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Are you thinking of starting a home business? Is it time to explore your entrepreneurial dreams and start your own company?
If so, then you’re probably wondering how to come up with small business ideas.
After working the majority of our adult lives in the corporate world, my hubby and I eventually decided to start our own home business — and we never looked back. It was the best thing we ever did.
Perhaps you’re dreaming of starting a small business too, but you’re not sure what type of business to start. That’s initially how it was for us.
Soon after we got married, we started talking about children. The only thing we knew for sure was we wanted to find a way that I could still work and contribute to our household income, but stay home with our kids — if we were lucky enough to have them.
Here’s the simplified version of how we started our home business:
- We put all of our random ideas down on paper.
- After several revisions, we ultimately agreed on the best home business for us.
- Then a few years later, since the first one was going so well, we added another small business to our repertoire — for a total of 2 small businesses that we now successfully run from our home.
How To Come Up With Small Business Ideas
There’s no doubt about it, starting a new business can be intimidating. The hardest part is deciding exactly what type of business to start — without spending too much money upfront.
Ideally, your new business should be something that you can start on a part-time basis with minimal financial commitment.
Perhaps you can benefit from the steps we’ve used to find unique and profitable small business ideas:
#1 – Follow your passion. (We did.)
Start by considering whether you could turn a hobby or interest into a way of making a living. For example, if you love going to the gym and keeping fit, could you start a business as a personal trainer?
Following your passion helps to keep motivation levels high, and your customers will enjoy dealing with you if you’re interested (and passionate!) in what you do.
#2 – Solve a problem. (We do.)
If your business meets others’ needs and desires, then you’ll never be short of customers.
As long as your products or services make life easier for people, then they will be willing to pay you for your expertise.
So, if you have a broad idea for a new business, try focusing on the specific problems that you would be solving. Then use those specific problems to come up with your business plan and that will dictate the focus of your business.
#3 – Offer something new or different. (We did.)
Copying an existing business idea is an option, or you could try to think of a new approach or a way to offer something different.
Trying a new approach to an old problem can be very profitable.
For example, is pet care your “thing”?
Then consider what solutions you might offer to help people keep their pets fit and healthy.
While there are thousands of dog walking services, you may offer advice on nutrition and healthier eating for dogs.
#4 – Remember, you need to make money. (We do.)
Following your passion is great, but remember that you’re in business to make money.
For example, you can set up an ethical or green enterprise, but there still has to be potential for profit. Be clear from the start how the goods or services you offer will generate money.
If you aren’t confident in the numbers, consider other ways to turn your idea into a profitable business.
#5 – Search online for inspiration. (We did and we do.)
The Internet is a great place to find business ideas.
There are forums and online groups for every subject, hobby, and interest. Joining some of these can give you insight into the problems people are having that you may be able to resolve.
You can also conduct market research on those forums by asking members what they’re interested in buying. LinkedIn is a great place to do that.
#6 – Follow trends. (We continue to do this.)
Trends in technology, fashion, and entertainment are a rich source of ideas for entrepreneurs.
Mobile technology, virtual reality, and green living are some good examples right now.
Social media outlets are a great avenue for following trends online.
How To Turn Your Small Business Ideas Into Your Dream
Here’s how we incorporated the 6 steps above to create our home business:
- We started with #1 above by focusing our new business on topics that we were 100% passionate about.
- We added to that the fact that we wanted to “help people.” The best way to do that: help people solve problems (#2 above). Our desire to help people is what has kept us motivated and successful.
- At the time, we were clients of a service that someone else was providing. And we figured out a way that we could do the exact same thing, but better (#3 above).
- After we did tons of research online and in person (#5 and #6), eventually our business plan came together.
- And we have been fortunate to make a decent living working from home for several years now (#4 above).
Had we not incorporated all 6 steps above, I’m not sure our home business would have become successful so quickly. Today, we spend all of our time doing what we are passionate about for a living! It doesn’t get better than that.
Starting a small business is definitely within your grasp — as long as you’re willing to work hard and accept some risk.
The bottom line: If you open your eyes to the opportunities around you, you’ll start to see business ideas every day. Harnessing just one of those ideas could be the start of an exciting new future and financial independence.
It worked for us!
Other Tips & Small Business Ideas
- 5 Ways To Come Up With Good Business Ideas
- Awaken The Entrepreneur Inside You With Help From Your Current Employer
- 8 Ways To Come Up With A Business Idea
- How To Get Started As A Freelance Writer
- Find Out What You’re Most Passionate About
- How To Choose The Best Business To Start
My very first job after college was as a Career Counselor — helping college graduates choose their ideal career and plot a course toward their dream job. Ever since then, I've been helping others streamline the job search process — by focusing only on what's most important and ways to stand out from other job candidates. As an entrepreneur myself who works from home full-time, I'm especially passionate about helping others fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. When I'm not helping people find ways to get paid doing what they love, you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).