Keywords: Fashion, Textile Industry, Business Idea, Uniforms, Uniformed Professionals,
This business idea was added to the list of business ideas on October 3rd 2017.
The number of professionals who wear uniforms at work is very large and growths with both the economy in general and with each new profession increasing its professionalism. Uniforms are not just present in the military and police but among hospital staff, shop attendants, restaurant staff, school kids and even construction workers and other labourers– whose safety clothing is typically uniform.
Even though most employers of staff wearing uniforms want to make their staff proud to wear their uniform and therefore include fashion ideas even in uniforms that are foremost used for safety or practical reasons the purchasing process is usually a top-down one and the people who actually wears the uniforms have a limited say in its design.
New uniforms are usually produced continuously on order after an initial design and production tender. Smaller modifications and alternative versions might be added but the base version can stay in place for a long time.
The challenge for the customer is to stay modern and keep staff motivated, the business opportunity is to address that urge for modernity from the side of the staff that wear the uniforms and include them in the purchasing decision to increase the replacement frequency and capital intensity in the actual uniforms.
To be able to increase demand for new uniforms it is necessary to communicate directly with the people who wear them and to combine their wishes with new ideas for design and practical use. This can include anything from winter wear, new pockets, knee pads or anything else that improve working life and self esteem among the users.
By studying the uniforms in use and opening a conversation with the people who wear them a lot of knowledge can be gained, this knowledge can be put into practise when the knowledge is presented to the designers, and then be brought back to the users. The bottom up pressure accumulated can be used to address the decision makers and speed up the time until a new tender, a request for modifications or new accessories are placed. Some of the clients will be gigantic but some will be very small which will have an impact on the lobbying process.
A question is whether to focus on design only or also on production? Where can you be competitive?
This business idea is one of those that can be launched with limited capital as a trial collection of uniforms can be produced at a very limited cost. But on the other hand a huge investment can do equally good once the concept is tested and it’s clear that the idea has a global bearing.
The capital challenge occurs when a huge order has been received and large number of uniforms needs to be produced. How to get around this investment dilemma, a dilemma faced by a huge number of start-ups by the way? One solution might be to divide the order in smaller parts and try to get the client to pay up front. Another solution might be to negotiate a credit line with the producer and pay only on delivery or even later. We absolutely advice against producing the uniforms in-house as there are so many producers in low cost countries better suited for such a job, and they have production facilities for huge quantities in place.
To conclude, this business can be started with limited capital and that is a very good thing for the first time entrepreneur without access to the credit market.
The uniform market is huge, global and has a great growth potential which are all essential for value creation, attractive to investors and limits competition, as there is room for many market actors.
For you the turnaround time from order to delivery, contacts with the end users and production sourcing are crucial elements for success. If you can get them right you are set for success and keep in mind that even a smaller success can create significant wealth.
So, just get out there and try to get a pilot customer who is willing to pay you for your work and you are on your way. Not taking action is, as with all business ventures, your biggest enemy.
Many people are very keen on buying local handicrafts when they travel to places outside their own cultural setting and many are equally happy to pay dearly for genuine handicrafts of good quality and a real connection to the local culture and heritage.
Would there be an interest among consumers to buy handicrafts from distant places online to be able to decorate their homes and offices with a variety of high quality and genuine crafts from different parts of the world? We believe there would be an interest as the interest of personalisation when decorating homes and offices. We also believe and online marketplace would be a suitable solution to provide this service globally.
Would there also be an interest from producers of the same handicraft to reach a global market to increase their volumes and profits? Also here we believe there would be an interest.
Keywords: Handicraft, Business Idea, Internet Marketplace, Souvenirs
This business idea was added to the list of business ideas on October 6th 2017.
The challenge faced by the two customer types in this business idea is that the buyer would like to get hold of handicraft not available to her on the local market and the sellers of those handicrafts don’t have access to a global market, a market that has the potential of significantly increase their earnings.
When creating a marketplace you have two groups of clients with opposite interests. On the one hand you have the producers who wants to sell as much as they at as high a price as possible and on the other side you have the consumers who want to buy exclusive products at as low prices as possible.
