Guide To Find Your Killer Business Idea

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An entrepreneurs step by step guide to finding a business idea for entrepreneurs. All actionable information that you can use today to find your business idea. Visit: www.blueprintentrepreneur.com

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Guide To Find Your Killer Business Idea

  1. 1. You’re an entrepreneur and there’s no turning backSo this is it. You’re an entrepreneur and there’s no turning back.You might get sidetracked from time to time with a job here or there. Give up for a whileafter a failure. Even retire for a bit after your first major success.But you know your always going to be an entrepreneur. Whether your confidence iswaning or you’re on top of the world. You already know your path.Business is your life. When others say they have the guitar or play sport for their creativeoutlet. You say you have business to channel your creativity.Your business gives you that creative buzz. Only other entrepreneurs really understand it.You live your creative outlet.You think about solutions when others complain. You create when others seek inspiration.You take action while others talk. You’re the creator of your destiny.Your ideas might not always be great or even original, but they are yours. All the hard workin implementation and the results that follow, they are definitely yours.You might not even know exactly what you want. But you do know you want the freedomto do what you want, when you want, without a second thought.All your hours of hard work and sacrifice to help your clients and solve problems will leadto that reward. But only if you create your business with that in mind.You’re an entrepreneur, so you ask yourself. “What do I need to learn and do to build upmy business?”You already know there is a lot of clutter out there. Books, videos, courses, webinars,podcasts and interviews. A lot of information thats not actionable.This guide is a preview of Blueprint Entrepreneur currently an iPad magazine in the iTunesstore. The content is actionable and of high quality. This isn’t a simple blog post done overthe weekend or quick tips and tricks that aren’t thought out.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  2. 2. This guide is specifically real actionable content that is great for people just starting outand need some direction to find a business idea to test and get started.This guide is a great demonstration of our style in the Magazine. As we are focused ondelivering for the smart hard working entrepreneur that is ready to take action, react totheir mistakes and constantly improve.So read through this guide that has been painstakingly put together by Michael Alexis foryou and test its value. Take action and get that immediate win of finding a decent businessidea to test. You might not find that killer idea straight away but if you take action andcommit, you will be pleasantly surprised with the guidance we give.With gratitude,Jamie ChengFounder & Publisher! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  3. 3. IntroductionThis guide is all about Idea Generation, the first part of the ‘Your Step By Step Guide ToBusiness Launch’ from Blueprint Entrepreneur Magazine. This guide focuses exclusivelyon finding a business idea to test from issue one.Here you’ll learn techniques for generating near infinite ideas and then how to refine thoseideas using proven methods of exclusion to find a few good ideas that you can furtherexplore and test.This is not THE guide. There is no “one way” to start a business. There are howeverprinciples that are proven to work, and the power is in understanding how they overlap andcombine to form a viable business.Look at it this way. If we sat down to interview 100 successful entrepreneurs about theirpath, the result might be something like this: • Entrepreneur #1 did A - B - C; • Entrepreneur #2 did B - C - A; • Entrepreneur #3 threw a Hail Mary and it paid off big time A - D - B - CThe permutations are infinite. But still, there are proven techniques that work, and thisactionable guide starts with how to find a business idea that you can test.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  4. 4. Who is this guide for?One principle we go through in the magazine is niching down to target a very specificaudience. This guide does the same. This guide will be most useful if: • Youre an entrepreneur that is constantly asking “What do I need to learn and do to build up my business?”. Then once you find that information really commit to take action, react to your mistakes and constantly improve. • Youre ready to work hard for yourself and know there are no shortcuts. • You understand great wealth in business comes from helping others. So in short. Youre a hard working action taker looking to truly help your clients. That being said, there are going to be readers that this guide isn’t well suited for. Who should put this guide down... like right now.Ramit Sethi, who has earned millions launching courses from his blog, once told me it isjust as important to know who you aren’t targeting as it is to know who you are targeting. I’ve seen this exclusion clause done well and done poorly. Here are some bad examples: • You shouldn’t read this personal finance book if you already have too much money. • This laundry soap probably isn’t right for you if you take all your clothing to the dry- cleaner. • You don’t need this pickup artist video if you already “get” all the girls you want. Ramit doesn’t let people with credit card debt join his expensive courses - THAT is a realexclusion.