How To Come Up with Great Business Ideas – A Guide


6000 – What if we tell you this is the approximate number of ideas a person has PER DAY! 🧐 There certainly is no lack of ideas in the human brain. Then why do we end up searching for business ideas online? 🤔

The disease itself is the remedy

While searching for ideas, start with the problems🔎. Perhaps there are hundreds of them hidden in plain sight and all we need to have is a clear vision. Our innate human tendency is to look for solutions, but a detour towards problems could be the solution to your idea hunt! Therefore, instead of looking for solutions, one should start looking for the problems first, as that’s where ideas stem from. After all, our planet is but a pandora’s box, with an abundance of problems. 

But here’s the catch- you can’t just randomly pick one. 

A business idea should not just promise utility to customers but also commercial viability to the entrepreneurs. This makes the search for a workable business idea all the more difficult. Thorough understanding of customer’s needs should increase prospects of acceptability and well calculated and analysed unit economics should ensure profitability for the business. 👍

At Tide, we’re all about helping you save your time and money, which is why we’ve created this article to help small business owners come up with actionable business ideas. 💡

👉 Tips to come up with great business ideas

How to come up with actionable business ideas?

Build your castle on firm ground 🏢

You cannot create ideas out of nowhere, they are always built upon an existing need or problem. The entire process of ideation revolves around Questioning, Pivoting and Iterating. Do not think about ideas purposely, that would only inhibit your ability to explore possibilities. Organic ideas are the best of their kind because they often arise from a need that is felt personally. 

To recognise that, the most important requirement is a clear mind free of inhibitions. Start with asking yourself a question- is it making any difference in the lives of those who adopt it? How significant is the change?

Practice the art of noticing 👀

We encounter problems more often than opportunities. Therefore, develop a mindset that sees them as potential leads. Every luxury that we devour today was once a scarcity, a need to be addressed, a problem to be solved. So, try looking for what bothers you, then begin expanding it  – talk to a wider and diverse set of people instead of a select few. Do not let categorical thinking warp your view of the world. 

The intentionally “made-up” or “sitcom” ideas would lack practicality and thus would be irrelevant. This could result in drainage of resources and efforts which could be put to good use otherwise- a dead end! 

Building ties 🤝

According to an HBR study, people who have a well-diversified network have a higher influx of ideas. Human mind is essentially absorptive, more the kind of people we associate with, more is the assimilation of ideas leading to innovation. Therefore, sustaining an enriching network is of paramount importance while looking for ideas.  

Overcoming short-sightedness 👓

Do not venture into uncharted waters just for the sake of finding ideas. If you possess the slightest adeptness in the domain, only then it’s worth the risk. Otherwise, it’s as good as a shot in the dark. Not all that glitters is gold! Be wary of temporary shimmer, irrespective of how bright it is. What might look plausible at the moment might be the result of a short-term vision or flawed calculation. 

Stemming from your personal needs and experience could be a mixture of two or more opportunities- it’s called Idea Arbitrage- the sum is always greater than the addends!

Competition as a source of Validation

When it comes to spending money on a product, people are  – to a very large extent – influenced by the masses; if others are buying it, it’s worth a try. This makes it crucial for you to come up with something that can appeal to the masses. Thoroughly research the industry, analyse the competitor landscape and figure out how to stand out among the lot!

Do not be scared of competition, if there are many, there certainly is something in the area that is yet to be addressed. Find that!

Wrapping Up

Coming to the skeleton in the closet  – there is no holy grail for sources of ideas for business. You wouldn’t know whether it works or not until you try it. But be wise enough to know when you’re approaching the dead end. Be wary of caveats, but do not shy away from erring on the side of risk. It is natural to have an inherent attachment with one’s brainchild, but one should be open to incorporating changes and abandoning it completely if need be. 

Do not push yourself into following a conservative and restricted approach, remember you cannot conjure up an idea like a rabbit from a magician’s hat. It takes a lot more than that!

Parul Keshav Patait

Parul Keshav Patait

Member Accession Marketing

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