A Small Water Body That Flows Across The Land 15 Ways To Find The Next Winning Business Idea

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15 Ways To Find The Next Winning Business Idea

In the last post I talked about what makes a great, profitable idea: for you. Now let’s talk about how to actually do it find out That idea. I will also follow up on how to get inspiration for your ideas. Even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, give it a good read.

1. Take an existing business model and introduce it to a new location or industry. Instead of coming up with a brand new idea, why not take something that already works and implement it elsewhere? An American entrepreneur I spoke with recently introduced an “agency” method of finding and managing professional baseball players in Japan. Before that, a huge barrier separates talented players and professional ball clubs. Without inventing anything new, they took a successful business model and implemented it in Japan.

2. Take existing ideas to relevant markets. Likewise, you can take something that works in one market and introduce it to another market.

3. Improve an existing product. You are a customer and you have the opportunity to try all kinds of new products. See if you can make it better for yourself or others. Often a good source for this is looking at customer reviews on sites like Amazon.com. A helpful tip: Often times, just making a better product isn’t the answer – see if you can make a cheaper product with fewer features to meet the demand of customers who aren’t willing and able to spend more. A high quality product is required (larger companies usually ignore this area). Read on The Innovator’s Dilemma For more details on this topic.

4. Create brand new solutions for industry pain points. People love to complain. Visit forum boards in your industry of interest, read blog comments, and look for Amazon.com product reviews. Listen to what people hate and solve their problems.

5. Pay attention to new trends. Don’t try to create something really cool that nobody cares about. Go where the buzz is and you’re likely to get more customers and investors. “Green technology,” “social networking,” “cloud computing…”- these are the areas that are growing the fastest, and companies in these industries need new solutions to their problems as they grow- just pay attention.

6. Find out what the government is throwing money at. Governments (at least in the US and Europe) are notorious for throwing money at concepts they think are important but know nothing about (“mitigating climate change, anyone?”). All you need to do is read the newspaper to find out what kind of hot issues are in vogue so you can find your niche.

7. Take something that exists and put your own spin on it. What does Southwest Airlines do that US Airways can’t? Nothing. If there were no slight differences in service, airlines would be like coal and commoditized. But Southwest chose to brand itself as an airline that cares about customers, targeting less crowded airports to make their lives less stressful and allowing them to choose their own seats. If they don’t do this, they will compete on price alone and as a small entrant, they will be crushed by the larger airlines.

8. Find out how to make something cheaper. If you can convince a CEO that his company spends $X thousand per month on a particular service but you can do the same thing with 50% of the same quality or better, you’ve got business.

9. Talk to professors and read academic research on hot topics. Academics are notorious for coming up with brilliant ideas without identifying solutions or having time to implement them into practical solutions. Visit some labs and interview some experts in your field of interest. Universities are often happy to provide you with the people (lawyers, vice-chancellors, experts) you need to make the business happen.

10. Hobbies and interests. Need I say more? If you enjoy something enough, you probably know exactly what fellow hobbyists want.

11. Shop for businesses in your area of ​​expertise/aspirations. If you want to be in business but don’t have an idea, why not take on an existing business in your area of ​​expertise? You might invest in something that is already proven and generating cash flow. This offers some advantages: it teaches you how to operate quickly (although I recommend having an industry consultant along the way) and financing is easier because the lending banks feel safe that it is already proven.

12. Find unused distribution networks. Distribution networks are the means by which a company’s products are delivered to consumers. A restaurant, for example, has a way for a wine company to distribute its bottles to paying customers. If you find a distribution network that might be a good route to the product, but the product isn’t there, you may have an opportunity to distribute the same product, especially if demand is high.

13. Identify lazy incumbents. Incumbents are large companies that survive rather than grow in the market. Although they may seem like insurmountable barriers to entry, their large size makes them flexible, and often lazy They may leave out many new technologies, ignore customers, sacrifice quality, or be slow to capture social and fashion trends. If you can catch on fast and satisfy your customers’ appetites, you can win.

14. Identify existing ideas/businesses that could use better branding, content or services. It’s a sad thing that so many great ideas die because people don’t like them or don’t get a chance to see them. If your talent is in branding products and making them more attractive, low value opportunities abound.

15. Add value to the process. A furniture maker can take lumber from lumberyards and use sawmills to turn it into chairs and tables. Sure it can grow its own trees and save money by cutting them down, but it’s better to pay a small premium for sawmill wood so it can focus on making great furniture. Think of ways you can add value to the industry’s value chain.

Inspiration for your ideas

So these are some initial kind of ideas, but you might want to brainstorm and drill down on what’s right for you. You need to be in the right mood—one that inspires you and makes you feel creative. When are you at your most creative? I want you to think about what kind of setting you need to be in to think positively. Is water running down your back in the shower? Or are you like me and need some thunderous white noise on a transatlantic flight to clear your mind? Here are some other things/environments that can inspire you and allow free flow of ideas: Reading business books or autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs, brainstorming with other MBAs or entrepreneurs, attending conferences/seminars, bathing, skiing, driving, free writing , drawing … and the list goes on. Good luck and be inspired!

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