The development of profitable business ideas is as much an art as much as it is the use of systematic techniques. You can certainly use structured approaches, but the reality is that having the right background, coupled with being in the right place at the right time, and simply working hard to create lucky breaks are as important in coming up with an internet based business opportunity.
The focal point for coming up with a profitable business idea primarily lies within the soon-to-be entrepreneur. Contrary to popular belief, it is not found in the marketplace or laboratory. You are the critical component - it is your strengths and flaws, which should dictate the areas in which to seek ideas and focus your business around. At the end of the day, support for your business by financiers, suppliers, customers etc. will also be a vote of confidence in your abilities to make it successful.
You should build on your strengths and work around your weaknesses. For example, there is little point in searching for capital-intensive or industries that require significant technical expertise if you have very small prospects of raising the capital or if your educational background is not suitable. If you are serious about pursuing this path, avoid jumping on every new small business franchise idea you hear about. Yes… we have all heard stories of startups with humble beginnings in college dorms and garages, but these mega successful individuals are few and far between. We do not learn much about the huge numbers of failures that occur each year.
Prior to brainstorming new ideas, ask yourself:
- Do you have insights into any business sectors or trades?
- What are you good at or like doing?
- Do you have a hobby/interest/talent that could be leveraged to start a new business?
Visit Google Trends and use the search field to enter any of the business ideas you list in order to determine how popular they are. You can enter more than one keyword in the search field and compare your results. Select "more hot trends" to find out what people are currently interested in and searching for. These results can stimulate leads and help lead you down the path to finding a profitable business idea.
Once you identified a business niche that you are interested in entering, you should start thinking about possible products and services that you can offer. It is helpful to ask yourself, as a future business opportunity seeker, the following questions:
- Can you make the product larger/smaller, lighter/heavier, faster/slower
- Would it help to change its color, material or shape
- Should you altering their quality or quantity
- Can you increase mobility, access, portability, disposability
- Can you simplify repair, maintenance, replacement, cleaning
- Can you introduce automation, simplification, convenience
- What type of new features, accessories, extensions can you add
- Can you modify the delivery method, packaging, unit size/shape
- Can you improve usability, performance or safety
- Can you broaden or narrow the device range
- Can you improve quality or service.
Once you find your profitable business idea and you want to make sure it is profitable, visit a few online forums and search for people that are already invested in the field you are interested in diving into. Go out and ask these individuals if what you plan to offer is something that they would be interested in. If not, then you'll know that this is an idea that you should probably pass on and begin brainstorming another idea. If you don't have any ideas, try asking people in the forums that you are currently searching if they are suffering from any "pains" in the current market. Are they looking for products or services in particular? Follow along and get involved in some conversations – you may stumble upon a very profitable business idea by maintaining a lookout for suitable business ideas.
Lastly, you can browse through keywords that are currently searched and perform a quick count for how many ads show up on the side bars. If you type in a keyword related to your niche market and you see advertisements placed on your results page, this immediately tells you that there are already people paying for advertising space. This confirms that you have found a market or niche that is a profitable business idea. Try different keywords and ideas to scope out your competition.