out major renovations, or change the entrance. If the previous business expanded to larger premises, don't hesitate to occupy the space. Opt for a space that is square or rectangular. Avoid triangular ones, as they are associated with the fire element, which is unstable and may trigger arguments among staff. Round spaces can be used for businesses with high turnover, such as food and drink outlets, but not for retail, as the fast-moving energy may cause difficulties in attracting customers. Occupying a unit where the lift or emergency exit is opposite its main entrance may siphon away beneficial energy. The main door should not be opposite to that of your neighbours, or you will be competing for the same beneficial chi. If the door opposite yours is larger, then your neighbour will attract more beneficial chi. This is the first of a three-part series on the fung shui of starting a business.