Almost everybody has considered starting their own business at some point. Whether it is the result of an unfulfilling professional role or a lifelong passion to create a revolutionary business, wanting to be your own boss is a very appealing idea. However, as many would-be entrepreneurs learned the hard way, a business idea involves a lot more groundwork than you would imagine.
A business idea that can actually be developed into a feasible and sustainable business is even harder to generate. And that’s not to mention that larger and more visible competitors may already inhabit your niche. Imagine spending millions on creating a small local cable company only to find nobody wants to switch from Optimum packages to you. There is a long list of variables that you may need to consider. This is why you need to brainstorm your business ideas better in terms of feasibility, rather than proceeding with the first idea you have. Read on for a few simple steps that you can follow to structure your brainstorming into a more effective process.
Nail Down the Purpose of Your Business
All businesses have profitability as an implied goal. But what sets your business apart? How is your business idea going to get you the profitability you need? In other words, you need to start thinking about the purpose of your business. Do you want to address a specific technical need? Do you want to serve customers? Are you planning on creating a B2B business? What industry or niche would you belong to? These may sound like very basic questions. But before you start brainstorming a feasible business, you need to go in with a clear idea of the intended purpose of your business.
Gather a List of Appealing Ideas
When you have defined your business purpose, the real brainstorming part begins. You need to find and gather ideas that align well with the intended purpose of your future business. At this stage of the process, be open to all types of ideas. From core business structures to over-and-above product features that may attract more customers, don’t limit the flow of ideas. You may be able to combine or dissect many of them later for increased success.
Research Your Business Model Thoroughly
Once you have your ideas listed, a business model (or even several models) may begin to take shape. At this stage, you need to gear up for a lot of research on the model you are considering. How you conduct this research and how far it extends can vary from business to business. But as a general rule, the research should cover at the very least:
- Your ideal audience.
- Potential demand for your product/service.
- Competitors with similar offerings.
- Industry and niche statistics and insights.
- Profitability and cost forecasts.
- Processes, equipment, and other operational details.
- Pricing structure and profit margins.
- Product/service development and sustainability
Screen the Most Suitable Ideas
You should now have a clearer understanding of the type of business model most likely to work. It is time to go back to your list of ideas and start screening them for the most applicable ones. Look for ideas that already work well with your chosen model (such as with similar competing businesses) as well as ideas that could potentially boost the value your business will offer above the competition. You should also consider the best ideas concerning marketing, distribution, branding, and even human resource management.
Come Up with a Recognizable Business Name
Your business idea should now be taking on a more concrete form. It would not be a bad idea to work on a business name for your potential new venture. A business name is a lot more significant than you may give it credit for. The name becomes your brand, and it is often what you want consumers to remember after they view an ad or other marketing content. You need a name that stands out and is easy to remember. But it should also be uniquely quirky, and if possible, offer a hint to your nature of business.
Flesh Out Your Business Idea Before You Begin
Before you start building an actual business, your plan may still need some more work. Give some more thought to fleshing out your business model, your product or service, or any value-addition you want to offer. Sometimes, you may need to revisit your original idea years after your business has been active. The point is to be on the lookout for growth and improvement opportunities. Don’t be afraid to redo an idea from scratch if you have to. The additional effort at the brainstorming phase may help you dodge significant business restructuring costs and expenses later on.