Step 1: Don’t Limit Your Thinking
We’re stealing the above line from our founder Denise DeSimone, who always tell us not to put barriers on our dreams. This is step one of how to generate business ideas.
Don’t think of it as a “business idea.” Give yourself the freedom to create a broad range of ideas that span all industries and spheres of life.
You may have a lot of thoughts that you can’t immediately relate to a business concept. Don’t dismiss them. Write them down (which is a step we’ll address later), you never know which ideas will end up being the seed of a new company or new direction for your existing business.
Step 2: Get Inspiration from Anywhere
You may not be the type of person who has an endless stream of ideas that keep you up at night. Most people need to do some research to generate business ideas.
Take a cue from step one and absorb everything you can. Read books, not just business books, but fiction books as well. Read news articles, pay attention to trends, go out for a sit in a coffee shop and watch how people interact.
Research other successful businesses from a variety of industries. Find out what makes them tick. Conversely, take a look at failing businesses. What are they doing wrong?
Step 3: Write Down Your Thoughts
Always carry a notebook with you or download a recording app to your phone so that you can catch ideas as they happen. Far too often we don’t keep track of our business ideas and we forget them within 10 minutes.
Step 4: Brainstorm
Regularly revisit all of your ideas.
Take one idea at a time and brainstorm all of its possibilities and connections.
- Do any of them relate to one another?
- Can you connect them and create a stronger concept?
- Do these ideas already exist in the market and how are they being applied?
- What can you do to build on the concept?
- What other ideas can you generate from this idea?
- To which industries can you apply it?
Can this idea work within your existing brand or do you need to create a startup?
Step 5: Make It a Habit
Take all of these above steps and build them into your weekly plan. You’ll only regularly generate business ideas if you commit to the process.
Making habits stick is an individual practice. Try out a few habit forming methods and chose the one that works for you.
How do you generate business ideas? Share your strategies in the comments.