If you have followed the introduction chapter of The Founder’s Guide to Building a Successful Business, and you have an idea of what business you want to build, simply follow the methods, ideation tools and tactics described below to make your idea an irresistible one. I suggest you complete all the exercises carefully. It’s your idea that holds the key to your success.
In this chapter of The Founder’s Guide to Building a Successful Business, you will be able to:
- Identify and define your business idea.
- Discover the real customer segment for your idea and validate it to know exactly what your customer wants.
- Analyze the competitive landscape to further enhance your value proposition. This will help in supporting your mission and to create an uncontested market opportunity for your offerings.
With the use of the tools and guidelines outlined below, you will be able to filter out the noises and strengthen the signal which will prepare you for building your business model and prototype.
Different ways or methods to get excellent business ideas
The origin of a great idea can appear from any source — while watching something interesting on television or reading a book or scanning through the news. Listed below are a few other methods you can apply to formulate great business ideas:
Be the solution:
Perceive challenges as opportunities. You can come up with a great idea when you’re facing a situation and you realize that there isn’t a solution to this problem as yet. For example, King C. Gillette was actually fed up with sharpening his straight-edge razor. That’s why he came up with the reusable razor. It’s the same reason why service providers, Uber and Ola, rose considerably. Customers were fed up with their local cabs and autorickshaws refusing to ply to places the customers wanted to go to. Improve an existing product/service to solve customer problems in a more proficient manner, thus offering them a better experience.
Be empathetic. It’ll help if you be in your customers’ shoes. That way you can discover your idea faster than you can imagine.
The biggest and best reason for any business to be a huge success is giving value to your customers. If you can convince your customer that by paying for your product, they will gain in terms of money, time, authenticity, effort taken, and most importantly, trust, then you have a winner on your hands. There are two ways to understand this concept at a deeper level:
- Select 3 companies that you prefer most. Make a list of qualities you like about those products or services. Why do you like them above others? What are the values they add to your life? How do they simplify and make your life and living easier?
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask, “What is the thing that’s missing in my life, that if I am provided with, it will add significant value to me now, and in the future?”
Believe in your idea:
Trust your instincts. BELIEVE in your idea. Go all out and execute it well. There are innumerable cases where entrepreneurs have been ridiculed for their business ideas, but they went on with their ideas anyway. Some of them went on to become the most successful businessmen with their startup ideas. For example, King C. Gilette (reusable razor), Steve Jobs (touchscreen), Google (many other search engines were already out there before Google), Twitter (engineers thought it was a stupid idea).
Persevere. If you truly believe in your business idea, perseverance could be the key to making it a success. Don’t jump from one idea to another. Some times, it is not about coming up with new ideas. It is about following your goal until it clicks.
Do what you love, love what you do:
These times are the best times of innovation that we’ve had until now. Anyone (literally anyone) with extraordinary talent and good execution skills can make it big. Don’t take your hobbies lightly. Think about how to leverage your talents, skills, and passion to convert it into a business opportunity. Even if you aren’t the best in that field, to begin with initially, pick ONE hobby and excel in it. Know EVERYTHING that’s to know about it. Very soon, your expertise will start to pay you rich dividends. Literally.
Get inspired by changing habits of customers, community, social dynamics, and trends. See how to fit your talent or skill in the given scenario and blend it in. Build your business idea around it.
Gather knowledge about existing ideas:
Study in detail brilliant ideas that interest you most or in areas that you are skilled at. Google it! See why those businesses are such huge hits. Know more about those entrepreneurs and companies. Scanning these ideas will give you insights that will be helpful in your idea-building activity.
Draw inspiration from history, science fiction, and mythology.
Think out of the box:
Now that you know quite a bit about these businesses, look if there’s something missing. Did anyone mention to you why they were angry with a particular brand? Did someone tell you that car service providing companies aren’t that professional as many times they don’t come on time? Was someone not happy with their hotel booking? Is buying houses cumbersome on some of the most successful online property sites? Is there something that can be done better? If you have an answer, there’s your brilliant idea! Or, emulate successful business ideas in other markets and territories.
