A point largely missed by many people new to the idea of starting a business for themselves is that you don’t need a blow-the-lid-off great idea to get started.

In fact, most of the time, you are much better off not trying to launch a fantastic new idea. Or waiting around to have one.

The best businesses to start are mostly like businesses that already exist, just that they are slightly better. There are countless examples in the business world. Domino’s pizza is just a pizza, but it comes to your door. Dell made computers along with tons of other, but they didn’t build it until you ordered. Southwest is just another airline, but they traded some luxuries for cheaper tickets, and people responded.

Lots of people do bookkeeping and payroll, but CapForge does it at a professional level with mom and pop pricing and service. Everyone else either charges two or three times or more what we charge, or else you end up with a one man or one woman “firm” who misses deadlines, charges by the hour, disappears for weeks at a time or altogether and where you have to depend entirely on one person. So we stand out- not with a radically different idea but a simple idea well executed.

All you really need to do is take a basic, successful business idea, and figure out how you can make it a little better or a little different or a little more appealing or a little more specialized or a little more luxurious and away you go.

Here is a perfect case in point. There is a company in Dallas that makes customized baby blankets. That in itself is nothing new. There are lots of companies that make baby blankets and will put your baby’s name on it, and that doesn’t count the one you get from your Aunt Donna and your Grandma Helen.

The two slight twists this company put on the idea is that they will let you do 200 characters instead of the usual 20, and they will turn it around in a few days instead of a few weeks.

The extra characters mean people can do more info: a poem, the birth date, the middle name, or whatever else they want. The faster turnaround is just nice because once people pay for something they hate waiting.

So all this company did was take something people already like and want to buy, and they made it more likable (by adding more room to personalize) and faster. That’s it. Nothing tricky. Nothing amazing or really new or hard to explain. Just a little bit better.

You can take the same formula, apply it to any business, and be assured you will quickly move to the front of the pack. Now- go find something to slightly improve!