Bluesumer list suggests 6 ideas for entrepreneursEven in times of economic uncertainty, there are always opportunities for entrepreneurs if they target niche markets. Statistics Korea yesterday announced six areas of new markets where entrepreneurs may want to invest in and find new growth opportunities, referring to them as “Bluesumers.” Bluesumer is a combination of “blue oceans” and “consumers,” a word coined by the statistics agency to describe new, uncontested markets.
The categories include markets and businesses that target consumers wanting to get rid of personal information saved online; couples hoping for a small wedding rather than a big, commercial one; women in their 40s and 50s with spending power; single-member households; consumers who have pets; and consumers willing to spend on socially responsible goods.
“There are many self-employed businesspeople that run small businesses in Korea, and in reality we see many of them taking the risk of starting their own businesses but failing and then starting again,” said an official from Statistics Korea. “In today’s society, it isn’t easy becoming a successful businessperson with just the mind of an entrepreneur and courage because the market is saturated and there’s excessive competition.
“Regardless of the size of the business, it is important that entrepreneurs, before starting their own businesses, know the market environment and changes in consumer trends well.”
Statistics Korea has designated Bluesumer categories annually since 2007 to provide entrepreneurs with ideas for new business opportunities.
One of the categories for 2014 is an area that helps consumers delete personal records online. Statistics Korea said the industry offers potential, especially at a time when excessive personal information is being leaked and retailed online.
Thirty-year-old Kang, for example, was in despair after the death of a family member last year. Kang and her family later found out that friends of the deceased had left him happy birthday messages on his Facebook page.
Kang then tried to delete all memberships he had signed up for, but she found the process too complicated. She finally discovered a company that provides a “digital funeral” and is able to sort out the online identities of the deceased.
One company providing such a service is U.S.-based LifeEnsured, which helps manage online identities after death. The service the business provides includes deleting online messages and photos.
Another industry identified by Statistics Korea is small weddings. The agency noted that young couples in particular are looking for economical weddings, rather than a fancy ones, holding ceremonies at the outdoor garden of a church or at their residences.
Such a trend developed because there has been criticism that too much money is being spent on weddings.
According to the Korea Consumer Agency last year, a survey of 1,000 engaged couples showed that it costs 51.98 million won ($48,000) per person on average to hold a wedding.
“This year, entrepreneurs could look into the business of providing small wedding consulting services to young couples,” said the agency.
Other businesses that target niche markets include fashion or cosmetics businesses for women in their 40s and 50s, food businesses that deliver soup and side dishes to single-member households, and businesses that provide organic snacks for pets.
BY LEE EUN-JOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]