How to come up with a business idea

All businesses start with an idea. AllAboutLaw and AllAboutCareers started because two law graduates were frustrated with the dearth of quality careers information out there for students. Facebook, Google and Apple all began life as simple business ideas. Who knows, if you’ve got a great business idea, and you launch it at the right moment in the right market, it could be very profitable indeed.

How to come up with a business idea…

People often come up with business ideas by drawing on their own strengths, experiences, interests or personal knowledge. You might come up with a new (or improved) product, such as those nervously proffered to the ‘Dragons’ in Dragon’s Den. Alternatively, you might spot a gap in the market for a particular service.

Developing a great business idea is not just about coming up with something startlingly new; it can also be about offering an improvement on existing products or services, or carving out a niche in an existing market.

Ultimately, your business idea is about developing a concept that will make money. It’s all very well having an amazing idea, but how is it going to generate profit? The key is to create a business idea that can be translated into a viable, fully-functional business, which will make money and could feasibly be sold to investors or another company in the future.

Researching your business idea…

You need to think about how you are going to carry out your business idea. How will it work in reality? Will your business be online? Will it involve working from home or will you base it elsewhere? How will you fund this?

You might want to research growing markets to find out what kind of climate your business will be entering. For example, if you want to open a shop, you should be aware that high street sales have slumped over the past few years, but UK consumers are piling on the internet to do their shopping. This is why it’s so important to research consumer trends and think about where your product or service is going to fit in.

Developing your business idea…

Think about whether you’ll be hitting a gap in the market with your business idea. Will you be entering a saturated market where you’ll have to contend with business heavyweights? Or is there room to manoeuvre? Look into emerging social trends and see if you can tailor your business idea to latch onto them.

Your market is hugely important: you need to think about what demographic you are aiming at and whether your business idea really chimes with your target market.

The Office for National Statistics provides information which is a brilliant for anyone who is starting to develop and test out their business idea. Using their free resources, you can find out about consumer habits, market trends, demographics and lifestyle trends. Plus, it’ll help you get to really know your facts and figures, which will impress potential investors.

Really, it’s not just about having that flash of inspiration, but developing, researching and testing out your business idea. Coming up with the idea is the easy bit; it’s the hard graft afterwards that will determine whether or not you can turn your business idea into a reality.

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