How To Generate Profitable Business Ideas Out Of Thin Air

You don’t need a million dollar idea to start a business

When I was 12 years old, I wanted all new hockey equipment. Unfortunately, my parents weren't on board with that idea.

According to them, the equipment they bought the year before was just fine.

So, in need of money, I started knocking on neighbor’s doors, offering to cut their grass for $10.

Two weeks later I had enough money to buy all the hockey equipment I wanted, without having to beg my parents.

And after that little taste of money and freedom, I wanted to keep it going.

So in the fall I raked leaves. And in the winter I shoveled snow.

Just like that I had my own little business. And as far as 12 year olds go, with zero business knowledge, I was making more money than I knew what to do with.

My point is, there’s nothing magical about coming up with profitable business ideas.

For some reason we make it way harder than it needs to be.

We think we have to come up with some billion dollar idea.

Or do something no one has ever thought of before.

But that’s not how most businesses work. Most businesses make money solving boring problems for their customers.

And when you understand that, you can generate infinite business ideas almost instantly. Here's an easy way to get started.

Start By Choosing Your Market

Most entrepreneurs get this wrong from the start.

They put all their focus into coming up with a product or service first, then they try to figure out who to sell it to and how.

That’s a backwards way to approach it.

You wouldn't buy an expensive gift then start thinking about who you want to give it to. So why would you build a product then try to figure out who's going to buy it?

When starting a business, don’t start with your offer, start with the market.

Why market first?

Because businesses serve people. And if you don’t define who you’re serving, how do you know how to help them?

And more importantly, how do you know how to market and sell to them? 

  • Patagonia knows who their market is. They make products for earth-conscious people who love the outdoors.

  • Apple knows who their market is. People who love innovative technology with sleek and elegant design.

  • And Rolex knows who their market is. They cater to high net worth people who like showing off their wealth with expensive jewelry.

Those companies know exactly who their market is.

So they know exactly what products to create and exactly how to market them.

That’s what happens when you start your business thinking about your market first. It makes offer creation and marketing so much easier.

So don’t think about your offer just yet. First, pick your market.

Who do you want to serve?

There are infinite markets out there. And no right or wrong answers. It just comes down to figuring out what specific group of people you want to serve.

What Problems Do They Have?

Now that you know the group of people you want to serve, you can start coming up with ways to help them.

The best way to come up with solutions is to take some time to really get to know the problems they’re facing first. 

Why do problems matter?

Because people don’t care about your product or service (solution), they only care about the problems they’re facing.

They care that they can’t lose weight.

They care that their golf game isn’t improving.

And they care that they’ve been trying for months to launch a website for their business but can’t figure it out.

So, as a marketer, you better care about their problems too.

Because every pain, struggle, and frustration your market has is an opportunity for you to serve them.

It’s a chance for you to build a product or service that helps them overcome those problems.

What does your market struggle with?

What’s keeping them from getting what they want?

Why can’t they lose those last few pounds?

Why can’t they break 80 on the golf course?

Why haven’t they launched their website yet?

Do your research and get to know your market inside and out.

Make a list of all their pains, struggles, and frustrations.

That list will form the foundation of your business.

How Can You Solve Those Problems?

Now we can finally get to the good stuff. Once you know who you want to serve and what problems they’re struggling with, it’s time to start coming up with solutions to those problems.

At the end of the day, people just want their problems solved. And if you have a product or service that solves a specific and urgent problem for them, they’ll pay you for it.

That’s all business is. Solving problems at a profit

So how can you solve your markets problems?

For middle-aged moms struggling to lose weight, you could do personal training. Or start a bootcamp class. Or start an online group coaching program.

For golfers struggling to break 80, you could do online golf lessons. Or start a membership site with videos of all your drills and practice tips. Or create a course on how to fix your driver swing.

There are endless ways to solve your customer's problems.

And once you know who you're serving and all the problems they face, it's easy to come up with solutions. You just have to pick ones you can easily market and deliver profitably.

What’s Your Next Business Idea?

It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering idea.

  • Start with a group of people you want to serve.

  • Figure out all the problems they’re struggling with.

  • Then come up with ways you can solve those problems at a profit.

That’s your next business. Now get started building it.


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