With big dreams and little money in your pocket, you can bring the next big thing to the market and rake in the thousands in no time: start-ups are at the forefront of entrepreneurs.
If you also want to be part of these “young savages”, you will find here a roadmap to finding and completing an innovative start-up idea.
What is a start-up?
In essence, start-ups are businesses that have just been founded. One of its major characteristics is the high capacity for innovation – many start-up ideas revolve around digitization, sustainability, and tech.
All sectors have a high potential for improvement and total innovation. In an optimal case, the business idea of a start-up is not only innovative but also scalable – which means that the potential for (rapid) growth is extraordinarily high.
Another peculiarity of start-ups also often concerns capital: it is almost always very limited at the start. To bring an idea to the level of maturity demanded by the market, it is often necessary to rely on sponsors or investors. And since start-up ideas are rightly known for their high potential, they are also popular investment cases.
How do you find the best start-up ideas?
There are times when we stumble over a daily difficulty and when we think: “This must be able to happen better or otherwise”.
Let’s face it: large start-up companies rarely emerge from such an approach. Nonetheless, everyday life is a good starting point for finding ideas. If you want to take a more structured approach, there are many creative and brainstorming methods that lend themselves to collecting start-up ideas, structuring them, and then prioritizing them.
For example, apply the following approaches to generate ideas:
- Exploit Optimization Potentials: Take a look at existing business models and ask yourself if something can be done better, faster, or at a lower cost. This may concern, for example, the streamlining of supply chains or the production of goods at a lower cost.
- Respond to Needs: You may have already noticed yourself the lack of a product or service in the market – or you are looking for unresolved issues facing businesses and various customer groups.
- Identify and surf trends: our society is constantly crossed by trends and developments that call for innovative ideas – current examples would be climate protection or the issue of healthcare.
Finding an idea for an innovative start-up: other possible sources
Other sources of inspiration are available to you if the prospect of building a personal idea discourages you (again):
- Observe what others are doing. The platforms and articles that present online and offline business ideas are endless. Another source of inspiration is the “ Start-up Ideas Matrix ” which connects different industries and business model approaches, and which is filled with more or more examples. less known. This matrix is of course not a miracle recipe either, but can help identify potentials so as to lead to completely new start-up ideas.
- Taking over the succession of a company: there is sometimes the possibility of taking over an existing company or joining it – and there are also specific platforms in this area. This type of business or their takeover is not strictly speaking a start-up, but this nevertheless constitutes the starting point for something new.
- Franchising: If you are full of ideas, but are simply not daring to start a business on your own, you can turn to franchise models. Here you benefit from an established business model, support during the creation of the company and a well-known brand – all you have to do is provide the starting capital. Here too, the force of innovation remains limited and the ideas of classic start-ups are rather rare.
Ideas for successful innovative start-ups: 5 ideas outlined
The following five examples of “Made in Germany” and international start-up ideas show that it is not always necessary to reinvent the wheel to achieve phenomenal success.
- N26: a new direct bank whose app-based current account can be used free of charge. Customer counseling takes place in a fully digital form in a live chat. What may appear to be little innovative in practice is currently estimated at more than three billion euros.
- Blinklist: an application also developed in Germany, which provides a summary of information from specialized books, guides and bestsellers in summary or audio version. The innovation of the compact knowledge transmission met with enormous success in the United States at first, but Blinklist was also able to establish itself in Germany.
- Dropbox: this idea of a Cloud solution emerged in 2007 after its founder forgot his USB stick at his home. Right now, over 300 million pieces of data are stored in Dropbox every day, and the business is worth over $ 300 billion. Let’s face it: the start-up phase has been over here for a long time.
- AirBnB: Even AirBnB started very low. It took two good years for the idea of a private accommodation rental platform to gain ground. Today, you can find over two million accommodations, tours and more in nearly 190 countries with AirBnB.
- Zappos: The world’s largest online shoe store , now owned by Amazon, is a perfect example of the course a start-up development can take. Its founder would take snapshots in shoe stores early in his career, post them online, and purchase the shoes from the store in question as soon as a customer bought them from him online. This allowed him to check step by step if his idea of an online store could work and identify the assortment that attracts customers.
What is the anatomy of a good start-up idea?
There’s no shortage of ideas, but you still have doubts as to whether one of them is really good? You can rely on certain aspects or key points to evaluate start-up ideas.
Provide answers at the beginning about the problem you intend to solve and the people for whom it is intended.
The higher the relevance (to your target group) the better. Then assess whether an idea is feasible and scalable, and how difficult: Ideas that can be brought to life quickly and work on a small scale are ideal – so you can quickly capture the market and test your idea there. After a first test or feedback from your target group, you develop your product or your service and submit them again to a test, and so on.
This should not be underestimated for a good idea: you should bring the know-how required to become self-employed – because if you need to acquire the knowledge first or find the right partner, the company can quickly take an overly complicated turn.
After you have undertaken an initial evaluation of your idea, discuss it with your friends, colleagues, and partners in order to gather some feedback. A neutral and external gaze can sometimes help reveal potentials and weaknesses.
Founding a start-up: bringing ideas to life
After having made your choice on an idea, it is a question of moving on to its realization and the creation of a business. Use the preliminary work carried out following the previous section to draw up a business model and a business plan .
The business plan is used to put your own idea to the test in theory and in detail and to convince investors. In addition to the idea itself, the business plan must be structured around content such as an analysis of the market and target groups, the assessment of opportunities and risks as well as a financial forecast and an investment plan.
If you are having trouble with the structure of the plan, business plan software practical provides you with a pre-established framework.
Once the plan is in place, look, on one hand, the possibilities of financing , and on the other hand, the administrative formalities to be completed to register your activity, register with a professional organization, and take out insurance. Once all of these steps are taken, you can get started with realizing and marketing your idea.
The website as an essential distribution channel
A website is, above all, a for start-ups central sales and marketing tool. Ideally, get started with registering your own domain and putting together an attractive website right from the start. If you’re in a rush, website services can help.
Still not sure you know all the ins and outs of getting started with your start-up idea? We will once again detail the different stages in our guide on the topic of “Starting a business“.
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