10 Startup Tips
Chapter 7: Thousand Gold Business Ideas
Sometimes the questions are complicated
and the answers are simple. ― Dr. Seuss
To get rich,
you need to do three things:
get up early,
work hard, and dig the right oil.
(John Paul Getty, Texas oil billionaire)
The high tide pushes all the boats out to sea.
It’s not hard to double your business every year
if you’re in a manufacturing industry
that’s growing 200% a year.
You will be surprised
why the very best people only own small businesses
and the people who are running multinational companies don’t seem to be the best.
Alex Tew is about to go to college
but is worried about not having enough money.
That night he went to bed worried
and the next morning
he woke up with the idea of “Million Dollar Website”.
That web page is made up of a million pixels.
He decided to sell each pixel to an advertiser for a dollar.
This idea is unique in its simplicity and practicality,
which has attracted widespread attention.
This information is posted in the media all over the world.
As Alex said,
“When I make money,
more people talk about it
and the more people talk about it,
the more money I make.”
The consecutive posting of information caused the number
of visitors to his website to increase,
and followed by many advertisers waiting.
Within four months,
his website was full of ads
and he had made millions of dollars.
Maybe there’s a reason
why no one came up with this ‘great idea’ before
I have received several letters from people eager to follow Alex,
set up a few similar websites and ask for advice.
There is no prize for the second person.
So it’s well worth taking the time
to think through the growth potential of your idea.
Even if you already have a good idea,
think about how you can make it even more unique.
11 ways to come up with a good business idea
1. The idea doesn’t have to be yours:
It’s a myth that an entrepreneur has to be someone with a lot of good ideas.
They’re just good at making those ideas come true.
Don’t look to other people
and their businesses for inspiration.
If you’re a born salesperson,
team up with a brilliant idea researcher.
One of Richard Branson’s most successful businesses was aviation,
but that wasn’t his idea.
One man came to him with the complete plan.
Richard’s genius was to make it happen.
2. Think differently:
Expand your network when looking for ideas.
Look abroad for ideas
– some of the most successful businesses are “imported” from abroad.
Tom Farmer1’s Kwik-Fit auto repair company was founded
after he was on vacation in the US.
Read books on that topic,
read research reports on future demographic trends.
Two websites for this information are www.trendwatching.com
Similarly, you can import an idea
that has been successful in another country.
3. Seek change:
Change means making a lot of money.
The change could be a new law,
a change in customer shopping habits,
a new industry or technology.
The concept of complete change
that no one thought of before is your ego,
not your wallet.
Identify the trend and follow the best path.
Although Duncan underestimated the power of innovative ideas,
he knew how to spot trends.
He made his first £30 million
when former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decided
to hire private businesses to take care of the elderly.
He sold everything plus three credit cards
to buy his first nursing home.
Today, his business,
Bannantyne’s Health Clubs,
has penetrated into fitness services
and is valued at over £100 million.
4. Listen attentively to customers:
Sometimes just a seemingly worthless word
It can help an entrepreneur get a highly profitable business.
The “Dummies”2 series of manuals was born
when someone overheard a customer in a bookstore say,
“I wish there was a simple computer manual
for ignorant people like me…”
Now There are over 125 million such books sold here.
“I listened to a customer
who was upset because he couldn’t use our service elsewhere.
That helped me realize
I could focus and expand the market right in my region.”
5. Don’t confuse hearses with parade cars
– be ahead of the game:
This is a very nice comment from my publisher,
Mr. Richard Stagg.
If you’re going into a popular business,
make sure you’re on the next wave.
“I am planning to start becoming a web designer.
Should I be worried?” (Angie, works in web design industry)
When I received this letter,
I felt a little uneasy,
because the last thing
I wanted to do was postpone everyone’s start.
To express my opinion,
I will tell you two
story of two companies at the same time that
I received the letter.
Company A: A web design company we used had to close down.
At its inception,
the company achieved excellent growth.
However, they say that now
there are too many cheaper competitors that they cannot survive.
Company B: A local businessman
-has just sold a company specializing in search engines.
Setting up a company around the same time as company A,
this entrepreneur saw search engines as the next big trend,
so he was at the forefront of the game.
He sold the company for £50 million.
