Methods of Generating New Ideas for Entrepreneurs


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Summary: Even with a wide variety of sources available, coming up with an idea as the basis for a new venture can still be a difficult problem. The entrepreneur can use several methods to help generate and test new ideas including focus groups, brainstorming and problem inventory analysis.

The following are some of the key methods to help generate end test new ideas:

1. Focus Groups – these are the groups of individuals providing information in a structural format. A moderator leads a group of people through an open, in-depth discussion rather than simply asking questions to solicit participant response. Such groups form comments in open-end in-depth discussions for a new product area that can result in market success. In addition to generating new ideas, the focus group is an excellent source for initially screening ideas and concept.

2. Brainstorming – it is a group method for obtaining new ideas and solutions. It is based on the fact that people can be stimulated to greater creativity by meeting with others and participating in organized group experiences. The characteristics of this method are keeping criticism away; free wheeling of idea, high quantity of ideas, combinations and improvements of ideas. Such type of session should be fun with no scope for domination and inhibition. Brainstorming has a greater probability of success when the effort focuses on specific product or market area.

3. Problem inventory analysis– it is a method for obtaining new ideas and solutions by focusing on problems. This analysis uses individuals in a manner that is analogous to focus groups to generate new product areas. However, instead of generating new ideas, the consumers are provided with list of problems and then asked to have discussion over it and it ultimately results in an entirely new product idea.

The entrepreneur is not limited by only the three methods presented in this article. There are other creative problem solving methods and techniques that are also available.

Copyright 2005 Stephen Pierce

Stephen Pierce is strategic marketing advisor, innovation facilitator, author and speaker. He provides strategies that make growing profits in your business a fast reality. Learn how to get Marketing Momentum for real business success. To receive your free online video coaching visit: or request your free Innovation Audit at


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