A great business idea combines your skills with imagination and market demand. A business opportunity or idea often comes from everyday problems that someone solves. Successful businesses find a need and fill it by providing a service or product. Entrepreneurs who look at ways to make an existing product or service better can be as successful as those who create or invent products.
Write a short list, not more than 20, of things that people use or need every day. This includes food, houses, cars, electricity, telephones and clothing.
Think about ways to make it easier or more convenient to use one or more of these things. List some ways to make them cheaper, faster or smaller. Keep all your ideas no matter how silly them seem.
Look at some things on your list to see if combining them would make someone's life more convenient. Combining cars and food gave us the fast food drive-ins. Cars and money gave us drive-through banking. Perhaps, some people would prefer to rent videos and games at a drive-through video store.
Make a list of businesses and products that didn't exist 50 years ago, 25 years ago or 10 years ago. Visit the Trendwatching website to see examples of new ideas. Note if the successful businesses made tasks or experiences more convenient, faster, cheaper, safer or better in some other way.
Look at your own skills and experiences. Write a list of things that you can do well. Write a list of things that you would like to learn to do. Make a list of chores or tasks that you hate and avoid. One of these may lead to a great business idea or opportunity.
Combine some items from your products and services lists with your skills and write down your new business ideas. Discover business trends and niches by looking at the titles of popular books and websites. Read magazine articles and blogs for inspiration for a business opportunity.
Research your idea to find out if it might fill a market gap or provide an opportunity to meet a need that many people have. Learn how to research your potential market by taking free online courses from the Small Business Administration.
Tips & Warnings
- Refine ideas by being specific about your target market's needs and desires.
- Analyzing failed businesses is a good way to generate new ideas too. Business failures often leave a market opportunity or an undiscovered niche that could be served by improving the original idea.