6. Want to dominate the market segment
– be a Porsche,
not a Ford: Everyone wants a car from Ford
– the largest car manufacturer in the world?
But you will change your mind
when you learn that Porsche is the most profitable car company
in the world at the moment.
So instead of trying to give everything to everyone,
look for a specialized market segment.
A typing business is trying to survive a lot of competition.
They decided to focus on typing for engineers.
Suddenly they have their own market.
They could ask for more,
had fewer competitors,
and their reputation for specialized service quickly spread.
But many people don’t do that.
Because the following barriers have hindered market segmentation:
Many are worried about turning away from customers
who don’t belong in that market segment.
Let’s take a long view.
These casual customers are soon replaced
by specialist customers,
who will pay higher prices.
Is it too risky to focus on one group of customers?
It can make others think you are underdog in that industry.
It’s better to run out of the storm and find a good business
than to settle down at a mediocre level.
The final worry is conflict.
You worry that you are working for competitors.
In general, as long as you feel clear about this
and have a good security system in place,
customers will be willing to take risks to pay for your initiative.
7. Where there is a secret, there is profit:
Always changing in the approach
to market segmentation is the advice of Mark Vickers,
an experienced entrepreneur in the field
of information technology.
He said how he has transformed the complex information technology market
that is vibrant even when the market is saturated.
The profit is
because he knows how to make these complexities simple for customers.
8. Start with what you know:
At first glance, anyone’s business seems easy.
But very few people start a business
with a new idea that no one has thought of before,
and very few people want to be in an industry
they know nothing about.
While it’s good to approach the market
with enthusiasm and fresh vision,
you also need to exchange your ideas
with the veterans of the industry.
9. Don’t just go to a business you “like”:
Many people decide to open a restaurant just
because they love eating out,
start a magazine just
because they enjoy reading them.
The fastest way to destroy your hobby is to make it your life.
However, the satisfaction
that can come from successfully running many less “glamorous” industries
– and often overlooked by the glamor seeker!
10. Hole in the market,
but is there a market for it?
It’s important to point out a hole in the market.
You need to make sure you have enough capital to invest here.
An Internet business focused on the 60-minute shipping market.
They saw this kind of business in America
and they were the first to do it in the UK.
The real problem is that this market has holes.
But they often have to ship things like aspirin and condoms,
which cost £2 each,
while shipping costs have already gone up to £2.5.
11. Competition can be a good thing:
A common mistake is to try to find a less competitive business.
But it’s better if you step into a busy business
and try to do something really creative.
For creative ideas
Let’s start with a difference:
Sometimes you’re so used to your work that
you can’t see the obvious.
NASA has invested millions of dollars
to build a ballpoint pen for use in space
– where there is no gravity to push ink down the nib.
The Russians simply use pencils.
Our brains are basically lazy and often try
to keep coming to obvious conclusions.
The trick is to do something different.
It makes no sense to do the same thing over
and over and expect different results. (Albert Einstein)
And here are some tips to make a difference:
Start by thinking backwards
– think about the worst you can do to a customer.
Don’t throw away ideas that make you laugh.
Laughter is the brain’s defense mechanism in the face
of something new and challenging.
The idea of “laughing out loud” often has a hidden potential interesting opportunities.
Change your daily habits.
Take a different route to work and look around.
I usually get my best ideas
when I’m in the middle of a drink,
and I write those ideas down in my “drinking notebook.”
Start with the problem.
Our brains like to think in a straight line.
When trying to get from A to C,
the problem is often stuck at point B.
Sometimes, like the Russian pencil,
it’s necessary to start at C and go back.
Two American venture capitalists are offering a tempting $2 million to someone
who can build a phone battery
that lasts five times longer than current batteries.
During test time,
many students cover the test with their hands
so that no one can see their work.
You should not do that.
Of course, don’t tell your competitors all of your creative ideas,
and don’t be so protective of your secret recipe.
Success often requires sweat and time,
not a simple idea.
– sometimes being a little drunk can spark a business idea
Regularly present your ideas to those around you.
Sometimes, explaining to someone makes the idea feel clearer.
If you’re stuck,
why not give a small gift like a bottle of wine to the person
who came up with the best solution?
But remember, sometimes it’s much easier
to share ideas with a stranger
because they have no preconceived notions and won’t judge you.