So you want to start a business, but you’re not sure what kind. Here are a few different ways you can start generating ideas.
List all the things you love to do that you have skills in
This could be anything from writing to taking photos, solving problems or baking cakes. Maybe you’re great on the computer, or love dogs.
- Now, add a business idea to it.
Uber for dogs? AirBnB for dogs? Netflix for dogs? Do this for everything on your skills list and see if anything jumps out at you.
- Can you make your skill mobile? Could you run courses in it?
- How might your skills be applied to a totally new field?
Try linking what you do best with a different industry: dogs + law, dogs + psychology, dogs + manufacturing, dogs + cooking.
Write a list of all the things that bug you about a particular topic
Start viewing the world through a lens of how things could work better. You’re looking for pain points, problems that need solving. Even if solving them seems impossible. Keep a list of things that are ineffective or irritating.
- How might you solve just one of those?
If it frustrates you, it’ll frustrate someone else, and that’s a business idea.
List all the things you have that no one else has
In Southland we have a lot of open space, few people, cheap rent and it’s easy to make great networking connections. What do you have that isn’t sellable in itself, but will help create opportunities.
- Now brainstorm what you can do with those things that other people can’t
Go into your favourite store and mix and match random products
See how this sparks new ideas.
Why not reinvent the wheel?
Don’t stress about being original. There are thousands of businesses, and a little competition never hurt anyone. Look into what could be improved on existing products or services. Can you make an existing product cheaper? Faster? Stronger? Reengineer a classic – Coke added a twist of lemon to create a whole new product, a drop of vanilla, took away the sugar.
Look into emerging trends
Big cities overseas have totally different markets, skill sets and offerings. Look to places like Sydney, New York or Barcelona for the latest trends or interesting products.
Ideas with real potential have persistence. They’ll be the thing that wakes you up at 3am, or simply just won’t leave your mind. Remember, don’t start something you won’t want to do in five years. Because if you are successful, you’ll still be doing this in five years.
Here’s the thing: ideas are the easy bit. Getting those ideas off the ground is where most people fall down, if you need help taking an idea and creating an action plan, why not join one of our New to Business courses. They’re free and everyone is welcome.