How to Come Up with a Business Idea: 8 Foolproof Ways

how to come up with a business idea

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With so many kinds of businesses already existing, it can be challenging to think of a unique venture that would stand out and lead to success. Before undertaking a new venture, entrepreneurs consider everything to develop new possibilities for business. Whether it’s innovating on an existing concept, or striking good fortune with a stand-out opportunity, learning how to come up with a business idea with plenty of potential is more than possible. 

To be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to solve the significant needs of your potential customers to create a demand for your product or service. Unfortunately, many people waste valuable time waiting on inspiration for an idea. However, with strong-willed commitment and effective techniques, you can learn how to think of a business idea for yourself. 

In this article, we’ll share different methods on how you can choose a viable business concept and ways to start a business idea that could meet your goals. 

Relevant Article: 10 Simple Tips for Starting a Business

8 Steps to Come Up with Business Ideas

how to come up with a business idea

It can be difficult to think of the best business idea that will suit your lifestyle and be lucrative at the same time. When you choose the wrong niche, you might not be able to sustain the business, which leads to business failure. So here are some simple ways you can take to come up with business ideas:

1. Reflect Inwards

how to come up with a business idea

With your determination set on entrepreneurship, you should first look to come up with a business idea within yourself. Your experiences define much of your perspective, so look within your own life to find problems that no one else has solved. Determining how to start a business idea that can work involves solutions that people need, and finding solutions to your necessities may be the path you require that can lead to success. 

  • Analyze your own concerns. Finding a fix to your own problems may lead you to a business idea that many may undoubtedly need. Not only will you solve your and other people’s problems, but you’ll also create a business that you can build on. 
  • Use your strengths. Building a business based on your strengths is more than recommended in today’s business landscape. The knowledge and skills you’ve developed can lead you to a business idea you’re passionate about and are already good at. 
  • Find your niche. Choosing your niche in business can be very beneficial. It narrows down your options for business ideas based on a specific service or product that you already identify as a strength. 
  • Fuse your skills and interests. In analyzing how to come up with a business idea, it can be beneficial to link up two unrelated skills or interests. Pick out something you’re good at with your hobbies or interests and turn it into a business opportunity.

2. Heed recommendations and advice from others

how to come up with a business idea

When analyzing how to come up with a business idea, it’s helpful to keep a keen eye out for others’ problems and find ways of providing solutions. Take heed from those you trust and determine the challenges they face that you might be able to overcome. By managing their concerns, you can find opportunities for business ideas that might never even have occurred to you. 

  • Listen to your inner circle. Your most trusted people, like your family and friends, can provide the best insight on how to come up with a business idea. The problems they’re struggling with can lead to opportunities that you can relate to. 
  • Gain insight by using social media and online platforms. Using the internet is one of the easiest and fastest ways to gain feedback and recommendations on business ideas. Learn about your options through social media surveys and even reviews online that show gaps in the market that you can fill.
  • Form alliances. Many other people around you may have similar concepts on businesses you aim to establish, so coming together to strengthen your position is a good idea.

3. Let go of your hold on "originality"

how to come up with a business idea

Many new entrepreneurs spend a lot of time and energy conceptualizing a business idea that stands out. Instead, they should be focusing on how to offer a better product or service. Unfortunately, so many businesses already exist, so putting up a unique business concept is improbable. You should be able to accept this fact, so you don’t waste more time waiting on a business inspiration when you should already have begun. 

Accepting that the idea of being original nowadays isn’t a requirement for putting up a business will allow you to see better opportunities that await. Look into brands and businesses that inspire you and provide great solutions, and find how you can make them your own.

4. Focus on solving problems

how to come up with a business idea

Effective businesses provide outstanding solutions to everyday issues that have become part of life, leading to these ventures finding success. As you figure out ways to start a business idea, make sure that you’re solving something that people will find helpful. This will create demand for your product or service and ensure longevity for your endeavor. 

Look around and see the problems or mundane tasks your service or product can make life easier. Some problems don’t even have any solutions, which will provide you with a better position in the market. You don’t have to be the first at a particular idea; you have to be effective with the product or service you provide to assure that customers will come.

5. Generate business ideas through tried methods

how to come up with a business idea

Entrepreneurs can tap into tried and tested methods of generating ideas to lead to a developed business venture. These techniques collect opinions and perspectives from random people to provide an unbiased take on which you can base your decisions. 

