Should You Start a Business That Scratches Your Own Itch?

This post was written by a guest contributor.  It was authored by Silvia Torres.

For some people, business is all about an idea. Other people believe that business ideas don’t matter. For them, it’s all about the execution. I fall somewhere in the middle of those two beliefs. While I do think it’s very important to start with a solid idea, I also think that even the best business idea will fail if it’s not executed well.

Before you get to the point of executing on an idea, you first need to have an idea. Although that’s simple enough to understand, the idea phase of starting a business is a stumbling block for plenty of hopeful entrepreneurs. If you’re in this phase and currently feeling stuck, there’s probably one of two causes.

The first cause is you can’t think of an idea that seems good enough. The second cause is you have a lot of ideas, but are unsure of which one to commit to. While those may seem like two very distinct problems, there’s actually a solution that can solve both of them.

The solution is to start a business that scratches your own itch. So if you’re feeling stuck without an idea, all you need to do is start paying attention to things in your daily life that are missing or frustrating. And if you’re overwhelmed by trying to narrow down a long list of your ideas, you can use this approach to pick the idea that impacts you the most.

3 Reasons to Start a Business That Scratches Your Own Itch

If you’ve spent time reading about different ways to start a business, you know that scratching your own itch isn’t the only option for choosing an idea. However, there are several reasons I think it’s the best strategy. The first reason I took this approach to starting my business and recommend it to others is it ensures you fully understand the problem you’re trying to solve. Picking a business idea through another method means you may end up trying to tackle a problem that you don’t truly know how to solve.

The second reason this approach is very effective is it puts you in a position that allows you to really listen to your instincts. Since you’re dealing with something you understand on a personal level, you can make judgment calls with absolute confidence. Finally, starting a business around a problem or issue that personally affects you means you’ll understand the type of language people use when they’re talking about it. Having that insight will provide a major advantage when you’re writing website copy and other marketing materials.

One Important Caveat to This Strategy

While scratching your own itch is a great way to come up with a strong business idea or narrow down a list of ideas to the best one, there’s one important caveat. Before you fully dive into launching and growing your business, you still need to validate that other people have this problem. More importantly, you need to validate that people will pay for a solution to this problem. That’s true for both B2C and B2B ideas. By not skipping this important step, you can be sure that you both fully understand the problem your business is going to solve and that there’s a demand for it.

Have you used this strategy to start your own business? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

- Silvia Torres is the founder of Mala, which makes beautiful, handcrafted leather flats for professional women who care about style, comfort and value.