Being a CEO is a tough job.

The entire success, or failure, of the company is on your shoulders.  There are many high-level decisions to make and tons of stakeholders, both internally and externally, to appease.  However, it is a great and challenging job.  But wouldn’t you prefer to own the company and be the CEO?  Becoming an entrepreneur might be a better choice.

The path to entrepreneurship can be very rewarding.  You get a wonderful opportunity to create a company while learning and developing. You can make decisions with the help of a great team while seeing all facets of the business. Finally, as a company owner, you get to see all your hard work and dedication pay off once you get your first client.  Then that one client turns into to ten, then to one hundred, and then to scalable growth. Along with company growth, comes responsibility, autonomy, and the ability to make a change in your community.

But how do you get to be an entrepreneur?  It seems like new companies and ideas magically appear for some people.  They go on to start the next big tech company or appear on talk show and podcasts as experts.  But the question remains….How do you come up with a profitable business idea? This article will provide you with a useful tool  and steps to create your next business idea.

Engaging in ideation is critical for starting a business. Just like anything in life, you must start with a plan.  Creating a plan allows you to display all your ideas in one location and analyze them holistically. To aid in ideation for your new business, use the attached downloadable document and follow these 4 steps.

4 Steps to Creating You Next Business Idea

Step 1: Identify Your Interest

There are many things you do very well and that spark your interest.  Some people bake, others are technology wizards, while others are good at automotive mechanics.  Identify the things you excel at and input them into box 1.  Remember these should be interests that you wouldn’t mind doing as a career.

Step 2: Narrow Your Scope

For the items you listed in Step 1, narrow them to the top 2 items. Ask yourself these questions. Am I truly passionate about all aspects of the interest? Has anyone complemented me for my expertise at completing the interest? Can I see myself working on this interest for the foreseeable future? You may also want to enlist a 3rd party to help you analyze these tasks clearly.

Step 3: Research

Conduct preliminary research on the top 2 interests listed in Step 2.  Understand key information about these topics in order to understand what a career might look like.  Try to find the industry, size of the customer base, and critical processes followed to produce the product or create the service.  Feel free to conduct as much high-level research as you like.  Within this step, you will determine if there is capacity in the industry to handle another player or if the market is saturated and closed to new entrants.

Step 4: Ideation Finalization

Now that you are armed with preliminary data, choose between the two interests.  Which idea could you build a business around?  Which idea could be profitable and useful to consumers?  This could be your next big idea.  By the way, you just took your first step into entrepreneurship, ideation and strategic thinking,….Congratulations.

Now that you have completed ideation, what’s next?  Continue to build upon your business idea to find a niche market or a unfilled gap.  This will allow you to create a competitive advantage.  To ensure you are on the correct path, you can hire a business consultant to assist on your entrepreneurial journey.