The process of starting a new business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. There are many small business ideas to consider, including those that can be run out of one’s home or remotely. Upfront research is essential to determine if there’s an audience for your idea and how much it will cost to start.
The most successful businesses often solve a problem that exists in the world. It doesn’t have to be a life-threatening problem, but it needs to be real for people and have serious consequences if not solved. The best way to find a problem is to ask people about it – listen closely and take notes. This can be as simple as asking, “What do you wish you had more of?”
Another way to find a good idea is to look for something that frustrates you. If you can’t figure out a solution for it, chances are others have the same problem and would pay for someone else to fix it.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of new employer businesses had been on a long-term downward trend, and even the first part of 2021 saw a surge in the number of high-propensity business applications (defined as those that were likely to lead to an EIN filing). It remains to be seen whether that surge will lead to strong rates of business creation, but there’s bipartisan support for policies to make it easier for people to open their own businesses.