Founding a new company, especially one in a highly competitive market can be a daunting endeavor. However, most will find that the opposite is true. In fact, choosing a healthy and viable segment is usually the first step to success, which is why many female entrepreneurs are leaning towards the promising $445 billion beauty industry in an effort to self-start their way to big-time success. You will see similar statistics with the pet industry. Americans are spending over $60 billion on sales for luxury pet services, wellness products, and apparel according to the IBIS World Industry Report and the American Products Association. So, founding a new start-up in a highly competitive category can be a great idea due to the thriving market. However, there are a few critical questions that you need to ask before saying “yes” to this challenge.
You can really gain a competitive edge over others by knowing what is missing within an industry. For example, Max Bone was able to target the underserved luxury pet segment by creating highly practical products with an innovative twist. His new brand which is possibly one of the first wide-scale luxury pet brands with major distribution, creates unique and sophisticated offerings that range from hand-knit jumpers designed to keep shedding hairs in place for dogs, to cat and dog baby start kits, to a sold-out line of teepees. More examples of recognizing the market gap include AirBnB reimaging travel, Venmo and their digital wallet app to instantly send money, and Uber which is the ride shuttling sharing service.
Along with recognizing the market gap, it is important to ensure that there is a broad enough consumer base for long-term growth. One example of this would be the newly founded beauty brand called Summer Fridays which targeted millennials who loved to travel with its Jet Lag Mask. This hit a new sweet spot in the beauty market and resulted in the company’s initial product selling out quickly at Sephora. So, be on the lookout for overlapping needs and markets in order to weigh the consumer demand.
According to Morgan Stewart who is the founder of activewear brand @tlabymorganstewart, “the key to standing out is to do the opposite.” Linda Rottenberg, author of “Crazy Is A Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags” has agreed to that sentiment citing in a Forbes article “that the concept of entrepreneurship requires being bold, sharpening your ideas, and facing down critics.” To do so, you will need both physical and emotional stamina to walk away from your current job. Morgan Stewart encourages those looking to become entrepreneurs to always do what they believe in despite any naysayers. However, you must be in it for the long haul and you must be the biggest believer in your vision.