Already a member of our community? Sign in

How To Come Up With Innovative Business Ideas

Creating amazing business ideas can be difficult as it needs a mix of research, creativity, and tactical thinking. Here are some things to help you come up with innovative business ideas.

How To Come Up With Innovative Business Ideas

Entrepreneurship is the search for opportunities that stretch beyond present controlled resources. However, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you’ll know how difficult it is to come up with effective, innovative business ideas. 

This raises the question, what are innovative business ideas? 

In short, an innovative business idea is a business concept which is both original and useful. The idea needs to be strong enough to add value to the business and consumer. 

According to McKinsey, in a business context, innovation is the ability to come up with, develop, deliver, and scale new products, services, business models, and processes for customers. Successful innovation increases both growth and value. 

To be valuable to a business, the idea needs to either form a new market, make an existing product or service more appealing, or be able to make a profit. 

To be valuable to a consumer, the business needs to create a solution to an existing problem. This must considerably improve their lives, meeting their demand in a significant way. 

The terms creativity and innovation are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Creative ideas don’t always create achievable solutions to problems. Innovative ideas can only be innovative if they are useful. 

Devising innovative business ideas can be hard, but people come up with amazing ideas every day. With the right mindset, you can follow in their footsteps and achieve success. 

You’ll find out how to come up with innovative business ideas and increase your creativity from this post. 

1. Use Your Creative Muscle

Healthline states that even though the brain isn’t a muscle, you still need to exercise it to keep it working. Similarly, your brain’s hypothetical creative muscle gets stronger every time you use it. 

Practising coming up with ideas, regardless of how small or insignificant they seem, can help you explore your creativity and come up with unique business ideas. 

For instance, think about ten courses you could have for lunch tomorrow, ten colours you could mix in a paint palette, or ten songs which make you feel good. The first five are generally easy to imagine, but the rest are more difficult, which exercises your creative muscle. 

The ideas you come up with aren’t important here, but using your imagination is. Practice this game every day and notice how your creativity improves. Before long, coming up with ten new business ideas or ten new products will be easy. 

Keep in mind that imagining good business ideas comes with conceiving bad ideas as well. No matter how awful these seem, note these down alongside your better ones. Write down the idea and which audience it serves. The idea might be bad, but you may turn it into a practical solution one day. 

Your brain’s creative muscle gets stronger every time you use it. Imagining ideas, regardless of how small they seem, can help you come up with unique business ideas. 

2. Consider People’s Pain Points

According to Gartner, pain points are particular problems which current or prospective customers in the marketplace are experiencing, or may face during their journey. Innovative business ideas find solutions to problems, or pain points, in a novel, useful way.

People have endless irks that they love to talk about, so ask around to find any common pain points that you could solve. Look for social media groups around your interests or business industry, then search for common issues that people have within these groups. 

You can also ask your colleagues, family members, and friends about issues they often frequent, or what they think their biggest problems are. Phrases like, ‘If you had a magic wand…’ or ‘If you had three wishes…’ can help people come up with their answers

Remember to consider problems that you have faced as well. Think about how you’ve solved problems in the past. Was your solution successful, and could a large audience find it useful? 

If your solutions seem practical and effective, others may find your solution useful too.

Innovative business ideas find solutions to problems, or pain points, in a novel, useful way.

3. Use Your Own Experience

Saras D. Sarasvathy, a professor at Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, claims that there are two types of entrepreneurial thinking: causal thinking and effectual thinking. Sarasvathy’s research finds that the most creative entrepreneurs practice effectual thinking more than causal. 

Effectual thinking is different from causal thinking, which involves tracking the cause-and-effect pattern when creating business solutions. Causal thinking involves considering the issue and choosing the solution, irrespective of who the person is to address the problem.

Effectual thinking involves considering your current situation and figuring out what you are uniquely capable of doing. 

In the case of coming up with innovative business ideas, an entrepreneur practising effectual thinking may start with who they are, what they understand, and whom they know. 

