“Stay Calm And Vape On”
The phrase was on the license plate frame of a Chrysler Town and Country minivan. The late day sun was trying to peek though the windshield, but the interior was full of smoke.
It was as if Cheech and Chong were driving the kids home from soccer.
Speaking of good business ideas, Cheech and Chong made an entire movie career out of a comedy bit. Check out their website- they sell lighters and vape pens. Clever.
Read great content
Read a lot. I know that can be tough, given the ocean of available content on the web. To filter through the not-so-useful stuff, find some people you trust and read/ listen to/view everything they put out. My list includes Smart Blogger, StoryBrand, and Ramit Sethi. Now, it takes an investment of time to digest all of this content, but I try to look at some of these thought leaders everyday.
Get free sample chapters of my book: Not Another Personal Finance Book.
It can help you with you business idea.
If you’re struggling to recover from a financial setback, this article may help.
Start with a need- an urgent need
It’s obvious, but every successful product solves a problem or fills a need- if the problem must be solved quickly, even better. What’s an urgent need? How about a car repair when you’re stuck on the side of the road (‘had the transmission on my car give out on a highway exit ramp. I don’t recommend it). Another good example is heat or air conditioning repair at home.
You’re willing to pay to solve an urgent problem or need.
What makes you mad- annoys you?
I am a huge fan of the How I Built It podcast, hosted by Guy Raz from NPR. As the name implies, the show interviews company founders- and every episode is worth your time.
The most recent podcast was an interview with Marcia Kilgore, who founded the Bliss spa and skincare company, along with several other businesses. She tells a moving story about being young in New York and saving money for a facial at an expensive spa. She was treated poorly and thought to herself:
“No one should ever feel that way after a facial- it was supposed to be great experience”.
And that was her first business.
Where the rubber meets the road
So, I’m sure you can jot down some realistic business ideas. Once you do, you need to take a hard look at three factors:
- How urgent is the problem or need?
- What’s the size of the market?
- Can I scale to meet the market’s size?
If you don’t have specific answers to these questions, you’ll struggle to get your business venture off the ground.
I started an online tutoring business for accounting and finance topics, and I focused on MBA candidates and other graduate-level students. I certainly found an urgent need- many people who viewed my You Tube channel of 400+ videos on those topics contacted me for help.
But there was a problem. I was only one person, and scaling the business required me to find and hire other qualified instructors. While I’ve seen other online tutoring companies scale with great success, I decided that I didn’t want to manage a large staff.
I went on to other things.
Ultimately, successful businesses go through lots of changes, and successful entrepreneurs continually assess the market and adapt. Your successful business may look very different from the company you envisioned when you started. That’s OK, because you adapt to meet the customers needs.
My answer summary
Read great content, solve and urgent problem or need, find a way to scale- and adapt.
Author: Cost Accounting for Dummies, Accounting All-In-One for Dummies, The CPA Exam for Dummies and 1,001 Accounting Questions for Dummies
(website and blog) http://www.accountingaccidentally.com/
(you tube channel) kenboydstl
This post was originally posted on my Quora page. This post is for educational purposes only.
Image: Bullseye, Jeff Turner CC by 2.0