On a personal or even local level you sometimes can’t see the wood for the trees when it comes to new opportunities. We tend to live, look and see with our limited local perspectives. It is difficult to see larger trends, industries and markets in real time at the global level. You need to step back, remove yourself as the potential customer and look at the numbers instead. One of the ways you can do that is simply by looking at research reports on the largest industries in the US or even on a global level. Visit your local university library or start Googling industry report data.
What’s surprising is that sometimes there are really big industries that we either don’t understand how big they are, or we don’t know much about them. Nevertheless, we use services from a number of these sectors on a daily basis. And we complain when we don’t understand how to properly approach the service or product or when we just don’t understand the cost. For all the entrepreneurs who think that everything that can be done has already been done, take a look at the following sectors below as examples of opportunities.
The mystery of insurance. The insurance market is large, very large. According to the Insurance Information Institute, home/accident and life/annuity insurance premiums were $1.2 trillion in the US in 2020. That’s a big marketplace. But despite all the technological changes in the world over the past 20 years, why does it seem that insurance is still the same product/service from the 1950s? Why is it so hard to understand how insurance is priced and why they aren’t transparent? When looking for auto insurance, you can go to 10 different insurance companies and get essentially 10 different quotes. If you need home contents insurance, the same result. Why? If you never get into a car accident or file a homeowner’s insurance claim, why isn’t your insurance going off? Is there another way to buy, reward or encourage the use of insurance? What kind of innovation can entrepreneurs bring to this market?
Can we simplify legal services? This is another large marketplace with an astonishing $750 billion in global services through Statistics. And yet, until we need legal services, what determines the price or services we receive? Why are simple wills and trusts so expensive? Wait, why does anyone even need a trust? This is a marketplace of services that is somewhat shrouded in mystery as we don’t really understand all the elements of the law or exactly how legal services are priced. Companies like Trust & Will are starting to take away the transparency and costs by using a “fill it in yourself” online model with clear pricing models, but we still need a lot of entrepreneurs to innovate or disrupt this industry.
Home repair should be easier. In the United States, according to locus.sh, the on-demand home services sector currently stands at $600 billion. It has shown steady growth during the pandemic and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 49% in 2021. That would put the market at over $1 trillion dollars today. So you need a plumber, electrician or handyman, who are you going to call? Why isn’t there a nationally trusted brand that can unite all local or regional disparate ‘mommy’ businesses? Who will be the Apple, Uber or Amazon of this industry that can provide you with a stream of home services no matter what you need, with transparent rates and services you understand? Great opportunity to create a great brand for home care services.
Rounds and rounds of interviews. While some say we are in the midst of the big layoff, and that will sort itself out, why does job posting, staffing and recruiting still seem so inefficient? It’s a big market, worth $151.8 billion in the United States in 2019, according to Statistica. While big brands like Monster.com seem to have faded to newer brands like LinkedIn or Indeed for job openings, traditional companies like Robert Half are still doing what they do. A random search on LinkedIn for an open position for marketing director at a Fortune 1000 company yielded 780 views and over 100 applications. Who or what is going to sift through all those applications to find the best person? According to an BBC article from August 2021, a software engineering manager went through three application rounds to get to the final candidate pool and was then told to prepare for six more application rounds. How inefficient is that for the candidate and the fairly large number of interviewers at a particular company that may have dozens or even hundreds of job openings? There must be a better way.