Great ideas are the foundational stone of a great business and you have what it takes to come up with a ground breaking idea. This is easier said than done. Coming up with a viable product or idea is sometimes harder than constructing a business plan. Having a good business plan is important for every entrepreneur, but what if you do not have an idea upon which to build a plan?
This is one of the biggest plights most people desiring to becoming entrepreneurs find themselves in. If you find yourself in such a situation, I want to promise you that you are not alone and it is not the end of the road. Join me as we journey on ways to generate business ideas.
Hobby: You can make money from what you like doing. I love speaking, singing and writing and I am making money from these talents. You are not empty; you are loaded with many talents. The talents are not for decoration but to be a blessing to people and for the people to pay you money back in return. Check your life what are the talents you have that you can convert into skills that will bless lives and that will make money for you?
Felt need: A business idea may also arise from your own felt need and you may proceed to establish a business based on that felt need. Make sure others need the product or services. I felt a need to communicate to my clients at a cheapest rate that lead me to open a bulk-sms website www.smsmak.com. Now I can communicate and promote my business at a cheaper rate and I have made good money by helping people to achieve same purpose.
Potential Customers: You may also get ideas from potential customers of your identified product or services which you intend to offer. Some potential customers can articulate their needs and also indicate those areas where existing products are inadequate. The statistic that 40 million Nigerian youths are jobless, inspired me to start a business school (LEAD BUSINESS SCHOOL) that is focused on raising entrepreneurs.
Ideas through observation: Inspiration to get into a new business may develop simply through direct observation within the environment. Study what people need in your environment.
Deliberate Search: This may involve scanning the environment to identify a need. This scan may cover the economic, social, cultural, political, legal and technological environment for new ideas. The search may also involve looking through magazine, newspaper, etc.
The Environment: A study of the foreign environment may indicate opportunities for exports or import in the industrial, agricultural and service sectors of the economy.
Brain Storming Session: This is practiced more often in large organizations. It may involve stimulation of the mind through question and answer with a facilitator guiding the process. It may be formal or informal.
Self –Employment as an Opportunity: A business idea could come while being engaged in self-help activities or while providing a professional service to clients.
From Social Engagements: These social engagement may include parties, discussion with friends, parents, relations, peer group, neighbors, colleagues, people of high standing in public and private sector. From discussion and observation an idea might come.
Personal Experience: Your work experience may be the source of your business idea. Such experience may be from a good knowledge of the products, market, suppliers, customers etc. For example your knowledge of the deficiencies of supplies can help you to build a better supply organization, or your knowledge of customer complaint can help you to establish a business that can serve them better.
Wholesalers and Distributors: Wholesalers and distributors who currently handle the type of product you intend to provide can be a rich source of ideas. You can contact them to seek their advice on the strengths and weaknesses of the products they are currently handling and potential improvements on them or on entirely new product or services desired by their customers.
Trade fairs, Shows and Exhibition: A lot of ideas may be derived from attending general trade fairs, trade shows and trade exhibitions, if you have not yet decided on the particular product line to handle. On the other hand if you have already decided on the product then attending trade fairs, trade shows and trade exhibitions organized by a specific industry can sharpen your idea and focus.
Seminars/Workshops/Conferences/Webinar. When you attend a business seminar, one word from the facilitator can inspire you to come up with a whole new idea.
Business failure: Very useful ideas may also emerge from a systematic study of business failures that could be turned around either with better financing or management or some other vital ingredients or factors that were lacking and that must have been the cause of their failures.
Potential Competitors: Your potential competitors can also be a very rich source of ideas. While you may not be able to meet and discuss with them as in the case of customers, wholesalers and distributors for obvious reasons, you may, however, be able to study their products and see where you can offer improvements or better alternatives. You should, however, guard against infringing on patents.
by Kehinde Olagbenjo