The first step to finding a business that’s right for you is to develop an idea you can become passionate about. Starting a business doesn’t require you to develop a new product or process. In fact many successful businesses are started by selling a known successful product or process that is already branded and in demand. If your goal is to start a business, without the involvement of partners, you have to search your inventory of skills as a starting point, for developing a business idea. In fact, it doesn’t make much sense to even think about planning until you develop an idea. I offer these four suggestions for how you might develop an idea for your business:
- In the end, you have to follow the money. But a good first place to search for a business idea, would be to develop a list of everything you’re passionate about. One of your passions could be something that excites other people as well. If your passion is lounging, you could develop an idea for a line of lounging wear or supplies like pillows. If your passion is eating you may be able to develop a new taste sensation. If fashion is your passion, you may be able to design clothes or accessories.
- If you have a hobby in which you are an expert, if it has the potential to earn a profit, that may be the source of your idea. If you’re an avid model rail road enthusiast, you may be able to build a business around designing custom rail road layouts, for sale. If you like fish or plants, you may design a business around an aquarium or plant decorating company, for rentals to offices. Just be certain you can make a profit because the IRS will frown on hobbies turned into businesses that don’t earn a profit.
- Consider work and other experiences you already have. Unless you are very young, it’s likely you have had many jobs. The issues you addressed at one of those jobs may provide you with an idea you could turn into a business. If you ever worked as a secretary, you could earn a lot more money setting up an administrative overflow service. Performing the overflow work of a few large companies has the capacity to pay far more that most secretaries earn.
- If you are creative, have an engineering background or feel you’re capable of improving on existing products or processes, consider designing a new product or process. This unfortunately may be the most difficult method for developing an idea for a business. Your new product would need to be branded and promoted. Sometimes it may be best to license your idea to a large company. This is easily the most challenging method for developing a business to start. But, if you think you have what it takes, this may be a possibility. This could lead to the collection of royalties or a big payoff if your idea is good.
The best thing you can do when you are considering opening a business is to absorb all the information you can get your hands on about the industry your business will operate in, idiosyncrasies related to the specific business you plan to open, and best practices for promoting your business. Because once you develop an idea, you then have to determine what problem it will solve for your target market and the consumers most likely to buy your offering. Finding an idea for a business you can open is simply one of the many steps you must perform prior to planning or preparing to open for business.