What’s more intimidating than becoming a small-business owner? Near the top of the list would be reading, and then being prompted to actualize, the millionth internet article about “Becoming a Small Business Owner.” Also, swimming with sharks.
Fortunately, educational franchises like Shark Week and Sharknado exist to keep you out of the ocean, and how-to pieces like this can at least spark ideas about getting into business for yourself. As they say, the millionth-plus-one time is the charm.
You don’t have to think in terms of “This idea is going to make me a billionaire just in time for my next high school reunion!” You can start smaller, more in the realm of “This idea will lead me the next one, and the one after that.” A solid, lucrative business idea meets three basic criteria:
- Low (or free) startup costs: How much money will you have to lay out to begin? Would it be as cheap as creating your own website? Do you have a few hours a week to spare away from your “real” job? Maybe you already possess a potential money-making tool, like a house, a car, or even a lawnmower.
- Immediate profitability: There are few motivators for new business owners like instant gratification—if you can start profiting even a little from a business today, you’ll likely stick with it tomorrow. There’s nothing wrong with long-term business ideas that may pay off months or years down the road, but a win right now is key.
- Full-time income potential: Could you survive, perhaps even thrive, on the profits generated by your business idea(s)? Thinking even bigger, could your business possibly blow up into the six- to seven-figure brackets promised by “Get Rich!” bloggers? Maybe focus on quitting the drive-thru window first.
Business.org has a few suggestions in two areas of business to get your ideation rolling.