Here is How To Find Your Business Idea Easily

Written by: David Scott

Are you fed up being an employee and making money for other people? You decided that you want to start a business, but you don’t have any ideas? Let us guide you through your journey and help ensure that the odds of creating a successful business are in your favor.

Table of Contents

    Everyone is familiar with the statistics regarding the extremely high failure rate of new businesses. Most people blame their failure on a multitude of factors such as the lack of funding, incompetent business partners, not choosing the right employees, being unlucky, and a plethora of other ones. The truth is, most people get the first step wrong, the business idea itself. You can have all the funding, all the right people, hard work, determination, and even luck if the idea itself was not a good one, it will never work out. 

    You must understand what a “business” is

    A business produces value for others

    Many people do not think fondly of some of the biggest businesses in the world. You can join the haters as well, but the truth is, they are successful because they are providing value, otherwise people would stop giving them money. Want to have a cheap burger fast that always tastes the same? There’s McDonald’s. You don’t wanna carry a bunch of cash and want to be able to pay with the same card wherever you are? There’s Visa or Mastercard. Want to reconnect with old friends and see how they are doing? There’s Facebook. You can argue that these companies are not the most popular, but they all have something in common: They all solved ‘problems’ that millions of people were facing and they did it better than any of their competitors. 

    While it’s unlikely you’ll build the next McDonald’s or Facebook, you must ask yourself the question: What is the value proposition of my business? What ‘problem’ does it solve? If you do not have a clear answer, your idea will probably not work out. Think about what kind of product or service would make your life better that doesn’t exist. If you came up with a few ones, do your research to find out whether there are others who feel the same before investing any of your money.

    It is a system, and you must operate it

    There are several moving pieces when it comes to managing a business. While you do not have to do everything by yourself – delegating tasks is actually quite beneficial – you do have to understand all the processes that go into making your enterprise a reality. Without proper oversight and management, no company has a chance to survive today’s highly competitive business environment. If you found the right people, you do not have to micromanage every aspect, but you’ll certainly have to keep a close eye on everything. You have to have a wider view of the business and while consulting with employees before making important decisions is recommended, in the end, you are the one who calls the shots, and you alone will be responsible if things do not work out the way you wanted. 

    It should work without you

    While in the beginning, everything will go through you, the end goal should be to create an enterprise that is more than capable of running without your oversight, Remember, your goal is not to create yourself a high-paying job or to make yourself feel important. It should be creating a business that basically runs itself or at least can be run by others. I personally know people who created successful businesses employing 50-100 people but are deeply unhappy. They are the ‘boss’ and there are the employees who need constant direction, and without their ‘beloved leader’, they are lost. Due to the lack of middle management, and proper delegation of responsibilities, the ‘boss’ has to put in 60–70-hour workweeks to keep the business running, knowing that without his or her extraordinary effort, all his employees could become unemployed at any second. These ‘bosses’ are already rich, not doing it for the money or success, they keep grinding due to a feeling of responsibility towards their employees. Do not become a boss like this. From the very beginning, plan for the different professionals needed, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks, and run the company in a way that you’ll have fewer and fewer responsibilities, so in the end, it will be able to run itself.      

    You need a legal entity and abide by all the laws

    Going through all the bureaucracy that comes with creating a business and dealing with tax and legal obligations can be daunting, but absolutely necessary. Do not even consider running a shady or semi-legal business hoping you can get away with it. Think for the long term and realize, that all shortcuts have their drawbacks and, in the end, you will have to deal with the legal or financial consequences of your actions. Not knowing the law or rules is not an excuse. Maybe this worked with your parents when you were a kid, but I can promise you, that the tax authorities will not care for your excuses. It is time-intensive, and you’ll likely need to hire help, but absolutely essential if you want your company to have any chance to survive. 

    On a personal note, I have invested about 500 hours in developing a phone game that had to be removed from the App Store due to copyright infringement. After publishing the app, I received a ‘cease-and-desist-letter’ telling me that in case I do not remove the app, I’ll be facing a billion-dollar company in court. That company copyrighted the same title I used for my app for their future unannounced game. I was not angry with the company, only with myself. If I had done proper research before creating the app, I wouldn’t have wasted all those hours. Do not make the same mistake! 

    Choose something you really understand and are interested in

    Find things you are good at or at least keen on

    Starting a business just because a similar one worked out for others you know is never a good idea. You need to have a certain amount of knowledge of the field, know what the customer preferences are and most importantly you must feel passionate about it so you can stay focused and positive when you are facing challenges. Let’s say you’re an animal lover, have several pets, and spend a bunch of time looking for products and services for your beloved companions. If that’s your passion, try to come up with ideas related to that. Don’t start learning to make computer games just because your neighbor made a killing with that decision. As an avid pet lover, you know well what your target audience wants, while you probably have much less grasp on what the newest gaming trends are. 

    You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

    Most people give up on having their own business because they feel that they have to come up with some kind of revolutionary idea. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have such an idea, it is really not necessary. Staying with the pet example, it can be enough to just come up with ideas on how certain products or services you are already using could be improved. I personally know a guy who wanted a dog collar with a personalized design that also uses an ‘extra safe’ safety buckle. To his surprise, there was no company that could satisfy his wish, so he made it by himself. After receiving countless compliments on the collar he made, first, he started making ones for family and friends, and not long after, he had his own successful business making thousands of custom-made collars every year. 

