Laptop Startups Could Be The Next Wave
With economic growth slow and the jobs market still stagnant more than four years after the end of the recession, many entrepreneurs are starting to think outside the box. Many of the jobs that were lost in the economic downturn likely aren't coming back, but there might be a new economy emerging. Advancements in technology and social media have made it possible to start a business at home with nothing more than a laptop and an idea. Blogger Seyi Fabode recently wrote in the Huffington Post about industries that are ripe for new web-based business ideas, such as healthcare, marketing, recruiting, and real estate.
Betsy Gelb, professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Houston, tells KTRH the so-called "laptop startup" strategy can work if you're willing to do some legwork ahead of time. First, she recommends finding a customer base for your idea. "You always want to start with where is an organization I can sell to, or where is a group of folks," she says. That's part of her preferred strategy to target businesses or groups instead of individual customers. "It is way easier to market to businesses in that you simply need fewer customers to make a fair amount of money," she explains.
Once you've established an idea and a customer base, you need to test it for feedback before going forward with it. "Can you identify real live folks with money who say if you do that, then I will at least try buying from you," says Gelb. "If not, this is not a good plan." When it comes to starting a new business or getting a new business idea off the ground, Gelb says the biggest key to success is in listening rather than selling. "Potential customers are the best source of telling you is this a good idea or not."