Starting a business is no simple task. It takes a lot of in-depth research, time, planning and money. So you want to make sure that you are following the right steps to business success. Even if you already have an array of successful businesses, when you have a new business idea, you want to ensure that you’re thoroughly researching, know what the competition is out there and have created a detailed business plan. A new business venture rarely becomes successful overnight, so it is important that you aren’t just diving into the idea before you fully know what it is about and what its potential growth is.
To help you to work out what your business idea is all about, here are five ways to brainstorm your potential business idea:
So you’ve thought of a new business idea. But does it offer customers? Think about what the key messages are that you want to convey to them, how the idea will benefit customers and what finance you need to get it started. Will you use investors? Think about who may have an interest in your business and how they can help.
When you have thought of a business plan, the first step is to conduct market research. By researching online or heading to the local library, you’ll be able to identify your competitors and what potential there is for your business to grow. If you are starting a niche business, does it have the prospect to be successful? There’s no denying it is good to stand out from the crowd. But you don’t want to make your business so niche that not even the target market will be interested in it after a while. A clever way of seeing what your potential customers would invest in is by discovering what they are searching for online. Google Ads Keyword Planner is a handy tool that you can use to see what the most popular search terms recently were.
By identifying the trends that are currently out there, you can forecast what the likely trends could be. You don’t want to start up a business that people won’t be interested in, in a years time. Some trends come and go, and you don’t want to be caught out when no one is interested in yours after a while. If you are planning on setting up a technology business, see what the future will be like. A very competitive market, it is ever-evolving and you will want to keep up with these changes.
A key step to take when researching your new business idea is to scope out the competition. By researching exactly what they offer and what customers like about them, you can ensure that you are offering something that customers will want, but that differs to the products or services that are already out there. In business, it is all about standing out from the crowd, so you want to offer your customers something that’s a fresh take and that will spark up an interest in them. If you’re thinking of offering the same product or service that’s already out there, you need to include updates which entice them away from the existing product or service that your competitors offer.
Great success doesn’t come from sitting around. You need to go out and ask your potential customers for their views on your product or service. For example, if you’re planning of setting up a cafe or restaurant, go out into the city and ask people what they like and what they think the local area needs. You could even offer up samples of food that you would be serving and ask what their thoughts on that are. By asking your target customers what they want, you can get valuable qualitative research that can be used to strengthen your idea or it will make you realize how you can change it. You could also set up an online survey or poll on a social media platform or ask people questionnaires over the phone (although in the eyes of the public this probably isn’t the most liked form of research). For a business to become successful, it requires more than just your gut feeling. You need some research behind you to help build it.
When you have conducted your market research, sit down and go through what you have found. By doing a SWOT analysis, you can work out the initial strengths and weaknesses of the product or service before you start building it. This will then be backed up by the qualitative research and what you have found by researching your competitors.
Just remember, when you are researching your business idea, you want to conduct the market research by yourself. By doing it through an agency, you won’t get a true feel for what your customers want and what the competition offers. You want a clear picture of what your business can do for them and if it has the potential of getting off the ground after all.
Also, market research doesn’t have to be boring. If you want to stir up interest in your business, you can be inventive. An example of a company that did this was Innocent Smoothies, who tested their fruit drinks out at a jazz event and asked the customers to vote whether or not they should quit their jobs in order to build upon their idea. They did this by supplying two bins – one with the word YES and one with NO. At the end of the festival, it was clear that the YES bin was filled – and the rest is history.
When you think of a business idea, you may at first think it is a great one that will become successful in a heartbeat. But you need to do your research and work out how fruitful it can actually be. Ask yourself, do people like my idea? If the answer is yes, you may be on to something. But if the answer is no, maybe you should tweak your idea so that it is more enticing to people. Does it have potential growth? As mentioned above, if your idea is simply a fleeting trend, the chances are it won’t be successful in the long term. Trends come and go, but you want your business to stay. If no one is willing to invest in your idea or no one is buying (you may have tested the waters by selling a select number of products), this idea probably isn’t the way to go.
Many entrepreneurs have vetted 100s of ideas in the past and many businesses that you see didn’t start out that way. Starting a business takes patience and time in order for it to be successful, so you need to know that you won’t have a brilliant business idea to start with. A bad business idea has no potential, could be far too niche or could be the same as a product/service that’s already out there. If you are entering a large market, you need to know that you might not be as successful as those who are sitting at the top. It is all about perspective. But if you are patient and you follow a thorough business plan, you have a higher chance of success within the first year of trading.