How can you generate ideas for a new business? What sort of business do you want?
What is driving you to start a business? Is it a product, or an idea for a service? Or, do you finally choose to be your own boss?
Possibilities are numerous, but it’s time to pull the desire out of your head and get down to the nitty-gritty of deciding exactly what type of business you want to establish.
Wholesale or retail?
Wholesalers generally purchase large quantities of goods directly from manufacturers and importers, after which they sell them to distributors and retailers.
Retailers sell products in small quantities directly to consumers.
Certain well-established companies offer franchises for sale. These could be taken as clones that may be purchased, coupled with rights to sell the parent company’s goods/services within a specified geographic area.
Besides the franchise fee, there are usually additional fees including royalties on sales.
A franchise agreement contains many rules that indicate exactly how your business must be conducted.
There are pros and cons to having a franchise.
Creating an independent business from the ground up allows you freedom and control, not available within a franchise situation.
A service, product, or both?
If you plan to base your business on professional skills, previously honed in other environments – for instance: teaching, accounting, real estate, or healthcare provision – yours will probably be a services based business.
However, although the business is service based, you could add related products to the mix. For instance, a hairdresser may also sell hair products, a dentist could sell dental hygiene products, and a photographer might add specialty camera accessories and frames to his offerings.
If you are not a trained professional, you will need to pinpoint what you most enjoy doing, and which of your talents may possibly be become a service or product.
A store: bricks-and-mortar or online?
Products will need to be sold in a store of some kind, either online or in a bricks-and-mortar environment. Increasingly businesses combine both options, so they can reach customers well beyond the confines of their city or state.
The Internet also offers opportunities to have others sell products for you, resulting in simplified processes, such as payment and shipping.
A service business could be mobile, with services being performed on-site at the customer’s location. Such services may include:
- Home: Maintenance in and around the house. for example: yard, equipment, house painting, pest control, etc.
- Industrial: Equipment maintenance, premises upkeep, manpower, etc.
Communication with customers, including price quotes, can now be done with a smart phone, saving secretarial services. Follow-up paperwork would then be attended to from home in the evenings. All these result in low overhead, especially for business start-ups.
Choose an industry or topic
Pick an industry or topic you know something about and preferably have some experience or real expertise in. This will save you a great deal of time and expense in self-education, and avoids mistakes that can hurt your business.
Ideas for owning your own business
Are you a techie, a sports fan, a hobbyist, a book lover, or great with numbers? This might just be a great start for a business.
- Perhaps you are an IT professional, having worked for several years in a technology company. You have gleaned sufficient knowledge and experience, to help customers in need of a reliable technician to maintain their computers and networks. Or, perhaps you ‘d like to be a consultant for companies when they move to new premises and need a seamless transfer and integration of hardware and software. This can possibly be a good business.
- Do you live and breathe sports? You could start by selling sports items through Amazon, which requires no inventory and avoids shipping issues.
- Maybe you have a hobby like carpentry that produces unique furniture other people will agree to pay for.
- Perhaps you prefer to set up professional classes or create online courses on specialist subjects.
- Has a childhood buddy been pestering you to start a window cleaning business with him?
- Did a past physical challenge give you ideas for rehabilitation solutions that customers would be interested purchasing?
Possibilities are endless and limited only by what your imagination can hold.
Inspired by a hobby?
Do you have a hobby that might be turned into a business?
You might like to sell hard-to-find items, create and sell posters, offer seasonal products connected to your hobby.
How passionate are you about your hobby?
- What is my skill set? What are my specialties?
- What do I enjoy in my current position?
- What sorts of tasks do I hate?
- What tasks are fun?
- What is my ideal when considering owning a business?
When do you desire to start your business – next month, next year? Set a timeframe to plan within.
How would you like to interact with your customers:
- Face-to-face on their premises, or yours?
- Do you prefer to communicate electronically via the web, email, or instant messaging?
Where will you locate your business?
Do you envision:
- A brick-and-mortar store
- A home-based office
- An Internet business
Who will be your customers?
Who do you believe will be interested in buying your products or services?
Do you have to get started on a shoe-string budget, or do you have some capital to invest? Where will you raise money, from family, the bank, or other investors?
How will you market your service? All these can get the word out.
- Printed fliers
- A website
- Local media ads
- Face-to-face events for prospective customers
Come up with an eye-catching gimmick to achieve free publicity:
- Done for free window cleaning for an old age home with the media present.
- Write a press release about an event and include pictures.
- Choose a day for example: “Free window cleaning day” and have people subscribe.
- Use anything to obtain free publicity. Don’t forget to collect emails.
Tips for an online business
- Find a niche you enjoy, for which there is a demand.
- Are there successful brick-and-mortar businesses in your industry that you believe could succeed online? These can give you ideas.
- Build an online directory that lists websites discussing issues surrounding your product idea. Find related websites. It’s free.
- A successful Internet business knows and understands its competitors, and often associates with them.
- This is a great way to access your industry.
- Create a blog using WordPress, which saves you time and money and allows you to add content easily.
- There are lots of free themes and plugins available to improve your blog. This way you can have a website without spending thousands of dollars.
- Put together a pilot to test your product idea before you spend months planning your business from A-Z.
- Networking. Get the word out: You could arrange an evening mini-conference at a local hotel, offer some refreshments, and tell your audience about your product or service.
First ask yourself the questions
Before starting the planning stages of creating a new business, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the kind of business you’re interested in.
Ask yourself questions and weigh the pros and cons of each option. Don’t hesitate to seek advice.
Do you envision a brick and mortar business, or do you want to take it online, or a combination of both?
Here is a list of ideas to help you brainstorm possibilities for starting your own business. As you do so, also combining items that go well together towards creating your success.
Good luck in your quest for attaining the ultimate small business.
Get this tool to brainstorm ideas for a new business!
You will get a list of ideas for a new business to help you brainstorm possibilities for owning your own business. As you do so, also combine items that go well together towards creating your success.
Here are some categories of ideas for a new business:
- GREEN ENERGY
- HOME BASED
Good luck in your quest for attaining the ultimate small business.