It is a well known fact that every successful business begins with an idea. If the potential energy of your business idea is high, then your overall business potential energy will be equally high. Indeed, business idea is the initial step in every business startup. But one thing that can dramatically increase the potential energy of your business idea is if the idea will put your talents, skills and your interest to the best use.
However, unless you are a technological genius—another Bill Gates or Steve Jobs—trying to reinvent the wheel is a big waste of time. For most individuals looking to generate a business idea, the issue should not be coming up with something so unique that no one has ever heard of it but instead to get an idea that will leverage and match your skills and purpose.
Note that getting an idea can be as simple as keeping your eyes open for the latest hot businesses; they crop up all the time. Many local entrepreneurs made tons of money bringing the Starbucks coffeehouse concept to their hometowns and then expanding from there.
Also, you can take one idea and customize it to the times and your community. In fact, customizing a concept is not a choice; it is a necessity if you want your business to be successful. It is imperative you understand that starting a business is not rocket science, but it is not as complicated or as scary as many people think. It is a step by step, common-sense procedure.
You have to start with your own skills, talents, interests and experience. You don’t need to do any research to find out what you already know and like — and the steps outlined below will help you see when anything fascinating and business-worthy comes up.
What is a Good Way to Find a Business idea That’ll Put your Talents and Interests to the Best Use?
Note that these steps can be quite easy to use, but it is up to you how you use it. Also feel free to twist and match, jump around, and use it in a way that is comfortable for you. Always remember that it is always about the way you think and use this process, and not just the outcome that is important.
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Explore and List Your Key Skills
Start first by writing down your key skills. Note that your skill can be something you have learned to do or are naturally good at, something you can actively “do” or practice, something you have learned in a formal setting, or anything that gives you a capability to achieve something. Take your time to explore the various areas of your life to find skills you are good at.
Also note that this doesn’t just need to be “hard” skills like computer programming or carpentry — they can include “soft” skills like parenting or being a good party planner. Pen down anything you think is relevant. This doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list, but you should aim for a fair number of skills. Strive to get a good selection across work, academia, your personal life, your social life, and your hobbies. Also be precise in capturing your skills.
Explore and List Your Interests
Same with analysing your skills, also take time to list your interests. Your interests might be something you choose to do in your spare time, a pastime, hobby, or a way to enjoy yourself. It can also be something that excites, inspires, or entertains you, or even something you care about.
Take your time to analyze and write down your interests — you will want to put these in a different list to your skills. Explain your interests in the right amount of detail, and remember that sometimes your skills and interests might be the same. That is very okay, and you should still capture them in both lists.
Point Out What’s Important to You
At this point you will have two separate lists, one for your skills and one for your interests. There is also a chance that you now have a few entries on each list, which is why this step is very crucial — you are going to prioritize them, so when you start combining skills and interests, you are not looking at thousands of ideas.
Carefully prioritize each one based on your experience, expertise, interest and enthusiasm for it. Reach each item as High, Medium or Low, depending on how you like and feel about developing it into a business idea. Just write H, M or L next to each item. Always remember to take your time over this step, its imperative you are satisfied with how you have prioritized everything.
Combine Skills and Interests to Create Business Ideas
At this point you will have to combine your skills and interests to create some interesting ideas that you can develop into a business. Have it in mind that some of these combinations could be looking or sounding entirely ridiculous, some could be strange, and others could have potentials.
Pick up the first skill that you have rated as ‘H’ and put it with the first interest that you have rated as ‘H’. Write down the combination. Then combine that first skill with the second interest you rated as H and so on until you have combined your first skill with all ‘H’ interests.
After that, go to your second ‘H’ skill and combine it with all ‘H’ interests and so on until you have combined all of your ‘H’ skills with all of your ‘H’ interests. Howbeit, if after completing this step, you don’t feel that you have quite enough combinations, you can repeat this with your ‘M’ skills and Interests. Note that by the time you have finished, you should have a reasonable list of combined skills and interests that you can develop into a business idea.
Establish a Shortlist of Ideas
At this point you now have a long list of business ideas — some that are objectively terrible, some that are mediocre, and quite a few that could become transmute into something nice. Take your time to go through your ideas and delete any that are completely impractical, ridiculous, too complicated, too expensive, or that you don’t like the look of. Remember; do not be afraid to be ruthless and practical. Maybe, you will still have a few left. Go through each and ask yourself if it is something you could develop:
- Does the idea excite you?
- Do you understand enough of what the idea might require to become successful?
- Do you think there is a market for a product or service based on the idea?
- Are sure it is something you could see yourself doing for the next year or ten?
- Do you feel people would pay for a product or service based on the idea?
If after this analysis and your answer is affirmative to all those questions, you have got something you can explore further. Then establish a shortlist of any ideas you think are worth investigating.
After you must have done the above and can comfortably present your shortlist, you will want to complete some market research and validate your ideas. Testing and validating ideas is critically important and shouldn’t be rushed. Also, stop talking and start writing. Note that talking about an idea prior to doing some initial processing on paper tricks our brains into thinking that we are actually doing something about the concept.