The following is an extract from My New Business – A busy woman’s guide to start-up success by Wendy Kerr.
Epiphanies are a bit like buses – there is never one around when you need one, and then three turn up all at once. The ‘light bulb moment’ will happen when you least expect it, typically in the shower, as your brain churns through lots of disparate pieces of information, making sense of it all. Then ‘kapow’, you have that light bulb moment, and suddenly you get that idea or insight about what to do next.
2) Leverage your experience
Doing more of what you love and what you are good at is also a solid way to build a new business. You may have been an HR director for the past ten years, and love developing people and leading change. You also have a great list of contacts in the industry. It would be easy for you to leverage your expertise and network to create an HR consulting business.
3) Solve a problem
Fed up with a product or service in the market? Think you could do it better? Maybe you could. Or perhaps you keep wishing that someone had invented something that would make your life easier. Take some time to think about what you wish for, or what frustrates you, and that could be the beginning of your new idea.
4) Follow your passion
What do you love? What do your friends always ask for your opinion on? What are you always reading and learning about? What do you lose yourself in? If you are passionate about something, you will know a lot more about it than anyone else. How can you turn this knowledge into a compelling business idea?
Critical to this stage of developing a business is to keep an open mind, keep observing and maintain a sense of wonder. Always be asking yourself ‘what if?
Now you have some proven ways of discovering an idea for your business, use these questions below as a prompt to fuel your imagination.
Finding your idea
1. What epiphanies have you had? Think about what ideas and inspirations you have had, for example when taking a shower or when on a walk. These may be related to ideas you have had for new products or where you have seen a gap in the market that no one else has filled. Note down any flashes of inspirations you have had.
2. Leveraging your experience. What previous jobs have you had that you loved? What skills and talents do you most enjoy using?
3. Solving a problem. What frustrates you? What do you know could be done better? What problems do your friends or family have that could be solved? Write down your ideas.
4. Passions. What do you love? What passions have been dormant since school? What do friends always ask your advice on? Write down everything you feel passionate about.
About the author
Wendy Kerr is passionate about changing the way work works. Throughout her 20-year career she has worked in bluechip corporations, specialising in creating and launching new businesses around the world.
Through her company, Corporate Crossovers, she has helped over 1,500 women starting their own business by providing them with structure, tools, processes and one-on-one mentoring to create the work life balance they want. Wendy Kerr is a frequent media commentator and has featured on national radio and print media discussing how women are changing the working environment.