Startup Businesses - January 14, 2012
Everyone knows there are as many bad ideas as there are good, if not more. However, just because one idea may not be gold from the start does not mean it should be tossed aside without giving it another chance. Entrepreneurs often find themselves struck by inspiration at odd times, but may also experience lulls in creativity or brainstorming results. Thus, any new idea should be taken seriously, considered, broken down and pursued. Then, the would-be business owner can determine if it has profitable potential or is just a fleeting daydream that will not fit in today's economic climate. No matter how crazy or worthless an idea may seem at conception, entrepreneurs cannot afford to dismiss anything too soon without giving it a fair shot to prove its worth under scrutiny and inspection.
Most entrepreneurs started their adventures in business building when one particular concept or strategy came to them or they worked it out over a period of time. This single idea can sometimes grow into a larger opportunity or be the basis of an entirely new company. As entrepreneurs are blessed with the ambition, determination and work ethic to turn any new idea into a tangible reality, they should know better than to throw away an opportunity after just one consideration. In fact, many groundbreaking, innovative discoveries and inventions were most likely considered insane and ridiculous when first conceived in the brains of past entrepreneurs. Luckily, these thought leaders did not stop dreaming of a way to change the world, one "crazy" idea at a time, and invested energy and hours into developing the notion into something applicable to everyday life.
Entrepreneurs today are tasked with not only allowing moments of inspiration to evolve over time in their heads before making a judgement on the potential of the idea, but also leveraging existing tools and resources to find inspiration throughout their daily lives. Because inspiration does not strike even the most creative and motivated entrepreneurs regularly, it is vital for business builders to keep their eyes peeled and ears open for sources of inspiration at all times. There is no telling when a new concept may pop into their heads, or a trigger will be set off by another person that sets the gears in motion. Rather than sit back and wait for ideas to magically fall from the sky, consider taking a more proactive approach toward entrepreneurship while conducting daily tasks. It may not be possible to find a realistic business venture each day, but there might be just the right circumstances and elements aligned one day to make a light bulb go off.
For people who have ever experienced writer's block or struggled to get past a certain obstacle when looking to solve a problem, sometimes it is easier to step away from the topic being analyzed for a bit to clear all thoughts. Focusing on one issue for prolonged periods of time can start to numb the brain. Entrepreneurs may become unable to see inspiration or new ideas right in front of them because they are searching too hard. Likewise, once a new idea has come to them but they are unsure how best to translate the product or service into today's marketplace, it might be useful for entrepreneurs to take a break from the brainstorming and allow the concept to settle in their minds before being struck with a brilliant solution. The more relaxed business builders are with their ideas and processing, the more likely they will notice a key point that can tie the concept to a tangible reality.
When experiencing a lull in inspiration, entrepreneurs should distract themselves from finding the next big business venture and continue with their lives. However, they should not discount the opportunity to stumble upon a new idea while taking a break, and should have tools available to keep a list of ideas throughout the day. At the end of the day or week, entrepreneurs can refer to the list and start to embellish on the ideas they laid out. Some will just be a random thought while running errands, while others may be reminders of common problems or disparities encountered throughout the day that should be fixed with a new product or service. Entrepreneurs can place themselves in the shoes of consumers when they stop trying to develop a business idea from an owner's perspective. Once completed, they will be able to identify rising demands, gaps in services and product necessities from personal experiences.
Similarly, entrepreneurs should be attuned to complaints expressed to them throughout the day. Not only should business builders listen to any concerns their staff or partners may have and find a solution, but they should also take note of qualms that friends, family and even strangers may discuss regarding their everyday lives. Even though the entrepreneur may not experience a certain problem or annoyance in his or her own life, it does not mean there isn't a large audience of consumers who deal with it regularly and would be interested in paying for a solution to make their lives easier. Taking on the role of problem solver at every available opportunity will help place entrepreneurs in a permanent mindset of finding gaps in various markets. The ability to identify areas of weakness, failure and abandonment in products and services for key markets will help business builders not only find a way to change an industry but also what to avoid when launching their own ventures.
Because inspiration strikes at random intervals, entrepreneurs should prepare themselves to be open to a new idea at any moment. Business builders should make sure not to throw any ideas away. Rather, they should use certain concepts as a foundation for a more relevant, tangible solution in the future. Not all ideas will come in a sudden burst - some will take time to simmer and marinate until the concept is fully realized and able to be translated to investors. Never give up on an idea until it has been thoroughly analyzed and placed in the context of different industries. Likewise, avoid being hung up on one concept for too long, blocking out other sources of inspiration and becoming dulled and overextended in the process. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep a watchful eye for the next great business idea.