Photo by Dorothe Wouters on Unsplash
Looking for startup ideas? Start with a passion for your products and services. That is a major motivating factor when you’re starting your own business.
But you need to go further. If you’re not offering customers something original it can be hard to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Sharpening your competitive edge often means developing a different angle that reinvigorates a familiar offering.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, here are three startup ideas that can capture your own imagination—and eventually customers’ attention.
Toy manufacturers have been producing teddy bears for generations.
The normal business model involves the selling of factory-produced products to chain stores or private firms. These retailers then apply a markup. Finally, the stuffed toy eventually reaches parents and kids.
But when Maxine Clark launched Build-a-Bear in 1997 she disrupted the status quo. What she did was offer children the chance to create their own customized toys.
She supplied buckets of buttons, fake fur, fabric, and a little guidance from shop floor staff. Children came away with a unique experience and a product. Maxine’s method saved costs by sidestepping outsourced firms for manufacturing and shipping.
With a little ingenuity you, too, can develop a radically different approach to a traditional business.
For example, women’s fashion is a cutthroat business with lots of fierce competition.
So if you want to offer fans of feminine style something distinctive you’ll have to formulate a fabulous in-store experience.
Aim for the perfect interior design. Give customers the space and the ambience that will encourage them to take their time. You want them browsing in a leisurely way as they choose an elegant evening dress or a beautiful ball gown.
Distressed wooden floors and minimalist shelving will allow you to carefully curate collections of clothing. Well planned lighting can ensure that the design quality of each individual piece is fully illuminated.
Make sure your chic boutique also features a coffee shop. Then customers will be inclined to stick around even longer. That will really set your tills ringing.
Make your shop feel like a positive space where people will want to spend their time. Naturally, you’ll be more likely to attract loyal customers who can’t wait to recommend you to their friends.
Greetings cards have been around for a long time. Despite the rise in digital communications, there’s still something special about receiving a well designed paper card in the mail. That’s especially true if there’s a thoughtful message inside that’s been crafted just for you by the person who sent it.
Dragon’s Den guru Nick Jenkins spotted exactly that gap in the market when he founded Moonpig.
The online greeting card company capitalized on high-quality digital printing combined with the convenience of online ordering. What’s more, they offer customers high-quality cards that are completely unique, since they get to customize them themselves.
Jenkins admits that it took several years for the company to prove itself. However, he kept faith in his initial idea until he achieved success.
Use these these three ideas to set your imagination in motion and come up with a startup idea of your own. The right idea, combined with good timing and hard work, can become a lucrative enterprise, thus proving that entrepreneurial success often relies on enlightened ideas rather than on reinventing the wheel.