Have you ever wanted to come up with a business idea, but thought that all the good ones are taken? What if there was a place where you could find unlimited ideas and customers?
Often, when thinking about ideas, we look at our own lives and consider how we can improve them. While this is easiest space for us to relate to, it’s also the most competitive market to create businesses in.
While B2B may seem less sexy, you’ll need less customers to make money. Business owners can also tell you specific business problems that bother them every day. Here’s how to tap into the never ending pile of viable business ideas:
Pick an industry
Ideally this is an industry you know well. Maybe you’ve worked in it or studied it. The more experience you have in the field, and the more connections, the easier it will be to make sales and raise money.
But connections and experience in the industry are not necessary. Sometimes it is helpful to step into an adjacent industry or a totally new industry and be someone who can put a fresh lens on the space. It can also be difficult to see the forest through the trees in an industry you’re heavily involved / biased in.
Break down the industry
Figure out the players in the industry and which ones you’d like to help. You should have some real passion for wanting to help this group - It will help you sell.
Generate a list of people you can talk to about the industry
Start in your network. Search LinkedIn for connections and friends of friends that you can be introduced to. Add people to this list that you have no connection to, but think would be great to talk to. You can reach out to them cold and share your passion and desire to learn to entice them to speak with you.
Hit em up!
Use emailhunter.co to find their email address. Email them explaining who you are and that you’re doing research for a project to help the industry. If you have the means, offer them a gift card to thank them for their time. Don’t stop talking to people in the industry or switch industries until you’ve had at least 10 conversations. Persistence pays. Ask people to tell you everything about their work and figure out the parts of their day that suck the most. Do they keep track of something on a pad or in Excel? Those are prime targets for disruption. Search for patterns in your conversations.
Once you’ve had some good conversations and some ideas are starting to bud, get some advice. Figure out what it would take to build the solution you’re thinking about. Go through your network again and find technical people. Learn all you can about what it will take. Before you execute, you’ll want to have a clear picture of what you’re going to build.
For more on execution, check out Sean and Mark’s post: Turning your idea into a reality