According to the late self-help expert Earl Nightingale, every business in operation today, not matter how large or small, began as an idea in the mind of one person. One of the best ways to grow your business is to identify unmet customer needs

These days we hear a lot about surviving big businesses and how important it is to be big and survive. There’s nothing wrong with big business and one of the most interesting things about it is that no matter how big it might be today — it started small.

One of the largest corporations in the United States was started with about thirty thousand dollars of borrowed money and after ten years of operation had only six thousand dollars in the bank. A good thing to remember is that every business, no matter how far-flung or how many thousands of employees and skyscraper office buildings it might have, got its start in the mind of one human being.

Find a need and fill it!

Committees and groups are good when it comes to solving problems, but every good idea had to start in the mind of one human being and usually is the result of something observed. One could start a business of their own this year that in twenty or thirty years will be a big far-flung business, too!

There are people who think all the good businesses are taken or that there are not opportunities anymore, but they are full of hot air. There are quite a few of them running around. They make one want to quote Shakespeare’s classic line, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound.”

Six words lie at the root of any business success: FIND A NEED AND FILL IT! The extent of your success will be determined by your ability to fill a need and by the need’s importance.

Anytime we see a business that is thriving and successful we realize that it is filling a need. If it were not, it would stop thriving and close shop. The size of a business is controlled by the number of people it serves. For example, a store that can accommodate 500 people must be larger than a business that accommodates 100.

Undiscovered opportunities exist in any kind of business

I know a man who made a small gas station into a really big business. He was watching a customer and noticed that while the customer’s car was being serviced, he simply waited. The customer had money to spend and there were undoubtedly things he would buy or needed — but they were not available. My friend started adding things and kept adding them until he ended up with a big sporting goods store alongside a large, modern gas station. While servicing a car at his station, one could buy anything from a pack of gum to a $200 fishing rod. On any given Friday or Saturday, he rings approximately forty or fifty thousand dollars in sales from waiting customers.

My friend’s business is not different from any other gas station in the country, but he thought about his business and had an idea. He saw a need and filled it. He could sell his business today for a few million dollars.

The fact is — there is more opportunity today than ever before — we just have to see it!

A lot of people want to try new things but are too afraid of change. Remember … it is impossible to reach second base without taking your foot off of first.