Where do you find a million dollar business idea?
Today it seems like the only startups most want to begin or fund are the billion dollar unicorn type. So, where do million dollar business ideas come from? A few entrepreneurs seem to come up with two or more of them. Most never make it.
If you’re ready to go big, then here’s where the unicorns are born and bred.
1) Take a Bath or Go for a Walk
Seriously. Sometimes we try so hard to think and think things through. Yet, looking at genius ideas through the years, many seem to have come when the innovator was distracting their mind with something else. Think Einstein’s bathtub. Walking, exercising and listening to music are all ways to distract part of your brain to let other ideas through.
2) Go to Inspirational Places
Go visit places that inspire you. It could be walking out your door to sit on the beach. Heading off to your favorite vacation spot. Hitting New York City to see all the amazing art and architecture. Or traveling abroad to gain a completely new perspective.
For example flying over the Palm in Dubai or even a ride on Virgin Galactic. You may even just find another country who is doing something far more advanced and efficient in your industry that you can bring home with you.
3) Find Big Problems to Solve
Successful startups are those which solve really big problems. Water, food and housing are the most obvious constants. Everyone on the planet needs them. Then there is healthcare, transport, logistics and financial technology.
4) Find Businesses with Big Addressable Markets
Many of the biggest startup success stories haven’t been necessities at all. We didn’t need Google, Facebook or Alibaba. We survived just fine before they were created. Yet, they now seem indispensable. Their market was massive. Virtually everyone on the planet is, will be, or has been a customer of these types of businesses. If there are nine billion people on earth when you hit peak, you only need just over 10% of them to give you $1 a year to make $1 billion annually.
5) Find a Business Model that Works
Some of the geniuses that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with have gotten their idea simply by looking to other proven business models and putting a new spin on it. Find billion dollar companies of the past and see how they have done it. See how you can use that model for your product or brand.
6) Find an Industry that is Outdated
Find an industry which is out still in the stone ages and disrupt it by bringing it into the future. Uber is an excellent example of this. Taxis were entrenched and had many advantages, including regulation. Yet, they were serving people like Uber and Lyft.
Recognize the common points of frustration out there among consumers and find a way to give them what they want and a solution that matches their lifestyles.
7) Find Other Entrepreneurs with Great Ideas
While some investors still believe that the idea itself can be at least half the success of the venture, it’s the execution that makes all the difference.
Consider the millions of failed business startups in just the last couple of years. Assume each of those entrepreneurs had many more ideas before they launched that one.
Perhaps what is even more important than the base idea is how to execute it and scale it into a million dollar business.
Learning from other entrepreneurs is without a doubt the best way to go. I have the pleasure of interviewing some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the DealMakers Podcast. At the beginning of each episode, I always ask guests how they came up with their million dollar idea which in most instances turned out to be a billion dollar idea.
8) Find a Way to Serve a Big Multi-Billion Dollar Company
Perhaps a good hack for creating a unicorn is to simply tap into an existing multi-billion dollar machine with a billion customers. If you tour some of the most magnificent mansions today, many of their ultra wealthy owners got there by simply providing a small part to a really big engine.
For example, inventing a car part for Ford and gaining lifetime royalties. Or providing oil refining services for those with all the resources, but none of the technology to unlock its real value. Or even providing big metropolitan areas with trash services.
Today this could be creating a product or service Google can add on for its customers. Or IBM, or governments.
9) Turn Your Passion Into Millions
Many of the best startups are those that began simply trying to solve or improve a personal challenge or pet peeve, or have flourished out of hobbies. What are you good at? What are you most passionate about? What will people pay you for? How do you scale that to millions of dollars? How many units do you need to sell? How many enterprise customers do you need?
One of the most common habits shared by history’s greatest leaders, artists, inventors and business minds is journaling. Perhaps it is the clarity of getting ideas out on paper. Maybe it is looking at their own patterns over time. Maybe it is the habit that lets other ideas out. However it works, it’s worth trying.
Need a million dollar business idea. Start by thinking big enough. Startups don’t just evolve into unicorns. They are born and bred to be unicorns. These are ten ways to find ten figure ideas.
Though make sure you are addressing the most critical factor. Are you willing to do what it takes to build it into a million or billion dollar company? Will you get out of your own way, hire, seek top level advice, invest in learning and raise the money?