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Capitalizing on a Hidden $150+ Million Industry


Somewhere out there exists a multi-million dollar market just waiting to be tapped by a savvy business-minded individual. Like an overlooked deposit of oil deep underground, this yet-unknown industry will make someone a fortune someday if it can be uncovered.

We know this is true because every ten years or so ushers in new examples of noteworthy businesses which were either unthinkable or virtually non-existent a decade prior. Consider the billion-dollar social media empires of today, something which was still a budding and somewhat novel idea back in 2008.

So what’s an example of a hidden multi-million dollar industry waiting for someone to discover it? If we knew what it was, we’d be out there making it happen! The only guarantee is it exists. It’s the job of the savvy business-minded individual to go out and find it.

It doesn’t have to be a world-changing or otherwise particularly earth-shattering concept; great business ideas are always much simpler and straightforward than that, at least at the onset. The simple equation is one in which an entrepreneur identifies an unmet want or need and devises a profitable way of providing it to consumers.

A good example of this is a company which saw its origins on a college campus several years ago. No, we aren’t talking about Facebook. Rather, the company is Greek U and its specialty is providing Greek Merch to fraternities and sororities at universities across the United States. Customizable coffee mugs, totes, t-shirts, and other popular promotional items are available for order online. The company provides a high degree of freedom for customers to design their own products, with many options being available for individual purchase as well as in bulk.

What Greek U did was identify the market potential of the Greek system present on most college campuses in the U.S. With about nine million people participating in Greek life nationally, the customer base is massive. Considering Greek life as we know it is almost two centuries old and showing no signs of going anywhere, the market is also incredibly secure.

The amount of time in which fraternities and sororities have been around is a testament to the fact this multi-million dollar industry was hiding in plain sight for decades. While it arguably took the advent of the internet for a company like Greek U to not only materialize but manage to profit, the market was always there just waiting to be tapped.

As the Greek life case study demonstrates, capitalizing on a hidden hundred-million dollar industry is a matter of recognizing the individual parts in need of being put together to make it happen. In the end, an entrepreneur is simply putting the pieces together which were laying around, formerly unattached. It’s a streamlined and relatively cost-effective way to start a business.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged by identifying a market only to see there is already a company making an effort to provide the product or service in demand. Before moving on to the next idea, stop and study the potential competitor. Perhaps they aren’t as optimized as you could be, or fail to seize on the full potential of the market?

If this is the case, consider taking advantage of creative marketing and clever operational organizing to outdo them. As long as you aren’t breaking any patent or copyright laws, there’s nothing wrong with trying to beat someone at their own game. Just take the time to size up the competition.


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