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How to be innovative within your industry when you can’t find that ‘aha’ moment

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With an increasing desire for flexibility and the accessibility of social media marketing, more and more people are looking towards entrepreneurialism.

In a study by Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE) at Queensland University of Technology, it was estimated over half a million Australians engaged in entrepreneurial activity at any point in time. It would appear being your own boss is becoming the new Australian dream, and it’s not hard to imagine why. You have control over your schedule, the freedom of not having to answer to anyone and ultimately get to work towards your own goals instead of someone else’s.

Although many of us might crave the lifestyle of managing our own business, we lack the creativity to successfully pull it off. So what can you do if you’re stuck for ideas? Instead of trying to create something from scratch, entrepreneurs and business owners can draw inspiration from tried and tested business models to shake up their industries with impressive results.

A new way of doing business

One successful business model that is currently being rolled out across industries is the share economy. Still largely in its infancy, the share economy was thrown into the spotlight by the success of Airbnb and Uber. Needing no introduction, Uber and Airbnb have revolutionised their industries and indirectly shaken up many more.

The adoption of the share economy business model has been both global and seemingly limitless, with over 9,000 companies operating under this model. From Instacart, a personal grocery shopper, to Washr a service to pick up and clean your dirty laundry, the share economy has become a massive market.

Closer to home, Scooter Tutor revolutionised the tutoring industry by adopting elements of the Airbnb and Uber models. By jumping online, parents can enter their location and subject they require a tutor for and be connected with available tutors in the area. In addition, Scooter Tutor adopted a similar rating system to Uber, offering parents peace of mind in their choice of tutor. In drawing inspiration from successful share economy based business models, Scooter Tutor has achieved 600% growth year on year since 2015.

Another tried and tested business model is the subscription model, where a customer must pay a subscription price to access a product or service. According to Roy Morgan research, around 5.75 million Australians have Netflix, a system that operates solely on direct debit subscriptions.

Given that this accounts for around 25% of the national population, Australians clearly have a liking for the ease that direct debit subscriptions offer.

So why not bring this business model into new industries

Subscription models add an element of convenience for consumers, and seem to make sense for services that aren’t optimised from a ‘one-off’ purchase. The tutoring industry is ripe for a shakeup, so a subscription model might be a good solution.

By gaining inspiration from established business models businesses have the added advantage of already knowing how to overcome obstacles, what measures might be required to successfully launch and ultimately better address customer needs. In addition to this, businesses also benefit by eliminating much of the risk that otherwise comes with large-scale change. That in mind, it should come as no surprise that borrowing business models is nothing new. According to one study, 90% of new business models are created this way.

Next time you find yourself stuck for inspiration and struggling to stand out from your competitors, think about companies whose business models have inspired you, who have made your life easier and channel that into your own industry.

You might find your dream of being an innovator in your industry is much more tangible than you believe.

Cameron Schmidt is a former tutor and co-founder of Scooter Tutor, an online booking system and database to find a tutor.

Cameron Schmidt
Cameron Schmidt
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