Every entrepreneur needs to generate viable business ideas to be successful. There is no magic formula for this, but the process is not complicated once you know the basics. Essentially, a good business idea must be able to fill a gap or meet a need in the marketplace.
Having said that, here are some practical methods that can help you either generate a new business idea or fine-tune an existing one:
- Buying into a Business Franchise – starting a new business from scratch is a difficult and daunting task, so most budding entrepreneurs while still in the process of generating a business idea can either consider buying into an existing business franchise with a good name and goodwill or, buy any other business with great potentials for success.
- Improving on an Existing Product or Service – closely examine and carefully analyze existing products or services for possible flaws and shortcomings. And then see how you can generate a business idea that can improve upon these flaws and shortcomings. It’s not in all cases of business idea generation that you must innovate; sometimes it pays better to iterate.
- Tapping into your Interests (hobby & passion) – many successful entrepreneurs today are able to achieve such a magnificent feat by taking a hubby/passion and turning it into a successful business. There is a widely held belief that passion leads to purpose and that once you are in touch with your passions, you can create a purposeful and successful business around them. Perhaps you too can also generate a business idea around your hubbies, passions, or interests.
- Considering Your Previous Work Experience & Expertise – assuming that you have spent considerable years of your life doing sales and marketing for a big establishment and company, it means that you can generate a business idea that will be aimed at providing either sales or marketing (or both) services to interested clients since you have invaluable skills, experience, and expertise in this area. To achieve this, brainstorm your professional strengths and expertise by considering your previous work/job experiences, your skill set(s), contacts, etc.
- Establishing a Focus Group – a focus group as the name implies is a small group of individuals that are strategically assembled to focus on guided (structured) or open discussions about a product/service before it’s launched to a larger population. Using a Focus Group will help you gather enough valuable information, collect data and receive insights/feedback through interactive sessions with about 5-10 people that fits the profile or persona of your potential customer and/or product user. In short, when it comes to generating a new business idea that is commercially viable, using a focus group is a good form of qualitative marketing research that enables you to interview and interact with a thoughtfully selected group of informed people about their views, perceptions, and opinions on the new product/services you are planning to introduce to the marketplace.
- Brainstorming With Family members, Friends, Co-workers, Class/Course mates, etc – the brainstorming method allows a group of individuals that are closely associated with you to be stimulated to greater creativity by interacting with each other and participating in an organized group experience and interactive sessions aimed at generating a new business idea.
- Finding a Problem to Solve – The best business ideas are the ones that focus on developing and deploying products/services that solve some critical problems that exist in the marketplace or amongst a certain group of customers. Rather than making the common mistake that most entrepreneurs make by creating a solution before identifying the problem, it makes more business sense to discover an existing problem first, and then create a product/service idea that profitably solves that problem. In fact, this problem-first approach is a strategic way of ensuring that targeted customers will buy your product(s)/service(s), because if actually your product(s)/service(s) can solve the problem(s) that a group of customers has, they will definitely patronize you knowing that your business solution meets their needs. For instance, it’s this problem-centric approach to developing a business idea that has made Uber such a soaring success. They simply just built their business model on the premise that in most modern cities of the world, upwardly mobile people have a problem finding convenient transportation and a better way of getting to their various destinations. You too can follow a similar thought process in generating your own business idea.