Why Do You Want to Start a Business?
How Your Business Will Deliver the Valued Service
Why do you want to start a business? That is the most basic question you can ask yourself.
I know people who own small diners. They are open from 6am – 2pm. Monday Through Friday. Period. Not Saturday, not Sunday. Then I know someone in the same type of business, a restaurant. He started with one diner. Then expanded to a full restaurant. Then 2. Then he expanded outside of the city opening 5 more. What is the difference? The first one is a lifestyle business, meant to provide the founder with a certain income level to maintain a certain lifestyle. A lifestyle business can be a large multimillion dollar business, but the business model for a lifestyle business limits the scalability.
The second one is a scalable business, which has the potential of moving on beyond its founder and in fact from the beginning was designed for expansive growth. What do you want? Think about that now, before you even begin. Lifestyle or scalable, the same starts with an idea, that can be viewed as an opportunity. The model for growth will be imbedded from the beginning. When we begin to build the business model for your business, you will need to have the answer to this question.
Let me assume that you have an idea, but are just not confident with that idea. So let’s talk about Idea generation and opportunity recognition. So how do you find ideas? Where do you find ideas?
The success in recognizing opportunity lies in asking the questions about what is missing or what could be better. I know successful entrepreneurs who carry around a notepad and they jot down every problem they see or experience. Let’s briefly and quickly walk through a day and see how many problems an individual may encounter.
This person gets up in the morning, but realizes he is running late. He runs to catch the bus, it starts raining but he doesn’t have an umbrella. He gets to work and realizes his shoes are scuffed up. Lunchtime comes and he doesn’t have any idea where to go for a quick lunch. On his way home from work, he remembers he needed some items for his dinner, but forgot what they were. He thought he might have written them in his phone, but he realizes the phone battery is dead.
He arrives home and this night is particularly dark and he doesn’t have his porch light on so he fumbles to unlock his door. How many problems in this short scenario did you identify? I saw at least 8. Eight different problems or pain points where a solution could be applied to make his life easier.
Depending on which problem you want to solve, it could be a major issue such as running late, or the phone battery dies before the end of the day, or a minor one such as not knowing where to go for lunch. Of these 8 problems, though currently there are solutions, which of these problems weigh more heavily on a person and really needs a solution that someone would pay to have had alleviated?
Since problems are potential opportunities, you can look in the broader society. Aging, education, transportation and mobility of others, entertainment, food, health. The list of issues in society today are numerous, but for you the opportunity is limited to your ability to solve a need that people want.
Let me give you an example. Do you take a vitamin? Do you take meds to manage a health issue? The vitamin is certainly helpful to your health, providing extra nutrients, but not needed, only good to have. The medication is something you need to take to manage your health. If you stopped your blood pressure medication, you might have serious effects. As an entrepreneur you would rather solve a serious problem where the consumer needs the solution you want to provide because you have a better chance for success. You wont have to spend big money just to “convince” them to buy your service.