Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask me, “How should I decide on the idea for my new business?” If you are wondering the same thing, I encourage you to start by thinking about what you really love to do.
If your business idea is something you're passionate about and something you know deep down you can do well, you are much more likely to want to work hard and devote the time and energy that all startups require.
If you're not feeling passionate about your idea or you need inspiration, try approaching your concept from a different angle, or refine it so that it resonates with you more. Bring in skills from a favorite hobby. Orient your business toward serving or selling to people you'd like to interact with. The book Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul can be an inspiring read at this point in your journey. If you're looking for something a little more Zen, I recommend Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. The latter ultimately enabled me to succeed in launching my first business. And if you want to know more about the power of starting a new business based on your passion and purpose, take a look at my ebook Wicked Start: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose.
You don't have to be the first to think of a product or service – or know more about it than anyone else in the universe – you just need creativity, skills, and insights to do it better than anyone else has done it so far. Consider the experiences that have frustrated you while shopping or getting help: shoddy customer service, impossible-to-find products, long waits. For your idea, devise and implement a way that saves time, is easier to use, or is more convenient; that could be your great business idea.
Give consideration to the potential customers you'll serve and where they're located: in other words, your target market. The most important consideration is that you believe that enough folks will pay for your idea to make it a viable business.
My friend Hari Kaur, founder of HariNYC, a yoga and meditation center in New York City, is a good example of someone who started a business based on what she loves. Hari has been a yoga practitioner and teacher for over 30 years. Teaching students has been Hari's passion and sharing her wisdom has been a gift to all those she's touched. Taking her teaching to the next level meant that Hari was ready to open her own yoga center. She chose to create a warm, homey space rather than the typical gym-like environment, to enhance her idea of developing a welcoming and encouraging community. Until that moment, Hari had never run her own business. And, opening a yoga studio is starting a business - along with everything that goes along with it from securing a lease, getting startup capital, hiring staff, and figuring out the finances to stay in business. Hari is the perfect example of seizing personal passion while being savvy enough to find a void in the marketplace to fill.