To succeed, it is not necessary to have the design of the century. Small activities may very well be required for little they find a market and they bring a real added value. Charlotte Vilmorin, for example, created in 2014 a service between individuals of rental cars adapted for wheelchairs (Wheels); Emmanuel Bertrand launched the Tiwal, an inflatable boat that fits in the trunk of a car, designed by Marion Excoffon. Simple, but well-done creations, which allow these two companies to know an actual beginning of success.

OBSERVE your environment

That she was born of experience, imagination or a combination of circumstances, an idea always comes a hunch or a desire that matures over time. As an expert of the Agency France Contractor (AFE): “more an idea is new, you must ask about the ability of your customers to accept. More it is classic, more you think about its real usefulness compared to the existing supply.”

An entrepreneur can find ideas in many ways. Many of them take advantage of their professional experience because venturing into known field allows a priori limit the risks. This is the case, for example, of the ex-DRH of a major company who decides to launch a firm recruitment consultant or project manager in a communication agency that embarks on the Organization of weddings. The advantage is obvious: you are familiar with the activity, as it corresponds to a job that you exercised. Do not sin by an excess of confidence: expert in your field, you can’t necessarily control other facets of entrepreneurship (business, management, recruitment…).

Other track to find your niche: detect a lack. Identify new modes of consumption, a change related to future regulation, a fault in a product or an unmet need… Marion Carette had there been not taken otherwise when she embarked. A failure of drill Sunday, she decided to create Zilok, a site of rental objects. The same journey for Florent Longa and his partner Quentin Martin-Laval. It is talking with an architect about the importance of natural light in buildings without windows that they had the idea of creating Echy, in 2012. Their lighting system, which captures the Sun’s rays then disseminates to all floors of a building, meets the new energy-saving standards. Of course, if you launch an innovative concept, get ready to meet some skepticism on the part of your entourage and bankers. Some business angels have funded the startup of the tandem Longa Martin-Laval.

Other creators turn their passion for cooking, decorating or gardening in professional activity. In this case, caution: amateurism is not mandatory. If, for example, restoring at home, think carefully about your concept. What do you bring more? Sure you can live? Even in a market, we believe, to look for the little extra that makes the difference.

IMPORT a foreign concept

Do you have doubts? Maybe can you import a foreign concept that has been proven? Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson, the founders of the Accor Group, were so inspired in their times of American motels to create the formula 1 in France. It is illegal to identify an idea abroad and develop it into France, provided that it has not done anything the object of patent extended to Europe or the France. The difficulty is in general of a cultural nature because an adaptation is still needed. Louis Kerveillant and his associates were able to make this transition by creating the digs, a hostel new generation, in Paris. “During our travels, we found plenty of hostels with large living areas, nice rooms, design adjustments.” We imported the concept by adapting it with, for example, establishing a rooftop terrace and the sale of local beer.”

PRACTICE the “defectology.”

To invent a concept or innovative a service, you can apply creativity ACE revenue. These techniques raise his mental barriers and give free rein to his imagination. They free standards, habits, established rules. The method of the “defectology”, for example, is a very critical attitude towards a product, a service or an institution, then perfecting the studied topic in the extreme. That of the “crushing” to imagine changes, enhancements or the sophistication to a product or a service. To do this, list action (increase, decrease, combine, reverse…) verbs and associate them with the selected product. For example reverse structure, reverse use, reverse functions, reverse the order… Thanks to this technique of many innovative ideas, like a teaspoon in dough or the spectacle frames reversed (down compared to glasses). In short, the possible fields have no limits.

Draw up a list of sectors

If even after trying these techniques, you are still stuck for inspiration, you can also surf the trends of the moment: e-commerce, car rental between individuals, Made in France, fast food, gites… These are some of the “Spotlight records” the Agency France contractor that sold best. AFE experts have produced about 150. Regularly updated, they make 20 to 50 pages, and their price varies from 12 euros to 16 euros each.

“Entrepreneurship has its modes, explains Elizabeth Vinay, responsible professional technical studies to AFE. When a business takes off, due to a change in regulations or a craze suddenly the consumer, we create a new file, in which all the information likely to side the subject are integrated: market size, Constraints, tips, useful addresses. “But, of course, this does not guarantee success: thus, it develops each year hundreds of food trucks, but how many make money?” AFE records are of great value, but if you have a larger budget, you can also decide to use a research firm that will help you refine your approach.

Pick up a bargain

You can get started relatively more comfortable by choosing a concept that has been proven, that is by becoming a franchise. There are more than 1 830 networks of franchises in France, in all areas, offering opportunities for all budgets. Finally, if your starting capital allows, consider exploring the seam of the takeover of the company. You’ll save time with already existing a working tool and a potential customer base. To make your choice, visit a market place specialized in mergers and acquisitions and the resumption of business. The first proposes an average 600 business opportunities and the second more than 2000 offers recovery, all sectors, regions, and sizes together.


The Web is full of sites that feature innovative types of products or companies. The main examples are HelloBiz, Ideebiz, Hello idea, or still love Startups. These portals made a day before in different countries and often have specific types of companies that do not yet exist in France. There are some interesting ideas, sometimes a little wacky, like kits to grow mushrooms in his living room or squares of lawn sold on subscription which serve as a cassette for dogs… Of course, everything is not good to take nor necessarily adaptable, but you can access a wealth of information on current trends. If you want to expand your horizons, take a ride on foreigners, particularly Anglo-Saxon, sites that work on the same principle. By logging on Trend Hunter,, Psfk or Business Idea Center, you can have one step ahead of your classmates who do not speak English!

You always expect enlightenment? Think about taking over the business

Already running concept, operational employees, acquired Fame: taking over business has something to appeal to many aspiring entrepreneurs, whether they are in lack of inspiration, already equipped with a fixed capital or still running very smoothly to the management. In France, business for sale is legion. According to Bpifrance, more than 700,000 businesses will change hands in the next fifteen years. It is no coincidence if the recovery attracts every year thousands of frames in conversion. Beware. However, the formula is not suitable for everyone! You have strong financially because the bargains are expensive. The buyer must also be able to take on a profound change in life. It will take initially handle everything alone and deal with the teams in place. Tailored training exists to prepare. Several organizations to provide: the arc (sellers and buyers of business), the Institute for the transfer of business from Essex, the BGE (ex-Boutiques management) network or school managers (training provided to buyers who want to buy a patrimonial company).