The start of the year is a great time to gear up to start a business. But, of course, you first need to figure out a winning concept. "You have to come up with a lot of ideas to be successful," says Stephen Key, cofounder of the website inventright.com based in Glenbrook, Nev., and author of One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs: Live Your Dreams and Create Your Own Profitable Company, (McGraw-Hill, 2012).
Key, who has licensed more than 20 products in the last 25 years, says he generates ideas by finding different ways to engage his mind, from walking the aisles of stores to brainstorming about holes in the marketplace.
Here are eight techniques from Key and other experts that could help get your creative juices flowing: