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How to Find Out-of-the-Box Startup Business Ideas

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Startup Business Ideas

Some people come up with business ideas easily while others it’s nearly impossible. Those who find it easy to generate ideas don’t have an innate ability but rather they have a skill which they have learnt and practiced for some time.

You too can enhance your skill of generating new ideas through research as well as putting enough practice. Actually, making a conscious effort to notice problems or identify needs in your surroundings can help improve your ability to generate new ideas

So then, here is how you can find out-of-the-box startup business ideas.

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

People that find it hard to generate new ideas can try the following suggestions:

  • Explore different areas that are unfamiliar to you.
  • Develop ideas slowly over time.
  • Try to find new uses for existing inventions.
  • Upgrade old platforms
  • Extract lessons from your own mistakes.
  • Generate ideas from your interaction with people online, across various modes of communication and from books.

How to Generate Business Ideas

Ideas to Solve Present Problems

Looking for ways to solve your problems or those of other people is an excellent way of generating business ideas. However, you don’t have to come up with big solutions such as those developed by Amazon, Google Uber and the like. They can be smaller problems such as those affecting people in your neighborhood.

For instance, pet owners can come up with an idea on how to handle their animal companion’s litters. An aspiring entrepreneur living in a noisy neighborhood, taking public transport or busy office can design headphones with noise-cancelling technology.

In fact, all that you have or use in your day-to-day life is other people’s inventions and that solves your problem. For instance, sunglasses protect your eyes when outdoor on a sunny day, Thermoflask keeps your food and drinks warm, dental floss pulls out unwanted food and a toothbrush cleans your teeth and more.

Likewise, you need to identify a gap in your day-to-day activities that is causing frustration. For instance, for century young drivers are charged high premiums because they lack driving experience or are considered risky drivers.

To solve this problem, Ingenie created a small black box that drivers can fit in their cars to monitor their driving style. This includes elements like speeding, braking, turns, acceleration, and so on. Next, the device assigns the driver score out of 100 every 10 days.

Therefore a driver with a better score is considered less risky and as a result, they are given a discount on their insurance policy after three month review period.

Students and teen drivers can now save up to 50% of what they initially paid for their insurance policy. Aside from getting younger drivers better premiums, Ingenie encourages safe driving which is the most effective way of lowering the insurance budget.

Therefore, form a habit of noticing small or big things that frustrate you as you perform your daily tasks at home or work. Look for pain points and eventually, you will start to enjoy the process of getting business ideas. In fact, every problem that you encounter is a perfect opportunity for you to create a solution which can be a product, service or even a company. What you’re offering will be on demand when such a problem affects many others too.

Solutions to Future Problems

Finding a solution to a present problem is one way of getting business ideas; however, you can come up with new ideas when you focus on those that might exist in the future although they’re yet to be revealed.

An excellent example is a serial entrepreneur Elon Musk who invested in Tesla Motors, and Solar City because of the bleak future of fossil fuels. Actually, Elon has taken early steps to find a solution for the future’s problems today. As result, the entrepreneur has all the time to innovate and grow his market share as other early birds join the renewable energy bandwagon.

Likewise, you can study your environment for potential problems that you can find solutions to and even if there is no market for your idea at the moment, you can create one. Still, those who believe in your cause can join you in generating solutions before the problem becomes a reality in the future.

Coronavirus pandemic created or exposed numerous opportunities. You can tap into them and create solutions before the next global health crisis.

Solutions to Evolving Needs

Food, shelter, water are physiological needs that are constant as well as emotional needs that are mostly influenced by greed, envy, pride and more.

However, products and services that satisfy these needs are not constant like them. So creating a product that meets the actual and related needs is a great idea.

For instance, the introduction of cloud storage killed the SD card and CD market. Although these products exist, their demand has shrunk because it’s easy to store your stuff online.

Cloud storage allows you to access your information, data, music, photo and more regardless of the device you’re using. Further, you can buy cloud storage from Amazon, Apple, Dropbox, and Microsoft as well as from several private companies.

Turn your Hobby or Favorite Activity into a Business Idea

You can turn something that you love doing regularly or semi-regularly or that you’re good at into a business. These include writing, social media, gardening, baking, cleaning, dancing and more.

So instead of looking for business ideas elsewhere, check within yourself and turn your hobby into a business. So generating good business ideas shouldn’t be intimidating because you can start with what you know and you will enjoy the process when you commercialize it.

