7 POWERFUL BLUE OCEAN IDEAS THAT YOU CAN BUILD INTO A GLOBAL BRAND
When I say Blue Ocean Idea, I am referring to ideas that are not quite common. There are very few (if anything at all) that are truly novel these days; almost everything already exists somewhere somehow. So, if by the caption of this post you had the expectation that I will share how to launch a rocket in metaverse or something else you never heard of, I apologize in advance. However, in this post I am about to unveil the not-too-popular business ideas.
Some of these ideas may appear very simple and ordinary and can even be started with little or no capital. Some of them may require little or no special skills to venture into. These ideas have been neglected even by the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs who are yet to see enough reasons to think along those lines. Yet, in this post we shall examine these blue ocean ideas. Perhaps one of them could just be the very idea you have been looking for. There is always the temptation to not write this sort of post. But I assure you that there is a blue ocean idea for you here.
Should I write this post?
There is always the temptation to hoard this kind of information and keep it secret. But that is not in my nature. I have never been the type to withhold whatever I know. Freely I have received and freely I always seek to give. I am pretty sure that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Besides, no matter how hard I try, I can’t do everything myself. I have to choose few ideas to work on. So these blue ocean ideas are part of my gift to humanity
By deciding to publish this post (which was first shared in my book, CENTRAL BANK OF IDEAS) I am equipping you with so much information for your consideration. Feel free to work or run with any of the ideas that makes sense to you. Remember that innovation is not necessarily doing what no other person has done in life; it could just be finding a new and better way of doing what others have done.
BLUE OCEAN IDEA 1: Bridal Train Outsourcing
The first blue ocean idea I am going to share is a business I choose to tag, Bridal Train Outsourcing.
Recently, I was in Lagos for different training and strategic sessions with clients and after a very hectic week I was fagged out and decided to hang out at a friend’s wedding. The wedding was lit, you needed to see decoration and assorted foods and drinks; in fact, everything was spot on. Of course, my guy works with Shell, so money was not supposed to be a problem.The bride was beautiful, and the groom’s suit ‘carried anointing’ with it. The bridal train was beautiful, elegant and gorgeous in appearance.
Just One Blurr Spot
But I noticed something odd about the ladies in the train. They were ‘out of sort’ and didn’t quite look “uniform” enough. Some of them were tall and others short, some were fat and others slim, some were very fair while one of them was really dark in complexion. It looked to me as if that had spoil the entire show, somehow. My kind of person naturally won’t take note of such trivial issues. So I started wondering why my mind even went there at all and then I recalled where and when it all started…
Then I recalled
During my wedding, I had also noticed something subtle about the bridal train my wife used. All of them were almost the same height, the same complexion and the same stature. I remember asking my wife what manner of coincidence that could be. Her answer was quite revealing. “It was not really a coincidence, I was intentional about it. I wanted to choose from among my friends those that looked alike as much as possible. In fact I had to choose one or two ladies that aren’t really close friends because they fitted the description of my ideal train”. I was like ‘hian, there’s nothing that won’t matter to ladies’. I never knew that instinctively, I had started admiring such ‘trivialities’ starting from that day even though I wouldn’t admit it. Hence when I saw the out-of-sort train, it was rather a big turn-off for me.
Now, Here Is the Business for You
Time was when if you wanted to wed, you would go to your church and arrange the ushering department to serve as ushers for you, and they would gladly oblige without charging you a dime. But as the world continued to get complicated and with the increased quest for class and packaging at events, celebrants started demanding more. This became an opportunity for someone who decided to go into the gathering, training and outsourcing of beautiful ladies, as event ushers. I hope you know that some people pay as high as Three Hundred Thousand naira to have 6 ladies work as ushers for just a day’s event?
If That Can Be Done with Ushers, Why Not with Bridal Train?
Gone are the days when the bride randomly selected her friends, sisters, or husband’s sisters to serve as her bridal train except of course she wouldn’t want to look back to her wedding day with fond memories, or she simply wanted to betray or bore her guests. Bridal train is now a very important part of the preparation for a wedding and ladies are selected purely on the basis of how beautiful they are.
