How to Come up With a Business Idea

Normally we see entrepreneurs starting businesses in the field/industry where they have past experience or an interest. On the other hand, we do see some businesses started with no prior experience just after discovering that there’s no solution or product available for the particular issue. So, actually there’s no single way to come up with a  business idea.

Around 600,000 businesses are started each year and each has it’s very own reason behind; so if I say 600,000 ways to come up with a business idea, it won’t be wrong. Those more than half a million ways may not be documented, but experts have identified some directions in which you can come up with your very own unique business idea.

Let’s see what they say:

Judith Beaulieu (Integrative Health Coaching): Look to see what is not being offered in your area of expertise and then go for it! Analyze all the possibilities, draft a business plan and set goals.

Emilio Bernabei (CEO at Necessity is the mother (or father) of invention. It is rumored Steve Jobs was very upset with his music playing experience and set out to invent the iPod and iTunes from that moment.

Pete Machalek (Sales and Leadership Trainer at SagePresence) : Look in two directions at once:

(1) What you want to spend your time doing.

(2) What needs people you care about have.

Your business should involve you doing stuff that you like to do while helping people that you care about.

Cory Hefner (Lean Six Sigma Consultant): A lot of product ideas come from issues within an organization. (hence all of the one off software applications.) One of the tools that I work with during initial brainstorming sessions is the KANO model. It is a nice visual aid and gets the participants to ask questions about the product or service offering that is being designed. Another tool that I ask the participants to do is go through the “AS to BE”and SWOT analysis up front before kicking off a formal project. Doing this has saved many hours of debate and helps keep the project scope in check when a project does kick off. This would work for a person or persons looking to start a business as well.

Martin Hill (CTO at AdvisorStream): Paul Graham has written an excellent essay on the topic. It’s a very detailed guide that discusses various aspects of the ideation process, however, it focuses on ‘problem solving’.

Edward M. Yang (Founder and Managing Partner at Firecracker PR): Many of my ideas come through the course of my daily work, when I run into issues where I wonder “why isn’t there an easier way of doing this?”. In fact, if you read interviews with many entrepreneurs, the genesis for their businesses are oftentimes no more complicated than that. Of course, getting from an idea to a sustainable business that isn’t burning cash is the trick.

Identifying problems, looking for solutions, bringing efficiency in the procedures and above all looking for something that creates value to the people are the keys to come up with a kick ass business idea. That’s what I could conclude from the expert advice above!

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