Ideas give the start to everything. Though it may seem quite easy to generate great 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 on how to generate business ideas.
How to generate ideas for business?
It is not a talent to be able to generate business ideas, but the 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 business-generating ideas.
What is a business idea?
A business idea is simply an idea for a business. It can be something as simple as a new product or service that you think people would want to buy, or a new way of doing things that you think would be more efficient or profitable. It doesn’t matter how big or small the idea is, as long as it has the potential to be turned into a successful business.
Of course, not every business idea is a good one, and there’s a lot of work that goes into turning an idea into a reality. A good business idea meets a need or solves a problem in the marketplace. It should be something that consumers are willing to pay for, and it should have a clear target market and a well-defined marketing strategy. Most importantly, a good business idea should be profitable. If you can find an idea that meets all of these criteria, then you may have found a winning business concept.
How to generate business ideas
Here are the most creative and effective ways how to brainstorm business ideas.
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, and news portals, or watch hot news.
For example, when you start a coaching business having an inquisitive mind will help you to be more effective.
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.
“The best business ideas come from solving real-world problems.” – Unknown
Learn about the problems people face in daily life. Talk with family and friends about their problems at work, in sports, 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, and popular forums and learn social media trends and what people are talking about. What are some hot topics of discussion and popular shared posts on social networks? It can be a good source of ideas.
4. Travel more
Traveling is one of the most exciting and effective ways to get inspired and generate ideas for business. Visit different countries, meet new people, learn about cultures, and spend time sightseeing. It is like a breath of fresh air in daily life.
Make traveling 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.
5. Build your network
Building a good network will allow you to switch from working hard to working smart. Connecting with professionals in the sphere of your business niche can bring not only an 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 the 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 generate business name ideas as soon as possible and start putting all your efforts into 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 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 they can help you with your future product or service development.
7. Analyze old ideas
Why 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 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 recommend you read this book if you are thinking about starting a business.
8. Read more business books
Continuing to talk about the role of books, I should stress that good books are the number one source of inspiration and knowledge.
Reading can show you where to start!
Books can help you to learn many lessons, give new business ideas, and understand how to implement them.
If you are a starting entrepreneur, here is the list of business books I would recommend you take into account:
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
It is a must-read book for every entrepreneur who is going to build a digital product or a service. It describes how to launch a business successfully in the atmosphere of total uncertainty using the lean approach.
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 the author’s growth from an idea to building a corporation through the concept of happiness and amazing customer service. If you haven’t read this book before, do it ASAP.
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
You will learn how to generate ideas and make them unique creating a completely new market (blue ocean) instead of competing with existing markets (red ocean).
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 the growth of business and how to make customers believe in the product.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
How do successful people think? What makes people successful? This book explains the basics of a business mindset. If you already have an idea this book will show 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 the 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 your everyday routine to something new you always wanted to try.
The new atmosphere will make your mind think about all pluses and minuses, and 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 the 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 combining it with other 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, and why it can be useful for people. It can be just an 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 the 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 with your dream team.
Consider the following creative business ideas:
- How to start a dropshipping business
- How to start a Virtual Assistant business
- How to start a T-shirt brand
- How to start an event planning business
- How to start a lip gloss business
- How to start a tutoring business
- How to start a fitness business
- How to start a jewelry business
- How to start a coaching business
- How to start a catering business
12. Identify gaps in the market
Another way to come up with new business ideas is to identify gaps in the market. This can be done by looking at existing businesses and products and identifying areas where there is room for improvement. For example, you could create a new product that is more effective or efficient than existing ones, or you could create a new service that fills a gap in the market.
13. Think about your hobby
Another source of inspiration for new business ideas is your hobby. What are you passionate about?
What are you good at? Is there a way that you could turn your passion into a business?
For example, if you love baking, you could start a baking business. Or if you are good at gardening, you could start a gardening service.
14. Brainstorm with others
One of the best ways to generate new business ideas is to brainstorm with others. This can be done by talking to friends, family, and colleagues about potential ideas. You can also join an entrepreneur group or attend startup events, where you will have the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and brainstorm potential ideas.
15. Use technology
Technology can also be a great source of new business ideas. By keeping up with the latest technological advancements, you may be able to identify new ways to solve existing problems or new ways to create value. For example, the advent of 3D printing has created opportunities for businesses to produce custom products on demand, which was not previously possible.
16. Look for trends
Keeping an eye on trends is also a good way to come up with new business ideas. This could involve tracking changes in demographics, consumer behavior, or even technology. By identifying trends early on, you may be able to get ahead of the competition and launch a successful business before the trend really takes off.
17. See what others are doing
Another way to come up with new business ideas is to see what other businesses are doing. This could involve looking at businesses in other industries, or businesses in other countries. By seeing what others are doing, you may be able to identify an opportunity that has not yet been exploited in your own industry or country.
18. Start with passion
If you want to start a business but have no ideas, think about your passion. Passion is essential in business; it’s what drives you to succeed when the going gets tough. It’s what motivates you to keep going when everyone else has given up. Passion is the fire that burns inside of you, and it’s what sets you apart from the competition.
“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the beginning, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs
Sure, people can steal your ideas, but they can never steal your passion. That’s something that comes from within, and it’s what makes you truly unique. Just hold on to that fire burning inside of you, and let it guide you to success.
