Having considered a wide variety of sources of ideas available in the last section, coming up with an idea to serve as the basis for a new business can still pose a problem. Hence the need to clearly understand the several methods of generating business ideas.

These methods are best suitable for an organization that need expansion in products or services

Focus Groups

A focus group is defined as a group of individuals providing information in a structured format. A moderator leads the group of about 8 to 14 participants through an open, in-depth discussion rather than simply asking questions to solicit participants’ responses.

For a new product or services area, the moderator focuses the discussion of the group in either a directive or non-directive manner.

The group is stimulated by comments from other group members in creatively conceptualizing and developing a new product or service to fill a market need.

The focus group is an excellent approach for initially screening ideas and concepts. Existing company can use this method to expand a section or department to be able to achieve greater productivity in its services.           


The brainstorming method allows a group of individual to be stimulated to greater creativity by interacting with each other and participating in organized group experience.

Most of the ideas generated from the group have no basis for further development, yet there are times that a good idea emerges. This has a greater frequency of occurrence when the brainstorming effort focuses on a specific product or market area.

For this approach to be successful there should be no negative comment or criticism, quantity of ideas should be encouraged, the wider the idea, the better and combinations and improvements of ideas are encouraged.

Many modern commercial banks successfully used brainstorming techniques to develop a series of product for their clients or customers.    

Problem Inventory Analysis

Problem inventory analysis is a method for obtaining new ideas and solutions by focusing on existing problems. In this approach, the customers or consumers are provided with a list of problems in a general product category.

Thereafter, they are asked to identify and discuss product in each category that have a particular problem. This method is effective when an improved service/product is desired.

When known product or services are related to suggested problems, a new product idea emerges. Result from product inventory analysis must be carefully evaluated as they may actually reflect a new business opportunity.

For maximal result, it is advisable that problem inventory analysis should be used primarily to identify new product ideas from existing product before further evaluation.

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