Brilliant Business Ideas – Business Ideas for Stay at Home Parents

To start a family or not start a family, that is the question. Some people feel that to bring a child into this world is wrong given the state of affairs. There is pollution, military unrest, global warming, and economic strife. Raising children can put a huge strain on your budget almost indefinitely and provide you with sleepless nights. On the other hand, we have an innate drive to propagate the species, to pass on our genetic lineage as well as our religious and familial traditions. And let’s face it, babies are so dang cute!

This is the story of a couple, we’ll call them Jan and George. Jan and George met in their late 20’s and had lots of fun dancing at the Renaissance Faire, going on driving road trips to wherever their hearts desired. George was a loan officer and Jan a bookkeeper at an advertising agency. They had all the time they wanted for themselves and the money to do what they wanted. Trips to Hawaii, Fiji, even European vacations were on their travel menu. It was a good life and a fun life with hardly a care in the world.

Jan and George went on like this for many years, living and enjoying life freely. Then one day a fork popped up in their road. One way to stay the way they were, the other way to start a family. What to do? They figured that they were not getting any younger and they had already done a lot of things that most people do after they raise a family and are retired. So the decision was made and they increased the population with a handsome boy followed two years later a beautiful girl. It turned out, however, that the handsome boy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 2 years and needed to be looked after always, even at school. How can a parent be there for a child if they must go to and be at a traditional office job? They can’t. And so the search for brilliant business ideas for stay at home parents began.

If you are a parent that wants to work from home how do you find a business model that will suit you? There are certain criteria you can work with as you search. First on the list is whether you want to work for another person or do you want to be your own boss. There are many jobs that can be done from your home where you work for someone else such as; data entry, bookkeeping, medical transcription, and assembly work, just to name a few. Another idea is to take something you love to do and teach others to do it from your own home. Teaching yoga, personal training, art classes, or cooking classes are great ideas for a home business. An additional way you can make money from home is to do professional work like accounting, counseling, advertising, or law work.

There are also opportunities to be your own boss, work from home, and have the support of a company. This allows you to work own your own when and where you want but have access to business systems, such as marketing tools (both online and traditional), training for the business, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that encourage each other by sharing ideas, strategies, and techniques of what is working right now. Not only that but there is the potential to earn an executive salary without the restriction of having to commute to an office, be responsible for the work others do, or working overtime to complete a project.

Well, Jan and George thought that this truly was a brilliant idea and found an excellent company that they could earn with and also travel the world in luxury for a fraction of the cost. They were home to take care of both their son and their daughter. Jan was able to spend many hours volunteering at their school and they continued their habit of road trips and vacations. They live a life that is unique but really, anyone can have.

Developing a Business Idea – Business Planning

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. Jim Collins

Life is full of choices and the right decision taken at the right time and executed also at the perfect hour can definitely bring success. Any business plan has to undergo three stages before it is actually executed.

    o birth of a business idea
    o developing the goals and strategy for that idea
    o creating the right ambiance and the perfect atmosphere to execute the idea

First let us consider discussing the birth of the business idea. Picking the right idea is again a most imperative choice. Many people just go by the crowd and decide to do any business which is considered as the hottest at that particular point of time. But certain things have to be speculated and analyzed before taking the first step.

    o do you think you can start and run your own business successfully
    o what are all your positive and negative aspects when it comes to real life skills and talents
    o how much investment can you possibly set aside or lend for this business opportunity
    o have you analyzed the market value or demand for the kind of business you have in mind
    o who is your target audience and will people actually accept my product or service
    o are there any competitors in this business and if so how much can I be different and capable to meet with this competition

Some ground work about the business idea is necessary and there is nothing wrong in discussing it with the forerunners in this field. Try to meet up with similar companies to find out the pros and cons of the business.

Once you come up with a business idea say to do some online marketing business then carefully draft the business strategy. Setting goals, and drafting the business plan as to the number of employees, office space, lawyers, accountants, office furniture etc is what will follow next. Getting license for the business, legal proceedings, tax factors etc is also very imperative step to go with. A business plan is like a road map to your business and it sets the right discipline in which your business will progress.

Every business should work towards achieving its long term and short term goals. Starting an online business might be less stressful financially but keep in mind that all online businesses are not very successful. It depends on what kind of business you want to do online. The least you should is the tricks of the trade. So equip yourself with the updated and hands on knowledge about the business you wish to start. Note down the marketing strategy for your product or service. Marketing has become a deciding factor of a business these days. Media promotion, web site promotion and other marketing techniques should be optimized for better visibility of the business prospects. The more people see your company’s name flashing before them the more hits you might get and this is where you should strive to make every viewer a possible customer.

A professional business plan however should contain the following,

    o Purpose of the business
    o Funds needed
    o Specifications about the product or services that your business will be dealing
    o Management members with advisors both legal and professional
    o Organization structure
    o Division of power
    o Responsibilities
    o Vision, goals, key strategies and objectives
    o Marketing strategy
    o Promotional methods like resumes, brochures, articles and logos
    o Location and office layout

Thus a complete blue print of the business idea should first be created theoretically before actually moving forward with major decisions. This blue print will give you a picture of what to expect and thus enable you to focus on the lines of the business plan that you have made. Vision is already created and hence the steps towards making this great vision come true are not very far away.

