Sometimes the hardest part of starting a business is coming up with an idea, whether a small business is a part-time one person operation run out of someone's home or a multi-million dollar company with dozens of employees.
You know, for instance, that you want to work in a particular field but don't know what you might do specifically. Or maybe all you know is that you want to start a business, but you're on the lookout for an idea that inspires you. Follow the links on this page to find small and home-based business ideas that will help you decide what kind of business you want to start.
Browse these collections of small business ideas and see what strikes your fancy. Based on current trends these are businesses that I think have good or better potential for profit over a period of time - an important consideration when you're starting a business.
Many of the ideas presented in the articles above will work as home based businesses. But if you're specifically looking for a business you can start and run at home, try one of the home based businesses presented in these articles:
How to come up with your own business ideas
The hamburger. The personal computer. The hula hoop. Every successful business started with someone coming up with the right idea at the right time. How do you do it? It doesn't really take any huge feats of mental gymnastics; you just have to be alert to the business ideas that are all around you. Learn how with 7 Sources of Business Ideas.
One way of coming up with your own idea for a business is to examine current business trends. These articles discuss trends and associated business needs to get you going:
Franchises are a common choice for new businesses. When you buy a franchise, you're buying someone else's business idea, in effect. That can put you on the fast track to business success and big profits if you've chosen wisely. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to going the franchise route. Read more in Should You Buy a Franchise?
Narrowing your business options
If you've followed even a few of the links on this page, your head is probably buzzing now with all kinds of ideas for small businesses. If you're having trouble deciding which small business ideas to follow up on and investigate further, read What Type of Business Should You Start? My theory is that the best business idea is one that's best suited to you and this article will lead you through the process of figuring out what type of business idea you should be looking for.
Testing your business idea
Once you've settled on what you think is suitable business, it's a good idea to test your idea before you waste time and money working through the steps necessary to start a business.
One way to do this if your new business involves products is to put some of your products on eBay and see how well they sell and what profit you make. My Selling on eBay Case Study is an example of this kind of product testing.
No matter what business you've chosen, running through a condensed version of a business plan is an excellent way to test your business idea. Use this Quick-Start Business Plan to find out if your small business idea is worth developing.
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