Have you been wanting to start a side business for some extra cash but can’t seem to find the perfect idea? I’ve also been there before; burning with passion for starting a business but not knowing what to do.

The benefits of starting your own side business while still working or going to school are many. Aside from the extra money that you will make, there are many other perks which make starting your own business worthwhile.

Figuring out what business to do can be a daunting task at first especially if it’s your first business. But don’t fret. With some help, you’ll discover that great idea in no time.

In this post, I’ll share with you 3 easy steps to find your killer side business idea that you can start on the side.

STEP 1. Identify Your Interests, Skills, And Passion.

To start a side business, the first thing you need to do is to figure out what stuff are of interest to you. You also need to know what your skills and passions are.

Make a list of them.  Most people who have started successful side businesses started from an interest, skill or passion they had.

It’s important. If an idea doesn’t match any of your interests, passions or skills, you have no business starting a business there!

You shouldn’t jump at an idea just because other people are doing it or just because it seems to be fetching a lot of money.

You shouldn't jump at an idea just because other people are doing it. Click To Tweet

According to a study conducted by CB Insights, 10% of businesses fail because the founders aren’t passionate about the idea.

When things start getting tough and everything looks bleak, your passion is what will keep you going.

So before you jump to start what you think is the next big idea, hold back and see if it is something you are passionate about.

STEP 2. Make A List Of Possible Business Ideas Which Match Your Interests, Skills Or Passion.

After you have figured out what you are interested in or passionate about,  make a list of possible business ideas you can consider.

For example, if you like music and know how to play the piano, some of your possible business ideas could be as follows:

  • Offer music lessons
  • Offer piano classes to students
  • Offer to play at gigs/churches/events, etc
  • Start a music and piano blog
  • Start a music and piano tutorial YouTube Channel

Based on your interest or skills, I bet you can come up with lots of business ideas which are related to those interests.

Instead of just thinking up these ideas in your head, it helps to write them down in a book or on your computer.

Just write the somewhere you can refer to later.

Step 3. Find out What People Want And Are Willing To Pay For

Now that you have a bunch of ideas you need to figure out which of your ideas people will be willing to pay for.

It’s one thing to have an idea and it’s another to have a solution that people are willing to pay for.

If people are unwilling to pay for what you have to offer, you have no business no matter how wonderful your idea is.

Before anyone would want to pay for what you are offering, your solution must either:

  • Address a problem that your target customer is facing or
  • Offer a significant improvement to the current solution.

To find out what people are willing to pay for, take a look at your list. See if there are people around you who are doing any of the stuff on your list.

If you find that people around you are doing similar stuff, it is a good sign that there is a market for it and people are willing to pay for that service.

If you find out that no one is doing anything on your list, it could either mean:

  • No one has identified that problem or opportunity yet or
  • There’s simply no demand for it.

In such a case, it’s best to talk to people. Start with your closest friends. Ask them to give you their honest opinions about your ideas.

Next talk to people who you think may want to patronize any of the ideas or services on your list.

For instance, if your list includes offering web design services, you can talk to small-business owners around you. Find out if they will be willing to pay you to design a website for their company.

Go online and do some research.  Google your ideas and your location and see what comes up. For instance, in the web design example I showed above, you could Google “freelance web design services in Kumasi, Ghana” and see what comes up.

It will give you a good idea of the nature of the market for that idea.

Create a simple questionnaire with a few questions and share on social media to get opinions from other people. Google Forms allows you to easily create questionnaires and forms for free.

The goal of this is to help you figure out if there is a ready market for your ideas and if people will be willing to pay for them.

Before my team built Pasco, we first created a simple Google Form to find out if people had any interest in the idea before we wrote a single line of code. This single action gave us a lot of insight about what we wanted to do and saved us a lot of time and money.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right business idea and making sure that people are willing to pay for it is extremely important.

If you follow these three steps above I can assure you that by the time you are done, you will end up with an idea people are ready to pay for. With that, you can then begin your journey towards starting a profitable side business.

If you are looking for more motivation to start your own business here are 10 good reasons why you should start your own business.

Are you a student or a worker? Have you started a side business which is doing well? Please share your experience in the comments section below.