When going through the startup business idea phase, the most important thing to think about it the value add; how will your idea create value? Yes, money is important. However, it is necessary to create value first, and then the numbers will follow.
1. Fix What Bugs You
If something annoys you, chances are it annoys other people too. If you can come up with a solution for that problem, you potentially have a startup business idea on your hands. One great aspect about resolving peoples’ pain points is that it’s very marketable. In other words, it’s easier to sell painkillers than it is to sell vitamins.
2. Keep Your Eyes Open
Look at current, successful businesses and understand why they do what they they do. Learn from their wins. Conversely, check out failed businesses…what went wrong? Learn from their mistakes. Read through some 10-K’s. Watch some classic films, listen to some great music, go exploring. Listen to the news (don’t get too bogged down by the negativity, though). Drink quality coffee. Read more books. Understand that history repeats itself. Keeping your eyes open will lead you to be inspired. Once inspired, you’ll be able to come up with a startup business idea.
3. Ask Potential Customers
To come up with a startup business idea that meets others’ needs, there’s no better way than by talking to customers. If you are interested in restaurants, hang out in the parking lot of your favorite eatery (in the least creepy way possible, please) and ask customers what they wish was different. Ask them what was their favorite part of their experience. If you’re interested in developing an eCommerce startup business idea, consider sending an online survey to potential customers to learn about their needs and interests.
There’s another side to this. Do not take what the customer says too literally. Learn from Mr. Henry Ford:
4. Combine Ideas
Often times, there’s a brilliant startup business idea simply by combining what already exists. A perfect example is the iPhone. Apple combined their value-adding product, the iPod, with a cell phone and won big. What startup business idea can you come up with by simply combining two ideas?
5. Follow Your Passion
If you’re passionate about something, keep that at the forefront of your mind when brainstorming startup business ideas. More often that not, if it’s your passion then you’ll know it well. From that, you will eventually be able to come up with a great startup business idea. There’s a huge bonus to this: if you begin to execute on an idea that revolves around your passion, you’ll be much better off than someone who’s just semi-interested in the space their startup is in. Your passion will keep you going through thick and thin.
At the end of the day, execution is what matters. You can come up with the best idea in the world, but unless it becomes a reality, it doesn’t matter.
“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison
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