3) Target markets
Look at what major companies and industries offer and identify the gaps. What are they not providing? Think about your skills and training. Could you apply those talents to a completely new field? Often, industries lack diversity in training, and new minds can spur innovation and creativity. Are you an engineer? Think about what you could add to your industry. Are there any services that you can improve? Can you become a consultant to other businesses in your field? Are you an accountant? What industries can you target?
4) Find an industry lacking innovation
Oftentimes, an industry can become stale. Take product labels, for example. The founder of Spinformation realized you could create a label made of two layers to put more product information on a small bottle. Innovation in one area – making product bottles smaller to save costs – can lead to needs in closely related areas.
5) Sell a product more cheaply
You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to come up with a million dollar business idea. Companies can compete in the market if they offer a cheaper version of another company’s product. How can you cut costs? Think about outsourcing and decreasing expenses with materials or employees. If a product is already selling, all you need to do is figure out how to offer it cheaper to be successful.
6) Talk to consumers
If you want to learn how to come up with a million dollar business idea, you have to give the people what they want. Think about your interest – then ask people in stores what they would like as well. Consider using surveys, calling friends, or just strolling the aisles of a store and asking shoppers.
Go to the store and think about which products could be combined and sold as one. You can innovate simply by offering a product in a unique way. If you walk up and down the aisles, you will probably generate plenty of terrible ideas for products to sell – but all you need is one light bulb idea that can really sell.
8 ) Listen to complaints
Many companies ignore customer complaints. If you listen to what consumers say about products, you could come up with ways to improve them. You can search online forums, Facebook, Twitter, or any other online forum.
A million dollar business idea could be as simple as bringing a business idea to your own city or country.
9 ) Bring it to your area
Search for successful products or services outside of your geographical area and bring it home. When you travel to another part of the country or another part of the world keep your eyes open to ideas.
10 ) Keep a notebook
Write down your ideas. Keep a notebook handy at all times. I mean at all times. Train yourself to think of business ideas. It is like training a muscle. Writing down your ideas will give you a chance to go back and evaluate your business ideas.
11) Ideas are cheap
Understand that you need to consider many business ideas. You won’t come up with the winning idea immediately. You might have to evaluate a hundred or more possible ideas before you decide on one. Don’t be disappointed if it takes longer than you expected.
12 ) Make it a process
Instead of randomly processing possible business ideas work through a system.
For each business idea consider the following:
- Who is your customer? Define your customer exactly. Use demographics and psychographics data to define your target market.
- How many potential customers are out there? A lot is no answer. You need to have an actual number.
- Are people willing to pay for it? The best way to find out is to pre-sell.
- Is the market large enough to support your business? You might have a great business idea, but there might not be enough paying customers.
- What does the competition look like? How many competitors are out there? Can you realistically compete against them?
- How is your product better than what is already out there?
- Can you market your product or service and still have a profitable business?
- Can you sell your product for a price that results in a profitable business?
photo credit: USEmbassyPhnomPenh Ambassador Heidt’s Visit to Long Beach