You know the world we are into and that the system we are operating in are both sophisticated and complicated. A groom works at Chevron and is always on the rig; the bride is a banker and hardly attends church programmes. They have neither time nor friends, but they have too much money to spend. On top of that, they want the most memorable, most expensive, most classic and most-talked about wedding in town. They can pay any amount to have you supply them the prettiest ladies in town as their bridal train just to add colour and elegance to the event. They have said the girls must be the same height, same complexion and same stature, now go meet them and make that cash!
If you really want to build a business out of this, then you can get our detailed guideline that shows the industry analysis, the training your girls will need, the advertising strategy and most importantly how you can make a minimum of $2,000 from this monthly.
BLUE OCEAN IDEA 2: Retractable Shoe Business
The second blue ocean idea I will share is called Retractable Shoe business.
Nigeria is blessed to have very creative shoe makers all over the nation. I know of a lame young man in Makurdi that produces such amazing shoes that he has a showroom somewhere in America. His shoes are worn by celebrities and international preachers but most times they don’t know those shoes are produced here in Nigeria. If you pay a visit to Aba, you will be amazed by what some young people are making out of pure leather. The truth is that there is really nothing like ‘Aba Products’ for the description of substandard products; what you pay for is what you get. If you approach a good Aba based shoemaker and tell him the quality of shoes you want and that you are ready to pay for it, he will produce something better than the so-called Italian Shoes.
Be Not Deceived
By the way, I hope you know that most of those ‘Italian Shoes’ you travel to Rome, Milan or Padova to purchase were actually made inside Ariaria, Aba but exported to Italy? I noticed a gap which our brothers seem not to have taken note of. Each time my wife and I are prepared to go to church, she would take two pairs of shoes: one heeled and the other flat. I asked why she does that and her response was ‘You can’t wear heels for long otherwise you suffer a lot of discomfort’.
This reminded me of the same thing my female colleagues used to do back then when I was working in Lagos. I noticed that each time we went out on marketing, they would go out on flat shoes, but before they stepped out of the car into a any office they, would already be wearing heels which gave them the expected class and carriage needed for a corporate sales lady.
Retractable Shoe is Possible
This made me began to wonder why no shoemaker have thought of producing retractable shoes that could save our ladies this stress of carrying additional shoes which are obviously load when they go out. In a retractable shoe, what you get is just one shoe but serving two purposes. Such a shoe is going to save ladies the extra money that could have spent on two separate shoes and also save them the stress of carrying a nylon shoe bag in addition to their hand bag.
With this kind of shoe, as a lady, all you need do is wear the shoe as flat while leaving the house or office but before you alight from the car you simply pull out the heels and it turns to high heels. After the meeting or whatever function you are attending, you simply retract it and go home with ease. Won’t that be nice to have? Remember ladies love class, elegance and comfort; they are too complicated already and anything that can give them that touch of class with less stress will be well and highly appreciated.
Who is This Idea for?
Maybe you are into shoe manufacturing business and you want to redefine your product offering, why not move a step ahead of your competitors by quickly introducing this in your line of business? If you start this today you will immediately be enjoying the first mover advantage and might make so much money from it before the late entrants begin to join the party. If you want to learn more on why it is important you take capitalize on first mover advantage, then read Five Practical Case Studies why you need First Mover Advantage. Maybe you are not into shoe business but you are a business consultant, then you can also add this to the portfolio of new businesses you might wish to share with your clients seeking new business opportunities, especially those who love blue ocean ideas or those that enjoy cashing in on first mover advantage.
BLUE OCEAN IDEA 3:24 Hours Buffet Restaurants
The third blue ocean idea for this post is called 24 hours Buffet Restaurant.
A very little thing can be the game changer in business. When you look around you see different high-end quick service restaurants around you. From Jevinic, to Chicken Republic, to Mega Chicken, to KFC, to Tantalizers, to The Place, to Sweet Sensation and so many others. Each has got their unique selling point (USP) but I tell you the truth not many of those USPs are pronounced until you walk into the restaurant and taste their meal or experience their service.
