One of the most fun, and often most overwhelming, aspects of starting a business is coming up with ideas for your business. There are different ways that aspiring entrepreneurs approach this step. People often have a broad idea of what they want to do, but not necessarily how to do it or who their real audience is.
Others know what type of business model they want to own, but no real idea about what kind of business. For example, they might know they want to provide a service, but aren’t quite sure what service exactly or how to position it.
And a third group just knows they want to start a business but they have no idea what or where to start.
Regardless of where you are, the following steps will help you get clarification on your business idea. And you’ll find that are more excited to get started than you can even imagine.
The first step to narrowing ideas for your business…
1. What Do You Love? What Are You Good At?
Grab a notebook and your favorite pen and go sit somewhere that makes you feel calm, introspective, and happy. It might be a patio, your couch, or a coffee shop. Write down a list of things that you like to do, topics that you’re interested in, and things that you’re really good at. It can be anything. Don’t limit yourself or your ideas. Just write them down. There’s no right or wrong answer here. For example, you might write down that you’re really good at talking to strangers. Or maybe you love to read.
On a another sheet, write down a list of things that you’re not good at, don’t like, and aren’t interested in. For example, maybe you love to talk to strangers but you don’t like to speak in public. Again, don’t worry about it. Just write.
Now let’s dive a little deeper…
2. What Makes Life Better?
Start thinking about what makes life better. We’re talking about products or services that may make your life easier, more enjoyable, more productive or happier. For example, Spanx founder, Sara Blakely, invented her product one afternoon when she found herself once again cutting the feet off of control top pantyhose. She wanted a seamless look under her clothing and there just wasn’t a product on the market that fit the bill.
She invented Spanx and the rest is history. Her simple product solved a problem that women around the world face daily. Start thinking about yourself as your audience and explore how your life might be improved with products or services. Explore both your personal life and your business life. What could make your business life easier, more enjoyable, more productive and so on? Don’t worry if this step takes some time. You may need to think about it over the course of several days. That’s okay. The end result will be worth it.
Now let’s look at your motivation…
3. Why Do You Want to Start a Business?
Look inward and explore why you want to start a business. Write down what are you hoping to gain? What do you expect and what will make you feel like you’ve succeeded?
Finally, pull all the pieces together. Looking back at your responses you’ll likely see patterns emerging. You may see a connection between what you are interested in and where there is a need. This is the foundation for ideas for your business. When you can fill a need and find personal satisfaction and joy in your business, it’s the best set-up for success.
It’s never too late to start a business. In fact, baby boomers are often the most active and most successful entrepreneurs. Click here to get started on the right foot and how to leverage your skills and knowledge to succeed.
Your success is my business!