All businesses begin as ideas. So if you are genuinely inclined towards owning a business of your own, you must first be armed with a good business idea.
Business ideas can be creatively conceived and truly new products or services or they could consist of finding new markets or new uses for existing products and services.
Ideas may also consist of creative modifications of existing products or they may consist of new methods or processes. Let us briefly look at some sources of business ideas.
SOURCES OF BUSINESS IDEAS
Your prior work experience may be the source of your business idea. Such experience may stem from
good knowledge of the product, market, supplies customers, etc. For example, your knowledge of deficiencies of suppliers can help you to build a better supply organization, or your knowledge of customer complaints can help you to establish a business that can serve them better.
A business idea may also arise from your own felt need and you may proceed to establish a business based on that felt need. The need may be a problem or a deficiency which you have felt personally.
A hobby or a favorite time often can be a Source of a business idea. For example, some photographic businesses have emerged from the hobby of photography.
You may also get ideas from the potential customers of your identified product or service which you in the end offer. Such potential customers can articulate their needs and also indicate those areas where existing products are either inadequate or deficient.
Wholesalers and Distributor
wholesalers and distributors currently hand the type of product it intends to provide can be a rich source of ideas. You can contact them to seek their advice on the strength and weaknesses if they are currently handling and potential improvements on them or entirely new products or services desired by their customers
Trade Fairs, Shows, and Exhibitions
A lot of ideas may be derived from attending general trade fairs, trade shows, and trade exhibitions if you have not yet decided on the particular product line to handle.
On the other hand, if you are already decided on the particular product to handle the attending trade shows, and trade exhibitions organized by the specific industry can sharpen your ideas and focus.
Your potential competitors can also be a very rich source of ideas. While you may not be able to meet and discuss with them as I. the case of customers.
Wholesalers, and distributors for obvious reasons, you may, however, be able to study their products and see.
where you can offer improvements or better alternatives. You should, however, guard against infringing on patents.
Research institutions abound that conduct research and development studies in various fields.
Frequently, they come up with new products, processes, inventions, etc. that can be licensed to individuals or corporations that might be interested.
Examples of such institutions include the Federal Institute of Industrial
International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, and many others.
Malaysia, which is today world famous for the export of vegetable oil from which it earns billions of dollars annually, obtained her first oil palm seedlings from NIFOR.
Some universities are engaged in various researches in the physical sciences. You can approach them for patent rights over their inventions.
Useful ideas may also be gleaned from reading trade journals, especially of those industries that are of interest to you. A variety of trade journals exist that
cover such industries as steel, mining, petroleum agriculture, banking, education, information technology, etc.
Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers and magazines that carry general interest stories may also furnish useful business ideas.
Very useful business ideas may also emerge from a systematic study of business failures that could be turned around either with better financing or management or some other vital ingredients or factors.
Those were lacking and that must have been the causes of their failures.
Friends and Acquaintances
Ideas may also emanate from friends and acquaintances. Often at social and business occasions, informal discussions have led to excellent ideas that have later been developed into blossoming businesses, Family Members Very frequently, people have received excellent business ideas from their family members.
Published materials such as gazettes and periodicals by government agencies may contain useful ideas that may be the basis for starting new businesses.
You may also get ideas by contacting business and professional people that you know around your area.
Such people have vast experiences which they may be quite willing to place at your disposal.
These are also veritable sources of useful ideas By participating in them, you have the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with knowledgeable people in the particular field of interest.
Libraries are repositories for all types of knowledge Visiting and making very good use of a good library may furnish you with plenty of useful business ideas.
Ideas may also be received from various trading associations, especially those concerning the specific area of interest.
Some of such trade association
include the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the
Nigerian Association of Small-scale Industrialists (NASSI), among many others.
This is the global information highway, as it is sometimes called, and it is the latest source of very rich information. Very useful business ideas and business opportunities can be gleaned from the Internet.
The sources of business ideas discussed above are by no means exhaustive. They are only intended to serve as a guide to some of the several areas where you may find some useful ideas.