Unique Market, Unique Products
Nowadays, there is so much information out there for entrepreneurs. It some ways, it’s never been easier to launch, market and grow a business. In other ways, however, it can be more challenging than before as industries flood with new products. A small business can harness social media to build a brand and draw in new customers. However, so can every other small business and therefore, you might have to fight for clicks. With more information, comes more competition.
So, what can you do? How can you stand out?
On the latest episode, “A Powerhouse Industry: Plant-Based Protein,” of the Making Bank podcast, guest Jim Pakulis relays his advice for starting entrepreneurs. With the waves of new entrepreneurs each year, Jim explains how you can not only stand out, but suceed.
It all comes down to your market and your product.
Many people begin with a certain product in mind before they even realize they are an entrepreneur. For example, you may encounter a problem in your own life that leads you to ask—“why isn’t there a solution to this?” This question may lead to you discovering the solution on your own, i.e. a product or service. Then, you build a company around that.
While that is a perfectly natural and normal way to approach entrepreneurship, it’s also important to remember it’s not the only way. In fact, starting with the product or service can be risky, as so much of your success—and your company’s success—relies on its validity.
Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the possibility that you could invent a product or service in the first place that you overlook if you should. It makes sense—the thought of starting your own company is exciting. However, entrepreneurs have something in common with other areas of expertise—it takes 10,000 hours.
What I mean by that is not necessarily that you need to spend 10,000 hours on your idea to improve it. Rather, the first product you think of might not be your best. So, when starting your entrepreneurial journey, remember to keep an open mind and be intentional with your actions.
Another way to help you stand out is to look at your market first. Instead of approaching entrepreneurship with a product or service in mind and then allotting that into a specific industry, try looking at the industry first.
Jim Pakulis and his team spend hours and hours researching. While they research companies to acquire, they also investigate the industries themselves. They ask themselves questions: Is the industry growing? How quickly? What are the margins? And other statistics.
Once they’ve aggregated data on the different industries, they can compare which field is best to enter. While some fields may feel like a flash in the pan—others are not. Jim and his team invested in the plant protein market, which grows more and more every year.
An important statistic Jim discovered that convinced him of the plant protein market is that majority of the people who buy plant protein are not vegan. This indicates that the consumers of plant protein may not be as limited as originally thought. In fact, plant protein could eventually be something incorporated in the American diet, something that vegetarians and omnivores alike can buy.
That one statistic, as well as all the accompanying ones, was enough for Jim to take a leap of faith. Now, his company Boosh is in over 400 stores in Canada and is currently expanding into the U.S.
Once you’ve found your industry, now is the time to look at problems within that industry. What is a pain point that no one has solved? What is a pain point that is common and inconvenient? Sometimes, entrepreneurs try to provide answers to a question that not many people have. Sometimes, entrepreneurs try to solve problems that don’t really exist in the first place.
When Jim and his team were interested in the plant protein market, they understood a couple of things. First, everyone was making plant-based burgers. Products like Impossible burgers and the Beyond burger have already established their market share, as well as countless smaller competitors. So, when Boosh was thinking about products, they didn’t want to do a burger. They wanted to do something else.
For this, they had to look at the plant-based industry and wonder what was lacking. Then, they filled in the gaps.
Boosh and their products are 100% plant-based, non-GMO, gluten free, and low on sugar and sodium. However, they’re so much more than that. They are also plant-based comfort food.
When it came to the plant-protein industry, so many companies were focusing on burgers as well as healthy foods. Boosh wanted to provide something different. They wanted to give the comfort of meals like shepherd’s pie and Bolognese but with all the health benefits of plant-based products. And it worked. Their shepherd’s pie and Bolognese are their top sellers.
You see, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. When so many others are trying to provide an answer to a solution, the market can get muddled. On the other end of the spectrum, inventing something completely new can be astronomically challenging as you must introduce customers to a new market entirely.
Instead of finding the perfect solution, you only need to find a creative answer.