Every startup requires a great idea and the key to success lies in finding it. Here are a few tips to help you land the golden idea!
So, you’ve decided to start your own business. Now you just need an idea and you are set to go.
The question is: How to come up with that idea?
An awesome idea can land in your lap in the form of an epiphany or it can be one that you conjured up with the help of a few simple tips and tricks.
Use these pointers to come up with the perfect start-up idea:
1. The ‘What if’ Scenario
The seed of an idea that has never been done before. Questions that run through your head, scenarios that you deem impossible. What if, there was an application that did my chores for me? What if, I could find my soul-mate with just a click? The possibilities are endless.
Write these down and narrow them according to the most workable ones. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, all the most successful ideas are born that way.
What if there was a way I could hear a song on radio and automatically track its name? That’s how Shazam was born. With a simple idea and a never-been-done-before, neat solution.
2. Dwell on Problems
Look around you. What are the things in your life that you would want to change, what can make your life better, easier etc? What about your friends? Or the people you work with? We all face situations everyday where we think, ‘I wish someone would just invent something for x’. We all desire inventions to tackle our everyday problems, you could come up with one.
Become more sensitized to the problems around you. For example you may have trouble finding someone to take care of your child and you think it would be great to have a nanny hunt application in emergency situations and make one. Or, you tried calling your bank several times for a question but could not get through and wish there was a simple online system that would directly connect you to the solutions of your questions and that’s where you find your idea!
The founders of Instagram realized that pictures taken by phone cameras came out looking mediocre and they wanted to come up with a solution to make every picture beautiful and so founded Instagram, the most successful photography application to this date.
3. Me, Myself & I
Catch hold of a paper and jot down a whole profile about yourself. Don’t over-think it. Just list down things about yourself, things you are good at, things you are interested in. Next, list down things you aren’t so good at and not interested in, best keep away from those. ‘I am very good at marketing and giving advice, I am not so good at writing’ can be an example. Continue listing down things people like and dislike about you, in both your business and personal life.
In the end, try to make a connection between all your good points, find a pattern and see if you can come up with a business idea using your strengths and interests, this way if you are passionate about the subject you are more likely to both, enjoy it and put more into it.
4. Toss it Around
Collect a bunch of people you trust and put your ideas on the table. Talk shop, share your brainstorms with your trusty friends, and get ready for some honest feedback. See what your family and friends think about your ideas.
Your friends and family will be able to distinguish a great idea from a mediocre one, providing you with valuable third-party, user-related advice and comments. They may even inspire your ideas for the better.
Derive inspiration from the world around you. You can find it everywhere: from the people you meet, from the things you see and all your experiences. You can also take an existing business and spice it up, add your creativity to it and customize it according to the needs of the people.
Ever got charged late fee on a rental video? Netflix was born to cater to this problem. The richest source of good ideas is all around you, you just have to know where to look.
6. Last Resort – ‘Borrow’ an Idea
Find an existing business idea online or around you and tweak it enough to make it yours. You can then just start up a business using that idea and try to improve on the way others are doing it. This way you provide more and give people an incentive to invest in your business or idea over the ones already existing.
Take the example of Travelocity, the first-of-its-kind website that allowed consumers with travel options without the need of a travel agent and broker. So many others followed the approach and even became more successful than Travelocity.
Starting a business may seem like a very daunting task but if you set your mind to it, have the right idea up your sleeves and a ‘never give up’ attitude you can pull if off successfully.
Happy idea hunting!