Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How To Find Your Next Great Business Idea

One of the biggest struggles that potential entrepreneurs face is trying to understand what kind of business that they should start. For many, the process in finding an idea can be long and challenging, even harder than writing a business plan! Deciding on what opportunity to pursue is dependent on variables such as:

·     If there is a “pain” that you can solve and if people are willing to pay for the solution;

·         How much money you have;

·         Whether you want to sell products or be a service-oriented business;

·         Whether you want to build a lifestyle small business or a million-dollar conglomerate.

 Here are some tips for a fast and successful search in identifying different business opportunities.

Find a solution

By keeping your eyes (and ears!) open, you will stumble upon opportunities to solve problems that may lead you to the perfect idea. Ask yourself - what pains or frustrations do people experience in their daily lives? Are there any challenges that people are complaining about? If there are, work on finding the solution as every problem is an opportunity for you to solve.

Carry a small notebook with you and note down anything you hear or see in regards to people’s frustrations. When you have filled out a page or two, try to find a solution to them. Are there companies that are solving those needs well? If not, how can you do it? What would be the ideal situation in solving that problem? And finally, can it be profitable?

Remember, if the “pain” is perceived as big and causes a lot of time and money to be wasted, people are willing to pay more to get it solved quickly.

Use your passion and knowledge

Another area you can draw ideas from is within yourself. What are your strengths, skills, knowledge and experience that you have which can be of benefit to others? What are the things that you naturally share with your friends that they turn to you for? Is there a challenge that you’ve successfully overcome?

Take for example, if you’ve successfully lost weight using natural methods after trying different kinds of therapies and diets, do you think millions of people would benefit from your experience? Of course! We often take what we know for granted and don’t realize how valuable our knowledge can be if shared with others. Don’t forget there are so many people you can help with your knowledge.

Set yourself apart! How can you do things differently?

There has always been a misconception that to be an entrepreneur, you must start a business that is very innovative and not found elsewhere. Business ideas need not to be very different or entirely unique to be successful. Innovation in a new business can be creating a new technique, process or even a brand.  You can target a new market or try a new marketing channel that may give you an edge over your competitors.

Analyze various companies that are in your chosen industry. Do their brands look and feel the same? Take a look at how good they are at delivering value to their customers and see if you can provide it more efficiently or better. 

Take advantage of changing trends

Pay attention to any changes that you notice in your industry or target markets and try to spot trends you can turn into new businesses. The first companies to identify an emerging trend and execute quickly often become the market leader in their industry.    

A great example is Facebook. Although they weren’t the first on the market, they were innovative and took advantage of trends to make it easy for people to communicate with each other. Facebook grew from a small site in Harvard to being the most visited website after Google. Because of Facebook, social media has become a game changer for a lot of companies and startups have sprouted that specifically target the new industry. By keeping your finger on the pulse of your target market, you will be able to foresee trends and take advantage of them long before they appear.

Regardless of what your goals are for your business, keep in mind that even if you have a million-dollar idea, it means nothing without proper execution. Create a business plan and test your idea to see how it stands in the market.  So, go discover lucrative business idea and start working on it – it’s a package and shouldn’t be sold separately.