5 Ways To Come Up With Business Ideas
Many people want to start a business. The difficulty people often face is not knowing exactly where to start, or what might be a good business to get into. This article has a number of techniques and strategies to help guide you to think through starting a business in an organized and structured step-by-step way.
Keep in mind, some business ideas may work for some founding teams, or at a certain points in time, but may not work for other people or at other times.
Success or failure depends highly on the skills, strengths, motivation, ambitions and abilities of the entrepeneur, in conjution with overall timing and market conditions, and a number of other factors.
Take a look at the article about different types of ideas. It is meant to help structure the thinkinng around a type of idea.
1. Should you keep your business idea a secret?
There are varying schools of thought on this issue. Some people like to remain secretive about their ideas while others like to ask as many people as possible so that they can get more feedback. The pros and cons are obvious. If you keep the idea a secret, you will get less feedback. Your only option to validate the product will be to put it out in the market (a relatively expensive step in terms of time and money). But you do gain the benefit of less people being able to steal your idea.
On the other hand, if you tell more people, you can get a broader range of opinions from which to learn, and refine how you think about your idea. Of course, someone whom you trust may like your idea so much that they may disregard ethics and go ahead and try to claim your ideas as theirs.
But you will eventually be successful, there will be hundreds of people who will be stealing your ideas and competing directly against you because all your ideas and products will be available to the public. Competition is just natural and inescapable. in fact, there is almost no business out there which does not have competition.
2. Make sure you have a complete strategy
Once you have a good idea, and you talk to enough people about it, try to gain a sense of your complete strategy. That means taking a bigger picture view.
For example, you may have a good idea for a product, but it might be difficult to market that particular product as you might have conceptualized it. That is a big risk. On the other hand, it might be a good product that is easy to market, but there may not ultimately be much money in it. If there is plenty of money in it, there may very naturally be too much competition, and in case you are relatively new to entrepeneurship, being in a fiercely competitive business environment is not playing to your strength. You can also be missing by a few years by being too early or too late. The number of potential blind spots or pitfalls is very large. This is unpredictable.
3. Know your strengths
It is wise to first think about your personal and professional strengths. Are you an engineer who can build high quality technical products? Are you good at sales? Are you well-connected? Are you patient? Are you a leader, or feel that you can be a great leader? Do you have high moral and ethical I.Q? Whatever your strengths are, whenever you think about what kind of businesses are right for you, try to align your strengths so that your unique background can give your venture the most comeptitive edge.
Conversely, try to minimize your weaknesses. For example, if you are not technical, do not rush into businesses that require a lot of technical aptitude and skills. That does not mean you should be discouraged. It jut means you should think through a bit more thorougly. Additionally, many businesses require substantial upfront capital. If you are not wealthy, and are not able to raise high amounts of capital, those businesses may not be the best businesses for you to start with. You can be successful in them eventually, but it may benefit you to consider how you can grow into them out of something that is financially feasible for you to start with.
The great news is that everyone has strengths, so everyone can find a niche where they can give their business a competitive advantage. If you play to your strengths, you can give yourself a much higher chance to ulimately succeed. We are cheering for you !
4. Consider your interests and passions ?
If you will be successful, you may end up doing this business for two, five, ten or maybe even more years. Think about what you want to do, and what would make you happy. Conversely, try to not get into business areas just for the money. If you do business in an industry where you do not want to be or have no interest in, you may not find yourself being fulfilled, nor find the strength to make it through the difficult stages throughout the life of business. And worst of all, your lack of true passion may be sensed by your eomployees, partners, potential investors and your customers.
5. How can you improve the world?
This section is very important. Having considered what you want to do, and what your strenghts are, your business is ultimately not completely for you. It is more for your clients and customers.
Perhaps your business is much more for your customers than it is for you. Always think about your clients because without them, no business can exist. Every business needs cutomers and your job is to find something you can do to make someone’s life better, or create some benefit to someone or something out there.
You can solve someone’s problem, entertain them, teach them something, etc. Your business does not have to focus on consumers. As long as you provide some benefit somewhere in the universe, there is potential for a business there. Of course, ultimately you will have to get paid, so keep that in mind as well. Creating just any benefit to anything out there does not necessarily pay.
You have to ulimately provide a great enough benefit to your customers so that they would be willing to pay you for your offering and/or come back to use it again.
Once you have thought through a product or a service that plays to your strengths, and an benefit someone or something in the world. what is the next step ?
The next step is to see if your idea can become a viable product or service, and the a company. After all, up to now, no matter how good of an idea it may be, it is still a concept and the next tep is to gauge how to make it a reality.