How to Start a Unique Business

Some of us like to do things a little differently, and that’s also true of business owners and entrepreneurs. If you’ve looked at some standard business ideas and thought “that’s not for me,” perhaps you need something a more unique.

Starting a niche business could be a great idea

You’ll be creating products or services that people can’t easily get elsewhere, and you’ll be able to identify your target market and build up your marketing and reputation with them.

The question is, just where do you start? How do you find a unique business idea, test it out and bring it to life?

We can help. Since 2004, we’ve helped over 500,000 people like you become entrepreneurs, starting exciting businesses and bringing their ideas to life. We’ll give you the support, guidance and advice you need to create a unique business and make it into a success.

To get you off on the right foot, here’s our simple guide to starting up a successful unique business. From highlighting important facts to validating your ideas, and from choosing the right structure to managing and running your business, you’ll find the answers you need.

Read on for some insight into creating your own unique business and becoming an entrepreneur.

Unique Small Business Ideas — Finding the Right Type of Business

A unique business needs a unique idea. Starting a truly one-of-a-kind business may be a stretch, as the chances are someone has already done something similar. But you can certainly find niches that are not too saturated, and then create a unique model to serve them.


We recommend basing your business around skills, talents, training or interests you already have. That way you won’t need to learn something new at the same time as starting up a business. This is a multi-step process as you:

1

Think About Your Main Skills

We’ve all got skills we could turn into business ideas, and it’s time to harness them into your own business. Start by looking at the various parts of your life and writing down your talents and areas you’re good at.

This doesn’t just have to be formal training like home improvement or bookkeeping — it could also include other skills like writing or cooking. Make sure to capture a good number of skills across various areas like training, qualifications, work, social, hobbies, etc.

2

Think About Your Interests

Similar to how you explored your skills, start thinking about the things that inspire you — your passions and interests. These are the things you choose to do in your spare time. They could be hobbies and pastimes or things you care about and think about often. Look at the social media groups you belong to, what you chat about with your friends, or the books and other media that you consume for inspiration.

3

Decide What Really Matters to You

The most successful businesses happen because the founder has a great idea that they care about. Even if you’re awesome at Excel spreadsheets, you’re not going to be able to sustain a business doing data analysis if they don’t interest you.

Go through each of your skills and interests and prioritize them — how good are you at this particular area? Could you see yourself doing it as a business? Are you enthusiastic about it?

4

Combine Your Most Important Skills and Interests to Create Unique Business Ideas

Once you have some prioritized skills and interests, combine them with each other to see if you have an idea for a business.

For example, say you’ve listed nonfiction writing and programming as skills, along with veganism, classic cars and fitness as interests. You’d take each of those and combine them to create a list of business ideas:

  • Nonfiction writing on veganism, classic cars or fitness
  • Programming a vegan, car or fitness app

You can continue to expand into your other skill and interest areas too — such as starting a moving company based on your skills with helping friends move or starting a record company based on your love of music.

How to Make Your Unique Business Stand Out

Remember, the ideas you’ve created are just a starting point. You will need to define and tweak exactly what type of unique business you want to run by conducting your own research.

Don’t assume that just because you have a great idea, it will be easy to turn that into revenue.

You still need to stand out, deliver superior products and services and excel in your chosen area.

Getting started in business is easy, but becoming a success is harder. Before committing too much time, energy and money into your new unique business, it’s important to test the marketplace. Here's how:

Identify your unique selling points (USPs)

Certainly, a unique business idea is a great starting point, but you should build on that by providing uniquely valuable features, price, quality, speed or something else. This will help you to set yourself apart from others and encourage customers to come to you.

Understand your market

Clearly identify exactly who your customers are likely to be, where they hang out and how you’re going to reach them. This will be essential to your marketing, communications, sales and customer support. Because of the niche you’ve chosen, it should be easier to find out the type of people who would buy your products and services.

Talk to clients

Speak with potential customers to understand what they want from your unique products and services, and validate this by asking if they would commit to spending real money on it.

Get involved with food truck communities and discussion groups

One of the great things about unique businesses is that there are plenty of great communities and discussion groups out there for various industries. Get involved in them and learn the ins and outs of your chosen market before committing.

The thing to learn here is that it’s okay to say “no” to your first, second or third unique business idea. Very few entrepreneurs get it right the first time. In fact, getting it wrong is often a badge of honor! Still, you don’t want to waste too much time, energy or money on the wrong initiatives, so ask and answer these questions honestly to find the right way forward.

Turning a Unique Business Idea Into a Business Plan

Until you have a business plan, your unique business idea is just a concept. A business plan forces you to start considering how your idea would look and how you can turn it into a product or service.

