Starting my Business Journey Here / Where do you get inspiration for business ideas?
- Have had a passion for creating a business for a long time now.
- Finally I am feeling confident enough to do it.
- Was planning to program part-time to pay the bills while devoting the rest of my time on the business. Finding a part-time gig has proved harder than I thought. So focusing my time back on the business and living at home.
- Taking some courses online on entrepreneurship.
- Planning to document the entire journey to try to learn from you all as much as possible, as well as teach as much as possible by being transparent and detailed.
- Brainstorming ideas so far by looking on Flippa as well as making observations in every day life. See flippa-site-analysis.txt for some businesses I've seen on there. See idea-log.txt for some ideas I have come up with / have been shared with me.
- Do you have any ideas for brainstorming business ideas?
- After brainstorming, I will try to answer as many key questions about each idea as possible to help me decide which one to pursue. See surfacing-assumptions.txt for questions I plan to answer.
- Thank you for reading!
So today I decided that I will document my entire business journey. The journey started a few months back and so I have some catch-up to do with regard to writing. I will try my best to keep it brief. My longing to start a business has been around for years now, since high school. I decided to study compsci in university because I thought it would give me an edge to start a business with a low startup cost. That thought may or may not have been correct, but looking back, I am happy that I developed that skillset. Then after university I really wanted to just start a business and hit the ground running, but I listened to everyone around me and got a job. Three years later, I still had the passion to start a business and I decided that I am going to act on it. I did not want to hold myself back, and I figured that at the worst-case I will still be OK (able to find a job). I also had thoughts of getting my MBA later on in life, and what better experience to have going into that than hands-on experience. So anyway, three months ago I quit my job, and now here I am living the dream. Not so fast.
Before quitting my job, I figured it would be a good idea to get part-time programming work while I work on the business part-time. That way I could be able to support myself while working on the business at the same time. So I reached out to my employer first and asked if they would be OK with a part-time arrangement. At first they agreed (woohoo!) and then they changed their mind. So for the past few months, after leaving in February, I was mainly focused on finding part-time work. It turned out to be harder than I thought, and I still don't have a part-time gig. So a couple of days ago, I decided that I will shift focus. My main objective was to start a business, and I just spent three months not being completely focused on that objective. It's not all bad though. I have done a little bit of work so far. Some of the things I have done include completing a couple of online courses on Coursera, as well as brainstorming ideas.
First the Coursera classes. I found a collection of courses offered by the Wharton School of Business here https://www.coursera.org/specializations/wharton-entrepreneurship. So far I have completed two of the courses "Entrepreneurship 1: Developing the Opportunity" and "Entrepreneurship 4: Financing and Profitability". I plan on completing the others at later stages of my business that match up with the courses. However, I think "Developing the Opportunity" was helpful so far by digging deeper into getting inspiration for what business to start, as well as answering questions about the business in order to evaluate it better. Some methods offered for generating ideas included asking customers of existing products themselves, looking at product reviews on Amazon, searching social media posts for complaints, and seeing what profitable websites for sale are doing and doing the same thing better. Then to evaluate the ideas, the course suggests answering a lot of questions about various parts of the business idea as accurately as possible. Here is a link to the questions that I plan on answering about each idea.
Now for the brainstorming ideas part. So far I have mainly been writing down ideas that come to me, or that others mention to me. Here are some of the ideas that I have come up with or heard from others:
* VoIP service
* Ecommerce of popular amazon product but do it better based on reviews (this probably needs its own document and research)
* Automated checkout at grocery stores
* Automated checkout at restaurants
* Airbnb-like platform where you can list items you want to rent out and others can search for items to rent
* Printer Kiosks
* Subscription travel survival guide for popular tourist destinations
* Airbnb type service with local tour guides
* Thermometer powered by body heat
* Blockchain analysis software
* Blockchain auditing
* Blockchain mixing service
* Health insurance for dance/show horses
* Educational games for children
* Weed industry is growing, something there?
* Belize (Placencia and Caye Caulker) can use a website that lists deals, ads, etc.
* Renting out Tuxes for weddings strictly online (with lower overhead than Men's Warehouse)
* Contractor associate networks software - lets you know availabilities, and other things
* Make use of fruit that is left to rot in warehouses in the US because it doesnt look perfect (tidbit of knowledge from Naked&Afraid)
* Uber type service where local residents take an interview to answer prospective homeowners and renters' questions about the neighborhood
In addition to that, I have been looking at websites for sale on Flippa to see what kind of businesses out there are doing well, and how they can be improved. On Flippa I filter by >$2500/month, 0-5 years old, verified revenue. See "flippa-site-analysis.txt" for my complete analysis so far. Some of the things I've gleaned from there:
* Affiliate-based models can make a good amount of money without producing or selling anything. Besides product reviews and constant new content.
* Mobile games can be attractive in that you build them once and done, so expenses are low. However, you may need to build another game shortly thereafter as the life cycle of a game is short (maybe 2 years).
* E-commerce shops based around political movements can be lucrative, and typically have loyal customers.
I wouldn't say I'm finished with brainstorming ideas yet. I will continue to do some Flippa analysis. I also want to search Twitter for things like "I wish I had", "is the worst product", "that’s so frustrating", "does anyone know how", etc. This is something I read in a blog post recently. I would love to hear suggestions you have on generating ideas.
So to wrap it up, here I am today, deciding to document my journey step by step from inception to completion. I plan to be as transparent as possible, as I've seen others do before me on this subreddit. I think this has multiple benefits. The main benefits being the advice that I can receive from redditors. Secondly, keeping a journal will help me look back and reflect on my decisions. And lastly, it would be cool as hell to read later on and have lessons-learned as well as a potential formula for future success. And by making everything public I hope to help anyone who is aspiring to embark on this journey themselves. Of course keep in mind that this is my first time doing this so anyone reading this for advice should take my words with a grain of salt and pepper. I am confident that this will be a great experience and I am so excited to share with you! Thanks for reading!!