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Please note, we do not offer legal advice. If you are starting a business and need legal services, please consult with an attorney. We do use affiliates to keep our site running, but unlike other blogs, we never offer anything we have not used or love.

This guide will cover and answer all questions you have about getting your first business idea.

Due to the length of the article, we have separated it into sections and provided links above to help you navigate with ease.

Now, let’s get started!

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As excited as you might be about starting and running your own business, you have to take into consideration that having a business means taking a lot of responsibilities. You will face a lot of challenges too. Which brings me to my next point, do you have what it takes to run a business in the field you are choosing?

It is one thing coming up with a business idea and quite a different thing fitting in that field. I would want to start a software company, but what will I offer once I join that industry? I don’t have the skills or the passion for software besides the thought that a business in that line will make me money.

Which Industry Fits you Best?

Since you are starting your own business, you will be actively involved in all aspects of the business including the failure of the janitor to place tissue paper in the bathroom. Granted, you will need to evaluate yourself to see whether you are capable of running a business in a given field.

You need a combination of skills and personal characteristics to fit in an industry. For instance, to join the entertainment industry, you will need to know a thing or two about music and also be ready to interact with a multitude of people. I know you are feeling like you can delegate tasks and learn on the job, but what manager knows nothing about their field?

To be ultimately successful, you need specific knowledge and experience. This comes in handy when you are starting a small business with no capital to hire skilled professionals.

There are two assessments that you need to take before you get started on your business:

  1. Identify your abilities to start and run a business
  2. Identify which field your abilities will fit

To be honest, you will be missing most of the skills that you might need as an entrepreneur, but some of them can be enhanced with a few days of learning. If your answer to any of the questions below is YES, consider that as your strength. If you answer NO to any of the questions below, consider that as a field that needs improvement.

Interest
Are you interested in starting and running your own business? Will starting a business mean anything to you, your family and those around you? Are you willing to sacrifice anything to make your business a success? Do you feel excited now that you are about to start your business?

Your interests and passion drive you to achieve great success with your business. It is the drive to forego a few hours of your sleep every day to see your business move to the next level. Not just to earn more, but to find success and fulfilment.

The Big Picture and Decision Making
Are you able to visualize the next level for your business? Do you have a plan to move your business one level to another? Are you determined and dedicated to achieve all your goals?

Goals act as the pillars on which your business will start. Which makes them vital when you are choosing a business idea because you need to be one with the goals you create.

Are you able to calm yourself and find solutions when faced with a challenging situation? Do you deal with a situation instantly without postponing?

Many business ventures will not allow you to postpone problems. In fact, the moment you postpone a problem, you start losing clients and the control of your business.

Risk Tolerance
There is no business idea that can be said to be absolutely safe. There is a significant risk of failure. There will always be stress and difficult situations and your ability to handle them is paramount to the success of your business in any field. At times of difficult situations, it is better if you have someone offering you emotional or financial support.

Have you accepted the fact that there are risks and your business might not do as well as you think? Have you researched on various industries to estimate the risk you will be taking? When risks come, will you handle them with positivity? Can you spot an opportunity in the midst of a difficult situation? Do you have someone you can rely on for support?

Finances
Your finances will limit your ideas. When you are starting a business, especially a business that deals with selling goods, you will need financial resources. You might consider a service-oriented business when you have less resources; but then again, you will need skills.

I managed to start an online service business with as little as $20. My business idea was informed by my lack of finances. You can do it too.

Do you have access to financial resources to survive in a given industry? Do you have access to loans? Do you have a savings account?

Business Management
Why start an international company if you know you can only manage a small online kiosk? Isn’t it better to start by creating a small business and learn the ropes of management and running a business before expanding?

Once your business has started, running it efficiently is not an option if you need success. If you rely on someone else, a manager to run everything for you, your business might be making profits that you never benefit from.

The last step in this assessment is identifying your role in the community you live in and the environment. Do you know your role in taking care of the environment and the community? Are you committed to advancing your community?

Make a note of your strengths and your weaknesses. Your strengths will keep you motivated when coming up with business ideas while your weaknesses need to be worked on immediately.

Which Field of Business Should You Base Your Idea?

The old advice says that when your business is built on your strengths, there is a high chance that it will be successful. This means that your business needs to be based on your work experience, technical skills and knowledge.

For instance, I feel like my next business should be in the food industry; I love cooking, I have worked in a restaurant and I feel enthusiastic about such a business. This is unlike having thoughts on opening a software company while the only thing I can do is install an app on my computer.

Besides skills and experience, you need to consider hobbies, family background, social ties and much more. Take an example of Steve Jobs who started a business from his parent’s garage. It was the passion for electronics, the support he got from his partner and community that led to his success.

In simple terms, a field of business is a category in an industry such as farming, fishing, education, technology, furniture and food processing among others. Your skills, talent, background, passion and experience will help you succeed in a given field.

It is your interests that drive you to start a business in a given field and keep you on it to the end. Your decision to join a given field of business, therefore, should match these attributes.

