Finding the best business startup ideas is never done with a list, it’s done by examining your passions, gifts, and talents. Let’s see how.
People starting a new business can be broken into two groups. Group one are those who already know their small business opportunity. If this is you, please go through an evaluation of that small business opportunity to see if it’s likely to work.
My article, Selecting Profitable Business Ideas, will guide you through a process that will confirm that you have found your best business startup ideas or warn you if there is a problem. If you take the time to do it you’ll read a story about a former client who didn’t and what happened to them!
Group two are those people starting a business who want to be freed from the life of being a wage slave and gain their financial freedom. The problem is they don’t know what business ideas they want to pursue.
The tendency is to quickly resort to lists of easy to start businesses, lists of the hottest businesses of the year, lists of top ten businesses and so forth. You are looking for inspiration. Maybe that’s how you got here. My advice: DON’T DO IT!
Avoid the lists of best business startup ideas
The common approach is to resort to lists of small business startup ideas. I want you to walk a higher road. In business you’re not going to find the answers to problems in lists anyway. A successful search will require thought, experience, and the advice of trusted advisors.
The proper method will take more work on your part, but remember there are no free lunches. There are no get rich quick schemes that work. Quick and easy is an attitude you need to leave behind if you plan to succeed in business. The only thing that truly works is … hard work and persistence.
I’m telling you not to go to the lists of business ideas looking for the quick answer or even an inspiration. Rather, we will walk together through a thought process that will help you select your best small business to start. I’ll give the direction but you need to bring your passion and dreams, roll up your sleeves and diligently work through the process. Take the time and do it right.
Find your passion and dream!
We have already seen that in order to succeed in small business you will be best served by finding your passion and dreams that fit with your gifts and talents. Let’s look at each and do some real brainstorming to find your new small business opportunity.
Your passion and dreams help us find small business startup ideas that will work for you. Take out a sheet of paper and list the 3 to 5 things that answer one or more of the following questions:
- What do I enjoy talking to others about?
- What do I enjoy reading about?
- What do I enjoy learning about?
- What do I enjoy teaching others about?
- What do I enjoy helping others with?
- What do I enjoy doing for others?
- What do I enjoy doing in my current job?
With that list in hand, either by yourself or with the assistance of those people whom you trust, brainstorm what types of small business startup ideas might be most served by those passions.
Your gifts and talents can also help us to find small business startup ideas. This part of the project will require you to seek the help of others. Write down the answers to the following questions:
- A list of your top three gifts or talents.
- A list of your top three gifts or talents, according to your spouse.
- A list of your top three gifts or talents, according to a coworker.
- A list of your top three gifts or talents, according to a close friend.
- A list of your top three gifts or talents, according to another friend.
Look for the common gifts or talents that were on those lists. Settle on the consensus top 3 or 4 gifts and talents. With that list brainstorm what types of small business startup ideas need those gifts and talents. You might consider the assistance of some of those people who helped you with the lists.
More help is on the way!
By now you may have found your best small business to start. However, if your really, really made the effort and have taken the time to do what I said and still struggle, I’ll give you a break. We will take a look at some business lists to see what business ideas might be related to your gifts and talents, passion and dreams.
Don’t shortcut on me here! Make sure you have first gone through the two exercises above. If you have, and if you still need help, there are many lists available in books and on the web.
Click here to access one of those lists. Remember, you are only using the business lists to see what business ideas might be related to your gifts and talents, passion and dreams.
Let’s take it a little further
Take the time to think through this, and here is the hard part … don’t choose just one business idea … choose three! Why three you say, when I could barely come up with one? I don’t want you to lock in on any one business that may or may not be right for you.
You need to take the next step and go through an evaluation of each small business opportunity to see whether it’s right for you or not. The process is worthwhile. Going through the evaluation phase will likely generate ideas for other business opportunities.
Too often someone comes to me and says “I’ve always wanted to do this” and puts their life savings and often the money of others into the deal only to have it fail quickly.
Remember, planning and preparation are vital. I’ll keep harping on it because I want you to succeed in your small business.
NO SHORTCUTS! Stay with me on this and your well thought out small business idea will give you the best chance of success.
by Steven Schlagel – June 21, 2009