Ideas rule the world! Every great business you see around you today began as an idea. But how do we get these ideas? How did the successful entrepreneurs get their business ideas?
You don’t have to be a genius to get great business ideas. All you need to do is to follow the unwritten code of business idea generation which many successful entrepreneurs have used consciously or unconsciously. I shall be explaining these open secrets in this post.
Africa is economically backward because we are consumer continent. We will be better economically if we think more creatively. Creative thought give birth to business ideas. When businesses are started, there will be employment. When our youth are engaged crime will reduce.
There are countless number of business ideas, but you need to have trained eyes to see them. Through this article I will help you to develop the eyes trained to see ideas.
1. Think of how to provide solution to problems
Behind every product you see is a thought. Someone either thought of a way of making life easier for others, someone thought of a way of getting things done in a safer, faster way and more convenient way. Behind every problem you see lies a business idea staring at you in the face. Africa has many problems that need to be solved. Our educational system, power sector, health care system , employment sector, financial system, housing system, political system etc, all need a reliable solution. All these problems are potential business ideas.
Instead of thinking of how to provide solution to the problems we have, what do we do? We complain and do nothing, while others keep blaming the government and others pack their bags and travel out of Africa to Europe and America and when we visit home, we see the problems we left behind are still there because, no body is thinking of solution.
Think back to 20 years ago, when we used to stand in a long queue at the bank just to withdraw our hard-earned money from the counter. Those days, I hated going to the bank because of the amount of time one had to waste to perform a transaction. However, today our banking system has been revolutionized. Someone saw the problem and instead of complaining like every other person, he taught of how to solve the problem. He saw a business idea instead of a problem. The result was the invention of the Automated Teller Machine, ATM. Today from the comfort of your home, you can do almost all financial transactions using internet mobile banking system and applications.
When you see problems, see business ideas instead. Think solution. Ask the right questions.
Therefore, to generate business ideas you need to ask yourself some basic questions:
- What human problems can I solve?
- What products or services can I create that would make life easier for people?
- What products or services can I create that can help to save time?
- What products or services can I create that would alleviate the sufferings of others.
Questions like these will help to expose hidden problems around you that need to be satisfied which are also potential business ideas. These kinds of thoughts give rise to original business ideas.
Have you thought of the human body from head to toe? Everything we use is someone’s product and business idea. Our clothes, shoes, bags, tooth brush, tooth paste, body and hair creams, combs, clippers were developed out of people’s quest to satisfy human need. What about our shelter? We need building material products to satisfy our housing needs, we need food products to live, we need to communicate more effectively and faster and hence the development of mobile telecommunication, we need to get to places faster – hence the need for several means of transportation like cars, motor bikes and airplanes. Founders of social media like Facebook and Twitter are in business today because of the human need to interact, network and socialize with others.
Guess what? Human wants are inexhaustible and therefore business ideas are inexhaustible.
2. Assess your passion and interests
Almost everyone has a passion. Your passion can be channeled into products or services. What you are passionate about can be a pointer to a potential business idea. What you hate can be a pointer to the products or services you can create to change what you hate. What you also like can be a pointer to the products and services that you can create to satisfy your passion. Make a detailed list of your passion and many good business ideas will be staring you at the face.
3. Take a closer look at your environment
A close look at your environment can generate business ideas for you. Do a survey of the things that are lacking in your environment which you have seen in other places. Sometimes there is no need re-inventing the wheels. You can copy already existing business idea from another location and implement it in your current location. You can copy a business model you see on television or on the internet even without visiting the place where the business is located. You can be a business copycat. Everyone copies one way or another. Copy intelligently by adding some new features to what you copy. Digest what you copy and reproduce something better.
4. Travel and explore
Many of us go on vacation to new states or new countries. We have fun and enjoy several facilities which are not in existence in our resident country but we rarely think of bring those businesses we saw in other places to our own location. Next time you go on vacation, note the businesses and products you see as then can be your next business ideas.
5. Think of how to improve existing businesses
You must not create original business ideas. You can think of ways of making existing businesses to be better. You can add value to existing products and services. Thinking about how existing products and services can provide more value, get more attractive, save more time and provide more comfort and convenience to the consumers.
What are other ways one can generate viable business ideas? Share your thoughts using the comment section below.