How do you scout for ideas?

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Wine-tasting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It pays to look for ideas outside your usual routine. Perhaps you are tired of sitting at home, in your study using idea-generation techniques. Then get out and take a look around. Perhaps you’ll find new ideas or ideas to make money with the ideas you already have.

Observation is one of the best tools or methods for finding ideas. Go for a walk. Visit a shopping mall. Trawl through a mall you usually don’t shop at – go to a mall in a low income area or go to an expensive maul out of the range of your customers.

Push yourself out into the world around you and you will notice things if you go with the expectation that you will find business ideas.

Consumer shows such as wine tasting, gardening expos and food fairs will provide opportunities to find ideas. It’s also good to visit shows outside your industry expertise such as electronics, cars, pleasure boating, camping and toy exhibitions.

New products and services are entering all segments in the competitive consumer market – and you might just see something that will spark your imagination.

Beg, borrow, steal or buy a small pile of magazines that you never read. Scan through them, dipping into the articles but don’t stop there. Look at the adverts not only the full-page ads but the small ones where entrepreneurs and start-ups advertise new products and services. You may spot an idea that you could adapt to your intended market.

Take some time off, an hour or so and visit places you’ve never normally visited such as city parks. Watch what people are doing and what products they are using. Museums, art galleries, places of interest such as botanical gardens – all will help to take you out of your regular routine and get you thinking in a different way.

I’ve not mentioned the Internet deliberately although it can be a rich source of ideas. Why? Because we use it too often. It’s in our comfort zone. More importantly, the brightest and most flashy websites are not necessarily moneymakers.

Scouting for ideas is a deliberate way of increasing your chances of finding new business ideas. Record your ideas and evaluate them afterwards. You may just have a gem of an idea that could lead to profit.

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