Society paints a picture of entrepreneurs as uniquely creative individuals, like Steve Jobs, who defined a generation of products. But the reality on the ground is often very different. In fact, the vast majority of entrepreneurs never have a unique or original thought in their lives. Instead, their skill is in bringing together the various factors of production and putting them to good use.
That might all sound quite technical, but the basic idea is simple. If you’re a practical and sociable person, then being an entrepreneur is actually relatively easy. You don’t need any groundbreaking ideas. You don’t even need to change the world. You just need to do the job of being an entrepreneur well.
Getting Into New Markets
You can see for yourself that entrepreneurs rarely have unique and original ideas. Yes, they tinker around the edges and try to provide an original experience. But the basic reality is that most of the millions of new businesses people start every year are carbon copies of companies already out there.
Ask yourself: is there really a big difference between all of the independent cafés in your town? Does one accountancy firm that you hire differ substantially from all the others? Chances are, probably not.
It’s actually a myth that you need to be original in business. It comes mainly from our social circles. Anyone who says that they want to create a business immediately has to prove that they are somehow different from the next company. When answers fail to materialize, the wannabe entrepreneur feels disheartened.
But the differences between companies are much smaller than you might expect. In reality, the experience that they provide customers is almost always very similar.
The trick here is to realise that originality isn’t a prerequisite. In business, the only thing that matters is creating value. So, for example, you could set up an identical café to one across town. But if yours is close by, people in the local area will value that because they want to save time and money on transport. Notice, you didn’t do anything original at all. Instead, you simply found a way to add value – and that’s the key.
Go With What Works
Take a look at all of the different types of franchising with examples. What do you notice? You immediately see that many people have success simply going with what works already.
We have had a market economy for many decades and, in that time, entrepreneurs from previous generations have worked out how to satisfy people’s needs. In many industries, there isn’t any requirement for a revolution. There’s just a shortage of people who know how to lead. So that’s another reason why business ideas don’t have to be completely original. You can simply slot into an industry that interests you and run a company from there.
In summary, starting a business doesn’t necessarily require having a niche. The main consideration is value. Are you doing something that people will want to buy? If the answer is “yes,” then your business will flourish.