Using Business Obstacles To Build Your Idea
09 Oct 2014 in Business
Business ideas always seem golden when they are first conceived. Then you start to do the research and realize that there is a lot of dirt layered into that gold. Don’t let the nitty-gritties of a business idea turn you off. Instead, use the obstacles to your advantage.
High Rental Costs? Take It On the Road?
Flirty Cupcakes is a good example of a business which used obstacles to help shape its success. The business makes all sorts of delicious treats like homemade pop tarts, muffins, breads and – of course – their signature cupcakes. Unlike most bakeries which build their businesses out of storefronts, Flirty Cupcakes shot to notoriety by selling their sweets out of a signature blue van.
Tiffany Kurtz, the owner of Flirty Cupcakes, says that her inspiration to run the business as a food truck instead of a storefront came from her nostalgia of the ice cream trucks from her childhood. I’m sure there is some truth in this inspiring story, but I also suspect that reality had a stronger role in her decision to go the food truck route.
In Chicago (and most other areas), bakeries are paying a fortune in rent, property taxes, and a slew of other costs. According to Glenn Keefer, a restaurateur operating in Chicago, this adds up to about $70,000 per year. Food trucks do not have to pay many of these costs.
If finding affordable rental spaces hadn’t been a problem for Kurtz, Flirty Cupcakes probably wouldn’t have gone on the road and shot to cult-status popularity.
What is the Solution to Your Problem?
All businesses are going to come into problems, even before they are in the startup phase. The way that entrepreneurs handle these problems is going to be integral to their success. Unfortunately, I find that a lot of small business entrepreneurs are going about problem-solving in the wrong way.
For example: You find yourself facing more competition than you expected. So, you slash your prices to make yourself more competitive.
This is not a solution to the problem! You will still have competitors if you cut prices. Wouldn’t it be much better to shift your business focus so you attract a new demographic which your competitors haven’t tapped into? With this approach, the other businesses are no longer in competition with you.
I’m sure Flirty Cupcakes has great cupcakes, but so do dozens of other Chicago bakeries. The reason the business has grown to cultish popularity is because they were brave enough to get creative with the way they handled business obstacles.