I need to invent a new product or business idea for entrepreneurship class and develop a business plan.  Can you help.  Something simple and useful and doesn't already exist.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One simple service that may or may not exist in a given community is a shopping and errand service for senior citizens.  The largest generation in recent history is the baby boomer generation, and that generation is getting  old.  Many would welcome such a service.

I think there is a huge, untapped market for a few reasons.  Traditionally, one's children helped senior citizens with things like this, but today, it is more typical for one's children to be living in other areas or to be far too busy working to attend to this.  Senior citizens who live in senior citizen communities may have available a transport service to shop or see doctors, but not everyone wants to do his or her own shopping and errands. 

What are the elements you must consider in a business plan? The overhead for such an operation would be very low.  For example, marketing could consist of leaving flyers in neighborhoods with aging populations, at supermarkets, dry cleaners, etc., or in the lobbies of senior citizen highrises.  Word of mouth would probably be good once the service got going.  Many errands could be done with a bicycle, for example, picking up prescriptions or going to get a bag of flour or sugar.  Even using a car, for the most part, this would be a very neighborhood-oriented business, so gas costs would not be great, particularly if one could combine errands in a community or for a high-rise.  Little capital would be needed to get started: a car or a bike, and some printing costs, although flyers can now be produced at home by anyone.  I would say that an urban target market would be the best starting point, to create an efficient operation without high fuel costs and less investment in time.  Price-setting and wage-setting are something that you would have to calculate based upon your particular geographic area, based upon what the market will bear, but when calculating wages, you will want to consider that most people using such a service are likely to tip and that poor people tend to tip more generously than wealthy people.  The structure of your business is likely to be rather flat, with a group of people responsible for deliveries and one person in charge to coordinate and put out any fires. 

I think that covers all of the basic elements that you must consider in a business plan, and honestly, it would be wonderful to see something like this in my own neighborhood. 

teachonline2015 | Student

There are some online tools and templates you can research online that may help you with this process. When starting your first business, you want to find an idea or a business that you enjoy. Find your passion.

To find an idea for a business that has never been done before, should apply your most innovative thinking. Look at the old and see new approaches. Ask yourself questions like, What is lacking here? What can be improved?