19. Consider big cities’ life
For entrepreneurs with an eye for opportunity, the inner city can be a veritable goldmine. By observing the trends and patterns in urban neighborhoods, savvy businesspeople can identify gaps in the market and develop products or services to fill them. In many cases, the best ideas are those that solve a pain point that people are already dealing with on a daily basis.
For example, a business that provides affordable child care for working parents could do well in an inner-city neighborhood where there is a high concentration of families. Similarly, a food delivery service that specializes in healthy meals could find success in an area where there are few dining options. By paying attention to the needs of the people who live and work in urban areas, entrepreneurs can come up with some truly great business ideas.
20. Search ideas online
These days, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of information that is the internet. With so much to see and read, it can be tough to know where to start. However, web surfing can actually be a fun and productive way to explore potential business ideas. By taking some time to browse different websites, you can learn a lot about what’s out there and what people are interested in.
You can also get a feel for what kinds of businesses are doing well and which ones might need some improvement. Plus, you never know when you’ll stumble upon a great idea for a new business. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the internet, try logging on with the intention of finding some potential business inspiration – you might be surprised at what you find!
21. Become a franchisee
Many would-be entrepreneurs think that starting a business requires a great idea. However, this is not always the case. There are a number of businesses that can be started with no original ideas. One option is to become a franchisee. Franchises offer an existing business model and brand identity, which can simplify the start-up process.
Another option is to buy an existing business. This option may require more capital than starting from scratch, but it can still be a viable option for those without any original ideas.
22. Pay attention to simple things
Often, strong business ideas originate from the most simple and everyday tasks. For example, when you’re stuck in traffic, you might think of a new app that would help people avoid congested areas. Or if you’re having trouble finding a particular product in a store, you might come up with a new way to make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. The next time you’re struggling with a mundane task, take a step back and see if there’s a way to make it better. You never know – your best business idea might be right around the corner.
23. Learn to listen
In a fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of everyday life. One way to stay connected to what matters is to learn to listen. This doesn’t mean just hearing the words that are spoken, but taking the time to understand the message that is being conveyed. It sounds simple, but in today’s world of constant distractions, it can be surprisingly difficult. The next time you find yourself in a conversation, take a step back and really listen to what is being said. You never know when you might hear something that could lead to a great business idea. After all, they say that ears are Wi-Fi for new ideas!
24. Improve existing product
The old saying goes that there’s nothing new under the sun. And while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that there’s no room for innovation. In fact, some of the most successful businesses have been built by improving existing products.
Take Uber, for example. The company didn’t invent the concept of ride-hailing but created a more efficient and user-friendly platform that has transformed the industry. Or consider Airbnb, which took the traditional hotel model and made it more flexible and affordable for consumers.
The lesson here is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to build a successful business. Instead, think of ways to improve an existing product. With a little creativity, you can find a niche that nobody else has thought of and create something truly special.
25. Use “The 3 Disney Chairs” method
“The 3 Disney Chairs” is a creative approach popularized by Walt Disney. The method involves three distinct roles: the Dreamer, the Realist, and the Critic.
Here’s how it works:
1. Dreamer (Blue Chair)
- Start with an open and imaginative mindset.
- Generate wild and creative ideas without limitations.
- Ask yourself, “What if?” and focus on possibilities.
- Encourage free-flowing thoughts without concern for feasibility.
2. Realist (Red Chair)
- Switch to a more practical mindset.
- Evaluate the feasibility of each idea generated by the Dreamer.
- Consider the resources, costs, and logistics involved.
- Identify potential challenges and obstacles.
3. Critic (Black Chair)
- Adopt a critical perspective.
- Analyze the ideas from both the Dreamer and Realist.
- Identify weaknesses, risks, and potential drawbacks.
- Challenge assumptions and ensure thorough scrutiny.
This approach combines creativity, practicality, and critical thinking.
26. Get started!
The final step in coming up with a new business idea is actually getting started on turning it into reality! This can be daunting, but remember that every successful business started as an idea just like yours. With hard work and dedication, you can make your dream of owning your own business come true
Now you know how to get a business idea that will work. Remember to 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 happy customers.
And one more thing:
“The values of ideas lies in the using of them”
Go ahead and good luck!
How to start a business with no ideas?
How familiar is it to you – “I want to start a business but have no ideas”? You’re not alone. Many would-be entrepreneurs find themselves in the same predicament. The good news is that there are a few strategies you can use to develop business ideas.
One approach is to look for gaps in the market. What products or services are missing in your community? How could you fill those needs? Another option is to look for ways to improve existing products or services. What do customers wish they could change about the products they currently use? Is there a way you could provide a better solution?
You can also try brainstorming with a group of people. Bring together friends, family, and others who might be interested in starting a business. Brainstorm potential ideas and then vote on the ones that seem most promising.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take some risks. Sometimes the best ideas come from thinking outside the box. So, let your imagination run wild and see what you come up with!
How to evaluate someone’s business idea?
When it comes to evaluating someone’s business idea, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Does the idea fill a need or solve a problem?
- Is there a market for the product or service?
- Is the business idea feasible?
- Can it be realistically implemented given the available resources?
- Is the potential return on investment (ROI) sufficient to justify the risk?
By taking the time to answer these questions, you can increase your chances of success when starting a new business.