One of the first hurdles aspiring entrepreneurs face is trying to find a great idea for a business. You don’t need to look for the next big idea that’s going to change the world- it’s totally possible to start a successful business without reinventing the wheel.
If you’re brainstorming business ideas, there are plenty of resources you can use to make the process easier. Start with this guide from Hubspot for inspiration, which lists 54 small business ideas for anyone looking to start their own business. If you’re thinking about starting a business from home, check out this article from Simply Business, which gives an overview of the types of businesses that can be run from home.
A great way to brainstorm ideas is to identify problems people face in their everyday lives, and determine how your business could provide a solution to these problems. Take a look at this article from Dummies.com, which outlines 10 Methods For Identifying Customer Needs. If you’re short on time, here are 3 methods you can try out now:
- Interview potential customers: Ask customers about the problems they have and the kind of solutions they are looking for.
- Map the customer journey: Create a customer journey map, which visualises the process a customer would experience when using your product or service.
- Analyse your competition: Use the SWOT method to research your competitors- identify their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Entrepreneur Gillian Perkins has created a helpful video guide outlining the 5 most important things to consider when deciding what business to start. Here are her top tips:
- Understand your options: Gillian divides businesses into 3 categories: Service Businesses, Product Businesses and Information Businesses. Which category would your business fall under?
- Consider where your passions lie: What kind of activities do you most enjoy doing? Running a business takes a lot of time, so it makes a big difference if you enjoy your work.
- Try a day-in-the-life exercise: Plan out how a realistic day in your life would look if you started your own business- is that how you want to spend your days?
- Consider your priorities: Make a list of what’s important to you in life, and consider whether your business ideas align with your values.
- Interview people in your field: The best way to find out whether you’ll enjoy running a certain type of business is by talking to people in your desired field and asking about their experience.
Check out the full video below to hear more of her thoughts.
Entrepreneur and personal finance advisor Ramit Sethi also has plenty of advice for aspiring business owners. Here are his top 3 tips for finding a great business idea:
- Assess your skillsets: Consider what skills you already have, and explore how they could be used to your advantage in a potential business idea.
- Ask your friends what you’re good at: It can be difficult to evaluate your own skills, so ask your friends to honestly tell you where they think your strengths lie.
- Use the Idea Mapping Checklist: Ramit suggests using an Idea Mapping Checklist template to brainstorm ideas, which can be downloaded for free on GrowthLab.
Hear his full thoughts on finding a business idea in the video below.
If you think you’ve hit on a winning business idea, try brainstorming it using this downloadable worksheet from Grasshopper Academy, which helps you identify your target market, your business objectives and your potential competitors.
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