The goal of every startup company is to be innovative enough to get a foothold in an increasingly competitive market. This is a daunting task, as nearly every market is already saturated and rife with competition, and it can be difficult finding something that’s actually new.
So, how do you exactly carve a niche in a broad market? Whether it is tech or retail, you need to consider a few things to find out if the market you are targeting actually needs your products and services.
Collaboration and Cooperation
Although innovation is your startup’s goal, it is equally important that you get advice from those who have already established their businesses, especially those who are already thriving in a broad or saturated market. You will not be copying their ideas or basing your strategy on theirs; instead, you will be looking at what difficulties they may be facing or have faced in the past, and taking the necessary steps to avoid it.
GSVLabs.com notes that most accelerator programs for startups are now shifting to this approach in terms of developing innovative ideas, with an increasing focus on the value of collaborating between those just starting out and those who already have a foothold in the market. While a full partnership is not exactly necessary, cooperation is something that everyone benefits from.
Starting Small and Simple
Most startups immediately try to get a foothold on a wide and broad market, often on a national or even international level. This is a pitfall that many fall into and unfortunately, cannot get back up from. Starting out small and then widening the startup’s specialty is the more effective as you’ll be able to ‘test the waters’ in the local market.
Creating a simpler service or providing specialized products actually breeds innovation as you’ll be narrowing your target market, and in turn, you’ll be able to think of more innovative ideas. Mobile tech, for example, is a very broad and saturated market. An innovative approach to this particular market involves thinking outside the box and finding a different angle to the service or product. Whether it’s a mobile phone that runs or water or a smartphone case that doubles as a charger and signal booster, sometimes the weirdest ideas are the most profitable.
Innovation isn’t possible unless you get out of your comfort zone and really think outside the box. And while it’s important to think of an innovative idea all by yourself, it’s also good to learn from other startups who may have been on the same road as you are now a long time ago.