So you’ve decided to take the bold step of branching out on your own and starting a small business but you can’t quite figure out what you want to do?
Before you throw in your resignation letter and go out on pure faith, here are a few things you can do to help you generate that small business idea that’s just for you:-
7 Steps to Brainstorm Business Ideas and Make Them Your Own
1. Be Honest with Yourself
You need to honestly ask yourself if you’re ready to be self-employed, a solopreneur, freelancer, etc. It’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s the end of a regular paycheck for a long time. You’re going to be a lot of things within your business and wear many hats for quite a while. Are you prepared for that?
2. Grab a Notepad
What are you good at? What do you like doing? What do you find interesting? What do you have a passion for? What sets your heart on fire and makes you want to change the world?
This is a process that can take anything from a few days to a few weeks. Go out to places outside your comfort zone to think and really brainstorm.
For instance, when I need to come up with an idea, I drive to the beach, find a secluded spot and stare at the ocean. Sounds odd but it’s worked for me for years.
You will be surprised at the number of ideas that will pop out once you open that energy field within your mind.
3. Does the Idea Transfer from Passion to Business?
This is a very important question. Just because you love cooking doesn’t mean you should open a restaurant or start a catering business.
You’d be surprised how many people find out that the minute they turn a passion or hobby into a business, they start to despise it and want nothing more to do with it. How do you know if you’ll hate it?
Try it out on a small scale before quitting your job. If the day to day, nitty-gritty, not so pretty parts of it annoy you, maybe turning it into a business won’t work for you.
What’s the day to day nitty-gritty you might ask? Finances, marketing, collaborations, operations, etc.
4. What Does Your Idea Do?
Is your list complete? That’s awesome. Does anything on that list address a pain point in society that needs to be filled? Does it solve a problem for somebody else?
Does it make someone else’s life better or easier? If someone tried to sell it to you, would you buy it? It doesn’t have to be a completely new idea?
It could be something that offers a different perspective on a service that already exists in the market.
5. Do You Have the Right Skills?
Just because you like doing it and have a passion for it doesn’t mean you have the skills required to make it work for you as a small business proprietor.
If you already have the required skills, great. If you don’t, you may want to consider holding onto your job while you hone or upgrade your skills.
Before I started my business, I needed to learn a specific marketing skill. I could have launched without it but I wasn’t comfortable.
I’m a super-fast learner so I looked up 3 to 6 month crash courses online on the specific topic. I found 1 and completed it within 3 months.
6. Create a USP (Unique Selling Point)
If your idea meets all the criteria above, you need to create a USP around it. You need to package it in a way that’s convenient, cost-friendly, offers something different and innovative enough to tempt potential customers to give it a go. No one wants more of the same thing.
7. Are You Adaptable?
You might be starting with one or two ideas but somewhere along the way, you realize something is wonky and the idea (s) could do with a restructure or redirection to make it work better. Are you open to this restructure or redirection without changing your vision?
If you’re the kind of person that gets anxious and has heart palpitations when you need to make a change midway through implementation, this might not work for you. Stay true to your vision but be open to adapting the idea along the way.
Coming up with a small business idea is only ¼ of the journey to becoming a freelancer or solopreneur, and isn’t just about generating an idea that will make you money.
No matter how awesome your idea is, it will take some time to start generating income from it. In the beginning, there will always be more work than money.
The only thing that will see you through from launch to profit is your passion for and belief in your idea.
When it comes to coming up with small business ideas, I highly recommend Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steve Johnson.
- How to Start a Blog in 30 Minutes or Less for Beginners
- Create, Launch and Grow Your Online Presence: An A – Z Blueprint for Turning Your Passion into Viable Income
- Are You a Struggling Freelancer? Learn How to Get Ahead with Seth Godin’s Freelancer Course
- Launch Your Company with Confidence with Guy Kawasaki’s Guide to Entrepreneurship
This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.