The Spark of an Idea: Drawing Business Ideas from the World Around You

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26 Oct The Spark of an Idea: Drawing Business Ideas from the World Around You

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The Spark of an Idea : Drawing business ideas from the world around you

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Everyone has had that moment of brilliance, the second where they’re suddenly walking down the street and see something that they believe they can improve in some way. Perhaps it’s a bakery that doesn’t serve bear claws, a gym full of uncomfortable, self-conscious people, or even just the realization that a newspaper stand would be very convenient on one particular corner. Whatever that idea may have been, it’s a fairly safe bet that you did nothing about it and forgot what you were thinking within minutes.

There is a distinct fear of taking a financial risk, especially in tough economic times. Who is to say that your grandmother’s bear claws will make a difference? Perhaps there’s no newspaper stand on that corner because you’re the only one still reading a newspaper that passes by it on a daily basis. However, it is those who are bold enough to take that risk that end up becoming the billionaire CEOs and executives, who bring new ideas onto the market, and who the drive business forward into new territory.

But that begins with ideas

The most common business ideas are the ones that come about as a response to a need. Needs surround most of us all day, but the finely honed business mind is one that is trained to see those needs and find ways to meet them. This can be difficult at first as most of us are trained instead to avoid problems, ignore small inconveniences, and generally adapt as much as we can. Socially this allows us to accept even the largest changes by degrees and makes for a historical timeline that reveals great alterations to human structures, both anthropological and entrepreneurial, but by necessity ignores the dozens of tiny steps in between them.

In order to begin to train yourself to recognize potential business ideas, start by keeping a notebook and pen (or PDA if you prefer) on your person at all times. Every time you are inconvenienced in even a minor way, write down what happened for later examination. While you won’t be able to solve all of the tiny problems of your world, by examining what you wrote down you can extrapolate whether this might affect a larger group and how it might be fixed. Also, look at every business you patronize and ask yourself what you would do to make it better. Talk to managers and proprietors if they have the time to find out what challenges they faced and how they overcame them to give you an idea of what sort of things you might encounter in the same business.

Most importantly, take a chance.

Not every business will succeed, but if you can bring a new idea and quite a bit of passion to the table, you have a good shot of making something that will last. Consumer economies are dependent on continual innovation, and the only way to ensure that is for new ideas to be constantly introduced into the market. You can be that new idea if you pay attention to the world around you with an entrepreneur’s eye.

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