Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's My Business Idea?

You just got laid off and you're thinking about starting your own business...
  1. You don't know if working for yourself is something that fits your personality
  2. You're not sure how feasible your business idea is.
  3. You may not have a clear business idea.
We all think about possible businesses according to what we're naturally interested in. I'm not going to talk you out of that. That's a good way to go for one big reason: If you don't love what you do, you won't do it well.
I could tell you so many stories of people going to franchise conventions or googling trending sites to see what's hot right now. I'm sure that must work for some people, but chances are it's not going to work for you. What will work is if you look at all the possibilities of what is connected to all the things you love to do.
I'll pick one out of my hat: You love Pilates and are an instructor. You see a trend in healthcare. Start a business catering to healthcare professionals at your local hospital and clinics at lunchtime!
Okay, another one: You're a PR professional (and probably have so many contacts you don't even need to read this) and you decide to help other small businesses get their first press release out to the business journals, etc. You find a list of new businesses that have started up in your town/city in the past 6 months.

Both of the examples given above are things that you can do with little to no capital (will be covered more in depth tomorrow) and can grow in different directions. Either going too broad, or too narrow in your idea will be problematic. An example of too broad may be, "I want to teach Fitness." Too narrow may be "I want to teach fitness to woman aged 20-40 who live in my neighborhood." I'm not saying that either of these will not eventually end up being your reality, but if you want to start that business plan, you're going to need something that you can research the feasibility of.
Today, I just want you to think about these things:
  • What am I good at?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What do other people compliment me on?
  • When I get up in the morning, what would be the thing that I might most like to be doing?
On this last one, you can think more broadly, like are you a morning or night person, or I like to go to the computer first, or I hate being on the phone, etc.

These are the questions I give my clients. What it would mean to work with a "mentor" like me is that I can guide you through these steps quickly and perhaps hear and see things in your answers that you don't perceive yourself. Even if I only spend an hour a week on the phone with you, it can help clearly define what it is perhaps that you're really wanting to do and "cut out" to do.
Tomorrow I'll talk about this again from a product-based business.
Start dreaming!

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