SOLOPRENEUR SUCCESS STEP 1

DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

define your business idea

INTRODUCTION

I’m going to start this first lesson by assuming that you have at least a vague notion of what sort of online business you want to start.

Or at least have it narrowed down to a few different ideas. And that you have a sense of what skills and abilities are.

(if not, then you might what to start by working through a book like What Color is My Parachute)

So let’s look at the first step in creating a successful Solopreneur business: defining what the focus of your business is.

For some Solopreneurs, this is very easy to do.

For example, my wife is a Spanish teacher. The focus of her business is obviously teaching Spanish to people who want to learn Spanish.My wife doesn’t need to define her business any further because everyone immediately knows what a Spanish teacher does.

Of course, she could create a narrower focus if she wanted. For example. she could focus on teaching Spanish to children, or people who are 100% beginners, or people who live in a particular part of the world.

Someone else might create and sell handmade jewelry. In that case, the person would probably be willing to sell to anyone (as long as they could easily ship the jewelry).

But they would probably focus on making a particular type of jewelry

Other Solopreneur businesses are harder to define and need more work so that potential customers can clearly understand what you offer.

The classic example is the “life coach”. Although more and more people have a general understanding of what life coaching is, it’s still a fairly undefined field.

In that case, you’ll probably need to explain to potential clients exactly what sort of problems you solve. So how do you do that? How do you define your business idea?

Here are 4 steps that you can work through to define your business idea.

STEP 1: DECIDE WHAT PROBLEM YOU WANT TO SOLVE (AND CAN SOLVE)

Businesses exist to solve problems. And people pay to help you solve their problems.

So when you try to define your business idea, you should start by deciding what problem you want to solve.

The number of potential problems that you could solve is endless. So here are some approaches to help you decide what problem you want to solve:

  • FIRST APPROACH: Pay attention to problems and frustrations in your own life, particularly ones that come up over and over again.
  • SECOND APPROACH: Search online for problems that people are facing and are willing to pay to solve. A good way to do this is by looking at courses on Udemy.
  • THIRD APPROACH: Think about what your friends, family, or co-workers come to you for advice or help with. That might be a clue that you have some skill or knowledge in that area.
  • FOURTH APPROACH: Look at what challenges you’ve overcome in your own life.

By the way, the four approaches above are not mutually exclusive. You can use more than one of them and look at any patterns that emerge.

Of course, wanting to solve a problem isn’t enough. You also need to have the skills or knowledge to solve it.

So make sure that whatever problem you decide to solve is one that you actually CAN solve for other people.

STEP 2: DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM

Next up, think about how you will solve that problem. There are three main ways in which a problem can be solved:

  • SERVICE – Working with people directly to help them solve their problem (this can be individual or group)
  • INFORMATION – Providing information that someone can use to solve their problem (information businesses normally make money by selling advertising or via affiliate commissions)
  • PRODUCTS – Selling products (physical or digital) that can solve the problem
Here are examples of how those three could apply to my wife’s Spanish teaching business:
  • Teach Spanish classes one-on-one.(service)
  • Write blog posts about the Spanish language (information)
  • Create a Spanish video course (product)

Many problems can be solved in various ways so how you choose to solve a problem depends a lot on what you prefer and on what your skills and abilities are.

(of course, many Solopreneurs make money via services, information, and products but when you first start out you should focus on one of them).

STEP 3: DECIDE WHO YOU WANT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM FOR

Some Solopreneur businesses serve all comers and that’s fine as long as you can handle all the business. (this is more common if you sell products or have an information business).

Other businesses – particularly service businesses – need to focus on serving particular types of people. Here are some different ways that you can group/divide people:

  • Age
  • Profession
  • Personality characteristics
  • Geographic region
  • Gender
  • Marital Status

These are just examples and not an exhaustive list of ways that you can group/divide people.

What matters most is that you focus on helping the types of people that you personally resonate with.

STEP 4: USE THE INFORMATION FROM THE FIRST 3 STEPS TO DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

Take a look at what you came up with in terms of what problem you want to solve, how you want to solve it, and who you want to solve it for.

And try to write down what your business idea is.

Your goal is not to have the “perfect idea” from the outset. Instead, your aim is to have a “good enough” idea so that you can start working on your business and see how people respond to it.

Every business evolves over time so be prepared to tweak your business idea over time. The important thing is that you have a business idea that you can start building from!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

NAMING YOUR BUSINESS:  If you need help coming up with the name of your business, check out this blog post. (written and video versions)

RECOMMENDED TOOLS: Check out this page for my full list of recommended tools for building your Solopreneur business