This is Graduate Rescue’s 10 point guide to having your very own eureka moment!
1. Think about your skills.
When you start up a business it’s likely that the biggest asset the business has is going to be you. Founders of successful startups generally put in an inhuman amount of time and commitment to their business, so it’s worth bearing in mind what you yourself can bring to the project. What are you good at? What is your area of expertise? What do you have an in depth knowledge of? What contacts are available to you?
2. Write everything down.
Writing things down is useful for two reasons: first it will help you think and keep your thoughts clear; secondly, if you write down everything with even a glimmer of potential, when you look back you might see something you didn’t when you first came up with the idea. So when you’re brainstorming have a notepad and a pen and write down everything that comes into your head. Keep this notepad somewhere safe and flick back through it every so often.
3. Find a place you can think.
You’ll be amazed what a difference it makes having a quiet place where you can really concentrate. So take your notepad and pen somewhere quiet and let your mind wander, preferably in the direction of a great business idea.
4. Think about problems.
“A business is simply a solution to a problem” a quote from Doug Richards, former member of Dragons Den and founder of A School For Startups. So think about problems, problems you have in your everyday life and those of your friends and family. If you can think of a common problem and design a solution to it then you have your business idea.
5. Do The Object Exercise.
This is a brainstorming technique to get you thinking along the right lines.
Choose a random object in the room. Imagine that object is the basis for your business idea. How would you improve that object? What would your target market be? How would you market it? What would your pricing strategy be? Generally how could you develop that object into a competitive business?
6. Look at other businesses.
Your business idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary, you can simply improve upon one that is already out there. Look at what’s already on the market. Could you improve on what they’re doing? Could you make that product/service appeal to a different demographic? Could you undercut the market price?
7. Withhold judgement.
Don’t dismiss ideas too quickly. You never know what might occur to you in a few days or what other people might contribute. Further research might show that your misgivings were wrong.
8. Talk to people.
Bouncing your ideas off other people is important. They might just put a spin on it that you hadn’t considered or something they say might give you a new idea. Get your family and friends to brainstorm with you, ask them about problems and annoyances they face during their day.
9. Follow what’s going on in the world.
Read newspapers, magazines and blogs. Follow what’s trending on Twitter and Google. What’s going to be the next big thing? Keep up to date and that next big thing might just be you. Trends are big money makers and those ahead of the curve tend to make the most of it. Generally being aware of what is going on in the world will help you with ideas and aid you in spotting problems and possible niches.
10. Make this a part of your life.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and other similar cliches. You’re probably not going to think of your life changing idea in the first 20 minute brainstorm. Make brainstorming a part of your life; be on the constant look out for problems, have it in the back of your mind in every conversation, every news article you read, every TV show you watch, repeat The Object Exercise when you’re bored, challenge yourself to think of 100 business ideas in a week. Basically become business idea obsessed!
See if we can help – www.graduate-rescue.co.uk/guidance#startup