Three ways to generate business ideas for first-time opportunity seekers

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

People want to start something of their own but soon they realise that they need a process to go about doing it. It’s just quite amazing how many people are using forums to find out what’s the best way of going about coming up with a new product idea. But get onto these forums and take a look. Often the best advice offered is to “use your brain”.

These days not everyone wants to go 9 to 5. Lifestyles have changed. Many people want to create work for themselves that fits around their lifestyle rather than the traditional approach of work dictating their lifestyle.

You see the consequences of people thrashing in the urban jungle: feeling tired, stressed out, irritable and frustrated, suffering insomnia, unhappy and even depressed. Medication, alcohol, hard partying and even psychotherapy doesn’t address the root cause. You need to have your values, personal vision and unique talents and skills working for you before you can hope to achieve “happiness”.

For those who have decided to do something for themselves, to start something from scratch and don’t know how to go about it, here are three methods you can use:

1 Get out there and take a look around. Go find an industry or market that you’d like to work in and look for opportunities. You might want to speak to people, visit specialised trade exhibitions or go online to initially get an idea of what’s out there. Your observations might lead you to a smart idea.
2 Find problems. Make it your mission to go out looking for, listening for other people’s problems. Things are changing all the time and new problems provide potential for new solutions. Many products and services out there were built for better times and now people want things that are less expensive, easier to use and faster. You could stumble on to an overlooked opportunity.
3 Use idea-generation tools. You need to know which tools works best for different applications. It’s no use using mind mapping to generate ideas when there are far easier and better tools such as Fusion Cards. New ideas come about by connecting or thinking to unrelated ideas to form a new idea. Let your mind’s, right-brain process, work for you to create new associations.

Whatever idea you come up with use this simple test to determine its value. Think about how you would sell your product or service to prospective customers. What benefit or advantage would you have over competitors. Draft a quick 30-second message for your product or service idea. If it excites you and others then you might want to move onto the next step – idea evaluation.