When developing a business idea, you will need to choose between one of four types of businesses as expounded below.

Manufacturing
Manufacturing is one of the most profitable types of businesses. Here, you create products from raw materials. In this field, you will find shoemakers, dressmakers, paper producers, computer and equipment manufacturers and many more. For you to join this field, you need to know how to create products. Not only that, you need to choose products that are on demand.

Services
You can sell services. In fact, this is a good idea when you do not have a lot of capital to start your business and you have a set of skills to offer. You can offer services such as tours, hairdressing, repairs, painting, cleaning and deliveries among others. You must, however, be willing to work with people and be able to satisfy their needs.

Wholesale
Here, you buy goods in large quantities from a manufacturer and supply them to retailers. This is a good business venture when you know manufacturers that sell goods in bulk and you have networked well with retailers.

Retail
Retail businesses are everywhere. You can base your business idea on buying goods from the manufacturer or from wholesalers and selling them to consumers. If you have chosen a good location or have a good online following, you are good to go. Just like any other business, planning and marketing will be needed.

If you carry out this assessment correctly, it should lead you to the field and type of business that you are best suited. After you have chosen the industry you want to venture in, choosing a niche should be easy. The demand for goods and services should dictate the niche that you join in a given industry.

Improving your Skills and Entrepreneurial Abilities

You will not always have the desired characteristics to venture in a given field. After you have assessed yourself and found that you are suitable to venture into a given field, say farming, there are still things you will need to learn to be a better entrepreneur.

Attaining and honing skills is crucial to the success of your business. And there are many avenues through which you can learn.

If you are like me, you will love learning on the field; visiting businesses that are in line with the business you want to venture and seeing how they operate. If you have not developed your business idea at this point, you can choose two niches and research on them.

With intensive research, you can identify which niche has more challenges and which will be best suited for your skills and abilities.

Some of the ways through which you can learn include:

  • Visit businesses that are already established
  • Attend seminars related to the field of business you need to pursue
  • Work as an intern in a successful business and learn their routine
  • Read online articles, trade journals and newspapers to identify the problems in your field of interest and their probable solutions
  • Join business associations and forums in your area

Keep saving every day to ensure you have enough capital to start your business when the time is right.

Network with people in the same line of business as your interest. They might also give you a clue on the best niche to venture in.

In business, consistency is key. You will always face challenges; I have faced more challenges than I can remember, creating my businesses. These challenges will be many when you are developing your business idea, but you must never give in to them. Stay motivated and deal with problems as soon as they arise.

Be Open to New Ideas
Even when you feel like you have settled on a business idea in a given niche, it is still advisable to be open to other people’s views and new ideas. For instance, you might consider having a business partner instead of going it alone. This helps because you can find someone who complements your skills and abilities.

A partner might bring in new ideas, offer financial support, or use their relationships and network to catapult your business to the next level. There are people who have relied on partners to run their businesses when they did not have any skills or abilities in a given field.

However, one needs to be aware of the areas that they need to improve on and take the necessary course of action.

After you have undergone the assessment process, you might end up with more than a single business idea, or find that there are two niches in the same industry that you are fit to join. When that happens, you will need to research thoroughly on both fields before settling on a single one. This will allow you to identify the challenges you might face on each business and which will be easier to handle.

Will Your Business Idea Make You Money? Here’s How To Validate Your Idea

While your business idea might sound brilliant to you, it might actually need some tweaking to make it work.

In between generating that great idea and starting your business, there is a process that you need to carry out; validating your business idea. It is easier to get taken by the great idea and start imagining possibilities while forgetting to ensure that the business idea is viable.

In select times, the business idea will work even with minimal or no market research. However, this is not always the case. No one wants a business that will crash on the first week of launching, right?

You can follow a simple procedure to validate your business idea.

Creating an Idea
Oftentimes, entrepreneurs find it easy to hatch a business idea, but the market research stage becomes a problem for them. This is normally the case when you imagine the multi-billion dollars in a given industry, but lack a plan on how to meet the needs of the people.

When you are so passionate about your newly found business idea, you start losing objectivity. When that happens, you might spend a significant amount of time executing your business idea only to lose your money on unfocused activities.

Before you execute your business idea, therefore, market research is indispensable. There are different sources of information including:

  • Web searches
  • Federal and state agencies
  • Industry associations
  • Periodicals

When you spend a few hours researching, you will know a lot about your market or lack thereof. You need enough information to be able to predict the target customers for your goods or services. For instance, when researching, you can carry samples of your product and see which age bracket the product appeals to.

After the research, you should know whether to dispel your idea, go ahead and execute it, or fine tune it and take it back to the drawing board. You need to have a short list of questions that the research needs to answer. Such questions can include:

  • How large is the market?
  • How strong is the demand for this service or product?
  • How strong are my competitors?
  • What should I charge for my product or goods?
  • Will I make any profits from the sale of this product or service?

Sometimes, it is advisable to seek the help of research experts. An expert will tell you the most appropriate type of research, how to develop samples, create objectives and come up with the right tools for the research.

