Day 1: What's Your Idea?

I’m so excited to get started on this series with you!  I hope you will find it helpful in making your God-given dream a reality.

Do you know how many people access the internet on a monthly basis?  Statistics will tell you it’s close to 3 billion people – that is a large number of people!  And around 150,000 new domains are being registered everyday!   This information just makes it clear that you definitely have an audience online.

Tap into the online market

It’s a huge market out there and it’s something you can tap into by starting an online business.  But it’s important to start a business because it’s what you love to do, not because everyone else is doing it.   A business that’s started based on your passion will last a long time because it fits your personality, strengths and talents.  Even if it fails, you will start over because that is your passion – it motivates you and makes you feel alive.

I know starting a business is not easy, but the fact that it’s based online makes it much simpler.  It does not require as much effort or financial commitment as starting a traditional business.  You can even start your online business for free but it will definitely take a little extra time and effort from your end.

Lay the foundation

The number one mistake people make while building an online business is giving least importance to laying the foundation.  You know very well, that to build something that lasts, the foundation should be strong.  Building up on shaky base is a sure way to failure.  Your business should be interesting, useful and meet people’s needs or desires.  If your foundation is not solid, no matter how much you market or promote your business, it will not bring in as much profit as you expect.  This step is very vital for the long term success of your web business.

Now that you know there is a huge market out there and you have an opportunity to start your doing what you love online, it’s time to start brainstorming.  I’m so excited to start out on this journey with you!

Tips for Brainstorming

To begin with, I encourage you to first identify your strengths.  God has given you unique abilities and He wants you to make the best use of them.  Take some time to list out your interests, abilities, talents and strengths.  What we are looking for is a way to convert your strengths to a business – a platform that would generate an income.  Start looking for all possible ideas – you can take a look at our 50 online business ideas post for inspiration.  You might even launch something as innovative as Facebook (founded in 2004), you’ll never know!

Here are a few pointers to help you discover your specialized interest.

  • Your dreams – What is your vision?  What is it that you have always dreamed of doing?  What is your passion?
  • Your experience – If you have previously held a job, that experience counts.  Did you enjoy working in that sector?  Do you have the knowledge and interest to learn and share more about it?
  • Your bookshelf – What topics do you love reading about?  Do you own more than 5 books that cover a particular topic?
  • Your groups – Which groups are you a member of online and offline?  What discussions draw you in?
  • Your magazines – Which magazines do you keep renewing the subscriptions for?  Why do you enjoy them?
  • Your education – Have you undergone specialized training?  Are you certified in a particular area?  Do you have a zeal to learn more about a specific topic?
  • Your hobby – What do you enjoy doing on a daily basis?  What holds your interest for an extended period of time?

Based on these pointers, you might be able to narrow down what your interests are.  But not all your interests can be considered viable business ideas.  I encourage you to note down areas that interest you and create a mindmap that determines your level of expertise and ideas that are worth pursuing.  (You can take a look at the mindmap I created for myself here.)

The next step is to figure out which of your ideas are worth pursuing as a business opportunity.  Here are a few tips that will help you process your ideas as you brainstorm.

  • Your business should be able to solve a problem.  Take a look at successful businesses; they succeeded because they solved a core problem.  People are willing to pay good money to get a working solution for the issues they face.  So what problem can you solve?
  • Your product/service should add value to your customer.  What more can you bring to the customers, in addition to what your competitors are already providing?
  • Can you provide a solution to an issue you are currently facing?  The kukucrate website has a rather interesting story.  It was founded by a mom who provided a solution to the problem she was personally facing at that time.
  • Ask yourself – “Is there a better way to do ‘___________’ ?  Don’t underestimate the power of your mind.  Racking your brain often brings to the front new ideas and innovative thoughts.

When you start out an online business based on your strength or your interest, it will resonate much more with your audience.  It will also be easy for you to work on and you’re more likely to stick with it for a long time.

Before winding up let me tell you, all big ideas are just ideas until you act.  I am sharing this based on my personal experience.  I am a master at procrastination, but at some points in my life (by the grace of God), I did take action.  I was able to come this far only because I took the first step and started moving forward.

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”
– J.P. Morgan

So, go ahead!  Pick your idea based on the questions I shared above and make up your mind to move forward with it.  We will be sharing a lot more information in the coming days about how to narrow down your specialty and create a concrete business plan based on your idea.

Today's Action Step: Have a brainstorming session and answer the questions mentioned above. Make a list of viable business ideas that showcase your unique strengths and solve a specific need.

Click here to catch up on all the posts in this series.