Are you like so many other creatives? You have lots of ideas about where to go with your business. Maybe you should start teaching your art. Or do a local craft show or open an etsy shop. Perhaps start a podcast. Maybe a blog is calling your name. Or do you see a fabric line or licensing of your art as the next step? Or create patterns, or …
Whoa! You have so many options and they all sound good. The problem is you don’t know where to start. And perhaps you get stuck in analysis paralysis trying to figure out which idea is the best one. Here’s a path to help you decide.
Write down all the ideas.
Just get out a piece of paper and list them. As you do this, you’ll probably come up with more options. None are set in stone. You are just getting them all out of your head. You may even save some for a future use.
Consider if the ideas fit with your vision and mission
Part of good business planning is deciding what not to do. Understanding how the ideas fit within the context of where you see your business growing is a great first step.
Eliminate those that don’t fully resonate
Yes, you may say you want to teach. Is that because you are called to teach and want to share your message? Or is it because you see others teach and like the “perks” they seem to have. Consider why you want each of those ideas and whether you are willing to do the work to accomplish the goal.
Chat with those doing the work
You can get clearer on an idea if you run it past someone already doing it. They can share what the challenges and pitfalls are that you may not have considered. Also talk with your support network, whether that’s your business coach or a friend to help you see if your idea has enough legs under it.
Look at the pros and cons
Take the list that you have left and make a list of pros and cons for each. This could be time, money, other resources necessary to see this idea come to fruition. Maybe one idea takes a lot of your time and very little money. Maybe one takes not much of your time but requires more money. This way you can feel comfortable with the positives and negatives of your ideas. You should be able to narrow the list down at this point. You might also rank them by which will bring you the biggest return with the least cost and time.
Also consider whether your resources (time, money, talent) are sufficient to execute any new idea without detracting from your ability to execute the high priority ideas you have in process already.
Just pick one
Likely you still have more than one idea that you are considering. The best suggestion here is to just pick one. It’s not necessarily important which one you pick. What is important is that you pick one and run with it. Unless you do that and start to take action, you won’t get anywhere. So make a decision today.
I’ve been in business a long time and have had many, many ideas. If I’d not picked an idea, I wouldn’t have a business. The same is true for you. One of the ways I deal with all the ideas is to take the ones I didn’t pick and put them on a “someday” list. That way when I feel confident about where I’m headed and want to add another dimension to my business, I can go right to my list.
How do you decide what business idea to move forward with?