If you want to create a software product that improves people’s lives and changes the world, you may feel stuck about how to come up with a good idea–then actually turn that idea into a real company. However, there are some dependable steps you can follow that will help go from having a great idea to having a thriving, functioning company. Check out this guide to help give you business inspiration and figure out what niche you can fill to turn your business software dream into a reality.
Consider Your Purpose
Think about the purpose of your business. Ask yourself “Why do I/we exist?” and write down succinctly what your very basic purpose is. This question should get at the ‘why’ the world should care about your organization, product or service, and what will draw people to investigate your product further and ultimately make a purchase from you.
Determine What You Can Fix
A purpose works best in combination with a big scale problem. So, consider what’s broken in the market you specialize in. Where’s value being destroyed? Are there areas that just aren’t working, or are there problems people regularly complain about? If there’s an area in your field that needs fixing, pinpoint it, and think about what you can create that will solve that problem once and forever. Looking for a void to fill or a challenge to help people overcome is a great way to figure out what opportunities exist in your realm.
Think About Old Unchallenged Rules
Every industry has old rules that are simply followed because they always have been. However, often, these rules no longer make sense or serve anyone. If you can figure out what the old rules are in your market, you can also figure out how to challenge them. Think about ways that you can improve upon how things have always been done. Consider how things would shift overall if you decided to redefine them. What could this look like if you would start with a clean sheet of paper? What if you’d approach it from the opposite angle? If you can pinpoint rules in your industry that are old-fashioned or just not working anymore, you could create a software product or service that completely revolutionizes the industry and transform the way things function for a wide range of people.
State Your Goals – Your North Star
Your goals–what you want to change or fix for a customer and how that will lead you to success–are like the north star. They should guide you toward coming up with a business software idea. Consider what your top goals and ambitions are for the next three years, and get specific about what you want to achieve. Look at these goals, then figure out how each of them could connect you to customers, or why people not directly connected to you would care about any of the things you listed. When you can determine how your goals link you to the public, you may be able figure out a way to create a company or service that bridges that gap.
Figure Out How to Change the Way People Do Their Jobs
Many business software products exist to help people do their jobs in an easier and more effective way. But creating a new product that allows them to that job just bit better, cheaper or faster won’t cut it. Remember, people will only switch if the impact you create is exponentially better to what they have today. So keep the outcome in focus, not the process. People want to sell more, not just sell more efficient. They want a competitive advantage, not just a job done. So contemplate a product you could create that would transform the way that people do their jobs.
Ultimately, if you want to start or re-energize an existing business software company, you need to have a solution that’s refreshing, transformative and geared around a clear purpose. To get at ideas for a product that people will want (and that will sell), consider the unique roles your product can fill or needs it can serve. Start with what’s truly broken – the bigger the problem that creates, the bigger your opportunity. Only when you come up with a solution that transforms the way things are done, you got a recipe for long-term success.