A new idea is often the basis for starting up a business. Many entrepreneurs spot a gap in the market and start businesses that provide a product or service that fills it. Others come up with ways to improve an existing product.
If you want to start a business but don't yet have an idea to work with, there are many ways to go about identifying one. The following questions may help:
See the page on the Small Business Research Initiative in our guide on support networks and facilities for innovation and R&D.
Once you have got a business idea, take time to refine it. This will help you to decide whether it could be the foundation of a successful business.
There are various established methods of developing a business idea. You can:
There's a lot at stake when you are developing a new product or service. To minimise risks and allocate investment and resources wisely, you should consider a number of factors, including customer needs and design, whilst also clearly defining your plans. For more information, see the page on the development stage of a product life cycle in our guide to the product life cycle.
Designing Demand is a practical mentoring programme developed to help small to medium-sized businesses and technology start-ups use design to improve performance.
It helps businesses embed effective processes for the management of design and innovation and gives managers the skills to exploit design by spotting opportunities, briefing designers and running projects that deliver.
Designing Demand is part of a range of support offered to businesses in England through the government's Solutions for Business portfolio.
Find out about the range of support for business included in the government's Solutions for Business portfolio.