What do you think of this business idea?
A friend of mine has been kicking around the idea for a blog/website that would help people come up with great gift ideas for their friends and family.
At this stage, it's just a bit of fun - there's not plan to make money off the site yet. However, I can see a few opportunities, such as joining affiliate programs of certain websites that sell recommended gifts, and even offering advertising for some of these sites. Not exactly huge profit generators, but perhaps enough to pay for the hosting!
What do people think of the idea? I think it's a nice idea that does meet a need, but are there other ways to monetize it, without "selling out" the blog at this early stage?
Would love to hear some thoughts from the community! Is it a just a hobby, or is the little spark of a business buried here?
If his just looking to create a tool for this idea I would suggest building a facebook application as I believe at the moment facebook is the doorway to the online audience. Something like this could easily work as a facebook application as your group of friends and family is already there.
Maybe have a look at the business models of how group buying sites such as Groupon.com or even more locally Spreets.com.au are structured and see if the idea can leverage or learn off what they currently doing.
There’s always a spark of a business buried!
I wonder if there is a higher chance of commercialising the site if it adopts a niche. Babies are well and truly covered elsewhere but what about tweens / teens? Nobody knows what to buy them (nobody even knows how they think so how could you!) and grandparents, aunts / uncles etc would love advice on the latest and greatest.
Other possibilities include Gifts for Girlfriends (refer earlier point about knowing how they think!), gifts for 50s+ …..
With the specialisation comes stickiness and the opportunities to sell directly to a narrower audience.
Really looking forward to hearing the progress.
Something like an online Wedding registrar may be worth considering, as your friend could look at expanding on the ideas for selling gifts from or becoming a gift aggregator of some kind as well, allow people to create their own mini social groups/netwroks - based on their commonality of the couple to be married and their desire to get them the gifts that would be really useful for them.
Of course more opportunities equates to more competition...but not sure if there are any online wedding gift registrars already, but worth looking into. If not wedding then specialization is a better place to start instead of trying to be everything for everyone.