Emerging businesses, quite deservedly, occupy a special place in the mind of onlookers. Entrepreneurs somehow manage to get ahead of the curve and create profit where previously there was none. Great enterprises begin as mere ideas.

Here are five inexpensive and easy ways to find hot new business ideas. Remarkably, all you need is a dash of curiosity a computer with an Internet connection.

1. Pick a topic you're passionate about. What are your hobbies? What do you love to spend you time doing? Choose a topic and go hunting for a problem that others will pay you to solve.
2. About.com Hobbies. To get a sense of the amount of interest in a topic, click on www.about.com/hobbies. Once there, you can drill deeper on the hobbies that interest you. As you visit different pages, you'll be treated to an abundance of articles, reviews, products, links, new developments and advertisements. Pay particular heed to the pay-per-click (PPC) ads – pages with more PPC ads usually indicate a higher level of competition. More PPC ads should mean there is more money flowing in any given area.
3. eBay Keywords. Click on the buy.shop.ebay.com/ and use the alphabetical index to find the keywords visitors are using to search for what they want at eBay. From the index you can narrow your search to topics of interest. Your visit to the eBay website should give you a sense of what people are buying and selling. More importantly, it tells you the words they use to search for what they want.
4. Google Keywords. This remarkable tool allows you to see which keywords people are using to search across the entire Internet. To use it, go to adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and plug in the keywords you want to research. After an enchanting couple of minutes at this website I can tell you there are 165,000 searches per month for the term "bald head" and a mere 18,100 searches per month for "doggy doo." Who knew? While this particular revelation may not change your life today, know that this indicates a significant level of interest in both topics. Wherever there are problems, innovators are devising solutions and combing the planet for business opportunities.
5. Google Trends. I love Google, and although the business has grown to a disturbing size, they are continually evolving a number of interesting projects. So where better to go to get a glimpse of the trends and gain insight into the hottest topics? At http://www.google.com/trends you will have access to charts indicating Internet user's level of focus on any topic you choose, which parts of the globe the interest is generated from, as well as links to broaden your research efforts.

Although the methods above are mostly Internet based, a lot of new business ideas arise from travelling to other communities. It's always informative to see how problems are solved, what's selling and what's not.

If you're looking to offer a new product or service in your area, a few minutes a day spent at any of the sites above can provide you with a fairly inexpensive education. And after sifting through a bit of clutter, you might just discover a new way of doing things that motivates you to plan and start your next business venture.

Author's Bio: 

"Dan Boudreau is President and CEO of Macrolink Action Plans Inc and the RiskBuster Practical Business Planning Oasis at http://www.riskbuster.com. Writing your own business plan can be easy, fast and fun! Instantly download a free copy of Dan's popular fast-track business plan template when you subscribe to the RiskBuster Newsletter at http://www.riskbuster.com." "Dan Boudreau is President and CEO of Macrolink Action Plans Inc and the RiskBuster Practical Business Planning Oasis at http://www.riskbuster.com. Writing your own business plan can be easy, fast and fun! Instantly download a free copy of Dan's popular fast-track business plan template when you subscribe to the RiskBuster Newsletter at http://www.riskbuster.com."