USP is Important
For example you will not know the quantity of soup or food Jevinic gives per plate until you actually patronize them for the first time. I know many people that patronize Jevinic for this simple reason that their food is not just quality but quantity too. I am yet to see someone that finished eating in Jevinic and request for extra. Now, it is likely that anyone who has not eaten in Jevinic before will just classify them as every other eatery where a plate or portion will never satisfy a hungry soul, and the reason is because there is no way of knowing until you have been there at least once.
But what if you can run a quick service restaurant that will be the talk of the town, where everyone wants to be on a daily basis because of a value proposition that is not common out there? I have seen many restaurants that offer buffet services to customers once in a while, but the offer usually don’t exceed 24 hours or a certain time of the day. Of course this does not apply to those 3 or 5 start hotels that has the culture of buffet service of course at a huge cost.
Can it Work 24/7?
So here, I think of the possibility of running a regular buffet restaurant and I am yet to be convinced of any reason it won’t work. Consider the quantity of foods that usually get wasted at the end of the day in most restaurants, such could have been sold for the right price if the restaurant had been tagged ‘buffet’.
You are probably wondering that the business will not meet up because of the high cost of agricultural produce in the country, but let me share with you the most simplified way of making this work profitably.
Get a Farm Partner
If you want to maximize the potential in this model of business, then you need to have a farm of your own or at least enter into a very strong partnership with a farmer who will supply you with the various farm produce you need at a relatively stable rate. Because you are available to save the farmer from any form of wastage, you are sure to get the products at a very cheap rate that will afford you the possibility of running your buffet while still making lots of profit. It is a win-win situation for the farmer and the restaurant owner.
I’ve heard of one restaurant doing this somewhere in Ogun State but it is still quite new and you can decide to test this in your area and see if it gives you that big break you have been seeking in business. Everyone needs it.
BLUE OCEAN IDEA 4: Transportation and Haulage (of Fresh Foods)
Transportation business is one of the commonest businesses in Nigeria. I’m sure you must be wondering why I am bringing it here under the so called blue ocean ideas. Yes, I have to because it is always possible to make a blue ocean out of a red one. Most times what you need to turn a red ocean into a blue one could just be to create a niche in that industry and run a distinguished service that cannot be rivaled.
Almost everyone wants to go into transportation because we’ve been told it is one of the most lucrative businesses you can venture into in a country where over 80% of the population rely on public transport system for all their movements. However, almost everyone going into transportation is just going there to do the same thing others are already doing – to transport human beings.
Go for Sub-Niche
What if you can decide to focus on transporting fresh foods from remote villages and local markets to cities where their demands are higher? You know not many people are doing this. You only need to consider the amount of oranges, mangoes and yams that are wasted in Benue State or the fresh tomatoes that get wasted in Kano, Kaduna and Benue before they get to most other states where they are needed in order to know what market you will have if you can innovate a way to transport these products to where they are needed without the fresh content diminishing in value.
Idea 5: A Ceiling Fan with Remote Control
Honestly I can hardly explain the way ideas comes to me, I can get a business ideas virtually from anything. I think it is probably a combination of gift and mastery.
So on this particular night, I was asleep when my wife woke me up to switch off the ceiling fan. I was too tired to walk to the fan regulator to switch it off, and instantly I was telling myself, what if there is a remote control I could just use to switch this fan off. How is this not possible? That it is not there does not mean it cannot be. Air-conditioners have remote controls; televisions have remote controls, why can’t a ceiling fan have a remote control? This does not sound like an idea you can easily venture into as a startup, but you can always start somewhere.
Others are Also Thinking
Sometime in 2016 or 2017 I went to Umuahia to speak in a business seminar. After my presentation a man approached me and shared a touching story. According to him, he first got the idea of a mobile phone with two sim cards many years before it ever came into Nigeria. But the problem was that he didn’t know the best way to own or sell the idea. Even when someone advised him to propose it to the Motorola company he didn’t have any lead. Years after double sim card phone flooded the market and the restthey say became story.
