Every business in the world is born from the seed known to all humanity as “Someone’s Idea.” From that very first nurtured idea grows your business plan. Within every plan for your business, new ideas must come to light to form the business marketing plan, advertising campaigns, new product development, and even a system for solving problems. Just one simple idea could mean the difference between success or failure. For a business person to generate valuable business ideas, he must be aware of the research methods, planning strategies and techniques that successful entrepreneurs use to stimulate highly valuable and profitable business ideas. Here are some useful business idea generation methods you can use to generate useful ideas quickly.
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First, examine the area of interest
Keep in mind that all great business ideas start with a stimulated brain. The more knowledge that you gain about your chosen business field the more your brain will be stimulated to create new ideas. Search both online and offline for resources you could tap into to gain this knowledge. Communicating with other business professionals in your field is the best place to start. Seek these people out by attending trade shows, seminars, local business organizations, and your local chamber of commerce. Find online forums, chat rooms, discussion boards, and joint venture groups in your field, and join in on the conversations.
Try different sources of business ideas
Sources of ideas can include reading, podcasts, art, architecture, personal experiences, travel, conversations, hobbies, borrowing from others, crowd creativity, crowd sourcing, and attempting to solve existing problems in our world. For existing businesses, the best source of ideas is usually your customers. Yet it takes a bit more than just experiencing or reading something to spark your next great idea. Consciously and objectively experiencing new things will definitely influence and feed your creative abilities, and it’s one of the most fruitful ways we can continue to develop our ability to generate great ideas.
Think outside the box in everything that you do. When your time is short for what ever the reason and you can not attend meetings, seminars, online sessions, and you really do not have the time to sit and read, try alternative methods of brain stimulation. While you are exercising, doing yard work, house work, or even driving in your car listen to business radio stations, business audio books, audio seminars, and audio training courses. This will not only serve as a learning tool, but also as a highly productive use of your time management skills. Remember time is money and every dollar saved is a dollar earned.
Focus on the particular niche
Before you can develop a successful marketing idea, you must have a plan that identifies the need, the problem and the solution to the problem that exposes the opportunity. The most efficient way to do this is to survey your present customers to find out what their needs are and how you are presently meeting those needs. With this information, you’ll know the hot buttons to push to attract new customers and clients.
Reflect and brainstorm
Once you know the problem and the opportunity, how do you translate it into a successful new idea? Ask Who, What, Where, How, When and Why to define the problem. Think about how you can make your product or service better. Consider new markets that you can enter, a more established, benefit driven unique selling proposition and ways to tweak your product or service. Sometimes a more expensive product or service to a smaller niche market will yield greater profits.
Act on the ideas and set targets
Assemble all ideas into an action plan. Prioritize the plan and detail the action steps to get it accomplished. Take action, no matter how small it may seem. Just do anything that will get your creative juices flowing. Take a walk, listen to music, meditate, exercise, do a crossword puzzle. Test your creative impulses by listening to your inner voice. Write out your plan, first in broad terms (yearly, monthly, weekly) then down to the minute details (daily, hourly).
Measure the action. Test and study possible conclusions. If your test works with one market, it might work with another market with a little tweaking. The ideal process is to identify one or more business ideas, test them, and then continue with developing the idea that has the best possibility for success. Test new headlines, new offers, and guarantees in your direct mail. Offer bonuses for responding sooner rather than later. Instill a sense of urgency in your message.
Expand your horizons
Using your new measurements, expand your horizons into new territories. Find a hungry niche market, then develop a series of products that you can sell in a packaged system. Once this niche is successful, sell the method you used to sell to that niche and encourage others to follow your suggestions in “their” niches.
Understand the needs of your customers
Finally, to generate valuable business ideas, you need to understand the difference between your customer and the consumer. Consumers are forever advancing, wanting more, looking for something new. Your customers are those that happen once chose to transact with you and a likely the result of your past offering, your previous routes to market and your brand footprint. You will have a reach, a particular following that does not represent the whole market. Look out for the changing consumer and prepare to buy into your future by getting close and understanding their evolving needs. Your future and potential big leaps in your market share and growth lie with the consumer.
Survival of your business and keeping ahead of your competition is indeed contingent upon your fresh and innovative business ideas. However, you have to be creative and innovative for you to generate any valuable and competitive business idea. Dreams and action are the two mothers of inspiration and business success. Creativity is the process of idea generation, and innovation is making it happen in a new and valuable way. Consider these proven and tested idea generation methods, thoughts and planning strategies and put them into action. Remember, the idea is just the beginning, you will need to take the necessary measures in order to succeed.