Starting a business may appear daunting, but it’s really not difficult. Many people believe that most new businesses fail within three years. While most will fail, the truth is that you can start one with a simple idea.
There are a lot of success stories out there from entrepreneurs who have made it. It all begins with an idea, some paperwork, and a storefront and/or website. Here are five more successful businesses that started with a simple idea:
1. Mente Cacao
Eduardo Villers became interested in chocolate during his travels throughout Mexico. Eduardo enjoyed traveling through the jungles, where he came in contact with the cacao tree. Inspired by his deep love for cacao, Eduardo decided to introduce it to the Mexican people, who only knew about Hershey’s chocolate.
He started Mente Cacao in Mexico City by offering cacao drinks to the local people. During his time there, he also studied with his uncle, who was a farmer and taught him a lot about cacao and chocolate. He remained in Mexico City for two years before moving his business to San Miguel De Allende in central Mexico.
Mente Cacao now has two locations in San Miguel De Allende. Most expats and locals say that it is the best chocolate in town. Eduardo Villers is currently working on getting Mente Cacao distributed in the United States and Japan.
Gregg Weisstein started out working as a business consultant, primarily helping rescue companies that were on the verge of bankruptcy. His friend and eventual co-founder came up with an idea to offer a floral marketplace based on the Amazon model. They didn’t want to become another 1-800-FLOWERS service.
They were advised by many people to drop the idea because many of them could not foresee the potential in a dying flower industry. However, Gregg and the team were not dismayed by the ridicule. They wanted to offer a service that was more personalized, interactive, and transparent. With BloomNation, they connect people with local florists and show their reviews to customers so that they can make an informed decision.
BloomNation now works with over 3,000 florists nationwide and has been named the “Top Silicon Beach Startup to Watch” by Entrepreneur magazine and Business Insider.
Toke Kruse had a problem common among millions of new business owners. As an entrepreneur, he always thought that accounting was a hassle. He went from one accounting application to another with no success. While some of them were better than others, they ultimately still gave him headaches. It didn’t take him long to realize that these software programs were built for accountants.
Toke wanted to create a solution for the business owner who knew little or no accounting at all. Most people could simply hire an accountant for their needs, but most accountants are expensive, especially for new business owners who don’t have a lot of money to begin with.
Toke decided to create an accounting application that was very simple for business owners with little or no accounting experience. Toke and his partner launched Billy four years ago in Denmark. The software application was well-received not only in Denmark, but also in the United States. The company now grosses over $1 million in revenue annually.
Shaun Tuch decided to start an after-school program with his brother eight years ago. They began with one sports class in Los Angeles. They both had a sports background, so the idea was a no-brainer. The initial plan for them was to make some extra income. However, after receiving some great feedback and seeing the popularity of the program, Professor Egghead started to offer science classes too.
Shaun hated science when he was a kid. So, he wanted to make a science class that was fun for kids. Because he enjoyed making slime and building LEGOS, he wanted to incorporate those activities into his classes while also giving children an educational and engaging experience.
They now run multiple programs in 50+ locations throughout Los Angeles. Recently, they franchised the concept and are now offering Professor Egghead as a franchise in the United States.
Nima Noori was just an international student struggling to pay his tuition. He soon realized that a minimum wage job was not going to be enough and needed to do something else. He thought about selling electronic accessories and computer parts on Kijiji (an online service similar to Craigslist). However, after researching the market, he realized that it wouldn’t be worthwhile.
Nevertheless, he became aware that there was some online interest in vaporizers, a device used for smoking. As a result, he put some test ads on Kijiji to test the market. After getting dozens of inquiries from interested customers, he saw that he could fill a need in the marketplace. He used his personal credit card to buy some units and started selling vaporizers on Kijiji.
Nima was motivated and wanted to beat his competition. So, he offered same day drop-offs within the Toronto metropolitan area. The success of Toronto Vaporizer exploded as a result of his same day service. Toronto Vaporizer is now a multi-million dollar business and Canada’s largest online retailer of vaporizers and vaporizer accessories.
*This article is the sequel to the initial LifeHack article: 5 Successful Businesses That Started With a Simple Idea.