Create your business by importing a concept that works

Are you struggling to invent the good idea? “Looking at what is being done abroad saves time and reassures investors,” says Brice Auckenthaler, of the Tilt Ideas agency. And with the internet, there is no need to hop on a plane. Just check out the PACE newsletter, Springwise.com, Hellobiz.fr, Shamengo.com or Killerstartups.com.

Beware, after all, of legal pitfalls. “To limit the risk of plagiarism, take the best of several concepts and mix,” advises Julien Lacker, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property. Meanwhile, the examples of entrepreneurs who have been successful in importing are legion.

Precious: www.tmdn.org, the European database for the registration of registered trademarks

Discover our file “100 new business ideas to get rich”

> video. To find the right ideas, here are 4 questions you need to ask yourself:

♦ Go crazy for “escape games”

Sixty minutes to solve puzzles and escape from a room. Coming from Australia and Hungary, “escape games” first landed in France two years ago, but there are already about a hundred of them (read testimonial below). Good news: there is still room in the provinces. “Marseille has only two, Little Three, Lyon less than ten. And more can live together in one city,” assures Vincent Baÿ, co-founder of Challenge The Room (Grenoble), which has already opened two.

And to fill premises during the week, it pays to look for companies that are fans of team building. “They represent 50% of our turnover, estimated at 450,000 euros for 2016,” slips this former marketing manager. Be careful though: Need for large spaces, decorations to refine, puzzles to invent … The initial investment is significant. “125,000 euros to open our first place”, calculates Elisa Elbaz, co-founder in 2014 of Team Break, which already has four escape games (in Paris, Lille and Lyon) and is developing under license.

=> Opinion: they open a play area like in Budapest

Maxime Brewers and Maxime David Launched The Game © Rémy Deleuze for Capital

In 2014, when they had just signed a permanent contract, Maxime Biewers and Maxime David still dropped everything when they discovered “escape games” through a friend. Direction Budapest, the cradle of the concept, where they visited a dozen places. When they return, they find a place to rent in Paris. But to save money, the puzzles are homemade, thanks to ideas collected in Hungary: “We had written a sheet for each room visited.” And the work (here a reconstructed security room) is carried out with friends. Since opening, The Game has already welcomed 28,000 players.

Starting bet: 5,000 euros. Total personal contributions from the two founders.

Revenue (January 2016): 96,077 euros. Turnover (January 2015): 24,176 euros

1,000 euros: the round trip for three to Budapest to visit the escape games.

Also read: Business games, the new management trend

>>> Entrepreneurs, sign up for the Bpifrance Inno Génération, the largest business meeting in France on May 25 and 26 at the AccorHotels Arena Paris.

♦ Production of beer or wine in the city center

“Very few Parisian wine lovers are ready to buy them directly from the producers,” says Matthieu Bosser. Never mind, under the brand Les Vignerons parisiens, this 30-year-old has just opened a wine cellar 100% made in Paris, which already exists in the USA and Canada. Or 400,000 euros in investment (local, works, procurement of equipment) partly financed by crowdfunding, with the grapes being transported from the Côtes du Rhône after each harvest. Expected revenue in 2017: 1 million euros. Launched in 2015, another cellar, the Parisian Winerie, begins its vinification.

12,000 euros: the price of a small wine press.

A concept that can be easily copied in regional cities. Imported from across the Atlantic, urban microbreweries are also on the rise, especially in Paris (BapBap, La Baleine, La Parisienne, Deck & Donohue, La Goutte d’or …). But in the provinces, everywhere is at stake!

> video. Rhône-Alpes is the region in France with the most craft breweries:

♦ Find the accessory that will be a hit in France

“A tsunami.” This is how the married couple Laurençon, a former property manager and a stay-at-home mom, mature for Rainbow Loom (bracelet made of crocheted elastic bands) rise in the United States, where they lived in 2012. “In three months, all children had one on their wrist. We saw it as a blessing. “They then negotiated the distribution rights in France and invested 12,000 euros to bring the first pallets from China. Bet won: 7.5 million in turnover in 2014. Since then, the maturity has run out of steam, but the duo had counted on and travels to toy fairs around the world to identify future hits …

> video. Rainbow Low bracelets were in the forefront among French children in 2014:

Same good offer for Emilie Creuzieux, a former physiotherapist, with her bentos (lunch boxes) imported from Japan: 40,000 euros in investment (shares and website) in 2009, 4 million euros in turnover for Monbento in 2015. Former international buyer, Ibrahima Niakaté hopes , that fashion for electric skateboards will take him this far: he sold up to thirty of these skateboards made in China and sold under the Insolites Board brand a day in the summer of 2015, and predicts a turnover of 300,000 euros in 2016.

♦ Reject the truck in all sauces

We know the dazzling success of food trucks. Today, the concept is rejected. Imported from California, the model trucks arrive in France: The Rolling Shop, Itsy Bitsy Nomadic Boutique, Cotton & Wild … “To get started, a truck is more accessible than a store”, testifies Guillaume Robin, former director of fashion and founder of The Rolling Shop.

> video. The model truck, a thriving concept in the United States:

His debut in 2013? “We tested the brands in a pop-up store in Paris and then drove all summer in a truck.” It is an investment of 12,000 euros, including 1,500 for Estafette Renault found on Leboncoin.fr. “The truck is creating buzz, but you need to supplement the income.” So today, The Rolling Shop is also a store in Paris and an e-store. On the other hand, sales increased by 20% per year. Other variants appear, but the vein is far from exhausted: Le Boudoir des Cocottes, Nail Truck (manicure), Arty Truck, Hair We Go (hairstyle) …

Leonor Lumineau

find our complete file “100 new business ideas to get rich”

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