Inspiration for your Idea Creation Process
Looking for a business idea? Stop googling “business ideas” and start mastering the process of idea generation itself.
One of the best ways to generate a consistent flow of new ideas is to approach it from as many different angles as you can think of.
Need some inspiration? Here is a list of different angles including specific idea generation strategies for each one to get your creative juices flowing!
Scratch your Own Itch
- Create a solution for something that you find really annoying or painful in your life.
- Create a better solution for something that you do every day — e.g. make the process more efficient, less expensive or more enjoyable.
Solve a Problem for a Niche Audience
3. Build an email list around a niche topic and survey them about their biggest challenges about it.
4. Analyse the activity in niche forums and on platforms like Quora and Reddit to discover the pain points and desires of niche groups.
Discover Business Ideas in your Corporate Job
5. Look at the internal processes of the company you are working for (Human Resources, Finance & Accounting, Marketing, Management, Sales, etc.): What are processes that could be made more efficient? How could they be improved with the use of technology?
6. Look at the people working with you: How could they get better at what they do? How could they be happier at what they do so the company can keep their best-performing employees?
7. Look for improvement potential of the company’s core service. How could its product or service be made better, cheaper or more efficient? Think of out-of-the-box ways that the big companies are missing as well as business ideas that benefit from small agile startup teams instead of big capital and resources.
8. Look at transferability of its products and processes: How could its processes be used in a different industry? How could its products be made accessible to a completely different market (e.g. a cheaper, more basic version in third world countries)?
9. Look for improvement potential in its supply chain: How could processes of its suppliers or customers be made more efficient?
10. Look at the trending topics on Social Media Sites like Twitter, Reddit, Buzzfeed, YouTube etc. Remember the Fidget Spinner? If you are able to jump onto trending topics fast enough by creating or reselling related products or services, you can build a valid business.
11. Become a trend spotter yourself: Read, read, read. Pick an industry and spend a couple of months reading everything about it. Do it until you get to the point where you are able to spot and predict upcoming trends yourself.
Explore your Passion
12. Look at your past jobs and analyse what you liked/did not like in your role. Think of industries and types of businesses that would allow you to do more of what you like. For example, if you loved working with people in your customer service job, why not build a coaching or consulting business?
13. Make a list of things you love to do and would do for free. Think about how you could turn these things into a business. For example, if you are passionate about healthy living and spend your free time researching recipes, finding new ways to workout and read up on the newest health trends — why not start a blog or coaching business with your expertise?
Build on your Strengths
14. Look at your past jobs and analyse what you were really good at.Think of industries and types of businesses that would allow you to use your skills and strengths. For example, if you were really good at writing blog posts in your past marketing job, you could start a business as a freelance writer.
15. Think of businesses and industries that you would have an unfair advantage in. This could be based on extensive industry experience, knowledge, skills or network. How could you use this advantage to build a business?
Become an Idea Machine
16. Train your brain to come up with ideas on tap by writing down 10 ideas about one topic every day. They don’t need to be business ideas but they need to be related to just one topic. This will force your brain to get really creative. For example: write down 10 ideas to make cooking easier, 10 ideas to loose weight, 10 ideas to sell books, etc.
17. Read, Read, Read. The more you read about different things in all sorts of areas, the more ideas will come to you naturally. By expanding your knowledge, you are expanding your realm of business ideas.
Apply a well-known business model to a different industry or product
18. Build the Uber for X, the Airbnb for Y or the Warby Parker for x. You get the point.
19. Find a niche and resell products on your own dropshipping store, Amazon, eBay or other market places.
Liz Huber is a Mindset & Productivity Coach and Founder of refinedlife.io. With her books, courses, and 1-on-1 work, she helps entrepreneurs overcome overwhelm, lack of focus, fear, and self-doubt. As a result, her clients are able to confidently achieve their goals by prioritizing what is truly important and streamlining everything else.