Blog > How to Come Up with a Winning Business Idea
Posted By Poppy
Starting your own business - it’s one of the biggest dreams we can have.
The internet has made it easier and cheaper to realise this dream, and now anyone can become an entrepreneur. You can make your own business website and start selling in minutes, but first thing’s first: you need an idea.
Read our tips on how to come up with the idea that can change your life.
All too often, we put ourselves down and think:
- ‘I don’t have any good ideas’ or
- ‘I’m not a creative person’
Remember that anyone can come up with a great business idea, and anyone can be creative. Creativity isn’t forced or learned; it naturally raises its head when backed with enthusiasm. Coming up with a good idea has a lot to do with self-confidence. We know ‘believe in yourself’ is quite a hackneyed phrase, but a huge part of coming up with a great business idea is having the guts to trust yourself.
- You know the feeling you get when a conversation just flows? You’re discussing something that really sparks your interest - maybe a particular film you’re a fan of, or a delicious dish at a new restaurant you’ve recently tried - and you’re eager to express your passion. You have so much to say and you need to share it! Happiness breeds better, longer conversations. When it comes to an idea for your business, it should incite the same kind of happy excitement so pick something you can happily ramble about.
- 'Follow your obsession, not your passion’. This is great advice from billionaire investor Michael Moritz. You’re much less likely to get bored of something if you’re obsessed with it. Sustainable enthusiasm will breed sustainable business.
- You shouldn’t have to convince yourself it’s a good idea: you should know it’s a great one.
- As film director Jim Jarmusch said: 'Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination'. True authenticity comes from connecting with something that stirs genuine passion and running with it.
- It isn’t just about sharing your passion - of course you want to make money - don’t be afraid to want it. As long as you balance chasing the money with enjoying yourself.
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BECOME AN EXPERT IN SPOTTING PROBLEMS
Great business ideas come from trying to fix things. Keep your eyes peeled to the world around you and see if you can notice where things could benefit from a change. Business ideas should offer:
- A solution to a problem or frustration
- A fulfillment of a need
- An improvement on an existing product
As you go about your daily life, make a mental note of the little things that cause you frustration. In an ideal world, what would eliminate this problem? Every little unhappiness is actually an opportunity for a new business!
TIP: Saving money is one thing people will never lose interest in. If you can find a new way to do this you’re guaranteed to get attention. It makes life easier for customers, and adds another layer of trust to the consumer-buyer relationship.
- No idea is perfect. While it’s important to pursue your obsession, keep yourself prepared for disappointment and failure. Tackle obstacles calmly and embrace mistakes as learning curves.
- Keep your idea fluid and open for innovation. Always be open to the possibility of change. As Heraclitus said, ‘the only thing that never changes is change itself’.
- We imagine groundbreaking business ideas are the work of spontaneous bursts of inspiration from the mind of a genius - as if Bill Gates messed around in his garage for a week and - tadaa: Microsoft. In reality, not only did Gates go through a series of failures and rejections, but his work was based on years of innovation from others, and he encountered plenty of disappointment and rejection.
- Overcome the fear of failure. As Gates himself said ‘It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure’. Happiness and success is the other side of the coin to disappointment and failure.
- You won’t know until you try it! The risk of failing might seem scary - but never knowing because you didn’t give something a chance? - That’s a risk you should never take.
Trust yourself and accept that there’s no special set of skills behind coming up with a great business idea. Creativity isn’t this elusive thing that some people are blessed with - trust yourself and remember: you are creative.
There are thousands of ideas out there just waiting to be realised! Have fun with it and don’t overthink things. Good ideas take time.
In need of more inspiration? Take a look at Create’s small businesses who’ve taken their ideas online!