Some people seem to have a natural gift when it comes to thinking of small business ideas. They’re literally idea machines. Unfortunately, most of us are not so naturally gifted. We have to think long and hard and dig deep for inspiration. If you’re the latter of these types of people, then this post is for you.
The below resources to come up with small business ideas I have tried and tested over the last eight years. They all work great. However, don’t use just one approach, try as many of them as possible. The more you try, the more ideas you will have to choose from.
# 1 Start with your passions and interests
Often the best businesses to start are ones that sync with your passions and interests. And when looking for business ideas and inspiration, this is a great place to begin your search. Make a list of all the things you are passionate about or have a keen interest in, and try to determine what type of businesses might align with them.
# 2 Be aware of business ideas in everyday life
One of the best ways to get inspiration for business ideas is to be aware of them in the world around you. Everyday you’re presented with potential ideas as you go through your life. You’re probably just not aware of them. So, the next time you go to the mall, walk down the high street, or watch TV lookout for ideas.
# 3 Train your ideas brain muscle
I love this tactic, and it follows on perfectly from the last point. You can train your brain to be more aware of the opportunities that exist in daily life. Here is how: Each day, pick a topic, then write ten business ideas that relate to it. For example, ten ideas that help people improve their fitness. Or ten ideas to make cars safer. Don’t restrict yourself during the process; write down every idea no matter how crazy or stupid sounding.
# 4 Explore Amazon – its an idea goldmine
Amazon is a fantastic place for unearthing potential product ideas that you can turn into a business. I recommend starting with the shopping categories that interest you must and explore the products available within those categories. Then explore the Amazon bestsellers lists.
# 5 Search Udemy, Skills share and other edu platforms
In the last few years, there has been an explosion in educational platforms. Udemy, Skillshare, Lynda and other such sites are super-popular. And just like Amazon is a gold mine for product-based business ideas, the educational platforms are a goldmine for service-based business ideas. Look at the popular courses on these sites can provide inspiration for related business opportunities.
# 6 Think of the products and services you use every day
How many different products and services do you use in your daily life? If you’re like me, it’s probably lots. Now, think of how you can improve or reimagine these products and services to make them better. Your business idea doesn’t have to be new. It just has to be better or different than those currently on the market.
# 7 Ask your friends about products and services they use
This follows on from the last point: You are familiar with the products and services that you use daily. But what about your friends? The chances are they use some different products and services in their day to day lives. Ask each of your friends about their favorites, find out why they use them, and how they would improve them.
# 8 Look to the future
Every day new technologies, industries, and trends emerge that present new business opportunities. Of course, no one knows what the future holds, but if you are aware of the direction it’s going, you can be one of the first to identify and ride the wave of the next big thing.
# 9 Check out freelancer platforms
Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork are market places for people who are looking to find freelancers. You can check out these platforms to get ideas for your own freelancer-based small business. Start by looking at the categories where you have interest or skills, then review the most popular categories for ideas and inspiration.
# 10 Read business, startup and entrepreneur blogs
Reading business, startup, and entrepreneur blogs helps you keep your finger on the pulse of business innovations. From reading these blogs, you can find inspiration for business ideas from others who have gone before you. Remember, as I said earlier in the post, your idea does not have to be new, just better, or different from others that already exist.
Over to you
There is a world of potential small business ideas out there. They are all around you. You just have to know where to look. And remember, you only need one to start your business journey. However, once you come up with small business ideas, validate each one to find the winner.