How to Generate New Business Ideas

how to generate new business ideas

Generating new business ideas is a skill and like all skills, the more you practice, the easier it will be to generate new business ideas, whenever you need them.

The only thing worse than not being able to come up with an idea is thinking of a new business idea and then forgetting it.

The car, plastic wrap, the mobile phone, the lap top computer, Google, YouTube and Facebook are inventions, products, services and businesses that all started as a new business idea.

Everyone has new business ideas. The problem for most people is realising that even the most outrageous idea could actually work.


Write New Business Ideas Down

write ideas down

Photo: Shutterstock

Keep a notepad or digital recorder with you so that your new ideas do not escape.



Listen to people talking at the coffee shop, supermarket, and hairdressing salon or wherever you go and get ideas about their problems, desires and interests.


Think About Money

When thinking about business ideas, think about money.

When brainstorming and evaluating different projects, money isn’t the only consideration but it’s an important one.

Ask this question for every idea: Could I get paid for this business idea and could I get paid more than once?

Selling what people want to buy is the best strategy. Think more about what people want rather than what you think they need.

Keep a Running List of Things That Annoy You

What annoys you?

When you think about the list of things you wish were different, the chances are those things also annoy other people.

Keep a running list of all the things that annoy you and think of solutions that will make them better.

If you could make or provide what you want to buy, other people might want to buy it too.


Google it

When you’re stuck, try a Google search and look at the search results to see what inspires you.


Look at What Others Are Doing

Look at what others are doing in other industries and see how you can apply their ideas to your own business.

If a solution is working for someone else, there’s no reason it won’t work for you, too.

By the time you adapt their idea and tailor it to precisely fit your business, it will be unique.

Sell what people want to buy. Think more about what people want rather than what you think they need.


Type Everything Related to Your Issue

This is a tried-and-true method proven to work wonders.

Turn on your computer, and type everything you can think of related to your issue.

For example, if you need a new slogan for a product, type every feature and benefit you can think of, the types of people who need your product, the problems it solves and so on.

Use the thesaurus on your computer to look up synonyms.

When you are finished, you will have your slogan and many words and phrases you can use in your blogs and marketing campaigns.


Get a New Perspective

There are times when you are so close to a project that it creates a mental block for idea generation. Bringing in a new perspective can make all the difference.

Ask someone who is not familiar with your situation to ask you questions about it. It may be over dinner with friends, with a colleague or in line at the supermarket with a stranger.

They may ask things that lead you to an idea that you overlooked because it was too obvious.



Read business and personal development books, websites and blogs. The more you read, the more you learn and know, the better you will become at combining unrelated concepts to create something new.


New Experiences

New experiences help your brain to shift gears so you start to think differently. Drive a new route to the office, try a new restaurant for lunch, and work in a different place or anything that takes you out of your usual routine.


Move Your Body

move your bodyPhoto: Shutterstock

Movement increases the flow of blood to the brain and helps us think more clearly and feel more positive with the release of endorphins. I go for a walk along the beach or swim laps in the pool. You could walk, run, skip, jump or climb stairs to get your blood pumping and your brain firing.


Listen to Music

You may find that listening to Mozart awakens your creativity, or you may respond better to something more contemporary. Whatever works for you, turn on your iPod, move to the music and let your mind work.


Do Something Different

Sign up for a class, take up a new hobby or do anything that is new to you. Not only will this get different parts of your brain firing, you’ll meet new people and connect with new ideas.


Don’t Worry About What Other People Think

You need to free yourself from worry about what other people think. If you have a place where you can brainstorm and record some of your most outrageous thoughts without having to worry about what someone else thinks, then you’ll find it’s easier to be creative. And your new ideas will make your business more profitable.


Create Space for New Ideas

I use Notes on my iPhone and I love writing in notepads. You can also use applications like Evernote to store all your ideas, notes and website bookmarks in one place. And you can use Google Docs. Just get a gmail account.

Have you generated any new ideas for business?


You can email me at

Like and comment on my Facebook page at: 

Follow me on Twitter at @maureenp_p


Comments are closed.