Last month, Paul Breen asked our readers Are you a serial entrepreneur? Or just another serial business starter? In defence of the serial-starter mindset, Jay Dillon wants to know, Are you an ‘ideas man’?
I keep a list of interesting online business ideas that often hit me at strange times (if you see me at a funeral deep in thought, don’t presume I am musing the wonderful life of the deceased).
When an idea hits me it is customary for me to spend the next 48 hours totally obsessed with the idea and fly into a flurry of research and strategy.
I know myself well enough now to succumb to the rush of a new concept ‘that has never been done before’, before heading back to the here-and-now. I figure that this sort of activity, although no help to my current workload, is good for keeping my mind active, rather than feeling guilty about never being able to put these ideas into action. I treat it in the same way as someone who enjoys cross-word puzzles might.
The thing is, my sporadic research often leaves me with a whole new level of knowledge about a market category that I previously knew nothing about. Considering that as the builder of websites my job involves sitting down with a business from any number of market categories and discussing the needs of their business and the needs of their target market, this can’t be a bad thing.
In fact, recently it served me well when Tonto Digital was approached by Global Snow Tours. These guys sell travel packages to the young snowboarding and skiing community. It was not more than six months earlier that I had spent quite a few late nights researching the snow travel industry based on an idea that I had what would be perfect for this target market.
The idea itself doesn’t matter (let’s just presume it was brilliant) but the knowledge I had gained about the industry and the motives and needs of the target market would have played a part in our winning the contract to build its three sites (he says with obvious pride).
On another occasion, I had an idea that I realised would be best promoted through the use of affiliate marketing throughout other websites that were in the same niche. This sent me on a path of discovery in the world of affiliate marketing, which is something I knew little about but now stand confidently in front of clients providing strategic advice on this very subject.
However much my wife may groan at the latest installment of ‘Lets-throw-in-our-jobs-and-get-rich-with-this-idea-that-no-one-has-thought-of’ I stand by the activities that this type of creative thinking creates as a great way to expand ones knowledge and create opportunities.
Does anyone else suffer from (or enjoy) this same affliction? It’s got to be better than crosswords and self-help books, right?
Jay Dillon is director of Tonto Digital a website design/development studio building big business websites, even if your not so big (yet). Further musings from Dillon can be found at tontodigital.com.au/blog.