If you’re lucky, you have no problem coming up with new business ideas. But if you’re like most of us, that’s simply not the case. You might have the drive to start a business. You might have the skills to run it successfully. But you might not be sure what kind of business you should start.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a concept for your business, here are 6 techniques you can use to generate new business ideas. To make things even easier, we’ve included an example of each technique based on the experiences of Murphy Business franchise owners.
Strategies for Brainstorming New Business Ideas
1. Try to Anticipate the Next Big Thing
One of the most popular strategies for new business ideas is to look at the market and try to anticipate where it’s headed. This strategy can be risky — predicting the future always is. But it’s a strategy where high risks come paired with high rewards.
If you can corner the market on an upcoming need, or create a product or service designed to support an upcoming boom, your new business could be on track for explosive growth.
Example: A number of Murphy Business Brokers have joined our industry in anticipation of the Baby Boomer retirement wave. Thanks in large part to Baby Boomer business owners, 50% of business owners expect to sell their business within the next 10 years, creating a major opportunity for business brokers.
2. Look for Under-Served Niches
Another popular strategy for new business ideas is to search for under-served niches. In a number of markets, you’ll find pockets with a clear demand for niche products or services, but little supply.
Sometimes these pockets have gone unnoticed by other entrepreneurs. Other times, nobody has thought of a sustainable way to meet this demand. If you find one of these pockets, see if you can develop a business plan that makes this possible.
Example: Every year, millions of U.S. businesses are listed for sale. But for every 1,600 of those listings, there’s just a single business broker. Because of this, a business brokerage is widely considered one of the most under-served professional service niches.
3. Look for Poorly Served Niches
Niche opportunities aren’t only found in under-served niches, but also in poorly served ones. For one reason or another, many sectors are flooded with low-quality products or service providers.
If you’re looking for new business ideas, try to find these niches and create a better product or service. That might mean finding a way to make your service cheaper. Or it might mean delivering superior results. In some cases, it could just mean operating with a level of professionalism that other providers lack.
Example: Many small business owners struggle to find trustworthy brokers in their local market. Several of our franchise owners chose Murphy Business because it gave them a proven process and a trusted brand within which to operate. This has helped them distinguish themselves from amateur brokers and build trust with business sellers.
4. Solve Other People’s Biggest Problems
When you’re trying to come up with a new business, you’re not really looking for new business ideas. Instead, you should be looking for problems to solve. If you can find a profitable way to solve other people’s biggest problems, you’ve found your business.
Keep your ear to the ground while you’re brainstorming new business ideas. Listen for pain points faced by colleagues, acquaintances, and friends. Then ask yourself if you can build the skills, tools, and systems you need to solve them.
Example: At Murphy Business, a number of our brokers learned about our industry by speaking with friends or colleagues who were attempting to sell a business. Once they learned how difficult this process is and how valuable brokers can be, they realized the potential of the business brokerage sector.
5. Solve Your Own Biggest Problems
If you’re looking for problems to give you new business ideas, you might not need to check in with other people. Instead, try to think of problems and pain points that you encounter in your personal or professional life.
Many of the best new business ideas start this way, with entrepreneurs creating the product or service that they wish existed. So long as other people share your problem — and they’re willing to pay for it to be solved — you’ll have a market for your product or service.
Example: To become a Murphy Business Broker, you need prior experience in senior management or as a business owner yourself. Consequently, many of our brokers come to us with prior experience as business sellers or buyers. Thanks to this experience, they know how tricky selling a business can be, as well as how a broker can facilitate this process.
6. Leverage Your Existing Strengths
When you’re starting a business, it makes sense to leverage your existing strengths and assets. Even if you choose to move into an entirely new industry, it’s important that you’re working in a field where you feel comfortable and a role where you can thrive.
For example, some entrepreneurs translate their professional strengths into service offerings. If you’re a great manager, you provide leadership coaching. If you’re an expert at business plans, you can help small business owners create their own.
Or you can leverage your strengths more broadly. If you’re a detail-oriented and process-driven individual, you can look for new business ideas that take advantage of these traits. If you’ve developed a strong network of professional contacts, see if you can leverage these connections in your new business.
Example: The business brokerage sector is a great fit for executive professionals who enjoy working independently, thrive in process-driven roles, and know how to build a strong professional network.
Looking for new business ideas in the business services sector? Call (727) 725-7090 today to learn more about the Murphy Business franchise opportunity!