Five tips to come up with a winning business idea

9 August 2018 Category :
Success

Do you dream of owning your own business?

It can certainly be a great way to earn a living and make money. But having lots of entrepreneurial spirit is not enough to succeed. You need a solid business idea too – and they’re not always easy to come up with.

Having said that, there are proven ways to uncover them – and we’ll discuss these in this article. I’ll share five tips with you, and for each one explain why it will help you and how to go about it.

So, let’s begin.

1. Consider the ‘pain points’

It’s often said that entrepreneurs solve problems, and that should be your starting point when looking for a solid business idea.

Why this will help you

People spend their money on products or services that make their life easier, better or more enjoyable. So if they have a problem that’s making things difficult – i.e. causing them pain ­– they’ll spend good money to overcome it.

That’s human nature, and it has been driving commerce and innovation throughout history. So a good way to make money is to identify a problem that’s not being addressed, and then provide a product or service to solve it.

How to go about it

To consider the pain points in the UAE, think about what makes life or business tough in the region. Make a list of all the points you can think of, and try to identify a solution to each one. Ask yourself if they are already being solved and if not, how they could be solved.

From this you can see if there are any gaps in the market that could be moulded into a solid business idea. And you can start to use your creativity to develop the idea.

Entrepreneur

2. Ask, listen and learn

The first tip uses your own entrepreneurial judgement and intuition. This second tip involves getting insights from other people.

Why this will help you

You have an entrepreneurial mind and your business analysis is good. But so are the experiences and ideas of other people. So it makes sense to do some market research, and explore what other people see as problems.

Apart from anything else, this can give you more insights into pain points you’ve already identified. And it can help you to develop business ideas you’re already working on. As the English poet John Donne said, ‘No man is an island’. At this stage, two or more heads are better than one.

How to go about it

Basically you ask people what they see as problems. Go to a business networking event, for example, and ask company owners what keeps them awake at night. What makes business tough for them in the UAE, or what really worries them.

Basically you ask people what they see as problems. Go to a business networking event, for example, and ask business owners what keeps them awake at night.

Business people all over the world love talking about their work, so it’s very easy to strike up a conversation. All you need to do is ask, ‘How’s business going?’ – and take it from there. Get their view on problems that don’t have current solutions, and add them to your list.

Johnny Laursen, the founder of the publishing group Benjamin Media, put it well when he said, ‘It’s really quite simple: use your common sense, listen to people, and seize opportunities as they arise’.

3. Consider your own personal strengths

This tip involves you thinking about your skills, knowledge and experience – or in other words – your strengths.

Why this will help you

You’re more likely to be successful in something if it plays to your strengths. Everyone has their unique blend of skills, knowledge and experiences that they’ve built up over the years – and this mix can be very powerful for an entrepreneur.

There are many different business activities in the UAE. Categories include media and marketing services, IT services, music and entertainment, film production / post-production, broadcast management and event management. Your skills may naturally point you towards a particular sector – which can help you focus in on your business idea.

How to go about it

Start by making a list of all the strengths you have. Are you good with people, for example? Good at planning, organising, design, marketing or accounting? Do you have knowledge or experience in a particular business sector that you could draw on in a business of your own?

You may have a good awareness of your talents, but ask people you trust what they think you’re good at. You can get other help too. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, for example, helps people to identify and leverage their strengths. It also suggests ‘ideas for action’ which can trigger business ideas.

4. Consider your interests and hobbies

You’ve thought about your strengths, and now it’s time to think about your hobbies and what really interests you.

Hobbies

Why this will help you

If you’re very interested in something, you’re probably a bit of an expert in it. And that can be extremely valuable if you want to get into that industry or market with your own business. You’re already a consumer in that market, and will likely have ideas on pain points and gaps in what’s available. You may already have ideas on how you could do things better.

As well as that, you’re going to be putting a lot of time and effort into your new business – so it’s good if you have a real interest in that sector. It’s not essential of course, but it makes things easier – especially when the going gets tough.

How to go about it

Make a list of all your interests, passions and hobbies. This could include investing, travel, conservation, photography, movies, golf, or whatever. Work down the list and see if any could be adapted into a business idea. Are there any areas where you could provide better products or services?

In addition, if you’ve been working through the tips in this article you may have a list of potential business ideas by now. You can use your list of interests to filter out some of those ideas, so you can focus on the ones you’re more passionate about.

5. Look abroad for inspiration

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for a business idea. You can draw on ideas from other regions.

Why this will help you

Different parts of the world have different areas of expertise, and some regions are more innovative than others. So by looking at what’s available elsewhere, you may see gaps here in the UAE market. You may also be able to adapt products and services to better suit this region, based on your local knowledge.

You may also be able to adapt products and services to better suit this region, based on your local knowledge.

How to go about it

Look around when you’re travelling and see how things are done differently. Talk with the people you meet and get their insights on new products and services where they live. If you’re an expat, talk with family and friends at home.

Being curious and interacting with people will spark ideas that you can develop further. You can also learn what others are doing by reading business and entrepreneur magazines, including the online versions.

Summary

Having lots of entrepreneurial spirit is great, but to be successful you need a solid business idea. In this article we’ve explored five tips to help you uncover that winning idea.

Entrepreneurs solve problems, so the first step is to consider ‘pain points’ and how you could overcome them. You can think about this yourself, and then get views and insights from other people.

You should think too about your own skills, passions and interests ­ – and see if those strengths can point you towards the right business idea. And you can look to other areas of the world, and adapt successful ideas to this region.

These simple approaches can spark ideas that put you on the path to entrepreneurial success.

Setting up your own business has never been easier. Virtuzone takes care of it all so you can focus on what matters – building your business. For more information about company formation in the UAE mainland or free zones, please call us on +971 4 457 8200, send an email to info@vz.ae, or click here.

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About the Author: Neil Petch, Chairman at Virtugroup
About the Author: Neil Petch, Chairman at Virtugroup

With a history of business successes, Neil Petch is well known in the UAE and beyond as a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for helping others establish and grow their own businesses. Neil founded Virtuzone in 2009 and quickly established it as the region’s leading company formation expert, before launching Virtugroup, a holding company that has a wider mandate of supporting startups from establishment; to successful market entry; and all the way through to exit.