15 Ways To Find The Next Winning Business Idea

In the last post I talked about what makes a great, profitable idea: for you. Now let’s talk about how to actually find that idea. I’ll also follow this up with how to get inspiration for your ideas. Even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, that’s fine-read on.

1. Take an existing business model and introduce it in a new location or industry. Instead of coming up with a brand new idea, why not take something that already works and implement it somewhere else? One American entrepreneur I talked to recently introduced the “agency” method of finding and managing professional baseball players to Japan. Before him, a large barrier separated talented players and professional ball clubs. Without inventing anything new, he took a successful business model and implemented it in Japan.

2. Take an existing idea to a related market. Likewise, you can take something that works in one market and introduce it to another.

3. Make an improvement to an existing product. You’re a consumer and have the opportunity to try all sorts of new products. See if you can make them better for yourself or others. Often a good resource for this is looking at customer reviews on such sites as Amazon.com. A useful tip: often times, simply making a better product is not the answer-try to see if you can make a cheaper product with less features to satisfy demand from a customer base that isn’t willing to spend as much and doesn’t need a top quality product (big companies often overlook this area). Read The Innovator’s Dilemma for more detail on this topic.

4. Create a brand new solution to a pain point in an industry. People love to complain. Go to forum boards in your business area of interest, read blog comments, and peruse Amazon.com product reviews. Listen to what people hate and develop a solution to their problems.

5. Pay attention to new trends. Don’t try to create something really cool that no one cares about. Go to where the buzz is and you’ll likely land more customers and investors. “Green technology,” “social networking,” “cloud computing…”- these are the areas that are growing the fastest and the companies within these industries need new solutions to their problems as they grow- just pay attention.

6. Figure out what the government is throwing money at. Governments (at least in the U.S. and Europe) are notorious for throwing away money at concepts they deem important but have no clue about (“climate change mitigation, anyone?”). All it takes is reading the newspaper to find out what kind of hot issues are prevailing so that you can find your niche.

7. Take something existing and put your own spin on it. What does Southwest Airlines do that U.S. Airways can’t? Nothing. If it weren’t for slight differences in service, airlines would be as similar and commoditized as coal. But Southwest chose to brand themselves as an airline that cared about customers, could make their lives less stressful by targeting less congested airports, and allowed them to choose their own seats. If they didn’t do this, they would be competing on price alone, and as a small entrant, they would get smashed by the big airlines.

8. Find out how to do something cheaper. If you can convince a CEO that her company’s spending $X thousand per month on a certain service but you can do the same thing for 50% of that with the same level of quality or better, you’ve got a business.

9. Talk to professors and read academic research on hot topics. Academics are infamous for coming up with brilliant ideas without recognizing or having the time to implement them into practical solutions. Visit some labs and interview some experts on an area of interest to you. Universities are often more than happy to supply you with the people you need to make the business happen (lawyers, VCs, experts).

10. Hobbies and passions. Need I say more? If you enjoy something enough, you probably know exactly what fellow hobbyists want.

11. Buy a business in an area of your expertise/passions. If you want to be in business but can’t come up with an idea, why not acquire an existing business in your area of expertise? You would presumably invest in something that is already proven and generating a cash flow. This offers a few benefits: it teaches you quickly how to operate one (although I would recommend having an industry mentor along the way) and it’s easier to finance because lending banks feel secure that it’s already proven.

12. Find untapped distribution networks. Distribution networks are ways for a company to get its products to its customers. A restaurant, for example, is a way for a wine company to distribute its bottles to paying customers. If you find distribution networks that may be good avenues for a product, however the product isn’t there, you may have found an opportunity to distribute a similar product, especially if demand is high.

13. Identify lazy incumbents. Incumbents are large companies that have sustaining, rather than accelerated growth in a market. Although they seem to set up insurmountable barriers to entry, their large size makes them inflexible and often lazy. They may forgo many new technologies, ignore customers, sacrifice quality, or be slow to capture social and fashion trends. If you can catch on faster and satisfy your customers’ hunger, you win.

14. Identify an existing idea/business that could use better branding, content, or service. It’s a sad thing that many great ideas die because people don’t like them or simply don’t get the opportunity to see them. If your talent is in branding products and making them more attractive, undervalued opportunities abound.

15. Add value to a process. A furniture manufacturer could use the help of a sawmill to take the chopped wood from lumberjacks and turn it into chairs and tables. Sure it could grow and cut its own trees and save money, but they may be better off paying a slight premium for the wood from the sawmill so that it can focus on what it does best-making furniture. Think about ways that you can add value in an industry’s value chain.

Inspiration for your idea

So these are some initial types of ideas, but you may want to brainstorm and drill down to what’s right for you. For that you’re going to need to be in the right state-one that gets you inspired and feeling creative. When are you at your most creative state? I want you to think about what type of setting you need to be in to have positive thought. Is it having water run down your back in a shower? Or are you like me and need the rumbling white-noise in a transatlantic flight to free your mind? Here are some more things/environments that may motivate you and allow the free flow of ideas: reading business books or autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs, brainstorming with other MBAs or entrepreneurs, attending conferences/seminars, taking baths, skiing, driving, free writing, drawing…and the list goes on. Good luck and get inspired!