You want to start a business, but what will you do? And who will you serve?
There are as many business opportunities in the world as there are human needs, and even then there are entire industries that don’t serve needs, but whimsy and leisure. With all of these options, how will you choose what to do in your business?
We can’t (and shouldn’t) tell you EXACTLY what type of business to build. Running a business is full of challenges and requires a deep commitment to success that is very personal to the owners / founders. We can, however give you tips on how to orient yourself towards successful business ideas.
Choosing a Business Idea: 8 Tips
- Solve your own problem: Consider products and services that exist that don’t serve you well. How could they be improved?
- Solve someone else’s problem: You probably know a friend, neighbour, or local store owner who is frustrated with how a product, service, or piece of software works. They are a target market waiting to be served!
- Choose a business that isn’t revolutionary, but is lacking in your area: For example, if you live in a neighbourhood that lacks a cafe, auto shop, or grocer, these will be ways you can serve your community.
- Think outside the box: There may be business types the world hasn’t seen yet that would be very valuable to consumers.
- Consider what skills you currently have: If you’ve got expertise as a baker, a painter, or a librarian, think of aspects of your previous work that could use innovation or improvement. Look at tools, processes, and business models that could be reworked and improved.
- Do a Competition Analysis: Look at what exists in your field and who will be competing for your customers. Far too many businesses get excited and skip this step, only to be confronted by steep competition in the marketplace. Innovative and well branded businesses can still survive in busy markets, but it’s best to know the landscape from the start.
- Scrutinize your own ideas: Many people reach out to their community for ideas about their business ideas, but this is often a mistake. Your friends and family love you and want you to succeed - thus, they may support your ideas simply because you’re the one doing it. Additionally, your friends may not be business-minded. While their support will make you feel good about yourself which is a valuable resource, taking their advice over professionals may lead you to start a business no-one needs.
- Relax: You don’t have to come up with a billion dollar idea when you first start out. Business models adapt and pivot over time, and as you work on your Customer Development, you’ll uncover opportunities for new services and even new businesses.
Take your time and come up with a few ideas, then consider who they serve. Once you have winnowed your ideas down, done a competition analysis, and purchased your domains, you’ll be ready to build a Wordpress website and start acquiring leads for your new business.