How to
generate business ideas


Looking for ways how to generate business ideas easily, quickly and to suit you perfectly?

Rather than sitting down and staring blankly into space, here are some ways I think would benefit you by giving you a bit of structure to your thoughts.

There is an easy recipe to learn the process because there are only:

  • 5 categories you need to look to when you are considering how to generate business ideas
  • You add in your strengths and skills
  • Then your gifts and interests
  • And decide what form your business you will take

And then you can know to generate business ideas to your hearts content

The 5 categories were dreamed up by Dr Valerie Young, a renowned expert in The Impostor Syndrome and original developer of the Profit from Your Passion concept I trained in and follow.

They are

  • Complaints/problems or threats
  • Trends
  • Demographic groups or niches
  • Interests or hobbies
  • Personal experiences or crisis

Your idea will fall neatly under one of these categories, and solve some kind of problem or meet a need, whether it is a product or service, or you might opt to choose both and you might even choose more than one category.

The process is all about making connections in your head about the world around you.

Confucius had it completely right when he said

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Where your talents and the needs of the world meet lies your calling

So where to start

If you have downloaded the Business Idea Formula Course, then you will have already given thought to what kind of lifestyle you want to live and what your financial goals may be.

Very important information to know in advance because, if you don’t peg down the answer to these 2 questions then the rest of your quest will be much more difficult, and you won’t get the precision decision you are looking for.

How will you know what kind of business idea will be really suitable for you if you don’t know where you will live, how you will organise your time, who with, how often and where you will undertake your business.

To successfully move forward, your answers should support those 2 areas from the beginning rather than being very hit and miss.

If you decide to decide about this area later, you will realise why you should have done it at the beginning… I promise you

You will save a lot of time, money and potential disappointment and risk giving up altogether because you think “you can’t do it”, when in fact you can but just you got the method of executing your business wrong.

Not because it was a bad idea, but because it might have worked in a different way than you originally envisioned

You want to pick something that will flow with you and your lifestyle to give yourself the best possible chance of success, right?

There are many ways to achieve the same business idea goal, but you can shortcut picking the wrong way very early on.

Your lifestyle choice is very important.

Can you see the logic of organising your thoughts in the right order?


There are so many variables, it helps to follow a formula, so you don’t miss out anything crucial in the early stages of the mix.

You need to know if you want to work abroad or only at weekends or by yourself or with a team or in a cabin in the woods and never between 9 and 5 ever again.

It is so important to ask yourself the right questions when you are looking for ways of generating business ideas.

Do a thorough personal inventory about who you are and what kind of things you are good at, look at what you want to do and how you want to do it.

Look at what you love to do but also wouldn’t mind doing all the time, even when life throws difficult circumstances at you?

Look backwards

There could be something that comes up from the dark recess of your mind when you were a child or a teenager that you buried when you were told to get serious about a real job when it was time to knuckle down to your exams at school.

Ask people you know

Ask your friends and family what they could see you doing, because other people can see sides of you that you can be blind to.

Perhaps they love your seasonal candles or summer BBQ sauce or come to you for x, y or z.

You have a valuable stream of information that can show itself when you consult your closest circle.

What goes on in your job?

If you are employed which bits of it, do you love doing and why? Take the clues and add to the mix.

What is baked into your soul?

What makes you smile, and you love to do it any opportunity you get, even on holiday or when you are tired, but you still want to squeeze it in your schedule somewhere?

If you have a gift for something, then nothing in the world will stop you doing it.

What would appeal to you for a second income stream during evening and weekends that you don’t mind at all doing even after a hard day’s slog at your day job?

What lights up your spirit and warms your soul?


What shouldn’t you do?

You might be a genius with numbers, but you might hate the thought of being an accountant as a business or you might be amazing at making home-made chocolates for your family at Christmas (this is me!) but would crumble to pieces if you took that talent and your love of doing it out of your kitchen and into a food production company.

Just because you are good at x, y or z doesn’t mean it should be your life’s work, nor is it imperative you take your hobby and develop a business from it either.

Sometimes your hobby should be just that or you kill the joy of it.

