WHERE DO THE BEST BUSINESS IDEAS COME FROM?
Many people dream of taking the plunge and becoming business owners – but first you have to come up with a workable idea. So the big question is, where do entrepreneurs get their ideas from?
As providers of fully serviced office space, Basepoint work with a whole range of start-ups and small companies in locations across the UK, so we know a great deal about how new businesses grow and succeed. Here we look at some of the ways in which initial business ideas are sparked, before being turned into flourishing enterprises.
Solving a Problem
This is one of the most common ways for people to come up with a business idea. You want to buy a product or need a particular service, only to discover that it just isn’t available anywhere. For instance, the founder of a short-term house-sitting company came up with his idea after having to wait in for a plumber. He decided to develop a service allowing people to hire someone to wait in for tradesmen on their behalf. Another SME owner, in America, developed a textbook rental service because he was dismayed at the cost of buying all the books he needed as a student.
Setting Out to Fill a Gap in the Market
As well as solving your own problems, another great source of business ideas is to hear about other people’s. Talking to prospective customers about any products or services they need, but can’t find, can help to give you an idea of where you could fill gaps. It’s a good idea to carry out as much market research as possible before deciding on a particular business idea to pursue.
Looking at the kinds of products and services which are in demand at the moment can help you to come up with your own idea. More than 608,000 new companies started up in the UK in 2015. This included many providing digital products and services, such as games, apps and software, so these are good areas to explore. However, those aren’t the only new business options, with other ideas ranging from people delivering different types of specialty food to fitness training, gardening and cleaning services.
If you are looking at starting up a business, you need to be sure the idea you are thinking of is in tune with the times. Especially in the digital arena, demand can change very quickly, so it’s important not to come up with something which is likely to become outdated almost as soon as it launches – for instance, a website which isn’t mobile-friendly.
Knowing the Marketplace
If you already have a vague idea of the type of product or service you want to sell, then looking at companies already in the marketplace can help to focus your ideas. Wandering around a store or browsing pages on the internet can give an overview of different products or services which are currently available.
You might notice some items which are currently not available and which you could step in to offer, or you might be able to think of a different spin on the idea or an element of added value. For example, if you want to sell home textiles online, you might be able to make your company stand out by offering customers the option of having fabric swatches sent to them before ordering, or you could offer a special deal on related items bought together.
Building on Your Skills and Interests
Often a business idea can come from thinking about what you already like doing and the skills you have developed in previous or current jobs. You could use your specialist knowledge to develop a product or service suitable for a field you have already worked in. For instance, you could offer a freelance make-up service if you have previously worked as a beauty consultant in a shop. Alternatively, turn your skills to a different but related field, perhaps expanding on a hobby.
Of course, even the best business ideas are only the start, and need to be properly developed. You’ll need advice and mentorship to turn the initial idea into a business, and, once your new venture is ready for launch, you will also need somewhere to base it. A fully serviced office space could be the answer, meaning you are provided with all the support you need and can concentrate on building up your business.
Alternatively, if you are working from home or running your own business in your spare time while still working for someone else, you could choose to have virtual offices, so that you benefit from a professional business address and the support you need. Basepoint provides both serviced offices and a virtual offices rental option in 31 different locations.
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