Making It Big: Finding A Profitable Business Idea What does it really take to turn an idea into a business?
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More and more people wish to create their own business, but struggle to find an idea. A business idea must be profitable and valuable. But what does it really take to turn an idea into a business?
My experience as an entrepreneur and through interaction with peers at Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) taught me that it's better to have a mediocre idea for which you make the effort to turn into a profitable idea, rather than an innovative idea that you do not exploit. Nowadays, innovation is a buzzword, and we tend to think that we always have to bring something new, whilst in fact there's no real necessity to find an innovative idea.
What is paramount is your ability to listen, analyze, and understand the problems of those around us. It allows you to identify the nature of a need and thus to anticipate a demand. For instance, some of the biggest and most successful companies such as Google or Facebook were not alone in their market. You must ask yourself if people are ready/keen to spend money on your product or service. Are they looking on the internet for solutions to their problems? Do they have other solutions? These are the basic questions one should ask.
In the UAE, we already have a national culture that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, since our leaders have set this as part of the vision to strengthen the position of the country as a global hub for innovation. However, you should also keep an eye on what is being done abroad, and not hesitate to import a concept. To find the right idea, you must keep yourself informed of all the newest (or latest) business ideas from across the globe.
There are products or services that already exist in the market, but aren't easy to use or are just not yet successful- you can improve it by making it simple, quicker or more accessible. There are a lot of businesses that strive to improve a product or a service by just analyzing its evolution prospects.
Distinguishing yourself from competition is one thing. However, you must truly understand the viability of your idea. It's important to put it in front of your prospective users. Most budding entrepreneurs place a lot of value on the idea. They end up working on their ideas in isolation, and once they bring it to market, they quickly realize that the pain point is not what they understood it to be. The idea is a small part of the overall equation; the execution of the idea is the most critical piece of the business puzzle.
You have to also build a marketing strategy- but start by thoroughly defining your activity, its field, the exact nature of your product or service. Then, define your clients. Who's your target, and what is the type of offer you will be proposing? The idea is to propose a product or service that responds to a demand. It's not about creating the demand. To ensure you're responding to consumers' demand, you can also carry out a poll, a survey or a focus group. Nowadays, the market has the right entrepreneurial and innovation DNA to allow for entrepreneurs to take off. Some of us have been in the market for a long time, and it has been a long and challenging journey, but at the end of the day we learned a lot, especially when you are part of a family like EO, where peer to peer learning is one of the most significant benefits as a member. After all, there's a lot one needs to learn (and unlearn) when one becomes an entrepreneur- but the more you know, the better your prospects. Good luck!