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  5. 5.  Here are a few that apply to this guide: • We are not a motivational magazine with lots of feel good stories. • We are not helpful hints that are common sense but never implemented. • We are not online strategy for the sake of following trends. • We are not for the unmotivated. • We are not for people that don’t help their clients. • We are not for people looking for a get rich quick scheme. We are for action takers - We know this guide won’t be 100% relevant to you if you’vealready found your business idea and are further along. But if you look, you will findsomething useful that will help you grow your business now.Who am I?Alright, “Who am I?”. One of the biggest questions of all time,and I’m going answer it in a short paragraph so we can getyou to the good stuff. But it is important to establish credibility- the techniques in this article have either worked for me orentrepreneurs in my network.I’m Michael Alexis. In 2010 I started my first real business. Itwas a Groupon Clone called SaveRally. I got localbusinesses to offer exclusive deals to students at my college.I wasted a lot of time trying to appear as a big company, andin the already saturated market my business suffered.Still, it was profitable from day one and I eventually sold the site for a great return. When Irealized there was quicker money in flipping businesses, I started and sold another dailydeal site in less than a month.Besides my own startup, I’ve worked from the ground up on iPhone apps and opening arestaurant in Beijing, China. I’ve also worked with entrepreneurs like Ramit Sethi of I WillTeach You To Be Rich and Andrew Warner of Mixergy - learning a tonne from thesophisticated way they’ve grown their own businesses. But enough about me...! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  6. 6. IDEA FORMATIONGround Zero: Bringing Your Seminal Idea Into ExistenceThe first step in your business is idea generation - and unless you’ve already done somebackground work, this is our ground zero.The idea will evolve over time as we survey the target audience and consider theirfeedback, but it has to start from somewhere - otherwise how are you going to know whoto survey? Everybody?Our expert on idea generation is James Altucher. Expert: James AltucherAfter the September 11 attacks, James’ net worth plummeted. But before going completelybroke, he wrote some software that helped him trade stocks. That earned him $40,000 permonth for the next 12 months.Then he launched Stockpickr.com, a “MySpace for finance”. The first draft of the site costhim $4000. It earned $90,000 per month from launch, and he sold it five months later for$5 million.Now, James is a prolific writer. He has published 5 books with traditional publishers, andself published two more. His online writing has appeared on TechCrunch, Forbes,Huffington Post, Financial Post and of course JamesAltucher.com. You may want to read:The 100 Rules For Being An Entrepreneur; andThe Easiest Way to Succeed As An EntrepreneurIt was posts like these that inspired Ramit Sethi to describe James as “one of the bestwriters anywhere.” ! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  7. 7. The Daily PracticePerhaps what James is best known for is The Daily Practice, a set of rules by which hegoverns his physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.Each of these categories breaks down into individual practices: Detailed steps on health practices are beyond the scope of this article. But you can learnmore in the Idea Generation: Additional Resources section.What is important is James’ two-tier idea generation system.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  8. 8. Generate Infinite Ideas In Two Simple StepsThis is the first interactive step to this guide. Get paper and pen - we all know digital stickynotes and “reminder emails” end up in good intention purgatory.Now, make a note of a 10 minute period you can commit to every day. I recommend noon -before you eat lunch - so your mind isn’t revved up around bedtime. Just know that thewords matter less than the action of writing. Especially in the beginning as you are buildingyour creative muscle. Use Charles Duhigg Insight Into Habits: • Put your writing task in the calendar, set the alarm, and also leave out your writing pad and pen ready to go. • Reward yourself consistently with one small thing after your creative session.Examples: 1. Have a piece of chocolate 2. Talk to a friend or colleague for 20 minutes 3. Browse the web for 15 minutes 4. Grab a coffee or smoothie 5. Play an iPad game for 5 minutes. • Choose one you enjoy and remember to consistently reward yourself to build a very valuable habit. • Dont just rely on trying harder - Its too hard. Especially if the daily tasks arent obvious immediate wins for you. You need small wins on your journey of entrepreneurship. So give yourself those small rewards along your road to success.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  9. 