Rob Herr
Rob Herr, Marketing at Accede Holdings Pty Ltd

Startup

What are the best and worst ideas for offline startup businesses?

I created an article before on the best ideas for online startups but I want to know your insights offline. What are the best and worst offline ideas for a startup business?

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Rob,

I would say offline businesses that have a high barrier to entry into the market before you can validate that you have a viable idea. This could be something like a medical device.

Entering a market with a lot of competition (e.g. pizza, clothing, creative agency) can be a real challenge if you don't have a noticeable and meaningful value proposition that clearly gives you an advantage against incumbent competitors.

Also starting any business when trying to only beat your competition on price (it is not a sustainable differentiator). You'll probably get involved in a race to the bottom (a.k.a. no profit margin) so you'll likely not be in business very long. This is especially true when long time businesses have much greater scale or profitability that they can sacrifice in the short term to run you out of business (because their profit margin can sustain a hit for an extended amount of time).

There are many other problematic businesses to start 'offline' but I think those are the largest problem areas.

Rob Herr

Rob Herr , Marketing at Accede Holdings Pty Ltd

I was thinking the other night that this age seems like marrying both online and offline markets and most people that I notice succeeding seems to target busine... read more
I was thinking the other night that this age seems like marrying both online and offline markets and most people that I notice succeeding seems to target businesses that is related to online. Am I right Jef?
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Well, yes and no. I think online gets a lot more attention and fanfare than traditional business. This is especially true on online blogs such as Tech Crunch, T... read more
Well, yes and no. I think online gets a lot more attention and fanfare than traditional business. This is especially true on online blogs such as Tech Crunch, The Next Web and others. I think the other reason is that Venture Capitalist firms seem very interested in Tech companies that they believe can scale exponentially in a short amount of time. I think this is creating an insulated bubble in the market (but that is for another conversation). Traditional business just doesn't seem to be as trendy currently, but there are more traditional business based entrepreneurs than tech (if you look at the overall market). Again, how I view "tech" is different. If a company is making a medical device it may have some tech, but really is a medical or bio-medical company first (these are very semantic and subjective definitions and view points). I do think it is wise for all businesses to have a presence online, because it is how most consumers look to connect with products, services and brands.
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