Successful entrepreneurs follow a process to come up with their next business idea. In many cases good ideas take between six months to one year to be developed. While searching for my next business idea, I asked many business owners how did they come up with their business ideas.
Here is a bullet point summary of the steps that many successful entrepreneurs follow to come up with new business ideas:
1. Define The Parameters:
- Time and Involvement
- Skills and Talents
- Knowledge, Expertise
- Type of Business (Lifestyle or IPO)
- New Product or Improve on an Existing Product
2. Make a List of Ideas:
- Start with areas where you have knowledge and expertise.
- Look at the lives of the people you know including your own. Find out what problems they face, and what unmet needs they have. Which of these problems or needs you can solve? One way to find out what people needs are is to ask “what irritates you?”
- Other Sources for Ideas:
- Internet Business and Technology Publications.
- Domains For Sale.
- Businesses For Sale.
- Successful Business stories.
- Browsing through local stores.
3. Do the Research:
- Brainstorm and critique the ideas with your team. Don’t have a team? Discuss your ideas with close family and friends.
- Market Research
- Competing products
- Barrier to entry
- Production and manufacturing
- Legal and regulations
- Do you need to do a patent search.
- Seek the advise of experts
4. Choosing the One:
- Remove all the ones that don’t meet the parameters.
- Consider your team critique of the ideas.
- Remove ideas that don’t meet your criteria:
- Too Much Regulation
- High cost of production
- Patent Considerations
- Too Small of a Market Share
- Tough Sell
- Factor in the experts advise
- Keep only ideas that excite you
5. Check Feasibility:
Answer Three Questions:
- At What Price Can You Make This Product or Provide this Service?
- Do Customers Really Want It?
- How Much Will Customers Pay for It?
6. Test Test & Test:
- Build the prototype.
- Let few potential customers test it.
- Get feedback.
What is your method for finding a new business idea?