Finding your inspiration in another country

Posted on September 6, 2011 by


Back from holiday and feeling like a million bucks, or at least a million dollar idea!

Some people are great at thinking up new and innovative ideas, but some have a harder time.  One way to get your entrepreneurial juices flowing is to travel and soak in other cultures and ideas.  There are many successful entrepreneurs that make a living or grow a great business by transplanting an idea or product from another country.

Now lets not go crazy with this idea, but while soaking up the sites keep a close eye on what the locals and tourists are going crazy for.  Once you find an idea evaluate the marketplace back at home.  What products will you compete against?  Who are your competitors?  How large could your market be?  Is it to costly to bring the product or business idea back to the US?

For example, while in Copenhagen I saw Tricycle Crepe Carts and fell in love with the idea.  What a great business for NYC, which is already trending toward a growth in Crepe stores.  Within a couple days I was able to assess the opportunity.  How did I do it? See below,

  1. Emailed Crepe cart companies to get pricing on the carts.  Roughly came out to $2800 per cart (Just use Google to find what you are looking for)
  2. Researched competition, food carts, food trucks, and brick & mortar Crepe restaurants, which are on the up & up.  This told me there is a demand for Crepe’s.
  3. Looked into licensing, this is where I found the big issue.  To make this venture worth while I wanted 10 carts, each employee would need to register for an ID and each cart would need a vending license.  Unfortunately, the wait list for a license is 1-2 years, which makes the opportunity difficult.
Within a few days my opportunity was vetted and sadly my mind moved on, but that is the beauty of being an entrepreneur, there are new ideas just around the corner.