Help People Save Money

Coming up with ideas that help people save money can be a great business. For instance, energy-saving light builds helps people save money on their electricity bills. They’re also affordable although they don’t last forever. Also, BP is responsible for serious Gulf-spill but its ARCO gas is cheaper than Shell and Chevron, so people still buy gas there because they save a few dollars.

Another example is Amazon which has strangled the demand for textbooks or other books in bookstores. Over the years you have been buying books from such independent bookstores and you would wish to remain their loyal customer; however, you buy your copies online because you’re able to save some dollars when you buy from Amazon.

So even when you’re making a lot of money, you still want to save as well as support environmentally responsible companies and people. The same applies when you generate an idea to help people save money, look out for money-saving tips and come up with such business ideas.

Ideas to Simplify People’ Lives

Nest thermostat helps people save energy as well as strategically placed shopping baskets can move you to shop more because you don’t have to carry your extra shopping on your hands.

It’s important to note that new ideas do not necessarily mean creating brand new products and services. Actually, you can upgrade an existing service or add fewer features to an old product to make people’s lives easier.

For instance, Garmin Nuvi  and Garmin Dash Cam 57  added traffic updates to GPS making the product more helpful and useful. Other companies have come up with superior additions such as getting real, drive-time traffic updates on the phone as well as reroutes without having a separate GPS.

Therefore you can look for a product, service, chore or action that can be adapted to make people’s life easier and create a business out of it. Something that can create a slight change in people’s lives can become incredibly popular.

Copy Other People’s Ideas

Generally, most of the competing products and services that you find in the market were built upon other people’s ideas. Most entrepreneurs built on someone else’ idea and concealed their sources, therefore, you replicate or improve on another person’s product or service.

How to Evaluate Your Business Idea

The above tactics will help you come up with many ideas; however, not all of your ideas will be good. The following strategies will help you determine whether you can create a business out of your idea.

Does it Offer a Solution?

Best business ideas solve a problem in people’s lives. These can be your family, friends, co-workers, etc. The fact that your idea is solving a problem within your circle shows that probably there are many other people that you don’t know facing similar issues and they need a solution.

There are Paying Customers?

An idea remains simply an idea as long as there is no paying customer attached to it. While you can discredit someone’s idea, you can’t do the same to customers. Buyers are the ones that validate an idea and determines whether it has a great chance for success.

What is the Price?

There are many ways of solving people’s problems but it’s the least expensive one that wins. So when you confirm that there is a legitimate problem in the market, then establish the value that your product delivers to the world and what buyers are willing to pay for that value.

You will know whether your solution is business-worthy based on what people are willing to pay for it. People pay based on the value the solution provides.

How Large is the Target Market?  

Most ideas never get off the ground because of the lack of enough market. So your idea should have an existing niche market and it’s most likely to build a successful business if it’s improving upon what is already available.

Therefore, conduct your research to find out how extensive the need for this solution is. Look at the level of investment activity that has taken place in this industry, the trend and customers’ opinion about the problem and desired solutions.

How Passionate Are You about It?

Generally, starting a new business requires commitment in terms of time, energy, money and other resources. Therefore, your idea can only turn into a successful business if you’re passionate and truly care about it. It shouldn’t be something that you’re targeting because it simply looks lucrative.

Further, starting a business requires patience so ensure that your business idea is something you’re passionate about and have the required experience and skills.

Are You willing to Consider Other People’s Advice?

A good entrepreneur listens to other people’s advice, and are open to change. Being flexible will help you adapt your business idea to fit your customers’ requirements. Otherwise, your idea is not worth pursuing or investing your time and money in it.

On the other hand, a little tweaking can get it to market and grow into one of the corporate giants in the business world.

Have you Tested Your Business Idea?

Testing your idea with strangers will help you know whether it’s viable or not. The reason why you should test it with strangers is that they will give you an honest opinion and they make up the bulk of your target audience. Those familiar with you might fear to crush your dream.

Listen to their feedback and act on it. For instance, your target sample might tell you that your idea is fantastic and even ask how they can get it. This clearly indicates that your idea is good. On the other hand, if the majority are less than enthusiastic, then the idea is not as good as you thought.

How Realistic are Your Goals?

