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.  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. I have led many brainstorming sessions in these last three years and I can assure you that no one of the participants has ever gone back home without a big smile on her face!


Are you a woman living in Switzerland and interested in brainstorming business ideas with like-minded women? If yes, check out our upcoming events!

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