Is there something you are looking for, but just can’t find?

I ask because lately I have been meeting up with entrepreneurs who started their businesses as a result of searching for the perfect product, and not being able to find it.

It makes me realize that many of us are likely “accidental entrepreneurs” in that we didn’t deliberately set out down this crazy path, but as a result of an unmet need, ended up creating a business to address the gap.

I know for myself I started Company of Women because I was lonely working at home and felt sure other women with a home business felt the same way. And they did. Little did I know I would still be doing it 16 years later!

In the case of Ryan Savin of Little King Goods, someone I recently interviewed, he was looking for a leather camera strap, and when he couldn’t find one that he liked or could afford, made his own. As he said, how difficult can it be? He watched a few You Tube videos, and voilà suddenly he’s propelled down a path of making hand-made leather goods.

With Julie Knox of Designs that Click Studio, she couldn’t find a funky ottoman for her home and like Ryan, decided to make her own and now together with her husband, they make and sell custom-designed ottomans.

The gals at Mabels Labels will tell you that they started their personalized label company because their kids would lose stuff, but if it was labelled, then it was harder to do. And then there’s Marissa McTasney of Moxie Trades who couldn’t find work boots that fit women and started manufacturing them.

Sometimes the business starts because you’ve hit on a unique idea that people love, and it grows from there. Take Irene Divaris. Hunting to find some food for her daughter’s lunch, she took a mason jar and filled it with leftovers from her fridge making an attractive and tasty lunch.

She took a photo, put it on Facebook and to her surprise, got requests to buy them. Never thinking this was a product she could sell, she quickly responded “yes” and suddenly she was the proud owner of Meal in Jar which will soon be available in Longos and Loblaws and she sells over 10,000 a week.

Think about what you are missing, what service or product you would like? Perhaps there is the kernel of a business idea just waiting to be discovered.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.