5 Startup-Friendly Subcultures in the U.S. Right Now

July 5, 2016

9:00 pm

To niche or not to niche, that is the question. If Shakespeare’s Hamlet would get involved in a startup business, he would brood on that question as opposed to one about his existential existence.

You may be ready to become your own boss. You’ve got some skills that could make you a super staff leader, and you know your way around a spreadsheet. What’s next? Coming up with that terrific idea. That is where the “niche question” comes into play.

Do you want to start a business casting the widest possible net for customers, or should you focus on thriving subcultures and build from there? It might be that playing to subcultures of society would be just the thing to get your startup started up. Here are five subcultures you might want to focus on:

Pet Owners

Forget whether you’re personally a dog person or a cat person — the American Pet Products Association puts spending on the furry ones at around $60 billion for 2015. That’s up close to two billion from the year before.

Imagine carving out just a little piece of that pie. Does this mean you need to come up with the next tasty treat? Well, there are doggy bakeries popping up in urban cities where owners feel guilty about abandoning their four-legged friend all day. You could tap into the treat market, or your startup could be focused on practical things related to pets like dog walking or cat sitting. Either way, did we mention it is a $60-billion-dollar industry?

Tattoo Fanatics

Tattoos are a growing interest amongst Americans nowadays. With one in five Americans having some form of ink, that could also mean a prime business opportunity for you.

There are two great ways to come at the tattoo subculture. One would mean opening up your own tattoo parlor, but you cal also pique the interest of those interested in the niche with social media marketing.

Beer Lovers

How great would it be if your job involved drinking beer all day? Invest in a micro or macro brewery could help make that happen. The difference between macro and micro breweries comes down to the amount of beer produced. Micro is all about the specialty beers while the macros are cranking out thousands of barrels a year of their hops.

As a business, craft beers are on the rise in terms of popularity. Once again, you don’t have to start from scratch, but instead, find a brewery that is looking to take on a new partner. Present yourself as the answer to their business or marketing needs.

Retiring Boomers

This is not so much a subculture, but more of a generational shift. With baby boomers heading into retirement in huge numbers, allowing your startup to play up that important shift can be beneficial for you.

This demographic might be looking for: financial planners, mortgage specialists and even relocation experts. On a smaller scale, you could start a service of running errands for seniors. That can include transportation to the doctor’s office or a trip to the grocery store — simple service with great reward potential.

Geek Culture

Hardly a week goes by without a new comic book super hero movie opening. The same thing is happening all across the television landscape as all things geek are suddenly cool. How can your startup tap into this subculture? Geeks like the merch — T-shirts, mugs, hats and, of course, action figures.

You could set up an eBay shop specializing in these items. From there, you can expand your business to a “virtual storefront.” You’re not creating any of these items. You’re just buying them wholesale and selling them to the multitudes. And in the realm of geek, there are a lot of multitudes to go around.

Focusing on subcultures is a good way to start a business, but you also have to keep an eye on the future. Can you scale your business? Is it viable enough to grow?

Image by DesignCue

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Kayla Matthews is a tech productivity blogger who writes for MakeUseOf and The Gadget Flow. Follow Kayla on Google+ and Twitter, or read her latest posts on her blog, Productivity Bytes.

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