I know of a lot of women who want to start their own businesses, but really don’t know where to start and what to do. At my previous office, I can name at least a dozen women in my circle who would love to escape from the corporate environment and start their own ‘thing’. But how do you start — really start?
It all starts with looking for business ideas. But then again, you might ask, how do I find THE business idea? Well, based on my own experiences and some experiences of other momtrepreneurs, here are ways and tips that you can do or follow to look for business ideas:
1. Know yourself and write down your skills and hobbies.
Prepare a list of the things that you are good at. Write it down. It can be that you have a nice singing voice or you give out outstanding presentations. It can be that you write well or have a knack for writing creative stories. It can be that you love and appreciate food, love shopping or even love creating little trinkets. If you do not know what you are good at, try to listen to what others tell you that your strengths are.
Now, why am I asking you to do this. In starting your own business, it should you be something that you like doing, something that is of interest to you or something that you have the passion for. Now, if you are thinking of starting a business that you don’t really like, but you want to start it just because everyone’s doing it, then there are lesser chances for success. I believe that even if you hire a person to do the ‘dirty work’, for the first few years of the business, the ‘business owner’ will still be the main driver. How can you motivate a team, when you yourself are not motivated enough to get up in the morning and face your newly established business?
2. Read Books & Magazines. Surf the Net.
Ideas come from everywhere. I, personally, do this. I read magazines (hehe… don’t really like books unless these are the motivating one for personal finance. I love those books! They make me feel rich instantly :P) and I surf a lot. With every article that I read, I know that I won’t be able to use them right away, but somehow, at some point in time, I get a bright idea based on that article that I want to turn into a business. If you ask me now, I have tons of these businesses in the list in my mind, which I only get to execute one by one. So read up, people!
3. Break the ‘Cycle’
This, I am serious about. I’ve met a lot of people who are still working and really want to start their own businesses, but give me the reason that they are so busy with work. Their daily schedule is: Wake up at 6:00 am. Feed the baby. Get ready for work. Drive to work. Work. Have lunch break with people from work. Call home to check on the baby. Work. Have an afternoon break with again people at work. Work. Drive home. Feed the baby. Eat. Try to squeeze in work again. Sleep. And the cycle continues.
How about breaking that cycle and try having lunch with other people aside from workmates at least twice a month. Try having lunch with a high school friend or college friend whom you have never seen and catch up. You can also take fitness classes in the evening and meet new friends. How about a cooking class? This will probably just take 1 hour anyway. Why not drop work when you get home and watch the news instead? If you are in that hypnotic cycle, try to break free! It will boost creativity and it will also widen your network. Which leads me to…
4. Widen your contact list.
I love talking to people. You can ask my family and friends and they will tell you that I am a walking directory of people. I love, love, love getting to know people and asking them about what they do and what they are busy with. I love doing that since I also love helping them connect with others, who I think would be helpful to them in the endeavor that they are doing or I, personally, may be able to help them. Talking to people and having them talk to you about what they like, what they want to do, what they are good at, etc. can sometimes trigger that light bulb for an idea of the business that you are looking for.
5. Keep an open mind and think of a solution to a need.
Sometimes, we think that everything has been done before. There is no other business that is left to create and launch. Well, you are wrong. I believe that as long as people want specific solutions to their needs, there will always be new ideas — new businesses that take off and fly. So, keep your ears on the ground. Listen to what people are clamoring for. Write down all of these needs and one day, you will come up with a solution. A solution that will be your own ‘business idea’.
Would you have other tips for business idea creation? Let us know. Please share your thoughts.