Look for the idea right in front of you

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A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...
A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and sizes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An entrepreneur who has started several businesses including a legal services firm, guided imagery business, online platforms and apps says sometimes the best ideas can be right in front of you.

This entrepreneur discovered that parents were taking their children to the shops and shopping centres but they had problems. The children could get lost, they were difficult to manage and they wanted their parents to buy them Lego. So the entrepreneur could see that there was a need for a service to look after the children while their parents were shopping.

The entrepreneur started a play centre close to a bookshop where he employed childminders to look after the children safely and to supply them with lots of Lego to keep them occupied. Now the entrepreneur has about four of these play centres dotted around the city that are doing very well.

He’s also made contact with a supplier of Lego in another country which has brought down the cost of Lego sets considerably. He keeps his overheads down and the stores are more profitable than his other businesses.

It’s amazing isn’t it that often the perfect business idea comes from your immediate circumstances? By keeping on the alert for possibilities you may just spot a new business idea that seems so obvious and simple but it could be a business concept that is relevant in today’s market to meet customer’s needs.

Innovation may be important for the way you conceptualise your business model, distribution and marketing but most successful new businesses are based on simple, existing ideas that have strong appeal because they solve people’s problems.

You may want to undertake a deliberate and thorough scan of your present circumstances, the problems that you find that could be turned into opportunities, the interactions that you have with people daily and your experiences you’ve had at work. In this depressed economic climate, people are looking for solutions that are cheaper, faster and easier. The change that we see taking place around us with new problems can provide opportunities for products and services that may not have been attractive in the good economic times.

Keep your eyes and ears open for problems. New ideas can spring from complaints, badly made products and abysmally poor service. You stand a much better chance of finding an idea that will be successful when it is grounded in the reality of the present marketplace.

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