Turning your idea into reality can be exciting. It can cause you to have a lot of expectations when starting out. However, staying grounded and realistic when starting your business will help you establish whether there is a solid market opportunity to make it successful.

However, even an original, revolutionary idea can terribly fail if there is no viable market at the moment.

What are Your Marketing Plans for Your Business?

While it’s important to have a solution to a problem it’s also crucial to have a plan about how you will market it to the target audience. Actually, your solution might not reach the intended customer if you don’t have any marketing strategy and it can even fail before it gets off the ground.

A mix of a decent product and a solid go-to-market strategy will be a success compared to the one with a great product but no idea on how they will reach their potential customers. Also, think through it at the onset and come up with a strategy on how you will use different channels, the expected results and how to measure them.

What is Needed to Succeed in Business?

Commitment: Different businesses require different efforts. For instance, you can start and operate some as a side gig while others require a full-time commitment.

Basic Knowledge: Starting a business can be exciting but there are several critical issues that you will face along the way. However, your business will succeed if you make good decisions at the beginning. Therefore, hard work and commitment are not enough as long as you’re working on the wrong things or using the wrong process. Additionally, making good decisions is key and this can’t happen if you don’t have some basic knowledge.

Here are key issues that you should understand before launching your business.

  • How to evaluate your business idea.
  • How different your idea is from your competitors.
  • How to create a business plan.
  • How to set my pricing.
  • How to develop a great marketing strategy.

It’s important to note that you don’t need business experience to run a successful enterprise because there are several online resources that can make you a well-educated entrepreneur. Many highly experienced entrepreneurs have built platforms to mentor and coach new and young business persons.

Therefore, you can follow your passion, control your schedule, be your own boss, work from anywhere, achieve financial success, and create something of your very own, or an asset for your family by starting your own business.

Great Business Ideas to Get You started

Clothing Line

The demand for clothes has always been on the rise because babies are born every year, kids are growing, young adults graduate and join the corporate world and more. All these different stages in life require a new set of clothes.

On the other hand, starting a clothing brand is easier than ever because you can easily contract out production. You also don’t need a brick and mortar store along a busy street because you can sell them online via your own website, social media, or existing platforms such as eBay and Amazon.

Further, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to start. All that you need is to choose your target audience, i.e. newborns, kids, teens, corporate, wedding, casual or official outfits. Next, start your clothing line small and work to grow it. Ralph Lauren who started with a few neckties has a whole fashion empire

Further, you don’t need any experience to start a clothing business. For instance, Burgeon Outdoor founder has a finance background but he now owns an apparel line that focuses on outdoor wear for the mountain region.

Dog Walking Business

Dog walking seemed a very simple business prior to Covid-19 but it has turned out to lucrative full-time business. Many people adopted or bought pets during the lockdown period when social distancing was necessary to stop the spread of coronavirus.

With the increase of pet owners who need to go back to work or take holiday vacations post the pandemic, businesses providing solutions to such clients are now making huge revenues.

Aside from walking dogs, you can offer overnight dog boarding, sitting and training. Your regular repeat customers will keep seeking your services if they like you as well as recommend you to their friends when they meet at the dog park.

Still, you can hire additional people if you have a highly passionate target market or even sell the business if you get tired of walking dogs and make over a million dollars.

Jewellery Making Business

The demand for handmade jewellery and the unlimited venues for selling them have contributed to successful jewellery businesses across the globe.

You can begin making your jewellery at home and sell them on websites such as eBay and Etsy, or in flea markets, craft fairs or jewellery shops.

Still, you can create your own website, build a social media presence or email list in order to develop repeat customers, acquire new ones and build credibility.

Holly Christensen began her jewellery business at home. She started assembling her beach sand jewellery on her kitchen table, sold them at local craft shows and now she sells them through retailers across the world.

Tutoring Service

The development of new technology in the education industry has introduced new learning methods and changed the way students and teachers interact during and post the health crisis.

Starting a tutoring business has been made easier by the availability of the internet, videoconferencing applications such as Zoom and Skype, and the demand for homeschooling.

So you can begin with first graders if you believe you have what it takes to be a tutor, or higher levels if you have more advanced skills. Alternatively, you can start the tutoring business and hire additional tutors to do the job if you don’t have the needed skills but you’re passionate about this easy-to-start business.

