I’ve collected some of the questions people have asked me about my collection of business ideas and put answers here – if you’ve got other questions, drop me an email and ask.
Where do all these ideas come from?
I’ve collected many ideas over the years, based on where I see a gap in the market, or a need which isn’t being filled at the moment. For example, my idea about welcoming tourists came from when I was President of Brighton Chamber of Commerce and the Council announced that they were closing the tourist information office. I put this together with my wondering who was behind all those leaflet displays you see in hotels around the world and why they were always so boring, and with a session I did years ago with a lady who sold advertising space to food businesses for a magazine.
Other ideas have been creatively swiped, so I’ve taken existing businesses and twisted them a bit to make them work in a different way. And a lot of the ideas are taking an existing business model and giving it a twist to make it work online (it worked for Amazon and many others) or finding a super niche or long tail area where that model could work well.
Why aren’t people doing these already?
Maybe they are. The first thing to check is whether someone else is doing this exact same thing in your area.
If they are, you can either do it differently or do it better. Years of running businesses has taught me not to be too much in love with one idea – if that one doesn’t work, there will be something else that will. That’s why there are lots of business ideas here, so you can try on different ones and see what works for you.
You wouldn’t buy the first shirt you saw in a shop, you’d have a look around and see a few that you liked and try them on to see if they suit you and fit okay before buying. With Recipes for Success, you can try on lots of different permutations first until you want to go for one in particular.
Will any of these work for me?
I don’t know if you’ll find the right idea here – that all depends on where you are in your business journey, and what you’re looking for. But there’s certainly lots to choose from and you don’t have to make up your mind straight away.
Each business idea has a section where I talk in detail about the kind of people that each idea will be good for, so you can rule out any which aren’t a good fit. Some of the ideas need a particular kind of personality to make them work, and some need skills that not everyone has. You can’t run a shared economy rural taxi service if you don’t have a driving licence, and you can’t be a receipt organiser if you don’t have a fantastic eye for detail and a high tolerance for repetitive tasks. Not all of the ideas will be for you, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll find something that could be for you if you want it.
I don’t have any money to invest - what’s the point in having a great idea?
There are ideas here which you can get started for £13. Honestly, that’s as low as you can go – it’s the price of a set of business cards from Moo.com. Even if you don’t have a computer, or internet access or a phone, you can set up a business for £13, plus £12.99 for a second hand phone, and £5 of credit.
If you don’t have much money to get going, some of the ideas won’t be right for you. In fact, some of the ideas will need 10k or 100k to get going, plus enough money to live on before you start to make a profit.
If you like the look of some of these (of course the ones that need more investment tend to be the ones which will produce more profit later) and you’ve only got a few quid, get started with one of the easy start ideas, save some money and then reinvest it in a bigger business. That’s how many successful business people got going in the first place – do something small, live cheap and save for something bigger. You’ll learn lots of invaluable business skills by starting a smaller business first.
If you’re in a job right now, start saving to get the capital you need for one of the bigger ideas, and research it, prototype it, start networking, write the copy for the website and get going part tim
Do you know for certain that these ideas will work for me?
No. There are too many factors to take into account for me to make any guarantees about any of the ideas.
I know that all of them are solid business ideas in the right hands and have the potential to make good money.
And there I’ve produced tons of tips on actually running a business in the rest of my site which I think you’d find really useful.
But your success is up to you, you have to take responsibility doing the hard work of getting the business going and then making it work.
I don’t speak good English - can I run a business?
Yes. There are thousands of people who have come from other countries to the UK (or wherever you are) and don’t speak perfect English, but have very successful businesses. In fact, going to live in another country means you’ve got resilience and get up and go, which are really important traits for business success. And if you’re based somewhere else, many of the business ideas here work well selling internationally as well.
Some of the ideas here will require a lot of talking to people, excellent written English because you need to create a lot of online content so they might not be for you.
Other ideas can be entirely run online, or you can get by without great conversational skills while you’re still practicing your English. Have a look around and see what could work for you.
How do I know if your ideas are any good?
Well, you can make up your own mind by taking out a trial membership for only £5, and then cancel if you don’t see anything which will work for you.
I’ve been helping people transform their businesses into more successful companies by giving them new ideas for their business for more than 15 years and I’ve been obsessed with how successful businesses work for more than 25 years. I’ve talked to hundreds of businesses about what makes them special, and read dozens of business books.
I’ve been able to work out where the gaps in the market are, what the latest things are and where you can take an old idea, change some of it and make it into something new.
