Before we actually start generating ideas, there is one more exercise you should carry out: Idea Sparking.
It is a way of opening your mind to new thoughts through looking at what others are doing to see if it can help stimulate your thoughts. It could happen by creating brand new ideas, thinking of variations on a theme (eg how might this work in your city?) or simply giving you another perspective on something that you have been mulling over for sometime.
Note: there is a formal assignment you will conduct later in this week where you will generate ideas. This exercise is simply to help you open your mind a little before you undertake that exercise, so you are not too constrained by your existing ideas for a business.
There is no right way or wrong way to go about this, but we suggest:
- Setting a timer for as long as you want, but 2 hours is a reasonable period for this
- Having a large sheet of paper and keeping track of things that interest you as you come across them – maybe in the form of a mind-map
- Digital hint: use a tool like RealTime Board (www.realtimeboard.com)
- Keep track of links too by recording them next to your areas of interest
- Digital hint: you can add links to Realtime Board or use a link capture and organising tool like Instapaper (www.instapaper.com) or Google Keep
Below are some links that will help you sift through new ideas and lead you to new spaces. Have fun!!!!
- The Entrepreneur magazine’s Business Idea Center
- 101 best side business ideas to start while working full time
- Small Business Trend’s 50 low tech businesses you can start
- 63 business ideas you can start for under $10,000
Another source of ideas is new concepts that are currently being launched. I am not saying that you should copy them, but they might trigger something for you. Great sources are crowdfunding and new product idea sites. Some examples are: