The entrepreneurial spirit may be alive and well inside you, but what should you do if you don’t have a great idea for a new business? Start by researching thriving businesses and enlisting the help of a Seattle lawyer to help get your company off the ground. Seattle Business Insider recently listed what they consider the “coolest small businesses in Seattle,” and the examples selected offer great insights into trends that can help you succeed in your own business start-up.
At Its Heart, Seattle Is a Technology Town
With big names in technology like Microsoft making their homes in the area, it’s not surprising technology companies do well locally. While discussing technology business trends in a recent interview, Seattle angel investor Rudy Gadre said, “Seattle is very strong in gaming, historically. You’re also seeing a lot of marketplaces where, say, I have information and you want it, so I’ll create a way to get that information from point A to point B… The internet is good at that.”
Protecting intellectual property and establishing clear lines of ownership can be incredibly important if you’re developing the next big online game or mobile app. This is why consulting with a copyright lawsuit attorney can be an essential part of developing your new business.
Interested in Retail? Find a Niche and Make It Your Own
If you enjoy the busy pace of a store, opening your own retail space may seem like a dream come true until you discover it’s difficult to compete on cost and variety with the big box and chain stores. For a new this leaves you with two options: open a franchise tied to a larger retailer or develop a specialty that stands out from the retail crowd. Consider the types of business transactions you want to deal with and if you want a larger company behind you. Examples from the Seattle Business Insider article include Gargoyles Statuary, which offers only gargoyles and statues made by local and national artists rather than trying to compete with Home Depot’s garden center, and Old Seattle Paperworks, which offers vintage advertising, posters, maps, and magazines instead of going up against more established antiques and home décor retailers.
Social Responsibility Can Lead to Business Success
Another area seeing a boom is green living, sustainability, and socially responsible companies. While also a niche market, this is actually a way for business owners to bring in customers because they have a cause. Examples include SPUN, which offers affordable, sustainable clothing for women, Steam and Clean, whose locally outfitted trucks sanitize everything from driveways to garbage cans using steam instead of chemicals, and Greenvelope, which saves trees by creating virtual invitations as beautiful as paper ones. Even if you choose a more traditional business, talk with your corporate lawsuit attorney in Seattle about ways to include social concerns in your business plan.
Instead of Simply Working, Learn a Craft or Become an Artisan
Whether you’re talking things over with your attorney regarding your LLC setup or simply looking for some good food and drinks with friends, you’ll notice there’s a trend towards care and artistry over quantity. Quality and innovation create a loyal customer base, something noticeable at the Crumble and Flake Patisserie, which offers classic baked goods with intense flavors, and at Salumi, where artisan cured meats take center stage. Microbreweries, distilleries, and other showcases for exceptional talent are thriving right alongside chain restaurants and cafes.
Take Advantage of Local Resources and Incentives
The Seattle Office of Economic Development has programs in place to help businesses grow in the community. A savvy business lawyer could help you tap into low interest loans, tax incentive programs, and more. The OED is particularly interested in strengthening the areas where Seattle already has a solid foundation including
- Workforce development
- Life sciences
- Information and communications technology
- Global health and healthcare
- Clean technology
- Film and music
As you can see, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of potential new businesses to try. Before committing, take the time to do your research and create a solid plan with the help of a lawyer who specializes in business planning. A lawyer versed in business planning helps you assess your strengths and weaknesses and write a plan that makes financial sense within the Seattle market.