how-to-come-up-with-a-business-idea

How To Come Up With A Business Idea That Will Change Your Life

The web is plenty of articles and resources on how to start a business and how to make money. However, there is an issue. Those resources give you plenty of advice and give you many options.

But a few help you start a business you’d be for the long term. Indeed, building up a business from scratch isn’t a simple task. Quite the opposite, It is a rollercoaster, which if you’re lucky it will take five to ten years to take off.

Thus it is critical that you not only start a business with great potential. But that you’ll also love what you’ll be working on and the problem you will try to solve. Therefore, finding a successful business idea means three primary things. It starts with solving a problem but then figuring out whether:

  • That is something you like
  • Something that you’re good at
  • And that you can be paid to do

For that matter, the Bud Caddell’s diagram helps us in finding the sweet spot between these three key elements. If you do find yourself within that sweet spot, you can say you’re going after the right business idea and that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur. 

Start with the problem in mind

As highlighted in the interview I had with Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean and Scaling Lean, and creator for the Lean Startup Canvas:

One of the biases that that many entrepreneurs fall run into is this premature love of the solution. Like the first principles in science, you almost have to deconstruct an idea. We have to start with the basics. In this case, when we look at our business, we have to break it down into customers and problems.

He calls this problem/solution fit.

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Create your lean canvas

lean-startup-canvas-vs-business-model-canvas

To help entrepreneurs clarify their minds on one page, you can use Ash Maurya, Lean Startup Canvas.

While this is an incredible tool, it focuses on how to get there.

Before you start using this incredible tool, you need to answer three primary questions.

Is this a problem I want to solve?

For most entrepreneurs, business is not a matter of choice, but rather an opportunity. However, in today’s world, where barriers to entry have become very low (digital businesses can be created relatively quickly and with meager investment), the competition is fierce.

Thus, endurance has become a critical element. And to make it through your business you need to love the problem enough to keep going for at least five to ten years.

Am I good at it?

As competition is fierce, it is critical that the solution you offer bring value to the table. For instance, when Brin and Page launched Google (initially called BackRub), it was argued that it was 10X better than any other search engine out there.

However, the Brin and Page not only fell in love with the problem of indexing and ranking a whole web (which at the time was way smaller than it is today) but they were pretty good at it (Google was born as result of their thesis as P.h.Ds).

Can I be paid for that?

No business model can be called viable if it lacks the monetization strategy or the profit formula. That’s because usually a business model to work in the long run has to be scalable and repeatable.

As we’ve seen to make a digital business take off so that you reach the so-called ramen profitability, it might take a few years. And if you don’t like or love the company you’re after it is very hard that the business itself will be successful. That’s because you’ll hardly have the willingness to put through the hard times.

ramen-profitability
Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Paul Graham popularized the term “Ramen Profitability.” As he pointed out, “Ramen profitable means, a startup makes just enough to pay the founders’ living expenses.”

Key takeaway

Starting a digital business, today has become fairly quickly. However, starting and growing a successful business is as hard as ever. That’s because, with the advent of the web, the barriers to entry have been lowered and pretty much anyone can test its entrepreneurial skills.

However, this also generates the confusion that you can build a business very quickly. However, to build a successful business from scratch, it might well take five to ten years of struggle. Therefore to understand if you are up to this struggle, you need to answer three basic questions:

  • Is this something I like (love)?
  • Am I good at it?
  • Can I get paid for it?

If you’re able to find the sweet spot, you’re ready to start!

Read next:

Business resources:

Case studies: 

Interviews:

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, professionals, and entrepreneurs in 2019 alone | Gennaro is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate and become profitable | Gennaro is an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance | Subscribe to the FourWeekMBA Newsletter | Or Get in touch with Gennaro here

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