What are the best sources of business ideas and opportunities? How do i find business opportunities? How do i know the best business to start? How do i develop creative and innovative business ideas? Well, i advice you read on.
Over the years, i have met a lot of people that have interest in setting up a business. Most of these individuals have money but they don’t know what to invest in or what business to start. Now to the average mind, there seem to be scarcity of ideas but i want you to know that opportunities are in abundance. All you need to do is to work on your perception and develop the ability to see these opportunities.
Business ideas are all within you and within your environment. Some of these business ideas emanate from analysis of market and consumer needs, while others emanate from a long research process. But the truth still remains that business opportunities abound. So if you are interested in starting a business, but you do not know what product or service to sell, then below are 10+ sources of small business ideas and opportunities.
Top 10+ Best Sources of Business Ideas and Opportunities to Start
1. Look within yourself and examine your skills, talent, passion
In fact, one of the first places to start when looking for business ideas or opportunities is to look within yourself. Most people miss this greatest source of business ideas because of ignorance, laziness and self doubts. If you are talented or having a proven track record in a specific field, then it is time to analyze such skill or talent. To discover what you are good at or what business to start, you can begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- What skills or talents do you possess?
- What are your hobbies? What are you passionate about?
- Do you possess a skill that people are willing to pay for?
2. Keep up with current events and be ready to take advantage of business opportunities
Yes! Societal happenings, events and trends are also sources of business ideas. If you are expose to reading and watching news regularly and having the conscious intent of discovering business ideas, you will be amazed at how many business opportunities that your brain will generate. Keep up with current events because it will assist you to identify market trends, new fads, information about industries and sometimes new ideas that have business possibilities and potentials.
3. Invent a new product or service
Do you possess a creative mind? Then you can invent product or services that have never existed in the past? To develop a creative mind, you need a mindset or perception that see beyond problems. You have to look around and ask yourself:
What is the best solution for this situation or people’s problem?
Then you can proceed to ask people about additional services that they would like to see. You need to think like great entrepreneurs such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham, Steve Jobs, etc.
To develop winning ideas, you need to concentrate on a specific target market and analyze and brainstorm business ideas for services that the group would be interested on. The key to arriving at business ideas for a new product or service is to identify a market need that has not being met. For example, the clamor for improved security has led to an explosion of new security products and services; from iris-recognition machines through home security services.
4. Add value to an already existing product
The uniqueness between raw wood and finished lumber is a nice instance of putting a product through an additional process which maximizes its value, but additional processes are not the only way that value can be added. You may as well add services or combine the product with other related products.
For example, yam flour (Amala and Pounded Yam) is a locally processed commodity but somebody took the pain to refine it better, package it, brand it and began exporting it. That is an example of adding value to an already existing product. Bottled water has been in existence in Nigeria but it was on the high side with respect to price. However, somebody sat down and thought up the “sachet water” which comes at an affordable rate.
Now how do you develop these business ideas? The answer is simple? Look beyond the lines. Ask yourself the following questions: What are those products you use that could be improved upon? Which industry are things poorly done? If you can answers such questions, you can create a profitable business.
A franchise is just an arrangement whereby the manufacturer or the sole distributor of a trademark, product or service grants exclusive rights for local distribution to independent retailers in return for their payment of conformity and royalties in order to standardize operating procedures. Franchising may take several forms, but the most interesting one is the type that offers a name, method of running business, image and operating principles.
Now how can franchising become a source of business opportunities? Well, you can look at good companies or products that exist in other countries but are not operating your country. Then you can purchase a franchise to that product and become a pioneer in your country.
6. Mass media
The mass media is a wonderful source of information, ideas and often opportunities. Magazines, TV stations, Cable networks, radio, newspapers and internet resource sites are all instances of mass media. Just take a careful look at the commercial advertisements in newspaper or magazine and you will discover businesses that are for sale.
Also, articles in the printed press or on the net or documentaries on television may report changes in consumer needs or fashions. For instance, you may read or hear that people are now highly interested in healthy eating or physical fitness. You may as well discover advertisements calling for the provision of certain services depending on skills. Or you might find out a new concept for which investors are needed, such as a franchise.
7. Exhibitions, Expos and Trade shows
Another means to discover business ideas and opportunities is to attend exhibitions and trade fairs. These are usually advertised on the radio or in newspapers. By visiting such events regularly, you will not only find out new products and services, but you will as well meet sales representatives, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and franchisers. These are always excellent sources of ideas in business.
8. Industrial Surveys
The main point for a new business idea should be the customer. The needs and wants of the customer, which will provide the rational for a product or service, can be analyzed or ascertained through a survey. Such a survey may be conducted formally or informally by speaking to people; usually through interviews or using a questionnaire or through observation.
9. Listen to customers complaints
Complaints and frustrations on the part of customers have led to many new products or services. Whenever consumers complain badly or bitterly concerning a product or service, or when you hear someone saying ‘I wish there was … “or “If only there were a product/service that could … “, then, you have the potential for a business idea. The idea can be to set up a rival company offering a better product or service, or it may be a new product or service which can be sold to the company in question or to others.
Brainstorming is a creative problem-solving technique, and also a source for generating ideas. The object is to arrive with as many ideas as possible. It usually begins with a question or problem statement. For instance, you may ask “What are the products and services required in the home today which are unavailable?” Each idea can lead to one or more additional ideas, resulting in a good number.
As a final note, you can also check some entrepreneurship resources online that usually list trends, business ideas and opportunities. Examples of such websites include SpringWise.com, TrendHunter.com, etc.