How To Find A Business Idea
The brain is largely composed of neurons—about 100 billion of them. Connected together, they form a nervous system that is capable of making decisions, sensing surroundings, and issuing commands to our body. How we think, what we think, and what we’re capable of, are largely a consequence of the connections these neurons have made with one another.
Every feeling, every thought, every memory, and every sensation you have is a direct result of the signals that pass between the neurons in your brain. In fact, something particularly interesting about the human brain is its ability to rewire these connections and to make new connections, regardless of age.
Neuroscientists refer to this property as “plasticity.” And, the more experiences we have and the more changes in behaviour or environment that we experience, the more plastic the brain becomes, or, the more capable of making new connections and rewiring old connections.
This is why, in our older years when most of us do less and use our brains less, we have a harder time remembering information and controlling bodily actions. Our brain has not stopped being plastic but has simply fallen out of the habit of making new connections.
A similar difference exists between those in the habit of generating new ideas and those who aren’t. The more practice you get doing it, the better your brain will become at creating new connections. Simply put, the more active you keep your brain, the easier you will find it to come up with new, good ideas!
When humans first organized themselves into dense settlements, innovation soared. With the invention of agriculture, for the first time, humans began forming settled groups that numbered in the thousands. This meant that more connections with more people were possible and that a good idea could quickly spill over and take root in others’ minds.
If you keep this in mind as you work, live, and experiment, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a lot easier to come up with new ideas when you’ve got an influx of ideas coming your way in the first place.
This doesn’t have to happen in a city, a university, or an environment full of people; it can just as easily happen if you’re interacting with ideas from many people online, in books, and across other modes of communication. The key is “connectedness.” With this in mind, let’s move on to how you can actually go about coming up with business ideas.
Many people believe starting a business is a mysterious process. They know they want to start a business, but they don't know the first steps to take. In this chapter, you're going to find out how to get an idea for a business–how you figure out exactly what it is you want to do and then how to take action on it.
What Makes A Good Business Idea?
A good business idea is one that is unique to the industry and has high-profit margins. You don't want to start a business that's just like every other one in your targeted market. For example, let's say there's a business for pet sitters. There are already plenty of businesses that offer this service, so you would need to find an angle or something unique about your business to stand out from the competition.
Maybe you're offering special services for pets with medical conditions or special needs dogs. Or maybe you have a more flexible pricing range than other businesses in your area because you keep in close contact with clients and know their needs better than anyone else.
So, what makes a good business idea? First and foremost, the idea must be scalable. That is to say, there has to be an opportunity to grow the business with enough market share to provide plenty of customers. Most importantly, the idea has to have potential financial gain. So how do you discover these ideas? Well, that's not as easy as it sounds. Ideas are everywhere–you just need to know where to look for them.
One place to start is by studying successful companies in your industry. What’s their success story? What does their business model look like? How do they attract new customers or make money? If you can answer these questions, then you’re ready for the next step: Research your market so you can see who’s out there in need of your products or services and what those needs might be.
How To Find An Idea For Your Business
Step 1: Define Your Business Idea
The first step to finding a business idea is defining the type of business you want to launch. What are you going to sell? Why will people buy from you? What problems does your business solve?
Step 2: Identify The Market
This is the most important step in starting a business. The best businesses are those that target an underserved or unused market. If people are ready and willing to pay for your product or service, then there's some sort of need out there for it.
Step 3: Research Your Competition
You should always research who else is in your industry and what they're doing. You can learn a lot about how they operate by reading their website, watching their marketing videos, and interviewing them on social media. It's also helpful to get recommendations from friends and family members who may have been in similar industries before and know what works and what doesn't.
Step 4: Build A Prototype/Business Plan
It's not enough just to envision what your company could be like someday; you need to make sure it will be possible for you to execute its vision. This means creating a prototype of your product or service that shows potential customers exactly how it will look and feel when it launches–whether that means making an actual physical prototype, creating an image mock-up, or just writing out the features you'd like in writing–and then finalizing your business plan with all of these ideas.
There are many different ways to find a business idea. You can brainstorm with your friends, hit the library, and talk to experts.
- Brainstorming with your friends is one of the easiest ways to find an idea for your business. Let's say you have a friend who has an incredible knack for fixing up old items and turning them into something new. They might be a valuable resource for you. The key is asking around; people love talking about their passions, especially if they're ones that other people share as well.
- The library can prove helpful as well. What are some of the most common questions that people ask when they go looking for information? What companies or brands do people know? What industries or services are growing or expanding? These questions may help you get ideas for businesses that fit in those categories.
- Talk to experts and ask them what their advice would be if someone wanted to start a business in this particular field. Talk to high school guidance counsellors and college professors who may have insights into how to start a business based on their own experiences or coursework from years ago.
Defining Your Business Idea
There are many different ways to figure out what kind of business you want to start. The easiest way is to think about the needs and wants of a niche market in your life. For example, if you're looking for something new to do, then you could look into getting a charter boat license or working as an Uber driver.
If you're struggling with health issues, then maybe you should start a healthy cooking blog. Then think about how this business would make money. Once you have some idea of what kind of business it will be, now we need to figure out what type of business it will be–a service-based or product-based company?
As you think about how to start a business, it's important to know what type of business you want to start. You need to figure out whether your idea fits in with the goals you have for your life–in other words, finding what type of business makes sense for who you are and for where you're going. This can be tough because there are so many different types of businesses.
