Most of us get fired up by success stories. They make us want to get out there, beat all the hurdles, and conquer the world. But if that’s all we gain from reading or hearing about circumstance-defying high achievers, we’ll run out of steam very fast.
Unfortunately, we do lose our excitement more often than not. And that’s because we catch the positive ‘vibes’ that come from such stories, but fail to keep the steps to success the narrators reveal in them. Or when we do recall those steps, we’re not keen enough to consciously adapt them to our own situations.
Of course, not all entrepreneurial journeys are the same, and it would be a bit naïve to take anyone’s winning strategy and try to make it work for your business just as it is. What we’re suggesting here is that you apply these strategies to your own reality. Borrow whatever fits with your venture, and practice a version of it that’s tweaked for the peculiar conditions you operate in.
How do you find winning ideas you can plug into your business to make it grow better? And how do you fine tune those ideas so that they work for you?
Let’s get answers to these questions.
Finding Ideas that’ll Help You Grow Your Business
These are some of the places to search out fresh (or evergreen) business growth ideas:
1. Business Conferences
Business events (like the Connect Nigeria Business Fair) brings you in contact with top startup founders and high achieving business executives, and gives you a chance to hear their own success stories and the path they’ve taken to their present positions.
2. Books and Magazines
There’s a reason why magazines like Forbes and the Entrepreneur are so widely read- they cover business success stories that inspire entrepreneurs all over the world to push for better. They also have smart tips for people who are keen on getting the right results with the companies they run.
3. Business Focused Podcasts and Vlogs
There are a lot of podcasts and YouTube channels dedicated to covering the entrepreneurial journeys of people all over the world. Just do a little searching on the web, and you’ll discover a lot of them.
4. Web Articles
If you’re not sure where to find any useful, informative articles about running and growing an enterprise, you can stick with us here. We have a lot of content you can use, and we’re constantly updating them to meet the needs of the moment.
5. Entrepreneur Friends
Hang around smart, driven entrepreneurs long enough and you’ll be tapping ideas from them, or get your idea factory pumping out new ones more frequently.
Making Ideas Work for You
You can do these things to make the ideas you’ve picked up work for you.
1. Apply Existing Ideas to New Niches
This is what a lot of startups are doing to good effect. They’re taking familiar technologies and orienting them for use in new spheres. An example is the application of blockchain to things other than cryptocurrency transactions; it’s now being used in mainstream financial services and in monitoring the supply of products over long distances.
2. Deploy Old Solutions in New Locations
From home furniture made from water weed to waste management strategies, Nigerian startups are thriving on borrowing existing ideas from other countries and applying them directly to problems back home.
One example is Recyclepoints, a waste management startup. Its founders, Mazi and Chioma Ukonu adopted waste management systems they observed in other countries and deployed them to solve the waste collection problems in Nigeria. Another is Mitimeth, a company which weaves furniture out of processed water weed. Its founder, Achenyo Idachaba, took this idea from South East Asia, where it was already being practiced.
3. Synthesize Ideas
There’s nothing wrong with mixing a number of ideas and making a new one out of them. You can blend two business models into one; a familiar example of this is operating as an original manufacturer/wholesaler, while also selling directly to final consumers. It all depends on what your specific kind of business or situation allows.