Generating Business Ideas – SB003

Right Biz for You Series (Part 3)

This series is for people who are thinking about starting their own small business but may not be sure of the type of business or, who may know the type of business, but not be sure if it’s a viable one.

Even if you already have a small business, this series may help you validate that you are doing the right thing and give you some additional ideas for making your small business even better.

Generating Small Business Ideas

How to BeginSea destinations

In Episode 001, we explored getting to know you – doing a self-assessment of your skills/knowledge/strengths/passions /interests/curiosities. If you did not have a chance to listen to that episode, I encourage you to do so. If you don’t have time for that, take a few moments now to think about those aspects of you.

The ideal situation is to find a business that blends your passions/interests with your skills/knowledge/strengths. It often helps to jot your ideas down on paper, then begin generating ideas by combining some of your favorites.

Example provided of former college basketball coach, Ed Molitor, who transformed the skills/knowledge he gained from this and other positions into his own leadership development consulting firm where he is finding joy in living his “Why” by helping others every day.

To check out Ed Molitor’s work, please visit here.

Three Key Business Styles

There exist a wide variety of business models that is growing and changing with our ever-expanding technologies and economics. In this segment, we explore the following three models most typical for a small business:

Instruction-based: You teach your client a skill
Service-based: You provide a service for your client
Product-based: You sell a tangible product to your client


Have you or a member of your family ever been taught to play an instrument? Has a company you’ve worked for ever brought in a consultant to work with the sales staff to teach them effective selling techniques? Have you ever hired someone to come to your home to organize your office or garage then taught you how to maintain it so you are never mired in mess again? All of these individuals own or work for an instruction-based business.

The following are examples of instruction-based roles:

Youth athletic skills coach
Camp coordination advisor
Human resource consultant
Personal stylist
Piano instructor
Sailing instructor Sales or leadership consultant
Social media marketing consultant
Software consultant
Weight-loss coach
Weight training instructor
College selection advisor

This type of work may take a variety of forms. It may involve working with a person or company, in-person, at your location or at theirs. Communications may also be handled electronically: via phone, email, or Skype. For some businesses, group classes – either in-person or virtual – may be the ideal format in which to provide instruction.


With a service-based business, you perform a task or complete a project for your client. They likely also will learn in the process, but do not have a desire to know the entire process, so leave that up to you.

Examples of service-based roles:

Financial Advisor (client)
Website designer
Tour Guide
Computer maintenance technician
Lawn care
Landscape designer
Auto repair Insurance Broker (client)
Camp coordinator
Pet groomer, walker, or sitter (or all three)
Property Manager
Virtual assistant
Tax Preparer


With a product-based business, you sell something tangible to your customers. It may be something of your own creation:

• Online courses or books
• Artwork
• Leather crafted jewelry
• Blended essential oils
• Sports-inspired home goods
• Food

You may also enjoy selling something that someone else has created and that has a strong business foundation already established behind it. Although it does not have to be, often these situations involve network marketing companies. Here you may enjoy selling things like:

• Skin care products
• Coffee or tea
• Amazon online or eBay product seller


There is a common fourth alternative – a combination of any or all of the above.

As a business coach, I provide instruction on many aspects of starting a business that my clients then run with. I also create their business plan, providing a service, so they don’t have to. If I offered a book on business planning, that might be my product. There – a hybrid business of all three styles.


Return to your list of skills, knowledge, strengths, passions, and interests. Consider the three types of businesses. If you were to use some of your best skills or your favorite interests, which style of business would be the best fit?

Sources of Small Business Ideas

Still stumped or just want to look at more ideas? Check these resources out.

Google It!

Conduct an Internet search for:
• Small business ideas
• Side business ideas
• Best small businesses

One article I frequently send people to is offered by Ryan Robinson,
101 Best Side Business Ideas to Start While Working Full-Time
Whether you want to start your business as a side or full-time one, there are tons of great ideas in this article.

Don’t limit yourself. Jot down ideas you see that may interest you that you would like to explore further.

Entrepreneurial Magazines (online or paper)

My favorite magazine sources for business ideas are:


If checking these online, search for articles that reference small, side or home-based businesses. Look also for business “trend” ideas. Entrepreneur magazine’s December issue typically includes a “Hot Business Trends” article for the upcoming year.

Television Shows

Watching shows like The Profit and Shark Tank help generate unique and creative business ideas, along with valuable business development insights.

Amazon is a terrific research resource. Search for books pertaining to small, side or home-based businesses. Review the preview pages for the books receiving the highest ratings. Often, just by reviewing the online (and free) tables of content, you may get some valuable ideas. If you see books that look particularly appealing, make the investment and research further.

Outrageous ideas

Looking for something particularly “out-there”? Check out where the focus is on people turning sometimes bizarre – very creative passions into businesses. Watch the videos there. You never know what will come to you.


  1. Think about the intersection of your favorite skills/strengths with your biggest passions and interests.
  2.  Think about the different biz styles: service, instruction, product. Which appeals to you most or seems to be the best fit for your ideas?
  3. Explore! Conduct an Internet search for small business ideas. check Amazon. Check entrepreneurial publications. Review Ryan Robinson’s list of 101 side biz ideas.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but at this point, try to come up with 2-3 business ideas to explore further. Have fun with it. You haven’t spent a dime yet and this is where it is exciting to consider limitless possibilities.

Coming Up!

Be sure to listen to Episode 4 where I interview Leadership Development Coach, Ed Molitor. Learn how he applied the self-assessment and generating business ideas processes into creating his small (not for long) business.

From there we will be continuing the series on finding your ideal small business idea. Once you have narrowed your ideas down to two or three, it’s time to do more research and determine whether your ideas are viable. We will also be discussing small business cautions.

I hope you will subscribe to the podcast, by clicking one of the links to your right. Continue with me on your path to creating your own wonderful, profitable, fulfilling small business!

Ask Your Questions or Share Your Feedback

In the comments section of these show notes.
At the Small Biz 101 Podcast Facebook Page
Personally, by email at

Please Connect with Me

At my business website, Scattered to Streamlined Business Coaching
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive commissions or bonuses from your actions on such links.

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