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How to Come Up with a Good Business Idea

Good Business Idea, You must have heard someone say “I want to start a business” only to be followed with “…but I don’t know what to start.”

Some people are waiting for the perfect idea, while others are brain-blocked thinking about making money. Generating strong, novel business ideas can be a challenge.

If you’re interested in being an entrepreneur, brainstorming to satisfy needs and solve problems is a good place to start.

Remember the golden rule of brainstorming: There are no bad ideas. As your thoughts flow, jot them down so you can later prune the list to focus on your strongest concepts.

Here are some thought-starters for coming up with innovative business ideas.

  1. Look Inward for a Business Idea

The first and easiest place to come up with a business idea is through your own experiences. One day you may realize you have a problem that no one else can solve. Can you come up with a solution and solve it or a similar problem for others? Write down all problems like this, even if you can’t solve them initially. Additionally, look to your strengths, skills, and interests for inspiration.

Analyze Your Own Problems

The best place to look for a business idea is inside of your own problems. What challenges are you running into in your day-to-day life? This doesn’t have to be a brand new business idea. The problem can be as simple as firing your lawn care company and finding it difficult to find another quality company. That’s a potential problem worth exploring.

Use Your Current Strengths

Many current business owners build a business around their strengths. Strengths may be skills or knowledge you’ve learned from experiences like working in the corporate world or through hobbies. A good example is if you’ve been in sales for 20 years and are looking to apply those skills to a certain industry, such as real estate, or you’ve learned a lot about cycling through your hobbies and are good at helping friends fix their road bicycles.

Niche down Your Current Skills

Another way to develop a business idea is to narrow down what you do at your current job and provide a particular service or product.

For example, if you’re a general digital marketer for businesses, you may be able to brand yourself as a marketer in a specific niche, such as email marketing or Instagram marketing. Branding yourself in a niche will make it easier to connect with the specific business owners looking for your services.

Good Business Idea
Good Business Idea
  1. Look toward Others for a Business Idea

If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea from your own experiences, look to problems others are having. Friends and family are usually willing to talk about the regular challenges they run into. Maybe there’s a business idea that can help them overcome their challenges. You can also research trends and the current market to discover a business concept that makes sense for consumers today.

Listen to Family and Friends

Make it a point to listen to family and friends when they’re having issues. Maybe they can’t find reliable movers in your local city that won’t overcharge on a quote. Maybe they’re complaining about a specific problem with their vehicle. Write down all of the business ideas you can think of that relate to the problems they’re struggling with, both product and service-based.

Turn to Social Media & Online Reviews

Social media is a great place to find family and friends complaining about the challenges they’re having. Often, people will go online to make a complaint before they tell friends or family. Additionally, look at what industries near your residence consistently have negative reviews.

Follow the Trends

Another way to uncover a business idea is to spot and get ahead of a trend. Determine when a product is going to get big before it happens and start selling it. Additionally, look nationally for trends and see if you can bring them locally to your city.

Conduct Market Research

You can look to market and industry research for direction on a business idea.

  1. Brainstorm solutions for Your Idea

When you identify a problem to solve, you may think of the solution right away. However, if you’re struggling to develop a solution, there are strategies to help you think creatively. Create time during the day to think and make it easy to write record solutions. Additionally, look to others as a way to think creatively. Join local networking groups and entrepreneur networking websites.

Create Time to Think

Schedule time during the day to think through the problems you listed. Some people prefer to do this through meditation, where they sit and contemplate the problem anywhere from 10 minutes to more than an hour.

Make It Easy to Record Ideas

You may get an idea at any point during the day while driving your car, in the shower, or eating lunch. When this happens, no matter how small the inspiration, write it down in a journal or on your phone. It’s also a good idea to place the solution in a place where you can see it easily. Consider writing it on a sticky note to think through it at a later time. If the idea is bad, don’t beat yourself up. During any creative process, it’s helpful to be your own best friend.

Network with Peers

Talking with others about the problem you’re seeking to solve and possible solutions is a great way to think creatively. More extroverted personalities may prefer to talk to business peers than to write in a journal. If you don’t have any family or friends to talk to, consider joining a business group to find like-minded entrepreneurial individuals.

  1. Validate Your Idea to Ensure Success

Validating your business idea involves making efforts to ensure the solution you want to sell is something customers will pay for. True validation comes when someone spends their money on your product or service. However, you may not be able to figure out with certainty how well your product will do in the market until it’s created or your business is open.

Consider creating a few focus groups and surveys to gather feedback. Building an audience online is a great way to elicit feedback for your idea. Additionally, starting a crowdfunding campaign is one of the best ways to ensure your business idea is a good one.

