How are the best business ideas created?
Every business success story starts with an idea. The best business ideas are born from the hearts and minds of people just like you and me. Their goal, like yours, is to start up a successful business that would provide them with an opportunity to make a living doing something they love.
When it comes to creating a business idea you must center your thinking on your own unique skills and experiences. Focus on understanding your own skills set and what interests you. Once you have generated a list of personal skills and qualities, you can then go on to brainstorm and further explore what you might be able to do for others – what valuable skill or service might you provide in the business world.
You may have done some research on possible business ideas but not yet found your niche. Think of your ability to generate a business idea as a muscle. When you start out it is a slow go. But, as you keep doing it, it becomes easier. Your mind gets used to the process. Be patient with yourself. If you ask successful entrepreneurs, they will tell you that they had many ideas before they decided on “THE” business idea.
Write all of your ideas down. Don’t think too much of them. You don’t have to love each idea. Have a small notepad with you. Write everything that comes to mind. Don’t judge your business ideas. At this point the key is to write them all down.
Listen to the world around you.
Perhaps the best way to start generating business ideas is to reflect on all the feedback you have been given over the years on what you are good at. That feedback may have come from family, friends, employers, colleagues, clients, customers or students. Just start a list of those skills.
At first you may see this as a useless exercise but, as your list of skill grows, you will begin to see duplicates and you will start to see that they fall into categories. People skills, mechanical skills, technical skills and administrative skills are some examples.
Do not resist what you are hearing.
Once you have a list and are starting to see patterns, let your creativity fly. Sometimes this is called thinking ‘outside the box. It is often helpful to brainstorm with a couple of trusted friends or family members to get the ideas flowing. Try not to say ‘Yes, but . . . “ to any suggestions. Your job is not to convince people what you want to do. You want to hear what they have to say. Even if you disagree with them, listen to what they are telling you.
Confirm there is a market.
There are countless businesses that failed because they have built something no one wanted. Don’t let that happen to your business. Before you commit to a business idea, talk with potential customers. Listen to what they have to say. Don’t try to convince them why they should like your product or service. Tell them what you want to make and listen to their feedback.
Evaluate the competition.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs shy away from competition. Seasoned entrepreneurs are looking for highly competitive areas. Competition means there is a willing and able market. There are individuals or businesses ready to pay for a product or service.
Competition also helps you to learn. You can learn about pricing, marketing, customer service, sales, etc. Study your competition and improve your business idea.
When you evaluate a competition use it the following ways:
- What does your competition do well?
- What is unique about their product or process?
- What can you do better than the competition?
- How does the competition market?
- How do they sell?
- What do their customers say about them?
- How do they respond to customer feedback?
When you see someone succeed with a great business idea you know other people had the same or very similar ideas too. Yet, that particular person succeed. Why? The answer is simple. The person who succeeded took action. All the ideas in the world won’t help you build a business. Success only comes to those who take action. Your business idea is important, but taking that first step is even more important.
Good luck as you take those first steps to exploring the best business ideas for you.