This is an archive of the Starter Story newsletter, which is read by 161K people every week.
In each issue, we share the biggest business ideas that are working today, along with case studies of founders who are making millions every month. Sign up today ➜
This couple couldn’t raise money from VCs. Investors turned their backs because they were non-technical founders, and some even said no because they were married.
So they took the bootstrapping way and developed a niche app in the promotional products industry. They’re currently powering sales for over $1BN of gross merchandise volume.
The promotional product industry has an estimated value of $23.3 billion and consists of 40,000+ companies. So, it totally makes sense to address a niche like this.
Want to go niche? Here are some amazing businesses built on top of a tiny niche:
- Case study: $7M per year shaving men's hairy backs
- Case study: $1M/year e-shopping cart business
- Case study: $24M/year subscription-based mystery game
- Case study: $6M/year innovative folding cart
- Case study: $2M/year selling bento boxes
Go deeper with this list of 100+ business ideas that went niche.
These three college friends are making $1M/year with a nightlife app (even after COVID destroyed the industry).
Do you wanna know why they got sued? Check out the full interview.
The entertainment industry is huge, has many branches and hasn’t evolved much over the years, and that equals opportunities. See some examples of people successfully disrupting it:
- Case study: $40K/month creating Kanye West listening parties
- Case study: $75K/month licensing music business
- Case study: $144K/year mobile karaoke experience
All Maarten wanted to do was learn how to code - now he makes well over $15,000 per month.
It didn’t happen overnight - it took him around 5 years to go full time. And you can tell he’s been on it for a while because in the interview he drops absolute gems on SEO for the WordPress marketplace and how to price your plugins. Do not miss it.
WordPress powers more than 40% of the internet (yes, you read that correctly) so developing for its platform automatically gives you the opportunity to access a huge market. Check out how others have profited from developing a solution for a successful platform:
- Case study: Gmail extension ($300K/mo)
- Case study: Google Sheets add-on for Amazon Seller Central ($23K/mo)
- Case study: WhatsApp plugin for Shopify ($29K/mo)
Ever had to wear a cast? Then you know that it’s pretty much impossible to keep it dry and clean. Diana noticed that too while working with kids and that’s why she started making 3D printed waterproof casts and splints.
She knew there had to be a better way and using CAD designed a prototype and printed her first cast. After getting the OK from a doctor, she started making more and more for the kids. Now sells products to many countries and has reached a revenue of $500K; so now she’s also printing money.
A great story of bringing new technology into an old-school market. Some other uses of 3D printing in the medical field are: creating tissues and organoids, surgical tools and custom-made prosthetics. The space is expected to grow 500% in the next years.
3D printers are awesome both to create new products or develop prototypes. These are some of the starters who took advantage of this new technology:
- Building a $100MM silicone ring business
- $50K/mo phone case business
- The $500K/year gadget to track your time
Developing software and organizing events sound too mainstream to you? Don’t worry - there are plenty of unusual niches where you can run a profitable business.
Axe throwing, becoming a professional mermaid or renting cows are some of the unique business ideas that we’ve collected for you. With examples of successful businesses and all the info you need to get started.
Read the full list here!
Trending stories this week
- Growing a brand to $1.1M/month at 23 years old
- 18 Indian entrepreneur success stories
- 25 Bitcoin business ideas that will make you money quick
- What to do if someone doesn't reply to your email?
- Starting a bed sheet business making $600K in first 8 months
Thanks for reading!
Want to start your own business?
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.
Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:
- Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
- Step by step guides on how to start and grow
- Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
- And much more!
Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?
Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.
Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.