Sunday, October 8, 2017

Small Business Ideas - for the aspiring entrepreneur

The search for a business idea

small business ideas for starting a business
Looking for inspiration to find the right business?
So maybe you're sick of working the traditional nine-to-five, or sick of working for somebody else, or perhaps you're tired of spending so much of your time commuting to and from work - and you're thinking about starting your own business? Maybe even a home-based business? ...... But the big question you might be struggling with is this one - what sort of business should you start?

Tens of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs around the world right now are thinking the same thing - not just here in Australia, but also in India, the U.K, Europe and the U.S  ...... Although less than half will end up actually doing something about it.  But time invested in thinking and careful planning should always come before doing anyhow ..... So exploring different ideas for your potential business can be an important early step in the process. As long as you also recognise when the time for bold action has arrived.

Let's just take a few moments and think about where different small business owners have commenced their journey from - and see if that might provide you with any potential inspiration or insight.
"... the nature of business is to solve a problem and somehow make life easier for a consumer"
There are some entrepreneurs who already have a clear vision for the service or product they intend to bring to market - they have recognised that a gap exists in the market-place and that there is a problem waiting to be solved. These entrepreneurs simply have to plan how best to commercialise their "solution" and launch as a business. 
".... from employee to becoming your own boss"
There are other entrepreneurs whose background is such that they have possessed specialist or technical skills - as an accountant, hairdresser, carpenter, plumber or mechanic - but have been working as an employee for someone else. Then one day they found themselves awakening to the idea that maybe they could be their own boss and offer their expertise direct to consumers. 

Mind you, there are still a lot of business skills which have to be acquired. Just because you're a great plumber, doesn't mean you will be successful in running your own plumbing business. There's a lot to learn about marketing, book-keeping and finances for example.

But what if you're a plumber who's sick and tired of  that line of work - and maybe wanting to start up a business in a completely new space. Then you will be searching for a business idea. 
"Sometimes it's wiser to test the idea as a "side-line" before quitting your day job"
Before we look at business ideas - two quick tips. Firstly, before going down the path of going full-time with your business idea, see if you can do it part-time "on the side". In other words, you will keep your "day-job" and experiment with the idea to help evaluate whether there is sufficient demand for the product or service. 

"Testing the water" before jumping in can be a wise risk management strategy. This is something that I certainly did many years ago, before establishing my own management training business, Performance Development. 

A second quick tip is to consider what you are naturally interested in and passionate about. Maybe you love playing golf - AND you're also good at it. You've played it for 20 years. Maybe you think about promoting private golfing lessons at a small club that doesn't have their own "pro". Or maybe you promote a service of being a paid golfing partner, who also provides some in-game coaching as you go around with your partner on the greens. Just imagine if you could find a way to turn your hobby into a small stream of income!

40 business ideas that require minimal start-up capital

A home based business has less running costs 
Here's a range of different ideas for a possible business. Various categories and industries are represented - for example products or services relating to Health and wellness, Food and snacks, various Home and garden services. 

However, do keep in mind whether the idea is viable depends upon your ability to differentiate yourself from existing competition in that market .... Some ideas might require additional training or have certification requirements. However they all are relatively easy in terms of having the benefit of requiring minimal up-front start-up capital. And many of them can be home-based business ideas - avoiding the cost of leasing a premise. 

But at this point, the key is to open up your thinking to consider new possibilities ... 
  1. Website development or graphic design
  2. Car detailing
  3. House cleaning
  4. Garden maintenance or landscaping
  5. Home maintenance, handyman or house repairs
  6. Window cleaning
  7. Cafe, restaurant, coffee shop or catering business
  8. Teaching or tutoring in a field of your expertise (eg. music, language ....)
  9. House sitting
  10. Pet minding
  11. Dog walking or dog training
  12. Pet grooming
  13. Interior design / decorating or painting
  14. Special event planning (weddings, anniversaries, holidays ...)
  15. Life coaching
  16. Personal fitness training
  17. Photographer
  18. Gift basket service
  19. On-line art & craft supplies
  20. Furniture removal or small transport service
  21. Air-bnb host - or bed-and-breakfast
  22. Travel guide
  23. Freelance copywriter or editor
  24. Dress maker or clothing alterations
  25. Florist
  26. Gutter cleaning
  27. Rubbish removal
  28. Home stager
  29. Massage therapist
  30. Resume writer
  31. Soap or candle making
  32. Baking 
  33. Cake decorating
  34. Translation service provider
  35. Video producer
  36. Virtual assistant
  37. Social media consultancy
  38. Technology services such as app development 
  39. Writing e-books
  40. Online retail or eBay store - selling anything from hand-made birthday cards, niche cosmetics, skin care or hair care products, smart-phone accessories. This easily lends itself to starting up initially as a home based business, simply requiring a room set aside for storage of products and packaging.
In closing, once you find an idea that has appeal for you - then the real work begins. Undertaking a more detailed stage of market-research that involves assessing consumer demand,  identifying existing competition and whether you would be able to differentiate yourself in terms of price, service or ease of accessibility (eg. maybe promoting yourself as the "local" supplier").  

If this research suggests the idea seems feasible, then the next step is preparing a business plan. It's all an exciting journey - and I wish you well.

P.S  Could buying a franchise be another option for you?
Another option you might consider is whether a franchise opportunity could be right for you. Training, systems, marketing, business support and association with a known brand can be some of the advantages. Although care should always be taken with this, because of the limitations and obligations that some franchise contracts can place upon a franchisee - an article that could be of interest to you is in Kochie's Business Builders blog - Top Ten Australian Franchises

Relevant articles