Have you ever dreamed of giving up everything to start your own startup?
You may feel as if you are ready to take the leap. With your dream team in mind, and the perfect location to start your project, the only thing missing is a good startup idea to get you started.
However easy it might be to create a startup, it can remain complicated to do so without a solid idea. You may have a vague notion of what it will do while being unsure of its relevance. Or you just know you look good in those “Steve Jobs’ white tees and jeans” but have no clue of what your breakthrough will be.
Let’s see what it takes to come up with a great startup idea!
What is a good startup idea?
Before going any further, let’s take a look at what differentiates a good startup idea from a bad one.
A good startup idea meets a need
The first characteristic of a good startup idea is meeting a need.
It seems obvious … And yet, many entrepreneurs start their company without making sure they have a market for it. Or stop at the stage where they present their idea to a friend over a drink and wait for him/her to tell them how great it is and how it’s going to be the next Facebook/Uber/Airbnb (take your pick…)
A good startup idea assesses a pain point. It stems from what will trigger your client’s future purchase. Is it something he lacks, need, desire or fear? How is this need expressed? From whom? When? Why? How frequently? … And most importantly, how much are potential customers willing to spend to meet this need?
A good startup idea generates cash
Your idea should allow your team to get paid, and your business to earn money so it can grow. No need to carry out a complete financial forecast plan at this stage. However, it seems interesting to measure the expenses and investments necessary to design and market the product or service your startup will offer.
This will help you get a better idea of the profitability of your startup idea, its financial feasibility as well as a certain number of financial conditions essential to its success.
Most of all, don’t forget that a good start-up idea should make money QUICKLY.
A good startup idea will match your personality
There is no such thing as a good idea for everyone. For an idea to lead to a viable business, it must be consistent with it’s founder personality, skills, resource and passion. This will ensure that you will have all the necessary means to design, finance and implement your project.
A good startup idea takes into account external constraints
Your startup will grow in a more or less restrictive and promising environment. Thus, the quality of a creative idea largely depends on the environment in which it will be implemented.
This means it should take into consideration your market regulations, the level of competition, the existence of partners or specific skills, the nature and amount of external financing, the integration of innovation, listening to public authorities, etc. From good to great, your idea will depend in part on when and where it will be conceived and implemented.
Our tips for finding a good startup idea
So how exactly should you proceed to find the perfect startup idea for you, for now and for here? Here are some tips you can use to launch a potential unicorn.
Don’t find an idea, find a problem
An entrepreneur is someone who seeks to solve a real problem and take advantage of opportunities in his/her market. So how can you do so?
Start by identifying your own daily sources of frustration or those of people around you. Observe, question, and grow a real interest for issues you can solve around you. According to your personal tastes, skills and aspirations, it will be easier for you to reduce research to a specific theme or sector.
Also learn how to separate “nice-to-have” from “must-have”.
Start from what you can and like to do
It is often easier to create a startup in the sector or profession that you master, as you already:
- know if your startup idea is realistic or not;
- know the sector and the rules you’ll need to follow;
- master the technical know-how;
- have the right network to move quickly.
A great starting point is to identify what you are good at. To do so, listen to what others have to say about you. Those close to you are often in the best position to identify the areas in which you excel. This is the talent that you could perfectly harness by starting a business.
Get to know your customers
But also your market and your ecosystem. Whether you are looking for a startup idea or have a slightly more defined target in mind, watch and develop your business culture. Familiarize yourself with other startups, fundraisers, the latest trends and concepts.
Without realizing it, you will gradually acquire a solid background that will nurture your current ideas.
Observe your competition (both local and international)
Have you heard of a new product that does not yet exist in your country or a concept that is all the rage in another country? You could import the startup idea and adapt it to your market’s customers. The idea will also be to spot the weaknesses of your competitors and work on it to stand out.
Draw your inspiration from other businesses that have just started, whether they operate in your sector or not. You can find new ideas and trends in the press. So don’t forget to subscribe to startup newsletters to get your creativity going!
Work on your creativity as if it were a muscle
Creativity is not innate. On the contrary, it challenges your thought patterns, which are sometimes as comfortable as they are obsolete. You should therefore work on it through different exercises and techniques.
Start by looking at a situation or problem from another angle, so you can spot aspects you would have normally overlooked. Then try to be as precise and specific as you can be. Develop your empathy and put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes.
Another great way to find creative startup ideas is to challenge the status quo. This will help you identify weaknesses or false reasons for certain procedures or solutions used.
The 5 mistakes you shouldn’t make when looking for a startup idea
Now that you know what you should do, let’s look at patterns to avoid when looking for a great startup idea.
- Creating something no one actually wants: Unless you have incredible patience and a massive advertising budget, you can’t manufacture demand or educate your market. You have to tap into existing demand. So make something people want.
- Choosing a startup idea that you can’t pull off: most startups fail because the entrepreneurs behind it tried to take on something that is just too big, too daunting, too difficult and takes too long to complete;
- Going with a startup idea that doesn’t stand out enough: You have to give your customers a reason to choose your product over the rest, otherwise they just won’t.
- Starting a startup when you have no clue who your target customers are: Otherwise how will you solve their problem, or even find them to present them with your solution?
- Choosing a business idea that you’re not going to want to run: Startups are a lot like relationships. If you don’t love your idea enough to devote yourself body and soul to it, and put up with the bad times, you’ll never go the distance.
Every good startup starts with a good idea. Need help refining it or making sure it’s viable? Our team is there to support you at every step of your entrepreneurial adventure.