Hack your commute: Research your next business venture

Getting started with a business is easier today than it has ever been and the commute can be an ideal time to do the groundwork for a new venture.

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Some people weren’t born to spend their days in offices. Some are driven less by the stability of a monthly pay cheque and more by entrepreneurial vision – the desire to ditch the 9 to 5 and bring their own ideas to fruition.

Yet even those with the brightest, most intensely independent spark need to submit to the daily grind for periods of their career, even if only to provide the financial security to pursue their true extracurricular ambitions. If you’re one of those people, it’s likely your day job takes up more of your time than you would like, and you don’t want to sacrifice your entire personal life working on new business ideas.

A commute is therefore an ideal time to do the groundwork for a new venture. There are a host of resources and platforms that could get you on your way to launching your startup or side project, given just a few hours’ research per week on your smartphone on the way into work.

Getting started with a business is easier today than it has ever been, and those prepared to take the fail-fast approach have many options for getting the commercial gears turning. Shopify, for example, offers low barriers to entry for almost anyone who has an idea for an ecommerce business. You don’t even have to create your own product or hold inventory, as platforms such as Oberlo can enable you to place orders with suppliers who can ship products after you’ve made a sale – you effectively just need to market them. Alibaba’s AliExpress is an alternative marketplace for sourcing suppliers.

These won’t provide the freedom that many budding entrepreneurs will want when starting their business, but they could provide the initial launchpad you later ‘pivot’ away from, or even an income stream that enables you to drop out of the rat race and focus on your own business.

Those who want to take a more thorough, market-orientated approach to creating their own offering will want to start by identifying product categories where consumer trends have opened up a gap you could fill. For this, Google Trends could be a valuable free tool for finding out what consumers are searching for, as could Trend Hunter, which tracks emerging consumer trends across hundreds of categories.

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