Coming up with creative business ideas is easier said than done. Sure, you can always pretty easily come up with all kinds of bogus business ideas, like a Shai-Hulud Wrangler. But when it's a serious business, your ideas run low.
You can always look at what other people have done, but blatant copying is hardly a viable option. Whatever those others have done probably won't work for you anyway.
Interviewing people, to find problems you might be able to solve might work in theory. However, it is kind of a broad approach, unless you already have some sort of a basic idea to base your interviews on. Without some sort of framing you will come out with a mixed bunch of problems. Besides, people don't usually know what they need or want, until they have been presented with some options.
So, what to do when you are looking for your own creative business idea? First of all, I must warn you. It may take a few tries to get there, and it's messy. You will take wrong turns and make many mistakes before arriving to your best business idea.
The simplest way to craft your own creative business ideas is to look at yourself.
No, not in the mirror you silly you. Or maybe. A mirror could work. Yeah, do that. Go ahead and look yourself in the mirror. And while you're at it, tell yourself that you are gorgeous. When you're done marvelling on yourself, let's get into the real business.
What I actually meant by looking at yourself, is looking at your problems, accomplishments, and those times you felt you were doing something meaningful.
First of all, is there something you feel is painful, annoying, difficult or somehow else needing solving in your life, work or business? Or was there some issue at a certain time of your life or in your business or job, that needed a solution? Write those things down.
Next, think about the things you do frequently that could be easier, more efficient, faster, less expensive, more enjoyable or otherwise better. Write them down.
Is there something you are really passioned about? What have you liked to do previously? What makes you enthusiastic? What makes you feel purposeful, what gives meaning to your life? What sort of things you spend lot of time doing because you just enjoy it so much? You know what to do. Write those things down.
Now dig into your strengths. What sort of things you have accomplished so far, what are you really good at? Basically, think about your skills and choose the strongest ones. Write them down.
See through your probably big and messy list here. Are there common themes? Can you combine things you wrote down into some sort of a service or product?
Not all of those things are simply profitable business ideas, but there must be something there that makes you feel enthusiastic and would help others.
When you have some sort of a basic business idea or theme, I recommend content creation. Write blog posts around the subject. Create videos where you discuss about that theme or teach people something about it. Create social media content of it.
Content creation helps you to see if you are really into this thing, if you really have the required know-how, and even if it's a viable business idea.
If you notice that you are running low on content to create, it could be the sign on you not being as enthusiastic about it as you thought or that you don't really yet have the skills and knowledge you need. On the latter case, content creation can help you to research and learn the subject matter, which then gives you the needed know-how.
To find out if your subject is a viable business idea by content creation, you can set up a (partial) sales funnel. You don't need to have a set product or service yet, just set up a way to collect leads.
An email list is one way to do this. If lots of people join your email list, then you know you are going somewhere with this thing. It doesn't mean you are set for success, or even that those people will actually buy your products or services. But it tells you if there's even any interest in your business idea.
While trying to solve other people's problems is a nice idea, it's hard to really know which problems others have and which of those problems you really can solve. Looking into your own problems, passions and likes, strengths and skills, gives you better and more concrete ideas for your creative business.
Keep in mind that business creation, and trying to actually make a living with it is lots of trial and error. You may not find your best creative business idea at the first or the second try, and you may need to reset the whole thing again and again.
If you keep trying, there's a bigger chance to succeed than if you don't try at all. Kind of obvious, don't you think? Test and adjust, until it hits you big time.
Don't be afraid of looking into your own problems, problems, passions and likes, strengths and skills. You may surprise yourself.
I'm Mervi Eskelinen
I'm an artist, nerd and creative business wizard, dedicated to help you build the business of your dreams, market your creativity, and find a meaningful way to support your lifestyle.