Focus Groups, Beta Testing & Surveys

Focus groups are a selection of people that provide feedback on a product or service. If you have products that you can easily make, like shoemaking, running a few focus groups to get their feedback is a good idea. Beta tests involve testing different versions of a product or service (typically software) that isn’t complete but you’d like feedback on. When it comes to online surveys, you can use a free tool for simple surveys to solicit peers’ feedback.

Build an Audience or Customer Base Online

Building an audience or potential customer base online before launching your product or service is a great way to validate your idea. For example, if you’re considering creating a gaming app, consider creating a Facebook group of people interested in gaming. This will take work, such as promoting your Facebook group during networking events. However, once the group is built, you will have interest validation and potential customers for your business.

Start a Crowdfunding Campaign

One of the best forms of business idea validation is running a crowdfunding campaign, which is a way to raise funds by preselling products and services. You can check our article on crowdfunding sites for startups https://wowplus.net/best-crowdfunding-sites-for-startups-how-to-fund-your-small-business/.

Ask Family and Friends

Asking family and friends should be the last method you use to validate your business idea. Often, they will give you positive feedback because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Additionally, they may purchase your product or service to support you. For example, they may support your crowdfunding campaign even though they wouldn’t have purchased the product or service from an unknown entity.

Three primary paths to a new business idea

  1. The spontaneous idea: This idea can hit you when you’re in the shower, driving in your car, talking with friends, or doodling during a meeting. The dots suddenly connect in a new way, and you have an epiphany … your sudden insight is surprising and exciting, and the value of this new idea seems obvious. You can’t believe nobody else has thought of it before!

So you go online and poke around … and … most of the time, it turns out that someone has thought of it before. But, you still might be able to do it better … so you keep thinking about it and a day passes, and you start to realize some problems. You share it with a few trusted friends and get feedback about many things you hadn’t thought of yet (e.g., anybody pays for it, it’s a tiny market, etc.). It could turn out to be a great idea, but you don’t know, you have a good job, and it is uncharted territory … so you let the dream slowly die away. Cheer up. That was probably the right decision.

  1. The insider idea: Maybe you’ve spent the last years creating a website for businesses, and you’ve noticed some voids in the product or issues with how your company brings it to market. You point these deficiencies out to your bosses, but there are other company priorities, and nothing changes. Or, say your company pays vendors a lot of money to do some work, but nobody ever seems happy with the results … and you see a way to do it better for less. Or, maybe you witnessed your company kill an amazing new product or feature not because testing didn’t show user interest, but for political or organizational reasons.

You see an opportunity to do it on your own, so you start moonlighting on a solution. You gather more specific information, talk to trusted co-workers and industry contacts, and determine the viability of solving the problem. The good thing is, you’re already knowledgeable and well-positioned/networked in the business space … so good luck to you!

  1. The deliberate idea: In this case, you aren’t starting with a business idea. Instead, you’re starting with a desire to create a new business and become an entrepreneur. You may be ready to quit your job and go for it whole-hog, or start it on the side of your desk … but you’re looking for the right business idea to pursue (which could be a business related to your work environment or industry).

While the first two paths may happen unintentionally, the third is for people who know they want to start a company but don’t yet have their idea.

Helpful sources to spark new ideas

Sometimes you need a source of inspiration to spur that lightbulb moment. Try and find inspiration in the world around you. Here are four places to look for inspiration:

  • Study successful entrepreneurs. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where the great entrepreneurs before you have been. Read origin stories and study successful business titans. How did they come up with their business idea? What advice do they have to up-and-coming entrepreneurs? Learn all you can before you embark on your own journey. 
  • Use your smartphone. If you know you want to create an app, you’re not sure exactly what you want to create and search through the app store. Search categories of interest. Do you notice whether anything is missing or how apps in that category could be improved?
  • Can you find similar products or services using search engines? The internet is beneficial for finding products and services that you are in the market for. But have you ever searched and searched for something and not been able to find it? That should be a tip-off of a potential opening in the market that you should act on.
  • Turn to social media. People on social media are often quick to identify issues and problems they have with current products, places, processes, etc.; few take the time to come up with a solution. Reading through people’s grievances can give you great insight into problems other people have that you can solve. Online review sites can offer the same.

Bottom Line

Coming up with a business idea is difficult. If you’re choosing a new idea, remember that it requires deep creative thinking. Surround yourself with inspiration and take every opportunity to brainstorm everyday problems that need to be solved along with potential solutions. Remember, you’ll be spending a great deal of time working on your business, so you must invest time on the front end to ensure it’s successful.

You can come up with an idea — an idea that will change the world, make you millions, or revolutionize an industry.

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