“People are gonna talk about you no matter what you do. So you might as well do whatever brings you joy, and live your best life.”
How do you pick the right business idea? An idea that will help you build a profitable business and build that dream life you have always wished for? An idea for a product or service that people will want, or which might solve their problems? Whether you are starting out completely clueless or beaming with a million ideas and don’t know which one to pursue, if you want to start your own business, this blog is for you.
Whether you are sick of your current job and need a change, want to pursue your passions, or build your dream life, starting a business can change your life. Even if you want to start something but have no idea where to begin, there’s hope. And if your mind is bursting with ideas, there’s a way to figure out which one you need to pursue. Even if something starts out just as a hobby, it may be overwhelming to think of turning it into a whole business. But wait! It is possible.
Here are a few things you could do:
- You could start a service-based business like hairdressing, content writing, graphic designing, and many more.
- You could start a product-based business like Nykaa or Sugar. These companies were just starting out 7-8 years ago, and now, they have become unicorns. They were both founded by women entrepreneurs(Falguni Nayar and Vineeta Singh) and were able to become billion-dollar companies.
- You could start a digital product-based business. You don’t have to provide a product or a service- if you are good at something, you can teach your skills online and make good money from it. The pandemic has made it evident how useful it is to use your free time to learn some new skills online. Like if you are great with the English language, you could offer an English or English Grammar course on a platform like Udemy or Coursera. So you could build a digital product at once and then enjoy repeat income every time someone buys it.
Step 1- Figure out your Strengths
You can SNIP your way to your idea. What are your strengths, skills, and gifts? Write it down on a piece of paper. If you want to find your strengths, write down the answers to these questions:
- What would you like to be paid for? What would you like to make for others? Is it baking? Is it designing? Do you want to make personalized gifts for people?
- What would you enjoy doing every day?
- What gives you the most satisfaction at your current job?
- What are you able to do naturally, quickly, and with joy, that other people struggle with? Maybe you are good with numbers. Maybe you enjoy writing and proofreading. If you often find yourself correcting sentences in your mind, but other people find it exhausting, you might be onto something.
- What skills do you have that could be translated into services?
- What tools or online apps do you know how to use better than anyone else? If you are great at Photoshop, you could take up clients. If you are good at understanding how social media works, you could teach or perform digital marketing for clients.
Step 2- Figure out your Interests
Once you know your strengths, you need to figure out your interests. Because if you are good at something, but you are not really interested in making a career out of it, there’s no point in wasting your time. Get back to that piece of paper and write down the answers to these questions:
- What do people always seem to ask you for help with? Do they ask you to help out with their computer?
- What do you do in your free time?
- What do you read about? What websites and subjects do you usually follow? If you keep reading up on psychology, it might be a good fit for you.
- What pisses you off when it comes to an existing service or product? We are all users of a lot of services and products. Maybe you go to a salon one day and are disappointed by how poorly they maintain their hygiene. As consumers, we often tend to have opinions about the products and services we use. So think about what pisses you off and makes you want to get up and go change it.
- If money was not a problem, what would you like yourself doing or becoming? Many times, we want to do a lot of things, but we are held back by a lack of money. Maybe you would like to open a supermarket, but you are scared that even if you found that much money, you would not be able to take it off the ground or keep it going.
- If you knew you would never fail, what is it that you would like to do? We are most often held back by our fear of failure. But what is it that you would dare to do if you knew you would not fail at it?
Now, you know all your strengths and interests. Try to combine those and come up with business or product ideas. Like if you are really good at baking desserts, and you are interested in writing and photography, you could blog about recipes. Or if you are great at photography and interested in home decor, you could create home decor videos and photos. If you are a certified dietician and interested in talking and teaching, you could start a podcast giving out health tips.
Passion Score– After combing different ideas, you need to assign them a passion score on a scale of 1 to 10. So if an idea really aligns with your passion, you could give it a 9 or a 10. If not so much, maybe a 4 or a 5. If it is your passion, you could find a purpose- you could find your “why?”. To assign these scores, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I want to start this business? What is my personal motivation behind it?