There are four main categories that most startups fall under:
- A product-based business
- An information-based business
- A service-based business, or a
- Combination of the three.
Each category has its own pros and cons. For example, if you wanted to start a hospitality website, your company would fall into the service-based portion since it relies on people visiting your website as customers. But if you wanted to launch an online magazine with stories written by people around the world and then sold online through subscriptions, your startup would fall into the information-based category since it's more about content than anything else.
What Makes A Business Idea Successful?
A successful business idea has three qualities. First, it must have an existing customer base. Second, it needs to compete with a current market leader. Finally, the business idea should be able to scale easily and grow as demand increases. So how do you find these qualities in other businesses?
Well, you could do some deep digging into what similar companies are doing in your chosen industry or niche. You can also look for industries that haven't been tapped or have fallen out of favour recently. If you're looking for something new, then consider taking a risk and launching your business into uncharted territory.
Now that we've established what makes a business successful, let's talk about how to obtain one! There are plenty of resources out there to help you get started–websites like the US Small Business Administration (SBA), Entrepreneur magazine, Inc., Forbes, and others offer great advice and useful articles on starting a business. Just make sure that before you start your business–you know what you want to create and who your customers will be.
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Let Go Of Originality
The number one mistake people make when they're starting a business is trying to do something entirely new. When you start a business, you're taking on a risk by doing something that hasn't been done before. You have to be willing to take a risk in order for your business idea to be successful.
When you look at the competition, it's important that you don't try and compete with them by doing the same thing they are doing but better. Instead, create your own product or service and market it differently than what is already out there.
Individuality is important, but it shouldn't be the driving force behind your business. The first step to finding a business idea is so brainstorming. The goal here is not to come up with an original idea–we'll get to that later–but rather come up with ideas of what you're good at and what other people might be interested in.
For example, if you're a graphic designer, consider creating posters for events or for businesses. If you're good at building websites, maybe you want to build one for yourself! If you happen to know someone who needs a website built, then that's the perfect opportunity for you.
The first step to finding a business idea is figuring out what it is you want to do. You have to figure out what you're passionate about and what you can do well. It's not just about passion for the product, but also a passion for the process of creating that product.
One method of finding your idea is to take notes on everything that excites you and gives you energy. Write down thoughts, feelings, and inspiration in a journal or on a separate document. Be an active participant in your research:
- Read articles,
- watch videos,
- talk to people who are already doing what you are interested in.
This will help spark your ideas–and they may be new or old ones.
Another method for finding your idea is brainstorming with someone else–a trusted friend, partner, family member, or colleague who has some insight into the world of business (or even someone outside the field). They can ask questions like:
- “What would we need to do this?”
- “Who would we serve?”
- “What products do we already sell?”
- “What competitors exist?”
Figure out how much money it takes to start and run a business. Many different sources exist on how much it costs to open up a business (including books like The Entrepreneurial Mindset by John Warrillow). Narrow down this number by determining exactly how much capital you'll need right now and short-term goals into the future.
Use Your Skill Set
If you're an entrepreneur, it's in your interest to start with your skillset. There is always a need for products or services that you have the skill set to provide. Use those skills and what you've learned from your education and experience to figure out what type of business you would like to start.
Some people are science nerds who love chemistry and want to launch a chemistry-based business. Others might be math geeks who want to develop software for software developers. The point is, it doesn't matter what industry you decide on–but only if you are good at it!
You may be a marketing guru who wants to start an ad agency in Silicon Valley–not everyone can do this, but if you can, then go for it! What matters most is that there's a need for your product or service.
Solve A Problem
The first step in finding a business idea is solving a problem. You have to ask yourself what the biggest problems in your life are and how you can solve them. If you're not sure where to start, try picking one of these three categories:
- Health problems
- Financial problems
- Personal or social issues
One of the most important things you need to do when deciding on a business idea is to figure out what problem you're trying to solve. This is not an easy task–one that's made even more difficult by the fact that people often have different opinions on what constitutes a problem. In general, however, there are three types of problems:
- A problem with no solution
- A problem with many solutions
- A problem with one or two solutions
Look Abroad For Inspiration
Whoever said, “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago,” was wrong. If you have an idea for a business, it's always worth looking at what other people have done in the past. Keep your mind open to ideas that might work better than what you're thinking of. Look to your own taste and style for inspiration too.
What products or services would you enjoy selling? What do your friends want? Do you want to start a clothing shop? Or do you want to sell book recommendations online? It's important not to limit yourself–after all, if you can't think of something new, there will be no new customers or profits for you.
Faced with a blank page, the best way to find a business idea is to make your own. The more you understand your strengths, weaknesses and skillset, the more likely you'll be to come up with an idea that fits your personality, passions and skills. One of the best ways to start brainstorming is by meditating.
Once you have a perfect idea, it’s time to bring it to life. For example, if you decide to start a catering company, start putting together a plan for your business. What are your goals? What are your expectations for success?
What are your business/marketing strategies? These are all questions that need to be answered in order for you to be successful. If your business idea is something brand new, you’ll need to do research in order to understand how the industry works.
You may find it helpful to conduct interviews of entrepreneurs who are already successfully operating their own businesses, or you may want to start reading about how different industries operate.
I trust you enjoyed this article on How To Find A Business Idea. Would you please stay tuned for more articles to come? Take care!
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