In the fast-paced and constantly evolving business landscape of the 2020s, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to keep their fingers on the pulse of ever-changing trends and adapt their business ideas accordingly. Some ventures that may have once been profitable – the kind that every start-up entrepreneur may once have considered – no longer provide a sustainable source of income. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the business world soon, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. That’s why, here and now, we’re going to explore a few business ideas that no longer pay the bills and delve into the reasons behind their decline. So, let’s dive in and discover the ventures to avoid if you want your business to thrive in the modern era!
Physical DVD Rental Stores: Streaming Takes Center Stage
Gone are the days of browsing the shelves of a DVD rental store. With the rise of digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, consumers can access a vast library of movies and TV shows from the comfort of their own homes, any time they like, and never have to worry about going back to the store to return their rental. The convenience and cost-effectiveness of streaming services have significantly reduced the demand for physical DVD rentals. Therefore, investing in a brick-and-mortar DVD rental store is no longer a viable business idea in today’s market. If you want proof of this, think about how ubiquitous Blockbuster rental stores were a little over a decade ago. Today, there’s only one left in the whole world.
Traditional Print Media: Digital Content Reigns Supreme
While traditional print media like newspapers and magazines used to be a primary source of information and entertainment, the digital age has transformed the media landscape. Online platforms offer real-time updates, interactive content, and personalised experiences that print media struggles to compete with. The decline in newspaper subscriptions and advertising revenues is evidence of the shift in consumer preferences. Aspiring entrepreneurs in the media industry should explore digital alternatives and innovative approaches to content creation and distribution to stay relevant and profitable. No matter how interesting an idea for a magazine you might have, the time for new magazines has been and gone. Try making a success out of the idea as a blog or a website instead.
Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores: E-books and Online Retail Take Over
This is, in a way, similar to the point we made above about traditional print media. Once considered havens for book lovers, brick-and-mortar bookstores are facing tough times. E-books, with their instant accessibility and lower prices, along with the convenience of online shopping, have revolutionised the way we consume and purchase books. Online retail giants, with Amazon again being the best example, have made it incredibly easy to order books and have them delivered right to our doorstep the following day – or even the same day in some cases. Traditional bookstores now struggle to compete with these digital alternatives. Entrepreneurs interested in the book industry should explore e-commerce platforms or unique bookstore concepts that offer specialised experiences to attract customers. The irony in all of this, by the way, is the fact that Amazon has had to close down its own physical bookstores because of competition from – you guessed it – Amazon online.
Traditional Travel Agencies: Online Travel Planning Dominates
Gone are the days when travellers relied heavily on travel agencies to plan their trips. The internet and online travel platforms have empowered individuals to book flights, accommodation, and in-person experiences with a few clicks. The convenience, transparency, and often lower costs associated with online bookings have made traditional travel agencies less relevant. However, there are still opportunities in the travel industry for entrepreneurs. They can focus on offering unique travel experiences, niche services, or personalised itineraries that complement the existing online travel landscape. In terms of an old-school “we sell package holidays to Spain” shop, though, forget about it. The concept is obsolete, and if you don’t believe us, you can ask Thomas Cook.
Video Game Rental: The Changing Gaming Landscape
Video game rental arcades, once buzzing with excitement, have become casualties of the rapidly evolving gaming industry. With gaming consoles, online multiplayer capabilities, and mobile gaming on the rise, gamers now have access to a vast array of titles via a single machine in their bedroom or front room. With some gaming formats, it’s no longer even necessary for a player to own any hardware at all. This has almost completely diminished the demand for video game rental arcades. They used to be a place where people could walk in, try a few games on the display console and then buy or rent games to their heart’s content, but that’s something we’ll one day tell our disbelieving grandchildren about now. Entrepreneurs with a passion for gaming should consider exploring opportunities in e-sports, game development, or creating gaming communities to tap into the growing multiplayer gaming market.
Brick-and-Mortar Casinos: The Internet is Undefeated
We appreciate that the majority of people reading this weren’t thinking of opening a brick-and-mortar casino anyway. It’s not the sort of thing you can do with an average amount of start-up cash – you need a lot of money in the bank to underwrite the winnings you’ll have to pay out. Just in case you were tempted by the idea of becoming a casino king or queen, though, forget it. The online revolution has wrecked the brick-and-mortar casino market for all but the biggest players, so if you’re not already involved, you won’t find any space in the market. That’s down to the success of casinos like mFortune, which was launched in 2007 as a “market disruptor” for players on mobile phones but is now a giant in its own right and has spawned a series of mFortune sister sites. The online iGaming market grows and changes so fast that it’s impossible for its physical equivalent to keep up. Consider opening an online casino instead if this is the industry you want to get involved in.
As an entrepreneur, it’s essential to adapt to changing times and embrace what’s new while simultaneously letting go of what’s old, no matter how attached to the old ideas you might be. The majority of new businesses open on the internet rather than the high street these days, and that trend is likely to continue well into the future. Don’t fight it – join in. Take that great idea you have and work out how to turn it into something digital – that’s where the money is, and that’s where the money is always likely to be from now on.