Browse through any large bookstore and you'll find dozens of books filled with ideas. Those books can be valuable for insights and information about a business you might be interested in.
But here's another way a walk through a bookstore can help you choose a business concept. Stroll through a bookstore and think of all the different sections you see as business categories. Crafts; photography; computers; fitness; travel; just about any of the general section topics could be thought of as business categories.
Make mental note of the sections you are naturally drawn to, this could be a clue as to the best category of business for you. Then start picking up books in that category. Think of each books as a business niche within that category.
For instance: if you find yourself drawn to the photography section, that’s meaningful. Now, which books within photography appeal to you most? Weddings? Portraits? Digital? Photoshop? Biographies? The books you find most interesting are an indication of what specific niche of that category you might enjoy building a business around. Not only can specific books narrow your decision making, but they are also full of information you can then use to get started.
This ‘book store stroll’ is only one method for finding inspiration and information about small business ideas.
Of course, you can also use the internet to look for your concept. There are several websites with long lists of small business ideas. And by the way, while using the internet, don't overlook it as a business category in itself.
Today thousands of e-businesses are being run entirely on the internet, and in addition to profits, many owners of those businesses are enjoying the added benefits of no storefront, no employees, and no long hours. For information about making money on the internet, read Robert G. Allen's Book, “Multiple Streams of Internet Income.”
There is one thing most people starting a business don't realize, but it is critical not only to the success of your business, but to your happiness running it. That is, if you base your small business ideas on hobbies or special interests the actual doing of that hobby or special interest will be only a small part of owning the businesses.
For example, if you choose to create a small business out of photography, in addition to the technical photography skills you’ll need, you’ll also need understanding and skills in things like business strategy, lead generation, sales techniques, differentiation, competitive analysis, pricing, networking, bookkeeping, advertising, staff management, and more. It is possible (and likely) that those management skills will require more of your time than the photography itself.
It’s not enough to be the business, you must also run the business. In fact, many experts would argue that today’s most successful business owners don’t personally do the thing of the business at all, but instead manage the overall business for growth.
That’s important to remember. The truth is that the essence of management is understanding that whatever your product or service is, you’re actually in the business of being in business.
Understanding that will help you succeed whatever your small business ideas.
-by Andrew Sokol