Do you want to start a business but have no ideas or any idea where to begin?
The process of starting a new company can be daunting, especially when you are trying to break through the fear and confusion.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You just need the right information and some guidance on how to think up business ideas, test them out, and then validate them before taking that big step into entrepreneurship in your first business!
Don’t worry though – I’ve put together this guide with some of my pro tips for getting started on your own business startup – for the uninspired and clueless 🙂
This blog post will cover how to start a small business with no ideas from scratch, including tips on how to come up with them and validate them before beginning the journey.
The first step to starting your own business is finding a good idea.
But, you don’t need to have a perfect idea in order to start a business – you just need YOUR best idea. Here are the action steps to start a business without any ideas.
10 Best Ways to Brainstorm New Business Ideas
To find profitable new business ideas brainstorm, and use your creativity to find ways to help people solve problems with new products or services.
Brainstorming is a great way to come up with ideas, but it can be hard when you have no ideas of your own!
Here are the best ways that you can find new ideas for your business venture and get started on the right foot:
- Create a list of things that you’re passionate about or enjoy doing in order to spark creativity. Then review lists of proven small business ideas like my mine here for inspiration.
- Write down all of the skills and hobbies that you have – this will help remind yourself what kind of work makes you happy and give you even more options for coming up with new commercial ventures
- Make note of any recent trends or popular topics in the news or online that point to trending new business ideas. Know that there is inspiration around every corner
- Create an Idea Bank full of your money-making notions. Keep track of any good ideas by writing them down on paper, creating a document on your computer, using Evernote (or another organizational app), or even just taking photos with your phone – anything works as long as it helps keep everything organized!
- First, try brainstorming alone before getting other people involved because it is important to focus without distractions from too much input for your creativity to flourish. Afterward, ask your friends, family, industry contacts for their ideas for new companies and products.
- List ALL ideas – write down all your thoughts and ideas, no matter how silly they seem. Those crazy ideas are sometimes the best!
- Draw a picture to help yourself visualize your idea. This is sure to spark even more new ideas you could profit from.
- What’s missing? Ask yourself what is missing in the marketplace and how you could fill that gap. What problems do you have, or you see other people have that are unsolved? There is your new business idea.
- Look at other industries for inspiration – where are they lacking something and how could you provide it differently than anyone else has before in a different industry. Remember McDonald’s founder used Henry Ford’s assembly line production to food preparation and started the largest food chain in the world.
- Fulfillment Think about what kind of job would be fulfilling for you – one that is interesting, challenging, creative, etc…
Once you have come up with some good ideas, it’s time to choose a few to research and test using the methods described next.
9 Methods for Testing Your New Business Ideas
- Write down three ideas for new businesses, from the Idea Bank you created earlier
- Think about the pros and cons of each idea and write them down in two columns.
- Compare each idea side-by-side and choose one to pursue further
- Create an outline of what you want the product or service to be, and where it would fit into the market.
- Talk to potential customers, retailers, and distributors about their needs and what price they are willing to pay.
- Plan for how you will make money with this type of business idea, including pricing and distribution channels.
- Get feedback from friends or family members on which idea sounds best to them.
- Ask experts about your idea’s viability, including other entrepreneurs, industry contacts, lawyers, bankers, and accountants
- Narrow down your choices based on which one you feel most passionate about or seems like it will be the easiest to start up.
- Make sure your idea is legal in your area before proceeding, as this can affect whether or not it will be successful. Here’s my list of the legal requirements for starting a business
Pick one or two of your options that seem most promising for further research as detailed in this next section
Are you looking for a solopreneur new business idea?
You’re not alone. In fact, more than half of all businesses in the United States are owned and operated by only one person. And that number is growing every year!
No employees mean no overhead costs and more time to focus on what really matters – running your company and making money. So take control of your life today with Profitable Solo Business Ideas To Start Alone! It’s never too late to make your dreams come true!
19 Pro Tips: How to Research Your New Business Ideas
Next comes researching your idea to find out what ideas are feasible and which ones aren’t.
If no similar companies exist then try to find out how much potential there is in the marketplace and what competitors are already doing by following these steps:
- Research your chosen idea’s competition, market size, and profit potential
- What is your unique selling proposition? Once you’ve researched the competition make sure that your product provides something different from theirs.
- Look at the competition in your field to see what they are doing well and poorly. Research similar companies in your industry and see how they perform on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook
- Local business performance – Research other small businesses in your city, state, or country that have succeeded with a similar idea
- Internet research findings – Spend time researching online for new business ideas by searching on Google, to find out if there’s potential for success.
- Find out if there are any patents or trademarks that might hinder you from moving forward with this idea. Here’s how to search for existing trademarks
- Document any potential problems you might face with this business venture, including legal issues, financial risks, and competition. Work out a solution for each of these issues to have in place before it occurs.
- Consider the marketability of your idea, how much it costs to start up, and whether or not you have the skills necessary to run it.
- Think about what skills and knowledge you have that are transferable to other fields. Identify your strengths, weaknesses.
- Consider if there a need for this merchandise in the marketplace right now
- Make some rough sketches of how your idea might look on paper
- Conduct an online survey to get feedback or survey people in public places.
