Hi friend! I hope you, just like me, are doing great!
Now, if you remember, the other day I wrote the post: 4 steps on how to come up with a useful new idea – in under 20 minutes. That post was the first step towards establishing a habit of setting time, every day, to think. But then here is an important question.
What if you want to come up with a business idea?
What if you have decided to make an hour available in your busy schedule, everyday, to come up with a smart business idea?
Well, in this post I’m trying to answer just that.
ask the right question
Thinking of a new business idea is not easy. I know an old work colleague who was so afraid of redundancy… Now one day I said to her, why are you so afraid… you can easily start a business in days, if you want, with your redundancy package. But her response was, what kind of business?
Now of you are thinking of going in to business and you are asking yourself, what kind of business can I start? I’ve some news for you: you are asking the wrong question.
People don’t go into what kind of business and succeed. Have you ever heard that most businesses fail in their first three years?
Well, my take is, they fail because their owners ask the wrong questions. Of course, as a rule, when you ask the wrong question you are sure to get the wrong answer, too.
So what’s the correct question to ask?
Well, the correct question to ask for everyone who goes into business is this: what problem am I willing to solve starting with what I already know?
What service can I give to solve the problem that is already there?
But remember, this question shouldn’t turn you into a problem but into a solution-seeking business person.
What solution are you bringing to the market?
Is it going to add to the lives of your potential customers/clients? Or, are you simply in it for the money? Because if you are, you will soon ask another wrong question,
Who is my competitor and what can I do to kill their businesses?
Instead, your question should be,
Who in this industry does a better job than me? What can I learn from them? And how can I become more creative so as to give my customers with the best customer experience?
In other words, going in to business because there is a real problem that you are aiming to solve helps you think creatively rather than competitively.
Now the following 10 ways on how to come up with a business idea are not for those who are in it for themselves, but those who are in business, or are going in to business to make the world a better place. To make the difference. In truth, we need such entrepreneurs more than dry capitalists who have no even respect for their own workers.
*Remember to write your ideas down… on a good notebook.*
1. do your work
I’m talking about the research.
David Ogilvy, an advertising legend wrote in one of his books that research isn’t pleasant but there’s no other way one can complete a good project without it.
Read newspapers. Watch business news. Listen to local conversations. See what’s trending on social media.
2. think combination
After doing the work, you will realise that you have accumulated so much information.
Now combine that information in a logical order.
Then combine the same information in illogical order, too.
See what ideas fascinate you.
Remember, ham and eggs make a good sandwich.
3. think association
Try to associate an idea or two of what your potential market is already familiar with, to the concept of your product or service.
Are you trying to open a food related business?
Is it a restaurant? Why not give it a French name to associate what you offer with the French quality on hospitality?
Is it some kind of healthy but yet fast food? Why not give it fitness and or longevity kind of association?
4. how about adaptation
When Apple wanted to create a cover for their computers back in the day, they had to adopt an idea from the candy manufacturers.
Can you adapt an idea from a different industry? From different parts of the world to your world?
Remember, movie makers do this all the time.
5. and then there’s a possibility in partnership
This is pretty straight forward, but still, some good thoughts need to go into what you are about to come up with.
Is there a partnership that you think will enhance your business?
Think of Smart cars and Mercedes Benz.
6. what can you do with the size
If the size of what’s available is too big, do you think smaller size will help the customers?
Expand your thoughts along these lines.
7. think substitution
Can you think of things that used to be wooden but now are plastic?
Can you then apply that same idea into solving the problem your business is in for?
8. think rearrange
What if you come up with a different arrangement?
Wouldn’t that give you a new product?
Are colours important? Can you change them to something even bolder? Something attractive?
Turn things inside out, upside down and see what happens.
What can you turn around? Think of order, taste, shape and so on.
Could you modify things a little?
Would that still be useful to the potential customers?
Can you make things a bit bigger and exciting?
Is that important?
Does it still seem promising in the long-run?
well, in the end
I hope you remember that these techniques don’t work unless you first ask the important questions:
What problem am I trying to solve?
Am I interested in this line of business?
Am I ready to improve my creativity so as to serve my clients, my customers beyond their expectations?
All the best.
And have a great day!