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Top Ideas for Starting Your Own Business
Most employees don’t like their job. You can do pretty well in the corporate world when everyone in the cubicles next to yours hates what they do just as much. There is a spirit of competition between employees and office politics to deal with but in comparison to the world of being a small business owner it’s a walk in the park.
The three major factors that separate someone with an employee’s mentality with someone with an entrepreneur’s outlook are:
- Passion for what you do
- Courage to take risks
- Not lusting for immediate results
We will get into more specific business models ideas later. Before diving into that, it’s imperative that you take a look at the rewards and sacrifices that come along with owning a business. Nearly everyone fancies the idea of running the show, however too few know about the core values that all successful businesspeople share.
Passion For What You Do
Co-founder of Apple Computer Steve Jobs gave an inspiring commencement address in 2005 at Stanford. The main underlying theme was that Steve was guided throughout his career by following his heart. Be wary when teachers, parents, friends or even other business owners give you advice about career direction. Only you can carve out your own path.
Remember that each individual has vastly different interests and passions. When you deny what you love and go for an idea that is safe or has worked for others, you are living in-authentically and putting yourself at a great disadvantage. The reason is that whatever you choose outside of your passion, there will be competitors that love to do what you hate. In short a person with passion beats out the competition because the rewards of a job well done go beyond profits alone.
Courage To Take Risks
Taking risks isn’t about waving money around and hoping for the best. It’s about putting everything into a project or idea without knowing what the outcome will be. When you take a risk you venture into new frontiers where few have been and few can follow.
Proven methods may be good for beginners. However, the high competition and inability to get ahead of the pack gets frustrating as you gain experience.
People that think big fall harder when they fail but they also enjoy much larger gains when they got it right. Those who play it safe all the time are merely treading water.
Not Lusting for Immediate Results
Whether an employee cooks fries at Burger King or is an executive at Gucci, the fact remains that working for someone else gets you fast, predictable rewards. When you work a certain amount of hours you make a corresponding amount of money. Although a salary worker gets the steadiest form of payment, the results are much the same. People get used to getting tossed a bone immediately after performing a trick.
People new to small business sometime find it hard to come to terms with the fact they may have to practically work for free before they either perfect their business model, quality of service or gain a large enough client base.
Plenty ideas will fail and largely be a waste of time and resources. This simply cannot be avoided. You can only see if an idea is a winner or not by testing it out. The good news is that when you stumble upon approaches that work you can rinse and repeat ensuring future profits. Failed ideas only cost you in the short-term.
Idea 1 – Combine Two “Unrelated” Abilities
Imagine for a moment a young man named Ben Strand who loved playing in bands during high school. Although music was his first love he later became interested in law, got the necessary schooling, and went on to be a criminal lawyer. Several years later he looked at his Jazz guitar, which he continued to play as a hobby and yearned to be a part of the music business.
Sometimes the best business ideas are a blend of something you love along with a trade you learned out of necessity to earn a living. An excellent spot for Ben would be to start his own music law practice. His combined passion for music and legal knowledge will make him well-equipped to draft recording contracts and advise companies involved in the music business.
Idea 2 – Get There First
Today’s lightening speed technological progress ensures that new jobs and business opportunities will continue to appear well into the future. There is always a period that has the largest window of opportunity for a given sector.
Apple Computer as mentioned above was founded when only a tiny minority of geeks used computers. The market for computers was its most primitive state as computer users had to purchase kits and build PCs on their own. Apple was the first company to make personal computers accessible to the average consumer. Although being among the first doesn’t guarantee success in the future, it certainly helps. It is always best to get started in an area that has huge opportunity (even if only you see it) yet isn’t saturated with competitors.
Idea 3 – Improve Efficiency of Classic Models
Plenty of businesses are lagging behind technological progress and continue to use a dated, inefficient model. Sometimes taking a classic service such as paper printing and simply updating how clients order products, plus revamping design submission, the approval process, and invoicing can give a company a tremendous advantage.
Trade printers 4Over agree to work only with resellers and graphic designers. Orders are made through logging into the system and ordering specific products (business cards, for example), quantities and features such as a glossy varnish. This alone has saved the company an amazing amount of time in client communication. On the backend employees at 4Over have a definite electronic task list in front of them created from data generated by the system. Artwork can be transferred and accepted online, saving the client from driving down to a local printer to sign off on proofs. Everything from delivery requests to invoicing is completely electronic.
This article is intended to inspire you to create your own business ideas based on your current expertise, experience and passions. Dry lists of business ideas are relatively worthless when you consider what you really need to do is look inside yourself for the answer.
Running your own business is not for the lazy or faint of heart. If you have a powerful internal compass and a desire to create new, better ways of doing business you may just be crazy enough to become a serial entrepreneur.