Many of us have the entrepreneurial spirit and the dream of starting our own business one day. Sometimes it’s for the challenge of building something from the ground up, other times it’s for the freedom that comes with being your own boss.
Whatever the reason, starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, despite having the drive and ambition it’s often hard to know where exactly to start when it comes to building your own business from scratch.
There are so many options and so many different areas to start a business that it’s hard to narrow it down to that one perfect business idea into which you can pour all your energy.
Below we will help you with some key tips on how to find the perfect business idea that’s suited to your talents and goals so that you have the best chance of success.
9 Tips on How to Come Up with Business Ideas
Coming up with a business idea is much easier when you follow a few simple steps. Below, we’ll go over the key areas to consider when coming up with a business idea that fits both your talents and goals.
Know Your Passion and Interests in Life
The first step is to examine where your interests are and where your passions lie. Starting a business takes a lot of effort and often there are not many rewards in the very beginning. That means that in the early going you’ll have to rely on your passion and ambition to keep moving forward even though the business may not be earning that much money yet.
If you’re not sure exactly where your interests and passions lie, there’s a technique you can use to help you determine what those might be. Think back to past experiences in your life when you felt the most comfortable and the most rewarded. Then ask yourself what were you doing in those situations and what were you pursuing.
What exactly were the types of things that you were working on that gave you the feeling of accomplishment and kept you moving forward?
Of course, each of these situations will be different for each one of us, but you should have a period in your life where you felt you are on the right track and felt motivated to do the things that you set your mind to.
When you start to closely examine these moments, it should start to uncover where your true interests and passions lie.
Remember, there are no wrong answers here and these will be different for each one of us. The goal is to determine what situations offer you the highest chance of success and happiness.
List Down the Skills You’re Good At
The next step will be to determine your skills and talent. Once again, this will be different for everybody and there’s no right or wrong answer here. You can either have a long list of skills or you can have a very short one. The whole point is to identify the areas where you can excel and feel motivated.
Another part of this step is to examine the different situations where you feel the most motivation. For example, do you excel and feel energized when you work in groups or with others? Or do you excel and do more work when you’re alone and can focus on tasks by yourself?
You’ll then want to combine these two lists to find your skill set and then put those skills to the best use in the right situations.
For example, you may have a certain skill that forces you to have to work by yourself, however, you may enjoy working with others or in a group. In that case, you would look for another skill that allows you to work in a group or collaborate with others. That way, you can combine a skill that you like as well as be in situations that you prefer and feel productive in.
This process may take a little time and it’s important to be open and honest with yourself. As mentioned earlier, there are no wrong answers during this process. Being honest and open with yourself is the key to finding your true skills that will bring the most success and fulfillment.
Determine Your Business Goals
Now you’ll want to determine what your goals are for the business that you’re looking to start. Some examples of these goals are things like whether you want this new venture to be a part-time business to just earn a little extra income. Or, on the other hand, is this meant to be your full-time job and something you want to do for the rest of your life to earn a living.
Of course, a side hustle or one that’s just meant to earn some extra cash can eventually become a full-time business. However, it’s important to be clear on what your goals are when you first start.
Having clear goals as to what you want the business to achieve helps you to set budgets and manage time that best serves the business.
For example, you’ll likely invest more money into a business that you want to be your full-time job and career. In this case, you may even look to secure financing to help start the business.
On the other hand, if the business is just meant to provide extra income, then there’s a chance you wouldn’t want to take on much debt in order to make the business a success.
Having clear goals early on helps in better planning your new business venture.
Research About Business Niches
Now it’s time to look into actual businesses that you might be interested in. These different areas are sometimes referred to as business niches.
There’s an almost unlimited number of businesses that you can start to investigate and research. In some cases, if you have a completely new idea you can even create your own niche that other entrepreneurs haven’t even thought of yet.
After you start to look into these different businesses you can then start to match those up with the earlier research that you did to find your skills and talents.
By now, you should be able to match different businesses and niches with your skills and talents. This will help you create a short list of viable business ideas that work best for you.
Identify Trending But Sustainable Businesses
A part of researching different business areas is to look at Industries or niches that are currently trending. These will be areas of business that show fast growth and at times low competition if you enter the market at the onset of the trend.
If you can match these business areas with the other areas you found that may be a good match for you, it can increase your chances of success.
Of course, you don’t want to just chase trends. Instead, match these trending areas with your previous research to see if there is an opportunity that fits your skills and goals.
Start Reading Business Books
As you’re conducting this research, there may be times when you find you don’t fully understand an area of business or an aspect of an industry. It’s important to fill that gap in your knowledge as soon as possible.
There are countless books on business that can help and they range from in-depth study to the most basic explanation of fundamental business concepts. No matter where your gaps in knowledge are, you should be able to find a book that helps you become a more well-rounded and knowledgeable entrepreneur.
A key trait among the most successful entrepreneurs is that they’re almost all avid readers. If you don’t like reading or find it uncomfortable, you can also try audiobooks as an alternative.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to always be learning and building your knowledge in the areas where you may be new or lacking
Talk to and Learn from Other People
If you happen to know anyone that owns a small business or works in an industry that you’re looking to start a business in, it’s a great idea to reach out to those people to learn more.
This is especially true of other business owners. It’s important to hear their stories and listen to their advice. They’ve already been through the process of choosing a business and making it succeed. That means these people can generally offer you the best and most useful advice when it comes to starting a business.
