We all want to own our own business some day, but most of us do not know how to do so. Most people copy other people’s business ideas because they have succeeded in it and they are making money. This is the reason why when you walk into major Nigerian markets, you see several people doing the same type of business, thereby increasing the competition. When the supply of a certain product exceeds its demand in the market, it causes a lot of problems to those who supply these products. Some of them might not be able to withstand the competition and their businesses die off. That is why five out of every ten businesses die after five years. Do you want to have a business that does not suffer the same fate as these businesses? Then you need to generate your own business idea.
First and foremost, you need to change your negative mindset to a positive one. You need to forget about your present situation and think positively. You cannot provide solutions to your problems if you have the same mindset while the problem exists. You need to think creatively and positively. How then do you become a creative thinker? You can do this by thinking about creative ways to solve a problem. Do you remember when you encountered a problem in your family, school or office? Remember how you provided a solution to that problem? Remember the thought you had before you created the solution to that problem? That thought you had is what we call creative thinking. It simply means the process or way we provide solutions to the problems we encounter in life. Successful people around the world have used their creative thinking skills to build business empires. I know you definitely want to own the next big business.
When you have developed your positive mindset, you need to search for opportunities around you. You can find opportunities in things that bother you, things that bother others or stop people from doing what they want, when they want and the price they want. You can also find opportunities in new advances in science and technology or problems that need to be solved.
If you discover a need or problem in your life, other people’s lives, your community or society and create a solution to this problem, you have created a unique business opportunity for yourself. What then is a need? A need is a condition or situation in which something must be supplied in order for a certain condition to be maintained or a desired state to be achieved. So when you must have discovered your need or other people’s needs, you must, as an entrepreneur, supply the solution or answer to that need or problem.
For you to discover these needs, you need to follow the following steps to do so.
STEP 1: DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
Firstly, discover those things that bother you. Identify your passions; those things that you spend time doing. List out the two top passions you have. Write down all of the steps associated with each activity in your passion you have just listed. Ask yourself, what you find most annoying or frustrating about each step. This will help you in identifying problems or needs associated with each step. Find solutions to each problem. Each problem and solution is actually a customer need that forms the foundation of a new business idea.
STEP 2: CAN’T FIND IT? CREATE IT!
Take a whole day looking for problems. Look at all the products and services around you as you walk around your home, school or community. Write down the name of each product or service in a column. Ask yourself what you find annoying or frustrating about that product or service? You will identify problems with each product or service or features and attributes you simply cannot find but wish you could. Each problem you identify is a customer need and business idea.
STEP 3: TAP INTO YOUR VAST EXPEREINCE.
Do you still have a job? If you still do or if you do not, list the primary products or services sold by this company or any key processes practiced within the company. As you look at each product, service, or process, try to find out what the customers or employees did not like about the product, service, or process. This will help you in identifying problems associated with each product or service. Determine what you could do to provide solutions to each problem. Remember that each of these problems and solutions are actually customer needs and business ideas.
STEP 4: RECYCLE OTHER BUSINESS IDEAS.
There are lots of new business ideas coming up all over the world. Spend a day or two searching the internet or watch cable network news TV channels to find stories of entrepreneurs who started interesting businesses that are located in other countries. As you read their stories, ask yourself these questions; what is the primary need that this company intends to fill? Would people in your country have a similar need for this type of business and could you introduce something similar? If the answers are positive, then document the business concept you have discovered. After that, determine how you can improve on each business idea.
BUSINESS IDEA SCREENING.
After you must have generated new business ideas from the above mentioned steps, you will need to screen each of them because only one or two of them have real opportunities. Superior business ideas that have the potential to become opportunities should be able to create or add significant value to a customer life. They are able to do so by solving an important problem or meeting a significant want or need, for which someone is willing to pay for it. They (business idea) therefore have a robust market, profit margin and money making opportunities.
After you must have generated your business idea you need to carry out a marketing research to find people who need your product and services.