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Start-Ups

Starting a Business: The Idea Phase Phase

By Garrett Spence   |    October 30, 2014   |    12:24 PM

Where To Get Business Ideas and How To Decide If They’re Good

Starting a business is a multi-phase process. The first part of that process is usually called the “idea phase”. This is the time that an entrepreneur will brainstorm potential business concepts. Generally, the idea will not be something completely new or different – unless you're a genius like Steve Jobs. It often involves filling a niche or providing a product or service that improves upon a current offering.

Finding a Business Idea

The prospect of coming up with a business concept can be daunting to a lot people. Yet, most people are already good at something – or even a number of things. To start the ideation process, start with either a blank sheet of paper or an online notepad, and write down things you're good at or enjoy doing. Now review your list and narrow it down; just because you are good at something doesn’t mean that you want to convert it into a business.

Where’s the Passion?

Most people want to start a business because they’re passionate about something, not something that they’re merely good at. Review the list of ideas. Potential entrepreneurs should think about what items on that list they really like to do and what they wouldn’t want to do for a long-term career. For example, a person may be good at programming, but that may not be what he wants to do as a full-time endeavor.

Where Can You Find Ideas?

Potential business concepts are everywhere. Even the most saturated markets and industries may have a niche that’s not being adequately fulfilled. Talk to family members, friends and colleagues. What products or services do they complain about? What are their wish lists for improving their jobs or daily lives? What products or services do they wish were available? A potential entrepreneur should jot down all of these ideas in a notebook or mobile device. Scan through these on a daily basis and look for inspiration.

Is it a Good Idea?

Do some research to determine if there’s a need for the product or service. If there is, then the idea is worth pursuing. If not, then another business concept should be considered. Try doing some work for free or giving away the product, and see if people respond. This is a good way to determine if the product or service will sell. It also offers a way to get referrals for paying customers.

Be Persistent

Once you get an idea for a business, it’s time to start on the next phase – actually launching the business. It won’t be easy, but the hardest part is actually getting started. Don’t get discouraged. Do the research, and start putting together a business plan. Get the idea, and get going.