How to Come Up With a Winning Business Idea

Chris Smith
3 min readJun 2


Don’t underestimate how important it is to have the right idea.

Neon sign saying ‘Do something great’.
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

So, you want to be your own boss. You’re thinking of starting a side hustle or small business. How can you come up with a good business idea?

Well, here are a few suggestions:

Don’t do something just because you ‘like’ it

I like drawing cartoons but would not dream of starting a cartooning business. For me, it is just a fun way to de-stress.

The fastest way to ruin a hobby is to try to turn it into a business. and make it your life.

Conversely, if you pick something you don’t necessarily like, you can still get a lot of satisfaction out of running a business based on it.

Start with what you know

If you know an industry inside out and back to front, you are much better placed to spot opportunities than someone who is totally new to the business.

You have a better chance of succeeding if you know the industry or the sector.

Look around you and do your research

When you are looking for a winning business idea, keep your eyes open. read widely, listen to your current customers, and do your research.

The more information you absorb the better your chances of thinking up a winning idea.

Be wary if there is no competition

If during your research, you discover a potential business idea but there is no competition, don’t jump to the wrong conclusion.

Sure, you may have thought of something that no one else has thought of before.

Or, other people may have thought of it already but ruled it out for very good reasons.

A winning business idea doesn’t have to be your own

If someone else has already had the same idea as you, don’t despair.

It’s OK to borrow their idea and execute it more effectively than them. Or more innovatively.

A lot of success in business is about execution rather than just having a great idea.

Don’t jump on the ‘me too’ bandwagon

If everyone else is following a trend in business, don’t just do the same as them. Try to do something different.

Or better still, try to spot trends before they become trends and get in there first. Sign up for the newsletter from Springwise a global innovation intelligence platform, for example.

Take advantage of periods of change

The upheaval caused by the Covid 19 epidemic was an opportunity for many people to start businesses.

People’s lives and work patterns changed. New opportunities were created. A lot of people started side hustles and small businesses.

A friend of mine gave up a career as a car salesman and began selling games and puzzles online. Another began a side hustle selling compost to gardeners. They may not have done it had their lives not been disrupted by a period of great change.

And finally

Remember that generating a winning business idea is only one piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

Without good timing and great execution, the best business idea will only be that — a business idea — and not a successful business.

Thank you for reading my article. If you enjoyed it, feel free to give me a clap or two. Or tell me in the comments what you thought about it.

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Chris Smith

Freelance marketer and writer of various things for clients.

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