A Guide to Developing a Business Idea

date: 2021-06-13 21:14:12


Need help in finding your next big idea? Using the frameworks below could help you in the process of identifying new business ideas.

There are various methods that could be used to identify a good business idea, which are:

  • Identify a market need, that is either unmet or that needs to be improved
  • Create a different market solution that meets your customers’ requirements
  • Criticize Business ideas
  • Talk to your users and receive feedback


Identify a market need, that is either unmet or that needs to be improved

In order to have customers pay for a product/service, it has to provide better value to them than existing solutions or atleast the same value as your competitor but with a lower price. In that sense, the first thing is to identify a product/service that customers would want that is either not available or more affordable.

Usually, good ideas are simply improvements on existing products, that already has a market, customers and distribution channels, hence, customers can easily understand the product’s value. Additionally, the product development risks are much lower and potentially much cheaper to implement compared to a product that is a completely new concept. For example, the somewhat new concept, Quibi, a new mobile video platform, raised $1.75 billion of pre-revenue capital.

In general, most business ideas are generated via your personal life or your work life. Usually, work life ideas are more successful, that is because you actually interacted with the problem / customer, hence, you have a clearer idea on what exactly is the problem and how you can solve it. If you focus on problems in your work and you can actually find a feasible solution for it, then maybe you could be on the verge of a good business idea.

Aside from work, if you have any type of problem, or you need something that you cannot easily obtain at a considerably fair price, then you can try to think for a solution for that as well. Also, you can listen to your family and friends that express their frustration over a certain problem (for example, baby care products or pet food) and think of a solution to that problem.


Create a different market solution that meets your customers’ requirements

Finding a new market is always difficult, this is because usually most users are not yet aware of your product or are simply afraid to try it. Think Airbnb at the early stages, where most people were not comfortable in renting their apartments to other people.

Usually, new ideas come from your own creativity, expertise, or knowledge. You do not need to be a specialist in the area to excel (although definitely preferred), you can simply just interact with sector specialists and users to understand the sector and the unmet need.

Various times you would hear of individuals who had a solution or a method of building something (for example cryptocurrency) and are looking for a problem to solve afterwards, instead of beginning with the problem itself. This was mainly a result of the infamous saying “Build it and they will come”. This is completely false, instead “Find a solution to a market need and they will come”. 


Criticize Business ideas and identify if it is feasible

Criticizing business ideas helps in identifying market needs that usually assists in coming up with a better idea.

You can start by looking at other competitive products that are similar to the differentiated solution that you have come up with. As a general note, coming up with a similar product does not result in an idea being bad, because the market could be too big to fit various players, unless you are willing to compete with a giant like Google or Facebook, which I would not suggest. An indicator though is that if your product is similar to a struggling company in a specific sector, that means that demand could be not that good, unless you are willing to address the problem with a new business model or a slightly improved idea.

Afterwards, if your idea from a high level does indicate good potential success, you need to go to further details, like do research, talk to potential users, perform a financial feasibility study and understand the initial investment cost.

If afterwards, you believe that it is a good business idea that is also financially feasible. You can start talking to more potential users, friends, colleagues and family members and ask for their feedback as well.


Talk to your users and receive feedback

Although I have repeated more than once the concept of talking to users, however, I cannot stress enough how important that is. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to “Build Products that Users want”. To do that, you need to talk to users, even if at the beginning you actually go and meet them physically to understand their needs and receive their feedback.

These conversations will help you understand which features to build, products / services to launch or maybe even something simple like changing your website design and call to action.

In summary, if you have a good business idea that has some positive feedback (some is enough at the early stage, again, at the beginning most people thought Airbnb was a bad idea) and is financially feasible, then start building your product. 

Starting as a side business or a full-time job are both doable (although a side project with a full-time job could be very stressful). There are various examples of successful companies that started as either a side job or the owner quitting their job and working full time. For example, Product Hunt started as a side project, albeit with a part time job.


Do you want to find out the financial feasibility of your new idea? Check out Front Figure. It is quicker and more cost effective compared to other traditional methods.

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