If we were to look at 10 successful businesses, we would see 10 different ways the original idea was formed. There is no hidden formula or secret trick to guarantee an awesome idea. That said, there are some tried and tested strategies to help you along the way. Developing a working business idea is a journey more than an inspired moment; a series of steps that you will take requiring reflection, research, inquiry, and action.
The 3 strategies that I will explore here are starting points. At Business Link, we love to explore ideas with clients and we have learned a LOT about turning early stage business ideas into fully fledged businesses.
1. What’s the Problem?
We all have problems. Cracked windshield. Lost our bank card. Can’t stop eating Fruit Loops for dinner. Sure enough, we all have problems.
This strategy gets us to reflect on a problem and come up with a solution. Like all business ideas, the more we understand about our customer the better the solution we are likely to deliver.
Let’s dig deeper on the cracked windshield problem. This can be a problem for people as modern windshields are expensive, the conditions in Alberta means they crack often, and it takes time to get a replacement or repair. By exploring the problem in more depth we start being able to see solutions that may work for the customer. At-home service at a time that is convenient, installment payment plans helping them spread the cost, tougher glass that is more crack resistant.
Think of the problems you face in everyday life and observe the problems faced by others. You’ll need to carry out market research to understand if this problem is significant enough for people to pay for a solution. That cracked windshield is annoying, but people may be reluctant to spend more to avoid it.
Success comes when you find a solution to a problem and combine it with a business model that delivers profits.
2. Ask Yourself: Wouldn’t it be great if…
This strategy is intended to get your creative juices flowing. This is a blank canvas approach to developing a business idea and is a way to generate many small ideas that may develop into something more concrete.
The title sums this approach up in a succinct way. The entrepreneur starts with this as a sentence starter: Wouldn’t it be great if…