Your strengths & skills in the mix

It is important when you are thinking about generating business ideas not to confuse strengths and skills.

Your strengths are who you are and if you were cut down the middle, are innate within you.

You can’t avoid them however hard you try.

For example, strengths are things such as empathy, learning, consistency, being an includer, a strategist or a futurist to name but half a dozen from the 34 strengths you can get tested for.

I would urge you if you were looking for ways of generating business ideas to seriously think about taking some career tests to give yourself a bit of a framework to work with around who you are.

It will help you a lot in choosing the right business path and with your overarching theme about how you do things                                                                                             

The other important part of the equation is about your skills

Your skills are those things that you can learn and be trained in like typing or programming or leadership and management or team building or organisational skills.

Or your language skills, you could ask yourself how “can I turn using French into a business?”

You also possess life skills such as being able to fix a car or plumbing or parenting or be able to create a household budget which you might want to consider.

If you put together skills you like to use with one or more of your strengths and match it to a trend, interest or hobby, a personal experience or a crisis, a demographic niche, solve a problem, rectify a complaint or modify a threat then you will never run out of ways of generating business ideas at the drop of a hat.

You just need to decide if you want to create an online or offline business, and will you create a product or service or both?

There is so much more to how to generate business ideas than that boring old, and well worn phrase,  “what am I good at?"

Think laterally about what you can do that others may be able to and would subsequently pay you to do it for them.

Your gifts & interests in the mix

A key question here is

  • What am I better at than anyone else I know, and would do it for free?

You also want to ask yourself several other questions such as…

  • What holds your attention?
  • What do you spend your money on?
  • What do people ask for your help with?

When you are ready to really get down to this properly, you will find my coaching questions workbook a real help here.

111 questions to ask yourself to help you get to grips with who you are and what you do best, you can download it when you join the mailing list or comes with the eCourse.

What form will your business take?

This is another easy thought process because again you are down to 5 options only, really.

If you think about any business, anywhere in the world, it will fall into one of these categories

  • Product
  • Service
  • Creative
  • Retail/Physical location
  • Performance or entertainment

When you mix it all together you have just learned how to generate business business ideas for whenever you want in any business and at any age.

And just for fun here are some ways of 

Pick an audience

Essentially you are asking who wants you have got to offer?

Is it by age group/sex/culture/geography?

You can cut this so many ways.

How to generate business ideas I don’t recommend

Unless you are very lucky, just pitching in with a friend may not work out, not matter how close you are, unless you have very clear boundaries, you need to establish a clear contract about who does what and when early on, so you don’t seed resentment and have a plan about what to do if it doesn’t work out for one or more of you.

The same with a family business, things can go either way, so what seems brilliant over a couple of bottles of red one Saturday night may not seem so great as you progress your idea.


I don’t recommend you just randomly search the internet either for ways of generating business ideas.

The latest top 10 ways of generating business ideas article won’t take into consideration anything about you or your circumstances so you are just wasting your time.

You won’t hear of any successful business person ever say they started their business because of a google search!

Successful people know how to generate business ideas easily and frequently.

You can be sure their idea came from solving a problem or meeting a need in a way that suited their personality, even though it may not seem obvious.

And you can do this too, anyone can, you just need to give yourself time, space and ask the right questions in the right order.

Learning how to generate business ideas is easy when you know how.

And on a final note, you won’t find your answer sitting in your living room.

Sitting watching Netflix never got anyone anywhere unless you are using a documentary for exploration purposes.

You need to get out of the confines of your 4 walls mentally and sometimes physically to broaden your horizons.

Read about people whose work inspires you, chat to the person in the coffee shop who seems to love their work and find out why.

Go way beyond your current circle in all areas because the clues you are looking for are staring you right in the face, you just can’t see them yet.

Write this quote at the top of your journal on every page before you start your business idea exploration.

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Success leaves clues

It will prompt you to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and notice the ones that seem right.

They are the clues to your personal genius everywhere you look in your everyday life, you just need to be aware of that and take notice.

Hopefully now you have more of an idea about how to generate business ideas quickly and easily and feel more confident.