Small Business: What's the Big Idea?

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Are you thinking of starting a small business in Mississauga? Smart move! Small businesses are the engine of our economy, employing over 8 million Canadians and contributing almost 30% to Ontario's GDP.

But the path of the entrepreneur isn't an easy one. It's a long and daunting trip down a highway of heartbreak and sleepless nights. That's a lesson I learned the hard way when my life's dream, the Human Dignity Memorial Home for Unwanted Head Lice, closed its filthy, grease-stained lid for good.

It was a hard road, but it's easy to see where I went wrong. Sure, I attended the awesome seminars, workshops, and private consultations offered by the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre. But maybe I should have listened when they called my pitch "disgusting" and then phoned the police. 

Or maybe the idea of charging $6.99 to shave off a vermin-infested child's hair and keep it in a used pizza box was too ahead of its time. We may never know, but what I do know is this: when it comes to starting your own business, you need an idea that works. You need to give the market what it wants. 

So where's the next big small business idea going to come from? The answer: you're reading it. Leveraging my hard-won experience and cutting-edge market research, I'm ready to share with you seven foolproof ideas for guaranteed small business success.

Interested yet? Read on...

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NAIL SALON
Yes, I know what you're thinking: every second business in Mississauga is already a nail salon. That just means you need a new angle. What about a nail salon... for men? It's basically the same thing, but after your customers get their nails done they fight each other. Try a sports theme for maximum market penetration.

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MEXICAN FUSION
When it comes to authentic international cuisines, everyone knows Mexican fusion is the best. It's a fact. From sushi burritos to butter chicken burritos to adorable cats wrapped in soft blankets (i.e., purritos), there's nothing Canadians like better than defiling the traditional flatbread of our noble North American neighbour.

So why not start up a Mexican fusion restaurant of your own? Here are five surefire ways to get your culinary cultural appropriation on:

1. Boiled hot dog tacos
2. Quesadillas stuffed with smaller quesadillas
3. "Triple Skull" spicy mayonnaise
4. Various bags of Doritos mixed together
5. Taco Bell

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UBER FOR... WHATEVER
As one of the most successful and morally dubious startups of the last decade, Uber is a straightforward blueprint for entrepreneurial success. Honestly, it doesn't even matter what your "Uber for..." is for. Why not... mattresses? Everyone needs mattresses, right? I guess you could just deliver mattresses?

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NIGHTLIFE
Have you ever noticed how Mississauga basically shuts down at 9:30pm? Some people might call it an inevitable effect of the decentralized sprawl of 6-lane streets and parking lots that defines our suburban landscape, an infrastructure designed to support vehicles and homelife over walkability and community. But those people are wrong. Everyone knows that the real problem is vampires. So why not reclaim the night with garlic and wooden stakes?

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WIZARDING SCHOOL
Sure, you'd be stepping on some pretty shaky ground as far as intellectual property is concerned... but study after study has made it clear. The people of Mississauga want to be wizards, and wizards need proper training. As more and more people are priced out of legitimate educational opportunities, the for-profit education sector is booming. The upside for entrepreneurs in this space is nothing short of "magical." 

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AMAZON HEADQUARTERS
Are you Jeff Bezos? Are you looking for a new home for Amazon HQ? Do you need access to an enormous pool of human labour, pristine, exploitable land, and tons of air for all that weird drone stuff? If not... well... can Amazon.ca at least get a better selection?

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LOCAL LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
Are you crazy? Who still reads magazines in this day and age?

Listen. Starting a small business is no mean feat. It takes confidence, courage, and more than a little bit of luck. But once you commit to a solid, focus group-approved idea, the sky's the limit.

Don't be like me. Don't let the naysayers get to you, even when they claim you are only collecting human hair specimens for the purposes of cloning an inexhaustible army of cursed children. Yes, that's technically true, but it's also ridiculous and I resent the accusation!

In the world of small business, you need to listen to your heart. Trust your gut. And most importantly, stick with it. Because when you do, you just might find yourself successful beyond your wildest dreams. Or in my case, covered in lice.