The number of women owned businesses in the US increased by 43 per cent between 1997 and 2006, almost double that of all businesses. In the UK, about 20,500 new businesses were started by women in the first quarter of 2006, an increase of more than 30 per cent from the same quarter last year. The rising trend in women starting their businesses is a worldwide phenomenon.
According to a study by three prominent women’s business organizations the National Foundation for Women Business Owners (NFWBO), Catalyst, and The Committee of 200, women who launch their businesses are primarily inspired by an entrepreneurial idea. Entrepreneurship offers the opportunities to implement entrepreneurial ideas and gives women a sense of recognition since they work for themselves.
Other reasons for women starting their own business are the flexibility to dictate their own working hours, spend more time with the family and to escape the corporate glass ceiling.
How do you come up with an idea that can be transformed into a business? Here are four tips on brainstorming for business ideas.
Your passion and interests
What are you interested in? What do you do best? If you like to bake, then you may want to start a business in baking. If you are passionate about cooking, how about starting a catering business? When you build your business around your interests or passion, you are more likely to focus and persist when faced with challenges and obstacles.
Therefore, think about the things you like to do, or even if it is something new, what you want to learn about. Make a list of all these things and then go through the list to determine which ones are realistic and feasible.
Will you sell a product or service?
When deciding whether to sell a service or product you need to consider some of several factors. What is your business about? Do you have the ability to offer that product or service? Are you crafty? Can you make your own product? Do you want to sell someone else’s product by becoming an independent distributor? What is your budget?
Problems and solutions
People are always searching for solutions to problems. Look around you. Ask your friends, family and neighbors. There may already be existing products or services to solve a particular problem. Can you improve on these products or services? In the case where there is no solution, can you come up with one? Generally, a solution helps to save time, money or stress.
Consider what you like to do in your spare time, and see if it could be turned into a business venture. If your hobby is painting, you could sell paintings or create custom paintings. Crafts and collectibles are some of the most sought after items in the consumer world.
It is often said that “two heads are better than one”. To spawn more creativity, brainstorm with friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. You will be amazed at the various ideas that you’d never have thought of on your own, one of which could be translated into a viable business.