If you're reading this article, you're most likely already thinking about business ideas for 2011. Most of the articles you'll see on the Internet about this subject will talk about trends in the business world, what consumers want and what's happening with the economy. All of that is important, but you might want to consider two other things too. Together they make up something we call the e-center.
But, first a little history on how the whole concept of the e-center came about.
We asked our most highly successful clients what made their first business a success. They identified these seven traits:
- Hard work
- Not accepting, "I can't"
- Listening to your customers
- Connecting with others
First on the list was passion, but that's not enough by itself to be successful. There are plenty of people wandering the streets who are passionate about something, yet no one is giving them any money for that passion.
There are actually three key ingredients to finding that sweet spot in the market where making money becomes effortless: Your Entrepreneurial Abilities, Your Emotional Charge, and the Economics of Your Marketplace. We touched on that in the last chapter.
When you find that sweet spot where all three intersect, you can focus on that spot as the core competency of your business. There, you'll be able to find that your work days feel like play while the money rolls in. It's only when you forget one of those three key ingredients that your business will feel like drudgery or that you are always struggling for money.
Finding Your e-Center
Your Entrepreneurial Abilities: What can you do best in the world?
First, what is it that you do that you do extraordinarily well? Or, what is something that you could be phenomenal at with some practice and training? In Good to Great, author Jim Collins referred to this entrepreneurial quality as being the "best in the world." That's probably the best definition that there is.
What do you, and your company, do that is best in the world? Where do your unique talents and abilities lie? What are the things that you do, or your company does, that others notice as extraordinary and different from the average, run of the mill accomplishments?
That's it, plain and simple. Don't be afraid. You're not asking for criticism or negative feedback. We predict you'll be astounded by the positive results.
As the responses come back, look at them. What resonates for you? What is it that you and your business do that could make you the best in the world?
Your Emotional Charge: What are you passionate about?
Now, look at what you're passionate about. It's okay if it's something wildly different from the items in your Entrepreneurial Abilities circle. Passion isn't a mild, "I like doing this." Passion is jumping out of bed, alive every morning, excited to be doing the work you're doing. Passion is knowing that what you do is important to you and to others as well.
Have you ever had a day where you worked really hard, yet you had more energy at the end of the day than you did when you started? That's the type of passion that we're talking about. What is it that gives you that kind of fire? What are you passionate about?
Your Economic Marketplace: What do your customers want and need?
There are books on the marketplace that will tell you that if you simply do what you love, you'll get rich. The problem with that is, no matter how much you love it, if you can't convince your prospective customers that you can give them something they want or need, nobody's going to buy it.
It's possible to create marketing campaigns that build demand for something brand new. For example, who knew you would need a Pet Rock®, until Gary Dahl told us about them in 1975? Or for that matter, who had even heard of an iPod® or the concept of one, prior to 2001?
In both cases, though, there was a human need or want that was just waiting to be fulfilled.
The easiest way to sell something is to offer a solution for something that people already know they need or want. In other words, you don't have to spend as much money building the demand. You may have to work at getting the word out about your product or service, but at least you don't have to explain to people why they need your solution.
Find the spot where your Entrepreneurial Abilities, Emotional Charge, and Economic Marketplace intersect.
That's the Sweet Spot of your business. When you can focus on what you do best, what you love to do and what your customer wants, you have a wining formula for business ideas for 2011 and beyond.