10 Powerful Sources of Business Ideas
Yesterday in one of the WhatsApp Groups I belong someone shared the story that PBS Kids has a new release that features same sex marriage. Just like most other people in the group I was disappointed. Yes, I was disappointed because I consider PBS Kids as one of the sane channels where my kids could see educational cartoons. But alas, they have joined them too.
Then someone made a comment asking “why can’t we just have a Christian Cartoon Channel for kids?” In most other places that post and the accompanying comment and the accompanying comment would have led to murmurings, complaints and finger pointing. But not here. In fact, the moment I saw that comment the entrepreneurship instinct in me just pumped out. I immediately started seeing business idea there instantly.
Business Opportunities in Almost Every Situation
The truth is that when you talk of sources of business ideas, I see them in everything. Yes, virtually every encounter throws up a business idea for me. Whether it is a pleasant or an ugly scenario all I do is see them as sources of business ideas.
Bridal Train Outsourcing
In 2018 I went for a wedding in Lagos and saw how the bridal training were looking like strangers to each other and instantly I got a business idea of bridal train outsourcing, an idea which have since gone viral.
Retractable Shoes Business
In a similar vein while I was working as a business development officer I saw my female colleagues move out with two shoes on each outing. I got married and see my wife do the same thing. Then I started thinking about the idea of retractable shoes. It will ease the discomfort ladies feel wearing heels all day. It will save ladies the cost of buying 2 shoes when one can suffice. The stress and burden of carrying extra shoe while going out will equally be eliminated.
Ceiling Fan with Remote Control
Sometime, I think in 2017, my wife woke me up at the middle of the night and asked me to go and put off the ceiling fan. I was feeling sleepy and you can guess it was a real punishment leaving the bed to do that. I guess she noticed it. So while I was attempt to stand, she held me back and gently asked me to use the remote control.
But our fan doesn’t have remote control, so what could she possibly mean?
I realise she was talking about something that could possibly be. If the AC can have remote control why not fans?
I shared more on this as the Blue Ocean Idea No 5 in my post the 7 power Blue Ocean Ideas you can build to global brand.
HTS Shuttle Services
When I got married in 2016 I didn’t have a car of my own. And movement within the city of Owerri was quite frustrating, no thanks go keke drivers which were the only means of intra-city transportation then.
Each time I am on my way coming back from work, I get to the bus stop to meet hundreds and sometimes thousands of people waiting for keke. Usually it is a very frustrating experience. And what do you get why brethren are waiting? A group complaining. Another group criticising. And then the final group crying of how the government was not willing to provide an alternative to ease the suffering of the masses. Which of the groups did I join, after I was almost among those waiting? But none. Yes, I joined none. I decided to create the 4th group because I saw a business opportunity in that. I knew that those hundreds and thousands standing and waiting for keke all means money.
That is how the idea of HTS Shuttle Services came about.
I have shared the above stories to show you that you can get a business idea from almost anywhere in life. Whether in the toilet, restaurant, bedroom, wedding, inside the plane, in a motor park, wedding reception or anywhere.
So, today I want to quickly share with you 10 sources of business ideas for anyone. But before I go into that let’s explain the basic concept here:
What is a Business Idea?
A business idea is a concept within an individual which when developed and properly executed can become an enterprise.
An idea is the base of the pyramid when it comes to the business development cycle.
There are millions of entrepreneurs throughout the world and their testimonies suggest 2 key things:
1. That every business starts with an idea
2. That there are many potential sources of business ideas one can tap into.
So now we can talk about sources of business ideas:
10 Sources of Business Ideas
Sources of Business Ideas
Past Work Experience.
Surveys and Research
Strengths and Weaknesses
A hobby is activity you enjoy doing when you’re not working or when you feel like relaxing. If you find out that you enjoy doing a particular thing with ease, chances are you could turn it into an enterprise if you become intentional about it.
All you have to do is to identify the things you do most often especially when you’re free, evaluate them.
If you are not sure discuss with a business consultant or coach. Ask him to guide you on how to turn that hobby of yours to an enterprise.
Kehinde Kamson shared with me how in her search for sources of business ideas she discovered her hobby (cooking and baking) could become a potential business. And today the result is Sweet Sensation.
Similarly, I sometimes envy sports personnel a lot. The reason is because these guys are making lots of money NOT by working, but by doing what they enjoy. Former Super Eagles skipper, Jay Jay Okocha once said that he never knew that in this life he will play ball and someone will pay him for doing it.
