I've been fortunate to start NorthPR working with some very successful entrepreneurial companies. These companies have been successful because they identified a problem or gap in the market and came up with a really smart solution.
After attending Foundations in Entrepreneurial Management last week, we discussed that 'seeing problems as opportunities' is the starting point to a successful entrepreneurial journey. In this blog post, I want to share my clients' problem/solution stories with you.
Problem: The modern workforce isn't 9 - 5 anymore and the 'office' as we know it today is dying an unproductive death. Will our children ever work in cubicles? Unlikely. Will they sit in traffic jams to commute to an office? Let's hope not.
Opportunity: Regus, the world's largest flexible workspace provider, has setup office spaces in 100 different companies so people can work their way. Whether it's from home (but need a professional address), need a touchdown 'office' closer to home, or a 'coworking' space with other likeminded individuals, Regus has multiple options so people can work whichever way suits them best.
Learn more in this Globe And Mail piece. (Secured by NorthPR)
Problem: Heating and cooling accounts for 50% of a home's energy use. Why are we wasting energy and money heating and/or cooling our homes when we aren't home?
Opportunity: ecobee launched the first Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats to the market in 2009. Not only is it simple to create a weekly schedule via the web, you can also have complete control of your thermostat from your smartphone. The result is an average savings of 23% on your energy bill.
Read this Mommy blogger review to learn more. (Secured by Linda North while working in-house at ecobee)
Problem: New business owners simply can't afford $10,000+ for a website. Period. So many small businesses are deciding to go without, or have a website that is essentially doing more of a disservice to their business (think 90s style websites) and not showing up in Google searches.
Opportunity: Two young web developers, Mitchell Callahan and Dominik Sauter, of web-design firm Saucal Studios wanted to help their customers on small budgets. They created Mojito Sites, a WordPress-based, DIY website builder that puts professional and customizable websites within affordable reach. They also take care of SEO optimization so small business owners can focus on their business and leave the techie stuff to Mojito.
Problem: Large corporations need to innovate but often don't know how. As a result, they burn time and money with no tangible results and lots of internal conflict or they end up buying start-ups and overpaying for them. Remember how Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion?
Opportunity: Ferhan Bulca is a 'serial intrapreneur.' He acts like an entrepreneur within a large organization and literally sees problems as opportunities to come up with practical and effective solutions. Intrapreneurs like Ferhan have different motivations compared to others working in the organization and are often given more freedom from the C-Suite.
Read more about Ferhan's business as an intrapreneur in this Financial Post article. (Secured by NorthPR)
Here's the problem and opportunity I saw when I decided to start NorthPR:
Problem: Startups and small businesses need an affordable option to get media hits, build their relationships with key influencers, have an effective social media presence and increase their blog content - all for a variety of goals which might be to improve SEO, increase sales inquiries, build credibility, etc. They need quick wins and can't afford large monthly retainers.
Opportunity: Start a PR company that focuses on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses. Be flexible in my approach, understand the entrepreneurial mindset and be as passionate about their business as they are. In the end, this will drive the best results for my clients and will make NorthPR a trusted and reliable partner.
What problem do you see as an opportunity?
Until next time,
This is a sponsored post on behalf of University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship program; however, the opinions provided are my own.