Step 1: The Idea

A. What are your options?

There are several ways to get started in business:

  • Start a new business.
  • Buy a franchise.
  • Take over an existing business.

B. How do you come up with a business idea?

Here are some tips to help you find your business idea:

  • Think about your goals, skills, expertise, and experience.
  • Find a need that is not being met, identify problems and sources of irritation in your immediate area:
    • Observe your surroundings: workplaces, business people, hobbies, and social activities.
    • Keep up to date with the media, newspapers, and business publications.
    • Observe changes in sociodemographic, technological, and economic trends.
  • Travel, attend seminars, trade fairs, and expositions.
  • Analyze the needs of businesses in different fields:
    • Meet suppliers in your area.
    • Analyze the needs of subcontracting businesses to find additional products and services.
  • Keep informed about economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, etc.

C. Is your project well-defined? Is it attainable?

  • Does your product or service meet a need?
  • What makes it unique?
  • Is your idea realistic:
    • According to your financial means and needs?
    • According to your preferences, experience, and training?
Visit Google Alerts to monitor key words: http://www.google.com/alerts.
Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to stay informed on the latest trends and to find new ideas.