You want to come up with an idea for a new business that you love, but you’re not sure what that is yet. We’ve got some suggestions to get your mind thinking creatively. Work through the options below and soon you’ll have a great selection of ideas to choose from.
1. Noticing problems or things that annoy you
You have probably heard people say that good business ideas are ones that solve people’s problems. So why not start with the problems of your own and the people you know. The key to this is to start noticing things that bother you. But how exactly can you do that? One option is to look back at your day in the evening and ask yourself some simple questions.
What did I do today?
List a few of the things you did, ask yourself:
- What did I notice about the things I did?
- What were the annoying bits and the problems?
- What ways might I overcome those problems?
Also, think about the people you spoke to and what problems they were having.
For example, imagine during the day a friend had commented on how expensive it was to get a taxi or Uber home from an evening out. You might write that down and think of ways you could solve the problem. One way might be to create a lift swap scheme and app that works on a credit scheme. So you would pick your friend up from their night out and another night someone else would do the same for you. You could sell the app or monetise through sponsorship. See how many solutions you can come up with for each problem.
2. Always have a notebook with you
It sounds simple, but always carry a small notebook with you, or use an app on your phone. You never know when ideas might strike and when they do they can be fleeting. If you don’t write them down, chances are you will forget them. Keeping a small notebook by your bed is a good idea too as ideas often appear as our conscious brain relaxes and our subconscious takes over.
3. Think about the things you like doing. What is missing/lacking in those niches
What hobbies or leisure activities do you do? Write down the different aspects of those niches. For example, imagine you enjoyed drawing and painting. To do your hobby you need materials and equipment, to know how to do it (education). But is there anything missing or hard to find? Maybe you’d love to get together with other artists locally or online or locally who paint birds. Could you organise a place for them to get together that you could monetise? Maybe there is an art material that you are having trouble getting hold of, perhaps you could connect with the manufacturer and start selling it. Maybe you could source and sell other products too.
4. Set yourself the task of coming up with 5 ideas a day
Train yourself to have ideas by setting yourself the task of coming up with 5 ideas a day. To make things easier you can set yourself themes such as 5 simple service businesses I could start or 5 ways I can use my computer expertise to make money.
5. Teach what you know
What skills or knowledge do you have that other people would like to learn. Are you a whizz at Excel, great on the guitar or good at languages? You could start teaching what you know. There are lots of different ways to do this from in-person tutoring, online one-to-one lessons, to creating a video course. And you don’t even have to create a website to do many of these things. Platforms like Udemy and Skillshare will host your courses for you. If you are prepared to do all the marketing yourself, you could use a service like Teachable. You don’t have to stick with just one course either, you can build a whole business around teaching different aspects of your knowledge.
6. Turn a hobby into a business
We’ve already mentioned looking for what’s missing in your hobby niche and teaching what you know, but are there other ways you could package up your hobby? Could you organise events, sell merchandise, or sell what you create (if it’s craft-based), could you create a brand that other users would love. For example, if you love martial arts could you brand bags, t-shirts or other products that other martial arts lovers would like?
7. Look at businesses and products in other countries
Have you ever been to another country and seen a product or service that you love that you can’t get in your own? It could be food, art, or a new trend. Whatever it is, is there a way you could bring it to your own country and sell it?
8. Look at ways to save people money or time
If there is one thing that people are willing to spend money on its things that save them time or money. Is there a service you could offer to do either of these? It could be things like setting up a decorating or cleaning business, that’s really easy to book and use. Or instead of setting up the business itself you could create the platform that makes booking services easy.
9. Build on Existing Ideas
Are there any products or services that you like, but maybe there are just one or two elements of them that don’t work as you’d like? Maybe there is a gap for you to make them better or make an add on service. If you look on Amazon at most products you will find reviews. Even fairly good products may have a few negative reviews. What are the negative points people are complaining about, is there a way you can make them better? Do the same with user reviews on other businesses or services.
10. Trend and Inspiration Websites
Another source of inspiration for ideas are trend and inspiration websites like https://www.trendhunter.com/. TrendHunter is broken down into sections such as tech, culture, business, eco, life etc. It features new and interesting things that are going on in those areas. You can’t fail to look at websites like this without being inspired. Of course, you can take a big idea and do a much smaller or spin-off version of it.
Other similar inspiration sites are
11. Go to a Start-up Weekend
What better ways to come up with ideas for a business than to get together with other people who want to do the same thing. Do a search for Start-up Weekends in a City near you. At Start-up Weekends participants will pitch their ideas and everyone will vote for the few best ones. Then you form teams and attempt to get the business started by the end of the weekend. It might also spur some new ideas too.
Remember to write down every idea you have good or bad. You may find in the future that you can connect some of those ideas to make something exciting.