Archive for New Business Ideas

Motivational Alarms

Lately I’ve been pushing things harder than ever before, while i normally bounce out of bed – Lately I’ve needed to get up several hours earlier than sense would dictate.

My coach sent me this clip on facebook and as an experiment I’ve decided to reprogram my alarm to use it’s audio to wake me up in the morning. For those app developers out there – I think there might be a business in it. Wake up every morning to a new inspiring, motivating and be ready to take on the world – Now i’d pay for that.

Obviously the motivational video is meant for sport, but for me my game is business. If you want to be the best in the world at anything, you need to out preform all others, it does matter if you want to be the best parent, business or sports star. The difference is making the hard decision when the easy decision would suffice.

Halloween Costumes – A Branding Opportunity

In the Halloween Costumes industry there has been a recent fascinating development that should make all marketeers stop dead in the tracks. It’s become a real game changer this year. Companies who have developed characters, cartoon or otherwise, to use in the TV and marketing campaigns are starting to awaken to the new social economy. By Licensing their costumes to be manufactured and sold to loyal customers who love their marketing / brand so much that they are willing to pay to dress up and represent their brand for the night, they have living social endorsement. This is the kind of marketing that we as the business community spend hundreds of thousands trying to achieve and mean while there is a queue of people, willing and ready with cash in hand to pay for the pleasure in promoting your brand.

Now the arguments are vast why many brands will turn down the opportunity of this new form of customer engagement, what if The Burger King was to be photographed eating in McDonalds or The Honey Monster was to make a wholly show of himself on the dance floor doing a funky chicken impersonation. To me this is yesteryear thinking and trying to control the conversation. People are smart enough to know it’s the guy in the suit who can’t dance and either way, the brands just given them a bit of a laugh and will be at the forefront of their mind for the next few days.

The Juxtaposition of customers adopting brands that represent them in their Halloween Costumes isn’t suitable to every brand, but if you have a brand with a character it could be massive untapped potential. Certainly for a new brand wanting to make a splash and that has a decent TV and Billboard budget, it’s worth considering should you create a character with this as part of your strategy. At the moment my industry is actually paying the brands to license their characters, however I expect come next year the tables may turn and they will infact be aggressively encouraging it. – New Business Launch

This weeks sees the launch of my latest venture, a very niche specialist firm in Radar technology and other Marine electronic equipment.

Marine Electronics Website

Marine Electronics Website

This is the first web venture taken on by Zatori which is specifically targeted at more than one country as today all are ventures, while big exporters, were developed to predominately serve one country – Ireland or India in the case of The Costume Shop India.

We’ve teamed up with several of the industry market leaders such as Raymarine, Lowrance, Simrad, Cathelco and B&G Marine, to offer a wide and varied range of equipment to suit every size and shape of small boat, yacht and fisheries vessel. We’ve also started to partner with installation firms accross Europe who our customers can use to fit the equipment on the vessel.

Using our experience, superior technology and extremely lean distribution center, is shaping up to be a great success with much interest from customers from every corner or Europe already visiting the site. It’s early days and the sites content is growing rapidly, but these are very exciting times in the Zatori Offices.

Disruptive Technologies and Shifts in Business Models

Lately I’ve been studying the difference between new business models that improve on the current model of how an Industry does business Vs a business model that is so different compared to what the industry is currently doing, that the existing players are unable to take them on because doing so would admit that the model and strategy that they currently rely to deliver results is no longer relevant. As such by reaching far out past incremental improvements in strategy and model adjustments, an entrepreneur can create an uncontested field where they can thrive in the fledging years. Ofcourse as their success grows others will replicate their models, however the initial period of an uncontested market means margins that allows them grow at supernormal rates.

The below lecture by professor Clayton Christensen (HBS), of the Innovators Dilema fame, gives great insight to competitive markets and strategy when faced with the 3 year mark after the introduction of disruptive business models.

Getting Irish Businesses Online

This morning Google announced a new project called “Getting Irish Businesses Online”. I was fortunate enough to be included in Googles case study as an example how Zatori has successfully mastered the e-commerce experience.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny popped over to Googleplex Dublin for the launch with two other ministers, which shows great support and intent for Irish businesses.
Getting Irish Businesses Online - Press launch

The atmosphere was refreshingly positive with a mix of fledgling entrepreneurs and industry experts, mingling alongside Googlers, politicians and the obligatory press and twitterati.

The initiative designed to get more business moving into the digital market place online and to start doing more business via online. Blacknight are offering free .ie, .eu or .com domains for a year, hosted and there is a basic website site creator tool available for those who want to get a quick online presence. I’ve been told it takes an average user with no experience in design about 20 mins to set a site up with the tool, which is impressive by any measurements.

Google Getting Businesses Online - Ronan O'BrienGoogles Get Business Online Project

Featured in the Photo’s (to the left) Ronan Harris, Director of Sales at Google Ireland and (below) Brendan Harris of Dillion Solicitors with myself.

