How to Find the Right Small Business Ideas
Determine Which Small Business Ideas
Will Bring You the Greatest Success
Because you’re in the process of looking at small business ideas before you go any further you need to figure out what it is that really makes you tick. What is it that drives you?
What do you do, or even think about, that makes you think “wow, wouldn’t it be cool if I could make money doing this?”
It really is a self-discovery process you’ve got to go through before you even begin to look at small business ideas. You’ve got to find something you’ll be able to (a) make money at and (b) will really, really enjoy.
So what is it that you’re all about? Do you really know?
Are you creative? Do you like to work with people or would you rather work alone?
The thing is that if you’re going to be successful — and this isn’t the first (or last) time you’re hearing this — you’ve got to enjoy what you do.
My first business was something I had to do because I was determined to have my own business. I made a decent living and supported my family.
But was I happy? Only somewhat. But after a few short months, I felt like I was more of an employee. Slaving away. The fun was gone because I was working so damn hard.
I had the freedom and control that I needed to have. I had the independence that no job ever gave me. But “somewhat” happy just wasn’t good enough for me.
And it shouldn’t be for you. Looking at business ideas that are “somewhat” decent doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
OK, So What Do You Really Want?
Once you go over most of the things you like to do and, also, things you’re good at already, then the next step is to figure out what you want out of this. What would you have to be doing to consider you and your business “successful?”
Do you want to make a million dollars?
Do you want to get out (and stay out) of debt?.
Is it having more time to enjoy your family and friends?
These are somewhat long term goals that you need to be thinking about right now.
And until you set those goals, you’re not going to understand what’s going to make you successful and you’ll end up coming up with some bad business ideas that just won’t work.
Next, you want to start thinking about the different types of businesses will fulfill these goals.
For instance, if you’re the goal is to become extremely wealthy,
then you’ve got to look at businesses with big long-term financial payoffs. Some businesses are going to bring you the big bucks — while other business ideas will give you a different form of success.
Plan to Meet Your Goals
Maybe one of your long-term goals is to own a BMW or a Porche.
Maybe it’s to be able to travel six months out of the year. But whatever it is, you’ve got to think about your short term goals today — with an eye on that “Big Picture.”
If you’re trying to start up a part-time venture while working full-time for someone else, you’re going to have to set daily goals to try and squeeze in a few hours of work every day, often before and after work! (I used to get up at 4:30 in the morning, go to my full-time job at 8:30, come home at 5 or 6 and get right back to work on my new business until midnight — sometimes later.)
That means you’ve got to look at small business ideas that allow you to work on your own time. Starting an Internet business would be the first that comes to mind as a “stay at home” business. But there are so many other ideas that allow you to start-up part time and keep your full-time job. A Resume Writing Service is another idea that would allow you to work on your own watch.
Start Keeping Track of Your Ideas
Because — like all entrepreneurs — you’re a thinker, you’ve always got ideas popping into your head. Probably more than you can handle (the brain only has so much room, right?).
That’s why you should always have a notebook by your side while you’re trying to figure out the best business to start.
Sure, some of the best ideas get written on a cocktail napkin.
But you’re better off trying to give these small business ideas into a permanent location. And putting your ideas into an idea journal will give you your own “book of small business ideas.”
That’s what I did and ended up with hundreds of ideas that I thoroughly researched before I really knew what I was meant to be doing. My “Idea Journal” was a thick, hard covered sketchbook. By the time it was full, the cover was falling off because I used it so much.
And once you start putting your ideas in writing, you’ll find yourself getting into the habit of using your notebook more and more.
Become a Research Professional
Although being a research professional is actually another business idea, you need to take research seriously and start looking for reasons why a business would be a perfect idea.
You’ve got to dig — and dig deep — to determine what business really could work best for you and bring you that success you’re looking for. You’ve got to read and read some more.
Not only do you have to know who you are and what’s going to drive your personality the most, but you also need to think about what’s marketable.
What type of business can be profitable enough for your lifestyle?
Is there a niche that you’re interested in — but there are also enough “future customers” to give you their money?
You’ve got to research the competition before you start and realize “wow, there really is a lot of competition.” Because there are so many businesses out there who do such a horrible job at marketing themselves, you won’t know they exist until you do your investigating. But they still exist. And they’re still your competition.
Look at the “big guys.” What are the big corporations selling? What are the chain stores doing to be so successful?
Maybe you could create a smaller business with a personal touch that the “big guys” are typically missing out on.
Again, Don’t Forget About You
What kind of hobbies do you have, if any?
What kind of magazines do you enjoy?
What do you like to do most in your “free” time?
What was the best job you ever held? Even if it’s one you had when you were a kid, you may find a business in something you know and love — but don’t even realize it yet!
Don’t Worry, Business Ideas Are Everywhere
Start to think about the needs in your town or city. Is there something missing? Is there a need or a product or some type of service people would use that they “want?”
- What is the majority age population in your city or town? Is it mostly seniors? (a huge market because they are more active and living longer than ever.) Or is your community made up of younger families?
- Check out the local sections in your paper. Read the Lifestyle and Arts section. (I always find articles about local business people who have started businesses.)
- Look at local and state businesses. Look at consumer trends and what people “want.”
- Is there something other businesses in your area need? Don’t be afraid to go around and ask!
- Think about concerns we all have in the world today.
Does the high unemployment open up an opportunity for you to start a career consulting business? Or even
a simple home-based Resume Writing Business?
There are hundreds of small business opportunities out there.
Don’t just spend your life thinking about what it would be like to own a business. Make it happen — once you find the right idea.
Don’t be afraid to ask!
This is where your friends, family, and neighbors come in. Ask them to give you their number-one need. A product or service that’s “hard-to-find.” A complaint about what’s missing from their lives.
How many times have you looked for something — a product or service — and had to travel a long distance to get it?
Answering questions will give you plenty to think about and some good material for your notebook.
And if you’re interested in the business-to-business market, you could always put together a survey and mail it out to local businesses. Give them an incentive and find out what they really need to help them improve their business.
You may find that all of the local businesses in your area need someone to take care of local deliveries (a courier service!). Or someone to help them type or use their computer more effectively.
Or a computer repair business.
Just remember, starting a small business is a process and it takes time. The more planning and research you do up front, the better chance you’ll have to success and have a little bit of fun, too.