There are so many coaches out there.
And graphic designers.
In fact, in this amazing Internet age we live in, chances are, whatever your business idea is, someone out there has had it before you.
And that’s terrible, right? Actually, it’s not.
Just because other people do what you want to do, doesn’t mean they do it your way.
In fact, being in a business that someone else is in is a great way to prove that there’s money to be made. (Blazing a brand new trail is far riskier!)
The trick is ensuring that whatever you choose to do, you do it in a way that’s uniquely you.
So how do you find that idea that will truly make your business a success? Try one of these proven idea generation techniques.
1. Think about what you would want
Rather than looking at what everyone else is doing, look at what they’re not doing and create what you would like to see as a solution in your industry. This is what I did for my Idea Generator program; all the other options out there seemed to be that you could pay for either an hour coaching or ongoing coaching. It wasn’t results oriented to me, so I developed a program to walk people through a structured system to come out with a defined result – their business idea.
The same happened with my Business Startup Coaching. While I had excellent coaches, I felt that one session every other week left no time for strategy and I believe the strategy should be created BEFORE building; otherwise you risk creating a hodge podge of stuff rather than a cohesive online business where people can flow through your marketing funnel. Both of my flagship products are born out of what I see as a lack in the market.
2. Look at other industries to bring a new edge to yours
A great example of this is the now super-famous and very successful website, Copyblogger. Back when Copyblogger started, Brian Clark (the owner/blogger) had the wild and wacky idea to combine the field of copywriting with blogging. He took what he had been studying on his own about classic copywriting, marketing, and advertising techniques and applied them to the (then) relatively new field of blogging. And the rest, as they say, is history, as he now has one of the most well respected and successful blogs about content marketing in the space – which he started before “content marketing” was even a term.
Another super successful example is Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Derek has taken social psychology and applied it to blogging and online marketing. He does podcast interviews with leading psychology researchers and translates their findings into information business owners can use to promote themselves online.
What do other industries have to add to yours?
3. Challenge your assumptions
When looking at what you want to be or achieve, and write down what you are assuming to be true. For example you may be assuming the client wants x qualifications or degrees, that the work must be done in person, or that everyone expects a particular outcome etc. Look at each assumption and see if they really are ‘true’ or do you just think they are? Is there another way to solve this that fits you and the client better?
Before Amazon.com, one assumption lots of people made was that people wouldn’t buy books and other things online that had to be shipped if they could just drive to the shops and pick them up. I think that assumption’s been pretty well put to rest, don’t you?
I do want to emphasise that I am not trying to push you to find a totally unique business idea. As I said above, ideas that are totally unique are much more risky.
But putting your own twist on an idea is a fabulous way to create an idea that will truly set you apart from your competition. These techniques are a way to find your edge or think about how to do things best in your industry.
I’d love to hear from you:
If you’re in a “common” field (like coaching, copywriting, design, accounting, etc.), how have you put a unique spin on it?
Or if you haven’t started yet, what unique factors can you combine from these idea generation techniques that could take your idea to the next level?
Share your insights in the comments below!