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Startup Toolkit: Discovering Your Idea

Posted by Joe Garza on 2014-07-24

If you are new to the world of entrepreneurship, launching a startup can seem like a daunting task. Let’s be honest, it is. In fact, countless individuals have abandoned their entrepreneurial dreams to avoid scaling the precipitous path of entrepreneurship.

For those of you who find yourselves hesitant about taking that first bold step, the Startup Toolkit is here to equip you with the knowledge you need to help make your dream company a reality. Each installment consists of expert, up-to-the-minute resources addressing the challenges every fledgling founder must overcome.

This first installment focuses on the importance of conceiving an applicable idea. Granted, a good idea isn't the only thing you need, but it is a necessary first step. For most people, however, coming up with the next Google is much easier said than done. Here are a few ways to get your entrepreneurial creative juices flowing and to verify that your idea is feasible.

How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend

This blog post by Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur, angel investor, public speaker, and author of The 4-Hour Work Week, simplifies the process of coming up with a winning startup idea by:

  • Conducting research on something people are willing to spend money on
  • Determining if there is a large enough pool of potential customers
  • Calculating the value of the average customer
  • Making small calculated bets on ideas to validate them.
The truth of the matter is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time building the foundation for a successful business. In most cases, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple days.”

Ideation: How to stumble upon a great business idea.

Here, Viktoras Jucikas shares his thoughts on how to put your mind in an idea-generation state, and how rethinking problems and existing solutions can lead to great ideas. Here are just a few of Viktoras’ tips:

  • Refashion random ideas inspired by everyday problems.
  • Copy a proven idea and paste it in a different market.
  • Determine ways to make the impossible possible.
  • Combine two more existing ideas into one unique idea.
At the very heart of every idea lies the problem you’re trying to solve. What problems do you notice? What do your friends complain about? What would you wish was there but is not?”

How to Find an Idea for Your Startup, Even If You Don’t Know Where to Start

In this blog post, Zapier Co-Founder Wade Foster delineates various idea-creating habits that anyone can employ, as well as several beginner tips on how to identify good ideas. Tips include:

  • Hanging out with people who already have a lot of ideas.
  • Observing everyday routines and figuring out how they can be improved.
  • Getting into the habit of creating at least 10 ideas everyday, regardless of quality.
  • Learning from past entrepreneurs and how they became successful.
Coming up with good ideas is a skill. It’s not something you’ll be good at if you’ve never practiced coming up with good ideas. The best way to get good at coming up with ideas is to come up with a lot of ideas.”

Starting a Business: The Idea Phase

This excerpt from Start Your Own Business, 5th Edition is aimed at people who are hesitant about launching a business or maybe confused about what those first few steps may be.

  • List five to seven things you like to do or that you're really good at, as well as things that you don't think you're good at or you don't like to do. From that list, determine what products or services would make your life easier or happier, make you more productive or efficient, or simply give you more time.
  • Listen to your own (or your co-workers', family's or neighbors') frustrations; many ideas may come from just looking around you.
  • Take any preexisting ideas and customize them to the times and your community.
People always wonder if this is a good time to start their business idea. The fact is, there's really never a bad time to launch a business.”

(Image of attractive businesswoman pulling rope with idea image by Shutterstock)

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