As the New Year beds in, and we take stock of our lives, we start to wonder if we want a repeat of the year we have just had, or if we want something different? If you have the back to work blues, or can’t face another year of school gates and PTA, chances are it’s time for a change.
If you’ve been thinking about a change for a while, the New Year can seem daunting instead of an opportunity for celebration. You know you need a change, yet that idea about what to do next eludes you.
Chances are you have toyed with the idea of starting your own business. You want to have more control over what you do, and who you do it with. You relish the freedom and flexibility that being your own boss brings, but you may not be sure where to start.
Or maybe you have had an idea for a while, but you’re not sure if it will be the success you need it to be. To start a business successfully, you need to have clarity about your idea, confidence the idea will work and lastly the commitment to make it happen.
So where do you start with ‘your idea’ if you don’t already have one?
From my research and the 50 in-depth interviews of successful Corporate Crossovers, (women who leave their jobs to start their own business) there are four ways to create a business idea:
- Follow your passion
- Solve your problems
- Leverage your skills and experience
- Have an epiphany!
1. Follow your passion
When we are passionate about something, we find it easy to talk about, we love leaning more about it, and we are happy to spend time thinking and being involved with activities related to that passion. Chances are we also have a great deal of knowledge about that subject.
2. Solve your own problems
Many of the business ideas evolve from a need that the founder has. They need a service or a product and realise it doesn’t exist. Interestingly the women that I spoke to saw the need when they entered a new lifestyle stage (a good example is parenthood). Conversations with other people support the need for the idea and voila! A business is born.
3. Leverage your experience
Identifying a business idea that will fuel you to leave a role, can also be based on doing what you are already doing. Continuing in your profession but instead of doing it for a corporation as a paid employee, doing it for yourself. You build on your experience and network to create a new business, as a freelancer, interim or consultant.
4. Have an epiphany
The aha! moment. Elusive when we want one, abundant when we take a shower. That moment of clarity and insight that culminates in a bright idea that you just know is the right idea for you to build your business on.
Once you have the idea, this is just the start of your business creation journey!
You need to get really clear on your idea. Is it easy to articulate? Do you know precisely who you will be selling to, and what they are buying? Many business start-ups fail because they aren’t sure of what they are selling and who is buying it. The sharper you define your idea, the easier it is to sell. A confused prospect never buys.
Are you confident you idea will be a success? What market research do you need to do to create a product that will sell easily, because it’s meeting your market’s needs at the right price? Research can be done very simply and the responses will be illuminating. The feedback you receive will allow you to refine your idea and have confidence that a market exists for it.
These steps can seem overwhelming when you start out, especially if you don’t have an idea! Yet, from my work with business owners over the years, I know that these steps are essential to build a strong foundation for your business. You don’t have to do this alone! There are many courses and resources available to help you kick off with the greatest chance of success.
So, as the New Year gets underway, take hold of it! Take the chance to design the life you choose, and create a business that will inspire and motivate you. As one famous brand says, “you’re worth it”.
Let me know in the comments how you are taking charge of your business idea for 2014.
* You can read other great motivational posts by Wendy here!