Ideas give the start to everything. Though it may seem quite easy to generate cool business ideas, sometimes you just cannot find inspiration for this. Or lack of information prevents you from coming up with a really successful idea for your next startup.
Starting entrepreneurs are very careful about sharing their ideas with anyone. They are afraid that someone will steal it and start executing it right now.
And there is a reason for that.
On the one hand any idea remains just an idea.
On the other hand, an interesting business idea can become a good start for building a great product.
And no wonder why among frequently asked questions on Quora you can meet the ones about where to find successful business ideas or what are some useful techniques for generating ideas for startups.
Nevertheless, it is not a talent to be able to generate business ideas, but regular practice that can make you an “ideas-generating” guru.
Let’s dive in more deeply and learn the most effective and creative ways of how to do it:
1. Become inquisitive
Start being interested and involved in what is going on around the world. Find 30 minutes a day to read popular blogs, news portals or watch hot news.
Learn about startups that are launched and start growing.
Becoming aware will not take too much time but can help you to know a lot about different industries and innovations.
2. Focus on problems
Successful business ideas solve real problems.
Learn about problems people face in a daily life. Talk with family and friends about their problems at work, in sport, with clothing, food, etc. Think about your own problems and difficulties. Is everything perfect in your life? Probably there are things you would love to improve or change. Think about it.
Web surfing can be a great way to have fun and get some cool ideas. Visit popular entertaining websites, question and answer platforms, popular forums and learn what people are talking about. What are some hot topics of discussions and popular shared posts on social networks? It can be a good source for ideas.
4. Travel more
Travelling is one of the most excited and effective way to get inspired and generate ideas for business. Visit different countries, meet new people, learn cultures and spend time sightseeing. It is like a breath of a fresh air in a daily life.
Make travelling be a part of your regular lifestyle. Set a plan, for example, to visit one new city or country every month. You will see how much creativity it will evoke in you.
Check it: Are you ready for business?
5. Build your network
Building a good network will give you an opportunity to switch from working hard to working smart. Connecting with professionals in the sphere of your business niche can bring not only understanding of the highest customers’ needs but can help you to get tons of smart advice from influencers and top leaders.
According to Keith Ferrazzi, the author of the book “Never Eat Alone”, connecting with right people is a true art that can help to reach great business goals.
6. Stay relaxed, but focused
When you feel that you need to come up with a good business idea as soon as possible and start putting all your efforts to this process, you can hardly create something really successful.
If you need an idea, you will find it!
Just try to relax, have more rest and sleep well. But always be attentive to what is happening around you.
Try to do the following: Perceive every event happening with you as a sign. Stay focused and write down what is happening – anything interesting or strange that came up to your mind during the day. Practice it for a week or so and then analyze everything you wrote down. Combine different thoughts and ideas and see if it can help you with your future product or service development.
7. Analyze old ideas
Why to invent something new if you can use already tested and working ideas.
Analyze more deeply the ideas that have already been implemented. Think about the opportunities to change and improve them.
But remember – you cannot just copy someone’s idea. In this case it can hardly become successful.
Make a research and learn customers’ feedback about the existing product or service. Try to find out what is missing there and how to transform this product into something better.
This approach is greatly described by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne in the book Blue Ocean Strategy. It teaches how to create unique products and avoid competitiveness.
I really recommend you reading this book if you are thinking about starting a business.
8. Read more books
Continuing to talk about the role of books, I should stress that good books are #1 source for inspiration and getting knowledge.
Reading can show you where to start!
Books can help you to learn many lessons, give new business ideas and understanding how to implement them.
If you are a starting entrepreneur, here is the list of books I would recommend you to take into account:
- “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
It is a required book for every entrepreneur, especially if you are going to build a digital product or a service. It describes how to launch successfully in the atmosphere of total uncertainty.
- “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh
I cannot describe in two words how inspiring this book is. It tells the story of author’s growth from idea to building a corporation through the concept of happiness. If you haven’t read this book before, do it ASAP.
- Definitely, “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
You will learn how to generate ideas and make them unique, rather than compete with existing markets.
- ‘The Four’ by Scott Galloway
The book explains why and how such giants as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple became so successful. It shows how experiments can influence growth of business and how to make customers believe in the product.
- “Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings…Before You Take the Leap” by Thomas McKnight
If you already have an idea this book will explain you how to assess the idea before starting its implementation. It is a simple guide to protect yourself from failure in entrepreneurship and check if your idea has all chances to become successful after its launch.
9. Get new experience
Try something new you never experienced before in your life.
How it can help with ideas?
When a person gets in unusual conditions, new feelings and emotions received evoke creativity.
Switch your mind from everyday routine to something new you always wanted to try.
New atmosphere will make your mind to think about all pluses and minuses, find problems that need to be solved.
10. Focus on making life easier
There is a huge number of cool products that appeared as a result of our attempts to make life easier, cheaper, and more convenient. And this is really a great approach to creating new products.
People love everything that simplifies everyday staff.
What takes most of your time?
What would you like to make easier or faster?
Think about it.
Probably, the answers will help you to create the next big idea. People are searching for conveniences and time optimization. Make use of it. Think about the ways to make life cheaper and easier.
11. Use Cut-up technique
This is the most well known technique of generating business ideas and creativity used by William Burroughs. It lies in cutting up words or phrases from one sentence and randomly combine it with another phrases to create a new sentence.
Though this technique was widely used in music and poetry, it can be used as a perfect tool to generate business ideas.
- Write down any business idea and describe what problem it can solve, why it can be useful for people. It can be any idea, even the most stupid one, you’ve just thought about. Do not focus on the idea itself too deeply, generate as many as possible;
- Do the same with all ideas you have;
- Cut up ideas and their description, and rearrange them.
- See what happened.
The results can be very unexpected and thought provoking. Also, it is better to practice with your business partner or inside your dream team.
Consider the following creative business ideas:
- How to start a drop shipping business
- How to start a Virtual Assistant business
- How to start a t-shirt brand
- How to start an event planning business
Develop your creativity and imagination, but focus on real problems you could help to solve – in this case your business idea will be 100% successful and find its happy customers.
And one more thing:
“The values of ideas lies in the using of them”
Go ahead and good luck!
Tania Artemova is a personal branding strategist, entrepreneur, blogger and motivator. She is a founder of IStartHub and a Co-founder of Great Create Web Agency.