When researching the market, your methods will be determined by the product or service you plan to offer. A business idea that plans on offering tangible products should involve having the item for prospective customers to see and touch. When the products are intangible, prospective clients should be given a descriptive copy of the business idea.

Analyzing the Market
When analyzing the market, scrutinize your business idea on four fronts; business, buyers, existing businesses and collaborators.

When looking at the business, scrutinize the features and specifications of your products/services; benefits these products/services will offer to your customers, and the promises you will be making to customers.

Think of your customers in terms of their needs. There are those who will purchase the product, these are the ones who will actually press the buy button. Other customers are influencers; they influence people to buy your products. You also need to think of the end users; for instance a child using a toy.

Competitors shape the market. There are three types of competitors that you need to pay attention to; primary, secondary and tertiary competitors. The levels are determined by how often your products compete. Your position in the market will be determined by how well you craft your message.

The market has collaborators too; these are organizations or people who might help in the success of your business, but do not benefit directly from the success. They include the media and associations that sell or market your products to customers.

You can also use SWOT research approach

SWOT is a common research approach where you assess the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. When doing a SWOT analysis, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business and your product/services. Weaknesses might include design flaws, high prices, and perishability. Threat might be high competition and the economy.

While doing a SWOT analysis, you will discover the internal and external factors that will influence your business. SWOT will let you understand your business and your product and the prevailing environment. Whichever research approach you choose, you need to ensure that you meet the objectives of your research.

The research will show you the parts of your business idea that need patching.

Getting to know your Competitors
The research should help you discover who your competitors are. But, you still need to check out what they are up to. One of the best ways to do that is to shop from them; put yourself on their list and ask another customer what they like about the products or service they offer.

Your aim at this point should be improving on things that your competitors are doing and make it better, so, you can woo some of the customers away by tapping into some unmet needs.

The competitors’ service might be poor or their product might have flaws; you can only learn this by using the product yourself. This will help you figure out a way to do things better and be on top of the competition.

Find a selling point and incorporate that in your marketing plan. This selling point should set you apart and lure customers from your competitors to you.

What if your idea has flaws after the analysis?
It happens; you analyze the market only to realize your maiden idea will not make you more than a few dollars each day, which will not be worth an investment. When that happens, it does not mean that you dispel your idea and start again, the idea can be tweaked to match the existing market.

While it will be a disappointment to discover that your business is not ready to start after spending time and some money on the idea stage, refocusing will give your idea a chance for future success. You need to react to feedback and determine what you need to achieve with your business idea. Assess whether the loopholes in the business idea can be corrected.

If there is no way to offer true value to customers, scrap off the idea and start afresh. It feels disheartening, I know, but that is the only chance you have for success.

There is a reason why you had chosen that idea. You should, therefore, consider finding all ways for it to work. When your idea is ready to go, you need to consider pricing in relation to what your competitor is offering.

II

Picking a Business Idea 

Contributing author James J-Pierre

No two minds are alike, therefore, what’s easy for one may not be easy for another. A great example and what I’ll be writing about is coming up with a business idea. Not everyone know what they want in life, and that itself makes it more difficult.

In the beginning, it wasn’t easy for me to come up with any ideas, whether they were business or something that could help me in life. I just copied others in hopes that It would replicate some type of income. Although that’s not too bad of an idea, it’s not always the best or the most profitable if you aren’t doing it right.

Over the years, the best thing that’s played a major part in me being able to come up with ideas is my imagination. That may not be the case for everyone, so I also figured out other ways for anyone to come up with their own business ideas. No matter where you are now; whether you’re bizarre, plain, whatever, you too can improve your skills of coming up with better business ideas and do it with no effort in due time.

Solve A Problem/s

One of the best ways to come up with an idea is by solving a problem you or someone else has. People are very similar and therefore face similar problems. You don’t always have to solve a major problem like the big companies. Just solving a small problem can help many.

Take for example the nightlight. Someone invented the nightlight which helps children sleep in peace at night, as well as people that don’t like sleeping in complete darkness. It also solves the problem of privacy for the parents.

A lot of the products we use now were made to solve some type of problem for someone.

  • Sterile gloves – to keep doctors from catching diseases and keeping patience wounds clean.
  • Baby’s crib – to keep parents from rolling and suffocating their child while they sleep.
  • Solar power or portable A/c units – to lower electricity bills, and more.


Everything around you solves an issue, you have to get good at seeing and identifying them. Start with your own frustrations and work outwards.

From Something You Hate

Honestly, I hate a lot of things, but it’s not that simple. It must be something that comes up often, really bothers you and you wish there was a solution or easier way of doing it.

I think many of the men reading this guide could relate to this problem I’ve been having for the past years of my life.

Every time I get up to use the bathroom, especially in the middle of the night, I am told to lift the seat. I hate lifting the seat, sorry but I just can’t help my laziness.

I don’t want to go in the bathroom and touch what I know is filthy. It’s a toilet, cleaned or not, it’s still filthy and I hate doing it.

