Start Up Ideas from Work

Your workplace is a fertile ground for you to look for ideas for your start up. This is true whether you work for a small and medium sized enterprise (SME), a large corporation, a non-profit or even the government.

If you work in a manufacturing environment, you will come across frequent purchases of either raw materials, parts or semi-finished goods or subassemblies.  All these items are inputs for your firm to manufacture depending on the type of finished goods it produces. It may be tempting for one to look at the high value purchases. By all means, do so but bear in mind that suppliers for these items may have taken years to build up their reputation and capacity to fulfill the substantial orders. For a start up, you may want to go down the list to look at items where the total amount purchased is not high. For such items, there may not be that much competition. In other words, there may not be many suppliers for these items.

If you work for a services firm, you may notice that it purchases considerable quantity of goods and services.  Like the manufacturing example above, you may want to go down the list of the value of items or services purchased to explore further.

Once you have a shortlist of items or services purchased, look at the prices the firm is paying for them. There may be reasons the firm is paying a much higher price for certain items or services. It could be because of the long term relationship between the supplier and the firm. Or the supplier may have some unique links with directors of the firm. If the reason is such that you think there is no chance of the firm abandoning the preferred supplier, its best to drop them from consideration.

Excluding those cases, you may feel that there is a chance that the firm may change to less expensive suppliers for specific items or services. This could be due to your perception that the person making those purchases cannot be bothered to source around for cheaper prices.

You could then probe further to find out whether you are able to start up a business to supply the same items or provide the same services at a lower price. At the same time, compare the prices of other potential suppliers for the same items or services to assess the competition.

To assess the viability of your start up idea, you can use an Android App like StartBizUp.

Download Free StartBizUp App