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How hard is it to actually find a good business idea?

How hard is it to find a good, plausible business idea?


  • Total voters
    98

Zarathustra

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After my last business ran its cycle, I've been looking for a new business to start.

I don't know if I'm overthinking or if it's actually this hard to find a good business idea that fits NECST. It's been about a month and I'm sorta paralyzed right now because every idea I come up with seems to have the potential of just being a waste of time and/or unprofitable. My last business kinda came to me by accident, so I've never really experienced consciously going out and finding the next business to start, and so far, I'm failing at doing so.

Some common tropes I've noticed is "just find a need". Alright, well there's a lot of needs in the world. Homeless people need food, but is that going to be a Fastlane NECST business given they can't pay? When I try narrow down to "just finding a need", it always seems like there's nothing really left in the immediate periphery that profitable and follows NECST.

For those who are now running a successful business, how long did it take to find your idea? What was the process and psychology behind it? How hard was it to find?
 

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Last edited:

River McTasney

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The right question might be, Where do I start? And I bet we all know the answer to that question and I'm pretty sure it is one word.
 

MHP368

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No one said it had to tick every box.

Let me ask you , do you have enough income coming in right now that you dont trade time for to pay all your bills?

If not then that sort of opens up a lot of possibilities doesn't it? You dont need a business that will make you 10 million in 6 years , you need a business to free up forty hours a week your slaving away.

Start a business thats been done to death where you might have real competition but the need is big enough so that it works. Its not the sexy soloprenreur vs the world fantasy but if it gives you your freedom then you can use it as a jumpoff into something truly lucrative.
 

GoodluckChuck

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Maybe start with a different question like "Where is there an underused talent pool I can tap into?" Or "How can I combine my various experiences for unique perspective."

There's no shortage of ideas if you have an unlimited skillet, talent pool, or timeline. Since those are limited resources you have to be crafty with how you apply them.

Sometimes you got to just get started on something and follow it for a while as you work out where you want to go. Being stationary makes for a limited perspective.
 

eliquid

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1. Like @MHP368 said, you don't need to tick every box, I made a ton of money violating the commandment of control. A lot of Amazon sellers do too.

2. You can grow into the NECST areas that are lacking. Running your own landromat or being the key employee in a web agency would violate Time most likely. But you can hire someone into those roles later on which would tick off those boxes.

3. A lot of it stems from your experience and perspective. You may feel a certain group of people don't or do NEED an item or service. However, unless you are the expert in that field, you really don't know.. do you? Sometimes certain areas might be relative to you.

Instead of thinking up ideas that fit CENTS exactly, I take working ideas and figure out how to make them more CENTS-able.


That has made all the difference.
 

AceVentures

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I went through a phase of dancing around ideas. I overwhelmed myself with ideas. So many ideas. I was overflowing with them. But to what end? I got excited about things, and then excited about the next shiny object the next day. A couple of months have gone by with me repeating this cycle: meeting interesting people, sharing my ideas, getting new ideas, talking about what could be done, throwing rocks at the ideas to see what has enough legs to potentially form a business.

I've finally settled on an idea that I think has enough merit to pursue in more depth, but it was more about a mindset shift than about finding the right idea. And to be exact, it's an idea in ecommerce. Choosing ecommerce as a business is another debate. I'm addressing how I've gone about selecting WHAT I wanted to sell online, rather than IF I wanted to be in ecommerce.

Here's what I've done.

First, I went back to evaluate my values. What do you want? What do you truly want? For me, I'm not trying to build an enterprise-scale business at this stage of my life. My goal is to buy autonomy. Converting from my 9-5 at the office, to having my time back as my agent, is my number one priority right now. So the question, to begin with, is not about how can I change the world, but how can I generate enough income to gain my time back? For my goal of gaining my time back, a small ecommerce business could achieve that.​
Second, I rewired my CENTS thinking: instead of planning for a CENTS business for life, I'm going to build a small niche business that won't quite be CENTS relevant. It requires a lot of TIME to build, test, prototype, and bring to market. Once running, it will require my personal TIME to innovate and manufacture. It doesn't solve a large NEED, it's more of a luxury WANT item. And it's not particularly scalable, 3-4 product-line max that I've envisioned so far. I made the liberating realization that I don't have to please everyone. I'm making it for me first, because I think it's F*cking cool. And if anybody wants to buy it from me, I'll sell it to them and make another one. I specifically want to target the extreme ends of the bell-curve in the market. This product isn't for everyone, it's just for a select group of people that also think it's really cool - the idea of 1000 true fans. That's how I'm starting with it.​
Third, I'm acknowledging the risk involved. It'll take me months of hard work, hustling evenings after work and on the weekends to bring this art to the world. I'll at some point turn around and say HEY, look world, I've made this! And some people will absolutely hate it. And it might be such a bad idea, that I take it behind the shed and shoot it. But that's the risk I'm willing to take, to share with the world the art that I want to create.​
Fourth, I'm accepting that failure/success in the pursuit of this idea is irrelevant, what matters more is embracing the process of creating art and giving to the marketplace.​
 

oku

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Aug 20, 2019
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"Stop being fancy!" - Gary Vaynerchuk.