Other tutoring opportunities are helping kids improve their university or college entrance test scores. You can also teach music, or a foreign language if you’re a native speaker or proficient in it.

Cleaning Business

Not everyone is willing to do the cleaning because it’s hard and also some full-time parents have tight work schedules. Therefore, you can start a residential cleaning business to target such clients. Additionally, you can specialize in industrial sites and office cleaning, hazardous waste removal and removing debris from construction sites.

A cleaning business can even have one repeat client because most people want their homes or offices cleaned regularly. Entrepreneurs have turned their cleaning businesses into multi-million dollar businesses by adding additional crew and services while remaining the primary contact with your customers.

Landscaping Business

Take a look around your neighborhood and see how the lawns are. If they are not well attended to then you can start a small business and grow it at your own pace.

For instance, you can begin by offering basic lawn cutting services and then add services such as weeding, edging, applying fertilizer, irrigation, snowplowing, yard clean-up and leaf collection.

Still, you can keep on increasing the number of services as you add customers. This includes planting small trees, bushes or flowers, creating beautiful landscapes, designing, architecture for commercial locations and high end home.

These add-on services can quickly add up your income and take your business to another level. You can market your business through online platforms as well as traditional marketing channels.

Professional Photography

There are different kinds of photography that you can engage in. They include wedding photography, real estate photography, portrait photography, commercial shoots for business and more.

Additionally, you can engage in photojournalism, sell your outstanding photos through stock photo services or the photo art world.

Although many people believe that anyone with a smartphone can turn into a photographer having excellent photography skills can make a huge difference. They can take you to the most prestigious photography events and your photos can sell for thousands of dollars.

Professional Trainer

Individuals that are passionate about fitness can use their skills or knowledge to help people get fit. The good news is that today you can offer personal training online, at a local gym or in people’s homes.

Good personal trainers can reach potential customers through effective marketing messages such as on Facebook. Creating an online one-on-one personal training sharing it on Facebook and other social media platforms can drive traffic to it because many people want to keep fit and feel good about themselves.

Still, you can also create a website where you share videos and relevant articles, or send emails with compelling marketing messages.

Consulting Business

This is a lucrative and rewarding business opportunity for experts in certain fields or industries. People with specialities including human resources, sales, logistics, small business coaching, executive coaching, social media marketing, accounting, website strategies and more.

Many people are becoming consultants because the digital world has intensified the rate of change, and the demand for new knowledge.

Offering a flat rate package instead of an hourly fee can help new or those with less experience in consulting practice get new clients.

You can begin by updating your LinkedIn, create a credible website, or send out brief newsletters and emails.

Resume Writing

Most people that started resumes writing business as a small side gig went full time because of the increased demand for this service. Actually, many talented professionals are not good at writing resumes. Starting a business to help them turn their skills, experience and capabilities into a job-winning resume can be profitable.

So begin by adding a good amount of appropriate search engine friendly keywords, keep the resume as short as one page unless it belongs to the top executives and avoid writing an attendance record. That means in addition to your previous job responsibilities, include your accomplishments, achievements, or changes.

Such resume services are in great demand as well as LinkedIn profile writing that helps freelancers, professionals and entrepreneurs either power up sales or get attention in their industry.

Freelance Writing

The easy-to-start business requires a computer and expertise. Writing is wide and includes news articles, resumes thank you notes and marketing materials.

Being conversant with various writing styles as well as punctuation and grammar rules can help you launch your freelance writing business. Still, you can work with profiles such as Fiverr, or Upwork as a freelance editor.

Still attending writer meet-ups and writing workshops can help you sell your services. You can also ask your previous clients for more work when you complete their projects because steady work is key for freelancers.

Content Marketing

This kind of writing is designed for businesses that want to bolster their marketing efforts via blogs, websites, social media and emails. Your writing services grows as your know-how in content marketing increases.

You can do that by studying search engine optimization (SEO), tactics to make your content rank well in the search engine results, as well as how to make a good blog post, social media posts and email messages.


You can come up with a generous amount of out-of-the-box business ideas when you study your environment, successful entrepreneurs or browse the internet for potential gaps and openings in the market.

The post has provided you with suggestions on how you can generate good business ideas, evaluate them and some of the small businesses that you can consider based on your passion and expertise.

So start writing your ideas about the kind of problems you would like to solve and test them to find out whether they can turn out to be a successful business.

Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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