Four Steps to Coming up with a New Business Idea

I meet hundreds of people on a daily basis and a lot of them ask the same question. “How did you come up with your idea?” Answering the question is quite simple and I plan to outline it quickly within this post. The idea is the foundation to growing a successful business, it’s originality is what will ultimately separate you from your competitors. To answer the question of how to come up with a winning business idea, I created an acronym PPSM (Passion, Problem, Solution, Market).

First, you want to identify your passion or a field you are passionate about, if you are not passionate you won’t do it. Picking something you care about will make the job of starting a company ten times easier in the long run. It will make a hundred-hour work week feel like a forty-hour work week. On a subconscious level it will trick you into tackling the tasks that you may find boring or mundane, with ease. It will be the driving force that motivates you to solve problems and work when the money is not all that great.

Second, nothing is perfect and everything can be improved. Now that you have identified that thing you are passionate about, find a problem within that particular field. If you cannot find a problem, then create one. Adding value by solving a problem in someone’s life will verify that there is a market for the product. Everyone wants something that will ultimately be a solution but first you have to figure out the need before the need can be fulfilled.

Third, create a solution to the problem that you have identified in the second step. I had a conversation with someone the other day and they made a point that sums this step up very neatly. “If you want make a billion dollars you have to solve a billion people’s problems.” Solving a consistent need in people’s lives is the best way to start a company and also the most effective. If your product can make a group of people’s lives easier then you not only have a business but you have made the world a better place.

The final and fourth step to this process is bringing your newly found solution to market. When I ask people “Who is your target market?” the most common response is, “everybody”. This response may very well be the truth but targeting the market segment of “everybody” is nearly impossible. So let’s bring our selves back to reality and start thinking about the group of people most likely to buy the product. Start out small and then expand your market from there once people realize that your product can truly help them.