Business growth is possible either through the acquisition of other businesses or through unique and innovative ideas which have a market which is willing to pay the price for the product or service to make it a profitable venture.  

For most businesses, acquiring another business is either not high on their business objectives or it is not financially viable.  This means they need to be looking for new business ideas to grow their business.

New business ideas are all around you

CC-BY Image - Environment Economy Society from Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Environment_Economy_Society.jpg
CC-BY Image – Environment Economy Society from Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Environment_Economy_Society.jpg

New business ideas are all around you, but developing innovative ideas requires a number of personal aspects, such as:

  • Having a ‘new’ mindset which is continuously seeking out new ways of doing things
  • Personal interests that present ideas which you are motivated to pursue
  • Skills and knowledge in an area, either through experience or training, which you can tap into for new ideas
  • Experience to draw upon to seek out opportunities
  • Resources, including physical, intellectual and personnel, which present new ideas or opportunities
  • Personal investment of time, perception, intuition, personal energy and drive which provide the headspace to be receptive to new ideas
  • Personal risk preference which determines the level of risk you are willing to take to follow through with an innovative idea

Drawing upon these personal aspects opens a whole new world of new business ideas.

PACE your business

Free image from Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/en/photos/brainstorm/
Free image from Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/en/photos/brainstorm/

One way to do this is by PACE-ing your business. That is, brainstorming potential ideas based on your area of expertise, experience or interest by considering the prompts under each of the key starting words of problems, analysis, changes and extensions.  

Problems Analysis
Related to:

  • Industry
  • Organisational/Operational
  • Product
  • Customers
  • Regulation/Compliance
  • Break down processes into parts – what can be done better?
  • What trends can be exploited?
  • Niches?
  • Internal – Skills? Talents? Resources? Networks?
Changes Extensions
Related to:

  • Legislation / Regulation
  • Social attitudes/structure
  • Technology
  • Add something before or after an existing product or service


For example:  

Area of expertise, experience or interest =

Helping businesses use technology

Problems Analysis
  • My clients understand the benefits of digital marketing and social media but don’t know how to get started
  • Opportunity – Offer one on one digital marketing/social media coaching and mentoring
  • Most businesses see an increase in their profit when they invest in their digital presence
  • Opportunity – Offer ‘digital first’ health check services which analyse where a business could profit more from their digital presence
Changes Extensions
  • More people are buying online or using the internet to research their purchases
  • Opportunity – Offer ‘how do your customers behave online’ consultancy services
  • My clients don’t know where to source a full range of the services they need to use digital marketing and social media
  • Opportunity – Partner with other businesses in my value chain and offer loyalty discounts to my clients, and cross promote our services on each other’s websites   

Download a PACE template and brainstorm the problems, analysis, changes and extensions for your area of expertise.  

You can do this yourself or with a group of people or get input from others. Also,  allow yourself 1-3 attempts to do this activity eg start the brainstorm, and then leave it for a while, then go back and so if you can add more information and suggestions.

Evaluating these opportunities

CC-BY Image Performance-Evaluation-Process-z from Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Performance-Evaluation-Process-z.jpg
CC-BY Image Performance-Evaluation-Process-z from Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Performance-Evaluation-Process-z.jpg

In order to determine whether these opportunities can become a viable business idea, you then need to analyse the critical success factors:

  1. How unique is the business opportunity? – what special characteristics does the business opportunity have that will draw customers to it, and away from competitors eg what is it the business opportunity’s unique value proposition?
  2. What up-front capital will you need? – what capital will be required to get the business idea up and running eg what human and financial capital will be required?  This will vary depending on the business opportunity.
  3. What is the anticipated growth pattern for the business? – will the risk of investing time and money to launch the opportunity be financially rewarded through low or high profit gains? How quickly can you make it happen and the make a profit?
  4. How readily available is the product or service now? – How long will it take you to get the product and service ready for sale / delivery?
  5. Are there customers willing to pay for the product or service? – Is there a market which needs this product or service, and will these customers be willing to pay the price needed to make the opportunity a profitable idea?

Analysing the critical success factors will help you determine whether any or all of these opportunities have enough potential to be viable and profitable business ideas.  

If you do identify a potential opportunity worth pursuing, then further investigation of this opportunity through a business ideas evaluation is the next step in determining whether this product would be worth investing in and pursuing.

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Contact us now (email or [+61] 0400 732 270) to discuss how we can help you find your next profitable business idea.

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