Welcome to step one! This is the beginning of your business empire!
In 5 minutes or less we are going to talk you through how to come up with the idea for your new business or how to improve on the idea you've already landed on.
Then we're sending you off to work on that until next week, when we meet back here, to move to Step 2 on your road to a wildly successful business.
Welcome to the ONE STEP Empire podcast from SHEcorporated. We are here to help YOU take the leap, and create the life you dream of, by building your own business empire, one simple step at a time.
Make sure you visit us at SHEcorporated.com for any downloads we mention in the podcast. You can also join our community HERE and sign up for the next FREE Business Kickstart Challenge HERE.
Welcome to step one! This is the beginning – and today we are FORMING YOUR IDEA.
While some of us have already found our idea – some are still looking. And even for those of us that have an idea already – use this exercise to come up with some more great ideas to keep in your back pocket or to improve on your existing ideas.
So the first thing we are going to talk about is big idea inspiration.
While not all great businesses were founded in a moment of brilliance – some were, and those moments of inspiration can be a game changer for many.
So let’s start with where you find those moments of brilliance
Have you ever noticed that you always seem to have the best ideas, you know, the real game changers, when you aren't really trying to think of them?
Like when you're in the shower? Or in bed?
Take a minute and think about what you are doing when those moments of genius hit?
You'll likely find that they often come when you are doing the same activity, one that gives your mind the time and space it needs to wander.
For me it's when I am driving, preferably alone, and without the radio playing.
When I do that, I often have to stop the car and jot down ideas or call the office and have someone write them down for me if I can't pull over
Some people are hit with inspiration in the shower, in bed or even when they are working out.
Whatever that place is for you, figure it out and then do two things:
1. Do more of it.
Sara Blakely, founder of the Spanx empire, actually created a fake commute because her great ideas always come in the car and she only lived a few minutes from the office.
So now she drives on a completely out of the way route to work, to make time for those ideas to surface.
2. Record it.
Have a way to record those ideas whether it’s a notepad, or voice notes if you are driving, be prepared to get those ideas written down to develop later.
Now beyond those flashes of personal genius, how do you systematically come up with great ideas?
There are lots of ways to come up with a great idea for your business
Ask yourself – what’s next? Look at trends, looks at how tech is changing, how the world is changing, what will we need? What will we want? How will we feel?
Look for a new niche – look at changes that have happened in the past few years. What new markets has this created? What new niches might have evolved that you can get into?
Apply your skills to an entirely new field – You have skills that may be common in your field but look around you and see where you can apply your skills where they can create innovation.
For example – maybe you are an engineer by trade – what other businesses could use your expertise to evolve in new ways?
Look for under served markets. Is there a successful business model that you are interested in pursuing but you feel like the market might be saturated? Look to see how well the market is really being served? Are there certain populations, regions, or segments that aren’t being served? How could you reach them or change the business model to serve them better?
Follow your passion – this is my favorite – because if you are passionate about something you are likely going to really understand the market for it and you are more likely to see it through when things get tough.
Get super niched – is there a niche you are familiar with that is really specific that you could serve? The more specific the better. People who love reading is broad, people who love Harry Potter books is more niche, people who dress up and cosplay characters from the Harry Potter books is super niched.
Another great way to come up with a business idea is the problem-first approach.
1. Think of a few problems you’ve experienced yourself.
2. Which problem do I wish to solve?
3. What’s the answer to that problem?
4. What product or service would help answer that problem?
There are also sites like trendhunter and kickstarter that you can go to for inspiration.
A few things to keep in mind as you work though your list of ideas and narrow it down.
1. Startup costs – Will you be able to raise the capital needed to fund the business startup and however long it take to turn a profit
2. Profit margins – how much room for error is there? Razor slim margins may work at high volume for an established business, but when you are just starting out you need room to absorb the costs of mistakes and the learning curve.
3. Future outlook – is the market going to continue to grow or is it a short term market? Can your customers pay for your product or service, will they want to? Is there possibility to expand your offerings into this market over time?
4. Lifestyle impact – what will it be like to run this company? If you want to be home on evenings, weekends and holidays with your family, opening a restaurant is a poor fit for example. If you don’t like public speaking, then a coaching position that requires speaking engagements won't get off the ground for long. Think about how the business will look in three of five years and if its something you will still want to be doing.
5. Scalability – is there room to grow? A business that is purely dependent on you and your skills can only grow so big before you run out of hours in the day. So is the business scalable? Can you train others to do what you do? For example, selling your handmade products may start out well enough, but once demand surpasses the amount you can personally produce – what will you do?
Once you have nailed done one or a few really solid ideas the next step is to test them. One of the best ways to test your idea and make sure there is demand without a ton of risk is to create a minimum viable product.
We’ll give you the how to’s for that in the next episode. So for this week’s ONE STEP PROGRAM action item – get your business ideas worked out and written down and we’ll see you back here next week to test them.