Being an entrepreneur and running a company is not easy. But with perseverance and continuous efforts one can become a success. This long path starts from the initial step of coming up with a game-changing idea.
But I see that most people get stuck at this very step. This is why I am writing this blog to help you generate business ideas that you can use to build the next great success. So just tighten your seat belts and start this journey!
What’s in it for you?
- Correct mindset for starting up
- A framework to generate great business ideas
- Rate business ideas using ICE model
- Your target audience
- Product Testing and Improvement
- Be the best mover
- Understanding the revenue model
Correct mindset for starting up
Even before starting to generate business ideas or anything in general. There is one single most important thing to do. To create the right mindset. Why am I stressing so much about it?
Whatever success or failure you get in your professional or personal life is dependent on a single most important factor, your decision making. Whatever situation you are in currently, be it good, bad, or mediocre is more or less an outcome of decisions you have taken in the past. And your decision making largely depends upon your mindset.
Thus you should try to develop a positive mindset. For example, when you see a certain possibility, don’t just see the negative aspects of it and miss that opportunity. Look at the wholesome and see in what ways can you make use of that personality. You can also check out, how can you accelerate your growth, it will help you easily achieve the perfect mindset.
To improve your decision-making skills you should work on these points:
- Self Awareness: Know yourself in and out. Your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, passion. Everything.
- Will power: Going beyond your likes and dislikes and doing things. To develop this you can start with a very simple thing like waking up before your usual time forcefully.
- Self Improvement: On a daily basis, before going to sleep just see what activities did you perform the whole day and how can you be better in those activities. Apply it the next day.
Keep following these above-mentioned steps and keep improving, now let us move towards idea generation.
A framework to generate great business ideas
The biggest companies in the world have one thing in common. They started with a unique idea, and most of the time those ideas came from a problem that the founders themselves faced.
Big brands that have multiple verticles follow the process of idea generation, prototyping, testing the prototype with the target audience, taking feedback, improving. This is a general practice to decide if that product will work in the market or not.
But as a startup, you may have cash crunch, or even otherwise you would like to cut down on the money spent as much as possible. In that case, if the product you are building is around the problem that you personally face, then you are already aware of the problems and requirements which will significantly decrease the cycle of prototyping -> testing -> improving.
Also, since its a problem that you have personally faced, you will be much more passionate about your product which will help you pass the tough times which mostly comes in an entrepreneurial journey.
Simple steps to find an idea around a problem you face:
- Write down all the different problems that you face on a day-to-day basis.
- Think of solutions for each problem.
- Think of a revenue model around that solution.
Now its time to check the feasibility of each idea.
- Do you have the funds and other resources to work on that idea?
- Can you start building your product now?
- Does that business aligns with your mentality, i.e. are you interested in that domain, does it have the potential to generate the kind of revenue you want, etc.
Rate using ICE model
You can also check the feasibility of business ideas using the ICE model. ICE stands for Impact, Confidence, and Ease.
Impact: how big is the impact of your idea
Confidence: How likely is this to succeed?
Ease: How easy is the idea implementation. How much resource does it demand?
Rate your idea on these three factors each out of ten. Add the three scores and divide them by thirty. You will get the net ICE score. Repeat the same process for all the ideas. Choose the one with the highest score.
Before ending this part I would like to give you my two cents. Most people keep waiting for the perfect idea, perfect time, and tend to never really start. But the reality is the perfect time you are waiting for will never come.
And about your product, there are high chances that you won’t get the product right in the first go, but ones you are in the market, you will naturally pivot to the right product. But for that to happen first you have to start.
Your target audience
The next important task after you generate business ideas is to find your target customer. Define the niche market as much as possible because that will help you immensely in the later stages like branding, marketing, and sales, and do not fall into the trap of overestimating your target customers.
Few questions you can answer to find your target customers:
- Who are they?
- Why them?
- There problems or needs.
- How can you solve that problem or fulfill that need?
- Existing solutions in the market
- On what basis is your product better than the existing?
For example, your product can be cheaper than the currently available products or advanced, or simple to use, etc.
Product Testing and Improvement
Even if the problem you are trying to solve is faced by you, and you know all the requirements in the product. It does not assure that your target customers will also like that version of the product.
Thus it is always good to make a prototype of your product is small quantities and test them in your target customer. Take active feedback and bring improvement. Repeat this circle until your product is totally fit for the market. Now you are ready to scale your production.
Be the best mover
Generally, it is seen that in any niche there are First movers, Fast mover, and the best movers. All of them have their own pluses and minuses. But in my understanding best movers eventually gain the largest market share, because they study the market very well before coming out with the best product. They can learn from the mistakes of first movers, and by not going too fast, they ensure the quality of their product in the long term. Thus taking the best of both worlds.
Understanding the revenue model
Now that you have developed an idea, know the right audience for that product. Its time to figure out the different ways to earn revenue from that idea. This is a very important aspect because without a consistent revenue model your company won’t be able to run.
For this you can look at the different business already in your niche, how are they earning? You should also do some brainstorming to see if you could come up with some other creative revenue models.
Some existing revenue models are:
Calculate the types of costs you have to bear while running the business. Most of them falling in these categories:
- Fixed cost: This a fixed amount of money you have to spend at certain time intervals. Ex: Office rent.
- Variable cost: Born only when a product is sold. Ex: Raw materials of your product, marketing cost.
- One time investment: Initial capital need to start your business. Ex: Office Furniture.
Now that you have calculated all your costs, and know your revenue sources. Calculate your profit by assuming the sale of a certain number of products every month, which you think is practically possible with the marketing budget you have decided and your current selling skills. If you want you can Improve your Selling Skills. I have got it covered in a blog.
The last thing you have to calculate is, when will you hit break-even. You can easily calculate it by using the total costs born and profit. Now if you think that you can run in a loss until the break-even is reached based on the funds you have(Your or investor’s money) you are ready to start!
After you have decided to start a business, the next most important thing is to build a team. If you wish to learn more about human resource planning, I have got it covered!
As per Indian and most other countries Patents Law, Business Ideas are not inventions and thus are not patentable.
Most of countries in the world does not allow you to copyright an idea but you can very much copyright expression of an idea.
In the current times of such pandemic, the most trending idea is to, bring any kind of offline business into a online form with least distortions in the process invloved.
Most internet-based ideas can be started from your home itself with just a good working internet connection like Blogging, YouTubing, Social media agency etc.
ABSOLUTELY! You can start a business with any formal degree, infact many big entrepreneurs never went to school or left it midway. So don’t think so much, just keep the passion burning, and your curiosity and common sense will pass with through most upcoming business situations.