Find Your Business Idea
You don’t have a business idea but you really want to start? These few pieces of information can help you find your business idea.
Remember: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. (Winston Churchill)
The most important thing to remember is that, to last, the activity that you will carry out must correspond to you and make you happy. Don’t forget that the project you are going to define will determine your own future.
Hence the importance of starting by asking, black on white, what affects you personally, your desires, your values, your ambitions, your vision of your success… before talking about what you know how to do professionally.
1. Find an idea based on consumer needs
Do you want to start a business but have no idea? The most important source of opportunity is customer needs (or rather how consumers want to satisfy their needs).
The principles of Peter DRUCKER can inspire you. He suggests 7 sources of opportunities that contribute to generating innovations and therefore business creation ideas:
- the unexpected,
- the contradictions between reality as it is and as it “should be” or as we imagine it,
- structural needs: “necessity is the mother of innovation”,
- industrial and commercial structures (orientation towards the outsourcing of certain business functions, for example),
- changes in consumer perception such as the return to “local” products for example or “sharing” (car sharing, apartment sharing, etc.)
- new knowledge, in particular digital technology and its impacts.
However, beware of opportunity pitfalls:
what is an opportunity in one country is not necessarily so in France (for example, pet rental in Japan),
if you want a long-lasting business, beware of fads,
as amazing as it is, if you find an opportunity in a field that does not interest you, you risk failing.
2. Find an idea from yourself
You can focus on
- your internal resources (skills, aptitudes, etc.)
- your external resources (network, associates, money…)
- your constraints because, today, it is “easy” to have a project that adapts to you.
- financial: today or tomorrow (you will have to pay for your children’s studies next year for example)
geographical: you want to move or especially not move from your city for example
- availability: you must be home by 6 p.m. for your children and be available on weekends, for example
- physical or health: you have a disability and you cannot perform certain activities, for example
- travel: you don’t have a vehicle to get around, for example
- time to prepare the project: you are still working for example…
Once these constraints are identified, it will be easier to find solutions to draw the outlines of your idea but, above all, do not forget to check that the idea you find is indeed consistent with yourself.
3. A project adapted to YOU
It is possible, by asking the right questions beforehand, to adapt your project to YOU (and not the other way around). This step is fundamental because, at least at the beginning, you will live with your project, fall asleep with it, dream of your project… as much as it suits you best!
Some examples :
You want to open a children’s clothing and accessories store but you don’t have enough money to finance the takeover of the business. By doing the exercise below, we can imagine several solutions. For instance :
if what you really like is childhood, then you could imagine other activities around this theme that would not require the same amount of investment.
if what you like is finding original clothes, then you could sell online…
You want to work in communication but you don’t want to work evenings and weekends. In this case, you will have to avoid events, for example, but there will still be many other possibilities in communication…
You want to open a restaurant but not to work in the evening. In this case, you could open in a business district that empties at the end of the day.
These are only a few examples but, experience proves it, starting from YOU, you will find the idea that suits you!
4. The questions to ask yourself to find this idea
Tip before you start: when you do this exercise, put yourself in a calm and “I’m dreaming” type posture. For the moment, don’t put any limits on yourself, put everything black on white, you will sort it out afterwards.
1 – Your desires, your passions, your interests, your childhood dreams
Do not think about what is possible or not, write down your desires, your passions, your centers of interest, your childhood dreams, the profession of your parents or grandparents (that they exercised or would have liked to exercise) which you would have liked…
For instance :
I like: wine, children, nature, bridge, the sea, calm
I want to: please others, bring happiness to others, take care of others,
When I was little, I wanted to be a lawyer. Then, as a teenager, I wanted to be a psychologist
2 – Your values, what is really important to you
Your values are what you are, what “holds you up”, there are probably jobs in which you will not be able to express your values.
For example: honesty, independence, autonomy, wisdom, reciprocity, humility, social justice, progress, success, security…
3 – What you want or not on a personal level
In all areas, note what you want and/or what you don’t want on a personal level (we’ll see the professional side later), your constraints and obligations.
Indeed, today, computer tools (when they are well used!) make it possible to better reconcile private, family and professional life.
For instance :
I want to: move to Aquitaine, live in a house in a village near the sea, enjoy my children and therefore be available between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.,
I don’t want to: work on weekends, drive every day to reach my place of work
4 – What you want or not at the professional level
Do not restrain yourself for the moment, you will sort it out later. Write down everything you want or not on a professional level. It’s often easier to start from what you don’t want, don’t hesitate to start with this subject.
For instance :
I want to: continue to learn, meet lots of different people, exchange
I don’t want: to work at home, to have more than 2 term employees, to have investors outside the family, to do heavy prospecting, to manage paperwork, to work in the sector from which I leave
5 – Your current skills
The competence = The ability of a subject to mobilize, in an integrated manner, internal (knowledge, know-how and attitudes) and external (network, tools, etc.) resources to effectively deal with a family of complex tasks for him .
Write down your technical skills but don’t forget the others.
For instance :
Current skills: creative, ability to question, know how to decide, open-minded, reactive, know how to surround myself, know how to manage my stress, know how to manage my time, am objective, knowledge of management, accounting, finance, marketing
6 – Your goals and ambitions
Where do you want to take the business? Create but to do what? Following what steps, if any
For instance :
Objectives: for my daughter to join the company later and give it to her, for the company to remain at the regional level, to have a salary of at least €2,000 per month,
Steps: I want to start at home but the company must be able to pay for offices quickly.
The way to move forward
Once you have put all these elements:
- Imagine possible intersections between your different answers
- Talk about it with your loved ones
- Let settle
- and bring out the idea that suits you!
To help you, use: Creativity Techniques to Find a Business Idea
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