When it comes to entrepreneurship, innovation counts more than any other business element. The spirit of innovation was the launching pad for many a thriving business; from Facebook that grew as a social networking site for campus students to Google. One single idea has driven countless companies and entrepreneurs into creating successful businesses. Today, innovation still drives business and creates entrepreneurs in singularly powerful moments.
Female entrepreneurs have always been able to source many innovative concepts to create businesses. Whether in Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world, women find them able to engage in entrepreneurship more and are therefore more able to make use of an idea to set up a business.
The only drawback has been that when one starts a business no one has started before, others too will rush in, resulting in the demand for the service going down. We saw that happening in the recent past with the cupcake craze; sadly, out of all the cupcake eateries that mushroomed a few years ago, only a few have survived and passed the test of staying in business.
So, what is innovation and how can it be put into practice successfully? And what ideas can we pick to create successful business models? In fact, ideas exist wherever you are. If you look around, there are plenty of ideas to pick, plenty of innovation to fuel a business. Just make sure you are looking where no one else is looking.
Daisy Amodio is one such woman who chose an innovative idea indeed to start a business of her own. Her company, The Proposers, offers couples in the UK the opportunity to create the right setting for the proposal to take place. The business takes inspiration from the fact that couples want to create a dream setting for the proposal.
Amodio says she has created many fantasy settings for couples, from creating a scenario with a flash mob and drenched with flower petals to personalized, one-to-one setting in an art gallery.
Helicopter rides, candles and recreating scenery such as beaches are some of the most creative requests she has had, she says. The fact that she has been able to spot an opportunity in today’s consumer-driven world, only highlights the needs that exist out there.
Sometimes, those are needs that are specialized yet there are many other needs that may be basic but will be fulfilled by a personalized response. Amodio has been able to identify such an opportunity.
In recreating a setting desired by a client for a proposal to take place, Amodio has been able to add value and enhance the memorable nature of the moment. Granted, weddings today are a big business. Grooms and brides go out of the way, whether in Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world, to generate fantasy wedding with out-of-the-world themes. So, it can be assumed that good business sense would take you beyond the dream wedding to the dream proposal.
There can be drawbacks in this wedding and proposal-focused world – such as being too focused on the wedding alone and leaving out the more important element of being able to live together as a couple and become a family.
While that is more of a social context, it might be prudent to note that there may be a need for pre- wedding and post-wedding counselling which of course, can also become a successful business if someone were interested in offering such services.
Right place and time
Why do ideas such as The Proposers become a successful business? What does that teach us about entrepreneurship? It teaches us that needs and wants have evolved to higher levels than anticipated.
It teaches us that unless we move along with changing times, we will not be able to grasp what can drive a business from a modern perspective. It also teaches us that we need to be able to identify opportunities and grasp them fast in order to create a business than can grow. It is also about being in the right place at the right time.
Entrepreneurs today have many opportunities and outlets empowered by technology like never before. Technology has given us the ability to stay connected and to be able to offer a service out there to the world. Ideas can thrive and become businesses almost overnight. We need to know what buttons to push, what ideas that can be successfully transformed from idea stage to an actual business.
There are so many talented and enterprising women out there such as Amodio. Some may have the ideas but lack the business plan or the funds. Others may have access to sound business plans and funds but lack the will or the innovation.
Admittedly, not all business ideas can happen overnight – some need to be worked on and developed while others may be more light bulb moments. Either way, you don’t have to give up on a dream you cherish turning into a sound business. It can be done.
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come” – Victor Hugo
(Nayomini Weerasooriya, a senior journalist, writer and a PR professional, can be contacted at email@example.com)
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