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50 years of success - Established 1974

50 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

Where Do I Find Ideas for a Business?


Most people who decide to become their own boss already have an idea of what kind of business they’d like to set up. However, if you don’t, there are several different ways of approaching the problem. You can:

  • Exploit a skill, talent or knowledge you already have – this is by far one of the best ways to start a business. You’ll see people who’ve used this method everywhere. Think about decorators, builders, plumbers, accountants, solicitors, designers and so on. They’ve all trained with someone else and then put that training into practice, probably for a few years while they learn the ropes, and once they feel confident enough, they’ve set up business on their own. But you don’t need a skilled profession to do this. You could, for example, open your own shop if you are an experienced shop manager or open your own sandwich business if you’ve worked in one for years. Bank workers could move into offering financial services and if you are a delivery driver you could consider moving into courier services.

    Also keep in mind that the skills you can turn into a business do not have to be connected to your current line of work. You could turn your hobbies into businesses, such as knitting, sewing, jewellery, baking, photography and so on.

    Don’t forget that even if you don’t have a skill you feel you could turn into a business, you can quickly learn one. Night classes or distance learning are a great way to do this, as they allow you to continue your daily working life as normal.

  • Use business ideas and methods that already exist – people often think that business ideas have to be original, but this is not the case. In fact, using an existing business idea has many potential advantages, the biggest being that you already know that there’s a market for the product or service you plan to offer. However, to match that huge advantage is an equally big disadvantage – you will need to take the market away from other more established businesses, which can be risky, or you’ll have to ensure that there is sufficient potential business to support your venture as well. However, these problems can be overcome with a bit of initiative, for example, using the same business model but in a different area or offering something more than the current businesses do.

  • Buy an existing business – this is a great idea if you have a little more money to work with. Buying an ongoing business usually costs more because the groundwork has been done for you – the customer base is established, the name is well known and the current owner should have already built up a good reputation. You will be buying all the goodwill that comes with the company name as well as established working practices and possibly stock and premises too. Plus, rather than having to wait, you should be making a profit from day one.

  • Buy a franchise – this is much like buying an ongoing business – but rather than owning the business you simply buy the rights (the franchise) for a fixed period of time. This allows you to use:

    • the trade name
    • the goodwill of that name
    • the customer base that goes with it

    You will usually receive:

    • help choosing the premises
    • advice and assistance in setting up
    • general marketing support including publicity materials
    • any further training needed
    • operating methods for the business


You do have to bear in mind that being a franchisee does have some disadvantages. You’ll be restricted in the choices you can make and most franchisees have to stick to the products, colours and prices that all other shops from the same franchise have.

So, there are lots of places you can look to find potential business ideas. Now all you need to do is decide which one you are going to take forward.

Business Training can help you Start Your Own Business. To find out more request a prospectus for our Start Your Own Business course.