Starting a Business

Choosing a business Idea

Some questions that may help to progress your ideas:

  1. Look at the skills that you have yourself and those around you. It is essential that you either have the skills necessary to develop a product or service or have access to them.
  2. Can you adapt your skill.  If your skill is readily available in the marketplace eg. Carpenter/plumber etc. can you adapt or modify your skills to provide a niche or specialist service or product.
  3. What are your hobbies, could you turn your hobby into a business?
  4. Does your personality suggest any particular business idea, e.g. would your personality lend itself to a sales role or are you particularly good at dealing with people.
  5. Can you identify any product/service not readily available in your locale? Would there be a sufficient market for the product/service.
  6. What type of industries are in your area? Is there any product or service they are sourcing outside the area.
  7. Does your area offer any tourist amenity or are there any attractions that bring tourists to your area?
  8. Can you identify improvements in existing products or services?
  9. Consumers are moving towards more natural produce, are there opportunities to develop a business retailing organic foods or offering complementary medical services?
  10. Check for franchises available in the UK and Ireland. Existing businesses may come on the market but ensure you are fully aware of why the owner is selling up.

Your Product / Service

Before commencing in businesses you should thoroughly research the market for similar products / services and also identify who your customers and competition will be. The following is a checklist of some questions that may be relevant to your business:-

  • List all the products/services you intend to offer
  • Give a full description of each including any regulations, testing etc. that may be required
  • Describe what is different or unique about your product/service
  • Do you require compliance under any EU Directives
  • Is there a requirement for copyright / trademarked
  • Who are your customers, location, number etc.
  • How do you propose to sell / distribute your products
  • Project sales/market share over the first 2-3 years

Identifying Customers

Using the information you have already compiled on your product / service identify who might need these products/services. Some of the questions to be asked are:-

  • What need is your product/service addressing
  • What businesses or people have this need
  • Geographical location of these potential customers, local, regional, national or international

Identify the Competition

Depending on your product/service, your competition may be based locally or may be international on-line supplier of goods. To ensure you fully identify the competition, the following are some useful questions to answer:-

  • What are the alternatives for your products/services
  • Who makes or sells these alternatives
  • Is there are extensive range of alternatives
  • Who are they selling to
  • What is their main selling point, what are the pro’s and con’s of the service/product they are providing