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Developing Winning Ideas for Your Small Business
  • 16 October 2017
  • Daniel Vahab

Developing Winning Ideas for Your Small Business

Thinking about launching a new business or adding a new product or service? First, you want to spend some time developing a small business idea. There’s a lot of different factors to consider and you don’t want to rush into anything. These ideation sessions will help you to determine everything from your business model to the workflow processes you put into place.

Try to get creative and think strategically, considering these tips to help you craft your next business idea.

Determine the problem you are trying to solve

"If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions," said Albert Einstein.

When developing your next big idea, try to solve a unique problem that currently exists, either in your own company or in the broader marketplace.

You can try to come up with something completely new or look for ways to enhance a product or service that already exists.

Ask yourself – What can we do that will make ____ easier for customers? Consider Uber, for example. The transportation service has made it super easy for users to hail a ride from an app on their smartphone. This technology innovation caters to today's digital-first consumer in an on-demand economy.

Leverage your expertise and passion

If you possess a particular skillset that you’ve seen demand for, or have something that you’re really passionate about, you might consider turning that into a business. You may be able to leverage existing industry relationships to build up testimonials and business references. If the idea is something you’ve been doing for fun on the side, you’ve got the background you need along with specific examples and case studies to help you develop your business idea.

Have you gone through the process of using your own products and services recently? Is the order process seamless? How about delivery? Is your product easy to use? Is the service easy to get up and running? As you go through the steps that a customer would – use a critical lens to look for opportunities to improve the experience. Sometimes a minor adjustment to something can have a big impact.

Capitalize on innovation

When coming up with new business ideas, it is important to stay up-to-date on what your target audience is interested in. Set up Google Alerts for relevant terms to stay aware of the latest news in your industry. Subscribe to a variety of industry newsletters to receive relevant articles, information and competitive insights at your fingertips. Check in regularly for what is trending on Twitter.

If you’re planning to incorporate a new trend into your business idea, you want to get in on the trend just as it starts to become popular. Be careful to avoid going after trends that don’t have lasting power.

Look for what is missing in your area

As a business owner, you look for ways to appeal to target markets that already exist within your own local community. Seek out any voids that you could easily fill. Imagine, for example, that you live in a pet-friendly area but there are no dog-grooming centers. Or perhaps there is a large vegan community in your neighborhood, but very few vegan-friendly restaurants. Both of these scenarios provide you with the perfect opportunity to meet a specific need.

Don’t be afraid to fail

As hockey star Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

If you try an idea and it fails, challenge yourself to keep swinging instead of getting discouraged. Take time to evaluate what worked well, and what you’d do differently the next time around. You’re more likely to hit a target by increasing the sheer number of times you try. Seek out advice from your small business owner community and experts you trust.

Are you ready to turn your business concept into a reality?

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