I’m confident there’s lots of food for thought here, and more than enough ideas to get you thinking about what the right business for you is. Give it a try and let me know what you think
There are lists of business ideas all over the internet - why should I pay you for ideas when I can download them for free?
I did a lot of research before launching Recipes for Business Success, and you’re right, there are lots of business ideas all over the internet. Unfortunately, they’re mostly the same few boring ideas such as “be a copywriter” or “sell stuff on Ebay”.
Or they’re people who are doing some pretty strange things which are interesting but don’t necessarily add up to a good business, making decent cash.
My main motivation for setting this up is to prevent people getting into the same old business ideas, because I’ve had a lot of clients over the years who have come to me because they’ve got into businesses doing the same as everyone else, and they’ve found it difficult to stand out from the competition or get enough work coming in. And I’ve spoken to a lot of people who said that they’ve always wanted to be self employed, but didn’t know what to start up.
I thought it would be great if people could get some ideas to choose from – ones which had been thought out in advance and they had a starting recipe to help them get going.
And I’m a business woman. So I am going to charge for my hard work, I have to “practice what I preach”.
I love putting all these ideas together, thinking of new things, and I love writing and making videos. I love getting paid for doing a good job as well, that’s definitely one of the best things about running your own business.
Do I have to subscribe forever?
No. There’s no minimum contract or lock in, I don’t really believe in doing that.
You can subscribe just for the trial period, and you might find exactly the right gap in the market for you and get going straight away.
Some people like to stay members for longer because they like thinking about different possibilities, and getting the new ideas through each month, and some people are still looking for exactly the right thing. Stay as long as it’s useful for you – at £25 per month, it’s not a big expense to pay just to keep thinking through the possibilities for the future.
Why don’t you just give me all of the ideas all at once?
I’ve designed this as a membership subscription service mostly because I’m coming up with new business plans and ideas all the time, so I want to keep sending out new things all the time.
I’ve also looked at how people make their choices, and it seems that us humans can’t deal with too much complex choice all at once. If I just dumped big bunch of ideas in your lap, you wouldn’t be able to process them all, and it wouldn’t be a real decision.
And when you’re deciding something as important as what to dedicate your life to for the next 5 years, which is what we’re talking about here, you need to be able to take your time over it, and that means taking in different possibilities over a period of time.
That’s also why there are some guides to deciding on the sort of business you want to run, how much money you want to make and how to make up your own ideas as well as the business recipes here.
I’ve got loads of ideas for businesses, I just can’t choose the right one
Great. I’m interested in why you can’t decide between different ideas and what’s holding you back from committing. You might want to sign up and have a look at some of the other ideas here, and also the resources to help you decide what kind of business you want to run.
Or, if you’re thinking about a couple of ideas and aren’t sure whether to go forward with them, I do what I call decision making sessions for people, where we spend a couple of hours either face to face or on Skype going over what’s going to be best for you.
You might want some ongoing support and mentoring as well.
I’ve already got an idea for a business, but I don’t know how to make it work
Unless you want to compare your ideas to some of the other ones I’ve got here, Recipes for Business Success isn’t for you.
You need some one to one advice and mentoring to help you put your idea into action. That’s what I spend most of my time doing, and this is how it works
Do you pay for ideas? I’ve got a great one
No. I can’t leave the house without thinking of new business ideas, in fact my friends get fed up of me making notes on new ideas when we’re in the pub.
So thanks, but, my problem is getting all my ideas analysed, written up and and thought through so I can send them out to people.
I’m not based in the UK, will these ideas work for me?
All the business idea recipes are great for thinking about no matter where you live.
Some of them are likely to work better in other countries in fact, and some of them are good if you live in a country which has low living costs, such as India, but you can sell into a market like the US where prices are higher and people will pay more.
Some of them will depend on having a reasonably consistent internet connection, so if you live on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or a tiny village in northern Nigeria, these ones won’t be so good for you.
With all of the recipes, you need to test them out for where you live, in case there’s someone already doing that idea in your city or country, and some of them depend on you being near enough people with a good level of disposable income or somewhere that gets lots of tourists.
Do note that all the start up costings and the amount of money you’d expect to earn from that business have been calculated for someone who is doing that business in the UK, where I’m based, as the costs and pricing will vary in different locations.
I work with business start ups - can I use your ideas for my programme/group/website?
I’m happy to talk about volume licensing, drop me an email if you’d like to do this. But please don’t just share your log in with others (the clever software will notice multiple logins and cut you off) or replicate the business ideas anywhere without agreeing with me first.
These ideas took me a lot of time and effort to come up with and all content is copyright to the Joy of Business Ltd, and anyone who uses it without permission will get to meet one of my many clever lawyer friends.