In Las Vegas, anesthesiologist Jason Burke has people pay him to treat their hangovers.
His business, Hangover Heaven, administers a special concoction of vitamins, medications and amino acids to hangover victims at his “office,” a luxury bus.
Customers book appointments and get picked up all along the Las Vegas strip and ride in the bus while receiving their treatment. Then they relax on board in a plush “recovery lounge”.
Run for Your Lives, is a 5K obstacle course where runners pay $77- $87, depending on how early you register, to be chased by zombies or $50+ to chase runners as a living dead zombie and spectators pay $32 to watch.
Not Another Bill is a company that sends you or a loved one a random surprise package in the mail each month. For example, a map printed on archival paper, laid onto cloth and then stored in a case…a Scandinavian scarf…or a leather coin wallet. The surprises are mailed to you each month with different ones sent depending upon if you’re a man or a woman. Cost is a little over $31.00 per month.
Here are four business lessons you can take away from these three atypical businesses:
Have Fun. Each of these businesses has an element of fun and entertainment. A big part of success in business is enjoying what you do.
Think small, different, unusual. Business ideas don’t have to solve world problems or even major problems. When I talk to people about types of businesses, most think that they must create a product or service that has appeal to the mass market in order to get rich.
When you focus on a creating something that appeals to a small market, chances are your product will have little or no competition—which means your product will be much more valuable than if you market more of a commodity to the mass market.
Find a small gap and test it out on a small level. You never know what might be a huge moneymaker.
Target a very specific niche market to start with.
Finding and selecting a specialized target market is a safer and better bet than targeting the masses when starting out.
Look at it this way… if you want to sell your product or service to the general public, you need a substantial marketing budget because you’ll need to run ads in major publications, do massive direct mail campaigns and spend larger amounts on advertising on the Internet.
Try out your product in a small niche first. Find out if you can make money there first.
Hangover Heaven took their business to the target rich environment of Las Vegas first. They could have decided to target anyone with a hangover, but that would have been a wide net to cast. It’s easier and more effective to find a small select group first. Plus because it’s less overwhelming to figure out how to reach a small audience, you are more likely to take immediate action.
Test a larger market once you find success in a small one. I imagine that Hangover Heaven will look at branching out to places other places with an “alcohol-friendly” strip such as Bourbon Street in Louisiana or Atlantic City.
Once you have experienced success in your specialized niche, it’s extremely easy to duplicate your efforts. Plus you’ll have a lot more money and confidence to fuel your expansion plans.
You don’t have to target business to business. Don’t rule out ideas for the business to consumer niche just because you are used to selling business to business.
For example, if you are a fitness instructor that teaches other fitness instructors how to market their business more successfully, you could look for a new niche product for the consumer market. Let’s say you are both a fitness instructor and a cancer survivor. You could create a fitness product that shows cancer survivors how to get back in shape after undergoing treatments.
In this case, you could start small by targeting only cancer survivors in your area or only cancer survivors that had the same kind of cancer you did.
Keep these in mind when coming up with product ideas and when looking at marketing products you already have. It makes sense to test out your product on a small scale before rolling it out to a larger audience. And you’ll lower your financial exposure when you avoid going into a market that is too big.
Selecting a specialized target or niche market is an easier and more effective way to get rich. Plus, you’ll find that targeting a specialized niche allows you to charge more for your product.
What other lessons can you learn from these three business examples? Share them in the comments below.
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