Let’s first start off with the “why”. When you know why you’re doing something, it can create clarity in your tasks, and direct your efforts. So, grab a sheet of paper, or a notebook and let’s get started.
Answer this question: Why do I want to start a business? Here are some common answers.
- to do something I love
- to create financial freedom so I can, “fill in the blank” (travel, pay off debts, buy expensive things, etc.)
- to have the freedom to set my hours, choose when I work and what I work on
- to help others, using my skills
- I hate my job
Once you know why you’re doing it, you’ll have a better idea of what your goals are.
“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.” – Mark Twain
Start With Your Skills
At the heart of every business, and profession is the solution to a problem. If you can identify a problem that a group of people are having and solve it for them, you have the makings of a successful business.
Start with your current skill set. Everyone has skills, passions and talents in one area or another. What we fail to sometimes see is the ability for those skills to solve a problem for others in a meaningful way.
You can also ask family and friends to help you identify your skills. They may point out strengths you never considered. Keep in mind you don’t need to have mastered that skill yet, you can continue to learn and develop it as you go along. Ray Higdon a successful business man says to “Invest, learn then teach”.
Invest in yourself and improving your skills, learn more about your niche, and creating solutions to their problems, then teach others what you’ve learned.
Once you’ve got that down, the next step is doing some research. What problems are people having that you could use your current skill set to help solve? This is where picking a niche comes in handy. A niche refers to a small specialized portion of the population.
Let’s say, you’re a stay at home parent, and one of your skills is cooking healthy family meals that your kids enjoy. Your niche will likely be stay at home parents. You can then narrow down your search by checking forums and website or magazines that target stay at home parents.
“If you do what you love, it is the best way to relax.” – Christian Louboutin
What To Look For in Your Research?
Look for pain points and problems, especially those that are recurring. You may find that cooking healthy meals is not necessarily where parents are struggling, maybe it’s with purchasing healthy foods or the cost (money and time) of healthy meals. You want to look at the questions people are asking, and take note of the language they use to describe their problems. Nutritious vs. healthy. Quick vs. easy.
Finally, take note of products that offer solutions to those problems. These offer ideas to you about ways in which you can present your solution; Youtube channels, specialized cookbooks, how-to guides, online courses, etc.
By the time you’ve followed all these steps, you would have established 3 things:
- A monetizable skill set — You know what your skills are and how you can use them
- Proof of a Need — People have a problem that you can solve, and now you know who they are.
- A Profitable Market — If people are buying said cookbooks, or paying for products, this shows you that they are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
This is the beginning of any business. Fast Food restaurants offer quick meals on the go, Walmart puts everything in one place so people don’t have to travel to different stores, books entertain or instruct, cars transport and save time. At the heart of every product and business is a need, and you are now on your way to creating a solution that people are already looking for!
What is a business you want to start? Share your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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