They then think about prospects related to these factors, but instead of focusing on a single goal, they imagine several possibilities. This gives them the capacity to come up with a potentially fresh, novel, and useful solution - also known as an innovative business idea. 

If you’re wondering how to come up with innovative business ideas, practising effectual thinking can help. Use your experience in your line of work to determine possible improvements or novel approaches. 

Look at your present resources and figure out what you alone can do well. These resources include your skillset, network, qualifications, and unique strengths. You can find valuable ideas within all of these elements. Your concepts might feel obvious to you, but remember that others might find these revolutionary. 

Remember that you don’t need to come up with a completely new idea, you could add to an existing service and make it more accessible, easier to use, or more appealing to a target audience. 

This leads us on nicely to the next point…

If you’re wondering how to come up with innovative business ideas, practising effectual thinking can help. Use your experience in your line of work to determine novel approaches. 

4. Innovate A Current Product or Service

Look at business ideas from other companies and think about whether you could improve them. Consider all the possibilities that you could do with these products or services, then work out how you could make them your own. 

Remember that you don’t want to copy another person’s idea. Plagiarism can lead to legal issues and can damage your credibility as an entrepreneur. 

Always do your research to work out what consumers think about a current service or product, then think about what you could do to solve any issues with it. Check that no one else has come up with or trademarked the same idea. 

Along the same lines, are there any products that could be used for another purpose? A good example is Kotex sanitary towels. 

In World War 1, Kimberly-Clark created surgical dressing made out of a new fabric called Cellucotton. Red Cross nurses working on the battlefield realised that this absorbent material was also useful during menstruation. Two years after the war ended, following a period of market testing and experimentation, Kotex’s sanitary napkins were finally sold to the public

This innovative repurposing of an existing product created a new market and helped solve an important issue concerning women. In the same way, look at products or technology that is used today, then consider if there is a unique application that hasn’t been widely recognised yet. 

Could a common household gadget be used in a different industry, serve a new demographic, or be used in an eco-friendly way?

Reimagining existing products and their potential can help you come up with innovative business ideas that stand out in a competitive market. 

Consider all the possibilities that you could do with current products or services, then imagine how you could make them your own. 

5. Test and Develop Your Idea

According to Business News Daily, testing and developing your business idea is integral to its success. If you don’t carry out this stage, your money, time, energy, and various resources are at risk, as your idea might not be successful on the first go. 

This stage is also vital when concerning innovative business ideas. Your business idea might be creative, but as mentioned above, an innovative idea can only be classed as innovative if it is unique and useful enough to drive growth. 

Companies that skip this phase are keen to get their idea on the market. They carry out their journey without a viable plan, failing to create a business model built on research or market testing. 

Businesses that do this won’t be able to work out who their target customers are, which means they won’t understand who will benefit from their business idea. Moving forward without this awareness means your marketing efforts may fail, leaving your business idea in the dust. 

If you don’t test or develop your idea, you put your money, time, and resources at risk, as your idea might not be successful on the first go. 

There we go! We hope this post helped answer how to come up with innovative business ideas, as well as what innovative business ideas are. 

We are Tramshed Tech: a collaborative community where startups scale up. Tramshed Tech is the best place to start and grow your business because we understand the challenges entrepreneurs face. 

We build beautiful workspaces with business support and skills programmes to help businesses thrive. Find more about our spaces here, or head to our blog page for more articles on growing your business.

Written by Rosh for Tramshed Tech.


6 min read

How To Be A Strong Female Leader

No matter what industry you’re working in, strong female leadership is essential for positive business outcomes. Effective female leaders have partic…
5 min read

5 Reasons Why Businesses In Swansea Will Thrive

Swansea is an increasingly growing city that has lots to offer! You might know Swansea for its beautiful beach views, but this city is experiencing l…
3 min read

Skills for Swansea: Upskilling for the Future

As businesses and modern technology keep evolving, the demand for upskilling has never been more pressing. Initiatives like Skills for Swansea are st…