You’ve decided you want to take the plunge and form your own business – but you don’t have any solid startup ideas yet. How do move forward with your desire to become an entrepreneur and be your own boss when you’re starting from scratch?
It can seem daunting to attempt to think up a great idea for your new venture, but the clues are all around us if you know where to look.
It’s important to learn how to block out the noise and hone your focus to see the world differently.
At GrowthMinds we’ve pulled together some simple methods for startup hopefuls looking to have that lightbulb moment.
Stop looking to come up with a product and start noticing points of contention that you face every day. From there, the startup idea will present itself. Click To Tweet
Identify a problem, not a solution
Stop looking to come up with a product and start noticing points of contention that you face every day. From there, the startup idea will present itself.
Startup specialist Tale Lefdal Helland, who has worked in a startup and in a bank advising potential startup owners, said: “Start by identifying a problem before you come up with an idea or solution.
“But how do you identify a problem? Reflect on problems or obstacles you’ve met, either today, last time you were at the gym, on vacation, at work, in a meeting or in any other situation.
“Then ask yourself if it’s a problem worth being solved. Would someone be willing to pay to solve the problem?
“If you can answer these questions and the answers are yes, it might be a great startup idea (or not).”
We’re all guilty of going into autopilot as we go about our days, following the same schedules, buying the same things and going to the same places. It’s easy to miss startup opportunities in our daily routines, so it’s important to take time to be aware.
It’s easier said than done, but you can find small moments to take in the world around you and notice the obstacles and annoyances that you normally just shrug off.
You can even set reminders and make notes to “be aware” as often as possible and set aside time in your busy day to really think about what’s going on around you.
Replay your day
This is another method to counteract a busy, non-stop lifestyle as it helps you to look back and recognise opportune moments that passed by without a second thought.
At the end of each day, walk yourself back through your entire day, from waking up to all the little intricacies in between. Recognise the problems you faced and think about whether you could create valuable business ventures from them.
You could also think about unique days that you had in the past, such as a travel trip, attending a gig, or a walk up a mountain. These will bring up some vastly different problems than you would usually face in your daily life.
Figure out your passion
Tale said: “Find something you are passionate about. Don’t fall in love with your idea. Fall in love with the problem.”
Being passionate about fixing something that might have been a real point of contention in yours or the life of someone you care about will help you to push forward in tough times.
Not only will passion keep you focused on the goal, but venture capitalists are looking for founders that are driven and care about their ideas.
Talk to people
The people around you can be your biggest source of inspiration. Learn about those you work with on a more personal level or reach out to a family member and learn about their passions.
Ask people what kind of problems they face in their every day life, or what they wish they could change.
In addition to learning from people, you should also lean on them for support in the early days of your startup adventure and beyond.
Tale said: “Use your network. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance.
“Talk about your idea early on with as many people as possible. You have more to gain than to lose by sharing your ideas.”
Execution of your startup idea
“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not”
– Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, Dell
Tale added to these words of wisdom, by saying that in the end, it’s not actually about the idea. It’s about the execution, persistence and timing.
She also noted that when you come up with an idea that you feel is a feasible business venture – make sure to test it on potential customers!
Tale said: “If you believe you have a product that someone wants, but you neglect to test it, all you have is a hypothesis. By testing the hypothesis you can either confirm that your assumptions about your startup idea were right or wrong. Find a way to test the hypothesis at low cost and as effectively as possible.
“Always try to test your assumptions on your customers. If you find that your assumptions were wrong you go back to the start. Use what you’ve learned, make some changes based on the feedback, then do another round of testing. Do not move on before you have managed to confirm your assumptions.
“Fail fast instead of spending time and resources on the wrong assumptions.”
Would you like to test your startup idea on us? Get in touch!