Business ideas are an exciting topic. They carry financial potential, as well as an exciting mysteriousness about which ideas are good and how to go about making them into actual businesses. On top of that, business ideas are also a purely intellectual curiosity. Thinking through business ideas gives us a chance to be creative, carve out our own path in life, and even possibly have an impact on the world around us.
But what are the best business ideas? The simplest way to begin thinking about that is to look around us, and see what companies impact our lives. On the web, those companies are Facebook, Google, and Apple. And in the physical world around us it is the stores which sell us food, or different goods ranging from electronics to clothing to cars.
But those are businesses which have a global impact. To make a good business a global presence isn’t necessary. The definition of a good business is also something that everyone should define for themselves. For some people a good business might be a business that allows them to be their own boss and just make a decent living. But for others, a good business may be a business with which they can make millions or billions of dollars. This is something everyone has to define for themselves according to what makes sense to their overall life goals. In this article we will examine a few business ideas and see which may be the best.
Technology, Internet and mobile businesses
Technology is very exciting. Unlike a shop which you may open locally, everyone in the world can come to a website or download a mobile app. That means that your potential reach is tremendous and you can grow as quickly as you can bring people to your website or app.
But what website should you build? The problem is that the web has been saturated with redundant websites so you would have to create something unique and innovative. The challenge with creating anything that has never been tried before is that new and innovative experiments have a very high failure rate. It is like that in every field. Science research has a very high failure rate. So does new technology. Your risk is that after you build your innovative product, the users simply won’t use it or will be very lukewarm to your ideas.
Also, to make something new and innovative can take technical skills that are far beyond those of an average engineer. Just consider what it took to create Google. The company was made by two brilliant students who were some of the top students in the world. Many other engineers and students tried to create a better search engine, there was only one major winner in that space. So only the most brilliant people in their fields tend to succeed when competing with other equally brilliant people.
Due to the extra high failure rate, uncertainties in whether consumers will welcome that innovation, the ultra crowded and competitive web environment, and the very rare skills needed to create something amazing in technology, technology based businesses seem slightly less attractive. Let’s examine whether better business ideas exist.
What is in demand?
Part of the reason the companies with which we all come in contact with are there is because they meet some kind of a demand or do something helpful for people. Google helps you search, Facebook helps you stay entertained and be social, your local restaurants give you a chance to taste delicious food which you do not have to cook, and the local locksmith really helps almost everyone a few times in their lives.
Let’s consider some of the types of companies that have a local focus to see whether they, despite maybe being less exciting than technology companies, can be better as business ideas.
Let’s consider the business of simply being a locksmith. There is no glamour in it. But imagine what happens if you get your key stuck inside your door. What do you do? If you can’t get into your home any other way, you are 100% dependent on your local locksmith. And that dependency creates demand for their services.
For the foreseeable future, all homes will have locks on them. And people will continue to lose and break their keys. That means there is a steady demand for locksmiths. The actual work of being a locksmith is for the most part very learnable and almost anyone can master it if they want to. And your competition is only a few other locksmith companies in your city or local area. And that is much better than competing with tens of millions of websites on the web. And if you become better at marketing your business than the other locksmiths in your area, over time, you can grow your business to dominate your city for this service, and begin operations in nearby cities. So you can still grow if you want to. The growth is just much slower than it would be for an Internet company. For those who may be interested, I wrote fuller pieces about different types of business ideas and how to get business ideas for those who are interested.
And there are many businesses such as locksmiths which are similar in that they serve the local community. They can be lawncare services, car mechanics (although cars are getting more and more complex), people who do home improvement, and many more types of businesses categorized as local services. They meet a demand which is constant.
Risk tolerance and financial goals are the tie breaker
As you can see, if you do not need to make tens of millions of dollars, doing a proven business that helps people in real ways can be much simpler and less risky. And if you do want to shoot for the stars and have a multi million dollar business, technology companies can be a good vehicle for doing that. But keep in mind, whatever business idea you have, they all come with unique challenges and obstacles you must overcome. So to turn your idea into a viable business you will have to work hard and be prepared to solve whatever challenges may arise. And just a note, much fuller coverage of all aspects of business ideas and software tools to help you create a small business plan for the ideas can be found on the mobile apps I created which are the Android business idea app and the iPhone business idea app. Good luck, and please voice your thoughts about any of the points in the article in the comments section.