People always wonder how you go from an idea to a successful business. That being your own boss is something that is only reserved for those who are lucky enough to have had a lightbulb moment. Nothing is further from the truth. Entrepreneurship starts with a simple desire to do something, to be your own boss (or not be someone’s employee) and to take control of your own destiny.
Simply start with an industry you would like to work in. Think of what your company would provide, a product or service, which sets you apart and start doing your research. Start with doing simple searches online and try to get a feel for the market. What you want to do is to (virtually) test if your idea has viability and longevity. It’s as easy as sitting on your laptop from the comfort of your own home with a nice cup of coffee.
There is a small, tiny chance that you can’t find companies that would offer a similar product or service. This could mean that you have struck gold. On the other hand, this might mean there is just no market for it. If it’s the former (and you believe there is a sizeable market for it), see if you can patent the idea and get to market before anyone else does. First mover advantage is significant but won’t last forever.
However, chances are you will find plenty of companies that would offer a similar product or service. This is where a lot of people bow out. They feel that if their idea is not unique, they don’t stand a chance to succeed. Nothing is further from the truth. Even in saturated markets, there is an opportunity to stand out and make your mark.
Identify companies that offer the same service or product and find out what people say about them. Online reviews are great as a starting point. Read the positive and negative reviews to get an idea what makes people tick. You want to find a way to create a product or service that fulfils the needs of a customer better than anyone else. Take something simple as maid cleaning services for example, could you find a way to improve this as a service in a market that is quite competitive? For example, make an easy to use app that allows you to book this service? It’s not the strangest of ideas, Uber did so for the ride-hailing industry.
The key is to find a way to make your product or service stand out. Is it solving a problem or need better than anyone else? Or can you offer the product or service at a price point no one in the market has seen before? This is where the imagination comes in. Chances are that your idea needs further tweaking and refinement. It also might be the case that you will need to prototype and test continuously. Just remember, entrepreneurship is not so much about building a business, it’s about solving people’s problems.