Read this section about developing a business plan.

Getting Started

Finding the Idea

Entrepreneurs get ideas for their businesses from many sources. It is not surprising that about 80 percent of Inc. 500 executives got the idea for their company while working in the same or a related industry. Starting a firm in a field where you have experience improves your chances of success. Other sources of inspiration are personal experiences as a consumer; hobbies and personal interests; suggestions from customers, family, and friends; industry conferences; and college courses or other education.

Checklist for Starting a Business
Before you start your own small business, consider the following checklist:
  • Identify your reasons
  • Self-analysis
  • Personal skills and experience
  • Finding a niche
  • Conduct market research
  • Plan your start-up: write a business plan
  • Finances: how to fund your business
Table 5.6

An excellent way to keep up with small-business trends is by reading entrepreneurship and small-business magazines and visiting their websites. With articles on everything from idea generation to selling a business, they provide an invaluable resource and profile some of the young entrepreneurs and their successful business ventures (Table 5.7).

Successful Entrepreneurs
Name and Age Company and Description
Philip Kimmey, 27 Kimmey's dog-sitting and dog-walking network, Rover.com, raised almost $100 million in venture capital and was valued at $300 million in 2017.
Max Mankin, 27 Mankin cofounded Modern Electron and raised $10 million in venture capital to create "advanced thermionic energy converters" that will generate "cheap, scalable, and reliable electricity". Modern Electron will turn every home into a power station.
Alexandra Cristin White, 28 In her early 20s, White founded Glam Seamless, which sells tape-in hair extensions. In 2016, her self-funded company grossed $2.5 million.
Steph Korey, 29; Jen Rubio, 29 Korey and Rubio founded Away, selling "first-class luggage at a coach price" in 2015. They raised $31 million in funding and grossed $12 million in sales in 2016.
Allen Gannet, 26 Gannet founded TrackMaven, a web-marketing analytics company, in 2012; by 2016, his company was grossing $6.7 million a year.
Jake Kassan, 25; Kramer LaPlante, 25 Kassan and Kramer launched their company, MVMT, through Indiegogo, raising $300,000, and in 2016 grossed $60 million, selling primarily watches and sunglasses.
Brian Streem, 29 Streem's company, Aerobo, provides drone services to the film industry, selling "professional aerial filming and drone cinematography". Aerobo grossed $1 million in 2016, its first full year of business.
Natalya Bailey, 30; Louis Perna, 29 Accion Systems began in 2014, raised $10 million in venture funding, and grossed $4.5 million in 2016, making tiny propulsion systems for satellites.
Jessy Dover, 29 Dover is the cofounder of Dagne Dover, a company making storage-efficient handbags for professional women. She and her cofounders grossed $4.5 million in 2016 and debuted on Nordstrom.com in 2017.
Table 5.7

These dynamic individuals, who are already so successful in their 20s and 30s, came up with unique ideas and concepts and found the right niche for their businesses.

Interesting ideas are all around you. Many successful businesses get started because someone identifies a need and then finds a way to fill it. Do you have a problem that you need to solve? Or a product that doesn't work as well as you'd like? Raising questions about the way things are done and seeing opportunity in adversity are great ways to generate ideas.