A budding young entrepreneur wanted to know: how to find a great 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.
The best ideas start with you simply looking at a couple areas of your life:
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.
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”.
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 you 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.