If you believe you have a great idea for a business, then do some market research and see if others agree with you. All too often, people are quick to assume they have created the most fantastic idea for a start-up in the history of the world, and, because they so fiercely believe in it, automatically conclude that everyone else will too. Yet statistics show that, within the first five years, 50% of all new small businesses flop, and, even if they make it past this point, a further 50% also fail.
Unfortunately, as good as you may think your business is, the reality may be very different. However, if you have a strong, original concept, and a genuine desire to explore the feasibility of starting a new business, then serious business planning will be needed. If the idea of writing a plan is too daunting, then get a professional to do the hard work for you. Specialist companies like Plan Writer provide bespoke business plans to ensure you won’t stumble at the first entrepreneurial hurdle. Once you have a clear, concise model of the business and your commercial aim, then it’s time to conduct some market research. If consumers and potential investors hate the idea, then it’s likely you’re already fighting a losing battle, yet if the response is, ‘when I can buy it?’ you could be onto to a winner.
Still, even if the feedback you receive is enough to make you cry, do not be too disheartened, for sometimes, even the wackiest business ideas prove the pundits wrong, and grow into incredibly successful companies. Here are three of the strangest examples of business success; can you imagine presenting a pitch to potential investors for any of these companies?
1. Pet Rocks
In 1975, an advertising executive by the name of Gary Dahl conceived an idea for the perfect pet: a rock. The idea was born out of a discussion in a local bar about caring for pets, and Dahl went on to design an “instruction manual” complete with guidance and tips regarding the raising of and caring for your pet rock. He must have been ridiculed for the idea, but Dahl certainly had the last laugh, for 6 months later he had sold approximately 1.5 million pet rocks, and become a millionaire. The business was shortly discontinued due to poor sales, but pet rocks became available for purchase again in September 2012.
2. Fake Wishbones
Would anyone really want to pay money for a fake plastic wishbone? Surely the whole point of a wishbone is the magic of fighting over who gets to try and break it, and make the one special wish? Well, apparently not. A Seattle based company called ‘Lucky Break Wishbone’ reportedly manufacture 30,000 plastic wishbones a day for commercial sale. At $4 minimum spend, this business has certainly impressed those who may have first raised their eyebrows at the idea!
3. The Pet Loo
So I apologise for using two pet-related business concepts within this article (if you can classify the first one as pet-related), but this business too is an idea that may have been met with scepticism when the idea was born. The Pet Loo is, quite a simply, a toilet for your pet; the product is a small square of artificial grass with a waste collector underneath, for your beloved pooch to use at their convenience, inside or outside. If you work long hours, live somewhere with garden access, or just hate venturing out into the cold to allow your pet to do his business, then this small square of fake grass is perfectly designed for you (or rather, your pet!).
So there we have it, three strange business ideas that initially, the market research may have ridiculed. But, sometimes, you have to trust your gut instinct, and, even if you feel you’ve hit rock bottom, your wish for success may not be as loo-dicrously far out of reach as you might think.