How to generate business ideas? [+Top Startup Ideas for 2020]

By Snigdha | Last Updated on September 10th, 2020 5:39 am | 6-min read
Best small business ideas

In this post we are going to talk about the process of generating small business ideas. Also, we will be covering the following topics in the process:

  1. S.W.O.T. analysis & its meaning

  2. Best startup business ideas to make money

  3. Setting business goals

  4. Adding demographics and Psychographics to your idea

  5. Types of small business ideas

  6. How to test a business idea

There is no dearth of ideas – or wait, is there? Ask someone who has been scouring their brains, brainstorming and conducting endless SWOT analyses looking for good small business ideas. Even some of the best business minds sometimes struggle when it comes to generating new business ideas.

Currently there is a substantial rise in the number of people who are planning to start a business, and that is primarily because the cost of starting a new business today is lower than ever. So, how do you go about coming up with a small business idea that would bring you the greatest returns for the lowest investment?

Before we get into the dry subject of the step by step process of generating new business ideas, let’s get our creative juices flowing and look for inspiration in finding the best startup ideas for the year 2020.

Top startup ideas for 2020

The current business environment is uniquely supportive for startups and new business ideas. Here’s a list of the best startup business ideas to make money.

Best small business ideas

  • Business Brokerage
  • Business brokerage is the business of helping the sale and purchase of privately held businesses. This is often done with individual or team of business brokers. These business brokers typically help the buyers and sellers by giving them an estimate value of the business, promote the sale (sometimes without revealing the identity), handle initial discussions and negotiations, facilitate due diligence investigation and help with the business sale.

    This is a low investment business and has a high value potential.

  • Office Space Rental
  • This is a business idea that banks upon the trend of startups. As small business ideas are being nurtured and are in their nascent phase, the blooming entrepreneurs need a space to work in. Turn your property into a co-working space or a shared office, and you have a brilliant startup idea yourself!

    Though the investment for this startup idea may be a little on the higher side, but it certainly has a pretty high potential.

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • A new kind of performance-based marketing, affiliate marketing rewards affiliates for the visitors or customers brought to the business by the marketing efforts of an affiliate. You can become an affiliate, promote products for a business and earn commissions on the sales you make happen!

    The business has really low investment (if any) and has a high value potential.

  • Social Media Consultancy
  • A social media consulting business reaches out to and engages with the customers on behalf of their clients through social networking channels. This can only be a good startup idea if you know how to use social media to achieve business goals. There are multiple social media channels that can be used for this business. You can choose to specialize in one or be a Jack of all.

    This is a low investment small business idea but also has low value potential.

  • Business Incubator
  • A business incubator helps startup businesses develop by offering them various services like management training, capital, office workspace, common services like high-speed internet connectivity, food, etc. and even networking connections.

    The business involves high investment cost and has a high value potential too.

How to generate new business ideas?

It may seem like something you would never get through but generating a business idea can become really simple if you decide to follow a clear process and we are going to help you do just that!

It may take multiple brainstorming sessions and countless hours of SWOT analyses before you can even start planning anything. If you are serious about starting your own business, it has to start with brainstorming where the stakeholders or partners, or even your friends can get together and bounce ideas off of each other.

  1. Pick an industry
  2. There might be multiple hot new business ideas running through your mind as you are thinking about starting a business. At this stage, it is important that you pick and narrow down on the industry you want to enter (and disrupt). You can look the following four criteria when it comes to picking the industry you want to go in.

    • Education
    • Work Experience
    • Passion
    • Interest in Learning

    To know more about how you can strategically pick the industry you should enter, you can watch this amazing video.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    Quick Tip: This course has an interesting Business Idea Generation Worksheet that will help you with the exercise.

  3. Define business goals
  4. Once you have narrowed down the industry and have a list of at least 5 industries in front of you. It is time for you to define your business goals. Your business goals can only be defined by you. It could be about making billion dollars from your business or just make enough money to get by and not answer to a boss, or even be able to help the environment!

