One note about this site. I am not talking about starting one of the ‘I make x in a year through online passive income’ type websites. That isn’t a business. I am talking about starting a company that will provide a service to local and perhaps international customers on an ongoing basis.
A lot of people like the idea of starting their own business. No, they probably don’t understand all the work that will be needed, or how much time, effort and money it is going to take. But they still love the idea.
But while they may know they want to start a business they don’t know what business! So, for me the first step is to come up with some rules about what would make a good business idea.
RULE 1: DO WHAT YOU LOVE
I really can’t stress this enough. You must start a business that has something to do with a passionate interest – a hobby is always a good place to start. If you are willing to spend time on it without being paid, think how great it would be to GET paid!
The reasons behind this rule are many, but, in short if you don’t love it you won’t have much chance in long term survival nor will you probably bring anything new to the table. Remember, the odds of you creating a truly unique idea that not only fills a need (gosh, can you guess what rule 2 will be!) but also is without competition. So, you’ll need to have great insight into the area. And that (in my experience) only comes from passion.
For example, I started FilmAmora.com for one simple reason: I loved movies and I wanted a mail-order DVD rental company like my friends were using in Canada, US and the UK. Now, I knew a fair amount about website development and I also knew a lot about films and the business of film distribution. But, I had no idea how much I had to learn to create a business like FilmAmora. If I hadn’t LOVED what I was doing I never could have carried on.
So, if you love books or animals or renovating houses… all things can become a business. Think about what you spend your free time (or work time!) thinking about. That’s going to be a good place to start.
Oh – my only limitation here is that ideally what you like should be legal and not closely tied with a corporate identity (i.e. world’s #1 Pepsi drinker – that’s a corporate example, not the illegal one).
So, that’s the first step to starting your business – a business about something that interests you.