  • Brainstorming. Large batches of people can be motivated to generate ideas more creatively when participating in organized group experiences. This method can often lead to significant ideas that you can then develop. 
  • Focus groups. Groups of individuals can be tasked with providing valuable feedback on specific ideas to identify their potential. These structured formats generate the insight you need to develop a new business idea that a market may need. 
  • Problem inventory analysis. Instead of tasking individuals or groups of people to generate a new idea, you can refer to their insight to provide existing solutions that you can then base your business ideas on. These people are consumers themselves, with known current answers to their concerns. Their experiences will lead to seeing possibilities that you can then develop into a business. 
  • Synectics. A creative process that helps you find solutions to existing problems, synectics lets participants use analogy mechanisms to develop ideas that you can refer to as opportunities for business.
  • Value analysis. A step-by-step method to analyze and evaluate ideas can help you understand what aspects you require to develop a dependable business idea. Business ideas can be collated and assessed to determine your best options and lay the foundation for your mode of action.

6. Consider "What's next?"

how to come up with a business idea

Most successful business ideas are often ahead of the curve and gain the advantage of a step or two from the competition. Trends can give you significant foresight on the possibilities out on the horizon. Use your understanding of current options in the market to lead you to products and services that may be of value in the future. 

You can look elsewhere at products that are clicking nationally, or even in other countries, to see if you can sell them in your locality. You can also consider implementing innovations to existing products as new technologies develop. When you take the first step ahead of the rest, you position yourself much better when everyone else joins the bandwagon.

7. Validate your business idea

how to come up with a business idea

As you develop your process on how to come up with a business idea, you’ll also need to validate the concept you’ve chosen to ensure success. This lets you determine whether the solution you intend to offer to customers will be something they will choose to pay for. In addition, these methods will allow you to identify well ahead if your product will do well on the market and what improvements you may need to implement before rolling it out. 

  • Build an Audience Online. Building your potential customer base online even before launching your product or service can help you gauge the people’s desire for it. Create an audience that can spearhead your momentum towards word of mouth and referrals, boosting your brand recognition and helping generate interest.
  • Beta testing, focus groups, and surveys. Gain valuable feedback from select people through beta testing, focus groups, and surveys. These processes can give you much-needed insight into how your products are faring while staying open to suggestions for improvement. You can also use simple surveys online to engage with your audience and ask for feedback.

8. Turn your idea into reality

how to come up with a business idea

After determining the viability of your business idea, you should be equipped well enough to move into making that concept into a real business. You’ll need to go through the necessary steps before getting all concerned over sales and operations, which lay the legality of your particular venture. 

  • Create your business plan. Having a strategic roadmap is vital to guiding your business decisions, so you’ll need to compose a business plan. Business plans include different elements, such as financial projections, market analysis, competitor analysis, and a few others. 
  • Plot your financial projections. An essential part of your business plan is having financial projections that estimate your income and expenses for the foreseeable future. Knowing how your finances will flow, month-to-month, for up to two to three years, will prepare you much better for what lies ahead. 
  • Secure your business idea. If your idea is fresh and unique, it may need a patent to secure your idea and not have someone else take it. Filing a patent can be costly and range from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on how complicated your idea is. This is a necessary process to ensure that your idea can never be stolen from you. 
  • Raise your capital. Whether it’s a self-propelled endeavor, or one you intend to grow over time, whatever business you plan to put up will require money to be realized. You can try taking a loan from banks or finding investors within your local network. You can also explore crowdfunding campaigns to get things started. 

10 Online Business Ideas You Can Try

how to come up with a business idea

The internet has provided people with limitless interaction avenues that have enabled many to put up their businesses through different platforms. Having your business grow online is an excellent means of connecting people to your business, making the internet a powerful tool to engage with customers and increase your sales. So if you’re looking for online business ideas, you can start with these:

1. Online clothing line

If you have an eye for design and are keen on expressing yourself through fashion, a great online business is starting your clothing line. Whether starting with an online t-shirt shop or a full-fledged clothing company, having it all presented on the internet is a great way to get your business going.

2. Selling art online

Many artists nowadays utilize the internet to disseminate their work and market their pieces online. For example, visual artists can sell their work as prints or framed posters, turning their art into something people can take into their homes. At the same time, musicians can sell their songs, samples, and beats as digital products. 

