Finding an Idea

By Joe Selzler

Steps to Starting a Business

Business! Business! Business! The very word itself evokes many feelings. To some people it is a dirty word, casting before their minds a picture of someone taking another person's money or taking advantage of workers. They see the shady businessman hidden away in his office counting his fortunes. Others see business as the engine that drives the world. The very nature of some Nations is business. "The business of America is business," Calvin Coolidge once said. In America business is learned early in life with many youngsters starting out selling lemonade to their friends or operating a paper round. For some people a life in business just seems to be a natural step to take when they develop a skill. Other people decide that business would be fun and then find something to be in business about. In this article we are going to look at the topic of Finding an Idea.

What should I do?

Are you excited about starting a new business? Perhaps you already know what you are going to do in business. It could be that you have spotted a need in your area and you have just the thing to fill that need. Some friends of mine have spotted a need for fresh pasta in the city where they live and want to start a business that manufactures it. Maybe you have a favourite recipe that you think others might like and want to start a business to produce and sell it. The famous screen actor, Paul Newman, used to make a salad dressing which he served to friends when they came to dinner. Everyone liked it so much that they suggested he manufacture it. He decided to give it a try and now it sells in many supermarkets in the world. In this step of starting a new business you will want to decide on an idea for a business or determine if the idea you already have is viable.

First ask yourself the question, "Is it reasonable to spend time and money on my idea?" Or, "Is there an idea that is worth spending time and money on?" In answering this question you might consider some of the following. Will there be a reasonable return on investment? That is, will your idea generate enough capital to fill your needs? If you could make a better living working for someone else perhaps you wouldn't want to start a business. Will there be a reasonable return on your time? Every new business requires a lot of hard work and time when it first starts. However, if your idea will always require you to be away from your family for long periods of time it might cause problems. It is important to try to determine such things before you start out so that you will be prepared for them.

Second, ask yourself if competition exists and, if so, is there too much? Perhaps you want to start a small coffee and pastry shop. It is a good idea to look around your area and determine if there are any other coffee and pastry shops. If there are none, then you have a very good chance of success, unless you want to set up shop in an area where they don't drink much coffee! If there are other shops in the area, don't give up right away. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee and a pastry in those shops and check out their quality and service. If you think that you could do better then don't hesitate to open your shop. Remember, though you will get some customers who do not go to those other shops, you will be trying to pull a customer base from them. You could even drive one of them out of business. Are you prepared for this result? Of course, there is a positive side to this effect. If the others want to stay in business, they will have to improve their quality and service. This would be a benefit to customers in your area because it would raise the whole standard of coffee and pastries.

Remember, when deciding what to do in business you don't have to have an idea the world has never seen before. However, keep your eyes open for new trends and needs so that you can move quickly exploit them. Be flexible about what you want to do so that you can take advantage of openings as they arise. Don't hold on to that dream business if there is no need or want for it among the public. Many people wind up starting businesses they never thought they would be involved in. The most important thing is that you have a desire for business and that you are filling a need.

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