If you think it is impossible to build a business with no ideas, think again! Too many businesses which start with great ideas fail because no one wants to pay for what they are selling.
The idea-first approach often lacks validation. You can use an audience-first approach and develop ideas that align with your audience.
When you have a specific audience in mind whose problem you want to solve, the guesswork ends, and you serve them with the best.
So, if your mind is stuck on “I want to start a business but have no ideas,” read this article till the end as we talk about the best resources and steps to help you build a sustainable business from scratch.
Make sure you grab your pen and notebook, so you have something concrete to build as you reach the end of this guide.
Before you move on to the resources, take a brief look at the audience-centric process:
- Audience Discovery: Look for the people you want to serve and empower.
- Audience Exploration: Observe where your future audience hangs out.
- Problem Discovery: Ask yourself, “which critical problem does your target audience have that you can solve?”
- Audience-Building: Learn how you can leverage social media to build your audience.
Below are 7 tools and resources where audience discovery, audience exploration, and problem discovery happen.
1. Trends by The Hustle
Trends by The Hustle is a paid subscription service that attempts to assist you in building a prosperous business. Members have access to a private entrepreneurial community as well as a variety of research studies.
Use the platform to learn about latest trends (backed by data signals), business opportunities, and ofcourse, ideas.
2. Exploding Topics
Exploding Topics finds emerging markets, goods, and categories... long periods of time before they take off or become trends. It does so by analyzing millions of searches, mentions, and conversations across the internet.
Reddit is a community network where users may explore their passions, hobbies, and interests. Regardless of what you are interested in, there is a community.
Find active, engaged subreddits. Join them. Embed yourself in the community, participate in the discussions, observe the conversations and you will surely start collecting pain points, niche ideas to work upon.
4. Product Hunt
This online community platform, Product Hunt was launched in 2013 for consumers to find the newest and best technology on the site. The website is also used by many founders and entrepreneurs to launch their latest products, and other popular products are sought out by community members.
5. Indie Hackers
An online group, Indie Hackers, supports independent business owners in continuing to make money. It is a forum for successful side hustle owners and founders of profitable enterprises to tell their stories.
Being on Indie Hackers & Product Hunt for inspiration is a no brainer at all. There are enough discussions going on, new products being launched and getting real-time, genuine feedback everyday. A keen eye should pick enough ideas to work on from these 2 communities.
Rolimon is a community-driven resource that provides accurate prices, information, and updates for Roblox restricted items, as well as valuable trade advice.
Be where the young folks are. Teens flock Rolimon's Roblox fan site. Be a curious fly on the wall and identify business opportunities by uncovering undermet and unmet needs of teens from their discussions firsthand.
Kahoot is a platform for online learning using games. It enables educators, businesses, and parents to put up fun web-based learning for others. This can include your parents, players, and coaches.
Did you know Kahoot is one of the most visited sites? Right up there with the likes of Google, Facebook, Instagram! Yes, that's true. With so many kids and parents using Kahoot's products, I'm sure anyone can come out with a bunch of ideas by just observing trending games & content in there.
Things to Consider When You Want to Start a Business but Have No Ideas
To build something from scratch, you need to consider a few things that will help you come up with the best business ideas.
If you haven’t already, now get ready with your pen and notebook and start answering the below-mentioned questions to figure out your way!
1. What Are Some Of The Problems That You Have Personally Experienced?
If you want to build a successful business, you need to solve problems. No business can sustain itself without offering solutions to a specific set of people who are in trouble.
There are so many problems existing in the world, and it might confuse you as to where to start. So why not start with your own issues? When you have something (your own problem) to focus on, you’d not just build the best possible solution for your concern but also serve a community of people facing similar problems in the best possible way.
Now, think of the problems you are facing right now or have faced in the past.
It can be:
- Absence of a mentor
- Lack of a community
- Struggling to scale revenue
- Lack of funds to build a product
It can also be something as simple as a lack of a personal trainer to help you lose weight sustainably – Literally anything you find difficult dealing with.
Just note down your current problems, why you are struggling with them, and how they impact your life/goals.
Here’s a real example of how an idea to build GrowthMentor was born.
