How to Find a Great Business Idea That You Love
Raise your hand if you have ever come up with a product or service that you thought could be a great business idea. It could have been a mobile app idea, an invention, a service that you personally wish you could have – the list goes on. I bet your hand is in the air, right?
While we daydream about our amazing ideas making us millions, the reality is that not every idea is a diamond. So how do we come up with ideas that not only translate into profitable and sustainable businesses, but are also fun!? Here are four steps to get your creative juices flowing:
Step 1 | Focus on your interests
When you’re self-employed, the best business ideas center around your own personal interests. Why? Because when you’re naturally interested in something, you’re likely to enjoy doing it in a way that can lead to both income and fun! This may include something you’re already doing in your job, as a hobby, through community service, or other activity. We’ve seen dog-walkers, artists, bookkeepers, health care consultants and even window washers turning their interests into money making business ideas. The opportunities are endless!
Step 2 | Do your research
Once you find an interest that you might like to turn into a business idea, go out and do your research. A good business idea is one that meets a market need. You need to find out what that need is and who wants it. It also helps to consider factors like economic outlook and competition when assessing the market. These factors will help to determine what it will cost to make or provide your idea. In summary, can you realistically turn this idea into a profitable business given costs and the current market?
Step 3 | Find your customers
As part of your research, you want to figure out who your customers are. A good starting point is to look at yourself. If you’re interested in the idea, it stands to reason that there may be other people like you that are interested from a customer perspective. Characteristics like age, spending habits, lifestyle, geography, and income are all examples of information that you want to take into consideration. This information will allow you to determine ideal ways for communicating, connecting, and closing customers. With a good idea about what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to, you’re now ready to “play business!”
Step 4 | Play business
It’s one thing to have an idea that meets a need, but that doesn’t guarantee that customers will want to buy it. There are many examples throughout history of great ideas that customers simply weren’t ready for or didn’t want. That’s why you need to play business as a strategy for testing out your idea in a pilot project first. The main goal when playing business is to get a few people to pay you for what it is you offer. If your idea requires a brick and mortar facility to pilot test, consider how you might leverage an existing venue to achieve this goal. The point is to prove to yourself and others that you offer value that is worth paying for and that the process can be repeated.
Keep in mind that today’s business models include independent contractors who work for organizations on a project-basis. This is quite different from the traditional business model. Independent contract work is similar in many ways to traditional employment, yet requires you to set up as a business. If you’d like to learn more about this option or how to pursue your ideal business idea, check out individual coaching services with Dr. Deb.