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Copyright 2006

Ten ways to find the business of your dreams

1. Search out ideas from family members and their experiences.

Ask them what you are good at. Do they think a particular businesses would be suited to you? Ask what services they use and why. Most of all listen.

2. Test your ideas out on friends.

Would they use your service or buy your products. Find out what services they are happy to pay money for and what products they find useful.

3. Look at all the things in your life that annoy you.

Chances are you could have a solution to a simple problem that most people may need to. An example is personal shoppers – born out of the desire of many to avoid shopping queues and fights with dodgy trolleys.

4. Tune into your interests.

Thousands of ‘weekend crafters’ have taken up hobbies and turned them into a successful business. Search online for similar websites for ideas and inspiration. Current trends see many homemade products highly sought after due to natural ingredients or that ‘personal’ touch!

Visit the local markets and examine what products seem to sell. Talk to the stallholders and find out about pricing and materials. Is their ‘hobby’ a viable business idea? Do they offer party plan or craft lessons as a sideline?

5. Look at businesses around you.

Look at what types of businesses seem to attract attention and seem to have good client bases. Indications include professional signage, good shop presence and location.

For e-commerce, browse through search engines and see which companies come up in the higher end of the results. Investigate what they are doing and make notes.

6. Keep your eyes and ears open for business inspiration.

When you see something that catches your eye, ask yourself if you could do that – either better or differently.

Could you find a target audience who currently are not having their needs met? Does your idea offer ‘more’ than others do at present? Can you find a way to make your business ‘stand out in the crowd’? Look at your competitor’s weaknesses to avoid making a similar mistake.

7. Examine old ideas and modernise them.

If a product or service doesn't meet your own high standards, try to think of a way to improve it.

An example can be seen in the recent influx of virtual assistants. The idea of a company ‘secretary’ goes back for years, but modernising for this decade has seen ‘virtual’ secretaries offering fast, efficient service from afar.

8. Try to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Imagine you are your customer. Can you service your target audience of 15-20 year olds thinking like a 40 year old? Speak to a sample of your intended client base.

At all times think about how your customer would react to a new product or service – not how it will affect your business. Try changing your thought processes from ‘my business needs are’ to ‘my customers needs are’. Your business needs to earn money – sure! But your customers are the ones who will make this happen.

9. See past the bottom line.

A truly successful business does need to earn money. However, if you keep focusing on the facts and figures you will miss out on so many vital parts of running your own business. Feeling productive, enjoying your work and achieving your own personal goals are just as important as how much money you make.  

10. Does it make you happy?

Lucrative, booming, profitable…these are all words we wish would relate to our businesses. But simply, even the thought of planning to begin a new venture should make you happy. Researching, comparing, and testing ideas should invite excitement – not worry.

Think about if you are really ready to invest your time and effort into your business idea.  Chances are if you are not feeling good about it, it may not be the right time.

Remember, if it feels right – go for it. If you are passionate about it you are most likely good at it. Enjoy the ride and try to help others along the way!

 

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