Every successful entrepreneur possesses pads or files stored with hundreds of ideas. If there is anything most entrepreneurs are searching for, it is that next ‘big’ idea that would revolutionize the globe to make them world-famous, extremely wealthy, and then put them on that revered list together with the creators of Google, Apple, sliced bread and sticky notes.
Ok. Ok. My goals might not be that ambitious, but I know every entrepreneur is looking for amazing business ideas that would generate massive income – and if that idea sparks an industry revolution, so much the better.
From experience, I now know no idea or product is weird and unprofitable. With just the right angle, money can be made right out of it.
The process of generating outstanding ideas doesn’t have to be painstaking, tedious and intense. It can actually be fun, and open your previously unseeing eyes to a world of possible cash cows.
Below are five tested and tried ways I use to creating amazing business ideas that end up making money.
1. I Ask Other People.
This doesn’t seem too ‘business-like’, right? True, but it works. I’m just one person – which means the ideas I can generate will be extremely limited.
I’ve come to understand that when generating ideas, two heads are better than one, three heads are better than two, four heads are….you get the picture. Imagine if I can get ideas from twenty or thirty people: you would be stunned at the number of amazing inspirations I can get from them.
To make it even easier, I really don’t have to go far to get these people. Family and friends are usually an unlikely – but surprising source – of fantastic business inspiration. For cash or capital, we think ‘yes’; but for ideas, we usually overlook or underestimate them.
Creating a business without help – or from scratch – is often glamorized and romanticized, but the truth is that it is unwise to build a business without help from family and friends – especially when they have some experience in business or your selected industry. Think Wal-Mart or Donald Trump’s dad.
Be sensitive to recognizing good ideas, no matter the source. It is easier and more profitable to build on another person’s idea and experience.
2. I Improve On An Already Existing Idea.
Most entrepreneurs feel that ‘authentic innovation’ (whatever that means) should be totally brand new. I slightly disagree. From my perspective, I feel if someone isn’t satisfied with a product or service, then creation of an improved version should come into play.
That’s why I believe tweaking an already established process or product can lead to innovation. For example:
Bread has always been in existence, but slicing it became such a huge commercial success that the phrase ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ was coined when referring to wonderful things.
The adhesive used for the popular sticky notes (or Post–it notes) was created as a result of a failure in producing super glue. Instead of throwing away the ‘failed’ product and doggedly going after the manufacture of super glue, a global market was built on that failed paste.
Taxis have always existed, until Uber and Taxify came along.
Same brand automobiles are churned out every day, but with far more superior improvements on previous features.
All over the world, food and drink chefs create newer and more exotic fares from already existing products.
Simply put, a business idea doesn’t always have to be something ‘out- of-the-world.’ You can improve and build on already existing products and services in your present world and still use it to astound your world.
3. I Try to Cash In On My ‘Aggravation Spots’.
What are the things that constantly irritate, bother, anger, aggravate, or frustrate you? That’s one core I get ideas rolling in. I tend to ask myself, what situations cause me to think ‘I wish there was a faster, better, smoother, easier, cheaper way of —-’?
Those areas, dear entrepreneur, are potential money makers. It might sound simplistic, but every successful innovation solves problems – which in turn leads to cash.
I love examples, let’s take a look at some:
King C. Gillette was so frustrated with the tiresome and constant sharpening, that he built the gigantic disposable razor industry.
Netflix was created by Reed Hastings who was angry at Blockbuster for charging late fees for a rented video.
The budding entrepreneurs behind MerchantMoney wanted to find an easier way for small businesses to collect loans to fund their businesses, and MerchantMoney happen.
Valerie Gordon-Hunter, Marion Donovan and Victor Mills were all frustrated with constantly washing baby nappies, and invented different disposable solutions, with Victor Mills creating Pampers – which sells $10 billion worldwide nowadays.
The list is endless. Write down your constant frustrations and find out if others feel the same way. Then ask yourself, ‘What Can I Do To Solve This Problem and would you pay if I did it?’ and voila, a business idea is born.
4. I Convert My Passion Into Cash.
Nothing beats doing what I love doing. But instead of simply being passionate about a hobby or interest, why don’t I just convert it to cash?
To do this, I simply sit down and list out my top hobbies and interests – cooking, writing, photography, talking…whatever, and then think of how I can create business opportunities from them.
Colonel Sanders took his passion for a particular chicken recipe and established KFC worldwide.
Brandon Stanton’s photoblog ‘Humans Of New York’ has earned him massive popularity and two book deals.
Debbi Fields started selling homemade cookies at 20 years of age, which has mushroomed into over 4,000 employees in almost 400 locations.
Tim and Nina Zagat’s Zagat Survey which is sold in stores globally, was birthed from their love for dining out.
So, instead of enjoying your passion all alone, export it to the world and convert it to money in the bank.
5. I Travel and See the World.
There is something about travel that opens your mind up to hundreds of brilliant possibilities and ideas.
Staying in one environment can stifle my business juices and cause a recycling of ‘same old, same old’ ideas. Travelling makes helps me see new ideas that aren’t in my marketplace. I can import them back home and adapt them to suit my own location.
Leopoldo Fernandez Pujals started TelePizza in Spain after he travelled to the United States and stumbled on Domino’s Pizza. TelePizza is now in eight countries and records over $200million in sales.
Conversely, traveling also makes you observe a need in other environments which you can fill. You can export an idea that already exists in your vicinity, and launch it into areas that are lacking.
Photo Credit: Getty Images