Whenever you catch yourself complaining regularly about a particular thing, think again. Whenever you get to a place a find a group of people all complaining about something don’t be in a haste to leave. Yes, I know that this is contrary to what motivational speakers taught you. They told you that such people are carrying negative energy which is contagious and that you should run away from them. But I tell you to hang around a little more. In fact move a little bit further by engaging them.
By engaging them you might just be able to spot what is actually wrong. If you have an entrepreneurship mindset the next thing you will think about is how to solve that problem profitably. And 8 in every 10 cases you are likely to come up with something.
Have you ever found yourself or anyone close to you making any of the following statements…
“I wish there was…
“If only there were a product that could…
“If only there were services that could…
“How come there is no ……here?
Those statements are pointers and sources of business ideas- always watch out for them. Others see them as complaints and can’t think beyond that, but for you they are opportunities.
3. Attending Exhibitions
Attending exhibition and trade fairs regularly will help you discover new products or services and give you an opportunity to meet with manufacturers, sales representatives, wholesalers, distributors, etc… They can help you with information on getting started or might need your services.
4. Past Work Experience
Knowledge or skill gained through been involved in or exposed to something over a period of time.
Don’t look down on any skill or training you learned or passed through because over half of the ideas of successful businesses come from the experience in the work. The background of a potential entrepreneur plays a crucial role in the decision to go into the business as well as the type of venture to be created. Your skills and experience are your most important resources, therefore, be productive and capitalize on them.
Where you are working today and the experiences you are gathering could come in handy tomorrow.
This is a way of making a group of people all think about something at the same time.
Often, in order to solve a problem or to create good ideas. It usually starts with a question or problem statement and each idea leads to one or more additional ideas, resulting in a good number.
Ensure you don’t criticize or judge the ideas of others.Consider all ideas even those that seem to be wild or crazy.The greater the number of ideas, the better.Combine and improve upon the idea of others.
6. Survey and Research
This has to do with an investigation on the opinions, behavior, etc… of a particular group of people which is usually done by asking them questions. Such a survey can be or might be conducted formally or informally by talking to people, usually using a questionnaire or through interviews and, or through observation.
Also when you visit labs or research centers including those of tertiary institutions and see the amazing stuffs they are building greats ideas might just stuck to you.
7. Traditional Media
This is a great source of information and news such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.
They reach and influence a large number of people from the advertisements and offers and even information you derive from the mass media, you can come up with ideas to work on.
8. Social Media
This post you are reading now is a product of engaging on social media. Over the years social media has become one of the most important part of our lives. How else can we maximize it and take advantage of the information overload it carries other than to extract relevant business ideas from it.
The next time you are cruising on WhatsApp Groups, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter or whatever your favourite social media may be, just allow your entrepreneurship instincts to flow along.
9. Strengths and Weaknesses
Be sure to allow your business to exploit your strengths and abilities and to steer clear of your weaknesses. List your strengths and weaknesses. Ask your friends and relatives to help you with the list.
Do you want to find out your strengths?
Make a list of your 12 top achievements in life. Discipline yourself to ensure you complete it 12 in your list.
Next, list out the skills and personal attributes you believe you applied to achieve them.
By the time you are done with the exercise take a look at your list again. Are there words that kept reoccurring? There lies your strength. And you can build a business around it.
One of the most powerful sources of business Ideas is through travels. Ideas often develop when you travel to different parts of the country or to different countries and see different ways of doing things or products that may work at home.
The pioneers of ecommerce businesses in Nigeria all caught the ideas when they travelled out and see how it works outside the country. Travel makes you aware of the alternatives.
If you are an entrepreneur, you are not in a haste to leave when you travel to a new location, you normally will want to look around.
When you visit a major city, it may be better for you to spend more time at the supermarkets gazing at amazing new products than at the traditional tourist places.
Do I need to say much about this one?
One of the most powerful ideas of my entrepreneurship journey HOW THEY STARTED came from a book.
Expose your mind to all the books you can find. Read with an open mind and you will be amazed at the ideas you will strike.
Has this been helpful?
You can share with me on the comments section if you care.
And if you are eager to strike an instant idea for yourself and start building with immediate effect then I have made the job very easy for you. Get a copy of CENTRAL BANK OF IDEAS by Kachi Ogbonna. That is over 200 page book with 66 business ideas across different industries.