You don’t have to be a genius to come up with a business idea. It’s the exact opposite! It’s really simple to come up with business ideas all the time, however, the challenge lies in coming up with a business idea that works for you and suits your personality and needs.
This is where most people get stuck, many people want to start their own and think about it all the time, the big question is, what business should I start? And it is not a small question, often, the kind of business you are in will dictate whether you will be successful or not.
If you have some sort of framework or directions to get your mind focused on business ideas that will suit you and work with your own situation, then you’ve taken a big step toward becoming successful in business.
1. Start thinking! Get your brain to work
Whether you’re too busy with your daily routines to take the time to think and reflect on what you want, or feel that your brain is too pressured and lacking the ability to run wild with your imagination, worry not. This article has tips and advice that will help you get started with the creative process.
The first step towards creative thinking is understating how the mind works and how to stimulate your brain. I will dig deep into this topic, because we might need several book to cover it, but I will briefly mention the key elements.
The brain has two main parts; the right and the left hemispheres, each of these have different functions and work differently. The right hemisphere is creative and artistic part, it’s the part that appreciates art, it uses shapes, colors and images to analyze and process information, and it’s also the part that controls creativity and the imagination.
The left part is the logical part, it’s the part that performs mathematical calculations, looks for causes and effects, uses words to describe and define, and it’s also the part that controls speech, grammar and word order.
For you to be successful in business, you have to have a balance on both sides. You have to be imaginative and creative to come up with business ideas and to come up with creative solutions for business problems. You also have to be logical to analyze and define business opportunities, calculate business risks and weigh your options to deal with the daily business issues.
The brain is like a muscle, if you don’t exercise it regularly to get it in shape. You can’t prepare for a marathon by sitting on the couch all day. Common barriers to creative thinking are habits, attitudes, daily routines, lack of confidence or the constant need for guidance from others. A good way to break or overcome those barriers is to be open minded, be receptive to new things, take new challenges, or by simply giving your brain the green light to think creatively. So take the time to think and get your brain stimulated.
Change is one of the best ways to stimulate your brain and discover new ideas. A change of scenery can help you clear your mind off your daily issues and give you some clarity to start thinking creatively, you can go to a garden, beach or anywhere you like and take the time to exercise your brain. A change of people will also help you, by meeting new people and listening to them talking about their issues or frustrations, you can gain a better insight into their needs and aspirations, which is the basis of any successful business. A change of place will also definitely help you discover new ideas you have not seen or heard of before, you might see a new type of store in your trip to Tokyo that you think will work well in your city.
Bottom line is, you don’t need to go to the other side of the globe to find new ideas, the small changes that you make in your daily, will pay in a big way.
2. Buy a notebook
Now that you know how to stimulate your brain and get started with the creative thinking process, you need to keep count on your ideas and make sure that you can document them to study and examine them further.
Every business you can think of started with a small idea somewhere, from a small observations, a frustrating situation, or while taking a shower. The difference is that those people who had those ideas took the time to think about these ideas and improve on them to create successful businesses. You never know when the inspiration comes, so keep a notebook close to you at all times to write these ideas down whenever they come.
3. Follow your passion
Once you start your business, you will spend most of your day for several years doing that business. So make sure you chose a business that you feel passionate and excited about. If you don’t like the business you are, chances are, you might not succeed in that business, probably not because you don’t have what it takes, but mostly because you might lose interest too easily in the face of the challenges that will come your way.
Starting and building a successful business is no small task, it will be a lot of work, you will face many problems, you will have to deal with situations you never encountered before, so it better be something you love doing. You will find that when things go tough, it is your passion that will get you going and make you overcome the hurdles. If you don’t love what you’re doing, you will take the first exit when problems arise.
Additionally, if you do something you love personally and understand its motivations, you will be in a better place to understand your customer needs and deliver on them. Understanding customer needs and their motivations to buy is a key element of understanding your business and ensuring its success.
Having that said, when you decide to take an old hobby into a new business, you have to work out the calculations and make sure that there is enough demand for this product or service, and that people are willing to pay for it. Otherwise, you will end up doing something not many people are interested in.
4. Keep your eyes open
New business opportunities get born from new situations every day. Keep an eye on what is happening around you, make it a habit to read the newspaper and identify new opportunities. You may read that people are complaining from poor health services in your area, or the lack of schools in your neighborhood.
Talk to your neighbors and the people you know, what is frustrating them? What would they want to change in your neighborhood? Is your neighbor complaining that she needs to drive long distances to get to the nearest dry cleaner? Or is your other neighbor complaining about the lack of groceries in close proximities to where you live? Are you coworkers frustrated that there are no restaurants close to your work building?
If you keep your eyes open to new developments and changes around you, you might capitalize on the emerging opportunities that arise. You don’t need to come up with an original and unique business idea to be successful, often, it’s the ideas that have been tested time and time again that prove to be successful, so look into your area, and see what is missing, it could be your next business.
5. Capitalize on your strengths
Most people are good at something. Look at your experiences and career, what is it that you can do well? Have you been working in project management for 15 years and know the ins and outs of the business, this is often the best place to start.
Most people are afraid to start their own business because they focus on the weaknesses and think that they will fail because of the things they cannot do well. No one is perfect, not every successful business owner is a superman.
Instead of focusing on the things you cannot do well, focus on the things you are good at. What can you do better than others? How are the others doing it? And how can you do it differently? Sometimes, you need a new idea to start a business, maybe a small change to an established idea is your answer. If your industry is behind other industries in the way it does business, maybe you can come up with a new system to automate their processes or to computerize their records.
Bottom line, look at the things you know best, and focus your thinking on these areas. They don’t necessarily need to be from your work life. You might discover that you are good at helping your friends sort their personal finances, so you might think about opening a business where you help individuals plan personal finances.