How to be the Mind Behind “The Next Big Thing”

The overwhelming response I receive when I encourage hopeful entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and create a start-up is “great- but how do I come up with an idea?” Starting a new venture isn’t as easy as simply deciding to begin; there needs to be a fabulous idea on which a business can be successfully built. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut process for stumbling upon “the next big thing.” However, there are a few tricks that great thinkers use to be receptive when inspiration strikes. Use these tools to innovate and develop your next big idea.

1. Carry a notebook with you everywhere. You  never know when inspiration will strike, so it’s important to be able to write down ideas and thoughts as they happen. You don’t need to spend lots of time developing them right when they happen, but if you write down your thoughts, you can refer back to them and spend time building out those ideas when you have time to focus on them.

2. Know your stuff. Many innovative ideas we have experienced in history came from a person (or team) who was incredibly knowledgeable in their given field. It’s critical to stay tapped into the latest developments, news, and trends that occur in your field so that you can identify patterns, weaknesses, and potential opportunities to revolutionize the industry (and make money as a result).

hand draws the big idea

3. Think about what frustrates you or challenges you each day. Focus on problems that are real; if they bother you, they probably bother other people. Therefore, if you are able to create a solution to one of these issues, you will likely have a market for your product or service. Solving a problem that people can relate to will ensure better chances of a successful business idea.

4. Utilize reverse engineering. Start at the end, and then work backwards. Sometimes it helps to visualize a problem already solved, and then take a step backward and analyze what needs to happen right before the issue is completed. Then, figure out what steps you need to take in order for that step to be resolved, and so on. By working backwards, you train your mind to look at a problem differently, and open up new ideas and new pathways of getting to the end goal.

5. Brain-dump. Throw out as many ideas and options as you can think of (even the wildly outrageous ones) and see what sticks. Never limit innovation by putting the kibosh on an idea before it’s been flushed out. Sometimes the craziest ideas are the most successful ones.

6. Think about using an existing platform or product in a different way. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. Sometimes you can just use the wheel for something new in a way that people aren’t currently using it. This can save you time, money, and frustration, and can open up the doors to a fabulous new business idea.

7. Give yourself a break. Your mind does some of it’s best work subconsciously. You can’t force your mind to conceive “the next big thing.” Your brain is still working “behind the scenes” when your conscious mind is resting, or occupied with something else. Some of the best ideas happen in the shower, on a run, or even on vacation, so allow for some down-time, and be ready when inspiration strikes.

Wanting to be the mind behind the next “Facebook” or “Amazon” is a noble goal, and in today’s economy and society, it’s more achievable than ever. Don’t be too hard on yourself if the ideas don’t come flowing, because if it were easy, everyone would do it. However, by utilizing these tactics, and being innovative in your thinking, there’s no reason why you can’t be the mind behind “the next big thing!”

 

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

6 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business

For many people, trying to decide if an entrepreneurial venture is worth pursuing is like standing at the edge of a high dive- they question if they should dive right in, or climb back down. The harsh reality is that many failed business ventures began and ended as an idea that needed a little more thought, and a little refining. Before plummeting off the high dive and falling in to the unknown, there are several questions you will need to ask yourself in order to prevent a painful belly flop, and dive into success.No diving sign

#1. Is there a need for this product or service? You want to create a business that makes life easier or more enjoyable for people, so make sure your business concept is serving the need of someone, or some group. There is no point creating something that people don’t need, because ultimately, if people don’t need (or want) it, they won’t spend money on it.

#2. Is there a customer segment for your product or service? People often think they know exactly what their customers want, but rarely take the time to talk to them and find out what they really care about. Your business doesn’t need to serve everyone, but make sure it will serve a segment of people who legitimately see the value in what you’re selling, and are able to purchase it. Once you establish there is a customer base for your business, you can start learning more about them and refining your business to appeal even closer to their needs.

#3. Are you operating in a “blue ocean”? Picture an ocean with sharks in a feeding frenzy over a small school of fish- that’s not where you want to start your business. If there are lots of other people or companies that are doing the same thing as you (or something similar) and selling to the same customers you are chasing, you are in a “red ocean”. Make sure your idea is different enough, or catering to a different customer segment, so that you can begin your company in a clear “blue ocean”, with little to no competition targeting the customers you want.

#4. Is this idea profitable? It’s critical to have a well thought out revenue stream for your business, and realistic goals and projections. Being profitable immediately isn’t necessary, as most businesses start out (and remain) in debt for a long time. However, if you can’t see the opportunity to shift out of the red and into the black in a reasonable timeframe, you may want to rethink that business opportunity.

Business Plan Showing Management Growth Strategy Solution       #5. Do you have the skills, resources, and ability to get started? Be very honest with yourself regarding your personal skills and strengths. Are they aligned with this business concept? Are you knowledgeable enough about the industry, clientele, and start-up process to feel confident getting off the ground? Often times, extensive research is required, even for experts, to position the business for a decent start. Also, be realistic about the financial requirements of the start-up and maintenance of your venture. Are you in a position to take the necessary financial risks? If not, are you able to acquire the funds through other avenues?

#6. Are you management material? Even if you don’t want to be the President or CEO of your company, it will take a great deal of leadership and management skills to get your idea off the ground. You will need to be able to delegate tasks to your team, network with the appropriate people, seek out and secure necessary resources, etc.  It takes tons of time, effort, teamwork, and devotion- make sure you can handle it.

In my other article, “Why you Should Start-Up, Starting Today!”, I encourage hopeful entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. I continue to support small businesses and start-ups, but I also encourage a well thought-out idea, and a meticulously crafted business plan prior to diving in. If you find yourself saying “yes” to the questions mentioned above, it may be time to step onto the diving board and take the plunge!

 

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.