For many prospective business owners, finding the business idea is the most difficult task.
Theses individuals may have the desire to “be their own boss” but do not know what business will be successful. Some individual have an area of interest but cannot see how it can be turned into a business.
For example, an interest in public speaking could be translated into a business as a motivational speaker, instructor, speech writer, or even a radio or TV broadcaster. This individual even might turn this passion into becoming someone who portrays historical figures.
But what about a prospective owner who does not have any solid ideas? A step some individuals take is to drive to several towns and look around to see what businesses seem to be doing well. Once you do that, you need to ask these questions: Would this business do well where I live? What makes this business thrive here?
While on this road trip, you might come up with the “accidental idea.” That is seeing a need and thinking of a way to meet that need. The idea can arise at any time, so let your mind wander, then translate those thoughts into possible ideas.
Another idea generation tool is digging into data. For example, the population in North Dakota and across the country is aging. What opportunities does that offer? Also, a generation of young adults who have needs is on the horizon. Would you have imagined a demand for learning skills such as canning and cooking? Finally, think about how technology is creating new global opportunities. Census data, at www.census.gov, is a great place to start.
A simple method of idea generation is reading. Take advantage of every source of news. Focus on the trends discussed. Think how what you are reading is creating needs among others.
Getting the idea though is not the end of this step. Often forgotten about in the idea generation segment is to also consider if the idea will result in a sustainable, profitable business.
To determine that, you must do your homework. Here are some questions to help you with your research:
- Can the idea be translated into an opportunity?
- Does a market exist for my idea, and will that market continue to grow?
- Can I make a profit by meeting the need of the market?
- Is my opportunity ahead of its time?
- Who is my competition and what unique advantages do I have over the competition?
- Will I be able to maintain those advantages?
The ideas are out there. They may not appear over night. Just take your time, look over the landscape, and dig deep and you will find a business opportunity that will achieve both your personal and professional goals.
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