Stuck coming up with a new business idea? Here are six ways to get your gears turning.
Some people may be happy with the success that they’ve found, but most entrepreneurs I know are born innovators, always looking for the next idea that will change the landscape. Bold ideas and colorful details are what keep them going, day after day, propelling them forward into greatness.
But sometimes, successful entrepreneurs lose that momentum and have no idea what comes next; everyone loses inspiration at some point or another. They’ve stayed the course, found success and are ready to start a new business that will be exciting and fresh -- but what is it? What will be engaging, fun, scalable and, ideally, lucrative?
Whether you are an entrepreneur who is beginning anew, or someone who is just beginning a journey into owning your own business, the trick is to know how to engage your mind. Discover the latent possibilities already there, and then act boldly with the skill set that you already possess. Here are six tools that, combined, will help you kick start your brilliant mind and find the next big idea you’ll turn into a major success.
1. Find your passion.
One great piece of advice that has stuck with me whenever I lack inspiration is to look at the books on my bookshelf: what subject is the most common among them? What do I read about in my spare time that lights up my imagination and sets my mind ablaze? Those subjects are where you should focus your attention. That’s what you’re passionate about -- and your passion will always point you in the direction of success, as when your passion takes over, you will not tire. When you’re inspired and lit up, you can work for hours and feel like you’re not working at all.
2. Find your skill set.
Make a list of all of the things that you can do much better, or even marginally better, than most people, in business or as a hobby. Think outside the box. Then look again at that list and pinpoint which of those things you enjoy doing. This list is a perfect starting point for what you should do next. More than likely, those areas that you enjoy are the skills in which you have been successful thus far in your career, because they have seemed easier and held your attention longer. If you utilize one of those skills to create a business, it will likely be very satisfying and lucrative.
3. Reach for the intersection of #1 and #2.
Realistically, our passions alone are not going to make us millionaires. Not too many classical guitar players or gardeners are going to get funded by a VC to scale their business. However, combining your soul’s desire with your technical skill set is your sweet spot: what you can do better than most people, combined with the excitement you feel when working on something you love. That is where entrepreneurship really makes magic. For example, are you great at frontend coding? Your love for gardening could turn into a mobile gardening service with an app for instant booking. Reach for that sweet spot and you’ll have created something extremely special with your business.
4. It’s not rocket science.
You can spend your time coming up with outlandish ideas for something no one has ever heard of -- which is great if you can pull it off -- but more than likely, you’re wasting your time. In order to be successful, you only need to think of an idea that is better than the current model. For example, Lyft didn’t reinvent the rideshare, but they made grabbing a ride easier, safer (Facebook logins), more technologically efficient (no cash needed, plus GPS pickup and drop-off in every car), and even a bit more hip. You don’t need to revolutionize the space, just add to it in your own way.
5. Look at the market.
Trends are immediate inspiration. There are massive opportunities if you look closely: what is doing very well in the market right now? Can you fit in, and add value to that growing niche? Is there room to take your idea and make it work online, a very fast growing industry, with little overhead? Or are there successful people in your desired field with whom you can collaborate to take your idea to the next level? Whatever space you decide to work with, look closely at the market trends and work in tandem with what exists to create the most lucrative outcome.
6. Consider the future.
It all starts with a dream -- but the greatest key to success is making that dream sustainable. If your vision doesn’t include a plan for long-term success, your vision won’t scale, and scalability is a huge decisive factor when investors are looking at potential new partners. When you are researching market trends, make sure that you’re paying attention to what will be viable in two, ten, and twenty years, and align your business closely.
Your personal experience and skill set is unique, and any business you begin should be -- and will be -- as unique as you are. Take the time to look inward to find what drives you, and the time to look outward to what drives the market, and you’re sure to find a brilliant business idea that will take you to the next phase.