I will have a successful business

Find a business idea: tips, examples, suggestions

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The phases of a business idea

Start your own business, be your own boss, start a company and lead it to success. This sounds very tempting to many, but it takes a good business idea. Some people dream of a really big hit, as famous examples from Silicon Valley have shown. Whether it's a small start-up as a freelancer or a modern startup with international potential: Without a suitable idea, neither will nor work. Each business idea goes through different phases, each of which can decide how successful the venture will ultimately be.

1. Recognize the business idea

What are the trends? Which niches? Which products or services will or could be in demand in the future?

2. Develop business idea

To have a plan. Write a business plan. Bring fellow campaigners on board. Review and evaluate the idea - and in the worst case, discard it again.

3. Protect business idea

Keeping secrets so as not to attract copycats. Check and register trademarks and patents. Make the idea as copy-safe as possible.

4. Present business idea

Convince investors, attract financiers. Win customers through clever marketing. Motivate employees. Present yourself as a winner internally and externally.

5. Implement business idea

Transferring the plan from theory to practice. Work hard. Stay on course. Do not give up.

6. Adapt business idea

Make corrections, plan changes. Staying successful through adjustments and moving with the times. The first point in particular is already an enormous hurdle for many. The business idea that you want to dedicate yourself to is simply missing. Everything already seems to exist and there is a lack of creativity to find your own business idea. Fortunately, there are various tips and ways to systematically get closer to a business idea.

Criteria for a successful business idea

Another challenge: Not every business idea promises success. Some are doomed to failure from the start because the most important criteria of a business idea are not met. If you try anyway, you will end up frustrated with one experience richer, but poorer with a lot of money at the same time. Therefore - before developing your own business idea - you should observe the following basic rules:


Developing a business idea and successfully driving it forward takes time, hard work and an enormous amount of perseverance. It is said that it takes at least three years for a new company like this to run smoothly. And by then you have usually already changed, rethought or turned your original business model five times. In other words, what you start with will not be what you end up with. It is all the more important that you identify with the core of your business idea right from the start and are enthusiastic about it - because it will stay. Those who are not passionate about it and are not passionate about it will sooner or later lose their motivation and give up.


So that the business idea can become a success and you can also earn money with it, you need customers for your product or service. Quite a few founders make the mistake of being so enthusiastic about your idea that you believe the world has been waiting for it. Your mistake: You think supply-oriented - and then you have to use a lot of marketing and advertising to convince potential customers that you (should) have a need. The other way around it is more likely to become a business: Develop - demand-oriented - a business model for which there is already great demand, because you can use it to solve an existing, real (!) Problem cheaply and easily. Incidentally, it doesn't have to be a high-tech company, it can also be a good lounge bar in your location because there are a lot of young people there, but not a good cocktail bar.


Unfortunately, the best and most progressive idea is of no use if you are unable to make it a reality. Visions are an important building block for progress, but your project must always remain realistic enough that it can also be implemented - at affordable costs. Otherwise they will just be mind games. After all: you don't have to be able to do everything by yourself. In fact, the most successful startups are team startups. Here the co-founders complement each other with the necessary qualifications, experience and strengths. A team with three founding partners has often proven itself.

This is how you can find your business idea

Unfortunately, business ideas usually do not fall from the sky and those who do nothing except hope that the right idea will fall at their feet, often waits in vain. Most business ideas are no coincidence, but the result of a strategic and structured process. You can use the following steps to find a business idea:

  • Start with painspotting
    In order to develop the most successful business idea possible, you need to recognize and understand market needs. Such analyzes can be commissioned, but can also be carried out (on a small scale) yourself, for example with so-called painspotting. The aim is to find out where customers are dissatisfied or where offer and expectations do not match. Important questions in painspotting are, for example:
    • Who is complaining about what?
    • Where could something be made simpler?
    • Which products and services are too expensive?
    • Which product / service always causes trouble?
    • Where do consumers want a change?
    • What annoys a large number of people?

    Where customers run into problems, there is often still potential for business ideas. Observe yourself or those around you in order to come across possible business ideas everywhere. Whenever you think "There should be something better / simpler / cheaper ..." you are perhaps very close to an idea.

