Fulfill a need, build a business


Carlotta Daniels-Randolph | 9/6/2013, 6 a.m.

There are so many needs to be addressed in this great world of ours from the mundane to the life altering. For every challenge there is someone or a group of individuals who can develop a product, service or strategy to overcome anything that confounds, or inconveniences us.

Countless prospects for personal satisfaction and financial enrichment exist for anyone willing to do what it takes to address the needs of consumers.

Anything you can imagine that may be a concern or need for many is an opportunity to use ingenuity, creativity, passion and drive to address these things in such a way that will allow you to prosper. There is certainly nothing wrong with benefitting from helping others or providing a service that is deemed valuable.

Can you provide a service or product that will make life a little better for people in your community, the state, the region, the country or around the globe? It does not have to be an international sensation for you to prosper, just something that you can do or create that taps into an unsatisfied need or desire. If it is something that would be useful to anyone worldwide then investigate how to use the internet to market it.

When researching ideas for your enterprise consider that many needs are not in our awareness until it is pointed out that some aspect of our life could be improved, made simpler, easier, or more pleasant if we have or make use of a particular service or product.

This is where the inventive spirit would come into play. Of course you could offer an enhanced version of a service or product already available, but consumers will beat a path to your door if you truly are providing something more than the competition and you market it properly.

These days you can start all types of enterprises from home. It is no longer absolutely necessary to have a separate brick and mortar establishment to hang out your shingle, at least not in the early stages of your business. Many successful companies started in a garage, home kitchen or basement. Everything from Microsoft to Mrs. Fields and Carol’s Daughter started at home.

Keep in mind that whatever you offer should be something you feel passionate about and have a talent for. These attributes allow care and quality to be naturally built into the enterprise.

Too often concerns around finding capital to launch a successful business are what prevent many people with great ideas from pursuing their business goal; however, there are several ways to get what you need to get started. First assess and research what it will cost for you to efficiently produce, market and deliver your product or service. If you’ve already started a small enterprise, consider what it would take to grow it. The most obvious place to get capital for a business is from a bank.

To qualify you will need a solid business plan, proof of experience in the area you are pursing and a sound credit history. If the bank loan option is not for you then perhaps it may be better to start small and build your business by investing what you earn back into the business. Also, you may find financial support by offering an interest in the business to trusted friends or family members.

When getting started, investigate what the state offers to support small businesses and what government requirements must be met to legally operate your business. Be sure to network with like-minded people by joining the local or regional chamber of commerce.

Carlotta Daniels-Randolph, M.Ed. is a workforce development professional with 20 years’ experience in the public and private sector and an administrator and adjunct instructor at Delaware County Community College.