I want to start a business, but I have no ideas for one. How do I go about creating one?
I want you to understand how exciting time this is for you. Never in history has there been more opportunities for you to start your own business. I have gone from 1 income source to 5 (!) within a year..and I have more coming up…
But let’s dive in and let us start with defining your question (since it’s in two parts): Either your emphasis is on creating a business or your emphasis is on generating ideas.
Warning! This answer most definitely will not be a popular one since it’s not a cool story with a nice quote and a killer punch-line. And yes it will not be upvoted by the thousands. Why? Because most people want to know the “secret”. “What’s the secret to your success?”, they ask.
The answer: Plan. Perform. Feedback. Revise plan. Do it again.
And yes, it requires some actual work. If you’re down with that, you are going to love the result you’ll get from my advice.
I’m going to assume that your goal is to create a business. If yes, then follow this process:
A) Make a list with the following:
1. What you are good at
2. What you like to do (your interests)
3. What you don’t like to do
The point of this list is to create awareness around you and your situation. It will help with the next step. Don’t skip this. Take it seriously…
B) Look for problems people and businesses are having. Do not think about what you can offer at this point. Just focus on the problem these people are having and what result they are looking for. Trust me, do this and you will find a lot of ideas. You will also find out that good ideas are a dime a dozen. What happens next is the hard part.
Side note: Remember the ABM rule (just made it up): No one cares about the Attribute, they care about the Benefit, but most importantly they care about the Meaning. Example: HD-TV (Attribute) –> Higher screen definition (Benefit) –> More enjoyable TV experience (Meaning)
Still with me? Nice! Let’s move on…
C) At this point you should have a list of people and businesses with problems and results they are looking for. Now you create the basis for your business and sales pitch. Answer these questions:
1. For who is it?
Don’t just say dry cleaners. Explain why.
Example (short version): Businesses with no IT personnel.
2. The why, how and what (Courtesy of Simon Sinek)
Maybe the most important thing you do. This right here separates the I-make-a-decent-living-but-have-stress-businesses and the I-buy-a-ferrari-for-my-cat-businesses.
Why: Why are you in this business. What’s the problem out there?
Example (short version): Website are just too frickin’ complicated. We wanted to create websites that everyone can use.
How: What separates you from the other people doing this? Don’t just say: “By consultations, seminars etc etc”. It’s not differentiating in any way..
Example (short version): By creating websites on a drag-and-drop platform that eliminates the need for coding.
What: What is it you exactly do and give to the clients?
Example (short version): Fully functioning, ready to go websites that require no prior computer skills.
This becomes your elevator pitch as well…
3. What are the benefits?
Remember the ABM rule and use it here.
D) Start helping people out. They will not find you so you need to find them.
1. Put a simple add on facebook where you offer people free suggestions they can implement. Also give them an alternative where you get paid for doing everything for them.
2. Go to your local businesses. Focus on the value you can bring and the result. Don’t talk about yourself or what you’ve done before.
3. Open up any newspaper. Look at the ads. Call the suitable businesses. (They are already looking for more sales)
4. Go to groupon. Same thing here. look at the ads. Contact the clients.
Once you get going and get in touch with more and more clients your business will grow. You will figure the rest of it out later. So don’t stress about paperwork just yet. Start with these steps and get that first client.
Aaah I just love this!! I could go on and on about tactics, how to create an automated business and get a steady stream of clients, but you are not there yet. Start with these steps and you will see great things happening.
And remember: There are no secrets.