  • Analyze current trends
    Numerous new business ideas can arise from new trends and developments. What is being discussed particularly intensely at the moment? Which products and offers are very popular - and which ones will they be in the near future? The more you keep up with the times and follow current events in your industry or your targeted area, the sooner you can see where an opportunity arises. This has nothing to do with fortune telling or pure gambling. Rather, it is about observing and understanding which trends will prevail and continue to grow. Of course, it can never be said with one hundred percent certainty that the trend will continue to rise sharply, but forecasts can certainly be made.
  • Solve a problem
    Now you have a precise picture of needs and trends, in which direction it is going - in the next step you have to develop suitable solutions. Anyone can complain about something that doesn't exist, but real businessmen manage to come up with a good solution. With this solution you will come up with a business idea. If you are unable to come up with a suitable solution on your own, for example because you lack certain skills, it can make sense to get together with others and develop a business idea together. In this way, individual weaknesses and deficits can be compensated.
  • Check different options
    There are many ways to come up with a business idea. The first option requires some ingenuity: you develop something new, really innovative. With a groundbreaking business idea, you can create an unrivaled product - but there are very few such innovations that really catch on. But you don't have to keep reinventing the wheel. You can also optimize, refine or further develop an existing product. The aim here can be, for example, to adapt a product much better to customer needs or to simplify handling.

The 4P strategy

Every business idea revolves around one point at the beginning: an element from everyday life, from private life or from the current job. Before you start looking for your business idea, you should think about which element you want to base it on: your passion, the audience, a problem or a product:

  • passion
    If you want to build the business around your hobby, your passion or a specific topic, you should subject it to a more detailed analysis: Do you have an idea that you want to present to the world, special knowledge or a specific topic that you share with the audience want? More importantly, do you already have products or companies that serve these areas?
  • audience
    Analyze your job environment, your family or your circle of friends - this way you will find people who can become potential customers. Will your business be geared towards providing a service, product, or information to these people? Today practically all interests can serve a certain audience, they just have to be shared.
  • problem
    Pay attention to needs, shortcomings and disadvantages that you face in everyday life. If there is a problem, a solution is needed - your business can build on that. The question is: can you make people's lives or work easier with this problem solver?
  • product
    Take a look around at work or in your private life: Are you missing a product or information that could appeal to a large number of customers? Or have you already developed a product that you could sell? You may be able to fill a niche with such a product, but be careful to stay realistic and not fall too much in love with your idea and thereby ignore weaknesses.

Tips for your business idea

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that is guaranteed to lead to a successful business idea. The following tips can still help you on the way to your business idea:

  • Be brave
    No business idea can be developed and implemented without courage. There is always a risk, it cannot be said in advance whether everything will go according to plan and there is always the possibility that your business idea will fail because the implementation does not work or there is no demand. However, you shouldn't let that slow you down. Courage is an important quality for every self-employed person.
  • Differentiate between criticism and nagging
    It should be clear to you from the outset that there will always be someone who has something to criticize about your business idea. Sometimes that's valid criticism to take to heart in order to make further improvements - but sometimes it's nothing more than destructive nagging. You can safely forget the latter. It is important that you recognize the difference in order to use the valuable feedback without suffering from the naggers.
  • Learn from others
    There is nothing wrong with looking at what others have done. You can potentially learn a lot for your own business idea. Plus, you don't have to make mistakes someone else made before you. In this way, some hurdles can be avoided without having to make the painful experience yourself.
  • Make use of digitization
    The digitization of the economy is not just a buzzword of modernity - it is actually a revolutionary force that has massively changed the economy and will continue to change it. Old business models have been replaced by digital and modern ones. And the process continues for a long time. So think digitally, future-oriented and calmly a little crazy, spin around what could still be "digitized". But please not as an end in itself, but because it will make it better, cheaper, more convenient.

Examples of business ideas

Finally, we have put together a few examples of business ideas that are intended to serve as inspiration and can show you that it doesn't have to be something completely new - good business ideas are much more often created by improving, simplifying and discounting what is already there.

Hotel Tonight

Hardly any other industry has been turned upside down in the last ten years as the globetrotter industry. Travel agencies have largely disappeared from the cityscape. For this purpose, new travel palaces were set up on the Internet, meta-search engines for hotels, flights, long-distance buses, package tours or rental cars. For the creators of Hotel Tonight, the choice is far too big, they want to streamline the search for the right accommodation again. The idea works according to the mobile first, last minute principle: the user is shown a clear list of current hotel remaining items in the desired city. Swipe, click, book a hotel - hours of comparison are superfluous due to the limitation to last-minute offers.

Product Hunt

On the Product Hunt platform, users present products as they see fit, and upgrade or downgrade them. Depending on the clicks and popularity, the individual products move up or down in their visibility. Visitors benefit from the knowledge and experience of the community about individual products - and above all, they notice at lightning speed when a new super app or an excellent pizza service has appeared somewhere. So far, Product Hunt has been mainly American, but as a business idea it is still a good example - and maybe the trend will spill over to Germany.


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