At a personal or even local level, sometimes you really can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to new opportunities. We have a tendency of living, looking and seeing with our limited local perspectives. It’s hard to see larger trends, industries and marketplaces in real time at a global level. You need to step back, remove yourself as the potential customer and instead, look at the numbers. One of the ways you can that is to simply look at research reports on the largest industries in the USA or even at a global level. Visit your local university library or start Googling industry report data.
What’s surprising is sometimes really large industries are ones we either don’t understand how large they are or we know little about them. Yet we use services from some of these industries every day. And we complain when we don’t understand how to access the service or product correctly or when we simply do not understand the costs. For all the entrepreneurs out there, who think everything that could already be done is done, look at the following industries below as examples of opportunity.
The mystery of Insurance. The insurance marketplace is big, really big. According to the Insurance information Institute, Property/Casualty and Life/Annuity Insurance Premiums in 2020 were $1.2 trillion in the USA. That’s a big marketplace. Yet, for all the technological changes in the world for the past 20 years, why does it seem like insurance is still the same product/service from 1950? Why is it so hard to understand how insurance is priced and why it’s not transparent? If you are looking for auto insurance, you can go to 10 different insurance companies and essentially get 10 different quotes. If you need homeowners insurance, the same result. Why? If you never get into a car accident or file a homeowner insurance claim, why does your insurance not go down? Is there another way to buy, reward or incent the use of insurance? What kind of innovation can entrepreneurs bring to this marketplace?
Can we simplify legal services? This is another large marketplace with an astounding $750 billion in global services via Statistica. And yet, until we need legal services, what determines the pricing or the services we receive? Why are simple wills and trusts so expensive? Wait, why does someone even need a trust? This is a marketplace of services that is somewhat shrouded in mystery as we don’t really understand all elements of the law or exactly how legal services are priced. Companies like Trust & Will are starting to chip away at the transparency and cost by using a “fill it out yourself” online model with clear pricing models but we need quite a few more 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 a steadfast growth during the pandemic and was projected to grow at a CAGR of 49% in 2021. That would put the marketplace at over $1 trillion dollars today. So, you need a plumber, electrician, or handyman, who are you going to call? Why is there no national trustworthy brand that could unify all the local or regional, disparate “mom and pops” businesses? Who is going to be the Apple, Uber or Amazon of this industry who can bring you a steam of home services regardless of what you need with transparent rates and services that you can understand? Tremendous opportunity here to create a great home care services brand.
Rounds and rounds of interviews. While some say we are in the midst of the great resignation, and that will sort itself out, why is posting jobs, staffing and recruitment still seem so inefficient? It’s a big market, that in 2019 was worth $151.8 billion in the United States according to Statistica. While big brands like Monster.com seem to have faded to newer brands like LinkedIn or Indeed for job posting, traditional firms like Robert Half still do what they do. On a random search on LinkedIn for an open marketing director job at a Fortune 1000 company there were 780 views and more than 100 applications submitted. Who or what is going to sort through all those applications to find the best person? According to a BBC article from August of 2021, a software engineering manager went through three rounds of interviews to get to the final candidate pool and then was told to prepare for six more rounds of interviews. How inefficient is that for the candidate and the fairly large number of interviewers at a given company that might have tens or even hundreds of openings? There must be a better way.