NEW: Jane Shelton

Do you ever wonder how some people manage to come up with all the good ideas for new products or ways of growing their home-based business?

Growing and harvesting good ideas

Jane Shelton

Do you ever wonder how some people manage to come up with all the good ideas for new products or ways of growing their home-based business?

The truth is that while there are lots of sources of good ideas, from local and overseas markets, the key to success lies in trying out many different sources to find out what works best for you.

Good ideas do not often come about by happenstance. You can be lucky and out of the blue have a lightning bolt of inspiration. It can lead to becoming a multi-millionaire, but this is not the usual experience.

Really creative people, however, will tell you that they work at it. In fact, they can be obsessive and constantly thinking about their project, trying to get new ideas to be creative and innovative within their business.

Starting and running a small business from home requires dedication and thought about what the business will do and how to manage your time.

Opportunities for small businesses are about spotting the difference that will enable the business to leapfrog competitors and take a unique selling proposition to market.

Finding opportunities is a discovery process.

The critical success factor is a structured approach to opportunity search. Focus upon the strategic intent of the business.

The four essential mindsets that are needed for an opportunity search are:

  • Motivation to get results and solutions
  • A readiness to let go of old practices
  • A willingness to hunt for new ideas
  • A methodological and systematic search capacity


Write out your 10 biggest problems for your home-based business. Look at each problem, write beside it a potential creative opportunity arising from the problem.

Assume anything is a possibility. Explore new experiences and play with ideas. Try breaking some rules and learn from prior experience. Move outside your comfort zone to generate new alternatives.

Don’t limit yourself when you are thinking divergent, creative thoughts. Give yourself permission to be creative and go for it. Think of a surprising outcome.

Weird and wacky ideas can become real market winners. Breakthrough thinking can lead to business opportunities once they have gone through testing and implementation phases. Never stop looking and always give yourself the chance to take on a new challenge.

Discover, Explore, Evaluate, Exploit, Enjoy…

Once an opportunity is found, the focus is on prioritising and implementing the ideas to seize the benefits.


Dr Jane Shelton not only runs a business from home but is doing business research into people working from home. She is managing director of Marshall Place Associates, Melbourne’s independent think tank, and CEO (honourary) for ‘Life. Be in it.’ International. Shelton has a Doctorate in Business Administration at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) at Swinburne University of Technology after a Master of Arts in Public Policy at Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Business in banking and finance at Monash University.

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