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 find that idea. I’ll also follow this up with how to get inspiration for your ideas. Even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, that’s fine-read on.

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

2. Take an existing idea to a related market. Likewise, you can take something that works in one market and introduce it to another.

3. Make an improvement to an existing product. You’re a consumer and have the opportunity to try all sorts of new products. See if you can make them better for yourself or others. Often a good resource for this is looking at customer reviews on such sites as Amazon.com. A useful tip: often times, simply making a better product is not the answer-try to see if you can make a cheaper product with less features to satisfy demand from a customer base that isn’t willing to spend as much and doesn’t need a top quality product (big companies often overlook this area). Read The Innovator’s Dilemma for more detail on this topic.

4. Create a brand new solution to a pain point in an industry. People love to complain. Go to forum boards in your business area of interest, read blog comments, and peruse Amazon.com product reviews. Listen to what people hate and develop a solution to their problems.

5. Pay attention to new trends. Don’t try to create something really cool that no one cares about. Go to where the buzz is and you’ll likely land more customers and investors. “Green technology,” “social networking,” “cloud computing…”- these are the areas that are growing the fastest and the companies within these industries need new solutions to their problems as they grow- just pay attention.

6. Figure out what the government is throwing money at. Governments (at least in the U.S. and Europe) are notorious for throwing away money at concepts they deem important but have no clue about (“climate change mitigation, anyone?”). All it takes is reading the newspaper to find out what kind of hot issues are prevailing so that you can find your niche.

7. Take something existing and put your own spin on it. What does Southwest Airlines do that U.S. Airways can’t? Nothing. If it weren’t for slight differences in service, airlines would be as similar and commoditized as coal. But Southwest chose to brand themselves as an airline that cared about customers, could make their lives less stressful by targeting less congested airports, and allowed them to choose their own seats. If they didn’t do this, they would be competing on price alone, and as a small entrant, they would get smashed by the big airlines.

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

9. Talk to professors and read academic research on hot topics. Academics are infamous for coming up with brilliant ideas without recognizing or having the time to implement them into practical solutions. Visit some labs and interview some experts on an area of interest to you. Universities are often more than happy to supply you with the people you need to make the business happen (lawyers, VCs, experts).

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

11. Buy a business in an area of your expertise/passions. If you want to be in business but can’t come up with an idea, why not acquire an existing business in your area of expertise? You would presumably invest in something that is already proven and generating a cash flow. This offers a few benefits: it teaches you quickly how to operate one (although I would recommend having an industry mentor along the way) and it’s easier to finance because lending banks feel secure that it’s already proven.

12. Find untapped distribution networks. Distribution networks are ways for a company to get its products to its customers. A restaurant, for example, is a way for a wine company to distribute its bottles to paying customers. If you find distribution networks that may be good avenues for a product, however the product isn’t there, you may have found an opportunity to distribute a similar product, especially if demand is high.

13. Identify lazy incumbents. Incumbents are large companies that have sustaining, rather than accelerated growth in a market. Although they seem to set up insurmountable barriers to entry, their large size makes them inflexible and often lazy. They may forgo many new technologies, ignore customers, sacrifice quality, or be slow to capture social and fashion trends. If you can catch on faster and satisfy your customers’ hunger, you win.

14. Identify an existing idea/business that could use better branding, content, or service. It’s a sad thing that many great ideas die because people don’t like them or simply don’t get the opportunity to see them. If your talent is in branding products and making them more attractive, undervalued opportunities abound.

15. Add value to a process. A furniture manufacturer could use the help of a sawmill to take the chopped wood from lumberjacks and turn it into chairs and tables. Sure it could grow and cut its own trees and save money, but they may be better off paying a slight premium for the wood from the sawmill so that it can focus on what it does best-making furniture. Think about ways that you can add value in an industry’s value chain.

Inspiration for your idea

So these are some initial types of ideas, but you may want to brainstorm and drill down to what’s right for you. For that you’re going to need to be in the right state-one that gets you inspired and feeling creative. When are you at your most creative state? I want you to think about what type of setting you need to be in to have positive thought. Is it having water run down your back in a shower? Or are you like me and need the rumbling white-noise in a transatlantic flight to free your mind? Here are some more things/environments that may motivate you and allow the free flow of ideas: reading business books or autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs, brainstorming with other MBAs or entrepreneurs, attending conferences/seminars, taking baths, skiing, driving, free writing, drawing…and the list goes on. Good luck and get inspired!