If you are an engineer or have a good knowledge of product design, then you might consider taking this up. You may consider building a stand-alone company for it. But I will advise you discuss it with any of the leading electronics companies. Get them to assure you of the role you will play in its production.
The Market Might be Bigger than You Know
Don’t tell me that there won’t be market for it because of air conditioners or that ceiling fans will soon be phased out because you might be shocked to see ceiling fans around in the next century. Will you be willing to give it a try? One thing I have learnt where ideas are being discussed is never to say ‘it won’t work’. And let this man loss teach you a lesson, if your eyes is opened to see things that don’t currently exist, seek help from people who might be able to guide you to make it a reality.
Idea 6: Niche Blogging
Why you need to start your own blog today
- Blog helps to project you as an authority and the go to person in your field or industry
- Blogging can make you more money than your full time job if done the right way
- The content marketing industry is estimated to be worth about $412 billion dollars in 2012. You need your own share of this figure
- Over 409 million people are busy viewing blog pages each month
In Nigeria, the success recorded by Linda Ikeji in the business of blogging has opened the eyes of many Nigerian youths to the reality and magnitude of business that can be built from blogging today and as such the stats above are not just mere figures but a huge possibility. Almost everyone you meet today has a blog. Everyone wants to be the next Linda Ikeji. Everyone wants their own 500m naira house and 75m naira Range Rover.
Why Linda was a Success Story
For Linda, she discovered a blue ocean that made her who she is today. But I must tell you that today, blogging is nothing more than a red-ocean for both the small and mighty. If you are among the small just know that the competition is stiff. You can be completely swallowed if there is nothing to stand you out. I have mentioned before that it is possible to take a red-ocean and make a blue-ocean out of it. Blogging is one area where you can do that easily. Aside the fact that Linda was among the pioneer bloggers in Nigeria. The other thing that made her so successful in the business is that she derives so much joy from blogging. For her, blogging is both a hobby and a business. Most importantly she was focused on her content, she was original.
You Need More Work Today
Unfortunately, today bloggers are only duplicating contents and copying and pasting stuff on their blogs. I call them the copy-and-paste bloggers. If you ask me two things that bloggers really need in order to be successful today, I would say create a niche on which you intend to focus in your blogging and be original.
Leave gossips for them, it sells but everyone is already doing that; leave football, it is now as popular as anything you can think of; forget about politics, it is an everyday topic. Don’t rush into entertainment and fashion because they are the in thing. Think differently and look elsewhere. Think of areas or a niche where you will probably enjoy some sort of first mover advantage.
You may need to research and find out that niche where the competition is less and focus on them. But for the purposes of this post I will share five quick ones with you:
Have you ever wondered how many vigils are held every last Friday of the month in Nigeria? Have you for once considered the number of gospel concerts that are held in a year? Do you know the number of miracle crusades that go on monthly? We are not yet talking about the retreats, the conferences, the revivals, the Shilohs yet. What about the Holy Ghost Congresses, the Five Nights of Glory, the Experience and all what not. What if you decide to focus on blogging about church programmes across the country? Imagine your blog is that singular blog where we go and see all upcoming programmes? You can even add those hilarious and funniest of all captions characterizing church programmes today.
Be the Go-To Person
What if all anyone that wants to know the next programme holding anywhere have to do is visit your blog? Nigeria is a very religious nation and makes a big deal of issues that have to do with religion. Focus on this, and do it consistently for twelve months. If you do, your blog might become one of those commanding the highest traffic in the country. It costs nothing to start this. You probably already have a laptop and a smart phone. You subscribe monthly for data bundle. Then turn that device to a business today. You don’t need any other resources to start this.
What about insurance? In fact insurance happens to be the keyword with the highest cost per click (CPC) in the blogging business. It’s CPC can be as high as 54 dollars, yet, unfortunately very few people has discovered that or are playing in that field.