- What is my story? What is my inspiration, my stand, my beliefs behind this?
- Whose lives are going to be changed as a result of it?
- How can your business make this world a better place?
Even though the ultimate purpose is to make money, you can only start by finding out your “why?”. The money is a bonus.
Step 3- Figure out the Needs of the market
Now that you know yourself better, you need to know the market, the people who will make or break your business. What does the market need?
- Who are the people your product or service is for? Maybe you want to sell tea-time cakes and most bakeries only cater to people who are looking for chocolate cakes?
- What does their day-to-day life look like? Maybe you don’t want to bake cakes that will just end up smashed on people’s faces, maybe you want to bake tea-time cakes that will bring a smile on people’s faces.
- What problems do they need solved?
- What keeps them up all night?
- What are they struggling with most right now? Maybe you could bake cakes that were for lactose-intolerant people, or maybe you wanted to bake cakes for people who want to celebrate their pets’ birthdays in a grand way.
- What are their dream outcomes or solutions?
- What do they really care about? What do they believe in?
Market Interest Score: With all these questions in mind, you have to score your ideas and give them a Market Interest Score. If you are putting yourself out there, you want to make sure that people will buy your product or service. You want people to rush to get your products or service. The market insight will help you analyze that.
Step 4- Figure out what you can be Paid for
Lastly, you need to figure out if the idea you are going for will actually be able to generate enough money to sustain itself AND turn a profit. Money is hard to come by, and you certainly don’t want to invest in an idea that will suck up all your money and time without giving you anything in return. So ask yourself these questions:
- How will my business make money?
- What will my clients pay me for? Is it convenience? Is it confidence? Is it hope?
- Who are the players in the space already successfully making money the way you want to? Two people can have the same idea, and so, chances are that someone else is already doing what you want to do, and they are doing a damn good job at it.
- What steps did they take to reach where they are today? Do your research. Find out how they did it, find out where they got stuck. Find out everything about it.
- What are the risks? What are the potential pitfalls? You need to know what could go wrong.
- What kind of capital is required to start this? Even though it might seem like you need a lot, you really only need enough to get started and make sure that your business can sustain itself.
- What additional skills would you need? Like if you are rolling out a course, you might need to be able to edit videos, operate a camera, and even build a website. Will you be willing to learn these skills?
Value Score: The more value you give into the market, the higher prices you can claim. So make sure to give these questions/statements a value score.
Now that you have given your ideas passion scores, market interest scores, and value scores, you need to total it up and pay attention to the couple ideas with the highest totals. But then,..
Step 5- Visualize a day in your future
Think about what it would be like to run this business. What does a day in your future look like? What kind of business are you running? What kind of an office are you sitting in? How many people are working for you? Be specific. Will you be working from home? Will you be working from an office? Or will you be location-independent? Maybe you could evaluate your priorities and then build your business around them.
Your Idea Sweet Spot: Your idea sweet spot is where all these things come together and help you build the life you have always dreamed of while doing what you want to do and making money too.
Business Vision: Now with at least two to three ideas, write a letter to yourself 2 years from now. Pick up your journal and write this down in present tense. Write the date. Write about how you would want your life to look like two years from now. What kind of steps have you already taken to achieve that? Write down your achievements, no matter how big or small.
They say we overestimate what we might achieve 1 year from now, but underestimate what we might achieve 5 years from now. So you should plan for more than 1 year ahead.
New Beliefs: With your new life and new business, you might have to change certain beliefs. Write those down.
New Success Rituals: What does your day look like now? How would you like to change that? What would your day look like when you are successfully running your business?
Start today by reviewing your habits and replacing the ones that don’t serve you anymore. If you can find your strengths, skills, gifts, interests, and understand and assign scores to your passion, the market needs, and the values, while understanding what you can be paid for, aligning it all with your dream outcome, if you can visualize yourself acing it in the future and alter you, you will go on to build a successful business. So what’s your idea?