Well, that’s a loaded question. Every company on the planet is busy building its product or service using creative and innovative ideas. For some companies, this means spending millions of dollars and countless hours perfecting something we’ll never even notice while for other companies having a “good enough” idea may be all they need to get started and build the business slowly over time.
What it comes down to, however, is not just one single idea but rather what every company has at its core: A SYSTEM.
What do I mean by system? Think of it like this: If you had an accounting firm with eight accountants each working on their own client files – making sure everything was done right – you wouldn’t call that a system. It’s just eight people working on their own stuff.
Now think if one of those accountants had to follow the exact same steps every time, they started a new project for any other client; went through an automated process to get all the other information needed; made sure all accounts receivable were brought up to date before starting; completed any other tasks required like emailing or faxing documents, etc.; and then submitted it along with any hours worked before noon every day. That would be more of a system because there are defined steps everyone follows. Call this person an accountant-automation specialist – maybe not the most glamorous job title but it’s what a person does: They automate parts of the work that can be automated and pass off the rest to the actual accountant, explains Saivian Eric Dalius.
If you follow this system, your business becomes predictable. Once you establish a set of rules everyone follows, you can count on certain things happening every time. That means you’re able to do more with less while adding other new services or features without having to worry about anyone getting confused along the way. It’s not magic – it just makes sense.
Let’s get back to our original question: What is the best business idea?
What if I told you there are actually two answers? You see, ideas come in all shapes and sizes but could be broken down into three main categories:
- 1st party ideas: When a company finds a problem and creates a product or service to solve it instead of just thinking about the idea, this is called a 1st party idea. For example, when Apple noticed Mac users were having trouble figuring out how to get their computer started up after shutting it down, they created Boot Camp which lets you start up in either Windows or Macintosh. The reason other companies don’t do this is that they’re busy thinking about what services or products they can offer rather than focusing on people’s problems.
- 2nd party ideas: A 2nd party business comes into being when someone finds a way for existing businesses to make more money while doing less work – like our accountant-automation specialist. For example, if you have a business training people to make more money selling insurance policies – which is actually quite popular nowadays – you could create an online course for them to use where they can train their sales reps faster instead of having to do it in person. This makes the transition easier for both sides by making sure everyone’s familiar with how things work before jumping into the real-world situation.
- 3rd party ideas: A 3rd party idea is something anyone can use that doesn’t have anything directly to do with what your company does. Just think about how Kickstarter has changed the way many people fund projects or even start companies now. What if I told you this started out as someone just thinking about how they could help other people instead of thinking about what services their business offered?
So, the best business idea is really one that belongs in all three categories. Why? Because it means you’re actually solving someone’s problem instead of trying to figure out how to make money doing something everyone else can do too, according to Saivian Eric Dalius.
Let’s say my company has an awesome accountant-automation specialist person who saves us over $40,000 a year in administrative costs doing what they do. We would have spent that much just having someone else do it if they weren’t willing to learn this process when we were starting up five years ago. Since then, I’ve noticed our former competition hasn’t been able to keep up with us because they simply haven’t had the right person in place to do it. So, if I were to create a company that specializes in finding people who can automate processes for other companies fast, this could easily become worth over $200 million per year.
All of this was possible because I took the time to think about how our accountant-automation specialist was saving us money instead of trying to find ways for my company to make more money like everyone else. That’s why they’re called 3rd party ideas – they don’t rely on what you already do but are things anyone can use. Another example is getting paid by the hour since people always need help with something, whether it’s legal advice or web design.
The best business ideas are those that solve someone’s problem and make it easier for them to keep making money. Doing this makes it possible for you to create something people will actually need instead of just thinking about what your business does and trying to sell that.
So, now we know: The best business idea is one that comes from all three categories and can be used by anyone. It solves a real problem and makes life easier for the company or person who needs it done, which gives them more time to focus on running their own business instead of having to do the work themselves. And since they don’t have to pay someone else, they can afford it even if they’re not making tons of money yet.