Don’t have the ‘million dollar’ original small business idea?

September 20, 2011

Don’t worry, most start-up businesses build on an existing product or service When starting up, you don’t have to think up a killer new idea. In a recent survey we discovered that 77% of new startups we surveyed were not based on original ideas, but had simply fine-tuned an existing one. None of them, however, were simply doing the same as others but for cheaper: nearly half said they were offering either a better product or quality of service than their existing competitors, while a further 22% said they set themselves apart from the crowd by spending more time meeting their clients. What I found really interesting is how many small business owners proved to themselves they had the right idea after having taken the plunge. Many people I speak to who are thinking about going out on their own say a major roadblock is the nagging thought: “What if my idea is no good?” Our research should offer them some reassurance to move forward. Only 22% believed they had a “million dollar idea” when they set up their new business, but 66% of people whose businesses are up and running now feel confident or very confident theirs’ is a “million dollar idea”.

The Hiscox research shows that more people are taking control of their own destinies, either due to necessity or because they wanted to. Over a quarter said their main motivation was to be their own boss, while a further 20% said they simply wanted to follow their dream. Our poll proves to me that it’s not always about having the most original idea but about having better products and, crucially, being the best in delivering them to your customers. That’s what truly sets you apart from your rivals. It’s something we’ve really taken to heart here at Hiscox. It can be a daunting step going out on your own for the first time. But through courage, hard work and determination you can succeed. Careful planning is necessary too, and that extends to the risks your new business faces. As your venture grows it’s important to protect it with the right small business liability insurance including  professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, general liability insurance or business owner insurance, depending on the unique characteristics of your business. That’s the best way to save your “million dollar idea” from harm. Kevin Kerridge Small Business Expert Hiscox