Generating business ideas

Generating business ideas

In my previous article I highlighted that in the process of launching a business an entrepreneur goes through a number of critical phases namely, identification and evaluation of an opportunity or idea, development of the business plan, raising funding, and determination of the required resources and management of the enterprise.

In this article I will be discussing how an aspiring entrepreneur can generate business ideas.
Coming up with a great business idea that can be turned into a business requires a lot of thinking, a lot of creativity, and research. Most people are lazy to think creatively let alone to take time to think through certain issues.
It is said that most people use less than 10 percent of their brain capacity.

That is why entrepreneurs are hard to come by. Most people are comfortable working under someone else, but if you are going to chart your own future, the following discussion is intended to ignite that desire to move to the coal face and start carving your future.
The future is not meant for the faint hearted but for the courageous.

You should take stock of your interests. There could be a business opportunity in what you enjoy to do. For instance, you might be interested in cooking or photography.  You can then develop that passion into a business. You will obviously have to come up with a competitive advantage so that your business will stand out from other similar businesses.

One other way of developing great business ideas is by coming up with a product or service that solves a certain problem. You need to keep a record of all that people are yearning to get or some things that are a pain to people which need to be sorted out.
Uber came up with a cheaper way of travelling. You need to constantly ask yourself — what bothers people? Then go for that and develop a solution. People will rush for that product/service if it solves their problems.

Take time to talk to people and you will hear what they are looking for.
Or you might hear what products or services are scarce or in demand. This can give ideas of what product you can develop.
On your travels abroad be observant for novel ideas that you can take home and start a project. There are a lot of products or services that can be adapted to our situations after a little modification.

You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel. There are a lot of ideas out there that can address our current problems.
However, you will need to carry out a market research on the product to establish if the market will accept it. Everyone these days has access to the internet.

Instead of spending too much of one’s time on social media it will be worth your while to google what products or services that are trending in the entrepreneurship field. You can identify a lot of opportunities in the process.
In developing business ideas think about a service or a product that will change other people’s lives and which they are prepared to pay for.
Try to relate this to your life or your neighbours whom you see are in need of this service or product. Creatively think how you can provide that service if it has not been provided before by anyone.

If it is already on the market but you feel you can still improve on it then you need to look at your improvement and how unique that improvement is so that it can stand against the competition.
You might have to make a choice between making a product and providing a service. Each of these have advantages and disadvantages so you need to think these through.
Developing a product would entail investing in research and in manufacturing to produce it. This can be a big investment but can prove to be very lucrative if you manage to capture a good market share.
On the other hand providing a service will eliminate the need for developing and manufacturing a new product although you would need to hire staff if the business has to make an impact. You also have to think of how you will promote your service or product.
The other ways to get business ideas flowing is to critically look at the product or service you are currently getting and try to identify a problem or problems inherent in the process.

If you feel frustrated in a product or the way the service is being provided then know that you are not alone, there are a number of other people in the same situation who will quickly seize on the opportunity you want to provide in order to get an improved service or product.
So why not develop this idea into a business and launch your product or service before anyone does so that you get the first mover advantage.
Peter Drucker once said that you need to create your own future if you have to survive in this world. Every successful entrepreneur is forward looking, he is an innovator.

You need to look at current trends, at current products and services and project into the future and think of ideas that will revolutionise that market.
Steve Jobs of Apple revolutionised the mobile phone market when he looked ahead of the current mobile phone business and he introduced the smart phone which ended up taking over the mobile phone market leaving Nokia in dire straits.
If you have certain skills that you have acquired when employed which could be creatively applied in another field, then use these skills to start a business. Skills in engineering can be used in other related fields.

Or you can creatively apply skills learned elsewhere to improve a completely different field and in the process revolutionise that field.
Be open minded as you are thinking of your business ideas so that you consider those skills you have that can come in handy in another field.
Inspiration usually comes like a flash and quickly disappears. So you need to record all ideas that come your way. The best way is to have a notebook by your side to write these brilliant ideas be they small or big write them down, you don’t know what will change your world.
Think over these ideas now and again and see how you can expand or improve them.
Being creative is like brainstorming on your own. You come up with this idea which might look stupid at first, don’t discard it.

l Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management.
He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.

For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or +266 58881062 or on WhatsApp +266 62110062

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