If you want to generate good business ideas, you have to have an inquisitive and creative mind.
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As you walk down the street, your mind needs to be thinking about the needs of consumers and businesses around you. What problems are out there that you can solve? Can you do it better than the incumbent businesses? Is there enough customer demand for the business to make a go of it and can the business be profitable?
But before you get to those questions, you need to come up with that killer business idea.
Here are a few questions you can ask to see if you can come up with a business idea that you want to pursue:
- What problems have I experienced lately and could a business idea solve that problem?
- What problems has my mother experienced lately and can I generate a business idea to solve her problems?
- Iterate on question #2 with every person, business or relevant thing you can think of. Try, for example, my dad, my brother, my dog, my cat, my babysitter, my daughter, my daughter's teacher, my drycleaner, my colleague at work, the large business I read about in the business section yesterday, etc.
- What am I passionate about? What are my hobbies? What frustrates me in my areas of passion and how could I solve the problem not only for myself but also for others?
- What cool business ideas have I seen others execute well that I might be able to build upon or translate into a different niche? For example, after seeing the very successful Build a Bear Workshops, in which young girls have parties and build custom teddy bears, some Chicago entrepreneurs decided to launch a similar business model that targeted young boys who might want to build custom race cars.
- Have I seen business ideas that are working well in other cities that I might be able to bring back to my city?
Don't try to do all the thinking for yourself. Talk to friends and ask them if they have any good business ideas for you. They might surprise you.
You can also try our free business idea generator tool – it will generate business idea concepts for you. It's fun and gets you thinking outside of the box.