There are many different ways to get ideas for a new business. You may already have the idea to become part of a franchise, or to start a business in a field which already exists. Still, what should you do if you want to start a business in a completely new field? Here are three questions you can ask which can help you discover new ideas, which you can then turn into a new business:
How else could things be done?
Potential customers are generally looking for ways to accomplish something which is not currently offered, or to save time, money or effort. Your idea might enable those who have plenty of time to trade their time for a slightly higher price, or more effort than your competitors require. Customers who have more money to spend might use that, so they can save time or effort, and so on. Solutions which are not currently offered should be checked against customer demand– if customers are not willing to pay for a new product or service, it would be unwise to offer it.
What moves are the other players making?
Sometimes the idea for a new product or service can come from what other people around you are doing. If a major company is pushing a new product or service, you may be able to find a gap which is not filled by this offering. If your own product or service makes the major company’s offering stronger, at a price point which customers are willing to pay, then you could have a great idea which piggybacks on their offering. Similar ideas can come from customer trends– by being the first to notice these, you have the opportunity to meet customer needs before anyone else can get in on the action.
Can you combine other offerings into a best-of-all-possible-worlds offering?
If you can combine the most highly desired features and benefits of higher-priced offering (of a competitor) with lower costs, you may have a new product or service which customers will find appealing. The reverse strategy can also work: if a competitor is trying to mix two consumer markets together, you might be able to split them with a high-end offering, and a low-end offering. Ultimately, whoever does a better job of understanding what the customer markets demand (and are willing to pay) for that product or service will triumph. Accordingly, proper market research is essential for success when using this strategy.
In other words, when you ask how else things could work, understand what others in the market are doing, and consider combining (or separating) features of products and services, you have some insight into where new business opportunities may exist.
Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays
Marc Mays is the creator of
http://www.myplatinumparachute.com/”>http://www.myplatinumparachute.com/, which helps first-time small business owners obtain the critical skills needed for their small business success.