Before beginning to build your business you have to decide what your business is going to actually be. What will you be doing? What purpose will it serve? This step is as hard as any other and prevents many people from starting a viable business. They may know that they want to be in control of their own lives, but they just don’t know how to get started.
The great thing is, whether your business is internet based or not, you already have the main ingredient that it takes to get started. That ingredient is YOU. Yes, we want to get to a point where you have optimized systems that take you out of the equation for the most part (if not completely). But this is an eventuality that will take time to accomplish. The “gurus” may tell you otherwise, but you DO have to be present at least at the beginning stages of your business. It’s yours; you need to know what’s going on.
What we want to do is build a business that is in demand. It will solve people’s problems and make them want to buy your solutions. But we want you to enjoy it as well! So this business should also be built around your interests (if at all possible).
DRAWING ON YOUR EXPERIENCES
As I’ve already mentioned, you are the most important piece in the equation. Your experiences are priceless and your knowledge is invaluable. You are already an expert in something and you probably don’t even know it.
To be an expert you do not have to be a rocket scientist or have a degree from a prestigious school. You don’t even need to have a degree at all. What you need to have is more knowledge than a cross section of the population.
If you read a physics book you are probably already more qualified than the vast majority of people. Are you a rocket scientist? Not even close. But you can speak with more authority than the average Joe.
EXPOSING YOUR INNER EXPERT
You have what it takes to create a viable business inside of you already; it’s only a matter of bringing it out. This a simple exercise to do just that.
- List 5 to 10 interests/fields that you are knowledgeable about.
- Think of 5 to 10 problems that people with those interests face.
- Can you list 3 to 5 solutions for each of those problems?
This gives you anywhere from 75 to 500 solutions to problems in 5 to 10 niches (WHOA!). Map it out. You should have at least one optimal intersection that shows you your business!
Sometimes people have difficulty listing problems that people face within their interest. It may be difficult to go outside of yourself and separate yourself from the expertise that you already have. If you have been doing something for years you may think it’s simple. Try putting yourself into the shoes of a beginner. What problems can they be facing that you don’t even think is a problem?
On the other hand, if you consider yourself an absolute expert in a field, what problems do intermediate level people face? Or maybe you can even teach other experts!
Just because an action is second nature to you does not mean that others do not struggle with it.
If you just absolutely can not come up with that optimal intersection that cross-sections your interests with problems people may be facing within that niche, then go for the second best option. Skip the first step and go straight to steps 2 and 3. Maybe there is something you have always wanted to learn or are interested in. That’s a great place to start because as a beginner you should have no problem figuring out what problems beginners face.
Disinterested in absolutely everything?
A) Find something! Or life will be really boring
B) Pick a topic you think will be profitable. A safe bet is a topic that falls under one of the three main concerns in people’s lives that they will ALWAYS spend money on: Health, Wealth and Love/Sex. (Finding profitable topics will be covered in a future post).
The resulting cross section will look like this:
THE DECISION HIERARCHY
If you can not create an optimal intersection for yourself, or you have the opposite problem and you have several to chose from, then you need to prioritize.
The absolute first thing you need to consider is profitability. Is there a buying market for your business that will keep you afloat? You may enjoy your business immensely, but you still have to pay the bills.
The next thing to consider is your interest in the underlying topic of your business. You want something that will keep your interest long enough for you to stick to it. A business is no good if you get bored with it and drop it.
You also need to consider barriers to entry that you will be facing in the niche you will ultimately decide to enter.
The decision hierarchy looks something like this:
- Barriers to entry
But why is barriers to entry last???
BARRIERS TO ENTRY
There are really two main barriers to entry. One is start-up costs. Starting a business can be extremely costly.
The other is competition. If you are starting a brick and mortar business then this is something you need to worry about. Someone that buys your widget will not be driving down the street to buy another widget from your competitor (and you certainly won’t be splitting any profits).
But are these barriers really something you have to worry about?
I placed this last on the hierarchy because we live in a new world. Technology has changed not just WHAT we do in business, but HOW we perform business functions and WHY.
If you are starting an internet business your costs are minimal.
If you are doing things the right way your competitors can actually become your friends.
Every business should be an internet business.