The saying goes in business, that in order to succeed, you must find a need and fill it. But is it that easy? Well, not always, because it’s hard to find a need that somebody, somewhere isn’t already filling. Here’s some prescribed methods you can use for inspiration.
Provide a Service
It doesn’t matter how simple it is, somebody is willing to pay you money to do it for them. This is how people make money shoveling sidewalks and mowing lawns. For instance, most celebrities have a profile on Twitter.com, but most of them also don’t post to it themselves. Instead, their publicity agent hires a blogger to do that for them. Which makes “Professional Tweeter” an actual job description – and can you imagine introducing yourself that way?
Market to Other Entrepreneurs
Here’s one guaranteed way to make a profit during a gold rush: Find the gold mine that everybody’s heading for, then stand right beside the entrance and sell shovels. When Bitcoin first became a fad, not nearly as many people grew rich from digitally mining Bitcoins, but quite a few technology firms popped up overnight selling specially-designed servers that were purpose-built to mine Bitcoins.
So somebody beat you to inventing the cell phone? That’s OK, because one day you notice that everyone takes pictures of themselves holding the phone out at arm’s length, and that gave you the idea for the Selfie Stick! Anywhere where there’s a new gadget that everyone is buying, there’s an opportunity to make that gadget better. Selling apps for tablet, phones, and laptops is a whole industry in itself.
Paystubs and Paychecks
When you get your company running, the logistics of operating a business can feel overwhelming. Be sure to make your employee’s payday hassle-free by implementing a well-run paycheck system. With an easy check stub maker it’s easier than you think to make your own paystubs and paychecks. Here’s one great method. Many business owners swear by having an efficient system for processing employee compensation without the headaches.
Modify a Service
Uber is one such story. Uber is a network of partnering private drivers who provide the same service as taxi cab drivers in major cities, but without the hassle of calling an automated answering system, waiting an hour because they don’t have cabs available, and then getting charged an outrageous fee to cover the trip. Uber took a rides-for-hire service, and made it more personal, friendlier, and more convenient.
Market to a Niche
There’s one lady on Listia.com who sells complete decks of cards for Magic: The Gathering, a collectible trading card game. Instead of building your own deck, the lady’s husband takes his leftover cards from opening booster packs and constructs ready-to-play decks. People buy them and constantly rave about them, because this guy knows how to build fun, winning decks. It’s a trivial little cottage industry, but where there’s a niche market, there’s a way.
One of the biggest downfalls of entrepreneurs is trying to be too complicated. Businesses do best when they’re easy to get a handle on. Simplify your search for entrepreneurial ideas down to something you can describe in one elevator pitch.