I taught a class last week “First Steps to Starting a Business” at the Job Center. You know, where everyone who has been “downsized” goes to file their unemployment claims. The class was packed with both blue and white collar workers seeking an alternative to job hunting in a dismal labor market. What many of them failed to bring with them was an idea of what kind of busness they could initiate. I overviewed the contents in my last blog entry and then suggested they do some research. Yep–market research on the web.
There are some terrific sites out there to help you get the gray matter moving. One I frequently suggest is www.springwise.com . They have 8000 or so spotters who “scan the globe looking for smart new business ideas delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds”. What is so great about this is that many of the ideas that have been put into action are from Europe and Asia. (Meaning that maybe no one stateside has thought of it yet). For instance, I recall a story of a clever enterprise using coin operated/card powered stationary bikes to charge cell phones at music festivals in England. The attendees waited in line, cash/card in hand to jump on the bikes getting some exercise and the ability to text their buddies at the same time. After the concert the guys simply packed up the bikes and moved on to the next venue. Brilliant!
Need some ideas? Check out Springwise. And if you find some other interesting sites, please post them in comments to share ’em.