Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to start and run your own business from home. Whether you plan on turning your business into a full-time enterprise or you simply want to make some extra money on the side, with just a few tools, you can indulge your entrepreneurial ambitions.
Of course, having the tools to start a business is not the same as having an idea for one. You may know you’d love to be your own boss and work from home, but you might have no idea how to get started.
Don’t get discouraged. Coming up with an idea will take some time, but if you put in the effort, you can generate a plan that may turn into a legitimate business. To start, keep these tips in mind.
Assess Your Abilities and Experience
You’re probably not going to succeed in your goals of running a home business if you start one that requires a skillset you don’t possess. Thus, if you’re struggling to come up with an idea, you should start the brainstorming process by listing all the skills you have that may be valuable. While doing so, review all of your previous work experience and try to determine if you’ve acquired expertise in a particular area.
For instance, if you have a reputation as a strong writer, you could start a freelance business. If you have artistic talent, you may be able to provide clients with freelance graphic design services.
It’s important to incorporate hobbies into your list. Many people who enjoy creating arts and crafts projects in their spare time eventually discover that people want to buy their creations. Although not all hobbies can generate business ideas, you may be surprised by how many can.
The most important point to keep in mind during this exercise is simple: spend more time on it than you think you should. People often find it difficult to list their skills at first. They think they don’t have much experience or expertise they can leverage into a money-making enterprise. However, if you spend a decent amount of time trying to grow your list, you’ll likely find you actually have more valuable skills than you initially assumed.
Determine What Resources You Have at Your Disposal
Some people who start home businesses choose to take out loans to fund them. Of course, this involves some degree of risk. You need to decide whether or not you’re confident enough in your idea to take that kind of chance.
If you’re not, you likely won’t have a lot of money for equipment, employees, and other resources. You’ll need to take stock of what resources are already available to you.
Luckily, you can start plenty of home businesses on a limited budget. If you’re starting a freelance writing, graphic design, or even consulting business, it may be possible to do so with nothing more than a computer and a fast internet connection. As your enterprise grows, you can hire others to work for you or invest in additional equipment.
Either way, it’s very important to be honest with yourself at first. Don’t take financial risks for which you are unprepared. Once you know what resources you currently have at your disposal, you can more easily determine what type of business to create.
Write Down 10 Ideas a Day
This is a tip from serial entrepreneur James Altucher. It’s also a surprisingly effective exercise.
Each day, set aside a little bit of time to list 10 different business ideas. Don’t stop until you’ve reached 10, but don’t censor yourself because you assume an idea isn’t strong enough to be worth putting on your list.
James Altucher himself admits that when he started doing this, many of his ideas were bad. The goal isn’t simply to come up with 10 business ideas you can develop into profitable enterprises. Ideally, this exercise will yield a strong idea at some point, but that probably won’t happen right away. Instead, this exercise will help you train your mind to start looking for business ideas in your daily life. The longer you practice it, the easier it will be to start seeing the world the way an entrepreneur sees the world.
These tips are primarily useful because they help you overcome the hurdle that prevents so many people from succeeding in their goal of working from home. Too many people give up early because they assume they simply don’t have any ideas. If you actually spend the time to brainstorm, this won’t be a problem.