2. Are There Other People Whom You Deeply Care About, That Are Dealing With The Same Problems?
When you face a problem and want a solution badly, you feel motivated enough to work towards it. But guess what? This sense of motivation lasts even longer when you find your tribe (or those facing similar issues). Having someone like you alongside keeps you moving in the long run.
Moreover, your chances of creating a product that people will pay for, increase since you are aware that there are actual people suffering from an issue. You can quickly determine if these people are already investing money to address it. That makes you aware of the potential market size.
“But, where do I find those like-minded people struggling with same problems?”
You can find your tribe in any of these 7 communities/trends we listed above.
Be a part of these communities, observe, participate and note these learnings to transform them into products your customers need and love.
Pro tip: You can get started with a personal brand on social media and build a community of people who trust you. Once you have the audience in mind, your entrepreneurial journey becomes much more manageable. You can learn about them closely before introducing a product-led solution.
3. What Are You Passionate About?
Next, know what you are passionate about. Ask yourself what it is that you deeply care about. Is that something you loved doing as a kid and always wanted to build a career out of?
If so, note it down in the order of your preference.
But if you feel blank, consume content. Read entrepreneurial books and blogs, watch YouTube channels, and tune into podcasts – but make sure you consume content strategically and not mindlessly.
It should be less volume, high-quality content that gives you some ideas and insights instead of making you feel lost.
Limit how much you consume in terms of the number of time spent, or it might go on and on forever.
4. Are You Struggling With Self-Doubt?
If you are struggling with self-doubts, you aren’t alone. Most people struggle with self-doubt, particularly when starting a business.
- “Will anyone buy from me?”
- “Will people consider my business to be stupid?”
- “Will I ever get wealthy?”
- “Will others be critical of my idea?”
- “If I start this business, would I eventually become homeless, naked, famished, and stuck?”
It is natural to come across such questions in your mind. But it often disappears after a while. You find it less challenging to deal with self-doubt when you are confident about your ideas. And how to develop that confidence? By sharing your ideas with others, get their point of view and acknowledgment. Once you go on and on with it, you’ll find a massive difference in your confidence level.
5. What Are Your Skills & Strengths?
Considering your interests and passion is essential to work towards something for the rest of your life, but NOT considering your skills and strengths is a big mistake many aspiring entrepreneurs make.
Think of what you are really good at. It can be content creation (writing, graphics, videos), marketing, analytics, coding, no-code development – or literally anything.
Again, list it down in the order of your expertise.
6. Where Do These Intersect? (Find the Niche)
Now that you have everything in place, find an intersection. You need to evaluate where these problems, skills, and interests align. You’d finally come across something you genuinely love, is your strength, and also has market demand.
And that’s what will potentially be the most profitable segment for your business.
The intersection of all the above is vital to get started with something you can sell and scale in the long run, i.e., something with good revenue potential.
And if you still have multiple niches, that’s not a problem. Move on to the next step, and it will help you finalize one to proceed with.
7. Do Customer Research
This is the stage where you’ll get the most clarity about your ideal target audience and build something for YOUR audience.
Do some customer research and focus on the problem you are trying to solve. Understand who exactly is the potential client. Next, talk to some of them, share your business ideas, and invite feedback.
Talk to potential customers, share your business idea and get their feedback. Ask questions, listen a lot and take notes. Carefully note the pattern of thoughts to evaluate some common aspects you need to work on.
Remember not to try to sell anything, as your focus should be on learning the ins and outs of your idea to make it a long-term success.
By now, you’d have your potential clients, niche, and genuine feedback/insights on your potential solution.
Go Build with These Ideas NOW!
You’ve done most of your job, and now is the final, most important part, i.e., implementation. With all the ideas and audience in mind, start building a solution that helps you validate your idea.
Create the smallest version of your product or an MVP using available resources. An MVP will help you test your product and validate it early & with limited resources. Doing so will give you practical business experience, feedback, and insights.
The same will also help you reject ideas that might not be profitable in the long run and move on quickly to the next ideas that might be worth building upon.
Remember that most entrepreneurs build multiple businesses, out of which one succeeds. And the rest? They don’t fail; they give you invaluable lessons to build that ultimate one. So, don’t wait to entirely plan that one perfect business. Instead, take your first step now without being afraid to fail, learn from it, and take the next best step.
Finally, we hope this article gave you a roadmap and got you rid of your primary concern, “I want to start a business but have no ideas.”