Becoming self-employed is a growing trend. The opportunities are endless – but what is the perfect business idea for you, and how will you know it’s the right one?

Bring your experience to the table

Try not to be daunted by any suggestions that you have to come up with a brilliant idea – you certainly don’t. The key is to create a business that’s relevant and will meet the needs of your target customers.

Recognise your skills and experience
Take a closer look at the range of skills and experience you’ve built up over your working life, both in various jobs and outside of work. Which workplace environments were more enjoyable and interesting? Think about:
• The skills you’ve learned in the workforce.
• What you enjoy most doing when not at work.
• Additional skills you’ve built up through a hobby that you’d like to turn into a job.

Know your perfect business model

If you could choose a perfect business model, what would it be?

For some, it might be setting up a platform where earning income doesn’t require working. For others, it could be spending as much time as possible working on something that’s rewarding and engaging.
How would your ideal business be run – and what role would you have within your business, to make it challenging and enjoyable? For example, you could be experienced in coding computer programs and ideally want to build a business that has some regular long-term customers who keep your venture profitable. Meanwhile, you personally have the freedom to work on more creative projects, like gaming apps.

Research your options

Look deeply into how you could use your skills and experience in line with your ideal business model. Research your possible options by:
• Making use of the Internet to find out what’s trending.
• Attending conferences, seminars and talks.

Opportunities are out there for you to utilise your skill base via gaps in the market – the trick is discovering what those opportunities might be. By researching your options, you’ll be one step closer to finding your perfect business idea.

Look for areas of growth
People are prepared to pay for perceived added value – so is there room for your business in a growth area of interest? Search for growing areas that interest you and find out more about the businesses that are succeeding in these industries.

Take into account the current economic situation and whether there are certain markets that aren’t being effectively supplied. For example, following the global financial crisis, consumers reigned in spending yet still had the natural inclination to dine out occasionally. A low cost, low margin restaurant with a high customer turnover rate may have fit in well with this economic climate.

Is there a market where you believe you could offer a better service or product than what’s currently available? Make a list of potential opportunities.

Gather your available resources

Speak with your family, friends, colleagues, and other business owners to find out whether they see your idea as solving a problem – or being a solution to what consumers wants. Think about the outside help you’ll need to take your idea to the next level.

Undertake a long-term approach
Take a long-term view by knowing when an idea is just part of a trend and when there are genuine global or local trends with future growth potential. Try not to be held back by thinking you still haven’t found the perfect business idea. Sometimes the ‘perfect’ idea is the one you’re already considering. Now, can you actually get your business up and running?

Next steps
• Write down your experience, skills and your ideal business model – then begin to research your options.
• Speak with your local AmBank Small Business Specialist (http://ambank.com.my/eng/sbs-locator) to find out how they can help you implement your business idea.
• Make sure you understand intellectual property laws in Malaysia to ensure no one prevents you from starting your business.

Finding your perfect business idea