So you want to start a business, but you have no idea where to begin? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. Working for yourself can be a very exciting journey, so rewarding, and it’s something that quite a lot of people aspire to, but the process is not linear and it doesn’t look the same for everyone. In this blog post, I want to share with you my own personal experience and some advice on how to find a business idea and the questions you should ask yourself if you want to start a business.
How do I find a business idea?
First of all, let’s start with a little thought on how many new businesses began in 2020 alone. Because of the pandemic, many people lost their jobs, and I believe that now more than ever, people realised that we can’t just rely on one source of income to keep going, or on a company to keep us forever. I’m not saying that’s the case for everyone, but I think this was almost a wake-up call, and many people decided that 2020 was the year they would launch their business.
According to Statista.com, 2020 counted over 800.000 businesses that were less than one year old, and I’m going to show you the graphic below because I think the difference over the years is absolutely crazy to see.
So, if you’ve been thinking of starting your own business and thought maybe it’s a crazy idea, just know you’re not the only one, and you’re about to embark on a crazy but beautiful journey.
However, one of the first things you should know is what you want your business to be about.
Some people always had a certain dream or passion, so it’s going to be quite easy for them as they’ll probably just follow that dream and be able to start right away.
But if you’re in the group of people who don’t have a clue what they want to do, then hopefully today I can help you with that.
The answer to how to find a business idea is in starting with the inner work. What do I mean by that? I mean that in order to launch a business that will grow and will give you joy and fulfilment, you need to know yourself.
Before you say that you just want to make some good money, let me burst the bubble for you. Apparently, business owners whose main goal is just to make money, don’t go very far with their business, and that’s because people can tell. Someone can tell when you’re just trying to get their money but you don’t really care about them or you don’t have a deeper reason to do things, and that doesn’t look too great on a brand.
Also, you need to be doing something that you actually enjoy, because running your own business involves long hours, probably not much money at the beginning, you wear all the hats in the business, and people might not be very supportive initially.
So imagine having to deal with all of that whilst you do something that you absolutely dislike, not so much fun, right?
And that is why I believe that doing the inner work is an essential first step; don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be any woo-woo thing cause I’m not into those kinds of things. What I mean is that you need to spend some time reflecting and getting to really know yourself, by asking certain questions that I’ll be sharing with you later on in this blog post.
However, let’s first see how you can find good ideas for business.
Where can I find good ideas for business?
The first thing which is also the most obvious is online. There are so many resources out there to give you ideas and inspiration for a new business. I love watching/listening to stories about successful entrepreneurs and how they started, they’re very inspiring and help me to think about my own life and the direction I want to go.
I also like browsing through Pinterest about business ideas from home, or online business ideas. I did find some good stuff in there and I definitely did a few of the things I found for a while, but that was more so as a side hustle and not as my main business because I wasn’t actually passionate about those things. I did them for a while because they allowed me to make some extra money on the side of my main job, and they’re great for diversifying your sources of income. However, I wouldn’t see myself doing any of those things full time.
Finally, another great place to find good ideas for business is through books. I’m a bookworm and I love reading books about self-development, business, and successful individuals. And truth be told, the thing that really helped me to find clarity and pushed me to start my business is Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable. Thanks to this book, I really did the inner work, I spent some time reflecting, and then I finally took the leap of faith.
If you want to know more about me and how my journey started, you can read more here.
Questions to ask to start a business
Okay, now is time to get to the meat of this post. When I spoke about the inner work earlier as a time of self-reflection and discovery, I meant that you need to be asking yourself certain questions in order to find the best idea for your business.
Today I want to share with you the top 3 questions that I asked myself in order to find clarity and make a decision.
As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that things can ABSOLUTELY change, and you will most likely find more clarity as you grow in the journey. So these questions are the beginning of the puzzle, but they’re not the full picture, and they serve you as the foundation for your business. However, the way you structure your business or the services you offer or your niche, could all change over time and that is absolutely fine.
Top 3 questions to ask before starting a business
What is my why?
This is probably the most important question you’ll need to ask yourself because it will literally be the foundation for everything. It will be what drives you and motivates you even in the “not-so-great” days, and it will also be the message that you share with your audience and distinguishes you from everyone else. As I mentioned earlier in the post, if your why is making money or other similar reasons, you probably won’t go very far, that’s just how it is. So it’s very important that you think carefully about this and about the real reason why you do what you do.
Are you helping people to solve a problem in a unique way? Is it something dear to your heart, maybe you’ve been through it yourself or someone close to you? Do you want to make a change in a specific area of society? Do you want to improve people’s quality of life?
Whatever your reason is, it should be deep and be aimed at helping someone else, because that’s what successful business owners do.
2. What is my vision?
This is another very important question that you should spend some time thinking about and be able to give an answer and map out the next 3-5 years of your life, sometimes even 10 years. Your vision could be both for your audience and your personal life, because honestly speaking, your business will be like a baby and it will take on a huge part of your life.
For example, my vision can involve both helping women in simplifying their life and business, but I also want to gain the freedom in my own life to one day be able to have a family and raise my children, without being tied to a desk or a boss. So all the steps that I take now are so that I will fulfil my vision in 5-10 years time, where I will impact women all over the world, whilst still being able to attend to the needs of my loved ones.
3. What are my skills?
Finally, this is what will practically start giving you an insight into what you could be doing. I don’t know if anyone would ever advise someone to start a business doing something they’re not good at, cause what’s the point of that?
Just as you should be doing something you’re passionate about, you should also be doing something you’re actually good at. It doesn’t need to be perfect, also because we’ll never really achieve perfection and we should actually let go of that myth, but it should be something that comes quite natural to us.
For example, I’m not good at tech stuff whatsoever, like I’ll do what needs to be done if no one else can help me, but don’t ask me to code or do those kinds of things cause it’s just not one of my strengths. So why on earth would I ever start a tech company? It just wouldn’t make sense and I don’t think anyone would trust me if they knew I wasn’t good at it.
However, when I started digging and thinking about what came natural to me that other people probably struggled with, the answer was almost immediate: I’m the queen of organization.
Literally, give me anything in any sort of mess, and I’ll make sense out of it, be it kitchen cupboards, a Google Drive, or a pile of paper documents. I just have this thing in my brain where I organize everything so quickly to make my life easier; not only that, I know how to be efficient with my time and I absolutely love showing others how to do it too, because we 100% have enough time if we just know how to steward it well.
Hence why The Planning Geek was born, because this is me: a planning, organization, and productivity nerd, who loves to simplify life and business to have more time to LIVE.
Do you see how that idea was so natural to me? I’m so passionate about it and I’m also quite good at it, so it’s a no brainer.
The key is to draw into your own strengths, which many other people could actually be struggling with, and then you start helping those people, and teaching them, and serving them in whatever way they need to be served so you can solve their problem.
Final thoughts on how to find a good business idea
I truly hope that this post helped and inspired you if you’re looking for a good business idea and you’re ready to start your own journey. It’s not something that just falls onto your lap, and you do actually need to be intentional about the inner work and get to know yourself better in order to also understand what business you should start.
So go back through these questions as many times as you need to, to learn how to find a business idea that will be successful and will make an impact.