Are you looking for a business opportunity, but are having no luck in finding even one idea? I totally agree with Robin Sharma when he said, “Opportunity is everywhere … the key is to develop the vision to see it.” It doesn’t matter where you live; opportunity can be found in small towns as well as big cities. Here are some ideas on how to improve your opportunity seeking vision.
1. Be Curious and Explore the Unfamiliar – There are many ways to feed your curiosity. I personally find inspiration in the following:
· Traveling – You would be surprised what great ideas that can be found by taking a road trip or traveling abroad. A few weekends ago, I spent the weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. While there, I found three ideas that I hadn’t seen in Illinois. First, a sink shaped with an extra indentation or curve that solved the problem of messy liquid soap spills. The soap would automatically fall in the sink. Second, they used golf carts like Uber; you just called a number and a golf cart shuttled you to your destination for the cost of tips. Third, they have party bikes where groups of people can pedal and see Broadway St. while having their own private party with music and drinks.
· Reading multiple news sources and various trade magazines. A business model or process from one industry can work very well if tweaked for another.
· Researching trends online and keeping in touch with trends on the social media sites. This is a barometer for what is top of mind for people and could lead to inspiration.
2. Brainstorm Business Ideas Around Your Passion – Write down what you love to do, then brainstorm 3-5 ways you can turn your passion into a viable business. If you love photography, you might be able to take senior pictures or wedding pictures for people. Or, you can create a coffee table book of the region’s landscape and people. You could also teach a digital photography class or organize a photography excursion to an exotic place while teaching the tricks of the photography trade.
3. Surround yourself with diverse people. According to Mattel, the first version of the Slinky, a popular toy, was actually a failed spring for a space rocket. The aerenoticial engineer brought the metal spring home and slammed it on the kitchen table in frustration. His wife observed it bounce from the table to the chair, to the floor and thought it might have a practical use in entertaining the young at heart. The wife’s unique perspective as an outsider saw a different use for the failed part.
4. Solve a Problem – If you have a problem, chances are others are experiencing the same frustration. So, write down the top three problems or annoyances that you have in your life. Then think of ways to solve those problems. One of my more recent problems for me, as a home-based businessperson, was finding reliable IT, graphic design and social media assistance to help grow my company. After I found my solutions to two out the three needs, I have decided others might have the same problem to solve. Now Dau Consulting is actively helping other small businesses in their social media marketing and computer repair and maintenance challenges.
Take a few minutes each day to build your opportunity seeking talents. You will be glad you did.