Coming up with a new business idea is easier said than done.
Not only do you need to come up with an idea for a product or a service, but you need to come up with something that will future-proof your business. After all, you need only look at those past business ideas that led to failure, be that because the products being sold were irrelevant to consumer needs, or because they were but one within a saturated marketplace.
So, before rushing into business with an idea that might cause you to fall at the first hurdle, ask yourself the following questions.
#1: What’s the next big trend?
You don’t want to come up with an idea that could be perceived as dated and old-fashioned in today’s marketplace. You want to stay ahead of the curve, with one eye on what consumers are buying today and what they are likely to buy into in the future. To learn more, read industry journals, attend the relevant business conferences, listen to podcasts from business innovators, and scroll through social media to find out what people are buying. Trends don’t last forever, but they do evolve, so try to predict what that evolution might be.
#2: Where is there a gap in the market?
There’s little point in coming up with a product or a service that is already saturating the market. You will have a lot of competition to contend with, and your business might struggle to make a name for itself as a consequence. While it is hard to be completely original, you should still find a gap in the market, especially in those sectors where there is an abundance of businesses, such as those within the food services industry. So, consider the industry you’re interested in getting into, and research the competition. What are they not selling to their customers? Find out, and then find your niche.
#3: What am I passionate about?
If you’re not passionate about what you are doing, you might make little effort to promote your business, and you might fail to convince investors and consumers to buy into whatever it is you are selling. Your business should be something that excites you, that gets you out of bed in the morning, and that causes you to wax lyrical to all who stop to listen to what you have to say. So, ask yourself: What makes me tick? Think about your hobbies or the needs that you want to see fulfilled, then prioritise those that stir emotions within you, and come up with a business idea that is affiliated to your passions.
#4: What am I good at?
You could come up with the greatest business idea in the world, but if it is hardly befitting of your skillset, you are going to struggle. There would be little point in coming up with a business idea within the construction industry, for example, if you had no qualifications or skills in this field. You need to consider your core strengths, because regardless of whether you hire people to help you or not, you should have some competence in the type of industry you are preparing to enter into.
So, don’t start a business without thinking about what might prove successful. Consider the questions we have raised, and do as much research as you can to ensure your business idea is a good one.