9. Step One: A List Of Things To Make Lists AboutThe goal is to make a list of broad categories that will break down into specific businessideas.For example: • 10 businesses I could run from home • 7 businesses that cost less than $25 to start • 100 businesses that I don’t want to do • 5 new ways to make money from online video • 3 industries that are ripe for disruption • 8 businesses that are doing a crappy job of serving the market • 10 products I could launch from Kickstarter • 6 markets my employer is ignoring • 12 businesses that start with the letter ‘L’ • 10 mini-businesses that I could launch in less than 48 hours • 20 ideas for online shops • 15 things my kids would definitely bug me to buy for them There are subtleties of each list that allow you to flex different idea muscles. Naming 7businesses that you could start for less than $25 demands a scarcity mindset, while 6markets your employer is ignoring may help you identify markets where you already haveexpertise. Here are some tips for creating your own list of lists. • Don’t think too much about it. Just write whatever comes to mind, nobody is go- ing to be like, “hey, your ideas suck”. • Aim for variety. You may already know you want to start a software company, but making a list of “10 ways McDonald’s could change its distribution model” might just give you a surprising insight. • Aim for volume. More the merrier. • Write at the same time every day. Yeah, if a meeting went long and you missed 12 noon, write it late. But make this a priority.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  10. 10. • Never miss a day. Avoid cheat creep. You know, when you skip your workout one day, and then it is harder to do the next day. Commit to making your lists every day. • Team up. No need to do this alone. You and a friend can write and share lists - double your stock of lists with just a little extra effort. • You don’t need special equipment. Moleskins are awesome... James uses waiter pads. • Reward yourself. Giving yourself a small reward each time you finish helps to form a great habit. • Remember this is a process. You will get better at list making over time. Okay - start now. Copy out the template on the Action Step over the next page and do notgo to the next step until you have created your first list of lists.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  11. 11. ACTION STEP - Finding Your IdeaI promise to write all my ideas no matter how good or bad they are at _______am/pmevery day for 10 minutes so that I can find a business idea to test.After my writing session I’ll reward myself with ________________________________.Name:" " " " " " Date:Signature:You need: • Pen • Paper • Friend (optional)Remember: a. Don’t think (worry) too much about it b. Aim for variety c. Aim for volume d. Write at the same time every day e. Never miss a day f. Team up if you want g. No need for special equipment h. Remember this is a process and you will improve i. Give yourself a small reward once your done! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  12. 12. Activity 1: Create a list of broad categories that will break into specific business ideas.Lists of Lists:" " Broad Categories1. 10 businesses that I could launch in less than 48 hours2. 10 businesses I could run from home3. 7 businesses that cost less than $25 to start4. 15 businesses that I don’t want to do5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15.16.17.18.19.20.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  13. 13. Step Two: Lists of Specific BusinessesOnce you have your lists of lists, it’s time to generate specific business ideas. Same as be-fore, commit to doing your list making at a specific time each day.Basically, you are just taking one of the categories from above, and building a list aroundit. Here are some examples:20 ideas for online shops 1. wool socks 2. infinity scarfs 3. self-charging luminant house numbers 4. iPad backpack 5. gluten free fortune cookies 6. abandoned pets 7. historical antiques 8. refurbished rocking chairs 9. watches for geeks 10. wooden cufflinks 11. his & hers wristbands that get warmer the further you are apart 12. parent & child wristbands that beep when they are separated by 10 metres or more 13. only beach toys 14. only beach toys 15. how to throw a boomerang ebook & boomerangs 16. custom fake tattoos 17. recipe and ingredients delivery 18. cardboard furniture 19. sublimated table cloths 20. re-usable stick on back covers for iphone ! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  14. 14.  As well as the tips for creating better lists of lists, there are a few ways to improve yoursecond step lists. • Persevere. You probably aren’t going to come up with THE idea on the first try. • It’s okay to be bad. Some of my bullet points above are viable business ideas, while others aren’t (it may actually be illegal in your jurisdiction to sell abandoned pets online, though apparently you CAN sell monkey blood). • Use Variance Technique to breakthrough idea-block and create killer lists. Variance Technique (the shortcut to better ideas)If I have seen further it is by standing on the shouldersof giants. -- Sir Isaac Newton, the dude that discoveredthe Laws of Gravity If you have trouble generating business ideas, then Variance Technique may “unstuck”you. It’s simple: 1. Find a business model that is working 2. Hack it. ◦ Cross two or more to create something new. ◦ Change the delivery method. ◦ Target a new market. Here are examples of the Variance Technique in action: • The Wii was gaming for non-gamers. • My site, SaveRally, was “Groupon for students”. • In Season 6, Episode 18 of Seinfeld, The Doorman, Kramer creates a bra for men, “the bro”. Flip the page for your next Action Step.