All I want is to aim and shoot then rush back to bed before I lose that dream about that super-model jogging down the beach in slow motion. But every time I walk in the bathroom I dread lifting the seat and soon enough this thought keeps appearing in my head.

After being forced to lift the seat so many times, I start to imagine a hands-free toilet where you could flip a switch from the wall along with the light to lift the seat and flick it down with the light when you are done.

You’d be less likely to forget to put the seat down because it’s not that often you’ll forget to turn off the lights, which would save your ears from a night of nagging.

Unfortunately, that idea’s already taken. Not the way I imagined it, but still, a toilet seat that lifts up by the push of a bottom. Though I could still go through with my idea if I wanted to because the way my bathroom switch idea operates would require a different patent, I’d prefer not to pursue it.

It’s not something I’d enjoy and I prefer not to spend many years forcing myself to do something I hate. I just wanted to give you an example.

Problems That Hasn’t Happened Yet

People will thank those that can think ahead and solve the issues that have yet to occur. And when your one of the first few to start in a new market, you get a head start. By the time the rest of the world gets into it, you had all the time you needed to perfect what you were working on.

A great example many of you were probably expecting me to give is from one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Elon Musk. The Iron man that is currently tackling multiple markets by thinking ahead of what will happen and what the future will need. Markets such as electric cars, solar panels, and being able to go into outer space and make it inhabitable to humans.

Earth might not be the same a few decades from now. The way humans are drying it up will most likely kill the place we call home. Gasoline will not always be around, but the sun will. One day we might solely depend on solar panels and have to go into an evergreen mindset.

Solve an issue that has yet to occur and you will have a head start.

From Your Current job

Do you sometimes feel you could do better because you see all the flaws with the company you work at?

If you answered yes, just know you are not alone and maybe you should follow up on that gut feeling because it may just lead you in a direction that will change your life forever.

Let me give you an example of how it is you could get your next business idea from your current or old job.

I worked for one specific company (which I will not mention the name of) at atleast four different locations and ended up quitting all of them, or should I say I just walked out, minus the one that laid me off. I probably would’ve worked at all five locations, but my legal documents were expired at one point.

I hated it. Do you know when someone says hate and they really mean it? I hated this company/job so much that if I had let myself go mad I’d probably burn all of them to the ground.

They operated the same, I don’t mean the company I mean management. It’s good to have a system, but bad to have one that’s flawed.

Their system was operated in a non-sufficient manner that hindered things and made work more difficult though an easier way was clearly right in front of them.

If you’ve been at your job for a while I’m sure you see the flaws and how things could be done better. I don’t mean a way to make things easier on you, but a way for everyone to be more productive and get things done faster.

A job with a cracked system is an opportunity to the one’s willing to take it. It’s as simple as copying from them and applying your own in the mix to make things better; or you could start your own company, copy their system and fix the cracks.

For example, Bill gates stole some ideas for Microsoft from apple/Jobs or should I say Xerox.

Most businesses you see today were stolen from one previous of them. Coca cola and Pepsi for example, but who’s complaining, is Pepsi not one of the greats now? No one is original anymore and anyone who tells you different hasn’t woken up to the new age.

From Television

Though I don’t recommend much TV, we must face the fact that the majority of people spend most of their lives glued in front of the tube, but if they were smart they’d realize television is a gold mine for ideas.

There are a lot of great ideas that come from television (Not from reality TV shows, because I think they are all idiots and anyone who watches them are idiots.) and those great ideas are used just for the show, not in real life (be sure to check that first.)

I prefer to watch cartoons when I do decide to take a bit of a break. There are a lot of good ideas and a lot of lessons you can learn if you can do something as simple as deciphering the messages.

A great show to help you generate ideas would be Shark Tank and similar shows to it.

Reading About Other People’s Success

If you want to keep information from the masses, just store it in a book. The average American reads just one book a year.

  • Read about people’s success stories.
  • Read their books.
  • Follow them on social media
  • Follow their blogs

There’s a lot of people who lived before us and took it upon themselves to write about their experience. If you have all this knowledge just waiting for you to click and find it, then why not?

I read many books and keep my mind open to new things. I read daily about billionaires, but most important I put what I read into action, because if your reading just to hoard information you are wasting you’re your time.

Writing Down Whatever Comes To Mind No Matter How Stupid

 Yes, this will work. Walk with a notepad small enough to fit into your pocket wherever you go out.

I could tell you this works because I always come up with the best ideas and quotes when I’m driving. It’s probably not a good thing that I daydream a lot when driving but, that’s how it happens. Quotes would zing across my mind. The first few times I told myself I’d remember it, but I never do; so now I pull over if I have to or drive slower to write it down if it’s something simple.

When your mind is most at ease that’s when good ideas will come to you. Write it down no matter how stupid, then sit when you have the time to run through a few scenarios in your head.

Your mind provides the idea, but it’s up to you to fix it and bring out its true potential.

I also recommend that you keep these ideas to yourself in the beginning, because negative criticism will destroy your ideas and possibly ruin your future.

