I am an aspiring entrepreneur, and currently run a content shop.
I am deciding whether to:
1. Grow the current business and how: Any folks here who need great content?
2. Pursue a different idea that's more scalable, and repeatable.
How do I decide which direction to invest my energy in and how can I develop my idea further?
Since a content shop sounds like freelance work (or very close to it), this article shows a few mistakes to avoid: https://freelancetransformation.com/blog/three-broken-freelancing-models. This great article shows one story of getting started with freelance/agency work: https://growandconvert.com/marketing/grow-digital-agency/.
Deciding whether you want to do custom work or run a scalable business is another kind of choice. A few questions that might help:
- Do you want to focus on one thing for several years, or get exposed to a lot of different projects?
- If you focus on one thing, is there a particular market that is really interesting to you?
- What are the actual tasks you'll have to do? Can you do them well or learn them? Do you want to do them?
- What people might you need to hire and manage? Do you want to do that? Is there an alternative?
- Are there other requirements you have like being able to work remotely, not having deadlines, or a specific income?
The best way to address this is to come up with a list of personal questions that highlight what is important to you. Then compare each option to each question. Nothing will be perfect but the one that gets the most "yes" votes and doesn't seem to have any major issues is usually a good option to focus on.
The hard part is knowing the real answers. Picking a startup doesn't mean you'll be running the next Facebook and doing freelance work doesn't mean you'll jump straight to the level of a world-renowned consultant with 30 years of experience (unless that is you). Once you know exactly what information you're looking for try asking some questions to clarify that!
Ultimately you have to test things to get the best answers. Be prepared to revise your decisions if the results are not what you expect.
These are some great questions.
As an entrepreneur, growing and scaling my business has been both a challenging and rewarding task. I'll answer both your questions separately:
1. How should you decide which business idea to pursue?
Your decision should take into account both personal factors and should have regard to your environment, your market and your resources.
From a personal perspective, choose an industry which (1) you are passionate about and (2) you have knowledge/experience in. This will considerably reduce your risk of failure. As a startup founder, you will find your job to be extremely challenging and the only way to succeed is through resilience. If you are not passionate, you will easily give up. Having the knowledge and expertise of your industry will not only give you more gravitas but also save you lots of time in research and understanding the wants and needs of your customer.
From a larger perspective - ensure your business solves a problem that is large enough to build a profitable business out of.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of questions to help you get there:
1. What is your intended customer base? It is harder to target a broad and general audience - try to establish a niche customer base which needs your products and/or services.
2. What problem does your service/product solve? Identifying a problem and providing a solution is the heart of every innovative idea.
3. How can you add value to the product and customer experience? Your customers need to gain benefit from purchasing your goods/services.
4. What are the most unusual characteristics of your business which will give you competitive advantage on the market? Establishing yourself in the market means you need some advantage over your competitors to attract their customers or new ones.
5. Have you researched your competition? In what ways do you feel you can do better than the competition? You need to know who are you facing to understand your market share, and how can you provide better solutions.
6. Do you have access to all the resources you need to launch the business? This includes funding, manpower, premises, equipment etc.
7. What is the size of the market? Do your research!
8. What would it take to create a minimum viable product and test it on the market? You don’t need a finished product to launch, start small and test your ideas.
9. What will it take to make profit? You need to have at least some estimated financial projections as to what you need to spend and what you need to earn in order to break even and then make a profit.
10. Is the problem you are trying to solve on the top priority list of the potential customers? Important consideration to see whether your products will sell.
11. What is your business model? How do you plan on charging your customers, how do your competitors do it, can you create additional revenue streams?
12. Is there a potential for growth? Think in the long term, can you scale the business further?
13. What are the possible roadblocks you are likely to face? You should attempt to find a solution for each problem you can think of.
14. Have you chosen a business name? Make sure that your name is descriptive of the branding and targets your customers. Ask people their input - choosing a name is an important matter as it will affect the rest of your branding.
15. Have you looked for your business name online? Ensure that no other business can be confused with yours. Ensure that the domain name and all social media accounts for your business name are available.
I hope this answers your first question.
2. How do I decide which direction to invest my energy in and how can I develop my idea further?
This will come to you much more clearly once you have found the answers to your first question. Ensure that you are spending your time in a way that produces results. Your first goal is to bring your MVP, to test it amongst customers, to learn from feedback and then to improve your product. Repeat this formula until you reach product market fit.
I hope this helps - please don't hesitate to get on a call with me if you'd like to drill this down further.
Common issue...especially for energetic entrepreneurs! Too many choices!
We all face this issue: 100 important things that could all work out very well, but time to do only 1 or 2 of them.
Here's a video I made explaining my process for figuring out what road to take:
A simple matrix as I explain will really help you clarify your beliefs about your options. It's a powerful way of quantifying your feelings.
But a caution...nearly everything people believe are "facts" are actually "opinions". That goes for the stock market, the prime interest rate, and your beliefs about a target market.
The matrix gives you a lens view into your own thinking about the opinions you have. Keep it in mind that just because your opinion is that a certain market entry project may be "tough"...that doesn't mean it is true. You'll act as if it is, though.
That's a great question, one I've wrestled with myself. The oversimplified but potent answer always comes down to this: what are you most passionate about? What can't you stop talking about/thinking about/reading about? That's the thing you should do. You can tweak it to BE scalable by focusing in on a market segment/niche, making it an online business, etc (read the Pumpkin Plan by Mike Micalowicz) but please don't ignore the advice of the wise old sage... "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs, RIP
Because I understand you are also looking new business ideas to which you could focus on, then I describe to you my method, how to generate new business ideas what also fit for you and make money.
I give you here the first step with what to start, because its long process.
Here is how I start generating business ideas.
Note: All successful businesses solve someone's problems, pain points or improve something and the business idea is the solution for particular problem or pain point.
First, you program yourself to notice real problems in life around you. If u visit people or companies then ask from them following questions:
1. what is the one thing that you hate to do over and over again?
2. What is the most important thing in your life or your company and what problems you have with this currently?
3.To what thing, a process currently you are spending a huge amount of your resources (Money, time, etc..).
4. What is holding you back in your everyday life or in your company to develop further?
You can do the previous process also online; you can do like this:
Write into google phrases like: "I hate," "I wish I could know," I don't know," "Where can I" etc.
After you have collected some answers and idea, then next step is:
You create a mind-map. In mind mapping, I mean a special process, where you work further with one problem on time. Write that problem into sticky note paper and stick it into the blackboard. Then start to think about this current problem and write every idea, association down onto sticky note what comes into your mind and stick that also onto paper and stick on the blackboard. I usually generate about 20-30 ideas about one problem.
Idea mindmapping is for to get the better understanding about your Problem what you found in real life
It was the general description the first stage of generating working business idea.
Next processes include:
*Organizing and refine ideas related to the problem and develop further.
*Research more relevant information about your problem
*Solution generation for the problem.
*Idea (solution) testing in real life ( with zero or very low cost)
*Idea further improvement
* Start making money in small scale first and final confirmation of your business idea
*Going to full scale and start scaling your business.
If someone is interested to find yourself good and working business idea, then I have special and proved process how to do that all.
People can contact with me