Own business - the beginning
The word entrepreneur itself comes from French and means an intermediary or discoverer of opportunities. But, before you discover such an opportunity you need to have an idea. From that "Eureka!" everything starts. From the moment you're sitting having coffee with friends, you happen to see something around you and you say "Listen, people! I came up with a great idea!", you're already one step away from becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Our family and friends will be the first critics of your idea. Even before you have finished presenting it, the comments like "Are you crazy?", "This can't happen!" and "And who exactly is going to buy this!" start. Don't get mad at them. They are the first filter of your idea. They make you think about different things that you didn't think of at the beginning. But, they shouldn't discourage you either. If you strongly believe you can make this idea happen and it will be profitable, don't give up.
Does your idea have to be unique and no one has thought of something like this before? If it is, ask yourself why no one before you has thought of it or implemented it - small market and lack of customers, it's technically unfeasible, the market isn't ripe for it, or something else. If you pass that filter too - you're on to the next level.
Practice has shown that unique ideas are not very common. In most cases, they were relatively simple in the beginning. So, that shouldn't stop you. You may already have the business model figured out (for example, a grocery store), but you need to make some improvements to it. Whether the customers will be different, whether the service will be better, whether the opening hours will be more convenient - it has to be some innovation. There is no sadder picture than several shops, side by side, completely identical, selling the same thing and equally empty.
This novelty (or competitive advantage) may be different, but it must be there. Novelty, in general, is divided into two types - material and psychological. The material ones are the location, the goods offered, the arrangement of the furniture in the café, the additional services, etc. The psychological ones are all those that are grouped under the term 'image'. They are invisible. You'll notice them when someone tells you "Let's go for coffee at the "Red." Only cool chicks go there," i.e. that is the image of that place. The owners might be building it on purpose, but they might not be doing anything.
Here's an idea that combines something already invented with something new - Convenient Grocery. It is primarily for working and busy people. Located near offices or customers' homes. There isn't a big assortment, just what you might need during the week. Since, customers don't want to waste their time walking around and queuing, this store offers a novelty for its regular customers. While you are at work, you send an email (or a message) to the owner, that you want to buy from him - a half of cheese "from the good", two cucumbers, a kilo of tomatoes. That will cost you 15.47.
After work, you walk through the store. The owner has prepared your purchases in a bag. You pay for them, or you have already paid electronically, and go. Convenient, isn't it? I can already hear exactly what won't work and how it's totally unworkable. It's possible, but it's just an idea, right? For reference, it now takes me at least 40 minutes to go to the store, find the things I need, line up at the checkout, pay, and go home.
Focus only on the ideas in your field. If you think that brilliant ideas and inventions are invented by ordinary people - it's not. Galileo, Edison, the inventor of the microwave, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all had something very important before they had the ideas that changed the world. And that is knowledge and experience. Each of them was involved in things very similar to their great inventions or discoveries. They have made hundreds of attempts and rejected thousands of ideas before they reached that "Eureka!" It would be a bit hard for me to come up with some new type of engine, as I have no idea about engines, right?
The good news is that you can stimulate your brain to give birth to an idea. There are many books that describe different techniques for this purpose. Jack Foster's How Ideas Are Born is one of them, and the most useful questions in it are questions like "What if..." - What if we enlarge the product? Or change its color? Or make it lighter? Or make it healthier?
The other good news is that the ideas are all around us. All you have to do is think along these lines and you might come up with a good idea. Ideas can also be stolen (in a good way). You've seen something abroad that isn't here. Great, take it and put it on the market.