Great business ideas are all around us.
Just a quick Internet search for literally anything will bring up a handful of businesses dedicated to answering your questions, solving your problem, or providing the product or service you need.
Just for fun, pick three random things – could be a product, a service, or an idea – and do a Google search for it. What are the results? Do businesses or brands pop up, attempting to provide that product or service?
I searched “mold treatments” and here’s a screenshot of the top results:
First you notice that four businesses are paying to pop up at the top when someone in my region searches “mold treatments”. You’ll also notice to the right that Zoro and WebstaurantStore are promoting a few of their top mold treatments products.
So what’s the point of this exercise? To test Google’s search algorithm?
No – it’s simpler than that. This exercise shows you that just about any idea for a business has already been created in some way by some person or company.
That’s not to make you nervous about becoming an entrepreneur; in fact, I hope it motivates you.
If you think, for example, that you could do a better job at treating mold, this Google search provides the foundation for your business. You get a first-hand look at what other companies are doing. If you have a better idea or method for getting rid of mold, you know exactly how to proceed to beat out your competitors.
I’ll also mention that in 2019, it’s not about “who’s first”, it’s about “who’s better”.
In thinking more about creating business ideas that are “better”, I sketched out a quick, simple diagram that really gets to the point. Here it is, in digital form:
Let’s break it down.
Every unique, successful business idea stems from passion.
Passion is created in the furnace of frustration or in the depths of obsession.
Just think for a moment about something that frustrates you. Maybe it’s how uncomfortable your seatbelt is or how hard it is to find a good show to watch on Netflix. I realize that these are both #firstworldproblems, but still. If something really frustrates you, there’s chances you’re not alone. With that comes an opportunity to solve the problem through building a business and then telling the other frustrated individuals about it.
You could also think about something you absolutely love. Maybe it’s basketball sneakers. It could be cotton candy. Or even shoelaces. Any of these could translate into a successful business idea – you just never know. But if you’re are passionate enough to share your love of sneakers or cotton candy or shoelaces, there’s a chance you could build a successful brand and business.
Simply put, the best companies are created when entrepreneurs strive to solve a problem that is deeply frustrating and personal to them.
I think it’s funny when people say, “Man, if only I had thought of Uber..” or “I’d be so rich if I thought of Airbnb!”. I always think, “Well, you didn’t think of it AND you probably aren’t passionate enough about that market opportunity to make it successful.” Without life experiences that create feelings of frustration or deep interest, a business idea won’t have the legs to make it very far.
Successful entrepreneurs are personally committed and motivated to do whatever it takes to solve a problem. They are also super interested in the problem they are solving or the product they are creating. In other words, they are passionate.
The next arrow that meets passion in the middle to form a business idea is opportunity.
You could be wildly passionate about clouds but never have a successful business if there aren’t other people who feel the same way.
To better contextualize this, think about Airbnb. What if two guys had the same idea in 1960? Do you think it would have worked?
Maybe it could have, but I think most of you will agree with me in thinking that it probably would’ve failed. The idea is timeless and awesome, but in 1960 there simply wasn’t a market that would have accepted the idea.
In thinking about your business idea(s) that you’re working on, are you both passionate and sure that there are others interested in the solution or idea?
If there are others interested in your proposed business idea, would they pay money for it?
Chances are, your business idea will succeed and bloom into a thriving business if you have a deep passion and there are people willing to pay money to have that idea brought to fruition in their lives.
YOUR GUIDE TO CREATING AWESOME BUSINESS IDEAS
Here is a simple guide to coming up with creative business ideas:
Start with Passion.
- What do you love?
- What would you do all day, every day if you didn’t have to worry about living expenses, family, school, work, etc.?
- Is there a topic you could talk about all day without getting bored? What is it?
- What is something you are experienced in or really knowledgable of?
- What do others say are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Are there things that friends and family are constantly coming to you for help with?
Now think of the Opportunities.
- Do others love the same thing you do? (Hint: Search hashtags on Instagram, groups or people on Facebook, and search the interest on Google to find relevant blogs or websites.)
- Are there podcasts, blogs, or YouTube channels that exist to discuss your topic or passion? How many listeners, followers, viewers, subscribers do they have?
- Are the websites or blogs or podcasts or YouTube channels you researched good? In other words, based on your experiences and knowledge, is the content well written, correct, and inspiring or interesting?
- In searching websites like Fiverr, Freelancer.com, or UpWork, are there opportunities for you as a freelancer with your given passion or expertise?
- If you’re building a physical product, make a prototype and show it to 10 people who would be interested in using it. What is their honest opinion of the product? You could also do this with software or an mobile application.
Once you have asked the right questions and done a simple analysis of your passions and the opportunities that exist, you will have a feeling as to whether your business idea is viable.
Great business ideas are formed when a passion meets a market opportunity.
I hope you find this useful as you move forward in your entrepreneurial journey!