Episode 40: How to Choose the Best Business Idea For You
How to Choose the Best Business Idea For You
How Do You Choose A Business Idea That’s Profitable & Lovable?
Well, today on The Chantiluke Podcast, I’m teaching you how.
I’m walking you through the EXACT steps I walk my students through so you can choose a business idea that is (1) profitable and (2) that you actually love.
By the end of the episode, you will:
Know exactly what your values and superpowers are so you can design your business around them (not vice versa)
Confidently understand your ideal customer, their problem, and be sure your business resolves their problem
In Episode 39, I walked you through 4 different ways to come up business ideas when you think you don’t have any.
Today, I’m going to share the 4 steps to vetting your business ideas to ensure that they are profitable and that you actually love them
Determine whether or not you actually want to pursue the business idea. And then decide to pursue.
I want to start at the easiest level: determining whether or not you even have the desire. We have to start with the inside, because when you get the inside right first, the outside stuff follows.
The first very simple, uber simple way is the gut test. Now, I will admit, this is only simple when you are attuned to your body. When you know physically what a “yes” feels like versus a “no.” If you want to get better at listening to your own body and intuition, then listen to Episode 19. Your own intuition is your fool-proof guidance system. It will never ever steer you wrong. Never. Not in business, not in your life.
To do the gut check, simply read aloud each of your most interesting business ideas. While you’re reading stay aware for a flutter in your belly, maybe your eyes widen, or you feel heat or energy in your chest. You’re essentially looking for signs of excitement, enticement, or dare I say it, arousal. Ya’ll I’m just saying, why would our bodies act differently from seeing someone we really like to a business idea we really like? Why biologically would your body create a different system for that? Just saying.
If the gut check is too hard for you right now, then use the data check. What data you ask?
Your values and superpowers data of course. There will be a whole separate episode on naming your values and evaluating your superpowers.
One exercise to help you identify your values is making a list of the things that you always make time for OR when you don’t make time for them, you feel a sense of loss or guilt. And for each of the things listed, simply state “why” they are important. Why is it important that you work out 5 times a week? Why is it important that when you don’t spend time drawing, you feel itchy or upset? Those are beautiful indicators of values.
One exercise to help you identify your superpowers is by imagining yourself as a superhero for 24 hours. Now instead of doing traditional superhuman activities like flying, you’re going to do human activities. And not just any human activities, but the activities that you are super good at and your really enjoy doing. Maybe that is creating things from your head into reality. Maybe that is seeing patterns between seemingly disparate things. Maybe that is knowing just the right way to describe a feeling or visual. Whatever it is, imagine yourself going around to people who really need you, you swooping in to help them, and you feeling so jazzed that you just did it.
Write out your values and your superpowers. And hold your business idea up against your values and superpowers. Ask yourself, “If I am successful (however you want to define it), will I be proud of myself?” “If I were to spend a significant amount of my precious time and precious money, will I be satisfied with myself” If yes, then wonderful! If not, then wonderful! Throw those ideas out. Or give them to a friend.
Evaluate the idea based on whether or not the skills required to successfully run the business align with your values and your strengths.
(Need help? Download the guide to identify your values and superpowers.)
2. Ask yourself: Is this a problem that I made up?
Businesses that stand the test of time have always always always, solve people’s problems. If they do not, then they do not make money. And if the business does not make money, the business is not profitable.
Use your market research to validate whether or not this is actually solving the expressed problems of your ideal customer. If your ideal customer does not have this problem, if you’ve imposed this problem on your customer, then you are not going to sell anything.
The number one way to avoid this mistake is base your business idea on the expressed problems and needs of your ideal customer.
When you do your market research, focus on the expressed words and feelings of your ideal customer. If your ideal customer is a 31 year old young professional man who loves wellness but he who works long hours and has a difficult time staying mentally and physically healthy, and you’ve done your research, and your market research shows that his greatest challenge is around making healthy decisions in the little time he spends at home, then your business better address his problem of making healthy decisions quickly. It cannot be “Let me help you set up a 2 hour daily workout routine because you have problem creating a workout routine.” No! He said his problem is “I don’t have the time, I need to make these decisions quickly.” And answer to that problem could be meal kits that he can warm up, unwrap, etc. quickly. It could be 5 minute meditations he can do on the way to work.
Listen to your customer’s words. They know their problems way better than you do. Because it’s their problems.
3. Does my proposed solution solve my customer’s problem?
Now, your business idea may actually be based on a real problem that your ideal customer has. But your business idea may not actually solve your ideal customer’s problem.
I can tell you right off the bat, this was my business’s greatest problem the first year of business. I made this course called “The Soulful Search” that number 1, the name did not give you a clear answer to what the hell it was about (red flag) and number 2 did not actually solve my customer’s problem. It was a mashup of things I thought my customer should no. But it was not taking her clearly from Point A: I hate my job and I’m miserable with my life to Point B: I love my job and I love my life.
It did not help my customer evaluate her strengths, articulate her values, broaden her professional horizons, figure out how to find work that is meaningful.
I knew what the problem was but my business idea did not solve it. You, my friend, do not have to make the same mistake.
Creating a profitable business that you love is much more straightforward when you ensure your business solves your customer’s problem.
An easy way to ensure that your business does this is by directly comparing your business idea to the problem you’ve chosen to solve in your business.
Does your solution address the expressed problem? Doesn’t mean you can’t do it your way. Doesn’t mean you don’t put your flavor and perspective on it. What it does mean is that you have to, have to actually give people what they need.
4. Does my proposed solution align with my customer’s values?
This one can be a tricky one. And it may be one that you can only create in time, after more engagement with your ideal customer.
But, what this means is that your business idea, your proposed solution must align with what your ideal customer believes is important. Remember how important values are to you in choosing the business that you’re going to invest your time, money, and energy into? Well, it is no different for your customer.
If your solution requires your customer to give up what they value, then you’re not going to create a profitable business. If your ideal customer values prestige, say you are an electric car maker and your ideal customer is a highly-educated, East Coast wall street tycoon, and she runs in “high-society” but your car is designed like an economy sedan, you have disregarded your ideal customers values. You do not get to decide what values are important for other people, much less your customers, the people you are trying to earn the right of solving their problems. You respect their values. If your values and their values are incongruent, then should not be your customers.
An easy way to ensure your business aligns with your customers values are to name their values and measure the repercussions of your business idea against those values. If you struggle with naming their values, (1) take your best guess and (2) go back to your market research. People cannot help but leave the imprints of their values everywhere. I saw a quote once that said “Your values are like fingerprints, you cannot see them but you leave them everywhere.” And it is true. Your market research will have at the very least hints, if not word-for-word details of what your ideal customer values.
There you have it friend. Four steps to choosing a profitable business idea that you love.