There is no lack of aspiring entrepreneurs. Yet, the question I get asked over and over is, “how do I come up with a business idea?” The answer to this question is part art and part science. Whenever I help people go through this process, I first remind them that all great businesses are built around helping people solve problems.
I use one of these methods – or all three!
SOLVE A PROBLEM
Take a look at the day to day activities of your life – even the boring, mundane ones. Now think about the following:
- Is there a recurring problem or frustration that you wish there were a better solution? Things in your life that make you say, “I wish someone would come up with a better way to _____________?”
- Do you have conversations with people about the same problem over and over and over again?
Moreover, writing down these problems might help inspire you to look for a solution. Thus, becoming your next business idea. Try it out!
LOOK AROUND FOR INSPIRATION
Is there a particular industry that interests you? Check out the businesses that exist around you. Then listen to what your gut tells you, particularly if it’s saying, “I want to own something like this.”
I am going to challenge you to answer the following question. “How can you make it better – how can you bring a different twist that would create a unique offering?
I like to read business publications such as Fast Company and Inc.com to get inspiration and enjoy shows like Dragon’s Den. This is a fun way to look for business trends.
EXPLORE WHAT YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT
Take a look at your unique strengths, skills and interests. Get curious about who you are and what you do naturally. Now ask yourself:
- How can you use your strengths, skills and gifts to solve problems for others?
- What do you do that makes you lose track of time because you enjoy doing it so much?
- What skills do you have that serve as services?
- What tools or online applications do you know how to use better than anyone else?
Coming up with a brainstorming list of at least ten ideas will give you an excellent place to start. The next step is to see how that business will perform, statistically speaking. Thankfully, Canada has this information available on the Canadian Industry Statistics site. The statistics report breaks down the financial data of real businesses. Added to that, it gives you an average of operating ratios, profit margin and a lot of juicy information.
Include this last step every time you’ve come up with an idea. Trust me, real numbers speak for themselves.
If entrepreneurship is in your plans, download the free guide below. This guide tells you my secrets to opening a successful business in Canada. Share it, repost it, give it away - I want to make sure this process is as pain-free as possible for everyone.