Where Do Business Ideas Come From?

Do you have an idea for a business? Something to turn that dream into a reality? Many people have one or several ideas, but where does that ‘spark’ come from and how do you generate these in the first place?

There is no such thing as a new idea. There is actually, but most ideas are a variation on a theme. That said, rather than wasting resources trying to think of a unique business idea, try focusing on how to be better rather than how to be different. Another way to view this is to try to come up with a solution to an everyday problem. We are all faced with problems or doing tasks that could potentially be made easier by a new product or service. If you can identify an issue that someone else has not already solved, chances are there will be a market for it!

Any business idea comes from only one of three sources:

  1. A borrowed or adapted idea ie competitor
  2. Something you already do or know ie hobby, skill
  3. A unique invention (and there are not many of these!)

However, there are opportunities everywhere. These can often provide a good basis for finding a business idea. The acronym TIME can be helpful here:

  • Trends eg online, ethical
  • Issues eg things that annoy you
  • Markets eg nostalgia/retro, local produce
  • Experience eg interests, pastimes

With your main business idea in place, you can start to undertake some further basic research:

  • Who might be selling a similar product or service?
  • What will make you better than your competitors?
  • How do you know what people want and how much they will pay for it?

So please do not say that you are fresh out of ideas; they are all around you. Find one, test it and do it!

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