Friday, 4 May 2012

Brainstorming Business Ideas - Focus on the business characteristics you want

Last week I posted that it was my goal within the next 12 months to start a small business that would generate me a nice side income (my goal is $1,000 a month profit with a minimal time commitment as I do really enjoy my job and I am not looking to replace it)

The first step in starting this business was brainstorming ideas.  I took a piece of paper and started writing down things that came to my mind.  From my piece of paper some of the ideas included:
  • Import good hot sauces from overseas to my local market which does not really have a good supply of them (scratched this because as I was investigating this further I found a website that does exactly that to my country and the prices are excellent)
  • An investment newsletter but then realised there is so much excellent free information on the Internet that it was never going to get the type of success / effort ratio I was looking for
I found that there was no real thread to these business ideas.  They were all things I wanted but they were either hard to make money, the market was already saturated or they would take too much of my time.  I then came to the realisation that I needed to outline what sort of business I wanted.  I then took a step back and started to write down the characteristics of the business that I wanted.  These were the things that I listed down
  • A business that not every person out in the world could easily replicate (this does not mean it has to be complex but there has to be some sort of value add that I personally bring)
  • Low turnover / high profit margin type business (The problem with low margin businesses is that there is always going to be a cheaper point of production / supply and with the Internet there is little value add being the 'local supplier'
  • Preferably some sort of repeat feature - I like the idea of getting a customer once, doing a great job / providing a great product for them and then they need to buy it again.  This 'lock in' type arrangement is best demonstrated by Apple (even though I don't like their products their business model is outstanding)
While I realise that every business strives for these characteristics I thought that if I started off on this path then if my business proposal covered them that I was already off to a pretty good start.  I have yet to come up with an idea that I wish to pursue though I feel a lot more focused about my search now.

If you have any other business characteristics that you think a good business should have please comment below.  I'm not an expert in this area at all.  I will be adding a list of resources for people looking to start a business in one of my posts next week.

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