A good idea is at the core of any successful business, Ducere Bachelors students know how important this is. While some business ideas seem so basic that we can’t understand how no one thought of them sooner, others are so progressive that we can barely wrap our heads around how the innovators came up with them in the first place. But contrary to popular opinion, it’s not that difficult to generate an interesting and viable idea that could one day grow into a fruitful business. All you need is a lot of passion, a little luck, and enough determination to put in the work necessary to develop that initial glimpse of inspiration into a profitable venture.
Whether you’re dreaming about owning a small business or being the CEO of a large corporation, starting up is often the hardest thing to do. Business ideas don’t always come naturally so you need to train your brain to better recognize people’s needs and problems. You don’t have to create the next iPhone to be successful, but it’s necessary to make sure that those around will be interested in what you’re cooking up. For those of you who feel stuck, here’s a short roadmap that will take you from wannabe entrepreneur to full-fledged business owner.
Look at your passions
There’s no making it without passion. Passion is what drives entrepreneurs to put themselves out there and develop products or services for the rest of us to enjoy. It’s what motivates them when they encounter obstacles and provides the determination they need to succeed. Plus, passion is often that special ingredient that makes the difference between dreading your job and not feeling overworked even when you spend the entire day hunched over your desk. Start your journey by analysing your passions and determining if any of them can be monetized. Do you like to write? Start a blog. Love to cook? Start selling cupcakes to family and friends. The more you love what you do, the better your end product/service will be.
Solve a problem
The easiest way to come up with a business idea is to solve a problem you or a loved one is facing on a regular basis. Do you know how GoPro came to life? The founder, Nick Woodman, wanted a camera he could strap to his wrist so that his friends could see his surfing exploits. Noise cancelling headphones were probably invented because someone wanted to escape the world and be able to work in peace. We now have vacuum flasks because someone likely wanted to be able to keep their coffee warmer for longer. See where we’re going with this?
Make people’s lives easier through improvement
Another great source of ideas is to think of improvements to things that already exist. “It would be so good if the coffee would already be ready when I wake up!” So why not strap a timer to a coffee machine? The best thing about taking this route: you don’t even have to come up with an entirely new product or service. Instead, you can adapt an existing one or introduce a new benefit that can make all the difference – like the genius who created a remote for TVs!
Help people save cash
If we all had plenty of money we would drive hybrids, buy books from independent bookstores instead of opting for the Kindle version, and be on a diet of organic foods only. Until that happens though, we’re going to keep buying affordable energy-saving light bulbs and cheap gas. People love to save money, so take advantage of that. Think about a product or service that will help them spend less. For instance, Bookrenter.com is now up and running because the founder was frustrated with how expensive textbooks are.
Explore new niches
Analyse the big players in a certain industry, figure out what they’re missing, and then fill that void. Let’s say there are 10 pizza places in your town that deliver, but not a single restaurant from which you can order Chinese food. Open that restaurant.
Expand your knowledge (and your network)
The more things you experience and the more people you connect with, the greater the chance to come up with a profitable business idea. Having the same routine and hanging out with the same people day after day will likely get you nowhere, so get out of your comfort zone. The more new things you learn about, the more material you will have to help you come up with new ideas. Learners are earners; Bill Gates knows this to be true.
Get to work
Having a brilliant idea is a great start, but you also need to be able to put it into practice. Start by learning everything there is about the subject and the field. Find a mentor with some business experience under their belt to offer invaluable advice. Zealously study your competition. Craft a solid business plan and gather your funding. Believe in yourself and in your dream. You’re good to go.
Don’t think about generating good ideas as an ability you’re either born with, or not. Think of it as a skill you can improve with exercise. Make it a priority to notice problems and identify needs. Then, sit down every day for at least a few minutes and brainstorm different ways to solve those problems and fulfil those needs.
Your great idea may not come to you overnight, so experience more. Connect with more people and learn about the issues they’re struggling with. Keep your brain active. If you’re truly passionate about becoming an entrepreneur, that tiny bit of inspiration will come to you sooner than you would expect.
By Ducere’s Head of Bachelor’s – Omar De Silva
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Ducere
Image by tinto