All you have to do, is this.

1. Find a great product or service.
2. Find another great product or service.
3. Remix the two of them together from a unique perspective.
(No need to reinvent the wheel)

Apple iPhone: iPod + Internet communication device + Phone (2008).
Beats by Dre: High end headphone + The name of a legendary artist.

Do this 20 times and pick the winner.

"Good artists imitate. Great artists steal." - Pablo Picasso.
 

IceCreamAction

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Rather than looking for a niche for product or grand idea I am taking the route of going into a popular market to start.

Figure even if I don't have major success or even any I'll learn a ton on the journey by taking action rather than spending another few years looking or thinking for that perfect/ideal idea/product.

I strongly believe with the resources and community access on FL...success is inevitable once paired with focus and action.
 

Monkeycom

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Aug 20, 2019
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After my last business ran its cycle, I've been looking for a new business to start.

I don't know if I'm overthinking or if it's actually this hard to find a good business idea that fits NECST. It's been about a month and I'm sorta paralyzed right now because every idea I come up with seems to have the potential of just being a waste of time and/or unprofitable. My last business kinda came to me by accident, so I've never really experienced consciously going out and finding the next business to start, and so far, I'm failing at doing so.

Some common tropes I've noticed is "just find a need". Alright, well there's a lot of needs in the world. Homeless people need food, but is that going to be a Fastlane NECST business given they can't pay? When I try narrow down to "just finding a need", it always seems like there's nothing really left in the immediate periphery that profitable and follows NECST.

For those who are now running a successful business, how long did it take to find your idea? What was the process and psychology behind it? How hard was it to find?
Based on my experience, you're asking the wrong questions.
I don't search for ideas. I search to build direct access database on which I can market to directly.
It doesn't matter what is the product I sell. I sold everything from B2B services, to fashion, to phones, to books.

The process is always the same: Find an audience, build a database, sell them directly.
I usually do that through email marketing, but you can explore other routes.
 

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ghsebldr

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Mar 12, 2017
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"Stop being fancy!" - Gary Vaynerchuk.

All you have to do, is this.

1. Find a great product or service.
2. Find another great product or service.
3. Remix the two of them together from a unique perspective.
(No need to reinvent the wheel)

Apple iPhone: iPod + Internet communication device + Phone (2008).
Beats by Dre: High end headphone + The name of a legendary artist.

Do this 20 times and pick the winner.

"Good artists imitate. Great artists steal." - Pablo Picasso.
"Stop being fancy!" - Gary Vaynerchuk.

All you have to do, is this.

1. Find a great product or service.
2. Find another great product or service.
3. Remix the two of them together from a unique perspective.
(No need to reinvent the wheel)

Apple iPhone: iPod + Internet communication device + Phone (2008).
Beats by Dre: High end headphone + The name of a legendary artist.

Do this 20 times and pick the winner.

"Good artists imitate. Great artists steal." - Pablo Picasso.
Once you've found the product or service don't forget the time element. I had been involved in the nursery business for quite a few years including starting running and selling several nurseries when I found the need for a smaller greenhouse.

I called my local greenhouse manufacturer looking for a small 12x45 greenhouse and his answer to my need was " those are smaller than we produce". Ding ding ding, the lightbulb comes on. The rest is history (about 16 years of it), that's the time element.

The sweetest part of our history to me is that one year I went to his business looking for a lot of plastic that I heard was going to be in short supply soon due to a fire at a plastics plant. I bought all he had of the one most common size (about 15k worth). Two months later guess who was the only one in the PNW that had it. The funny thing is that he had no clue who I was even though we had met a few times at trade shows where we were both vendors.
At that time I had already picked his pocket for over two million dollars worth of "Small Greenhouses" business.
I am currently a thorn in his side and now also produce greenhouses in sizes up to 30' wide.
Find your niche and slowly build it to meet your needs.
ps the marijuana industry may have helped a bit in growing our business
 
Last edited:

Pinnacle

Bronze Contributor
Oct 29, 2007
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"Stop being fancy!" - Gary Vaynerchuk.

All you have to do, is this.

1. Find a great product or service.
2. Find another great product or service.
3. Remix the two of them together from a unique perspective.
(No need to reinvent the wheel)

Apple iPhone: iPod + Internet communication device + Phone (2008).
Beats by Dre: High end headphone + The name of a legendary artist.

Do this 20 times and pick the winner.

"Good artists imitate. Great artists steal." - Pablo Picasso.
I'd argue to find an audience FIRST.