What You Love To Do

 I’m sure you’ve heard this one a lot and if you don’t know what it is that you want to do, it’s very frustrating to hear.

Just sit, relax your mind and think back to when you were a child, what did you love to watch or do? If you’re like me and just had no clue and never really dreamed, what do you do for fun now?

Basketball, football maybe? Look at what you love to do and attack it from a different angle. No one will pay you to eat pizza because you love it, but looking at it from a different angle you could open a small pizza place.

By the way, don’t open a pizza place, there’s enough of those unless you do it and hit hard. A lot of businesses require little to no capital to start, but to get in the pizza market you do need money. Another solution could be doing a franchise if you have the money. The system is already in place and you could use it as a stepping/learning curve for what you really want to do.

Fulfill A Human Need

Something you may not be familiar with is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. To put it simply, it’s the different areas that motivate people. Think of possible services or products you can offer that will help with these needs.

Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs

An example would be the need for food and water. To make it easier, people don’t have to go hunting like in the early days, now all you need to do is go to the store. You can even order food and it comes to your door, saving you a trip and time on cooking.

Love/Belonging would be something like the cell phone that lets you call those close to you from wherever they are and bring you closer.

If you look at the human needs and learn to understand them, you could easily build on them just as many other companies have. Companies such as ADT who provide home security and safety.

You Could Just Have A Dream About One

 Yup, you heard me right. You could just have a dream about it.

Now dreams aren’t voluntarily controlled by you, though some people can control their dreams at times, but for this example, it’s better that you can’t control your dreams.

If you’ve been exposing your mind to books and the right materials to get ahead especially before you go to sleep at night, you are more likely to get a good idea than someone who does nothing all day.

Let me tell you why I say you could get your next business idea from a dream.

My night started like any other, I closed my eyes and like many of the nights before nothing was in my head; no thoughts, no dreams. It was like being dead and just disappearing off the face of the earth.

But sometime around the early morning, I started waking up mentally and began to dream. I dreamed of this mystical place with weird creatures.

Creatures that did battle and I could control one of them by making it do different moves to attack the enemy.  As I fell deeper into the dream, my mind started to paint the picture of how these creatures looked and operate.

Falling into a routine way of sleeping, I can’t stay asleep past a certain time in the morning and the urge to pee didn’t help much.

I forced myself to stay asleep for just a little while longer because I knew the moment I got up it would all be over. Forcing myself to stay asleep didn’t last long and the idea started to fade, while a voice in my head kept on repeating “man you have to write this down!”

Like most people, I normally just forget most of my dreams after waking up, so the first thing I did was grab a notebook and a pen and wrote and drew down what I dreamed of.

I dreamed of a story and characters for a video game. The name came after I drew some of the characters, but I only got half of the story and characters and will have to figure the rest out on my own. The funny thing about all this is that I haven’t played, or thought about video games for over seven years.

———— contribution end—-

Appealing to a base emotion

Perhaps you are reading this on a phone. But your phone’s primary purpose is to make and receive calls, text and receive messages; communication. However, your phone was not marketed to you that way. If you can remember Apple’s 2013 commercial, it shows a young boy who uses his iPhone to capture video clips. The boy compiles a Christmas video that leaves his mum in tears.

In this commercial, Apple was tapping into the emotions of people; a feeling of love and togetherness. While you can still be selling the common everyday items, you can put them in an irresistible manner where everyone wants to buy.

Match.com is one of the businesses that started by purely appealing to the emotions of people. The business, which seeks to connect lovers, thrives by the slogan “love your imperfections.” This slogan pretty much makes you feel connected to the business. You feel like there is someone who cares about your imperfections and will do anything just to get you to accept your weaknesses.

Some businesses have been started to help people get past the pain of death in the family; even as the business earns money, it helps people get through their most difficult time. Granted, you will be offering a solution, perhaps doing something you love and still getting paid for it.

Steal Others’ Ideas

By stealing here, I do not mean copying a competitor’s business model from the management to the nitty gritties of how they run their day to day activities. Nay, I mean imitating a business model and starting a very different business. Take an example of Google and Yahoo. They are both search engines, getting profits through marketing, but the two are seemingly very different.

Yahoo was the first and then Google followed. While the idea to start Google might have been original and not an emulation of Yahoo, the businesses models are relatively similar, sharing the market. Each business is successful with each offering a number of services.

I once saw a business selling candies online and delivering them locally. I never thought one could sell candies online and find success. I set to talk to the business, curious to know how the business operated. The business sells candies exclusively and deliver that from home to home within a county.

If candies can form a good business idea, I thought, can flowers and gifts to? I suggested that to a friend who wanted a business idea and today, he sells flowers and gifts online. The business model was the same as that of candies, but now my friend expanded; started offering candies as gifts among other things.

You can also copy a business idea; I mean replicate everything in another business. Let us imagine during your vacation overseas you see a product or service offered there, but not where you come from. The first thing you should do is learn how to make the product or offer the service, then go back home and start an exact type of business.

Why is this great?

