01 Oct 6 Ways to Generate New Business Ideas
There are endless opportunities and ideas out there which have yet to be explored however finding that perfect idea, an idea with true market potential, is the challenge, so here are 6 ways to generate new business ideas for success:
Create something which people want
This is one of the harder areas to generate an idea and once you have an idea you will need to test with with the market (maybe in the early days with friends and family) to ensure your idea isn’t just something you would want but something which could be marketed wider. Fashion, technology, beauty and home purchases are mainly driven by desire, we never need that Mulberry handbag, that Chanel lipstick or the latest Apple 7 (whilst on somedays it may feel like you need it) but people spend a lot of money on things they want rather than things they need driven by emotion rather than rational thought. Creating products in this space can be good fun and engaging however treat this area with caution. Typically items within the ‘want’ category may take a lot of time, effort and money to build a strong brand and advertise before they begin to be seen as a desirable item and tap into consumers emotion of desire but if you’re a marketing wiz, this could be your space!
Solve a problem
My favourite success story in this category is the Tangle Teezer. When founder Shaun Pulfrey had the brain wave to combine both a traditional hair brush and comb to create a product which would help us ladies to get those pesky tangles under control with little effort. Shaun clearly had an idea which would solve a problem of women from multiple generations. Armed with his idea and bags of confidence he headed to Dragons Den in a quest to gain £80,000 in backing from the dragons. Shaun’s idea was shunned and even called ‘hair-brained’ by Peter Jones. Now worth as estimated £65 million the Tangle Teezer is now the most valuable idea ever proposed to the Dragons.
Create something useful
A useful product or technology will sell itself, to some extent. Word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing and a benefit to developing something useful. People will share their positive experiences of useful products with friends and family seen as trusted advisors (typically) therefore providing individuals with confidence in purchasing the item themselves. Just thinking about the useful things in my home which are likely to be present in many of the 26.7 million homes across the UK include the humble washing machine, the dishwasher, hoovers and hair dryers. You may think I’ve gone mad, ‘they aren’t useful items, they’re essential’ I can hear you say but all of those core items in our homes have been developed in the last 100 years and aren’t really ‘essential’ whilst they make our lives so much easier and productive we would survive without them BUT they are exceptionally useful to us on a daily basis. A more recent invention which I personally find useful is my lovely Lumie alarm clock. It’s not essential by any means but a friend told me how it was helping her to wake up everyday – if you’ve never heard of it before, 30 minutes before the alarm goes off it lights up slowly replicating the sunrise which apparently (according to research, most likely conducted by the manufacturer themselves but I’m not going to question my friend) helps to wake you up more naturally rather than the shock from an alarm. I bought one and you know…it’s really useful!
Make something better
Take something which already exists and make it better! Simple. There are some huge success stories in this category from Apple iPhones mass success and sales, the Dyson hoover with its bagless technology which never looses suction and, hell why not, the Tangle Teezer but for this category I wanted to look for a non-product example – either technology or services and ‘lightbulb moment’ remembered my beloved bank – First Direct: a bank with a difference. Even though it has no high street stores it has grown from practically nowhere to being a big player with a name almost everyone now know but with no high street stores – how? Their service. They took one of the most frustrating elements of banks, the service, including operators abroad with difficult to understand accents, automated phone lines which sent you in endless loops and painfully long wait times and squashed it all! They’re great, you call them, they typically answer with one ring and a person answers with a jolly northern accent. It’s great and everyone shares their experiences time and time again equaling big success without huge marketing campaigns and happy customers which stay equalling success for First Direct. You don’t necessarily need to develop something never heard of before but can look to everyday products, services and technology, identify why that product may not be perfect and make it better.
Create something cheaper
The biggest success story in this category is Uber. Not everyone agrees with it, some have even questioned the ethics and values of the organisation but personally I know someone who has, and personally regularly, use Uber. Uber falls into two of our how to ‘generate new business ideas’ categories – cheaper and better. Against the black cabs we find whizzing around central London and most other cities across the UK, the Uber cannot be beaten on price due to it flexible app based model. In addition, the technology enables you to ‘hail’ a cab knowing full well when a cab will arrive, if there’s one in the area and finally – you can instantly see a ‘ballpark’ figure on how much it will cost. So maybe this is one you can look to, find something you love but think you’re paying over the odds for and make it cheaper.
Make something convenient
Obviously we couldn’t wrap up with talking about the business idea category for which Hop Hosiery falls – convenience. It’s as simple as this…at the time I had the lightbulb moment I had recently started a subscription to Pact Coffee not only was the delivery of freshly roasted and ground coffee a better product and something that I wanted, most importantly it was super convenient. I live in tights and found myself constantly heading to the shops to buy tights or having to remember to buy them online when it happened…the idea…how convenient would a tights subscription would be. I’d be able to have my tights repeatedly delivered, fantastic! I was expecting a tights subscription to already exist and was shocked to find that it didn’t, then and there Hop Hosiery was born. I was happy enough with the tights I bought regularly in the shops but it was always inconvenient in my busy schedule but now Hop Hosiery is a convenient flexible tights subscription for those who wear tights on a regular basis.
So there we have it, 6 ways to generate new business ideas with some examples which I hope will help as inspiration to spark your business idea generation!