Business

8 Ways to Come Up with a Winning Business Idea

8 Ways to Come Up with a Winning Business Idea

Many people dream of starting their own businesses to give themselves more freedom over their lives, and their finances, but many of them never take that big old leap into entrepreneurship, and the reason many of them never do this is because they simply cannot come up with a good idea that they believe will make them money.

If that sounds like you, but you aren’t ready to give up on your dream of being a business owner just yet, here are some of the best ways to come up with a winning business idea:

1. Let someone else do it for you

Okay, so hear me out, if you want to start a business that you know customers will love and which will give you the best chance of future success, you might do well to not think of a new business idea at all. Instead, choose a business that has already been proven to work. 

How can you do that? By buying a franchise. Famous franchise businesses include fast-food giant McDonalds, home of great coffee Starbucks, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts which always has new hotel developments available for people who want to make money while offering great vacation experiences to the masses., The benefits of buying such a franchise are obvious – you know the business works and you get to trade off the good reputation of the company name while also being helped with the practical expertise you need to succeed. If you’re stuck for an idea, a franchise can work very well indeed.

2. Solve your problems

The best businesses, the ones that are most likely to succeed in the long term, are the ones that solve a very real problem. So, if you can try to think of a problem you have in life right now, and try to come up with a problem that will solve it, you can bet that other people will pay good money for it too.

The key is, of course, to find a problem for which there is not already a company offering a viable solution for, or at least which you can offer a better/ more affordable solution for, otherwise, there would be no incentive for anyone to choose your business over the established competition.

3. Think about the future

Some of the biggest and best entrepreneurs are the ones who anticipate the future. They know what is coming and they position themselves to be right at the center of it, enabling them to make a lot of money in the process.

How can this help you to come up with a business idea? By thinking about the future and reading publications about the latest technology innovations, you can work out what is likely to be the next big thing and start developing products and services to serve that market right now, so that you will be one of the main players in that niche. 

For example, if a few years ago, you had looked at smart TVs which allowed you to watch the likes of Netflix at the touch of a button, you may have anticipated that voice commands would be the next big thing, That may have led to or company developing a product like Alexa before anyone else did, which would have allowed you to corner the market. Always have one eye on the future, and business ideas are much easier to come by.

4. Do something better

Another technique that can help you to find a business idea is to look at what existing companies are doing and find a way of doing that better. For example, one enterprising individual in the past looked at the hand-operated can opener and the amount of effort it took to open a simple can and invented the automated can opener. That was a simple idea, not exactly reinventing the wheel, but it was something that improved upon an existing product to the point that it was actually worth buying. Another example would be pop-up tents that take the work out of pitching a tent. Your business idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary, it just needs to have a unique selling point that will hook your customers and convince them to buy.

5. Make it cheaper

Another way that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel is to take an existing product and find a way of making it cheaper. Consumers are always looking for ways to save money, so if you can deliver a product or service that is of a decent quality, for a fraction of the price it can be bought at now, it may be worth doing so.

A good example of this would be online glasses services. By cutting out the expense of running an opticians with qualified staff and lots of storage space, online glasses companies were able to cut the cost of a pair of glasses from hundreds of dollars to tens of dollars and the industry is booming as a result. Is there an expensive product that you could potentially make cheaper?

6. Combine two products

Sometimes, combining two already-existing products into one is the greatest way to come up with a business idea that will sell. Many of these products already exist today from coats with heaters contained inside them to keep you warm in the winter to lipstick/gloss duos that take up less space in your makeup bag and water bottles that contain their own lemon juicer for a tastier drink. If you can think of two products that are often used in unison, and find a way of combining them that is actually useful, you could be on to a winner. 

7. Focus on a niche that’s been left behind

Something else that may help you hit upon a winning idea is to look at a niche where there have not been many innovations at all in the past few years. If a niche has been left behind, chances are it could be improved with modern technology right now. The hardest part will be finding a niche that has not had any investment or development in the past few years, but if you think about analog products rather than digital ones, it should be a little easier to hit upon an idea that you can update for a modern audience and make more attractive. It may take you some time, but if it means a more successful business, it will be so worth it.

8. Talk to people

Talking to people is another good way of coming up with business ideas, especially those business ideas that you would simply never have thought of. Other people have their own fears and frustrations and if you are able to listen to the things that annoy other people. Ans apply a little critical thinking to the problem, it could be a very good way for you to start your business with success. If you notice that a lot of people you talk to have the same problems and frustrations, then focus on solving those problems and you are even more likely to come up with something good.

As you can see, there are lots of very easy ways to come up with a winning business idea. It may take some time, and it will definitely take some effort on your part, but starting out in business is always going to be much easier when you have a great idea to trade on, so it is really worth taking your time over the process to ensure you get it right.

About the author

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Steven Ly

Steven Ly is the Startup Program and Events Manager at TheNextHint Inc. She recruits rockstar startups for all TC events including Disrupt, meetups, Sessions, and more both domestically and internationally. Previously, she helped produce Dreamforce with Salesforce and Next '17 with Google. Prior to that, she was on the advertising teams at both Facebook and AdRoll, helping support advertisers in North America and helped grow those brands globally. Outside of work, Priya enjoys Flywheel, tacos, the 49ers, and adventuring around the globe.

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