Businesses succeed and fail, but they all start with an idea.

But, where does a business idea come from? When entrepreneurs describe how their businesses were conceived, the common thread is “passion.” Their passion for one thing or another leads them to start a business related to that one thing. Seems simple, yet many of us are left to wonder how we can discover the perfect business idea. [adrotate group=”4″]

Below are three simple tips that can help you come up with a great business idea.

Fill a Need

In other words, find a problem and create a solution. A lot of great businesses solve a problem for consumers. They make people’s lives easier and save them money. While forming your business ideas, spend time considering what the actual “need” is. What problem can your business idea solve? Study the marketplace to determine the difficulties faced by consumers (high cost or product improvements for example), and then try to find a business solution for these problems. That business solution could be a great business idea! Many entrepreneurs overlook this process and create startups based on what they believe the consumer needs. They ignore the consumer’s actual need, and as a result, many of these startups fail. Also, consider the competition and who if anyone you’ll be battling for a share of the market.

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You won’t come up with the business idea you need in one sitting. Developing a business idea is more like a process.

The following techniques will help you find great business ideas:

  • Always have a notebook with you. Write down anything that comes to mind.
  • Read customer reviews. Nowhere can you get more business ideas than from customers.
  • Listen to social media. People love to complain about their dealings with companies. Can you improve a product or service people complain about?
  • Visit niche forums where customers hang out. Listen to the conversation and become part of it.
  • Attend industry trade shows. If you have an industry in mind, attend their largest trade show to get ideas.
  • When you consider an idea talk to people about it. Some people guard their ideas like some sort of a secret.
  • Pre-sell your product or service. People might say good things about your business idea, but nothing says “I like your business idea” more than dollars. If you can find people to put a deposit down for your new product, you might just have something.

Know Your Skills

You’ll need to have a firm understanding or your core competencies. To be a successful entrepreneur will require serious introspection. Be able to identify the skills, experiences, and competencies you’ve acquired over the years. Ask yourself things like, “What are my skills?”, “What am I most experienced in?”, and “What am I good at?” The logic is simple; we create more value when we’re doing something we’re good at. And of course, it’s likely you’ll discover that what your good at is what your passionate about. Again, the logic is simple, we are skilled at doing what we enjoy doing and that we’ve done repeatedly.

Find Your Passion

Back to one of the most overlooked aspects of business success; passion. That compelling emotion that fuels the personal drive and motivates us to do our best. Passionate entrepreneurs live and breathe their business idea. Passion should be an active part of the thinking process when you’re considering businesses ideas. Research has shown that business enterprises stemming from a true passion often achieve better results. Examine your own passions and consider them the starting point of your business enterprise. Ask yourself what it is you really love and what it is that holds your interest. Once you’ve gained some self-awareness, then you can begin to explore the types of businesses that motivate you. Your passion will allow you to commit to the business wholeheartedly and to continue to develop and grow it through the years.

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