3. Freelance writer, developer, or designer

Talent-based freelancers can thrive in today’s online workspace. Skills are put to great use by offering their services for projects to people worldwide. There are currently freelancing marketplaces, such as Upwork and Fiverr, where you can find online projects.

4. Video production

With the amount of content being posted online every second, particularly in the realm of videos, video editing and production have now become highly required services. Whether it’s editing for YouTube content or providing tutorials to those who need it, these skills lead to significant businesses that are very much in demand.

5. App development

Apps are a lucrative market in today’s digital age, with a growing need for app developers who can create applications. You can offer services online to build your clientele and work on different applications daily.

6. Social media management

Social media is now a vital part of everyday life. As such, brands and businesses need to face the challenge of creating compelling content for their respective platforms. Having a social media manager saves time and effort, so these services are now so compelling. 

7. Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants, or VAs, is a great business option done online and is a good vocation for those who love getting super organized. A VA helps out businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives in organizing their personal and professional lives, making them a vital part of their clients’ successes. From scheduling appointments to marketing management, a VA fulfills tasks given to them, even from halfway around the world.

8. Online fitness trainer

Fitness training might seem like a job that requires face-to-face interaction, but doing it online has become a growing industry, especially with the advent of the lockdowns during the global pandemic. So if health and fitness are your passion, consider providing online consults as a fulfilling career.

9. Telemarketing

Telemarketing is a compelling online business idea you can opt for, especially for those with natural speaking skills and a charismatic personality. Virtual telemarketing entails projects from companies that outsource their sales and customer service requirements, which can all be done with the convenience of being on your laptop or smartphone.

10. Influencer

Influencer marketing has become one of the most common means of marketing any product or service, with social media being the platform connecting brands to followers. If you have engaged followers and have a knack for sharing aspects of your life, then you can earn money by being social media savvy as an influencer. 

10 Offline Business Ideas that are Competitive

how to come up with a business idea

If you’re looking for traditional businesses with brick-and-mortar stores, you can start with these business ideas:

1. Food truck

If you’re thinking of a business in the food industry, consider putting up a food truck. Setting up a food truck is fun and exciting and is one of the best ways to introduce your flavors to the market. In addition, you can set up shop by parking at different places at established times to attract more customers. 

2. Handyman/home improvement

A service that many people need is offering manual labor for a price. If you have skills and consider yourself a handyman, you can submit your services to many needy homeowners. Projects can vary from smaller-scale services such as plumbing repair and appliances installation to larger projects such as home redecorating, painting, and improvements.

3. Personal shopper

If you have experience shopping and finding great deals, consider building up clientele as a personal shopper. Help your clients pick out the best items with this niche service that has become a lucrative business option.

4. Events planning

Event planners put up events for corporate and private clients using excellent organizational skills, whether for social gathers or experiential marketing. This business has high-value potential, with your investment mainly focusing on your experience and organizational skills. 

5. Gift shop

A business option that can still work without online platforms is putting up a gift shop. You need a great location with niche or localized products that will undoubtedly sell out.

6. Errand Service

Some people don’t have the luxury of time for more mundane things such as doing laundry or buying groceries. This is where errand service options provide solutions and thrive. You can do anything needed, depending on the tasks being required by your clients to be finished within a given time.

7. Cleaning service

House or office cleaning services are great options for business ideas that have become very active. By providing this essential service, you’re giving clients a solution to one of their most basic needs – keeping their spaces clean.

8. Gardener/landscaping service

An outdoor business idea that works is setting up a gardening business and offering your services within your community. From mowing lawns to maintaining a garden’s upkeep, these services provide a solution to many households’ gardening maintenance concerns.

9. Pet cleanup service

The pet servicing industry has a massive market with a great demand for quality service. From grooming to day-care options, servicing pets is a fun and uplifting job while being a rewarding business.

10. Car washing

Putting up a car wash is an effective business option for a business that thrives even without any online presence. While cars are out on the road, the demand for car cleaning services will remain.


Putting up a business of your own should be fun and exciting, especially if you have a passion for what you’re doing. Picking out what business to establish is highly achievable, especially with our steps down here. Whatever business you decide to pursue, move forward with diligence and hard work to achieve your goals and claim business success. 

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