    Learn how you can define your business goals in the right way with this cool new video from Appy Pie’s Academy.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  5. Add demographics & psychographics to your idea
  6. Your business is eventually going to serve your customers or prospective customers. Hence, it is important that you understand them, or create a persona that you would target as a startup business. While doing so, you need to define the Demographics and Psychographics of your target customers. Demographics are all the things about a person that you can measure like age, sex, job, income, location, religion, culture and more. However, people aren’t all data, they are humans. This is where psychographics examples like lifestyle, desires, values, habits or even secrets come in. Once you have it sorted, it is time to combine the industries you shortlisted, the business goals you set, and the demographics and psychographics of your customers.

    How to generate business ideas

  7. Test your business idea
  8. Now that you have clarity about which small business to start, it is time to put your hot new business idea to test. It is a good idea to put your small business idea to test by subjecting it to the following 5 objections.

    • It is too expensive
    • It is too competitive
    • You don’t have enough expertise or experience
    • It would take too long to launch or get off the ground
    • It needs more work/resources/time than you have to offer

    Here is a detailed video that gives you a comprehensive walkthrough to help you understand how to test a business idea.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  9. Validating business idea
  10. Now that you have put your small business idea to test, it is time to put it out there to get feedback from the industry experts. This feedback will help you validate your business idea and get insights on whether this idea will take off in your industry.

    Here are three videos that will give you great value in understanding how to get feedback from experts and validate your business idea.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  11. Brainstorming & Stormwriting
  12. Even after you have finalized the small business idea that you are going to work on, you need to build on the idea and for that you can choose one of the following three methods.

    • Brainstorming
    • Brain-writing, and
    • The Socratic method

    Brainstorming involves simply bouncing all kinds of ideas that come your way and record them all. During this process, do not reject any idea. Create a wide range of ideas. No idea is good or bad at this moment. These ideas can later be categorized before ruling out the ones that are simply impossible. At the end of the process, you retain the good ideas that have some potential and then build upon them.

    Brain-writing is essentially the same thing, but here you put down all your ideas on a piece of paper and then pass it on to the next person. This person then builds upon your ideas.

    The third one – Socratic method applies to the situation where there are only two people involved in the process. This involves a dialogue which builds up on top of each other’s arguments until you realize that it is a dead end or you realize there is some kind of a potential. The only problem is that the method works on the premise of trying to disprove the idea.

    Here’s a detailed video that takes you through all three methods in detail.

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  13. Monetization strategy
  14. This is where it will get interesting for most people. After all, you are looking for best business ideas to make money, right? Choosing the right monetization strategy is imperative and here are some strategies that you can get inspired from:

    • Ads
    • Reselling products or services
    • Selling your own products or services
    • Subscriptions and consumables
    • Long term engagement

    To know more about all these monetization strategies in detail, watch this informative video below.

  15. S.W.O.T analysis
  16. S.W.O.T. is an acronym for Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. This is a part of business planning and analysis phase. This is where you look at each of the 4 elements and understand the strengths you can build upon, the weaknesses you need to work upon, the opportunities or the lack thereof, and the threats that you would need to overcome.

    Here’s a detailed video that talks about it all!

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)


If there ever was a time when you have thought about starting your own business, and have been stumped by the lack of small business ideas, this blog post will guide you through the process and help you generate new business ideas.

This post has a list of the best business ideas to make money in 2020, which can serve as an inspiration ground for you to look for good business ideas. Some of the best startup ideas are inspired by what already exists and making them better!

Do you own a small business? Are you looking for ways to take it to a wider audience? Create a mobile app for your business without any coding and expand your audience now

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About The Author

The Content Head at Appy Pie, Snigdha has had a passion for writing since she can remember and feels lucky for making it her career. With a total experience of 12 years, she has dedicated the last 6 years to hard-core content writing and management. She actively writes about all things related to Social Media & more. In her spare time, she would either love to read curled up on the couch or take a bag of necessities (including a good book) and drive off into the sunset.

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