If you feel like coming up with a path-breaking business idea every time you watch an episode of Shark Tank, but not sure how, you’re not alone. Many of us wish to change the world, or at least our bank balance, by starting something new. To help you channel your thoughts, we hijacked a Quora thread where people from around the world have put forth tips on how you can get that one ‘big’ idea to start your own company. Curious to know more? Read on.
1. Don’t just think, act
Tanzania-based Shawn J Mnyele who owns two successful start-ups says he had been having business ideas for years. He kept noting them down but never really acted on them until he saw a couple of his ideas being implemented successfully by others. So, he took them seriously and started working on them. Mnyele believes you cannot really decide if your start-up idea will work out or not unless you try it out.
Tip: Always take yourself and your ideas seriously. Most of them deserve at least one sincere shot.
2. Think out of the box
Hardik Joshi, a digital marketer in India, says, “Identify a gap/a problem/an opportunity in individual/companies/or a system’s daily lives and try to come up with a better technological solution to correct that. A number of times, the people themselves might not be aware that there is a better way of doing something, since they are accustomed to following certain things in their daily lives.”
Tip: If you have been blindly doing something inconvenient regularly, think hard as there has to be a better way to do it. Find it and implement it. Need some inspiration? Check out these brilliant TED Talks and podcasts for entrepreneurs.
3. Make efforts to find out what people want
San Francisco-based founder of www.leanbelts.com says understanding user needs and behaviour is of utmost importance to come up with a successful idea. In his words – “Behavior = Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. If you cannot fully understand the motivation, capability/ability, and trigger event that defines behaviour, you will struggle to define the problem.”
Tip: Do whatever it takes to know what is really bothering people – check out forums, approach people on LinkedIn, interview people and so on.
4. Use reliable tools to find potential customers
Let’s assume you have a potential million-dollar idea. But how are you going to find customers for it? Monu Gore, Co-Founder at Dream Simplify, suggests using tools such as Google Trends and Google Correlates to find if your idea has prospective buyers. Interesting!
Tip: In this tech-savvy world, it only makes sense to think and act digital. If you are not well-versed with these tools, you can take up an online course that will help you sail through it smoothly.
5. Don’t look too far beyond daily life
Search and Social Marketing Specialist Henry Foster says if you want to come up with an idea that will appeal to the masses, you will only need to step back and think about the tasks that took too long or too much effort throughout the day. He adds, we must focus only on common, daily issues as those are what most of the people across the world are experiencing. True!
Tip: Maintain a diary where you note down what annoyed you every single day. Review it once a month to pick the most commonly occurring issues and then try your best to find solutions.
6. Be lazy
Yes, you read that right. U.S.-based Lorelei Carmichael came up with a really interesting suggestion to come up with ideas. She says, “Wake up one day and decide to be as lazy as you possibly can. Just don’t even get out of bed until you actually have to. Just constantly try to think of better ways to do things, or to make two things merge into one, like somebody invented a toaster oven that is also a bread toaster.” Wow!
Tip: Just try it for yourself and see if it works.
7. Get a degree
Australia-based Luca Monk, a biomedical engineer and product manager, believes great ideas only come if you educate yourself. He adds that you must keep honing your skills, become an expert in your field, and be clear about which field you want to make a career in.
Tip: If you get a marvellous idea in the middle of college, don’t just quit everything and implement it. Wait till your education is completed before focusing on developing and implementing the idea. Once you are done with that degree, don’t forget to work on your personal branding using these handy tips.
8. Improve an existing idea
While thinking about a successful idea, remember that it need not be an entirely new one. You could also come up with an improvement and make it really popular. Jay Sardeshmukh, Founder CEO myideaboard.net, says that one must apply new technology to old way of doing things, migrate existing tasks to a new popular or emerging platform, extend capabilities along a performance dimension, and find gaps: better, cheaper, faster, smaller, bigger, stronger, lighter, heavier.”
Tip: Always keep an eye out for products and services that need to and can be improved.