Online Small Business Ideas

Some people aspire to start their own small business. I have always recommended that they first begin online if they are internet savvy. Most people want ideas as well as strategies, which they could implement into starting their own online business. Due to our economic crisis within our country, more people than ever are contemplating starting their own small business. People who are fortunate to still have their regular jobs are also contemplating starting up small businesses to complement their regular incomes. There are many online small business opportunities so ensure you obtain the skill and determination to succeed with this venture.

If you are looking for supplemental income or a home based business, the following ideas outline business tips, which can aid you with implementing these into your desire for an online business. These tips are not quick rick schemes but you will end up with a generation of funds even while sleeping.

The following is a list of great ideas for starting a small business online:

– Online business mentoring
– Online paid surveys
– Arbitrage Trading
– eBay business
– Copy-writing for webmasters
– Online research
– Yahoo store
– Article submissions
– Affiliate marketing

There are many more business opportunities, which exist on the internet, but the ten ideas shown above will most definitely guide your creativeness in the right direction.

The fear factor

Sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves. Many small online businesses never get started due to the fear of failure. Gaining your concept of what kind of business you want to create is only the first step. Upon realizing your dream or idea, you will need to perform test runs. Keep in mind that every business comes with its own risk. Online small businesses to tend to do traditionally better as compared to businesses outside the internet. With the right idea and knowledge, you can start up your own small business online with little or no funds. Do not be afraid to spread your wings and fly with your idea for a small online business. Itís perfectly fine to be afraid but do not allow your fear to thwart a great idea which could only benefit your family in the long run with extra income from an online small business started by no one else but you.

How much money will I make?

Many people wonder how much income an online business will generate. This is very hard to pinpoint an exact figure, not unlike regular businesses; it depends on how good your idea is as well as how much work you are willing to place into your venture. Do not forget that the more you work online the more potential you will have for not only business growth but also income.

The get rich schemes

These particular types of frauds are all over the internet. You should acquire the knowledge of that particular method before giving out your hard-earned money. Keep in mind that no business is capable of making you rich overnight. This realistic style of thinking will keep you grounded and focused on your overall goals.

Start Your Own Online Business and Make Money Now

To start your own online business is a dream that everyone has at some stage in his life. The best work at home ideas has got to be one which is affordable and yet offers a subscription to what has got to be the easiest, laziest, the most fun and best way to make money online. I have found it in Plug-in Profit Site. This successful business opportunity created by Stone Evans, a very successful internet marketer has helped thousands of people make a good living.

How would you like an automated marketing system with just a few easy steps to make money online now. Do you think it’s all just a big scam? It may seem so, if you do not take a second look or find out why thousands of marketers join one of the best work at home ideas programs and became successful and like they say the rest was history. Before you start your own online business, the few most important things to look out for are:

– It takes only a few steps to setup

– Most of the start-up work is done for you

– It is affordable

– It has been well established, with phenomenally high membership

– No previous experience is required

The market for this work from home ideas is huge and constantly growing so the potential of making money online now is pretty obvious.

This make money online niche market is huge, with a multi-billion dollar industry that is still growing larger every day. What you need is an approach which is most definitely not a get rich quick scheme, but lets you see positive cash flow relatively soon. I know what everybody wants is a passive income opportunity, meaning one where money comes in and you don’t have to work like a dog for it. Now, we all know it doesn’t work that way, but although this online business won’t be completely passive, it surely gets very close to that.

The four magic pieces of successful work at home ideas and opportunities are:

1) a focused market – the more focus, the better

2) a product people in the market are hungry

3) a marketing strategy – to put your product in front of prospective buyers

4) automation – to make the income streams as passive as possible

I am quite fortunate to have found this shockingly simple 3-step secret to start your own online business to make money now. It’s the easiest way you can earn multiple streams of online income that I have laid eyes on. I have to say I was skeptical at first but was won over once I discovered its formula to pulling huge money with simple yet proven work at home ideas.

