One of the most common issues that stops people from starting a business is having no idea. “I’d love to run my own business but I don’t know what to do” was my refrain for way too long! What’s funny is once I got started there has never been a shortage of ideas again, quite the opposite! Once you immerse yourself in making your ideas real, you will see even greater possibilities emerging.
Here are a few ways you can develop your business ideas into bigger, more sparkly, more profitable versions:
- Understand yourself : Look at your own quirks and eccentricities, these differences in how you see the world offer up a load of possibilities for creating fresh ideas. Be willing to be different!
- Be highly observant wherever you are : Use a notebook or phone app like Evernote to keep a record of every good idea you see, whether or not you would like to turn it into a business… What is it you like about the idea? How could you reinvent this in your industry?
- Be a trend watcher : What do you want that you can’t find? Useful resources like www.trendwatching.com can help you keep an eye on consumer behaviour trends.
- Follow international models : Look at new business ideas and business models in other markets and industries and apply them locally or to a new industry. Subscribe to www.springwise.com for innovative business ideas from all over the world.
- Experience life in ways you normally wouldn’t : Visit new places, read different magazines and books, talk to people who aren’t like you, go to conferences and festivals focused on innovation, new ideas and the future, listen to your intuition…
Question yourself and pull your ideas apart
Once you have collected at least 100 ideas that feel interesting to you, start asking questions:
- What paradigm shift could I bring to the world that is waiting for my unique energy?
- Which of these ideas could I mix or rearrange together to create something different?
- What can I create that will make the biggest difference to the people I would like to serve?
- What would be easy and fun for me to create?
- What could I add to or subtract from this idea that would be even more appealing to the people I desire to serve?
When you start looking at ideas, pulling them apart, putting them back together in different ways, you will find the essence of your big idea. Once you have the essence, the rest will show up, often in ways you don’t expect.
One last thing – do a quickie business plan for your start-up business that gives you a sense of the numbers and the possibilities, but don’t spend too much time on making your plan perfect. The real world will never deliver in the way you expect, better to spend your time testing the concept with real customers as soon as you can manage it!