You need to define how you’re going to run your unique business, market yourself, get sales, make a profit and grow. Business plans do vary slightly, but they should cover the following areas:

1

An executive summary with the most important points from your business plan

2

Your goals and what you hope to achieve with your unique business

3

A description of your unique business, background information and context

4

A market analysis and likely demand

5

An overview of how your unique business is structured

6

Your online business model

7

How you will market and sell your offerings

8

Financial projections, revenue and profitability

9

Appendices

We’ve got the perfect guide to writing your business plan.

Choose the Right Business Structure and Register Your Unique Business

There are five main business structures you can have in the U.S., and it’s important to choose the right one. We’ve shared your options below. They are:

Sole Proprietorship

This is the "default" business structure and is what your unique business will be if you decide not to create a more formal structure. We don't recommend this type of business as it doesn't give you the legal protections you need.

Partnership Company or LLC

This is a type of business that is formed when two or more people work together without creating a more formal business entity. Like a sole proprietorship, it may not give you all the protections your unique business may need.

Limited Liability Company or LLC

The most common type of business entity, an LLC is fast, simple and inexpensive to set up and maintain. It protects your personal finances and assets and is a great way to start your unique business.

S Corporation

This is a more complex type of business and isn't generally recommended for smaller organizations.

C Corporation

These are the largest and most complex types of businesses, and are typically far more than the average entrepreneur or unique business owner will need.

For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of businesses, please see our in-depth guide. If you’ve still got questions, we’ve answered them to help you choose the right business structure for your unique business.

In most cases our recommendation would be to create an LLC - they are quick to create, easy to manage and relatively inexpensive to run. They also provide you with liability protection and help you get taken more seriously by photography clients.

We’ve got a complete guide to everything you need to do, and we can even start setting up an LLC for your photography business today. LLC formation does vary from state to state, but we’ve got you covered, wherever you are.

Start Your Business with Us, Today!

Setting up Your Unique Business and Business Operations

Once you've legally created your business, you’ll need to get some other things in place.

Location

The location you work from will be defined by the type of business you start. Many unique businesses can be run successfully from home, although other businesses may need a specialized location. Don't forget that if you work from home, you can write off part of your utility and housing costs against your taxes.

Marketing

Marketing to a very defined niche is much easier than marketing to a broader audience. Spend some time and effort identifying who your audience is and the best channels to reach them. You will probably want an awesome website, but you'll also need to get branding, newsletters, digital ads, social media accounts and other channels in place.

Software

The right software and processes will make running your unique business much easier. See our list of the best apps and software at the end of this guide.

Equipment

Depending on the type of unique business you run, equipment needs will vary widely. For selling services, you will probably only need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Employees

To begin with, you probably won’t need to hire anyone else for your unique business, especially if you’re a good administrator. But start thinking about who else you may want to bring on board as your business grows.

Finances and Taxes

You will need a separate business bank account for your business, and you might also want to consider a business credit card. Additionally, you will need to keep careful bookkeeping records and file business and personal taxes. Here at Incfile we can even help you file your taxes.

The Complete "Start Your Business" Checklist

A Clear and Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Business the Right Way

Rules, Regulations and Taxes for Your Unique Business

It doesn’t matter how unique your business is, you can’t escape real-world licenses, permits and regulations. You will need to explore local, state and federal licenses and permits, and we can also help out with researching your business licensing needs.

Taxes

Taxes are a fact of life if you’re in business, and there are various ways you will need to file and pay them. This can include self-employment tax, state income tax and federal income tax. Depending on where and how you’re selling products and services, you may also be liable for sales and use tax.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend holding back around a third of your earnings to pay your taxes. We can also prepare and file your tax returns for you.

Maintaining Your Unique Business

There are certain forms and legalities you need to follow to keep your unique business in good standing.

1

File an Annual Report

Most states require all businesses to file a report once a year. This report has details of any major changes to who owns a business and other major impacts on a business’ legal status. We can file your Annual Report on your behalf.

Annual Report
2

Pay estimated taxes

You will be expected to pay estimated taxes on what you plan to earn in the current business year. Typically, you will need to pay estimated taxes in April, June, September and January (of the following year).

3

Renew Business Permits and Licenses

Your business will probably have several licenses, permits and other regulations. These typically need to be renewed every year.

4

Prepare Your Taxes

You will need to work with your accountant to prepare all the taxes you need to pay.

5

File your taxes

You will need to file your taxes once a year.

6

Pay payroll and sales taxes

If applicable, you will need to make payroll and sales tax payments on a regular basis.

Useful Online Tools for Your Unique Business

Here are some really great online tools for managing your unique business. They will reduce the time you spend on administration, help you to collaborate with others and free up your time to grow and manage your new venture.

Conclusion

The internet has made it possible to pursue most business ideas, no matter how unique. If you can find a great niche, understand your competitors and put together a solid business plan, you will have every chance for success.

Start your Unique Business with us, today