Choosing a Small Business, Part 2

How do you start a business based on your personal passions and interests? Choosing a small business is a big decision, and time spent on making the choice is time well spent.

Make sure you've read Choosing the Right Small Business, Part 1 . Now, it's time to get busy on research and brainstorming.
First, research. If you have an interest or passion in something, you are most likely a consumer of that industry. Start there. (It will help to get out some more paper & write these things down.) How do you get information? Where do you spend your money? What do you wish was available that currently is not? How much do you spend? Do others spend less, more or about the same? Are there other sources of product, service or information that you don’t use? Explore them.

Then, continue your research. Online is a good place to start. Search the internet for related businesses. Using good search terms will help you get better results. Google has some good training tips on search techniques.

For example, take our sample from the last article—this person is interested in music. He could search for “careers + music” to see if there are jobs that can be business ideas. Then, “business + music”, or even “small business + music” or “home business + music”. Look around and write down interesting sites related to your interests. Visit some & write down ideas.

You can also visit the public library and ask the librarian to help you find books and magazines and articles related to your areas of interest. They are usually very helpful and will save you many hours of looking by yourself.

Bookstores are another great source. The store employees will be able to do a computer search of their inventory to see what books they have that you might like. Check the periodicals, too.

Keep a running list—title it something like “business ideas for music”. You can research other interests at the same time. And, perhaps you can combine interests—for instance, travel and music mix very well! How about a website promoting music by region? Or creating compilation cd’s for destinations to sell/give to their visitors? How about a booking agent who secures lodging and transportation for performers? Or a music-based tour group leader? Or an event planner who specializes in creating events based around locales and local music? An independent sales rep who sells music for small record labels? An organizing service devoted to helping people organize their cd’s and electronic music files? A Music/travel related gift service who ships anywhere in the world? See—there are tons of ideas! Write them down.

It can take some time to do this research. It is time well spent. I suggest you research at least three of you motivators and come up with 10 business ideas for each one.