Hopefully this initiative along with some talks arranged by the local enterprise boards will add a huge amount of new businesses to the online sector in Ireland. I’d strongly suggest for those that are in business with no online presence and could benefit from one that they should take advantage of the immense opportunity this program and hopefully with the power of Google behind the project you can learn from the best in the different fields of going online. I’m hoping to get involved with speaking at some of the events in the different regions and if possible I’ll try to make sure that they get put up online so that the most people possible can benefit.

In the mean time check out the site and what’s on offer.

It’s all about finishing

Seth Godin, One of my favorite marketeers and “the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age” according to Business Week gave a talk about the importance of getting to the finish.

It got me to think about why I’m an obsessive finisher. If I sit down to watch a movie and it’s the worst in the world, I’ll sit through it. I don’t own a TV for one simple reason – If I start watching a program I’ll stay there till its done but if I don’t start watching it, i’ll never miss it.

Being an entrepreneur is easy, you get an idea, develop it and build the business. It’s the building the business part that tends to get everyone caught up, “The Resistance” as Seth calls it in his video. So focus on what needs to be done to get you to your finish line, in time everything else will take care of itself.

The Mobility Shop Launch

Today is the launch of my latest venture – which is a specialist daily living aids business selling wheelchairs, bath lifts, walkers and other products which enable the elderly, mobility challenged and those recovering from an injury. We stock a full range of products including many of the products preferred by the HSE and industry leading or award winning ranges. Over the coming months we intend to work with our client base to build upon our range to increase the solutions available online and to offer new products to the market currently not available in Ireland.

Buy Wheelchairs Ireland

Zatori has also taken on two new staff in the first month of 2011 and I’m expecting this to be our best year yet so hopefully there will be some news and announcements coming soon.

As always I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the new site so let know on Twitter or email, or you can post below.

Doing Less with more

So for the last two months i’ve been traveling in Asia and India, as always I find traveling gives a unique opportunity to get ideas and perspective.

One of the big take-aways from this trip is that when needs become musts there is a tendency to do less with more. It’s got me thinking that maybe the role of an entrepreneur is to self discipline and limit resources with the specific intent of gaining the maximize ROI in terms of operational efficient.

Gary Chang is a great example of how limited resources mixed with smarts can be an awesome combination, transferring his 330 square feet apartment – into a 24 room luxury pad!!

Another example of this is Jugaad in India. In the rural communities you see many home made vehicles called Jugaad, these are self made vehicles which run on a pump meant for agricultural use. A family can rely on the engine for their transport, then use the same engine for lighting in their house if needed and when the waters come to pump water around their farm our out of their house if there is a flood.

So the question is do you have facilitates or assets that could be used beyond their current state? Could a night club on Dublins expensive Stephens Green be easily transform into a clothing shop during the day when its not being used, simply by applying some of Garys principles from the video?? Think of the synergy and imagine how much value could be created that at the moment we are just ignoring. Site Launch

This weekend i finally got around the putting up some content and working on the design for Zatori website. It was something that’s sat on the to do list, but had never been touched. Really do people ever get to the Important but not urgent sections of a to do list… Anyway i made it a priority this weekend and so far here’s the first draft.

Zatori Website Screen Grab

Zatori Website Screen Grab

Having got some great feedback on twitter we will be lightening the theme a bit, as several people i really respect thought it was too dark – something i liked, but hey majority rule on this occasion. If any readers have any thoughts or feedback on the site i’d love to hear it.

The other interesting thing we’ve done is laid our cards on the table and spelt out what two new businesses i’d be launching in 2010. I don’t thing we’ve let the cat out of the bag, but if anyone’s interested in what industries i’m looking to shake up, visit the Zatori site.

The business opportunity of Wireless Electricity

Probably the biggest change in the coming 10 years to peoples life styles is the advent of wireless electricity. As we any major shift it the rules of how thing are done, massive opportunity presents itself for a wide variety of new business to rocket forth and fill this new gap in demand. As with any business concept timing is everything and although if you offered the service in the morning no one would require it, in a short few years getting wireless electricity panels inserted into homes – in their walls, below their concrete floors etc will be massive opportunity for many business. It will be a demand that will likely be almost impossibly be able to met by the supply, hence a possibility of a super normal boom and bubble profit for the first and hence market leaders in this field.

The technology is already here, scientifically proven and working. In fact the potential has been around since Nikola Tesla invented it as early as 1893, but back then the need for remote charging of wireless electric cars and phones was less of an imminent need.

Will the current electricity providers be innovative enough to supply the early adopters hence keeping their control on the market? Possibly but i don’t think it’s likely as large companies with existing investment in the wired system are less likely to encourage it than say some new eco wind or wave power company that are struggling to gain market movement to their new systems; Airtricity come to mind.

If i was to hazard a guess i reckon they will in the end outsource much of the work to a company that has a faster reaction and collaboration employee structure. It’s a big opportunity, one which will make the next generations of millionaires.