Finding Your Next Great Business Idea

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We all have a million dollar business idea (or 2…or 3…) that we think *someone* should do. Why not you? Part of the motivation for Brit + Co’s new interactive business course Selfmade is to help women develop their business idea into an actual living/breathing/thriving business. But it’s also a way to figure out what that idea is. Maybe you have a few ideas, or need to refine a really good one, or maybe you have something with potential but just need to brush up on the business side of things. Well you’re in luck. Thanks to Office Depot, we’re here to share a quick recap on how we’re helping our students figure out how to pick an idea and run with it. Feeling a little Selfmade fomo? Check out these tips for knowing if your idea is fully baked.

Know your audience: Who are they? Where are they? And what pain point are you trying to solve for them? “How would you define who that audience is?,” said Brit Morin during this week’s session. She goes on to suggest you develop a persona of your core customer: What’s her name? Does she have children? Have visuals of who she is and what her day looks like and what she thinks about every day. “A lot of times I see businesses fail to scale because they’re just trying to serve everybody and are very generic,” adds Brit.

Understand your market: How big is the market you’re targeting? Is it growing? You can find market reports online for anything from weddings to babies. Does your business have potential for repeat business? For example, a wedding client will likely (hopefully!) only need you one time so how do you plan to grow? Will you target the same client or will you evolve your services to cater to that changing demographic? Martha Stewart is a business that evolved with her audience while most fashion mags stay focused specifically on 20- and 30-somethings for the long haul.

Level up your business idea: What’s your twist? Think about what differentiates you from your competitors. For example, if you’re a photographer, maybe you focus on newborns and hook up with a maternity ward or sell seasonal packages. Brit talks about Punkpost, created by Alexis Monson, a Brit + Co alumni who, instead of selling greeting cards in a dying snail mail market, she created an online marketplace for greeting card designers. How does your business stand out in your market’s crowd?

Committing to an idea is hard, and SO exciting. Once you’ve figured out your direction, Office Depot OfficeMax can help turn your idea into a reality with a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business succeed. From print & copy services to help build your brand to products to help you work from anywhere, learn about all the ways they can help businesses like yours, accomplish more.

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