Business ideas

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For many people, starting a new business is a difficult process to undertake as they know they want to start their own business but they don’t know what to do first. Coming up with a viable business idea is the first step to becoming your own boss but it can be challenging to figure out exactly what it is you want to do and then do it. If you have high hopes of reinventing the wheel so to speak by introducing something brand new and unique that no one has yet thought of, you might like to reconsider because the chances of that happening are slim to say the least. Unfortunately, not all great ideas make great businesses. Even if you have come up with an amazing product or service, you need the right business structure, funding, pricing, marketing and people to make it work and of course, enough customers willing to pay you money for it. Here is a short guide designed to help you develop a good idea that you can turn into a new business venture.

Examine the World You Live In

A good way to begin finding an idea that will translate into a viable business is to start by taking a look at your own world as there may be ideas all around. Maybe there is a function you’ve always thought that needed to be added to a piece of technology you use. Perhaps you see a big advertising opportunity each day as you drive to and from work or maybe you’ve thought that a certain type of software could make your workday run smoother. As humans, we tend to go about our daily lives with blinders on and just accept things as they are. But when you take those blinders off and start to really look at the world around you, the chances are that you will find some great ideas you can build a business around.

Jot Down the Ideas You Come Up With

Most people come up with all types of ideas as they carry out their day-to-day routines. While we laugh some of these ideas off as being poor concepts, others have the potential to be good ideas for basing a business on. Make a practice of jotting down every idea you come up with, regardless of how foolish or outlandish it may seem. As your list grows and you look it over, you may discover that a few of those ideas are realistic ideas that could work. Run your best ideas by people you know to see what they think. There’s always value in a good conversation so don’t be afraid to bounce your ideas off friends, family and colleagues. Who knows? You may discover that one of your ideas can be developed further with the help of a talented person you know who is also interested in starting a business.

Validating Your Idea

Hopefully by now you have come up with an idea you think would be perfect for basing a new business around. If this is the case, then you are probably wondering if that idea is a million-dollar idea or one that’s a complete bust. This is why you need to validate your idea to make sure it’s worth pursuing. How do you do this? By answering the following questions honestly:

What problem does your idea solve?
Your idea is most likely not a good one if you cannot clearly state the problem your product or service solves.
How many specific benefits does your product or idea offer?
If you can list several specific benefits your idea or product offers, it’s likely that you would be meeting a real need wherein your business could succeed.
Can you clearly state in three sentences or less the key features of your product or service?
If you cannot easily describe the key features of your idea very quickly, the chances are that the idea is not developed well enough to translate into a viable business.
Is there already a product/service in existence like what you would like to offer?
If you answer yes to this question, how will your product be different and unique? If you cannot come up with anything definitive here, it’s probably time to come up with a new idea.
Can you clearly define who would make up your target market?
In order for your idea to work, you need to know who to pitch your product/service to. What type of person would actually use your product or service? This is the start of market research that must be done before launching any business idea. Once you’ve drilled down through the demographics to clearly identify this group of consumers you also need to know what size the market is. When you understand how many people need your idea and know what they would be willing to pay for it, you will get a clear understanding as to whether or not your idea is viable.
How Can Investors Make a Profit off Your Idea?
If you’re planning on pitching your idea to investors, you will need to let them know specifically how they will be able to profit from it. Any potential investor will ask right away what’s in it for him or her so be sure you can list the various ways investors will benefit by helping your business succeed.

 

While it will take you some time to answer all of these questions, once you’re done, you should get a clear picture about the viability of your idea. If your idea seems to pass the test, then proceed on and get started turning that idea into a profitable business. If not, don’t give up – just keep looking until you find a good idea you can run with.