Picking a new business idea can be confusing, whether you’re trying to come up with a “perfect” business idea or you’re a creative person who’s always coming up with interesting ideas and having a hard time choosing which one to start with. If  you’re the latter, you don’t have the time or resources to implement or try all these ideas that you come up with, so which idea to choose? It’s a common problem that entrepreneurs have, so here’s some advice on how to pick a new business idea:

1. Research & Brainstorm

Research existing ideas and get inspired from what’s out there. Write down these existing ideas, and write down any ideas you come up with along the way. When you’re done brainstorm and ideate some more ideas of your own and add them to your list.

2. Brainstorm Some More

The first ideas that someone gets are usually common or cliché, so make sure you stop, and then start a new round of brainstorming. You can do this as many times as you find productive. Read what you’ve already wrote, bring it all together and try to make sense of it all, get inspired by it, and brainstorm some more ideas. Try to cross and match ideas from the list that you’ve generated. You’ll often be able to generate spin-off ideas from what you already wrote. Writing down keywords also helps and inspires new ideas. Write down all ideas you get, no matter how silly they may seem, because they might inspire better ideas along the way.

3. Assess & Eliminate

Now that you’ve compiled a long list of potential ideas, it’s time to assess them and eliminate some of them. Run several rounds of idea elimination. Remove the idea that you think are silly, unfeasible, or uninteresting to you. Only pick and keep the ones that seem to have potential and are interesting to you. Repeat the assessment and elimination process until you pick a final idea to start working on.

Things to Consider

Here are some things to consider as you follow the above steps:

  • Assessment Criteria:
    When judging and assessing an idea, consider business costs, market demand, assumptions validation, business potential, business SWOT analysis, risks, opportunity cost, and the actual value it might bring to users.

    Preliminary assessment questions to ask:
    1. Does the idea solve a real problem or just a nuisance?
    2. Is it profitable?
    3. Are you proud to tell people about it?
    4. Are there barriers to entry or well established competitors?

    Once you’re left with your top 5-10 ideas, run each idea through these 9 questions to see if it’s worth pursuing.
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  • Risk vs. Reward:
    Do a quick risk/reward assessment on the idea.
  • Purpose:
    Always ask yourself: What is the purpose of what I’m doing?
  • Planning:
    It’s ok to take longer to plan… even if it takes you 2 years or you feel like you’re doing nothing. Take time to plan and get inspired, because when you do, it’ll all click and you turn out with a better idea than if you had started directly. Don’t just start with a “good” idea; wait till you get a “great” idea… because it’s better not waste your time and energy on something average, but spend it on something great that has genuine value and high potential.

At Productra, we offer valuable product consulting services, so you can benefit from our expertise to help you assess and refine your idea, bring it to life, and ensure its success. Contact us to discuss your ideas and benefit from our guidance.

Karim Muhtar

View posts by Karim Muhtar
Karim is a digital product consultant with 10+ years of experience.