Some entrepreneurs achieve success by coming up with a product that situates itself into the everyday lives and schedules of the general public. Apps are a great example of this, but there are other paths to success available to those who can ground their business strategies in meeting very specific or specialized needs for a well defined market.
Having a company that offers a product or service to other companies may not look as glamorous as some of the hip startups we see on TV, but it certainly has the profit potential and sustainability most of us want. Think about all of the startups out there that make a profit off of providing services to other startups. Co-working spaces and startup concierge services have boomed over the past 3 years – for a reason.
WaitStuff Delivers to a Specific Audience
Identifying under-tapped markets is an effective first step in making tons of cash. The folks behind WaitStuff are very much aware of this and have built a successful business model by identifying the needs and questions that managers and buyers in the service sector have. The name and service are both pretty straight forward. WaitStuff Uniforms specializes in providing service sector businesses with uniforms for their employees.
Uniforms are obviously designed with utility in mind, but there is more to think about than whether the company polo is wrinkle-free and stain resistant. Branding is also a huge component of WaitStuff’s service. Incorporating logos and other branding factors into dressing a company’s team members is a big deal. Just think about the amount of money large companies spend on this process. Baristas don’t look like competent little coffee elves by accident – a design team came up with (and was paid a HUGE amount for) a cohesive and job specific look for these caffeine-pushers.
WaitStuff Uniforms provides cost-efficient support for clients looking for help incorporating branding into the uniforms they provide their staff. Providing uniforms seems like a niche market, and in many ways it is, but the site offers uniforms for a huge range of departments including:
- Cleaning and Environmental Services
- Restaurant and Food Services
- Casino and Hospitality professionals
- Corporate and Retail
Their products are made to order, they have a checkout process that is as easy as it is secure, and have deals on shipping and delivery for depending on the order size. These factors may seem common sense, but they also reflect a keen knowledge of their client base.
Small audiences and big profits
In addition to a massive catalog of uniforms and accessories for a bunch of service industry companies, WaitStuff connects to their clients in a way their competition doesn’t. The most notable way they do this is through their blog.
Sure their blog has a pretty particular audience with specific needs, but smaller markets can sometimes provide large cash flows (so don’t rule them out). WaitStuff helps to make itself a big fish in a relatively small commercial pond by talking about the topics and answering the questions their client base has. How many people want to read about the importance of color choice in the aprons ? Not many, but chances are the people who would read about “power” aprons for their staff will also be shopping for them.
The buying guide provided on the site also reflects a deep understanding of their clients’ needs. Going beyond the standard sizing charts and covers things like:
- Imaging details
- Fabric Choices
The real takeaway here is that there are different paths to success. Startups are interesting to think about and work for because most achieve success by thinking outside the box and by having an intimate understanding of who their clients are.