Many entrepreneurs know what market they want to serve. They are experts in a field or a niche, and they KNOW they want to be involved in that field.
When I was in college, I wanted to start a side business. I was broke and I didn't have any expertise in any field that felt monetizable. Many of my smart friends would teach other students math or writing, but I wasn't an expert in anything... except for sports.
I've been surfing since I was a kid and I've trained and competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for many years now. I am really passionate about those things. So I decided that my new "business" would have to be related to those. I didn't know what the product or service was, but I knew who I wanted to serve.
I started to brainstorm and look for different problems I've encountered as a Jiu Jitsu fighter and as a surfer.
I tried to come up with a solution for those problems, and I created products to solve them.
Here they are:
Problem: Every time I'd go surfing, my girlfriend would complain because she didn't like sitting on the sand while I was surfing for hours. She would bring a towel every time, but the wind would blow it away, and she'd have to put sand on the corners so the towel would stay where she'd put it.
Solution: I created a product that had pockets that were fillable with sand so the wind wouldn't move it. Also, the product was MUCH larger than a regular towel so it was much more comfortable to sit and lay on the sand.I sold it on Amazon for a couple of years and didn't get rich, but managed to get a lot of extra cash.
Problem: In Jiu Jitsu, the strength of your hands is fundamental to your success. Training your grips is super important and if you want to succeed at the highest level, you need to train your hands and get strong grips.The problem with training them the traditional way (regular grip strengthner) is that it doesn't translate very well to jiu Jitsu where you grab your opponents kimono instead of grabbing something solid.The only way to train your grips was to actually train a lot and fight a lot. I wanted to be able to train my grips while I wasn't training, so I created the "Grip Trainers"The "Grip Trainers" are basically kimono sleeves with a loop at the end so you can attach weights to them or loop them to a pull-up bar and do pull ups hanging from them.
As you can see, I didn't come up with these products by thinking in product ideas. I came up with these ideas by actually thinking of the problems I was encountering on a daily basis.
If you have an idea that solves a problem that is great. But if you are like me and you just don't know what product to sell or what service to offer, start by picking a niche that you like and then look for problems and possible solutions.
Not every business will need to solve problems with physical products. Maybe a good option for solving them is to sell a service or even information products.
Imagine that I would've created an e-book or an online course to teach Jiu Jitsu fighters how to train their grips and get stronger. That would've probably worked just as good as the "Grip Trainers".
The key is not to get stuck thinking about ideas for products, but to think about solutions to problems.
If you're stuck in the idea generation process, download this free worksheet we created. You'll go from no idea to PROFITABLE IDEA in less than 1 hour.
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