Choosing a business idea can be one of the most difficult and frustrating steps in starting a business. There are several methods of choosing a service-based business idea. In this post, I’ll focus on a concept that I heard on a podcast back in 2014 of how to choose the best service-based business idea for you. I don’t remember the podcast or the guest on the show, so I can’t give them proper credit. However, this is the advice that helped me choose to start my writing business.
Step one: List your Top Skills
Make a list of the top 3-5 skills that you’re especially good at. It doesn’t matter what the skills are at this point. You’ll analyze them later. List those that come easily to you, you’re comfortable with, and what you have an aptitude for. If you need to, make a larger list and then narrow it down. Think about the things people brag on you about, the comments they make, or the things they come to you for help.
When I did this exercise, I listed:
- Playing guitar
Step Two: Research Which of Those Skills Are in Demand
Next, research those skills to see which are in demand. There are several ways to do this. You could search through job postings, search through training courses, and research career and growth data on sites such as the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
This research was an eye-opener for me. I found that writing was in demand, and there were lots of different types of writing to choose from. My options included:
- Article writing
- White papers
- Business Plans
Step Three: Determine Which of Those You Can Afford to Provide
Finally, look at ways you could provide the skills as a service in a way that you could afford to provide. Ask questions such as what you need to get started, how to get started, the cost of getting started, the difficulty of standing out from the crowd, etc. This can also include the ability to get backers if needed.
I found that writing had a low cost of entry. All I needed was a computer, a good word-processing app, and a way to get the work. I did some research, created a business plan, and started my business. I’ve been a full-time freelance writer since September 2014.
Ending Thoughts on Choosing a Business Idea
Choosing the best business idea isn’t easy, but following a structure such as this one can help get you started in the right direction.
I’d like to hear from you. Have you started a business using a process like this one? Let me know in the comments.