Methods to Generate Good Business Ideas

Identify a problem or demand in the everyday life of people

 

Then ask:

0. Am i really passionate about solving this problem? Am i willing to put in the hardwork immediately and for as long as possible as well as take any risk of financial losses in solving this problem? If not, forget it.

1. Do i have the solution to the problem or idea to meet the demand? Perform research, use design thinking, brainstorming and other thinking tools to generate ideas and solutions.

2. Do i have the resources and people to actualize the idea? If not, think of the means to acquire them. See article on networking and raising capital. 

See more on filtering your business ideas by clicking here

 

Networking for ideas

As mentioned in the article on networking, ideas and informations are traded while people network. Sometimes ideas don't come from ourselves but from partnering someone who has an idea; trying to fulfill someone's demand or just inspiration from others speech. 

 

Use Google

Google Keyword Planner will show you how many people are searching on a particular keyword that you typed in, that tells you how many people might be thinking about or looking for the same thing as yourself. This is one way of gauging demand. 

You can also google for information you need, for example videos of how to make or do certain things. Google is the door to the internet and internet basically is the place where people trade or share information; Information such as what people are buying; what people are talking about; who else is doing the same thing as you; how are they doing it and many other important questions you can think of.

 

Ask your customers what they really want

If you already know who your customers are, ask them what they want! You may have a general idea of what product or service is needed, but it will be helpful if you know specifically what features will trigger them to buy.

People these days are so busy and distracted that even when you put something attractive and free right infront of them they may not take it. Just because it is not something they are habitually inclined to do or they don't have time to find out more, this is not something to complain about, know this fact and do things to make sure your product or service can beat this problem. 

 

Networking - Find partners and resources to start the business

Networking is the answer to people who have no capital or able people to help them with realizing their ideas. With a clear business idea in mind, you should network with the intention to find people who can help you realize the idea. 

 

Here are the steps by steps of networking:

1. Go to websites or apps that list business events in your area. eg. Eventbrite, Peatix

 

2. Browse through the list to find events where people who are relevant to your business idea are likely to appear. (Investors and people of skills specifically helpful to your business)

 

3. Shortlist and Register for these events. Mark the dates and venues of these events on your calendar. 

 

4. Go to the events with a clear idea of what you want to find and what you want to share with people. People will ask you what you do, you should answer with the reason why you are attending the event. Don't be general and say,"I am here to network or make friends." Just come straight to the point and say,"I have an idea to do XXX and i am here to find people who might be interested to work with me on it."

 

5. Be interested in finding out why people are there at the event. What they want to do might have relevance to what you want to do. I met a programmer trying to sell his services at an event and it happens that I need to develop an application for my business.

 

A networking event is a market for people to trade information, resources, contacts and skills. If you find someone helpful to your business, get his namecard. Don't try to do any selling on the spot, but just leave a line saying i might have an idea for you then go back, think of a good business proposal and then invite the person to a meeting again.

 

Don't dominate any conversation in any group, people are there to find out what everyone else is doing for the purpose of finding someone who is relevant to their goals. if you don't know this and try to put yourself in the limelight or hold on to a conversation for too long, it is going to be awkward. Give people a chance to network broadly.

 

However, there must also be sufficient depth for people to remember you, make sure your encounter with anyone is not too brief or too long such that people will find your rude or boring. 

 

Getting Capital for Your Business

The slow, tough and surely reliable way of getting capital is to work on a high paying job and saving a large portion of your earnings in a high interest account until it is sufficient for you to start your usiness. 

 

Having a good idea written down in a convincing business plan and then pitching it to investor for funding is another but most investors are looking for ideas with the potential to give them a 20 times return on the money invested.  Assess your idea for the potential first. 

 

Borrowing from friends and families might be easier than getting from investors however this has the potential to tarnish relationships and drain your support unless your business ideas turn out to be quickly  profitable enough for you to pay back all the money quickly. Be clear about the expectations of your families and friends, explicitly ask them when they will like to be repaid. Think what if your business fail, are your friends giving you as a loan or as a gift? Do they expect any return on top of the amount they lend to you? Do spend some time explaining to your friends your business idea and expected cash flow for the next 3 years before you take the money from them. 

 

Co-investing with a partner helps to halve your investment in the business. The partner is in the game with you and fight alongside you. Not only will you gain a capital investment but a working partner. However, make sure your partner is capable and someone who would go through thick and thin with you and won't try to make you bear all the loses.

 

Do a business where a customer pays before you bear any cost. Dell is a good example of this kind of business. Payment is collected before Dell proceed to buy the parts and assemble them into a PC and then delivering to the customer. But be worried if you can't deliver, your customers will go after you without a doubt. 

 

Use crowdfunding or peer to peer lending platforms. Example of this is Kickstarter.com. individual lenders on these platforms provide small amount of funding. The good of this is that you may attract a ready pool of customer cum investors who like your business idea; it is validation and marketing of your business at the same time as garnering investments. But you need to put together an attractive video with a proper prototype to show if you want to succeed in attracting enough investment.

 

Lottery. Winning a game of lottery may provide you with funds but the chances are so slim and if you have'nt acquired the skills to earn and keep money, throwing the money from a lottery win into a business will most likely cause you to end up losing all of them. The process of winning investments to a business might be long and hard, but in the process you acquire not just capital but also network and refinement to your business idea. 

 

 

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