The consumers of handicrafts want to feel special and have exotic handicraft and are probably willing to pay a premium price to achieve that exclusivity.
The producers of handicrafts are typically not very savvy in marketing and distribution, which is why their products hardly ever reach a market beyond the local market or souvenir shop in the village. Their challenge is to reach a larger market without having to put in much work in achieving this and for this they are most likely willing to pay a commission on anything they sell.
To solve the two types of client’s challenges you create a marketplace for handicraft. This marketplace must be secure and have an escrow service to make sure payments stay with you until the products have been safely delivered.
When creating any marketplace you face the classic catch 22 of getting buyers to a marketplace without products and getting suppliers to a marketplace without buyers. How do you solve this challenge? Forcing supply is probably the best way to get around the challenge, as the number of suppliers will, hopefully, be smaller than the number of buyers. Create a network of handicraft producers of various goods in various places and humbly ask them to list their products on your marketplace. The producers will have nothing to lose from listing their products except for the time it takes to make the photos, videos and product descriptions and you can offer to do this for them to ensure quality, fairness and increase the speed. Now you have marketplace supply but how to get buyers to your new marketplace?
Marketing of a marketplace is actually a rather straightforward process. As you have gathered a lot of products and posted them you have an excellent opportunity to create a large number of landing pages and you can also create great content about what you are doing and, especially, about the producers of the handicraft itself as many of these producers probably have interesting stories to share from their life and how they ended up working with handicraft. The actual production techniques are also of interest as that knowledge might now belong to only a few people and therefore have a historic and cultural value by itself. For the same reason you should also have a good chance to capture the interest of media.
Finally you need to find a way to receive and transfer the payments. Receiving payments should not be overly hard if you base your company in a developed country with a good banking and payment infrastructure and most buyers will have access to credit cards, PayPal etc. The payment challenge is when you should transfer money to the producers. For many of them, especially in developing countries, even small amounts might be of value; many of them probably lack any savings and want to be paid immediately on sale but transferring small amounts might be costly for you as you pay percentage and fixed amount commissions to your payment suppliers. The good news is that there are now many international payment networks also available in developing countries and if your marketplace produces good value for the producers they might accept waiting for payments.
In this business model you live on commissions taken from the buyer, the seller or both. It is important you charge enough to make the business sustainable but not too much to scare away the marketplace actors. As you grow bigger and increase your relative power over the sellers and buyers you can increase the commission but be aware that even at this stage you might be vulnerable as others might copy your business idea.
When developing a marketplace there are three main costs and those are system development, sourcing and marketing.
Developing a marketplace system is thankfully not a new idea so there are probably even off-the-shelf solutions you can buy, but adapting and continuing to develop the system will nevertheless consume resources and especially in the infant stages of your venture it might be a challenge to finance this development.
Sourcing the handicraft products for your marketplace might be a bit of a sales and logistical challenge. Where are the good producers? What arguments will make them co-operate? Do you need to travel extensively to find them? Once you have convinced a few suppliers to sign up for your marketplace it will be easier to add more of them and you will also know what arguments they trigger on. Do expect this process to be never ending though, if you fail to grow the number of sellers your business will be sensitive to any loss of sellers as that might trigger others to leave to and you end up in a negative spiral.
The marketing of the online marketplace is also a never-ending process and it’s of course not a straightforward job either. You need to test and test again, learn by doing and trial and error. Can you successfully pay for Internet traffic? Can you get organic traffic from the very start? Will you be able to attract attention from media? Can you use the products and sellers for clever social media marketing? Will you be good enough to attain a word of mouth effect where users keep bringing new users by sharing good reviews? These questions all needs to be answered and you are the one who will have to go about it. Don’t get overly nervous about it though, if others have succeeded in establishing their marketplaces you can be too.
Any company that manage to change the way goods are distributed, manage to increase the market for any particular goods and manage to do so at a profit is creating a huge value not only for its customers but also for its owners.
