6 Steps To Finding A Profitable Business Idea
Finding a business idea can normally be a very hard thing to do.
When I first jumped into the world of business, I had the common misconception of thinking that you have to recreate the wheel in order to excel in business.
And there is some truth to that as Peter Thiel explains in his book 'Zero To One.'
I slowly realised that this, however, is far from the only way to success.
Unless your goal is to be on the list of the top 10 richest people in the world, you're not going to have to make the next Amazon, the next Google, or the next Facebook.
Starting my first e-commerce brand selling lumbar back stretchers, I did not correctly understand how to find a strong and profitable business idea.
I saw a trend with e-commerce and jumped into it - this being one of my biggest mistakes that I made in my first year of business as explained previously.
With the marketing agency a little later down the line, I made the mistake of starting with 'too much competition.'
Although I believe that competition is not a massive issue, it is hard to compete when there are 100s of thousands of others in the same industry as you.
These are only two examples of when I've mistakingly gone into business without doing in-depth research on the business model I've chosen.
Finding a winning idea can be a very difficult thing to do.
But with a process in mind, you'll be able to identify opportunities where ever you look.
So what is the ideal way to quickly find a business idea worth pursuing?
Look for problems, not 'ideas'
A business that offers specfic shape cut wood, with funky designs and a nice website or
A business that promises to deliver all essential materials for handymen and builders within 1 week or less.
If you're reaading this with a clear head, you'll probably say business #2.
Here's the dilemma - it's a little harder to find these sort of ideas unless you've personally been in the building industry.
This is because you wouldn't know that Bob or other builders faced this problem.
So start by solving a problem instead of going straight for the idea.
The idea is supposed to help fix a problem in a unique way.
Solve your own problems
Work with startups
I spoke to a fellow entrepreneur not long ago.
I was on the last few interviews for the customer discovery interviews for Condensr.
We got into a long and interesting talk about business - we're both young and so we had a lot to talk about our experiences so far.
He told me something very interesting.
For the past year or so, he was working as a consultant helping startup founders with product and go-to-market.
He told me that over the course of the year or more, he's managed to come up with pages on pages of problems that he's seen based on the work he's done with other startups.
He's learnt about some problems that people are solving, and the effective or ineffective ways to solve those issues.
He also mentioned that out of those pages, good ideas may only end up being 4 of the pages.
Pretty much meaning most of the problems weren't worth pursuing.
This was a very interesting way of finding an idea and it interested me.
After all, startups are all new businesses looking to solve a specific problem.
Working with them will allow you to have a better overview and look into the sorts of problems people are solving.
With this, you'll also be able to think about these problems and figure out if they're being solved in the best way possible.
Check the demand
- Find your target audience online and do surveys to ask them
- Check Google trends to see if the problem or related topics are being searched and if the searches are increasing or decreasing
- You can even check Google Adwords to get a better idea of the searches
You can even use Google trends to compare the demand between words (up to 5 at a time).
- Run some advert and see if people click on them
- You have to be decent at advertising
- If it doesn't do too well, you won't know if it's a lack of demand or because your ad is not great
Talk to the audience
Look at your market / competition