Generating and Developing Business Ideas

12 September 2012
Published in Blog

Many people we meet say they want to have their own business. Many of them also say they just don’t know what their business would do. So to help out here’s an overview of how you can go about generating and developing new business ideas.

There are just three types of idea:

  • A borrowed or adapted idea
  • A genuinely new idea (invention)
  • An idea based on what you know

Bear this in mind as you have to carry on your usual daily routine. The source of inspiration will either come from;

The world around you – What do you do each day, think about each thing you do, could you improve or simplify anything, does anything annoy or bore you, could you make it better or is there a need that could be provided for. Think “what if…” or “wouldn’t it be good if…”. For example, wouldn’t it be good if your washing hung itself out, your wardrobe tells you the weather report or you could get your favourite crêpes delivered to the office for breakfast. What do you use? What buinesses do you deal with? What do you read and watch? What places and websites do you visit? Could you do any of these better? Or at least could you do it differently?

You – You are unique. You have a set of skills, talents and experiences unlike anyone else. Could you put any of these to good use. It’s likely you can do something other people can’t. This doesn’t just have to be work based skills. Do you have hobbies. If not, what have you always wanted to do? Learn something which you will enjoy doing with the intent of developing this into a business. Admittadly this may take a little longer but there’s no time to start like the present.

Follow the steps show here to analyise your abilities and peronal properties then to develop these into a few possible business ideas:

List your skills

  • What do you love to do?
  • What do you do well?
  • What would you like to do?
  • Do you have any talents, hobbies, skills, passions & experience?

Create a Personal SWOT Analysis

Make a SWOT analysis about you, list:

Strengths
What do you enjoy doing most – (skills/experience/hobbies, knowledge, personal traits)

Weaknesses
What do I least like doing – (ie. no business skills, not good at numbers, lacking in knowledge)

Opportunities
What’s around the corner – (what external factors may help you, what can you learn from others, where do you fit the bill)

Threats
What could cause you problems – (how will external factors affect your business or venture)

Learn to Recognise Trends

A few of these could be:

  • The growth of the Internet
  • Environmental
  • Working from home
  • Demographic Changes
  • Credit Crunch
  • The Grey Pound
  • The Pink Pound
  • Ethical Trading
  • Social Enterprise

Observe Trends and Markets to Find Opportunities

  • New or growing specialist areas (niche markets)
  • A market with some resurgence in demand
  • Products that hold their value
  • The local supplier
  • Meeting a need for which there is only occasional demand.

What are the Problems and What are the Needs?

Ever noticed something which could be done better. Could you do it better?

What’s the solution? Is there an opportunity?

  • Is there a better idea?
  • What is the idea?
  • Can it be developed?
  • What are the operational needs?
  • What are the Technical requirements?

Is there a Market?

  • Will they buy it from me?
  • Why won’t they buy from me?
  • Who do they buy from and why?
  • What do they really want?

Evaluate it!

  • What sort of business could you create?
  • A full-time or part-time operation?
  • A business to fit your lifestyle?
  • A service-based business or product-based business?
  • A ready made business (existing or franchise)?

Tips

  • Be clear about your business idea
  • Be honest about your skills
  • Research what support is available
  • Research your customers, competitors and suppliers
  • The “Market”… Know where you fit
  • Parato principle – aka the %80/%20 rule
  • Develop a business plan
  • Always start with all the cash you need
  • Prepare and plan for contingencies
  • Take all the professional advice you can get
  • Create an action plan/lists
  • Network, network, network