2016 is almost over. The start of the year is a great time to gear up to start a business. But, of course, you first need to figure out a winning concept.

Here are 3 techniques that could help get your creative juices flowing:

Ask yourself, "What's next?"
Successful business ideas are often ahead of the curve. Think about trends and technologies on the horizon and how you might move into those areas. He suggests, for example, thinking about innovations related to the living room and home entertainment systems now that companies like Apple are developing new television technologies. What can that mean in terms of new ways to live in your house and be entertained?

Talk to shoppers.
To come up with an idea that meets people's needs, there's no better way than by talking to shoppers. If you are interested in mountain bikes, hang out in the aisles of sports and bike shops and ask customers what they wish they could find in the marketplace. If you're interested in developing an e-commerce business, consider sending an online survey to potential customers to learn about their needs and interests.

Play the mix and match game.
Walk up and down the aisles of a drug, hardware or toy store combining two products across the aisle from each other into one. That should spark quite a few ideas, but be prepared for most of them to be bad. You will come up with all these horrible ideas, and every once in a while you will find some brilliant idea out there.

Do you have any processes you use to come up with business ideas?