[Free Book Preview #22] STEP 2: What Exists Elsewhere?

Hey there, Freedom Seeker!

Welcome to the exhilarating big sky of small business entrepreneurship!

I wrote a book for you. This book reveals the Unbiased Small Business Research Formula developed from decades in the trenches of American Main Street and online business as a small business entrepreneur and a coach. Its objective is to help you become the successful creator of the new life you envision by objectively guiding you in researching and choosing the right business.

In the next weeks, I’ll share free sections of the book with you before it’s released for publication and available for purchase.


Chapter 9 Step 2 of 4

9.2 – STEP 2: What Exists Elsewhere?

Sometimes, great business ideas already exist somewhere else. In another country, culture, or circle that you are intimately familiar with, there are solutions to problems, annoyances, or inconveniences waiting to be “imported” to your country of residence or a market that doesn’t have access to it. Are you acquainted with cultural traditions from elsewhere, and do you recognize an opportunity to introduce them to your local market through a business? Do you have access to certain products, services, or information exclusive to a particular circle and not available to a mainstream audience? 

  • How the culture of coffee was introduced in the US is a great example of business ideas brought from elsewhere. 

Peet’s Coffee was founded in 1966 by Alfred Peet in Berkeley, California, a Dutch-American entrepreneur who grew up in the Netherlands, where his family owned a coffee roasting business. When he moved to the United States in the 1950s, he found the quality of coffee available was subpar to what he was accustomed to. From his family’s background and inspired by the European coffee tradition, he saw a business opportunity in the US. Peet recognized “bad coffee” as a problem, an inconvenience, or an annoyance that needed to be solved. Hence, he opened his first store in Berkeley, California—where Peet’s is now known for their high-quality, freshly roasted beans and strong, full-bodied coffee. 

Peet wanted to bring better coffee to the American market and became known as “the godfather of gourmet coffee” in the US, most notably influencing Starbucks’ founders Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker.

  • My first business was a day spa because during my first trip as a tourist to the US, I had recognized a need in the market. It seemed like a good opportunity and a fun endeavor. I grew up in a culture where day spas are the norm. I received my first facial for my 14th birthday. I was astonished that in the US, there was no place even to get a decent leg waxing service, let alone a facial. So, when I returned to France, I proceeded to explore the spa industry by enrolling in a skincare and spa management school and working on weekends for a Parisian spa boutique. When I returned to the US for good this time, I had enough industry knowledge to start a studio-size spa business. It turned out that the market and my ideal customers, primarily women, were ready for what the spa business offered. It was an incredible fortune that I had picked a business idea that solved a problem, an annoyance, or an inconvenience and that my local market was ready for and could afford the services my business offered. Multicultural and stressed-out Silicon Valley was the perfect ground to launch a new business in a nascent industry. 

In subsequent decades, the US spa industry exploded and reached $20.1 billion by 2022, according to Statista. 

Other circles: Another source of business ideas is to create a business that democratizes access to certain products, services, or knowledge. Could you start a company that offers products or services that have traditionally been accessible to exclusive circles and that you can now bring to the general public?

  • Apple’s cofounders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, had a vision of placing a personal computer in every home. At the time, computers were primarily tools for businesses, government institutions, and universities. They were expensive and difficult for the average person to use.

  • Andrew Huberman, PhD, is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stanford School of Medicine. Traditionally, scientific research has remained within the walls of exclusive laboratories and academic circles. Through his efforts to democratize science, Huberman makes complex scientific concepts accessible to the general public and helps people understand and apply the principles of neuroscience to improve their daily lives. 

In 2021, Dr. Huberman launched the Huberman Lab podcast. By breaking down scientific jargon and making neuroscience concepts relatable, Dr. Huberman enables a broader audience to understand and appreciate the importance of scientific research. The podcast is monetized through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliates.

New Trends for New Business Ideas What trends have you noticed that can justify the creation of a new business or a new product? Be sure to differentiate between short-lasting and long-lasting trends from fads to micro-trends, macro-trends, and mega-trends. Fads are short lived; mega-trends are here to stay. Any leader of small and big businesses must pay attention to trends to forecast the impact and opportunities for their companies. Trends affect the environment in which businesses operate, even if the business itself doesn’t seem related to the trend. They are great opportunities to find innovative and disruptive business ideas. Observing and recognizing trends can guide you in identifying a business idea. It helps to recognize the types of trends and how they might stick around or disappear quickly. In order of longevity and market reach, from short lived to those here to stay, there are fads, micro-trends, macro-trends, and mega-trends. 

  • You might have heard of Blockbuster, a market-dominating video rental store franchise chain in the 1980s and 1990s. It was acquired for $8.4 billion in 1994. Yet, in 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and gradually closed its 5,000 stores. The cause of Blockbuster’s demise was ignoring several trends that other companies like Netflix and Amazon used to their advantage. Trend #1: By the mid-2000s, high-speed internet had become more widespread and was available to most households. Trend #2: It led to a shift to digital media consumption, leading to the rise of online streaming services. Trend #3: Blockbuster failed to recognize how a subscription model that gives customers access to a large library of movies generates consistent revenue. Newcomer Netflix didn’t. In 2000, Blockbuster also passed on the opportunity to buy Netflix for a mere $80 million. Trend #4: Blockbuster ignored yet another trend: the rise of data analysis in the mid-2000s, with big data supported by new tools and technology. Data analysis of customer behavior and preferences provides customized recommendations.Trend #5: They also failed to recognize the appeal of Redbox video rental kiosks with vending machines available in high-traffic areas like grocery stores, restaurants, airports, pharmacies, etc. 

Ignoring trends was a lethal mistake for Blockbuster. Newcomers like Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, and others took advantage of the opportunities presented by new trends and built successful businesses. Fads and micro-trends quickly gain in popularity and may disappear just as fast: clothing, foods, exercises, and hairstyles. The fashion industry relies on fads and micro-trends, for example; without seasonally changing vogues, it would simply not exist. Investing in a business based on a fad is risky unless it can adapt to, or create, new tastes. 

  • Social media was considered a fad for teenagers at one point. It has since grown into a macro-trend, if not a mega-trend, that has transformed how we communicate, consume media, and do business. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become essential tools for individuals, businesses, and organizations.


Joining the VIP Waitlist

Would you like early access to your copy of the book as soon as it is released and receive a bonus book companion coaching session?

During the private coaching session, I’ll guide you through the exercises and templates in the book. Available to the first 20 VIPs who purchase the book. To join the VIP waitlist, click here.

Invite to book a call

Getting started

If this is you…
Do you want greater freedom & income
from a business you own?
If so, you probably have a question or two about
starting a business from an idea or buying one.
A critical step is to build a business foundation for
success BEFORE you invest greatly.
Click here to book a no-cost consultation.