First, it is a new business model where you come from and, therefore, there are no competitors yet. Again, no one will blame you of being a copycat, seeing that you got the idea from your overseas visit. You will have great potential to expand and dominate the market before any other person does.

Some people have always hitchhiked and left their cars at home to avoid traffic. Others are always charging a small fee to get the hitchhikers to work and back in their cars. This is a good way of earning a few extra dollars on your way to and from work. Someone loved such a business model, stole the idea and made it better by creating an app where the guy with the car could post where he/she would be traveling to and the capacity of their vehicle.

This idea served the hitchhiker and the guy with the car while giving the app owner a few extra coins from subscriptions. Here, an existing idea acted like the base for the app idea.

III

Business Ideas to Start With No Money

Capital is, oftentimes, an obstacle to starting a business. Sometimes you have nothing besides loose change from a night out. But, has it crossed your mind that you can start with no money and build your fortune from there?

Some of the large businesses you see today started with very little or no money at all. Take an example of Walmart, which was started with only $25,000, or take an example of Steve Job’s Apple which started in a garage with nothing more than a few handy tools. As long as you have a good idea, financial resources should not be a hindrance.

Blogging
Can you write? If your answer is yes, then starting a blog might appeal to you. You do not need money to start a blog, but you might need it later when you have already garnered an audience. While starting a free blog, you have WordPress and Blogger, free blogging platforms. While the free platforms are great, they limit your earning potential as you can only earn through their respective ad programs.

You can earn from your blog, but only through WordAds and Adsense ads. While marketing from your blog has been limited, until you get a premium blog, you can still earn enough to upgrade your blog. One way to earn on a free blog is to offer services; these might include writing, data entry and design.

Once you have made enough money, you can roll over to the paid WordPress and start making money through affiliate marketing and selling digital products.

Some blogs have turned to become some of the biggest businesses online. Take an example of The Huffington Post and Forbes. They started as simple blogs that now get millions of unique visitors each month.

Child and Pet Care
If you just stay at home with no money and no business, one of the best ways to make money is through child and pet care. This does not need any money to start as you do not need employees at first. You also do not need any advertising; your services will be marketed through referrals and word of mouth.

You can advertise your services on local bulletin boards, Facebook, Craigslist and other free marketing platforms. Once you have enough money, you should think about starting a daycare.

Start a Direct Sales Shop
There are lots of direct sales businesses that will allow you to start a shop for free and when goods are sold through your shop, you earn a commission. This is a great place to start especially if you have no money at all, but have some marketing skills under your sleeves.

In fact, there are lots of direct sales businesses that offer a free starter kit when you meet certain milestones within 60 days. Some of the direct sales businesses that allow you to start for free include:

  • Fibi & clo – start selling sandals
  • Linen World – sell home products
  • Mayvenn – retail hair care products
  • Kaeser & Blair – you are offered a free trial kit to sell promotional products
  • Teespring – Graphic t-shirts and pillows among others

There are hundreds of direct sales businesses whose products you can sell and earn a commission even when you have nothing to start with.

Sell Stuff Online
Did you know you can sell anything online including old CDs, games, toys, old toys and clothing?

You can sell virtually anything online, as long as people need it. You can sell what you already have, old toys or old clothes for instance, and garner enough money to start a bigger online store. Some of the online stores you can sell through include Gazelle, Listia, Cash 4 Books, thredUP and Decluttr.

You could also sell digital products such as eBooks. If you feel like you can offer motivation to people or offer a solution to people’s problems in terms of a PDF, then your best bet is an eBook.

Marketing and Research
A friend of mine emailed me five months ago asking my preference between two TV stations. When I stated my choice, he asked me to give reasons and I did. On enquiring what he was up to, he told me that he just started this cool research business where he is reaching out to companies, doing research on their behalf and delivering reports for a fee.

What he needed was to identify different brands that are struggling with tough competition and create questionnaires in line with finding what the brands should offer to be better placed as competitors. He would then approach the management of these companies and ask to present his business; he would make a deal to only ask for payment when the report had been compiled.

His business cost him close to nothing to start. He has since developed his business to great heights and his brand is known. He incorporated marketing into the business and now he earns enough to pay his bills and live luxuriously.

Freelancing
When you have some skills, you can sell services online. One of the best ways to start a freelancing business is to work for a while, let’s say in writing, graphic design, data entry or web design, and gain experience.

When you have something to show, you can then embark on searching for clients who will pay well for work. When you have enough clients, you can start outsourcing work to other freelancers and earning from that.

If, for instance, you get three clients each offering you three projects each day, you will have a total or nine projects. You can outsource six projects and earn a commission from each project. You will be earning full amount on three projects and a percentage of the six other projects.

Business Ideas for Moms

The fact that you are always at home does not mean you cannot do any business. In fact, there are so many home based businesses that you can start with or without money. Starting a Daycare is one of the most common businesses that moms start and it pays to start a daycare because all you need is a good room with comfortable seats, a bed for kids to sleep on and lots of toys.