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  15. 15. Activity 2: Start filling in your list categories with business ideas.List 1." " 10 businesses that I could launch in less than 48 hours1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.List 2." " 10 businesses I could run from home:1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  16. 16. List 3." " 7 businesses that cost less than $25 to start:1.2.3.4.5.6.7.List 4." " 15 businesses that I don’t want to do1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.10.11.12.13.14.15.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  17. 17. Narrowing Down Your ListsIf you stick to The Daily Practice, eventually you will have a pile of ideas. The next step isto trim them down.Start by removing the obvious duds - “Facebook for people that don’t like Facebook” - andthen either cross off ideas or rank them. The goal is for solid ideas to rise to the top for fur-ther investigation. Apply Filters: Scarce Resources“Know your limit, play within it” -- the Ontario Lotteryand Gaming Corporation We all face scarcity when starting our business. You may lack knowledge, time, money, orinterest. Moving your business from idea to product to sales demands that you make anhonest assessment of your resources.But it’s not “do I have enough knowledge to start this business?”, it’s “can I acquire enoughknowledge to start this business and is it worth the effort?”Similar approach for money and interest. Time segments into two parts. “Do I have enoughtime on a daily basis?” and “Can I commit to this for the required period of time?”Where possible use objective measures. If you have a track record of moving on from aproject after a few months, aim to start a business that fits that timeline. Apply Filters: GOAL!Similarly, filter each idea by whether it leads toward your end goal. Are you starting abusiness for the extra income? Recognition? Or as a stepping stone to something muchbigger? Each of these will affect which ideas are worth pursuing. Action Step: Trim Your ListTrim down your list of ideas before moving to the next major section - “niching down”. Seethe next page for your next Action Step to refine your lists.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  18. 18. Activity 3: Start to apply filters to your ideas.Filters:" Objective MeasuresGoal:" What is my goal in business?" Does this lead to the lifestyle I want?Time:" How much time will I commit to this business idea?" Can I commit to this for the required period of time?Resources:" Can I acquire enough knowledge to start this business? Is it worth the effort?" Do I have enough time on a daily basis?" Do I have the technical skills to deliver a great product/service? Business Idea Meets Goal? Time? (Easy 5 Resources? Score (Yes! 1 - No 0) - Hard 1) (Easy 5 - Hard 1) Example: 1 3 4 8 Infinity Scarves! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  19. 19. Idea Generation: Additional Resources • James Altucher has given talks for Wall Street Journal, Cornell, and Mixergy. • The Daily Practice table is based off Kevin Elliott’s adapation. • Need some inspiration? betali.st is an endless flow of ideas. • Find established businesses to apply Variance Technique to at the INC 5000. • Interested in working on the Physical part of The Daily Practice? Let NerdFitness show you how. • Need a spiritual or emotional boost? tiny buddha is one of the most welcoming communities online, and Raptitude will make you think. (but remember, don’t get distracted from your business plans) • Kickstarter published a guide to using their service. End Note: Idea generation isn’t the only way to startIn the magazine we go over other methods of getting started - like where you already havea mass of data, and want to analyze it for viable opportunities. But for our purposes ideageneration is sufficient to get started.Going forward we will use specific examples as a case study. Let’s go with “an online storeselling infinity scarves” for developing a product based business, and “legal process server- Task Rabbit style” for selling a service (notice that our service business uses VarianceTechnique to update an old/stale business concept).I’ll lay the examples on thick so it is easy to see how all these principles connect together.If your ready to go further with your idea and check out the next step of Niching Down -check out the iPad Magazine Here.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m
  20. 20. Ready To See If Your Idea Is Profitable?Check Us Out in the LINKApple Newsstand Forthe Full GuideGet an actionable guide to starting LINKa business from scratch. Whereyou will go step by step from ideato product development to makingyour first sale. The guide spansthree issues.Issue One: Idea Formation andNiching Down LINK LINKIssue Two: Market Research -Online and TraditionalIssue Three: Product Testing,Next Steps and ConceptualFramework LINKE to continue the hard work.! B l u e p r i n t E n t r e p r e n e u r. c o m

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