    Even if you can’t come up with any creative ideas, don’t give up. Look for services that do well in other regions but are not available in yours. With some research, you might find that for example, the neighboring town has 3 doggy daycares and all of them are thriving while there is none in your town. There you have it. After doing a bit of research, you can conclude that opening a doggy daycare in your town could be a good business opportunity. You did not need much creativity or a fancy business degree, just plain common sense, and a bit of time investment. 

    Always start small

    Do not quit your job instantly!

    I know you’re excited about your new idea and feel that you must dedicate all your time and energy to making it successful. Unless you have a substantial amount of savings, do not risk your career and your livelihood on an idea that may or may not work out. Try dedicating most of your free time to your venture, use your day-offs to develop it or you can consider going part-time to be able to build your business while still being employed. Of course, everyone’s situation is different. If you have a strong CV with at least a decade of experience in high-demand professions, you can consider quitting knowing that you’ll be hired in days if your business venture doesn’t turn out as expected. Unfortunately, most of us are not in this position, so please be patient and don’t risk being out of a job for longer periods if things south.   

    Build a prototype!

    I know you have the burning desire to build the biggest possible business, sell the best possible product or provide a service that is equal to none. The reality is that while having a long-term vision is necessary, first you should focus on creating a so-called ‘minimal viable business’, focusing on a very limited amount of products or services. Jeff Bezos didn’t start Amazon as the ‘online retailer of everything’. He focused on one thing. Creating the best online bookstore. Only after that segment turned out to be a success, he developed the company further, utilizing the profits generated by the business itself. McDonald’s didn’t start out as a major franchise business with dozens of different offerings. It was just a single restaurant with a fairly limited menu. All in all, feel free to think big, but always start small!

    Start marketing before having the product or service itself

    As a part of market research, you can start marketing without even starting the business. Once I was considering starting a supplement business that I was extremely passionate about. Since I planned to create a quite unique product I had no idea what the demand will be like. I consulted a marketer who suggested me not to invest in having the supplement produced due to high initial costs. Instead, I was told to have a basic website and social media profiles for the product and do some basic advertising. All advertisements led to my webpage where people could ’click to order’ my product. When they did so, a pop-up let them know that the product was out of stock but by providing their email address, they would be notified if it is available again. This way I could find out at a low cost what the demand is for the product and also collected data on some potential customers before making substantial investments in the production. I didn’t even have to go through the legal process of establishing the company at this point, since I technically wasn’t selling anything.

    As for the doggy daycare idea, you could do something similar. By going to all the nearby dog parks and pet-related events, you could grasp the expected demand. You could start offering people discounted monthly or yearly passes to the daycare with a promise that you’ll provide a full refund in case it is not opened by a certain time. This way you not only find out how many people would be interested in the service you are planning to provide, but also have some funds to cover the initial costs of establishing the business. 

    Tips after you decided to go through with the plan

    Prepare yourself!

    It’s not gonna be smooth sailing, just accept it. You have to be prepared to weather the storms that come with establishing a new venture. There will always be unforeseen issues to deal with, but you must keep grinding till you make it. Having talked to dozens of successful entrepreneurs, it became clear to me that the stress that comes with starting a business is unavoidable. While making a list of all the issues you feel might encounter will definitely help, there will be ones you are not prepared for. These will test not only your business skills but your determination as well. Try to stay rational and face issues head on. 

    Don’t be afraid to fail!

    As I have already mentioned, most new businesses fail. Just accept the fact that even if you do your best, there is a chance it will not work out. As Henry Fords famously said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. Most entrepreneurs don’t get it right the first time. Many of them had quite a few ventures before they achieved success. The reason they did and others did not is that they were willing to learn from their mistakes. If your company fails due to your business partner’s incompetence or dishonesty, it’s your fault, since you chose to work with that person. If the business fails because an employee destroys the reputation of your beloved venture, it’s still your fault, you made the hiring decision. Always take full responsibility, never blame others, learn from your mistakes and just keep grinding!  

    Learn to work with other people!

    There is a good chance you will create a company that will have employees and there will be tasks you’re gonna have to outsource. No matter what company you are planning to have, you’ll have to learn how to work well and manage others. Don’t try to be ‘the boss’ constantly instructing and correcting everyone while ignoring everyone’s feedback. Be a ‘leader’ who inspires people to do their best and constantly ask how you can help others be happier with their jobs and in return more satisfied and productive. It is quite unfortunate that Steve Jobs became a person many wannabee businessmen inspire to be like thinking that his harsh, unempathetic style of managing people was somehow the key to his success. These people must understand that he became successful despite his terrible personality traits, not because of them. In reality, almost all highly successful businessmen have excellent people skills. If you want to have a chance to build a great business, you must invest time in improving your communication skills.

    Educate yourself continuously

    Being a lifelong learner is the key not only to reaching success but to being able to stay ahead of the competition. Many make the mistake of getting comfortable after building a profitable company. In every single market, the competition is higher than ever. Markets and customer preferences can change almost instantly, and more and more up-and-coming entrepreneurs are trying to take your place. It is vital to keep ahead and the only way to do so is by staying up to date with everything related to your chosen market and keep learning and improving. 

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