Maybe, I can understand that the reason not many people are interested in this is because it is specialized. It is not the usual gossip that anyone can write about. You need to have a very good knowledge of Insurance to deliver on it. It is for people like Kesandu Onoh, one of the smartest Insurance Advisor I know. But then, isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be? Blogging is supposed to be about sharing in your area of expertise. It is about demonstrating authority in a given field that people come to trust you, follow you and consult you. As people consult you for solutions you then make lots of money helping them.
What about finance? Yes, another specialized niche. But the good thing is that you don’t have to be a professional accountant to blog on this. A couple of years of work experience in any accounting or finance position added to your personal commitment to learning and research would have positioned you to be able to offer more than the average person would be needing. If you are really serious about blogging for money. Whether as a part time venture or you want it to replace you 9 to 5 job, then consider this.
It appears all professional fields qualifies as a money spinning niche for blogging and medicine/health is no different. Are you are a medical doctor or any health practitioner? Do you have good knowledge of health tips, symptoms and remedies? Then you will do well starting your own blog either as side hustle or full-time business and rejoice.
A few professionals spend more time at the airport and hotel rooms than they spend in their homes. Areyou are such a person that travels a lot? Maybe you work in a company that sends you to different states or even different countries from time to time. Then this idea may just apply to you. You’ve got an excellent opportunity to start a travel blog and share your experiences with the rest of the world.
Each state or country you travel to have their own uniqueness. They have their unique weather, culture, government, people and the etiquette. If you run a blog where you share the experiences and uniqueness of each of these places it will become a very useful tool for other travelers. Especially those intending to visit those same locations. They will find your blog so resourceful that they will always want to pay a repeat visit for updates. But guess what, not many people think this is worth considering. If you are looking for a niche that has less competition and that gives first mover advantage here you are.
Idea 7: Beans Powder
Nigerians are simply in love with beans partly because it is perhaps the cheapest source of protein. This is a country where not everyone can afford milk, egg, fish or meat on a daily basis. There are variety of ways in which beans can be taken. But it appears the preferred way for most is moi-moi which is readily available in restaurants and homes.
But There is a Challenge
Most women cook moi-moi only on Saturdays. But this is not necessarily because they wouldn’t have loved to eat moi-moi on other days. The reason is because Saturday is a work free day. And that is the only day they have the time to go through the stress needed to prepare moi-moi. Washing beans for moi-moi is perhaps one of the most difficult kitchen chores anyone can think of. For some, it can take up to 45 minutes to wash 4 cups of beans. This makes most not to cook moi-moi even when they would have loved to have it as dinner or quick breakfast. The same thing applies to akara.
But what if beans is properly washed, dried, ground, packaged and readied for the pot. Just buy it and straight up you start cooking without the stress of washing? Do you think more women will like to patronize that? You might be asking how can this work? Let me show you right now. Just buy your beans from any of the local markets. Take the time and pain to wash it properly, sun-dry it properly, and then take it to the mill. Let them to grind it dry into powered form. Take the beans powder home and package it properly in sachets of different sizes and you have a business. With this you already have a product oh.
The market for this product is so huge, perhaps more than you think. Irrespective of the volume you want to start with I don’t see marketing being a problem for you.. I would advise you first start on a small scale though. You can adopt a form of less expensive packaging using unbranded nylons. Test the market starting with households in neighbourhood. Introduce the product to as many women as you can find there.
Grow in Stages
First convince a good number of women in your neighbourhood to patronize your product. Next, consider introducing it to your church members, restaurants and hotels. In less than three months you must have validated your product beyond all levels of doubt. You would also have acquired enough customers and made enough sales to enable you approach NAFDAC for registration. There is now limit to the extent you can go once that is done. At that point you can boldly approach super stores like Shoprite with your well branded beans powder.
Imagine you have a product that sells as widely as custard or Milo, maybe it is something you just have to think about. Sincerely I don’t know what could be the best name for this but I guess you can figure it out. Maybe you can consider Quicka Beans, Ready Beans or any other name that appeal to you.