Thinking about starting a new business but have no idea on what business to start?
We’ll you’re not going to find any ideas here. Business ideas cannot be given to you–you have to come up with the ideas yourself.
Idea generation is an essential skill that every entrepreneur must possess and it is vital that you develop this proficiency.
Still, idea generation is a big problem that many new entrepreneurs face. Go to any entrepreneurship forum and you will see a ton of threads from entrepreneur hopefuls asking for ideas on what business they should open.
To help with this issue, I have put together some tips for entrepreneurs and entrepreneur hopefuls on how to formulate solid business ideas.
1. Pursue the type of work you love
As described in the previous post, you should always look to pursue the type of work and work-related roles you would enjoy before pursuing an idea related to your favorite hobby or pastime.
The reason is that hobbies don’t always translate well to enjoyable or empowering work. Thus you should pursue a type of business that will give you the role that you would enjoy filing the most.
It is often suggested that you use your passions as a starting point when generating ideas. You can do this as long as you make sure you hone in on ideas that would allow you to work in a role that you would enjoy.
2. Look for opportunity
We often hit ourselves in the head when a business releases a product that we could have thought of ourselves. We get frustrated because the product is an obvious solution to a problem we commonly face, but didn’t think of it first.
These businesses are doing something very important that all entrepreneurs should learn from: they actively look for opportunity everywhere, especially in the routines we have gotten used to.
Don’t let yourself get comfortable with our day to day problems. These issues are usually the greatest targets for improvement because no one else sees the opportunity.
Brainstorming can be a very powerful tool and is a great technique for rapid idea generation.
Use this tool to generate ideas for what you think can be done better. Consider what you are unhappy about, or what needs improvement. You will find that you’ll have a long list of ideas in no time.
4. Keep your goals in mind
The types of ideas you should pursue will vary depending on your goals. That is why it is important that you identify these goals before generating ideas.
You may want a passive income business which requires barely any of your time or you may want a brick and mortar retail store that you will manage yourself.
These two types of businesses will require very different things from you, so it is important that you know what you want before listing ideas.
5. Go traveling
Traveling is a great way to identify new opportunities. You might find that there is a certain technology missing in your area of destination, or your vacation spot has a service that would be in great demand back home.
Traveling gives you the chance to observe the many differences various cultures have and can open your mind to new ways of providing value either when abroad or back home.
6. Look for where demand is
If a certain industry, product or service enjoys high demand, chances are there is more than enough room for you to help fulfill these needs.
A great way to generate ideas is to identify which sectors have lots of consumer demand. Once you indicate areas of need, it will be easy to generate ideas on what you can offer.
7. Look for unfulfilled demand
You can also look for needs that haven’t been fulfilled. Unfulfilled demand means that consumers want something but haven’t been getting it.
Examples of this could be bad customer service in a particular industry, a service that is normally paid for that can be offered for free, a product or service that is more reliable or a technology that hasn’t been developed yet.
Try to think of anything that customers are demanding, either out loud or quietly, but aren’t getting. If you can fulfill this need, you’ll find customers flocking to you.
8. Improve a process
Think about a process that can be improved. This may be one that can increase sales, cut costs or deliver goods to customers more quickly.
Customers love convenience so if you can think of any process innovation that can make a product or service more convenient, go for it.
If you can perform a process better than your competitors, you are giving yourself a significant competitive edge. You can offer cheaper products, higher quality products, better customer service or market the product more effectively.
Improving a process means you have created a better way to produce or add value to a product and have thus raised the standards for your competition. While you have already innovated, your competition will be struggling to keep up.
An alternate benefit is that you may perform a process so well that other companies may want to outsource to you because of your improved ability to deliver.
9. Fill a niche
An industry might be saturated with competition, but individual market niches may feel alienated by the advertising of the bigger companies.
Marketing products to a niche could be a great opportunity for you to enter into an industry without having to outright compete with the bigger companies.
When considering different businesses to open, try to think about the different niches you could target and you’ll find that you’ll never be short of business ideas.
10. Consider your resources
Money, skill, time. How much do you have of each? Depending on what you have of each can effect which business ideas are feasible, and which need to be put on hold.
If you are thinking about offering a particular service in which you have no experience or money, you might have to wait and pursue another venture until you have acquired enough skill or money to provide the service.
Are there any other tips or pointers that can aid in idea generation?