You might think that coming up with a business idea might be a seamless task; but you'd be wrong. If you think that setting up a business (be it offline or online) is going to be a breeze, you will fail. No beating around the bush; setting up a business is hard work and harder than you can ever imagine. It will draw everything from you and be on your mind 24/7.
However, if you have a passion for rolling your sleeves up in effort to evolve a business from the bottom up-you are already on your way to success. Unless you have a hobby which has lead you down the business start up path, just how do you go about finding the perfect business idea for you?
Ambition & Passion
Ambition and passion play a very important role when it comes to selecting a business idea that works for you. If you don't have a passion for your business it is not going to last very long. Business start ups test you to the limit, and can at times make you question whether you have what it takes. Your passion for your business is the sole ingredient which can carry you through these difficult stages.
Start by think about what your passions lie in, be it: baking, sports, music, technology, travel etc. The next thing to do is think about how big you want your business to grow. Visualise where you see your business ten years down the line, where do you want your ambition will take you? Your business doesn't have to grow to epic proportions, if you want to run a business which allows for a comfortable lifestyle rather than a multi million pound brand, no problem, you are in control, there is nothing wrong with a very modest business which you run as a hobby.
If you visualise where you see your business in ten years or so, you can really begin to plan how you will grow your business to reach that desired goal.
Gaps in the Market
In 2013, finding a gap in the market is much like finding a needle in a haystack. However when that niche is found, potentially a whole mountain of profit can come tumbling down into your lap. Here are some seemingly crazy business ideas that made millions simply because they were a niche in the market:
- Gary Dahl sold 5 million â€˜Pet Rocks' in 6 months in 1975, making fifteen million dollars.
- Lucky Wishbone Co supply plastic wishbones for Thanksgiving wishes. Over four million dollars have been generated so far.
- â€˜Life is short, have an affair' is AshleyMadison.com's motto. Netted twenty million dollars in 2011.
- The Million Dollar Homepage was launched in 2005, in which he sold pixel space on one page to different companies and brands. The founder, Alex Tew, made over a million dollars.
Know your Competition
Your competition should never be overlooked one bit in the slightest. Market research is absolutely fundamental when setting up and running a business. Work with your competition instead of against it; it's best to understand what you are up against rather than be scared away. If there is someone doing your business idea well, study their business and learn from them, and develop it further. The next steps are finding ways to make your business independent from theirs; unique in its own way. This could be a difference in the product or service, audience or perhaps geographical placing.
If there are similar businesses out there, it also provides you with the evidence that there is profit and success to be found in your chosen field which can be comforting to know.
The marketplace has evolved considerably in the last ten years alone; it changedâ€¦and it changed quickly. Having a successful online presence is vital for your company, but having a page displaying a few pieces of information just doesn't cut it anymore. Look at ways of making your website accessible to your target audience. Perhaps invest in a web designer who can work with you to achieve the look you are after, or if you really want a challenge you can try and do it yourself. Both are viable paths, but crafting your own website from scratch isn't for everyone. The benefits of using a digital agency to help craft your website are that they can help you from a SEO perspective, engineering your site to bring in far more traffic.
As you can see, setting up your own online business can be a lot of work. However if this fact excites you rather than making you anxiousâ€¦you are on the way to success. So, get that head down and get brainstorming for that successful business idea.
If you launch your first business and it doesn't work out in the way you planned, there is no shame in starting again or moving the business in a new direction. Those who are most successful learn from mistakes and experiences, and develop their business and generally move it forward if something isn't quite working out.
Kirsten works with top brands including Debenhams, New Look, and Pizza Express in her role at voucher cloud. She has gained a wealth of business experience and loves to work with small start up businesses looking to market themselves. She is currently working on new â€˜Travelodge discounts' projects to help boost the brand.