1. Self-Assessment
2. Business Idea
3. Cost & Income
4. Business Proposal
5. Monitor Progress
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Session 2: Business Idea and Market Strategy

In order to generate revenue through your own part-time self-employment, you must first have a business idea - and then you must have customers!

Some of the most successful businesses come from an individual's ability to turn a hobby or passionate interest into a revenue generating operation. Identifying what you like, where you believe your skills or talents are strong, and then determining if there is a market for the resulting product or service is the essence of coming up with a viable business idea. This step will guide you through this process.

Developing Your Business Idea

The best place to start this step is with reviewing mistakes that people often make in choosing a business idea. Being aware of mistakes others have made will help keep you from making them for yourself. Some common pitfalls to watch out for:

Pitfall # 1: Rushing to make a decision
Your success will depend on the business idea you choose. Take your time to consider your options and explore your ideas - you may not get a second chance.
Pitfall # 2: Turning a hobby into a business without doing your homework
Building a business around your hobbies or interests can be a great idea, but there must be sufficient demand for the product or service or the business will not succeed.
Pitfall # 3: Not asking for help
There are many resources available that can serve as a sounding board for you to bounce business ideas off and to learn from. Be willing to test your idea on others and listen to their feedback; it will help you to further refine your business idea.

An idea does not have to be novel or even original; in fact very few businesses are based on original ideas. Look around, watch the news, talk to friends and family, observe things around you, and think about how you can translate them into a business idea. Many times growth of an area creates the need for additional providers of standard products or services. You can also look at business areas that need improvement.

Think about the products and services you use or that you've heard other people talk about. Are there any that could be improved on? Is there anything they're not offering that would be of value? Consider starting a business that fills a need that isn't being met by the current providers. Focus on a niche. Many businesses have failed by trying to be all things to all people. Try to identify a niche that you would enjoy working in and build your business idea around it.

Start by looking at your own interests and skills - then look for ways to turn them into revenue. The more closely you match your business activity with what you are interested in and are good at - the more likely you are to succeed.

The next sets of exercises will help you to make this assessment.

  1. Personal Preferences Inventory
  2. Personal Skills Inventory
  3. Business Idea Options
  4. Business Idea Profile
  5. Market Analysis
  6. Advertising and Marketing Strategy
  7. Summary Session 2

Now - on to 2a: Personal Preferences Inventory

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