Business Ideas – Start With Yourself

Start with yourself. Begin with your talents, abilities, experience, knowledge, interests, and background. You will be successful only by doing something that you enjoy, something that interests you, absorbs you and grabs your attention. When you look back over your previous activities, you will find that products, services, and activities have attracted you. These can be good indicators of the kind of business you should be in today. You will always be most successful doing something or marketing something you really love. When you start a business, begin by looking for something that improves an existing product or service, rather than something that is brand new.

  • Look for something that you can bring to the market cheaper, faster, more easily, and in better quality or with additional features or benefits. Remember, an idea only needs to be 10 percent new and better to capture a substantial market share.
  • Read everything you can find about potential businesses. Keep your eyes open for a product or service that people need, but no one is offering.
  • Talk to your friends. Look around in your job or field. There may be a million-dollar idea staring you in the face in the form of something that you think someone should be offering to the market in which you live and work.
  • Keep alert and open to new business opportunities occurring around you, especially listen to your inner voice. What sort of product or service would you really like to bring to the market and build a successful business around? This is the starting point of starting your business.
  • Identify your customers! The most important single question in market research and sales planning is the question Who is my customer? Failure to answer this question with great clarity is the number one reason businesses fail because the people at the top are unclear about their customers. They produce a product or service for customers who do not exist or are not in sufficient quantity to make the business successful.
  • Who is your customer, exactly? Describe them in detail. What is their age? What sort of education do they have? What is their income? What sort of work do they do? And at what level? What is their background or experience, especially related to your product or service?
  • What are their interests, beliefs, values, or attitudes?
  • Take all this information and write out a description of your ideal customer, the perfect customer for the product or service you are thinking of offering. Why does your cost what it cost?

Once you have looked at the demographic, geographic, and psychographic, ask yourself questions about motivation, why does my customer buy this product? What does my potential customer consider to be value in what I sell? What benefits do they seek? What is the primary motivation that causes my customer to buy what I sell? What does my product or service do for my customer? What is the most important benefit that my customer enjoys from using my product or service? And above all, what does my customer have to be convinced to buy this product or service from me rather than someone else for a new product or service business to enter the market? It must be better by a factor of three. It must be faster, cheaper, or easier to use and must be better in some important way or contain additional features and benefits. It must be sold more professionally, delivered more efficiently, and serviced more rapidly.

  • So, in what three ways is your product or service idea superior to what is already available? How large is the market?
  • Is the market for your product or service large enough?
  • Are there enough potential customers to make your business a success?
  • Is your market concentrated enough?
  • Can you reach your market with sufficient advertising, promotional, and selling activities to sell enough and make enough profit whenever a company, large or small, has problems with sales and cash flow, like many internet companies today?

The problems can almost always be traced back to a failure of the company to correctly identify the potential customers and then reach those customers in sufficient quantity and get them to buy in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Do fast, cheap market research before spending money. It\’s easy to fall in love with a product or service idea. Still, before you invest your time, your money, and your life in a business venture, you should investigate it carefully to make sure potential customers are as excited about your product or service as you are. The payoff for careful market research will be more than 10 to 1 in the money you will save or earn as a result, and the time you will save from market research. Please do your homework and invest your time and energy rather than your money to prove that people will buy your product before bringing it to the market.