- Ask for feedback from other businesses in the same industry – they could be your first customer
- Create a prototype of your product to show potential customers, distributors, and investors.
- Give away free samples in order to get live feedback from potential customers
- Draft a business plan that includes an overview of the company’s mission statement, market research findings, financial projections, and more. Writing this plan will uncover both issues and opportunities you will want to address before launch.
- Determine whether you have enough money (or funding) to start this venture. Get help in calculating startup costs in my guide here.
- Test out the item in different markets and see how it is received by customers before launching nationwide (or internationally) and see if they are willing to pay your suggested retail price.
- Ask for help from experts in other fields who are more knowledgeable about that field than you are – business owners may be able to point out flaws in your business model that you have not thought of yet, which can save time and money later on down the line.
7 Next Steps to Turn Your Idea into a Business
By now, you know your idea inside and out. You may have even taken the time to plan it all out in a business model. But what is next? How do you turn this new idea into an actual profitable company?
Here are the steps that will help get your business off the ground:
- Research your market: You should know who you are trying to target with your goods and how they could help you be more successful. Find out about your buyer’s motivations, demographics, locations, and media preferences.
- Brainstorm the solution: Think of all the ways that your idea would solve a problem for potential customers, then think about if there is any way it can be improved upon.
- Calculate Finances: You should also figure out how much money will be needed (starting capital) and what kind of budget you should set based on how much money will be made back through sales of the product/service once operational. This includes figuring out expenses like office space rental costs or equipment purchase costs
- Decide Legal Business Structure: Decide on whether or not to incorporate (choose the type of company). Check out my tips on how to decide on the best legal structure for your startup here
- Develop Marketing Strategy: Develop a plan for how your company will be marketed and on which media outlets.
- Finalize Business Name: The name of the business should ideally reflect what kind of service or product is being offered, as well as, personal goals.
- File Documents with Appropriate Government Agencies: Obtain all necessary documentation from appropriate government agencies
Get into the Winning Entrepreneur Mindset
Know Your Passion
What do you love?
What are your specialties and strengths in life?
This might not be something that comes easy to you, but deep down inside there will be one or two things – pick those.
Those passions can become the foundation of your business idea! And if they don’t work out, you can always pivot.
This is the time to explore and find out what lights your fire – it’s worth finding this before investing in a business idea that may not work for you.
You’ll be much more motivated to keep going if you’re working on something you like doing! And as an added bonus, people will notice your commitment and hard work.
Know Your Purpose
What are you in business to accomplish?
No matter what the reasons behind your desire for becoming a business owner, figure out why you’re doing it.
Is this something that will make your life better and help others as well? If so – fantastic! That’s an amazing reason to start a company 🙂
Start by identifying what you care about the most, like working on something more creative or helping to provide for your family – then chase after it!
You need to have something motivating you or fueling the fire to keep going when things get tough – and this will be what keeps you moving forward even if your first venture doesn’t work out for you.
How to Eliminate The Fear of Starting Your Own Business
It can seem like a daunting task to start your own business, and there is often one big fear that holds people back: the risk of failure.
But don’t worry – starting a new company doesn’t have to be this way! You need some guidance on how to test business ideas before taking any risks, plus my pro tips for breaking through fear and making those first steps into entrepreneurship in this blog post.
Don’t let fear stop you from becoming an entrepreneur, follow these helpful hints below:
- Recognize that fear is a natural part of the entrepreneurial process, and it’s okay to feel scared.
- Identify what you are afraid of. Awareness is the first step in overcoming any self-limited belief.
- Take action anyway – find a mentor or coach who can help you through your fears
- Create an action plan for how to get past this stage in the future. Write down all your fears on paper and then burn them to release yourself from these thoughts (this helped me)
- Remember that you’re not alone in this journey. Use my advice on this blog, join an industry networking group, or attend local meetups for support and education. Surround yourself with supportive people who can encourage you on your entrepreneurial journey. Check out my list of entrepreneurial assistance programs here
- Make sure to take care of yourself – eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly. Take some time for self-care every day (even if it’s just 15 minutes!). The healthier you are, the better business and life decisions you will make.
- Remind yourself of WHY you want to start your business in the first place. What motivated you to make this leap into entrepreneurship? Write your top reasons on an index card and carry it with you everywhere. Then, when you feel self-doubt creep in, which it will, read your card several times. I did this daily for the first year of my startup.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses and understand what you’re willing to risk.
- Focus on the possibilities, not the potential negatives of being a business owner
- Have a plan; don’t wait for things to happen by chance. This always calms me down, knowing that I have already thought of possible issues and have solutions in place, just in case.
- Stay focused on what you want, not what others think about you or your type of business idea
- Invest in yourself by taking courses, reading books, and attending seminars to learn new skills that will help you grow your business. Knowledge is power and education dispels fear.
- Break down your fears into manageable pieces to overcome them one at a time- fear of failure, lack of money, not having enough time are all common reasons people have for not starting their businesses, but they can be solved!
- Take the necessary steps to alleviate your fears, such as finding someone who can support you through the process or doing some research about how others have dealt with similar situations.
