The current era of business is not one of large corporate monopolies but startups innovating for the better of society. It's well-known that three out of four startups fail, but there are also those that change the way ordinary people go about their daily lives.

The reasons for their success are always difficult. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot by looking at the businesses that came before. In this article, you are going to look at five unique startups and why they became successful.

1. Happy Cheeks

This company produced a toilet seat cleaner that eliminates bacteria and makes even the most disgusting public toilet a pleasure to be in. This same spray can be used on other appliances, including door handles and baby changing tables.

On the face of it, the idea sounds incredibly simple, and that's because it is. This is why precisely it became such a success. It wasn't an idea you had to explain to someone. By simply looking at the concept, the average person could understand what it was all about.

Sometimes simplicity can have incredible results.

2. Xiaomi

Founded in China in 2010, Xiaomi is the third-largest smartphone maker behind Apple and Samsung. The company boasts thousands of employees and a billion-dollar valuation. The reason why you've never seen them in stores is the company operates purely in an online capacity. It uses the Android platform and sells its smartphones to ordinary people in small batches.

By using these tactics, Xiaomi managed to drive its product price down. For the first time, there was a smartphone that people could afford without any problems. What you have here is a quality product sold at a price that's lower than its competitors.

It's the oldest principle of success in the world.

3. Slack

Communication is everything in the world of business. Slack is a tool used for communication in the office. Started in 2013, it's achieved a billion-dollar valuation. According to the company, there are over 30,000 organizations using their technology around the world.

It works through replacing office email with a centralized command platform for sending work documents. It's unified the various communication options you use in the office.

Slack has succeeded because it's brought together the concepts of its competitors, including Google Apps, Dropbox, and Github. Rather than innovating, it's used what's already on the market and made it better.

4. Flipkart

This is likely a startup you have heard of because former Amazon employees, the Bansal brothers founded it. It's grown to become a competitor to Amazon in India. It managed to take advantage of the market conditions in India to become successful.

The Bansal brothers noticed that India lacked any form of eCommerce delivery structure. Online shopping and combining it with offline retail didn't really exist like it did in the west. Flipkart is responsible for bringing it to India. The company saw a need that had already been fulfilled elsewhere in the west and met it.

It's a demonstration of the need for entrepreneurs to understand not just domestic markets but global markets.

5. Uber

Uber has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent times. This doesn't take away from the fact that it's one of the most successful startups in the world. Passengers can cut costs on cab money and have cars brought directly to their doors. Drivers can earn an income from rides they were going to make anyway, thus providing people of lesser means with an easy way to pad their paychecks.

Its success has to be credited with its use of smartphone technology. The idea of carpooling has existed since cars were invented, but Uber combined it with new smartphone technology and made it a business.

Many Ways to Make a Business

It's wrong to believe that the only way to make a business is through inventing something entirely new. Most of the successful startups in the world today have simply built on already existing ideas and made them better. To do this, they have used everything from technology to spotting a gap in a specific market.

There are many ways to make a business and make it successful. However you do it, there's no doubt that it requires you to understand what ordinary people want. You need to target pain points and recognize that your business idea must make life easier and more convenient for your target audience.

What business ideas do you have in mind for improving the lives of your target market?

Published on: Mar 15, 2016