Getting Idea of a Business to Start
by Ron Kurtus (revised 19 May 2012)
If you want to start a business, you have probably had that dream in the back of your mind, such that were always looking for a great idea or opportunity.
There are typically several steps or factors that lead to getting an idea of a business to start. The first is to have an extreme interest or concern about some subject area. Next, you see what others are doing in a similar area to get an idea of the demand. Finally, you combine these factors to come up with a unique idea for starting a business.
Questions you may have include:
- What type of things would you be interested in?
- How do you find out the demand for a product or service?
- How does this combine to result in an idea?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Extreme interest or concern
You may be extremely interested in some subject, service, or product. It may be a hobby or something that fascinates you. Sometimes it may be related to your job.
Often a hobbyist will make some product or want to buy something that interests him. Others may take classes to gain skills in a certain area. Examples include:
Michael Dell was interested in computers and made his own PC.
Henry Ford liked to tinker with machines and even built his own automobile.
Jeff Bezos was extremely interested in e-commerce and had looked for opportunities in the field.
Martha Stewart enjoyed cooking and entertaining guests.
You should be very interested in something and perhaps have it as a hobby.
Problem or concern
It is also possible that there is some problem that concerns you and that you would like to work to solve. Examples include:
As a traveling salesman, King Gillette saw the problem of shaving with a straight-edge razor in a moving train.
While a college student, Fred Smith saw the need for a better way to deliver packages.
Peter Swisher saw the problem of dirty public lavatories and thought of ways to solve that problem.
You can be concerned about a problem, such that you seek a solution.
See demand for a similar product or service
You see others who are interested in the same thing you are. Often you can look at companies providing something similar to see the demand, as well as their lack of a solution.
See demand from others with same interest
Dell saw that fellow students wanted computers, but most computers were expensive and only sold in stores.
Ford saw others forming companies to sell cars. People wanted them, but they were also expensive.
Bezos saw various companies selling products online and saw the great potential of it.
Martha Stewart saw other catering companies and the need for one in her area.
See solution for others with same concern
Gillette saw that other salesmen would like a better solution to the straight-edge razor.
Smith saw the demand for services provided by United Parcel Service (UPS) and similar companies.
Swisher saw that only local companies provided a lavatory cleaning service.
You can do market research on a formal or informal basis, but you need to get feeling for the potential of the product or service.
Getting the idea of the business
Combining your interest in an area with the knowledge that others are running related businesses can stimulate your mind to get an idea of a better way to do things and a business to provide that product or service.
Dell got the idea of making custom PC's and selling them online at a low cost. No one else was doing it that way.
Ford got the idea of making and selling inexpensive automobiles to the common man, as opposed to selling expensive cars to the rich.
Bezos got the idea of selling books online. No one else was really selling books that way.
Stewart got the idea of starting a high-end catering business in her neighborhood. No one else was doing high-end catering there.
Gillette got the idea of a safety razor that was better than the dangerous straight-end razor. He improved on an existing invention.
Smith got the idea of overnight shipping for customers in a hurry. FedEx had the niche market to itself.
Swisher got the idea of a national lavatory cleaning service to fill in a niche.
These ideas lead to successful businesses.
If you have a desire to start your own business and have an extreme interest or concern about some subject area, you are beginning to get an idea of a business to start. You need to look around to see what others who have a similar interest are doing and the results they are getting. Then you come up with a unique idea for starting a business that is better than your competition.
Resources and references
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