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7 Ways to Brainstorm for New Business Ideas

Written by on December 13, 2016

With such a competitive market, it’s important for any new business or entrepreneur who wants to enter to have inspiring, creative, and unique business ideas.

These business ideas can come from anywhere, to anywhere, but they should be able to solve a problem that many people are having, or else the business will suffer. This is usually where many people fail.

They have the resources, they have the education, the financial literacy, and the support. But they just don’t have the business idea. So, they turn to what most people turn to for creative solutions: brainstorming.

But what’s the best way to brainstorm these ideas? We’ll look at 7 amazing ways people have gone about getting the best business ideas from their brainstorm sessions.

Isolate yourself

When you brainstorm, it's important to isolate yourself from any distractions
When you brainstorm, it’s important to isolate yourself from any distractions

Although this one is the most logical, this is also the most important for any brainstorm session. You need to be able to give your brain the right space to be able to come up with these unique business ideas.

The right space specifically means a space free from distractions. That means no music, no phones, no TV or anything else that can steal your attention away from the brainstorming session.

However, it is more than possible for you to isolate yourself with other people. This is especially true if you are working in a small business or with teams on the same goal.

Solve the problem that you have

Business is all about solving other people’s problems. But there is one person you may be forgetting about: yourself.

What are your frustrations when you have a problem and are searching for a solution? Many business ideas start from that—instead of looking to solve other people’s problems, start with your own.

If you find yourself frustrated in trying to get an answer to a particular question, ask yourself another question. Can I do it better? Can I present the problem faster, more efficiently, and for a good price?

If you can begin to look at what your own pain points are as a consumer, you could be onto a great business idea.

Look for upcoming trends and niches

What will be the new hot thing of 2017? Of 2018 and beyond? It’s important to keep an ear to the ground and determine where the trends are heading.

This requires you to have a good idea of some of the current trends and their projections by industry leaders.

Try to ask yourself, if this trend continues, what kind of gap will be created? And from that, what kinds products or services will be needed? How can you fill the need?

Consider current and future trends and try to brainstorm the needs that will need to be filled
Consider current and future trends and try to brainstorm the needs that will need to be filled

Change your fields (but keep your skills)

Instead of staying only in the industry that you are in, why not try to think outside the field? Your brainstorming will usually be limited by the field that you’re currently familiar with or working in. But your particular skills can be useful in other industries if you find the right ways to apply them.

Many scientists find themselves in the fashion and makeup fields. Many musicians end up in electronics and audio systems, and artists in the tech field. You can keep your skills, but see what other complementary fields there are that might require them.

Do it cheaper

You really don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You only have to find a way to make it cheaper, better, and more efficient.

IKEA didn’t invent furniture, they only made it faster and easier to buy and construct. Nor did Apple invent what would be called the smartphone, they only made it much better.

In a philosophical way, everything in some way can be improved because perfection is unattainable. All you need to do is find a product or service that you can deliver more cheaply and with the same or better quality.

Survey others

If you’ve already considered your own pain points, but you’re not really the target audience, then go and find the target audience.

If you’re trying to brainstorm ideas for electronics buyers, talk to people who buy electronics. If you’re making products for doctors and nurses, talk to doctors and nurses. The only way to really get a good idea of what their problems are is by talking to them.

And when you know their problems, you can brainstorm the solutions much more effectively and practically.

Mix and match

Mix and match different things to come up with unusual solutions to novel problems
Mix and match different things to come up with unusual solutions to novel problems

This is a fun activity that has many great outcomes. With mixing and matching, you’re essentially taking two disparate things and combining them in a way that you think is practical.

You can do this by choosing two words at random from a hat. Or by matching two things you see from your window. Or by going to your local supermarket and matching products across aisles.

However you do it, you’ll mostly come up with crazy things (pencil sharpener-toothbrush anyone?). But sometimes you’ll come up with great ideas, and more often than not the crazy ideas lead you to more practical, very good ideas.

These are some of the best ways to brainstorm for new business ideas. Have you tried any of these? How have they worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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