The start of every great company is an idea. Apple’s first computer was created because Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak wanted to become independent of the big data center at their university, Nike emerged because its founder Phil Knight wasn’t satisfied with the running shoes on the market and Tesla wants to revolutionize mobility. But how did they get to those ideas? And more importantly – how can YOU develop your own?
There is not one way to develop a successful business idea, there are many different approaches. However, we today want to present a particular successful one: The 3 Questions Approach. It divides the process of idea creation into three seemingly simple steps to ask yourself in order to generate a promising business idea.
Start by observing your daily environment and make notes about problems you notice. What annoys you? Which things seem to be more difficult then they have to? What could be improved? It is likely that these problems are also encountered by others – your potential target group. After having identified some potential problems, try to narrow them down to get to their root cause. Is the problem you encountered the actual cause or is it just a consequence of an even bigger problem? Once you have identified the root problem, do some market research to see if others have already tried to solve it. This can either show you that the problem is already solved and you need to look for somethingelse, or give you some inspiration for the next steps.
Next, ask yourself how you can solve the problem you have identified. Try to be as detailed and precise as possible. How does your solution look like and which parts of it tackle which part of the problem. This step will mainly determine the service or product your company will sell and thus form the heart of your business.
In the last step think about everything you need to create the solution. Do you need to produce something? Where do you do so? How do you finance your business? What should the organisation of your business look like? Envision your business in detail and think about every part of it, not only the ones you like or that come natural to you. This includes thinking about business registration or taxes as well as they will lay the foundation on which your future business can develop and flourish.
If you want to dig deeper into this topic and learn on how to adjust the questions to use them during every stage of your business we recommend you the following article published in the Harvard Business Review: The Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer (hbr.org).
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