How do I find a business idea

A guide to developing your own business idea

As a rule, successful founders or entrepreneurs are not inventors, but innovators. You don’t always benefit from flashes of inspiration or years of research / development. Rather, they fall back on what is already “existing”, they discover niches and market gaps, expansions, improvements or new markets.

Develop your own perfect business idea in 5 steps!

  1. Innovation

Innovations are usually based on years of research and development work. They are very cost-intensive and, in addition to specialist knowledge, also require the necessary know-how to make the innovation marketable, to find financiers and to develop sales channels.

Flashes of inspiration in everyday life or years of research and development work and the resulting innovative new developments are the exception when starting a company. Only about one in 20 founders starts their own business with something that has never been seen before.

  1. Improve / expand products and services

Products and services are never finally “finished”, further developments and improvements are almost always possible and can lead to promising business ideas. This can also be seen from the number of start- ups, because the majority of all business ideas are based on existing business concepts that are being further developed, optimized or expanded.

Practical example:
There are many iPod MP3 players, but Apple recognized the weaknesses of the existing products. A chic design has been designed and a user interface that deserves its name has been developed – and their success proves them right. A conventional music player has become an absolute must-have and lifestyle product.

  1. Copy / adapt business ideas

Many founders start their own business with a business concept that has already been successfully tested in a market – be it in the USA or elsewhere. Often these concepts are adopted with the aim of opening up new markets or target groups.

The obvious advantage:

You know that the corporate concept works, you can build on the experience of the original and maybe even improve or vary it in a next step.

Practicalexample: StudiVZ The online community “Studiververzeichnis” located in Germany is, for example, a copy of “Facebook”, which is very successful in the USA.

Disadvantages:
In general, it should be taken into account that, especially with new business concepts that have only recently been launched very successfully, many entrepreneurs sense quick success and want to jump on the bandwagon.

For example, the micro-blogging service Twitter, which had been successfully launched in the USA, soon came up with several similar offers, which – in some cases unsuccessfully – competed for members.

It is therefore always advisable to observe the market closely and to realistically assess the chances for the implementation and success of the corporate concept. If you decide to copy a concept, it is important to be quick because you are usually not the only one who wants to make the idea your own.

In addition, you should always inform yourself in advance about the legal framework (e.g. existing patents).

  1. Patents

Many companies, research institutes or inventors have a large number of patents that they do not use themselves. Larger companies in particular do not want to or cannot exploit all patents at all. In contrast, researchers and developers often lack the entrepreneurial know-how to market their inventions themselves.

Therefore, unused patents are often offered for sale or at least there is the option to acquire licenses to use a patented invention.

The trade in patents and licenses has become a global economic factor. There are numerous ideas exchanges on the Internet, where patents and licenses are traded.

  1. Franchising – foundation with tried and tested business concepts

In franchising, an entrepreneur rents out a successful business concept to other entrepreneurs. In addition to the product / service, the franchisor also offers marketing strategies and economic advice.

The franchisee benefits from synergy effects across the company, such as sharing costs for joint marketing expenses.

Franchising is a relatively safe way to start a business, but the entrepreneur’s freedom of entrepreneurship is limited.

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