Developing a business idea is probably the simplest part of starting a business. Forget the belief that you have to be extraordinarily smart or be a mad scientist to invent something or to be innovative. Bleh, forget it! What you really need is an understanding of yourself and of the market you are trying to get into and from there, sprouts your business idea! *pop*
According to the Entrepreneur (and my Entrepreneurship teacher), a business idea is simply finding a solution to a problem within a market!
There are three main ways of developing your business idea:
- You identify a need in the community and you create a business plan around that or;
- You capitalize on your skills and create a need or;
- You build on an existing business concept!
All three ways aim to solve a problem within a market. Now dropping all business school lingo, here are 6 steps to building a business idea:
1. Scribble down the things you love to do; or something you are really good at; or a task you hope to achieve by acquiring the skills required. It could be cooking, creating craft, solving problems, playing games, sports, climbing trees, whatever. Scribble. Scribble. It's important that you build your business idea on something that you love to do.
2. Ask yourself "What need is present in my community that can be met with my skills or with this passion that I have?" To help you along with an answer to that, imagine something that annoys you on a daily basis in your everyday life; for example, waiting for the bus. Ask yourself, how can i improve this process of waiting for this *insert adjective* bus?
Then ask yourself, "How can i improve this process and get PAID for it?" Don't be afraid to answer this question too. People make money, they want to spend money; true they like good deals but that's another post entirely.
3. Do some research on how the market (people & transactions) might respond to your idea. This might involve surveys, interviews, general interactions with the community finding out what their needs really are. From this step, you might find affirmations to your answers to Q2 or more information about what people really need!
4. Implement your grand idea but start small. You don't want to invest too much at first. Plus, the earlier you introduce cost containment systems in your business, the easier it is to ensure your overheads (expenses) don't go crazy in the future! Start small, remember "lean is the new robust".
5. Pay attention to the market trends and know your competition. Know what the other tree-climbers are doing and how they are improving. Don't spend all your time focusing on them though, that's the perfect path to being unproductive.
6. Keep learning like your business depends on it....because it does. Continuous learning is the spinach to your business. Never stop learning and keep figuring out ways to improve on your business.
P.s (1) Scribble down even the crazy ideas (2) Don't pay ALL your attention to the other tree-climbers (3) Develop your skills daily (4) Develop other talents
What are your thoughts on starting a business? Do you have a business you are trying to improve? Do you obsess over other tree-climbers?