The Plug-in Profit Site has all these qualities and more including hosting, professional website design, pre-written autoresponder campaign, in-demand products to sell, step-by-step marketing instructions, video tutorials and comprehensive support. Now who can resist something this good to pass?

Once I signed up, I had my very own website after selecting my own domain name which was coded with my affiliate ID’s for 6 money-making programs along with a few very simple steps on how to add that link to my website. At this stage, you can begin to start your own online business.

Why it works…

It works for 3 main reasons:

Reason 1: The market of people who are looking for an easy way to make money online now with proven work at home ideas is ready massive and it’s getting bigger every day. This increasing massive market of potential customers contributes to the success of this formula.

Reason 2: Most people are too lazy to do anything themselves. The creator of this service already understands this and does everything needed to get a person’s work from home business up and running within 24 hours. The customer doesn’t have to do anything other than submit a simple form. How much easier can you ask for?

Reason 3:

– A Complete Step By Step System To Learn By Actually Doing It

– Training Videos

– 6 Fully Automated Income Streams

– A 400 day pre-written ezine in a box to help you get more customers

The best thing about the Plug-in Profit site is the support forum where you not only get all your questions answered but learn first hand from successful marketers who share with you their tips and techniques. That is important and very effective in understanding and succeeding in all the work from home ideas in the business.

This is a legitimate business and does require some work to be done by you as a business owner. But if you just follow a proven program in which thousands before you have succeeded, you too can make a reasonable online income for doing almost nothing. A successful work at home ideas business is all about duplicating other people’s successes and you will be guided to do just that. This is an excellent business especially for newbies who do not know anything about internet marketing. It’s an opportunity not to be missed and to start your own online business and make money now. It just cannot get any easier than this.

Business Ideas and How to Manufacture Them

You can not underestimate the importance of a solid business idea when you are starting out in the world of enterprise. The core business concept is the building blocks upon which all else stands, and as such must be solid and carefully constructed. Sometimes incredible ideas just arrive, seemingly by accident; what many people don’t realize is that effective ideas can actually be manufactured by anybody who knows how.

One way to find an excellent business idea is simply to adapt one that is already out there. There are countless products out there that are selling relatively well and yet can still be improved upon in a number ways. Taking this approach to the idea creation process has an inherent advantage in the fact that you already know there is a demand for this sort of product… it takes a large proportion of the guess work out of starting your business.

By overcoming the weaknesses of an existing product (for example, by making it faster or smaller) you are not only coming up with a viable idea for your enterprise, but you are also guaranteeing it a competitive advantage. This is how people create business ideas that are not only coherent but also incredibly profitable.

A different, but equally effective approach to developing your ideas, is to start by researching problems faced by the everyday consumer. If you take a problem-oriented approach to crafting your business idea, you not only increase your scope of creativity but you also improve the chances that your idea will actually be saleable. This is because when customer buy a product or service from you, what they are really buying is the perceived benefit of having that product or service. For example, when someone buys a haircut they are buying the feeling of being attractive; when someone buys an office computer, they are buying increased productivity.

If you begin the process by brainstorming problems, an interesting thing occurs – by solving any of these problems you will be providing a massive benefit. The problem with land telephones is that have to remain stationary… when this problem was solved with the invention of the cellular phone, a benefit was created simultaneously. Everyone knew that the cell phone would sell because the benefit of NOT having to remain stationary was so apparent. If you start with by finding a problem you think you can solve, your business idea could emulate the success of the cellular phone.

Another approach to generating business ideas is to start by listing your areas of interest. You hobbies are a great source of inspiration – if you take the problem-first approach discussed earlier, then you can identify situations that would make your area of interest more fun or easier. For example, if you are a keen swimmer, you may find chlorine in your eyes to be annoying… an excellent idea to pursue would be the development of contact lens that protect the eyes from chlorine.

If you develop ideas that are closely linked to your personal interests, you are automatically meeting two of the requirements of a successful business concept. For starters, it is something that you are probably quite knowledgeable about. This means that you can make intuitive decisions with far less chance of being mistaken. Secondly, it will probably be something that you are passionate about. The passion of the entrepreneur is the number one factor that separates successful enterprises from failures.

The inspiration behind your business is the foundations upon which it is built and the fuel that will propel it to the forefront of your industry. Put on your creativity hat and generate some wealth-building business ideas today!