What you’ll also notice is that when talking to various business owners, they’ll often have the same core traits yet very different talents and ways of doing things. Finding your own way of managing your skills and tackling business challenges is key to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Ignore Self-Doubt and Unsolicited Opinions
An important thing to keep in mind is that starting a business can be a long and sometimes difficult process. You may hit certain bumps on the road or you may encounter topics that you feel are too difficult or complex. Don’t let these moments discourage you or take your focus away from your goals.
Remember that everyone who has started a business or any new adventure has come across these same roadblocks and periods of self-doubt. The people who push through these moments and overcome them are the ones who succeed over time.
So don’t let self-doubt or criticism lead you to give up on your ambitions or goals.
Take Your Time
Similar to the previous advice, you would want to take your time while starting a new business. This isn’t the time to rush and it’s also not necessary to start your business as soon as possible. You will have a much higher chance of success if you carefully plan your new business along with the steps you need to achieve your goals.
It’s no different than any other journey that you may embark on. You don’t just grab your coat and rush out the door. Instead, you have a plan that you’ve worked on carefully and all your steps have been mapped out along the way. By doing this, you have a much higher chance of reaching your destination with the least amount of resistance.
Starting a business is no different, so take your time and plan your steps.
9 Steps to Start a Business
Starting a business can be much easier when you follow the proper steps involved. Below are nine steps that you should follow to launch your business.
Create a Business Plan
Once you’ve decided on what business you want to do, you need to create a business plan. This crucial first step creates a road map for how you will start your business and how it will attract customers, provide a product or service, and grow over time.
Choose Your Business Structure
This important step will have implications on accounting, taxes, and liability, both personal as well as for the business. So it’s important to choose the right business structure.
This is the basic business structure and it is essentially you doing business as yourself. Your personal finances and business finances are seen as mostly the same in the eyes of the IRS. So while simple, this provides few, if any, benefits.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company or LLC is the most common type of business structure chosen by small businesses and entrepreneurs. An LLC can provide tax advantages in many cases but more importantly, it provides liability protection to the owner’s personal assets.
A simple partnership can be similar to a sole proprietorship, but instead of one owner, there are two with an agreement on how the business is split. But once again, this offers few, if any, protections.
An LLC can also be set up as a partnership, so all owners can enjoy the benefits that an LLC can offer. Most partnerships will benefit from structuring their business as an LLC.
A corporation is a complex business structure that has more annual and quarterly requirements than other business structures. Many aspects of a corporation are also taxed differently than other business structures.
However, a corporation can be the right choice for many types of business, especially those that are larger and have many employees.
Register Your Business
Creating an LLC will automatically register you in the state where you plan on doing business. During that process, you can also file for an EIN or employer identification number with the IRS.
Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits
Depending on the business you’ve chosen, you may need certain licenses or permits to provide the product or service you are offering.
A good place to start is by researching any professional organizations in your chosen industry to learn about certifications or licensing. Finally, you can contact your Secretary of State’s office and inquire about permits specific to your state.
Open a Business Bank Account
Once you’ve registered your business structure as an LLC, you should have all the paperwork you need to open a business bank account. This is an important step and necessary for proper bookkeeping and tax compliance. It also helps protect your personal assets by keeping them separate from your business assets.
If your business idea requires financing to get off the ground, now is the time to start looking for it. You will need to complete all of the above steps before seeking financing, so make sure all of those are done.
If you have good credit, start with your local bank and inquire about a business loan or line of credit. You will need a solid business plan along with good credit. Any professional experience you have in the field will also be helpful when securing financing.
The government also provides grants for small businesses in some cases. So always look into this option to see if you qualify.
Get Business Insurance
Some businesses may be required to carry insurance with certain coverages. This can be true if you open a retail store to the public or provide certain services that carry a risk.
Additionally, you can purchase coverage to protect your business from events like theft or other unwanted incidents that can damage your assets or cause a loss of earnings.
If you have a lease for a storefront, the landlord will generally require a certain level of business insurance in order to hold the lease.
Hire and Train Your Staff
Depending on your business, you may need staff on the first day of operations. In this case, you need to start hiring at the earliest. Hiring can be a long process, so it’s important to get started on it as soon as you can.
Also, make sure you have enough funds to make payments for the first few months even if your business has not yet started generating revenues.
Promote Your Business
You need to have a marketing strategy in place before you launch the business. For example, a restaurant can advertise its grand opening well before the date to help build excitement.
Determine if your business would benefit from advanced marketing. Also, create social media profiles for your business and begin posting relevant information to attract followers.
You will likely also want a website. For an e-commerce business, this is essential. But for most other types of business, a website is usually a necessity. Make sure it looks attractive and works on both desktop browsers and mobile devices to provide all the information customers need.
Starting a Business The Right Way
Starting a business can be easy and rewarding if done right. Doola can help you do it right. Setting up an LLC right is the most important thing you can do to ensure your business is set up legally and primed for success.
At doola, we help businesses set up their LLCs without the need for expensive lawyers or accountants. Contact Doola today and let us help you set up your LLC fast.
What business can I start with no skills?
One option is to resell products made by others. You buy the items at wholesale prices and sell them at retail prices. This can be done with almost any type of product in any niche and doesn’t require specialized skills to be successful. You can also start very small and work your way up to selling more products or products in a completely different category.
What is the cheapest business to start?
A business where you offer your skills or knowledge is usually the cheapest business to start. Since your knowledge and experience is the “product” there are no costs other than setting up your website and LLC. Examples are consulting businesses or coaching services.
You may want to start by doing research and finding out where your skills and interests are. From there, you can look into ideas that match both your skills and budget for starting a new business. Being a home-based business generally means you need a lower start-up capital to build and maintain the business.