What is the “golden rule” for generating good business ideas? Identify a need and a way to fulfill it. Hence, the key question you need to ask yourself is “is there something that some people need (although they might not know it yet) to make their lives easier / happier?” The world is full of unaddressed needs; your task is to identify them and think about possible solutions. There is no single way to get going: you can start from your own needs, pay more attention at what you see or your friends say, browse the internet, or join a structured brainstorming session.

  1. Start from yourself

Instead of thinking about what other people might need, the easiest way is to start from your personal needs. If there is something you miss, other people probably miss it too. If something bugs you and you find a way to fix it, your solution is likely to make not only yourself, but also other people happier. If you have three children and you wish you had two hours break to relax in a beauty centre, think about a step-in playgroup that is open every day (no reservation needed), or a beauty salon with a playroom and a babysitter always available.

On the other hand, a good business idea might not be the right business idea for you. The right business idea for you is something that would make you happy not just by using it, but also by realising it. If you can easily identify business ideas, but feel that none is “right for you”, then start from your passions and desires. What makes you happy? Make a list and read tip n. 2.


  1. Look at things from a different perspective

For each item on your passions’ list, you now need to experience it as much as you can. You wrote “hiking”? Then go hiking, not one, but three, five, ten times. While you are hiking, do something different from what you usually do. You need to change perspective. Instead of just looking around, set your mind on the “search for opportunities” mode. Do you see a group of Japanese tourists hiking with city shoes? Think about a shoe rental place in the mountain village where you took off. You are tired after 5 hours walk, but there is no warm place to sit down and drink a tea? Think about creating it. At the end of the day, write down all ideas you had while experiencing your passions and ask yourself “is this something that people would actually need?” and “would I be happy doing this”? If you answer yes to both questions, you have your first “right for you” business idea.


  1. Listen to others

Paying attention at what other people say can unveil important business opportunities. Your friend might have an idea but not know how to implement it; your sister could tell you about her problem and you may come up with a solution. Once again, if you keep your antenna up and your mind in “search for opportunities mode” at all times, you are much more likely to recognize good ideas when you stumble across them. When you find a potentially good idea, don’t forget to ask yourself the second key question: “would I be happy doing this”?


  1. Look for ways to boost your creativity

If you find it hard to identify a need with a business potential, or the possible solutions to a problem you have detected, this may be due to low levels of imagination or inspiration. We can all be inventive, but sometimes our creative potential is badly affected by the characteristic and foreseeable patterns of our life: we always hang out with the same people, talk about the same things, read the same kind of books, and so on.  Then you may want to schedule “creativity boosting” moments in your daily routine. You can find your own way: start reading a book just because it has a curious title, walk around your city and look at people, surf the internet randomly, read what your friends’ friends have to say on the socials, go listen to conferences on new topics that attract you. Whatever you decide to do, this should be a regular entry in your weekly agenda. Even one hour per week during weekends may work. Don’t forget to write down all ideas that your mind generates during these moments. One of them could be the right one.


  1. Brainstorm with others

If you are lucky enough to get to know other people who, like you, are eager to generate business ideas, brainstorming is something you should definitely try. Even better if these other people share your own passions and interests. Brainstorming has the potential to generate a significant number of business ideas, including many “out of the box”, creative ones. In order to bring the desired results, brainstorming requires clear rules and methods, which should be agreed upon before the brainstorming session starts.  Brainstorming with others has the important co-benefit that you are likely to meet one or more people, who may become your business partners.


Are you a woman living in Switzerland and interested in brainstorming business ideas with like-minded women? If yes, complete your profile! The next brainstorming event is coming soon.


Many people think, at least once in their life, they could start a business. Very few actually do it. There are many reasons why this happens, but the most important one is FEAR. People fear they cannot come up with a successful idea, or they are afraid of taking risks, or they are unsure about setting up a business with no experience, etc. We give you five reasons why we believe you should not be afraid. The following is inspired by the book Start Your Own Business, Fifth Edition“, published by Entrepreneur Press.

 1. Starting a new business doesn’t mean having a brilliant idea that nobody has had before

Do you think you cannot start a business because you have no brilliant ideas? Don’t worry. Most successful businesses are not innovative, but simply respond to a need. If there are 50 coiffures in your city, but none in your quartier, opening a coiffure shop in front of your house is likely to be a successful business.

 2. Starting a business is not rocket science

If you have no experience and you don’t know what you need to do to start your business, just write down a list with what you think it’s relevant. Then consider one row at a time and look for information. You can surf in internet, call offices, use the socials to ask people who might know the answer, or may put you in contact with the right people… Starting a business is a common sense process, it is just a matter of finding information and acting accordingly.

 3. People who try to dissuade you are not necessarily right

When you think you have a good business idea, talking to your friends and relatives about it is a good way of finding out whether it may work or how you may improve it. However, many people may look sceptic or may even try to dissuade you: your mom may say it’s too risky, your best friend may tell you she would never use the service you are proposing, etc. Before feeling discouraged, ask yourself if this person might love you too much to let you take any risks, envy your courage, or be completely different from the typical client that your business will address.

 4. If something doesn’t go according to your plans, it does not mean you will fail

If you are a conscious entrepreneur, you will analyse all aspects of your business and evaluate the risks (e.g. through a business plan) before taking off. Yet, it would be very surprising if everything happened exactly the way you imagined it. You will most likely find obstacles on your way and realize that you can’t stick to your plans. However, your plans are just… plans. Even for big obstacles, you can find a way around. Do you want to build original sport equipment, but banks do not give you a loan? Build 2 pieces at a time, sell them and reinvest the capital! It may take longer, but it can work!

 5. And even if you fail, it is not the end of the world

Closing a business after a few months is not a catastrophe. First, you are not alone: in Switzerland, about 50% of new businesses close within 6 months. Second, unless you decide to use all the savings in your pension funds as seed investment for your business (please don’t!), everything you may lose is some time and some money. Just make sure in the planning phase that, if things don’t go the way to hope, you won’t lose too much money or too much time and go for it. Failures are great ways to make some experience about what works, what doesn’t and why. Capitalize on this precious information and start over again!


If you are a woman and live in Switzerland, there is one additional important reason why you should not be afraid of starting a new business: you can count on the help and the brilliant minds of many other women like you.

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