If your area or city does not have such services, maybe you can be the one to start something on similar lines.
Plugin the gap:
There are people around you who could probably give you some brilliant business ideas for successful startups. You will find many wonderful ideas out there which can be tapped into, rather than you coming up with an original idea. Take Steve Jobs for example. He spotted the genius of Steve Wozniak. That was his winning idea! There could be many people who are good at innovating but don’t know how to take their product forward. If you are a good marketer and love doing that, you could build that business idea together with the innovator.
Read customer feedback on the Internet:
One thing that people ignore most is studying customer feedback on existing products or services. Here’s where your untapped potential lies. Go online and read them carefully. Take up the most popular products of today. Pick up what interests you the most and go through the feedback that a particular product has received. List them down. What is the missing link?
Begin with the end in mind.
Predict the Future:
Today, almost everything is rapidly changing. Envision what could be useful two or five years from now. For example, with smartphones making internet access easier, e-commerce has gone through the roof. Soon with bandwidth not being a problem, net users will probably prefer to watch more videos instead of reading, since this saves time. Explore the possibilities of this trend further.
Useful tip: Remain curious.
Keep up with Technology:
Today a lot of businesses that were offline are now setting up websites and their own e-commerce sites to reach out to a wider audience across the world. Setting up these websites and e-commerce sites itself could be a booming business. Agreed there may be a huge number of websites and e-commerce platform providers, but is there something you could do differently? If you can provide a key differentiator to what is currently available in the market, you’ve got it right.
Learn from yours and others’ mistakes: We all make mistakes, but it is those who learn from their mistakes who move ahead in life, and those who learn from others’ mistakes move ahead even faster. You can probably get your business idea from such mistakes! Figure out how to correct these mistakes and come up with your own plan to do things better.
Learn from the Experts:
There are many experts who hold seminars and conferences on how to come up with brilliant, winning business ideas or business plans. Attend these seminars or conferences and learn more. It can probably cut down years of your own research.
Where to get interesting business ideas
- Engaging in provocative questioning is a very effective way to generate good ideas. You can use online forums, social networks, and your connections, to ask incisive questions pertaining to your idea. This is beneficial in two ways — one, you get an inkling of what others think (about the idea), whether they resonate with it or not. Two, you gather varied information on that subject.
- Brainstorming is an excellent exercise to indulge in. When at work, participate in competitions, hackathons, take up online challenges and attempt at solving those problems, and things like that. During the course of finding the right solution, you get stuck at some point and to get out of it, you take aid from your colleagues or friends. Discuss it. Enjoy the process like you do when you’re playing online games. Don’t let the complexities bog you down. Rather, seize these opportunities as they enable you to gradually become a thinking entrepreneur.
Whatever method or process helps you get your idea, use the techniques of perception building, ideation, and brainstorming to solidify it. Define your idea in a manner that clearly depicts your focus, passion, inclination, dedication, and soul in it. When you share your idea with an investor, employee, advisor, mentor, or customer, they should get curious about it. Use the below format to define your idea:
Zeroing in on your idea is the most crucial exercise. The biggest and best innovations started with a single simple idea.
What’s your Big Idea?
It’s time you let your big idea step out from your subconscious into your conscious mind. If you had to tell the world about your idea right now, how would you narrate it?
I hope now you have an adequate understanding of what it takes to build a great idea. Follow along the next chapter to filter out the noises and discover your strengths to build your dream business.
The lessons are learnings in this article and several others are based on the strategies, tactics, and perspective we have developed while building 100s of products for leading global enterprises and startup businesses alike. Visit our website www.appetals.com to know more about what we do and about our work.
Originally published at https://www.appetals.com on January 8, 2020.