I've always wanted to run my own business. It took years for me to listen to my inner entrepreneur and give it a go though. I kept hoping my ideal business idea would just appear or I'd stumble across what I was meant to do. Actually it takes time and energy to start figuring this stuff out and lots of experimenting. In fact most of us aren't lucky enough to 'just know' so I thought today I'd share some questions which I've pondered along the way to in deciding what business to start!
10 Questions to help you generate business ideas:
I'd highly recommend pouring your favourite beverage, finding 10 mins somewhere quiet and actually writing your answers down on a piece of paper to these. When you've got things written down, even if they're just brief notes you might start to see some patterns or interesting links that you might not have put together in your head!
1. What are you passionate about?
Write down all the things you enjoy, no matter how small. Remember that most passions aren't actually 'discovered', they're cultivated so if you don't really know what your passionate about yet don't worry, just start by narrowing it down to a few areas you enjoy then start nurturing them.
Another place to look is to take notice of the things that you can spend faffing with?! Where do you happily loose yourself for a few hours?
2. What are you good at?
And don't say nothing! You DO have strengths or things you find much easier than most other people so think about what people ask you to help them with? What do people ask for your opinions or advice on? There might be some hidden strengths in there which others see but you don't so if it's not too cringey, ask some people who know you well what they think you are best at?
3. What do you have experience or knowledge in?
We need an easier question after the first two so hopefully this one should be pretty straight forward. Remember that you may not consider yourself an expert on something if you compare yourself to the super glamorous entrepreneurs on the internet but compared to the average person who knows nothing about your topic you probably are!
4. What business ideas have you seen that you love?
What businesses do you have "I wish I'd thought of that" about? If you had to write down 5 specific businesses you'd love to be running right now what would they be... do they have anything in common?
5. Imagine yourself in 5 years time, what would you love to be doing (in an ideal world)?
And yes you can be a size 10 in your day dream too if it helps ;-) Try to visualise what your life would look like, how would you like to be spending your days and earning the pennies? Even if you dream up something fairly unrealistic it still might hold some clues as to the type of work or environment you could consider.
6. Is there anything you can't stop thinking about?
For example I NEVER stop thinking about how to improve my websites and make my blogs better. It might sound a little sad but I'm happiest when I'm tweaking and trying things constantly because I love this stuff.
Yours maybe less geeky but what do you keep going back to? What do you think about when you're driving / pretending to listen to someone / having a shower / sat at your desk daydreaming?
7. What would you write a book about?
Just go with me on this one... if someone said you HAD to sit down right now and write a book about a topic you know a lot about what would it be?
Really, they won't let you out of the room until you get out at least a few thousand words, what would it be about?
8. What problems or frustrations do you come across?
Aside from not being able to get phone signal or the printer breaking again! Are there problems that you and others face which you could solve?
For example - we have two gorgeous, little pugs and I hate having to put them in kennels when we go on holiday and I knew other pug owners do too so I set up a Pug Hotel. We now have other pugs come to stay with us, in our house and get all the love, cuddles and comforts that they get at home. We send their owners pictures and updates every day so they can enjoy their holidays, guilt and worry free! Problem solved (for other pug owners locally anyway)!
9. Is there a business, service of product you want but can't find?
What would you 'pay good money' for if you could only find it near you? What do you wish existed?
10. Is there something you've seen done badly or that you could do much better?
Sometimes I have to tell my inner entrepreneur to shut up. Honestly when you start asking yourself these question regularly you'll start noticing opportunities everywhere! Obviously just because you can see improvements doesn't mean it's easy to set up that business but its a good question for getting those business idea cogs turning.
Which questions were most helpful for you? Has it prompted an idea? If you found this post useful then I'd love it if you would share it using the buttons below!