How do entrepreneurs get small business ideas?

Sometimes it feels like a great small business idea come out of nowhere. In reality, there are actually 5 common sources of small business ideas. Maybe your next small business idea will be found from one of these places:

Small business idea source #1: Your own life

About 60% of new business ideas come from our own life or work experiences. Think of past jobs you’ve had – was there one thing that always bugged you about a process, or one way you always thought a service could be delivered more efficiently? And don’t overlook hobbies, either. The passion and interest we have for our hobbies means they could be sustained as long-term, money-making endeavours.

Small business idea source #2: Other people

Get feedback from your own customers, or customers who are active in industries that you might want to start a business in. Don’t overlook ideas from your team, either! Some of McDonald’s most popular products – the Filet-o-Fish, the Big Mac, Egg McMuffin and Hot Apple Pie – were each created after feedback and ideas from company operators.

Small business idea source #3: Literature

By “literature” we’re not necessarily referring to novels. We mean literature like books, textbooks, research journals, trade magazines, patent registries, databases – even the internet. Reading business blogs, websites, and magazines might stimulate your creative thinking, too.

Small business idea source #4: Organizations

Small business ideas can be found in all kinds of organizations, including government, non-profit laboratories, and associations. Organizations like this have a bonus in that they can help build on your small business idea, too.

Small business idea source #5: Serendipity

Sometimes “out of the blue” business ideas do happen. Being in the right place at the right time was the turning point in the careers of many entrepreneurs. The problem with serendipity is that you can’t predict it of course, but stay open-minded and curious, and evaluate business ideas wherever they may come from.

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