Entrepreneurial Inspiration from Marah Lidey

“I’m the only one with my unique experience—and that inherently is worthwhile.”
— Marah Lidey, co-founder and co-CEO of Shine

We loved these words of wisdom from the co-founder of Shine, a daily wellness app. At GoForth, we’re all for entrepreneurs drawing from their unique experiences, worldview, and expertise. No entrepreneur is exactly like you, and you should consider that one of your biggest strengths!

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Small business blog posts we liked this week

We hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend planned! Here are some interesting small business blog posts and articles we’ve read recently. Have you read anything you’d like to share?

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small business ideas

How do entrepreneurs get small business ideas?

Sometimes it feels like a great small business idea come out of nowhere. In reality, there are actually 5 common sources of small business ideas. Maybe your next small business idea will be found from one of these places:

Small business idea source #1: Your own life

About 60% of new business ideas come from our own life or work experiences. Think of past jobs you’ve had – was there one thing that always bugged you about a process, or one way you always thought a service could be delivered more efficiently? And don’t overlook hobbies, either. The passion and interest we have for our hobbies means they could be sustained as long-term, money-making endeavours.

Small business idea source #2: Other people

Get feedback from your own customers, or customers who are active in industries that you might want to start a business in. Don’t overlook ideas from your team, either! Some of McDonald’s most popular products – the Filet-o-Fish, the Big Mac, Egg McMuffin and Hot Apple Pie – were each created after feedback and ideas from company operators.

Small business idea source #3: Literature

By “literature” we’re not necessarily referring to novels. We mean literature like books, textbooks, research journals, trade magazines, patent registries, databases – even the internet. Reading business blogs, websites, and magazines might stimulate your creative thinking, too.

Small business idea source #4: Organizations

Small business ideas can be found in all kinds of organizations, including government, non-profit laboratories, and associations. Organizations like this have a bonus in that they can help build on your small business idea, too.

Small business idea source #5: Serendipity

Sometimes “out of the blue” business ideas do happen. Being in the right place at the right time was the turning point in the careers of many entrepreneurs. The problem with serendipity is that you can’t predict it of course, but stay open-minded and curious, and evaluate business ideas wherever they may come from.

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3 ways to set your small business apart

Many Canadian entrepreneurs tell us that differentiating themselves from their competition is one of their main struggles. But the good news is: it doesn’t have to be painful! Try these 3 tips to help your small business stand out from your competitors.

1) Identify a specific niche

Understanding your business’ overall industry is important, since it’s home to many factors that can influence your business decisions. However, “niching down” even further is a great way to help your business find its differentiating characteristics. For example, your flower shop may be one of dozens of flower shops in your city. But what if customers knew that you were the only florist in town to source its flowers and plants from local growers? This is an immediate differentiating factor, and one that’ll help you stand out from the competition.

2) Ask your existing customers for their perspective

Your happy and loyal customers return to your business because they know and trust you. Asking them for their feedback could be a great way to help you stand out from the competition. The way you do this depends on your customer base. It could be an informal chat with your regulars, or a more traditional customer feedback survey – try a modified version of our quick eight-part customer survey. You may be surprised at the specific things your customers identify as your differentiating factors.

3) Consider a business pivot

A core component of the lean start-up methodology, pivoting is a useful way to iterate quickly based on customer feedback. If your customers identify a different platform, new technology, a new product feature, or something else, that can help you stand out in a crowded market, do some research to see if it could help you stand out from the rest.

Want to learn more about things like identifying your industry, picking a niche, customer satisfaction, and lean start-up? Check out our industry-leading small business training video program for Canadians.

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