Identify Inefficiency, Fix It College entrepreneurs are finding success with a laser focus on business models they can improve.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Armed with technology and unbridled ambition, the new crop of college entrepreneurs isn't afraid to challenge the status quo and engage in a David vs. Goliath battle. By applying laser-sharp focus to a specific inefficiency or potential improvement, these college startups are successfully revolutionizing traditional business models.
There is perhaps no industry more traditionally minded than the furniture industry, which is exactly why Emory University student Sean Belnick, 22, founded Canton, Ga.-based BizChair.com. With a goal of simplifying the furniture-buying process by selling directly to consumers, Belnick was able to reach $42 million in revenue for 2008. "I saw an industry that had virtually no presence online and realized there was an opportunity to build a more efficient way to get furniture to people," says Belnick. "Customers won, we won, and everyone was happy but the middleman."
To take on competitors with much larger capital arsenals, Belnick knew it was important to carve out a specific niche. While BizChair.com now sells a variety of office and home furniture, it all started with a sole focus on office chairs. "To start, pick one element and do it better than any of your competitors," Belnick says. "Once you have successfully established your initial position, you can grow from there."