Many people have business ideas, but something that deters them from bringing their visions into reality is that their ideas are “just too weird.” What if your audience is such a tiny niche that you can’t support yourself? Will investors or banks even give you a second thought if you ask for a loan?
Your business does not have to be “mainstream,” though, or “creative-but-not-outlandish.” People may play it cool as often as they can, but they are more ready for weirdness and creativity than you realize. As Pipewise CEO Michael Wulf says, “The best startups only seem obvious in retrospect… We never had to ask the question ‘will this work?’ since we already saw it working. It is possible to create a ‘good’ startup with a ‘good’ idea, but ‘great’ startups are often the result of ideas that would have seemed ridiculous if you had heard of them prior to seeing them working.”
Some of the more unusual ideas
Jellyfish Art: Have you heard of a company called Jellyfish Art? Whether you have or haven’t, you won’t forget it. CEO Alex Mandon was a marine biology student at Duke University, and after realizing how popular the jellyfish exhibit was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, he now sells jellyfish, tanks, and jellyfish food on a consumer level. He “invested $50,000 to launch the company… and is now doubling its profits quarterly,” according to Business News Daily.
Withings: Withings is a company that makes scales with built-in wireless networking, so it can share your weight with other devices and enables you to track your fitness progress more accurately. Business Insider reports that it’s going strong, and people are even allowed to tweet their results.
Strayboots: You’re probably aware that escape rooms have become immensely popular, but there’s another childhood fantasy more than one company has made for adults: scavenger hunts. Companies like Strayboots organize scavenger hunts for corporate events or other gatherings, so that you can get competitive hunting for objects without your children guilt-free.
Hangover Helpers: If only there were a service for everything, right? Well, we are one step closer with Hangover Helpers, which Money Crashers notes was developed by two college students in Boulder, CO “to help their hungover clients crawl back to the land of the living with as little pain as possible.” Once you call them, they arrive at your house with hangover-curing beverages and clean every bit of the party from the night before. See? They supplied a demand people didn’t even know they had until someone opened the opportunity.
Meow Wolf: And then there’s Meow Wolf. Yes, that’s its name. It’s a company composed of all different kinds of artists that created a sort of immersive, cohesive art-installation experience. Participants can go and play detective for the narrative involved, or they can just explore its incredibly detailed fantasy forests. It’s amusing, rather psychedelic, and people love it.
Almost every company was a startup once, and several of them sounded ludicrous in their infanthood. As monolithic as Facebook now, it was originally a “virtual yearbook” when Myspace was still a major player. Amazon was originally a virtual bookstore, which seemed doomed to fail when you could just go to a physical one. There was an audience for both of them lying in wait, though, so don’t be convinced yours isn’t out there.
If you need some inspiration
If you want to start a creative new business, but don’t actually have an idea yet, Oberlo has you covered with everything from the best business ideas to Instagram follower hacks you should know. It’s got recommendations ranging from things like cat-eye sunglasses (which are apparently becoming increasingly popular) to beard oil (men’s grooming is something that should never die) to elephant decor (who doesn’t love elephants?). The right idea will hit you eventually.
When you’re ready to get your business started, make sure your credit is up to par. Creditrepair.com says, “If your credit is in the excellent category (781-850) you are on target for being able to establish credit easier at the get-go. If your credit is not at least in the good category (660-780) then you have some work to do in improving your credit before starting your business.” Even once you convince who you need to that your business is worthwhile, you want to make yourself as appealing as possible by letting them know you are deft with finances.
If your personal credit discourages investors regardless of how awesome your startup idea is, you can consider moving all your debt under one roof by getting a balance transfer credit card to help you pay it back faster. You can even get one for your business once it’s up and running, too.
And remember: marketing is everything. You probably won’t have enough money for TV commercials right from the get-go, so start by amassing an online audience and reaching out to people through social media sites.