If you live in a neighborhood where there is no daycare near, you can start big and reap a lot from it. Other businesses include:

Online Consulting
What are you good at? Can people rely on you for advice?
Most of the blogs you see today are based on consulting. Someone starts a business, offers handy tips to people and then offers their consultation services at a fee. When you are an expert in a given field, you can also create eBooks, podcasts and webinars and sell them together with your consultation services.

You can consult on business, health, science, research, marriage and relationships and many more. You have to establish your authority in a given field for people to trust you and buy your services.

Gardening
Modern agriculture has made it possible for people to earn plenty from small pieces of land. You can do horticulture and sell your products in the local market. You can grow herbs, fruits and flowers with not more than a 25 by 25 meters piece of land. Even better, when you become good at it, offer farming lessons to people on your farm. This involves teaching them on the different farming processes.

If the prevailing climate is not favorable for given plants, you can plant them in a green house. In fact, greenhouses, even when small, will increase your production.

Gift Baskets and Wall Hangings Making
Gift baskets are an ideal choice for stay-at-home moms. You need to create creative looking basket and add unique businesses. You can then create a list of the items in the basket, take photos of the basket and sell them online.

You can also create wall hangings creatively by recycling old CDs, newspapers and other substances. While you can follow online DIY projects, you can also create your own unique projects and sell them locally or online.

Home Health Care Agency
When you start a home healthcare business, you will be targeting the elderly living alone in their homes. Oftentimes, seniors have trouble bathing, fixing meals and cleaning their homes. You can have a number of employees and send them to the elderly’s house to help them.

With increased costs in assisted living facilities and nurse-in homes, home health care agencies are rising in popularity. When starting this business, you will need to choose your caregivers cautiously and know which caregiver to pair with which senior.

This business does not require a lot of capital.

House Cleaning Services
There will always be a need for house cleaning as long as dirt exist and people are busy. You can offer general house cleaning or specialize in carpet cleaning or window cleaning among others. To be successful in this business, you need to consider the needs of each and every client; find out what they expect from you, and deliver exactly that.

While this field is lucrative, there are a lot of players. As such, you will need good marketing skills and ensure that your services are impeccable.

Business Ideas for College Students

After college, graduates struggle with joblessness. Again, college prices have gone up more than 80 percent and this is taking a toll on college students even further as they have to pay higher loans. Granted, most students are resolving to launch startups while in school. This way, the business will pick up by the time they are done with campus. Some of the best ideas include:

Tutoring
Your business needs to reflect your area of expertise, and as such, tutoring is ideal for a college student. You need to identify one course that you are good at and start tutoring students at a small fee. There are colleges that offer free tutoring, these services are limited. You can offer your services late at night or during evening hours, a time during which college students are cramming.

Once your business has kicked off, you can widen your market. You can post flyers across the campus. You can extend services to high scholars who are having problems with application essays. To grow your business even more, advertise it on social media and through bulletin boards in the neighborhood.

Tutoring businesses, in most cases, do not have overhead and you will end up pocketing all the benefits.

Cleaning Services
If you can use a scrub brush, a wipe, and you know which detergents to choose for the job, you can take on cleaning. You can start by offering your services to friends, family, university faculties and then expand to the communities around the school.

Startup costs are less and you can store the detergents and cleaning equipment in your dorm. Again, you do not need special skills besides a few days of experience and learning to choose detergents.

Transportation and Delivery
This is a great business idea for college students who own a car. You can start your business independently or join existing businesses such as Uber. There are numerous opportunities for drivers who are keen on delivering people and items.

This business idea, however, will require a higher startup cost unlike the first two. Again, there is a considerable overhead and the profits will be less.

Freelance Graphic Design and Web Development
You can sell your graphic design, web design and web development services online. For this, you have to have the skills to do so. You can start by selling your services locally and in online freelance sites. This will help you hone your skills. Later, you can create a website and sell your services directly.

This idea does not require any startup capital as long as you have a computer and the required skills.

Photography and Videography
Most students love photography and videography even when they are not majoring in these courses. Here, you will need a good camera. A professional camera is expensive, but you do not need that to start. Some students have even used their phones to take photos or videos.

Even when photography looks easy, you need to have basic skills to capture the right moments.

Business Ideas for Introverts

You picture a successful entrepreneur as someone with an outgoing personality. Someone who loves socializing, but its only that introverts do not show their success to the media. There are many avenues for an introvert to start a business.

For starters, how do you know you are an introvert?

As an introvert:
• You will feel exhausted after spending an evening out with people
• You will appreciate quiet time alone
• You will only socialize with a small group of people
• You do not love initiating conversations with strangers
• Other people think you are shy, or you think you are

You are not alone, you truly don’t find it easy to start conversations with strangers. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are not the kind of people you find all chatty in gatherings.

Online businesses are flooded with introverts. Here, they can sell products or services quietly and still make big money. Here, they are their own bosses without having to deal with multitudes. You can be a:

    • Webmaster/IT consultant
    • Graphic designer
    • Copywriter
    • Blogger
    • Online merchant; wholesaler or retailer
    • Web designer or web developer
    • Clothing designer
    • Online tutoring
    • Creating custom products
    • Ghostwriting


When you are an introvert, you need to learn what your passion is, find people who can help you, find what drains your energy, delegate most tasks and automate other tasks. This way, you will have found success in any business venture.

