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How to find the cleverest business ideas

Photo by Aaron Burdern on Unsplash

First things first...there is no such thing as the perfect business idea.

If you dismiss your business ideas or you’re finding it difficult to come up with a realistic business idea. This post will put you in the right direction and help you to understand your time has not been wasted. So, you can start your side hustle or entrepreneurial idea with idea generation, careful planning and hard work.

Do not compare yourself to others

In a world of successful companies, entrepreneurs, artists, creators and billionaires all playing starring roles within our lives. Some of the brightest minds shine through our TV, websites, YouTube and across social media.

Seeing successful people can be very motivating, but remember your business idea does not need to compete with Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.

However, if you do have an idea that will change the world, you will need to work on finding a team and resources to help you bring your mission to reality.

Trying to come up with the perfect business idea can be tough, especially when you’re comparing your idea against some of the mega business people in the world. Comparing yourself and your ideas to the brightest and the best business leaders and celebrity entrepreneurs can be unhelpful and depressing.

Businesses provide something of value to customer’s lives

It can help you if you focus your attention on providing value to people.

Do you have any experience providing value to people’s lives? Is there anything that you have bought that you could recreate, upgrade or enhance? If not, have you experienced an issue or problem with a product or service that you feel you could improve upon for others?

When thinking of your business idea, it’s best to keep your customer in mind by ensuring to focus on providing them with a product or service that will provide value to your customer’s life.

Why is getting customer contact important?

All businesses must provide a product or service to someone else in exchange for payment. Serving paying customers is one of the main reasons where businesses or entrepreneurs can fail, as more often than not, they haven’t built up the knowledge or enough experience dealing with customers within their chosen market.

Customers will tell you where you’re going right and where you’re going wrong or what areas of your product or service could be improved and the areas that are not as important to them or their lives.

Great businesses start with an idea, but the idea does not need to be great to start a business

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” – proverb, author unknown

It’s easy to look at some of the business greats and think you need to copy them, but in truth, it’s not necessary. A business does not need to be a grand plan for world domination, it can start small and grow from there or start small and stay small, if that’s what would make you happy.

You can make a great side hustle business or entrepreneurial project by focusing on problems closer to home, making an existing product better or redirecting the perception of a product or service in a slightly different direction, by instead improving the marketing, so you’re communicating with underserved groups or communities.

The perfect business idea is something that can trip up any newbie business owner. The people in the know, understand that you do not need the best business idea. You only need something to get started.

The most important part of starting a business is following through with your idea and twisting and turning based on your experiences, knowledge and customer feedback until you have a long-term business that can survive.

Some of the largest businesses on the planet were started with a mediocre idea and turned out to be massively impressive businesses after the founders and team worked to stand out from the competition and create ongoing and unrivalled customer value.

An example of taking a very small idea some place great is AirBnB:

AirBnB was a niche air bed service for conferences where travellers would find locations to stay and the hosts would provide them with their couch or airbed, etc. This was the ultimate niche website service, which ended up growing into the worldwide travel phenomenon we know today.

How to make a start on your business idea?

Great business ideas may not be easy to find and they can be very competitive, as many people want to be their own boss and control their calendar and their life. That’s why focusing on areas which make you unique could be a great place to start.

Your combination of skills, experience and life choice are unique, which means you can think about the following areas to help with your idea generation:

  • Your current job (i.e. Do people search for your current skills and experience?)

  • Your knowledge (i.e. What you know or what could you learn that helps other people?)

  • Your interests (i.e. Do you have a past time that other people would be interested to learn?)

Combining your skills, experience, knowledge with customer problems, needs or wants is the perfect mix of a business idea that meets real customer concerns and something where you have some experience and skills.

The world's problems require business solutions

The world is full of problems or in need of improvements.

It’s hard to think about other people when you’re searching for business ideas. If you try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their wishes, desires and problems. You will know your customers more deeply and be able to provide a product or service that can help them.

There are plenty of places you can search which could provide you ideas or help you with your creativity. You could review popular websites, forums, apps or clubs in the real world where people are expressing their issues or problems.

Keep an open mind and try to listen for everyday problems or make a note of every time you complain about a product or service.

How to improve your chances of finding your next business idea

Thinking up business ideas can be a struggle if you’re not used to thinking in that way, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.

Using the 3 idea generation tips (below) may help you to sort your ideas and improve your chances of finding something that interests you.

  1. Facebook groups, Reddit subreddits or forums where different groups of people are talking about their experiences or interests across different topics and pastimes.

  2. Dream big, but keep your feet on the group. Try reading the book Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings, which talks about helping people to solve their problems

  3. Don’t be stuck on your initial business idea. Your idea is likely to change over time and your final product or service may be different to when you first started.

Speak with people before you solidify your business idea

Watching people from afar and guessing about their likes and dislikes might not provide enough information to help you with your business idea. Thinking, speaking and interacting with your customers is the only way for you to work out if you have something that people really want or need.

Any successful long-term business will need continuous customer contact, so it’s a great idea to become familiar with customers at the start of your business. It might make everything easier for you.

Good luck!

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