Finding Ideas for Business

One question that comes up time and time again is how businesses find ideas – whether it be for a product, a service, or anything really that they can get people to pay for. The answer to this question, perhaps, could be an entire business on its own.

However, there are a few different ways that people use to locate and refine business ideas, and they are worth discussing.

The first is what is usually called scratching an itch. That is, you have a problem which you face on a regular basis, and find a solution to it. You then try to see if there is, perhaps, a market for that solution, and build a business around it, if there is. If your solution is truly unique, and the problem sufficiently common, then this has the potential to create an entire market on its own.

The next option is to look at an existing product or process, and refine it. That is, your product is based on improving something which already exists. The upside is that you are well aware of who uses the product, and perhaps, how to market to them. The downside is that you will need to steal customers from other vendors, which can be extremely difficult for the new player to do.

Alternatively, you can build a business by bundling other services or products together in a unique combination. This is one of the strategies suggested by the book Blue Ocean Strategy which worked for Cirque du Soleil, as an example, combining the circus with other forms of theatre entertainment. While perhaps riskier than entering well-defined markets, the rewards can also be greater. Additionally, much of what will build such a business already exists, and the innovation is in how it is presented and delivered.

There may be other ways of coming up with ideas, but these strategies should provide some measure of relief in that they show the groundwork for ideas is right around you, if you know how to open your eyes to the opportunities.