Maintaining a positive cash flow during the launch and expansion will be a big challenge but that is a challenge that can be overcome with good planning and some sly negotiations with the marketplace actors who might accept prepayments and delayed payments respectively which essentially mean the venture can be financed by these market actors as long as growth is maintained. Be on the alert for any dip in growth though as not being able to pay the suppliers is the same as immediate insolvency and bankruptcy if the owners don’t manage to inject more capital.
As always with start-ups, just doing it is by far the best way to achieving success! Happy hunting!
In a world were professionals relocate more and more frequently, where living abroad is becoming a common feature and where the status as expat is no longer reserved for a few the opportunities related to the internationalisation are growing and presents great possibilities for business.
Building platforms for aggregation of technologies is not a novel idea, there is a constant and fierce competition for the position as the leading platform for communication whether it is Viber, Whatsapp, Messenger, Skype, GSM, email or other systems but do they solve all the challenges we face? There are also entertainment platforms such as Netflix and others whose offers keep changing when you cross borders.
This business idea was added to the list of business ideas on October 15th 2017.
You are usually hooked up in the local system with respect to positioning; language, phones, physical address etc and all of them are, with some exceptions usually geared in on you having one location, one language and one home. Yes, you can squeeze in two SIM cards in your phone but what if you live in several countries and master several languages or just one language and live in several countries? Why is it not possible to have more than two phone numbers in a phone? Why can I not watch TV from one country in another country? Why can I not connect a multitude of numbers into WhatsApp and Viber? Why can I not add many homes to social networks?
Borders also limit banking and payment systems, and transactions across these borders often cost you dearly. Sure there is PayPal and other international transaction systems but they are not always fully compatible with all the suppliers you need to pay and some of these systems also charge a lot for cross-border transactions.
For many who live in multiple countries the technological and legal boundaries present a challenge if not an outright annoying hassle that continuously steal time, money and energy from us. What can be done to address this challenge?
Many of the currently successful communication platforms and many of the systems for entertainment and business are already the results of aggregation. Skype allows you to call anywhere in the world at much lower costs than by using regular phones which has put pressure on the telecom companies that in turn charge more for packages and subscriptions that for actual calling to compensate themselves. Entertainment platforms such as YouTube has fewer and fewer content changes when you cross borders even though the pricing for renting movies is very skewed depending on the income per capita in the respective countries.
Considering the already present aggregators there must be technical solutions for adding one platform on top of the other, merging phone numbers, making it easy to change locations or add multiple locations in one platform – you might actually be sitting in one of your homes doing things totally and only relevant for another one of your homes. Technical and legal boundaries have been successfully challenged in the past and there is little reason to believe they cannot be successfully challenged also in this case. What a dream it would be to have one tool to manage all of your messaging, entertainment and financial activities!
As always with technology there is only one certainty and that is that the development time will be longer than expected and the price higher than estimated. How much of the development in this case that can be based on present systems and how much must be developed from scratch is unknown and how much will it cost to fight back the companies that will do all they can to obstruct any aggregated platform that will make them obsolete are unknowns, so is the hassle that can – and most likely will – be presented by governments that are operating in yesterday’s legal system.
As always with communication platforms the establishment of a standard is key to gaining momentum and making a real profit. Establishing that standard can, and probably will, require huge investments in either technical development – to be superior - or marketing to be perceived as superior. These investments will probably be at a level that requires external investments, which will be a challenge since some technical progress needs to be in place before attracting those investors.
Since people living in multiple countries are typically better off and obviously more active than most a service to increase their comfort should be possible to charge for or, and, also attract advertisers. However, this is not a business idea without complexity so even if the potential return is enormous the challenges to overcome for success are also majestic.
Are you up for the challenge? Just get on with it!
Coming up with novel business ideas is not always easy and if one looks at the landscape of successful businesses most are actually not entirely novel but rather improvements of existing ones or adaptations of existing technology to new needs.
The luxury industry has been around since man lived in caves but it’s still relevant today and we believe there are plenty of room for more.
This business idea was added to the list of business ideas on October 15th 2017.
The ever-present challenge among humans how to stick out and show that they are better than others has given rise to many successful companies feeding off the enormous vanity among us. Archaeologists claim to have found ornaments as old as 100,000 years, which tells a lot about the human psyche.
