Thinking of starting a business can seem overwhelming when you are not sure what type you should start. Should the business be in the technology field? A retail establishment, service based, or an online business? Are you aiming to be socially responsible? There are so many options in today's market and so many products and services available (which are constantly changing) that it can be difficult to decide which type of business is the best fit for you.

Finding a business idea can start by looking to your own customer experiences and creating solutions to a problem that you have personally experienced in the marketplace. Do you know of an existing product that could be improved? When you are doing something you are passionate about and you encounter a problem, do you think there must be a better way of doing this?

Here are some examples of ways you could draw on some of your personal experiences to get you thinking about potential business ideas and opportunities:

  • Didn't like your experience with a local dog kennel? Why not start your own and make the improvement you would have wanted to see at the old kennel? By offering something different that sets your business apart (food, accommodations, grooming services, etc.) you could reach clients who have experienced a similar problem with their kennel.
  • Passionate about knitting? A knitting store already exists in your area. So how do you offer something unique? You often hear about beginners having “oops” moments and who could use a helping hand to get their knitting back on track. Why not try to solve this problem with a service that comes to their door? Take the opportunity to use your knowledge and love of knitting to solve a problem experienced by new knitters.
  • Are you an inventor at heart? Do you often think of improvements that you could make to an existing product? Do you want to create something new to address a deficiency in the market? These ideas may lead to a new business opportunity or a chance to start a business partnership.

Using problems that you see around you could lead you to have an “aha” moment where you realize that you could start a business with this idea. Make sure that you do your market research to see if other people have this same problem and would be willing to pay for the solution.

Finding the right type of business to start can be daunting. Take a look around to find a solution to a problem you have experienced or something you found you needed and could not find. Thinking about business ideas this way may just spark your first or next business venture.