Discovering Startup Business Ideas in the Digital Era

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Nov 10, 2016
How to Come Up With Startup Business Ideas in the Digital Era
by John Boitnott,
May 21, 2019

The best ideas come from identifying problems: For Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the problem was an expensive computer. They recognized that gap and built Apple I, then II and so on. For entrepreneurs today, brainstorming is a targeted exercise that takes as much creativity as it does concept.

Focus on trends in the areas you are interested in: As a potential startup business owner, you have likely developed a niche based on prior experience, future potential, or both. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of that particular niche as you develop your passion.

Flesh out your network: Think about the last time you were in a collaborative, lead-generating meeting. If everyone came to the table prepared with ideas, you’d likely walk away with at least one viable opportunity. Go to as many business networking events as you can. The more you talk to like-minded entrepreneurs, the more likely you are to hear about their pain points. There’s also a strong likelihood that you could find a potential partner to take on the startup business idea adventure.

How to ask yourself the right questions.
Sometimes, launching a startup business idea involves taking a risk. But there are questions you can ask to prepare and see if your idea has what it takes to get some traction.

What is your skill set? Are you good at sales and marketing? Do you have strong writing skills? If so, you may consider starting a side hustle by consulting with other startups on their marketing efforts. Think about pairing up with other compatible entrepreneurs. Also, consider starting a blog or developing a website to market your skills.

What’s missing out there? Whether it’s in your personal life or professional, this is one of the most important considerations for a new idea. While you may think that an idea has great potential, does anyone need it? Think about the gaps that you see in your life. If you have experience working in certain fields, what tool or service would have made your life easier?

What service can a small company offer over a large corporate competitor? Small business owners have a lot of success in forming relationships with their clients. That personal touch can make a big difference, especially when you’re working in your local community. If you’re thinking about working for events, for example, that face to face contact is crucial.
May 2, 2017
I read an article similar to this that talks about how to get ideas for social enterprises. It follows the same ideas but it also encourages the entrepreneur to consider UN's sustainable development goals. When you consider sustainability when looking for business ideas, it actually broadens your horizons because it forces you to think about adapting to future needs. I think it's a great exercise for entrepreneurs to also consider.

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