Coming up with a business idea is the first task when starting your own business. Some aspiring entrepreneurs prefer to take an unstructured approach in selecting a business idea, while others find it more efficient to follow a step-by-step brainstorming process. Whatever path you choose, make sure to pour your heart into this task because having a good and feasible idea will be the key in achieving your goals and dreams.
What makes a business idea great?
Your business will be your main source of income, that’s why it’s only vital to generate ideas that can be monetized and has the potential for scalability so you can market your business to an audience. In order to capture an audience, your business idea must also be able to solve problems or address the needs of a specific customer base. Therefore, a business idea is considered great if it is commercially viable and can impact the lives of the consumers.
Criteria of a Viable Business Idea
You might be able to list down several ideas throughout your brainstorming process, but only a few will be considered feasible. Before you narrow down your choices, you have to analyze first which ideas can actually work. Here are the criteria of a viable business idea:
- It should answer a particular problem or address a specific customer demand.
- It should have an emotional appeal and potential to become a trend or habit.
- It should have a niche market and can eventually be scaled over time.
- It should have thoughtful price points.
- And of course, it should be profitable.
Things to Consider When Generating Business Ideas
Generating business ideas is no easy task. It requires creative thinking, and you also need to spend a lot of time analyzing and selecting the best ones.
When trying to come up with ideas, you have to consider three essential factors: market appeal, investment prospects, and marketing competence. These and the criteria mentioned above should be your benchmark.
It is also important to be realistic when generating business ideas. No matter how original, creative, and exciting the idea is, it still won’t be an option if it doesn’t create market opportunities. Test your ideas on people who match the profile of your target audience, gather feedback and insights, and be ready to implement changes and improvements.
How to Come Up With Business Ideas
You would need to squeeze all those creative juices to come up with a good business idea. Here are some tips that you can use in the process:
Use Your Personal Experiences as Inspiration
You can look into your personal experiences and interests as starting points. Have you experienced a certain problem that needs to be solved? Do you share the same interests with several people? Do you have strengths and specific skills that you can utilize in a business? You’ll be surprised to list down plenty of ideas out of your own experiences alone.
Listen to the Stories of Your Family and Friends
Talking to other people can also give you ideas and inspiration. Listen to their daily challenges and problems, and take note of their complaints and concerns. You can also spend some time on social media and visit Facebook groups and communities to learn about the topics people usually discuss online. By doing this, you might be able to come up with a business idea that can help them overcome their challenges and concerns.
Do Market Research and Study Current Trends
Research about the industries and markets that interest you and see if you can come up with a good business concept. You can also study the most popular trends today on both the national and local scale. Having a clear understanding of the market can help you generate competent and feasible ideas later on.
Make a List of Different Products and Services
List down all the products and services that you know and you could think of. Categorize them into common and uncommon, popular and least popular, and successful and unsuccessful. You can use this list to determine which of these products and services have become a necessity for consumers over time and which are just fad. Knowing the products and services that sell can help you think of marketable and profitable ideas.
Connect with Other Business Owners
The success stories, nature of products and services, and business strategies of entrepreneurs can help you gain new perspectives and expand your horizon. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from them. If you don’t personally know a lot of business owners, you can join business groups and Facebook communities like Small Business Network (SBN) Philippines to connect with them.
Steps in Selecting a Business Idea
After generating various business ideas, the next task is to choose an idea that you can concretize and turn into reality. Here are the steps in selecting a business idea:
STEP 1: Identify which idea has the most potential.
STEP 2: Select the best and most viable idea.
STEP 3: Research the idea and analyze its scalability, marketability & profitability.
STEP 4: Modify the idea according to your research.
STEP 5: Test and validate your idea.
STEP 6: Create a business plan.
STEP 7: Start looking for initial funds and capital to start your business.
Generating and selecting a business idea can be challenging but it’s the first necessary step you should take if you want to venture into business. Consider this task as your first test to entrepreneurship and make sure to overcome it with commitment and persistence.