Looking for a New Business Idea for 2020?
So, you're ready to take the leap towards becoming an entrepreneur. All you need is a great business idea. Well, here's a tip...
The first step is easy, just start with something you love.
All the successful entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed have one thing in common. They’re passionate about their projects.
In fact, their business ideas are born from passion, either something a worthy cause or something they love to do.
Finding Something You Love
We all have activities we love doing. We will probably spend most of our free time doing this activity, and even when we’re not doing it, we’ll probably be thinking about it. You can use this as the seed for your new business.
But what about the traditional work/life balance? We asked Heather Carley, who founded Friski Wear after leaving her job as a commodities broker. She created the brand out of her passion for adventure sports.
Growth Rocket: There is a train of thought that says you shouldn’t try to make money from something you love. How would you respond to this?
Heather: I actually see this as (in my opinion) a pretty antiquated train of thought. I think it stems from the notion that you should have your work life and there should be release from that in the things you love, for it to provide an ‘escape’. I think it should be looked at differently, even the nature of a 9-5 doesn’t have to be the case these days, we can create our own ways of working and the best way to create effective/ efficient and happy working environments is if it’s not seen as something seen in the mindset of- ‘we have to do this but don’t worry there’s an escape...’ Of course I’m going to want to maximise my time out in the mountains and doing adventure sports, if at the same time I can monetise that without tainting it then it’s a win-win in my mind!
(Read Heather's full interview here!)
Rather than being “stuck in an office”, Heather now splits her time between London and the Alps, so building a business idea around her passion has definitely worked for Heather.
The Ultrapreneur, Julian Hall, has seen thousands of children complete the entrepreneurial program he created, many of them going on to start successful businesses, even at very young ages. What’s the first step in his program? Start with passion.
Support A Cause
So far, we’ve talked about creating a business idea from a hobby or activity that you love to do, but that’s not the only way you can be passionate. Some entrepreneurs create their business ideas from a cause that they care about.
Going back to our favourite Ultrapreneur, he created Ultra Education as way to empower young people, a cause that he felt passionate about.
Julian Hall, founder of Ultra Eduction: While working with schools, youth organisation and start-up mentoring programs I realised that a majority of young people leaving school were ill prepared for the world of work. The school system simply didn’t prepare them, and many talented young people, in disadvantaged areas or in social care, had been disaffected or even excluded by the system.
We focussed on their passions and aspirations and developed a program which we found had a remarkably positive effect on their life chances. We then realised that the earlier we engaged young people, the greater the long term impact.
Reaching children as young as 8 we also discovered how aware they are of famous business people and the concept of entrepreneurism. They weren’t aware they could start their own business and only needed some guidance to do so.
(Read Julian's full interview here!)
Julian has won several awards for his mentoring program, and Ultra Education is now growing across the UK via a franchising program, proof that a business built on a cause you are passionate about is great first step in creating your new business.
Similarly successful is Kath Austin, whose business idea was to help try to change the world. by reducing the proliferation of single use plastics. BeeBee wraps makes an eco friendly alternative to cling film. Their bees wax wraps are re-useable and they’ve collaborated with celebrities like Sienna Miller and Kate Moss.
Growth Rocket: Can you give us some of the reasons you've been so successful?
Kath Austin, founder of BeeBee Wraps: I often wonder what the secret formula is. Ultimately, the stars aligned and the timing was perfect; as the world woke up to the plastic crisis, I launched our brand. We've always tried to stay ahead but there's an element of crystal ball gazing there too. Our environmental mission is central but the delivery, the conduit to the success of that mission is changing behaviours around using environment ally unfriendly products. Making our wraps beautiful was a big part of our success. Over and above that, the crystal ball gazing continues and we try to guess what the next big thing will be to gain more traction in reducing plastic.
(Read Kath's full interview here!)
BeeBee Wraps has been incredibly successful in the few years since they launched, outgrowing their original premises , collaborating with international charities like Sky Ocean Trust, and the Woodland Trust, even appearing on BBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Another business idea born from a desire to change the world is Ugly Drinks. Co-founders, Joe Benn & Hugh Thomas, created Ugly Drinks to challenge corporate soft drinks companies and reduce the amount of sugar and additives that are being consumed. Ugly Drinks are now sold in over 4000 stores in the UK, including most of the major supermarkets. They’ve also expanded into America and have just been successful in another multi-million pound fundraising effort.
Growth Rocket: Ugly Drinks are certainly not following the herd when it comes to canned soft drinks, but you guys are right on point being additive and plastic free. How did you come up with the idea and ethos for Ugly Drinks?
Joe Benn, Co-Founder of Ugly Drinks: We built the brand around a George Orwell quote - ‘In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’ We knew we wanted to challenge the incumbents and do things differently and so we came up with the idea of ‘The Ugly Truth’. We are Ugly. And we’re not going to sugarcoat it for you: we’re just a drink. No unattainable lifestyles. No ridiculous promises. No sugar. No sweetener. No calories. And absolutely nothing artificial.
(Read Joe's full interview here!)
So, there you have it. If you want to come up with a great business idea, start with something you’re passionate about. That’s what these entrepreneurs did, and it certainly worked for them. Of course, just being passionate about your business idea won’t guarantee you success, it’s also going to take a lot of hard work and perseverance (and probably more than a few tears!), but it will give your business idea a much greater chance than if you’re just going through the motions!
Want some more tips on successful business ideas? Then you'll want to read "Are These the Keys to Success? Part 1 - Consistency"