A budding young entrepreneur wanted to know: how to find a business idea then stick to it like glue!
“I am absolutely raring to go into my first business, I’m pumped!!! But no matter what I do I cannot think of a good business idea! I have thought about many different things that I could do, but I often find that the market is already filled, and this discourages me.
So my question is, how do I find a business idea and stick with it?”
Business ideas don’t come from the back of napkins in coffee shops, or from careful analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and market opportunities.
- What do you enjoy doing the most? Is it helping people, solving problems or is it that you prefer to be in the background and work on the technical detail rather than engage with the clients?
- You need to separate what you enjoy as a ‘hobby’ and what you are ‘skilled’ at. For example, you may enjoy painting but if you suddenly had to do it for a living you might find that it becomes a chore rather than something you enjoy.
The best business ideas come from experience and expertise that comes from throwing yourself at hard problems. Most start-ups are founded on the basis that they solved a problem for someone then thought “hey, other people might be willing to pay me to also help them”.
Establishing if the idea will work
Whatever your idea is, make sure that you have the experience of solving that problem either for yourself or for someone else. Without that, you will struggle to sell your service/product to anyone because you won’t truly appreciate why someone would part with their hard-earned cash for your services.
Don’t do anything for your business until you can answer the following questions with one sentence each:
- What is your product?
- Why is it better or different than anything else out there?
- How and what will you charge for it?
The critical part I always find is number 2. Most people that come to me have done steps 1 and 3 but forgot about asking themselves why is their product better than anyone else?
If you really haven’t thought this through, then that is what you should spend most of your time on. I call it competitor research, I even have a workbook that you can download that gives you a great template to structure your research.
These days you can probably always find someone else doing something similar to what you want to do – your goal is to make sure your product is better. The only way to truly know that is by looking at as many competitors as you can and analysing their product to see what you could improve on.
So you’ve come up with a great idea – now what?
The first question you should be considering is – do you have experience in this field? If you don’t then it’s probably not a great idea unless of course, you can work with someone who does.
The reason I say it might not be a good idea is that without knowing how clients will truly benefit from your product/service you probably won’t be able to build a platform that really meets the needs of the client. You will miss things, you might not really know the ‘pain-points’ that those clients go through that you want to try and solve.
So how do you find a business idea?
So here’s my top tip – stop trying to find a business idea – instead take a good look at yourself, your experience, your skills and think about problems you’ve had that you either solved yourself or had to pay someone else to solve.
Those types of ideas are where you will really find the best business prospects. Start putting them on post-it notes and throw them up on a wall. Takedown one at a time and then start working through each of the 3 questions above. Do this until you find an idea that is workable, profitable and importantly – something you will be great at doing.
If you need some help around this topic I provide start-up coaching and could help you work through some of your ideas.
Good luck with your research and with determination you will no doubt be a great success!