- Find ways to distract yourself from the situation – for example, by reading an inspirational book or taking a walk in nature. You need to take care of the Company President (YOU!). Take time away from your new business to refresh and recharge to keep your creative edge sharp and stay sane.
Keep repeating these steps until you feel confident enough to take action and start pursuing your goal
Be proud of yourself for facing your fears and overcoming them! You are stronger than you think!
Inspirational List of New Business Ideas – By Industry
If you still have no ideas with which to start your own business – no problem! Go ahead and to take one mine from my comprehensive lists of new business ideas listed by industry detailed below:
Food Industry New Business Ideas
Calling all chefs, bakers, hot sauce makers this list has all the inspiration you need to discover your best (and most profitable) new food business idea. Including little-known ways to make money in the food and beverage industry such as restaurant designer, dining guide app developer, and teaching cooking classes at home.
Fashion Industry Small Business Ideas
Fashionistas who love everything about clothing, jewelry, and shoes can make money with their passion for fashion! Get inspired by this list of creative and profitable fashion business ideas including new businesses; fashion designing, starting a clothing line, fashion styling, luxury consignment, media, retailing, and online options too!
Beauty Industry Startup Ready to Launch
The beauty industry is pretty profitable. Sorry, I could not resist the pun! 🙂
Some of my most successful startup companies are in the beauty niche so I have a special fondness for these types of businesses. Plus, I was taught about the beauty industry from the great Estee Lauder herself!
The beauty industry is huge at over $265 billion and will continue to grow as our population ages and demands anti-aging products. Plus men’s cosmetic usage increases and technology will create more possibilities of improving our looks with new products and services.
Check out these pretty (yes I made that bad pun again 🙁 … beauty business ideas for your new startup
Online New Business Ideas
Looking for online business ideas? Here are unique ideas to make money online. Have you ever thought about leaving that corporate job behind and striking out as an online entrepreneur? If you have internet access you have a world of opportunities at your fingertips.
Many of these online business concepts can be started with little to no money. Check out these ideas for your entrepreneurial inspiration and also these ways to make money online at Amazon.
Home-based Business to Start
For many people, working from home can be both liberating and fulfilling. Any business takes hard work and dedication, but starting a home business can be easy and fun.
Especially for moms who need to be home with the kids, or full-time students or employees working from home can be a great way to bring in extra income—and most home-based businesses require little to no start-up costs!
Check out my list of over 50 best ideas for home-based businesses for people looking to start a home business.
Cool New Business Ideas for Students
If you are a college student, free time may feel like it is hard to come by. With class, extracurriculars, study sessions, and social life, there is not even much time to sleep, let alone explore options as a student entrepreneur. However, starting a business while in college can be an exceptionally profitable enterprise for a couple of reasons.
First, many college side hustles are a very low investment in terms of start-up costs (more of my low startup costs business ideas here) and can be undertaken using many of the same materials used for a class. Second, the social network on a college campus is immense, which means you can create a built-in client base that can follow you after graduation.
New Business Ideas for Creative Artists
Hello artists! Are you searching for the best art business ideas to make money? Look at this big list of ways that artists and creative entrepreneurs can earn cash.
If you are artistic, you have a huge advantage over the majority of the population. Your talent and creativity allow you to earn money with your passion for art. You can start a business and use your art skills to create beautiful items for sale. Use to use your creativity and artistic talents to make money.
Here are some of the many art business ideas for creative artsy people – like You! – 99 Art Business Ideas for Creative Entrepreneurs & Artists
Photographers here is how to make money with your passion for images – 35 Profitable Photography Business Ideas To Start Today
Small Business Ideas for Entertainers
An entertainment side hustle might take some time to develop, but many low-cost business ideas can also bring in the supplemental income you need. The entertainment sector is quite lucrative because it provides high-income potential. Music, film, acting, dance, art, and more all offer creative outlets for your entrepreneurial energy.
Check out my big list of entertainment ideas you can start and earn today! Top Entertainment Business Ideas: Have Fun and Make Money
Agricultural New Business Ideas
Thinking of starting an agricultural business? Looking for farming ideas to make money? Here are the most profitable agricultural business start-up ideas for entrepreneurs – complete with links on how to start your farm.
Lots of good business ideas with low investment startup costs such as worm farming and growing mushrooms commercially. Plus beginner ideas for agriculturally minded entrepreneurs such as selling at farmers’ markets and lawn care maintenance.
Green Business Ideas for Eco-Entrepreneurs
Eco-friendly entrepreneurs, check out these green new business ideas that will both make you money and help our environment. This list includes sustainable and eco-friendly business ideas, both product and services, for you to love our planet and profit also.
Want still more new business ideas? Here are my best 1,001+ small business ideas to launch and make money as your own boss
Keep Trying out New Businesses
Keep trying different business ideas until one sticks! There are many different routes you can take when starting a business – so keep trying until something works for you.
Create an action plan with milestones for achieving your goals. Take action! Make an outline, map out steps, etc., and take care of all the details necessary to make this work.
Choose an idea that is worth pursuing and pursue it!
Hey Entrepreneur – Good luck!