Have you ever heard of a new business model or invention and kicked yourself for not thinking of it first?
Some ideas seem so incredibly simple you wonder how you didn’t think of it first, while others are so ingenious you wonder how anybody could’ve thought of it at all.
But those great ideas don’t come on command. And that leaves a lot of would-be entrepreneurs asking the same question: How did others get inspiration to strike—and how can I work the same magic?
Engage your mind
Generating a winning idea doesn’t come to you on demand while sitting at a desk twiddling your thumbs or staring at a computer.
Inspiration comes from all sorts of sources and is unique to every individual. The eureka moment for some might come when their mind is engaged and hard at work, while for others it might appear out of their subconscious mind while relaxing.
What’s important is discovering what gets your brain ticking over be it a passion, work or puzzles – get thinking.
Find a solution
Start-up ideas are often found within a problem. Rather than accepting a problem, think about how it can be solved and find a solution to the things that frustrate and niggle at you.
BookRenter founder, Colin Barceloux, was frustrated with the high cost of textbooks, paying over $500 each quarter while at university. Two years after graduating he decided to take action and founded Bookrenter.com, a business that offers text book rentals at about a 60 percent discount.
What began as a one-man operation created out of frustration now has 1.5 million users and 200 employees. “You just have to look at what frustrates you,” he says. “There’s your business idea right there.”
Look for a new niche
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – a simple tweak might be all that is needed to hit gold. Study companies in your field of interest and ask yourself what you can do better or differently that isn’t already on offer.
Open at a new price point
Formulating a successful business doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with a new product or idea. Your winning idea might be something as simple as recreating an existing product already on the market, but at a different price point than currently offered.
There are customers with open wallets at every price point, from the cheap and cheerful to high-end luxury. If you identify an area that isn’t being catered to, jump on the opportunity to serve this sector of the market yourself.
It’s worth noting that, surprisingly, when it comes to money, people really don’t know how much things are worth. A number of businesses have made their big break by capitalising on people’s inability to accurately estimate what a fair price for an item is.
It isn’t the idea that matters – it’s you
Driven people will eventually succeed, not because their ideas are groundbreaking, but because of their ambitious attitude and their willingness to try and try again. The greatest factor that’ll determine success is not necessarily an idea, but it is what you decide to do with it that counts.
Talk to new people – strike up conversations with people different than yourself. You never know how your view on the world can evolve without opening oneself up to new ways of thinking
Make sure your idea can fail fast and cheaply. No matter how passionate and confident you are about your business idea, you need to be prepared for the possibility it might not be a hit with customers. Don’t waste your time and money where there isn’t any payback.
Find inspiration in existing products. Just because there is already a product on the market similar to yours, doesn’t mean you can’t take it on. In most cases you can probably execute and market it better.
By Laura Baker