Business Ideas for Teens

There is no rule that you have to be an adult to start a business. While you might need a number of skills to get started, there are numerous openings for a kid who is interested in doing business.

For kids, most of the businesses need to be inspected by parents, but even then, it is possible for you to run your own business without any assistance.

Some of the fields you can join include:

  • Lawn Care
  • Dog Walking
  • Housesitting
  • Gift Wrapping Service
  • Tech Support
  • Computer Setup Service
  • Technology Tutor
  • Online Graphics Seller
  • Academic Tutor
  • Handmade Shop Owner
  • Craft Fair Vendor
  • Blogger
  • Inventor
  • Cake Decorator
  • Errand Service
  • Clothing Designer
  • T-shirt Designer
  • Greeting Card Maker
  • Recycling Service
  • Party Entertainer
  • Musician
  • Custom Portrait Artist
  • Pet Photographer
  • Event Photographer
  • Farmer’s Market Vendor
  • Delivery Service
  • Packing Service
  • Co-working Service
  • Car Washing Service
  • House Cleaner
  • Laundry Service
  • YouTuber

As a teenager, you are just discovering your skills, talents and abilities. This makes it easy for you to join any field. Again, you have enough time to learn a number of skills and incorporate them into your business. Ergo, do not shy off from taking chances, learning new skills and starting different businesses.

When people are adults, the fear or failure is intense as they feel like they are running out of time to achieve their goals, but you have enough time; make use of it.

There are many successful teens and you can be one of them.

 

IV

How to Protect Your Business Idea

Naturally, you will fear that your business idea might be stolen. However, you cannot make it on your own and you will ask for help from industry experts. You will need to work with manufacturers and distributors.

When starting a business, patents are costly and can take a long time to be issued. The longer you wait, the higher the chances are of having your idea stolen.

You need to ensure that you do your due diligence. Before you bring someone into the inner circle and let the cat out of its pouch. Ensure you know the important details of the person you need to work with. How’s their track record? Are there complaints on their business conduct? If the business dealings of the person or the firm you need to work with seems sketchy, you need to reconsider working with them.

You can use three legal documents to keep your idea secure:

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Anyone you are working with need to sign a non-disclosure agreement, promising that they will commit to confidentiality. This is a mutual agreement where two people agree not to share information with third parties. Ensure the agreement does not have an expiration date.

Non-Compete agreement
This is a document that prevents an entity or a person from starting and running a business that will be in competition with yours within a given radius. Have the document signed by anyone you are working with.

Work-for-hire Agreement
When you hire someone to improve your products or services, ensure that you establish that all the improvements are yours. They need to know that they have no rights to your invention.

The Patent and Trademark Office can help you when you need to protect your idea. You can first file a provisional patent application, PPA, online and then reach out to the care center of the organization for guidance. The PPA will cost between $100 and a few thousand dollars, depending on your idea’s complexity. You can also register a trademark to help you keep your idea safe.

You can also form mutually beneficial relationships with your competitors. You can hire a manufacturer in the line of your business or one who produces for your competitors.

How to Sell Your Business Idea

Do you have an invention that you think will be the next big thing? Or do you have a good business idea, but no skills to start and run a business? Perhaps, you prefer developing ideas to running businesses. Either way, you can generate business ideas and sell them with great ease.

The process of selling your idea to a company or a business is called licensing. This can be a good idea when you have limited financial resources, but a great idea.

How to Sell

1. Do Your Due Diligence
Before you sell your idea, you need to ensure that you know your market, do some legal legwork if your idea is patentable and look into how hard or easy it will be to produce your goods. Knowing the market will help you determine the right price for your idea and whether the idea is viable in the prevailing market condition.

2. Prepare a Presentation
Once you have ensured that the idea is viable and you have set a price for it, prepare a professional presentation. In your presentation, you should include detailed information. The sell should contain:

  • The problem that the idea will be solving
  • The market
  • Features and benefits of the product
  • Idea’s legal status

This presentation needs to go to the licensor.

3. Choose your Targets
You need to choose appropriate contacts for your business idea. You can create a list of targets. Prioritize your targets based on how suitable they are to developing your product. You should consider size, geography, product line, access to a decision maker, the company policy and the reputation of the manufacturer.

Sell Your Idea
Once you are armed with all the information you need, you can now make the sale. Sell to the company that meets all your needs. When negotiating the terms of a licensing agreement, note that there are no rules; you and the buying company need to find a balance. All terms are negotiable.

 

It is my hope that this ultimate guide on how to come up with a business idea was helpful to you. It may be a guide packed with tons of valuable information, but we may have missed something that you may have been looking for. If you feel that we missed something, or you had some type of experience related to coming up with a business idea, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

It will not only help me but other entrepreneurs who have questions.

Don’t forget to share this guide with a friend who could benefit from reading it.

 

See Also