From a very young age I can remember wanting to be in business.
I can’t say that there was one businessperson that I encountered that planted the idea in my head. There were multiple and my brain was wired, for some reason, to eye up the businesspeople in every situation.
For example, at a basketball game I would look in the stands and look for people that seemed like business owners. It was weird, but that’s how I looked at situations.
The point is that business is in my blood, but for a long time it was difficult for me to come up with an idea. I was thinking about it all wrong and even Ghost Blog Writers wasn’t really an idea that I had. I kind of stumbled into it.
Since then, though, I’ve learned that you can still start a business even if your ideas are all bad. Here are just a couple ways you can do it.
This is one that was a huge realization for me. Most businesses, especially small businesses, are just copies of what is already going on in the world. And that’s ok. There is plenty of room in most cases for another [insert business here].
You probably won’t take over the industry in the first year or even the first five years. But you can build a pretty solid business in five years and who knows what you can do it 10+ years.
As far as competition, there is plenty of opportunity to do things a little differently, but don’t even let that get you hung up.
One of my favorite stories is about Southwest Airlines. The founders went to visit the offices of Pacific Southwest Airlines before launch and they were so impressed with the operation that, with permission, they basically copied their entire operation including manuals.
Now, to be fair, back then the two weren’t competitors, but the point is that one of the most successful companies of the last 50 years copied nearly every bit of their operation.
If you only have bad ideas, find someone that seems to be doing well. Learn as much as you can and launch your own version fo what they’re doing.
It’s common in business for organizations to get bloated. One of the reasons that Southwest has been able to have consistent growth and profit while other major airlines have gone through huge ups and downs is that they run lean. They think small.
I like the term minimize in this case. It really is specialize, but I like the visual of minimize.
Look at a business in an industry that you’re interested in. See what they’re doing. Odds are good that they’re offering tons of services or products.
Take one or two of the things they’re doing and specialize in just those items. You can always grow from there, but you could even stay minimized forever.
Take the quick lube oil change places. They looked at full service auto mechanics and decided to minimize to just oil changes and maybe a handful of other things. They’re super efficient. People love the price and quick service and they need the service.
3. See What’s Needed
Check the job boards and job listings to see what businesses are hiring for. Look at the tasks that they want their candidate to perform. Look for patterns in what businesses are looking for. After a day or two you’ll start seeing the same things come up again and again.
That’s kind of how Ghost Blog Writers began. I started blogging out of curiosity on my own. Then a business owner I knew asked me to blog for them. Then I started seeing job listings for bloggers and then I started seeing marketing positions that listed blogging as a job task.
Businesses are great customers and if you see a recurring need it’s a sign that there is demand for a task. A task that you could turn into an operation and something you could sell to companies all over the world.
One of the best things I did in my short life so far was to forget about trying to come up with business ideas. Instead I’ve tried to focus on what people want and need. The items mentioned above are the forms that wants and needs take in real life. You just have to look at them that way to see the opportunity for your next business.