Ok, so if you're anything like me you probably have a constant stream of different business ideas popping up in your head...and not necessarily related to each other.
That's great...you've got options! But with so many great ideas, how on earth do you choose the best one for you...?
First off, you need to be clear on what all your options are. If you try and make a decision just based on what you can remember you could easily overlook a great idea you might have had a while ago. Plus having all of these ideas floating around in your head as you move forward could act as a distraction, making I hard to focus on what you should be focusing on.
There is nothing wrong with having lots of business ideas, and you could even do more than one o them in the future, but you can only really focus on getting one off the ground at a time.
Those of you who have seen the Harry Potter films will probably remember Dumbledore extracting memories from his head and dropping them into a pot, called a pensieve, where they were safely stored until he needed to revisit them at a later stage...
Well, although we may not have a magical storage vault, this exercise works just as well for us muggles.
1. Get all of your ideas out of your head - There's no need to try and put them in any kind of order at this point, you're just trying to get them all down for now. You can do this exercise on paper, on a laptop, or using my favourite go-to tool, post-it notes
2. Group your ideas - If you're like me, you probably have a lot of different ideas that trigger something in you but which are not necessarily related to one another. However, it's likely that they will fall into 2-3 different themes.
Create themed mind maps to hang your business ideas off. Mind maps are a great tool for organising your ideas and planning (see example below).
You can do this as a paper exercise but storage purposes I like using the cloud based resources available on the internet. There are quite a few free resource out there including the one I use Edraw.
3. Choosing the business that's right for you right now - While some of the business ideas you have are exciting, and maybe a little bit scary even, they are not necessarily right for you at this point. They might require you to have skills and experience you don't have right now, the right contacts or resources that are way out of your reach at this point in time. This isn't to say that this business will be beyond your reach forever... It's just that you will probably need to put an awful lot of time and energy into planning it and developing the key skills you need, and I'm guessing you're quite keen to get going as soon as possible.
What you need to consider when choosing the business that is right for you at this point in time is...
What are you passionate about? What really gives you a fire in your belly? - Running your own business is going to be full of ups and downs. Doing something that you really love doing is going to help you through the tough times and keep you focused and motivated
What are your strengths? - The best business for you is going to be one which plays to your strengths so it helps to know what they are. There are always going to be areas of running a business that won't be your 'cup of tea' but at some point you will be able to outsource these or bring someone else in to do those jobs and free you up to focus on what you're good at
What skills, knowledge and experience do you have? - You will need to be ready to learn and develop as you go along because with all the will in the world you won't have all the skills, knowledge and experience you need to run a business. However, it helps if you choose a business where you can utilise at least some of your skills, knowledge and experience, especially when it comes to delivering what you are selling
What resources do you have available to you? - Some businesses will require less outlay than others. It's important that you understand what resources are required for viable business idea options (making sure you break them down into 'must haves' and 'nice to haves') and then look at the against your available resources
What are the personal reasons why you want your own business? - You don't want to choose a business that is going to clash with your life goals or current personal circumstances. For example, there is little point starting a business that requires a lot of 'you' in order to generate income if you are trying to balance your business with having small children under your feet all day. A business that generates an element of passive income or where certain elements can be outsourced or delegated would probably work better
Once you've considered all of this against the business ideas you've come up with you can choose the idea that fits all your criteria and best.
4. Creating your own pensieve - Once you have your business idea, you may want to save the others for a later stage in case you want to start a complimentary business or even start something in a completely different area.
Keeping them in Dropbox or another cloud based storage solution is probably best as you don't know how far down the line it will be before you might need to access it again.
If you would like more information on the foundations you need to put in place before starting to plan your new business you will find my new opt 'Four Simple Steps to Kickstart your WOW' helpful. You can grab your free copy here >>> www.melanie-coleman.com/kickstart-your-wow