Some people find it very easy to come up with a new business idea, but that doesn’t always mean that it will be as successful as they hoped. It takes time to come up with a business idea that will take off, but where do you even start? When you’re ready to start a new project, side hustle, or business, grab a piece of paper and get brainstorming. Here are 10 ways to help you find your next business idea that may just be the one to change your life!
1. Don’t Try to Be Original, Try to Be Better
With so many businesses already out there, and more popping up every week, it’s very unlikely that you will be able to think of a completely original business idea. Don’t worry – you don’t have to. Of course, new products are great, but you can be just as successful simply being the best. You can find a product or service that people are already using, so you know it’s a good idea, and then aim to make it better in some way.
Think about products or services you use that irritate you in some way. If you find yourself saying “why don’t they just do X,” you’ve probably found something you could do better.
2. Utilize Your Skills and Passions
You’ll hear everyone say, “do what you love.” Being passionate about what you do isn’t always necessary, but it is a good place to start when you’re brainstorming for new business ideas. Your business idea is much more likely to be a success if it incorporates your strengths and something you really love. Start by making a list of these skills and passions and then brainstorm how these things could be turned into a business idea.
Try not to be too direct and think around the edges – for example, if you love fishing rather than thinking “how can I start a business where I am paid for fishing?” Think, “what can I do that makes fishing easier for others, or more enjoyable?”
You can also think of industries that you may have a particular advantage in because of your strengths, such as experience and skills, knowledge, or a strong network. Any one of these could help you get a big step up when you start a business, you just have to determine which.
3. Find a Solution to a Problem
It is so likely that if you look around pretty much anywhere, whether it’s your home, your office, or in stores, you will probably find something that could have a much simpler solution, and it is likely that others think the same thing as you, but haven’t done anything about it. The best thing is to recognize a problem that hasn’t already been solved by somebody else, or at least not well enough, this way it is distinctly possible that the solution will be something that people want.
This is at the heart of every business – if your business doesn’t solve a problem, then you’re not going to get any customers, so look around at the world and your life and keep an eye out for problems and potential solutions you could supply.
4. Look to Other Countries
Look to other countries for inspiration. You might find a business idea that has been put into action in another country but not in your local area, and you’ve really hit the jackpot if you find something that hasn’t been thought of anywhere in your country. Alternatively, you might happen upon a new way to improve an existing service or product. For example, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of face masks being sold here in the west, when normally they were only worn casually by those in Asian countries. Take a look at trends in other cultures and see if you can bring something to your locality.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Test Your Ideas
Even if you don’t think your business idea is perfect, do it anyway. You never know how well it will do unless you try. Set yourself a short timeline on how long you will let an idea play out before you determine that it isn’t going to work, at least not yet. All business ideas have potential, you just need to have the confidence to execute them and stick it out. If your business idea isn’t taking off straight away, take the time to improve on it, don’t just throw it away and start over with something else. It’s much better to spend two weeks on an idea that can’t or won’t pan out, than months on the same. It’s perfectly okay to cycle through a number of ideas before finding one that works!
6. Think About What You Don’t Like to Do
It is also good practice to think about the things you really don’t like to do, as this can significantly narrow down your business options. Maybe you don’t like public speaking, maybe you don’t like being in an office all day, maybe you don’t particularly like children, or maybe you don’t want to have to travel. Whatever it is, you need to think more about the businesses and industries that will let you do more of what you love and less of what you don’t like to do.
7. Look to Social Media
Social media can tell you a lot about what the general public wants or doesn’t want. Keeping an eye on trends and hashtags on sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can really help you to suss out what product or service consumers are using the most and the things that they need in order to live an easier life.
8. Do Your Research
If you know what industry you are interested in getting in to, do as much research as you can without simply doing so to procrastinate on getting started. Read general information about the industry and keep up to date with any news stories related to the field. It can also help you to ascertain what the upcoming trends may be so that you can get ahead of the game and come up with an idea that will fit the trend.
It can also be beneficial to look at customer service queries on websites of companies in the same industry. This can help you to determine what people are experiencing when they use certain products or services, and what they are complaining about. This can help you find a new way of doing business other companies haven’t yet thought of.
9. Train Your Brain
If you find it difficult to come up with multiple ideas it can be beneficial to train yourself to come up with lots of ideas. Spend time every day writing down 10 or so ideas about a certain topic, not necessarily business ideas, and this will help you to get really creative with any topic you put your mind to.
As mentioned above, it is also important to read as much as you can about the industry you are interested in. This will help you to expand your brain. The more knowledge you have the more business ideas you will be able to come up with.
10. Look to the Future
It is also good to think about what may happen with industry in the future, regarding trends and how people’s needs may change. It makes more sense to come up with a business idea that will be able to continually grow, as opposed to one that may fizzle out as trends and requirements change. The media is a good way to keep track of this as you will find they will report on exactly these trends as they happen.
Coming up with a new business idea is exciting, and there are so many benefits that come with it, both financially and mentally. Having success boosts your self-esteem and not only can running your own business change your life, it has the potential to change the world!