This is an abridged version of an article first appeared in the Entrepreneur bookazine, “The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Own Business.
So you want to start a business. The problem is you have no idea what venture to start, much less how to find one that is right for you. It may seem like you have been groping in the dark for the idea switch, only to realize later on that what you’re searching for has been staring you in the face. You may have touched it, seen it, or heard it several times before. In fact, the idea may have been so obvious that when you finally recognized it, you wondered how in the world you failed to notice it.
This article will guide you on how to discover a winning business idea by identifying which one can and will work for you, and how to narrow down your options and evaluate the feasibility of your final choice. But first, let’s get one thing straight: Finding a good idea is easy; what’s difficult is having the determination to start and see the venture through to the end.
“Most aspiring entrepreneurs spend too much time worrying despite having a unique and good concept for their business. The result is that opportunity – that great product or service you are thinking of – is either already taken by another entrepreneur who is more daring than you or it has already outlived its usefulness to the market,” says business consultant Ricky Cuna, owner of the Fiorgelato chain of ice cream stores.
To keep this from happening, you have to set aside time for reflection, and time for ac-tion. Once you’ve thought things through, act on your idea. Do not waste your time dilly-dal-lying. If you feel you don’t have the resolve and the means to turn your idea into reality, then stop. Be realistic and start with something you believe you can do.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR BUSINESS IDEAS
You don’t need to attend business school to be skilled in spotting busi-ness ideas and in turning them into money-spinners. You can stumble into a business opportunity right where you are. All you have to do is be in an idea-spot-ting mode so you can mine every day-to-day experience for its idea generating potential. A good example would be finding a solution to a problem shared by many of the people you know, or being able to come up with a service or product that is different from what is being offered in the market.
While ideas can spring from anywhere, it takes someone with a good business nose to smell a golden opportunity as it comes. You only need an open mind when keeping an eye on trends so you don’t miss out on that winning concept.
The following are the usual places to look for business ideas:
BOOKS AND BOOKSTORES. Books on business opportunities in different industries abound these days. When you’re in the bookstore ask the sales people which titles and topics are popular, and therefore are selling well.
MAGAZINES like Entrepreneur Philippines, where you can learn from other entrepreneurs and find inspiration.