The 2 most important questions to ask here are:

1. Who can I serve
2. What can I do for them

Notice the order: who you serve comes first.

I am speaking from personal experience that "if you build it, they will come" stopped working over 20 years ago.

Find an audience, access their need, and THEN find or create the product/service that meets them.

Now, you're saving untold numbers of future marketing dollars and can focus on sustained profitability with a lasting brand.
 

ZCP

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Get Right

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It's virtually impossible to establish a perfect CENTS business from the start. You will have to violate 1 or more (at least temporarily). It most likely will be TIME. The CENTS strategy works in that you have to have a plan to eliminate (say TIME) when you get to a certain level.

When choosing a business I start with the MARKET. Where are the raving customers ready to throw cash at you? Follow it up with NEEDS. What does that raving market want? Finally I come up with a PRODUCT. What product solves those needs.

For instance, my last business builds houses. The MARKET is baby-boomers retiring to Florida. Droves of them with droves of cash. The NEED is finding a retirement house that fits their view on life. The PRODUCT is big, new houses with a water view, etc.

I then test that with CENTS. Mine looks like this:

Control - I own most everything
Entry - Takes lots of cash and talent, hard to break into
Need - See analysis above
Time - I violate this one on purpose. The plan is delegate more and more to my employees until they don't need me much.
Scale - I'm really only limited by land and how much I can produce

Every time I have failed (a lot) I missed one or more of these steps. Usually it was MARKET, NEED or TIME so I developed my little process above.
 

LittleWolfie

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I'd argue to find an audience FIRST.

The 2 most important questions to ask here are:

1. Who can I serve
2. What can I do for them


Find an audience, access their need, and THEN find or create the product/service that meets them.
For myself I have no idea whom I can serve, let alone how to find them even for a non CENTS idea.

In fact it is so hard my plan is once I have had the first success like OP, I can buy a company(ready audience) then CENTS and scale it.
 

Vanderbilt

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EXECUTION > IDEA
 

eliquid

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EXECUTION > IDEA
Not so.

Execution on a bad idea will most times get you nowhere.

Executing on no idea will also do the same.

Little execution on a great idea though? You could sell that to someone else.

It would be better to at least say both are equal.
 

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Achieve_Bay

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you just need to see what can be improved In your everyday life and try to sell it off to others
 

Real Deal Denver

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Interesting that the poll at this moment is about equal between easy and hard.

I voted very easy. I have so many ideas I keep them in a folder. They fall in my lap. I don't even look for them. Companies are very dumb in many ways, and there are so many things that could be done so much better. If I actually looked, I'm sure I could come up with a dozen in a week or less.

As a first resource, go to Amazon and search starting a business from home. Your search should broaden and you should be able to come up with a dozen good ideas in a couple of hours.

They don't have to be sexy ideas. For example, there is a huge demand for residential and commercial cleaning in my area. Lots of companies do it, but none of them can brag about what a good job they do. I once had a maid and a gardener myself - got rid of them because they did such a lousy job. Lots of room for quality competition in almost ANY business. I also canceled a mailbox I rented because they thought they could double my rate and I'd pay it because I was married to that address. They judged wrong. That's an example of a super easy business that can make good money. Tons of them out there...
 

Earnest

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No one said it had to tick every box.

Let me ask you , do you have enough income coming in right now that you dont trade time for to pay all your bills?

If not then that sort of opens up a lot of possibilities doesn't it? You dont need a business that will make you 10 million in 6 years , you need a business to free up forty hours a week your slaving away.

Start a business thats been done to death where you might have real competition but the need is big enough so that it works. Its not the sexy soloprenreur vs the world fantasy but if it gives you your freedom then you can use it as a jumpoff into something truly lucrative.

This exactly what im doing with my tutoring business. Hoping to get to level one financial independence. Enough to eat and free up all my time!
 

socaldude

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"Hard" is something relative and dependent on the individual.

Obviously if you sit in your mom's basement playing video games all day and your mindset is garbage then finding or thinking about business ideas will be next to impossible.

But if you immerse yourself into different markets by reading books, magazines, researching or even maybe having a job then finding business ideas will not be hard at all almost effortless. Not to mention you have the whole package of self-awareness, discipline, consciousness, and hard work.

The moment a buyer and a seller come together to engage in a transaction for a given price then you have yourself a market.

The highest kind of intelligence is a predictive intelligence. Holding multiple variables simultaneously and understanding their interrelations. If you can predict trends and outcomes to a high degree of probability then you have it made. You can know right away if a business will work or not.
 
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MoreValue

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After going deep into my current venture, I have been exposed to so many business ideas. As I research deeper into the industry, the more business ideas come. BUT....the costs also increase exponentially to start these businesses.

The good thing about these businesses is that they are far from the Shopify Dropship stuff or"build a business for $100" vibe. Very high barrier and tons of value creation.
 

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