Given that history of luxury there should be plenty of room for more and there is probably no end to how much luxury humans are willing to consume.
The solution for this particular idea regarding luxury is to take an every day item and make it luxurious or even extremely luxurious.
This idea is not exactly a novel one but it is nevertheless relevant and there are plenty of items available for luxuryfication and there are plenty of room for additional distribution channels of such goods. One should also keep in mind that with regards to luxury, the purchase, and visibility of the purchase is an important part of the vanity driving the luxury industry. To be seen making a luxury purchase feeds into the feeling of exclusivity too.
Some examples of items that can be lifted to the level of luxury and how they can be lifted – some might exist already but that is not necessarily a problem:
Many online places for luxity exist already but are they available to the wider public? Create an online luxury store with a Rodeo Drive Feeling.
A lot of the solution to the perceived challenge lies in design and luxury distribution. People also tend to want to justify why they consume luxury with arguments related to quality. “I bought this crazily expensive pen because it’s meets my needs etc”. This is of course mostly bogus but nevertheless luxury items needs to have a quality higher than the average product, the cost of that quality is usually not even remotely close to the mark-up of the item for the consumer though. Distribution is key to the success of this business idea.
Design and marketing is probably more important factors for success with this business idea than the choice of product for luxuryfication. Humans will buy anything that has a nice design and a perceived status attached to it. There are no limits to human’s urge for status and that is not likely to change.
The distribution of the luxury items can be done in channels owned and established by the company itself or through other companies with existing retail operations on- or off-line.
Is there a need for external investors for this business idea? Investors would certainly help speed up the marketing and distribution effort but with some ingenuity it should be possible to get a spin on this idea without external investors.
The profit potential is enormous, especially if new distribution channels can be found. Changing distribution channels for an industry has historically been proven as one of the great wealth creators.
If the luxury good is established as a brand the profits can be enormous and even in a smaller scale production the margins can be sky high. The danger zones are perceived quality and status of ownership. If those can be maintained the business can be solid.
This list of small business ideas was published on October 21st 2017.
Most businesses are small and managed in person by the owner. There are several advantages with small businesses: the owner can have control, they require little capital to start and they can still have great potential for growth after a solid foundation has been built. Many small businesses are also generic and don’t have a very imaginative business idea which makes it even easier to start them up. Just look at what the neighbour is doing and copy it.
Below we list some common small businesses ideas that require little capital to start and can be managed by the owner on his own. Many of the business ideas are totally obvious, and need no further explanation but can be a reminder of the many fields a small business can be applied to.
Lack of efficient delivery of goods to households is an obstacle to trade and commerce. Today small deliveries can be made through the mailbox but any larger packages or goods that need refrigeration usually have to be coordinated with the household to make sure somebody is at home to sign-off on the delivery or at least make sure it is safely brought into the house. This situation creates hassle and limit the interest of households to buy online.
A solution for safe deliveries without the need for household participation could create an enormous boost to both household’s and producer’s economies. This delivery system must be safe - have codes or keys to access the delivered goods - and have technology for package identification and delivery verification as well as provide refrigeration of the goods. The market actors must also agree on set standards for the various logistical chains, nodes and endpoints.
The costs foremost relates to establishing an accepted standard that will be used by all producers, retailers and delivery companies while being cheap enough for households to install it. For apartment buildings this equipment might have to be installed outside but near the property. The equipment needed is probably already available on the market in other uses like safety boxes at train stations, banks, hotels, warehouses, in large scale international transportation – the container system being an excellent example - and the refrigerator technique is tested but access to the power grid wherever the delivery point is set up will have to be provided. With an accepted standard and production of scale the implementation could be made possible at a cost accepted throughout the supply chain though.
Being the person or company establishing the standard for deliveries while also providing the equipment needed would create enormous riches for that person or company as the new process of deliveries would give all parties an enormous opportunity to consume and transport goods at a much lower cost.
The new delivery system would disrupt the current logistical chain and be enormously attractive to online retailers, wholesalers, delivery and logistical companies as well as households. All these savings could potentially equal profits through the entire chain of transportation and consumption.
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