Monday, February 25, 2019

best small business to start

best small business to start


How To Fund Your Start-Up Business Idea - Forbes

Posted: 25 Feb 2019 01:54 AM PST

Loan counselor working on tablet pc, ensuring loan applications are correctGetty

You've got the idea, the drive, the know-how: how about the capital? Funding is an essential part of any business, as without the seed money you'll be unable to fire the starting gun on your, er, start-up.

Entrepreneurs are an incredibly clever and industrious bunch, but many are in the dark about how best to fund their start-up business, preferring instead to focus their energies on a core offering. One supposes that reviewing funding options can seem like a dull, laborious task when you are devoting time and attention to your genius idea. In any case, great ideas can only fulfil their potential if they are backed by stable investment.

Read on to find out the best ways of obtaining financial backing for your start-up business idea.

1. Pursue a grant

The less monied cousin of a bank loan is a grant. While you shouldn't expect to be cut a massive check, there are dozens of grants available, offered by national and state governments (as well as private enterprises) in the interests of stimulating the economy and growing the jobs market so it's worth checking out your options for funding your startup.

These financial injections can help you save money on premises and fixed rates, purchase cheaper IT or manufacturing equipment and fund staff training. The main drawback, of course, is the fierce competitiveness of such grants, as well as the box-ticking involved: it can be a frustratingly drawn-out process, but that's the tradeoff for retaining equity. In the US, start-up grants are offered by organizations such as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) and Idea Cafe.

2. Crowdfund

Person's Hand Protecting Stacked Banknotes Surrounded By Human FiguresGetty

Crowdfunding is a favorite of the digital economy, and probably the quickest way of obtaining finance for a new business. You don't even have to be massively tech-savvy to launch a crowdfunding campaign, but what you do need is a compelling pitch, one which strongly references your start-up's potential for growth, as well as a knack for interacting with your cash-rich community. If all goes to plan, you'll have capital you don't need to pay back, without ceding any operational control. As a side benefit, crowdfunding is a nifty form of advertising, a way of stimulating public interest in your company before it's even made its debut. The difficulty, needless to say, is in getting your voice heard in the vast crowdfunding landscape.

3. Family and friends

The idea of hitting friends and family for cash doesn't sit well with some entrepreneurs, but many of the world's top magnates readily admit to borrowing from their social network early in their careers. As such, you should have no compunction about doing the same. Soliciting short- or long-term loans from friends and family might lead to some domestic squabbles down the road, but you won't usually have to pay them back with interest added. Indeed, you might not have to pay loans back at all, depending on the generosity of your creditor. On the other hand, it's not easy to put together a hefty bankroll relying solely on family and friends; and you have to ask yourself whether you really want to risk straining meaningful relationships.

4. Get an angel investor on board

Don't pray to the angels; seek angel investors. Targeting high net-worth individuals who have a track record of supporting start-ups isn't difficult to do, but the challenge lies in convincing them you're worthy of their investment. There are many online angel investment networks, as well as local investor groups you can pitch to in person, so do your research and start submitting your pitches. Find the right angel investor and not only will you benefit from their financial support but also their wisdom: oftentimes, they offer mentorship as a side dish alongside their capital. On the other hand, they generally offer less financial backing than banks and venture capital funds.

5. Raise money yourself

Entrepreneurs are a hardy, headstrong bunch and many elect to fund their business all by themselves. Breezing past the bank, they sell their possessions, save money from their day job, invest in various endeavors and free up capital by remortgaging (OK, that one does require a hasty U-turn to the bank). By going it alone, you'll retain complete control and be unburdened of the interest and strain of other avenues. And this decision has a precedent: over 90% of start-ups get up and running without the aid of loans or grants. On the other hand, raising money can become a full-time job in its own right – taking your attention from your business. To bootstrap or not to bootstrap: that is the question.

6. Seek venture capital

Finding a venture capitalist who shares your vision, or at the very least believes in your ability to turn your idea into a successful, profitable venture, is a good way of raising cash. Of course, you will need a fine-tuned business model, ideally one that's ready to scale. The main con with this option is that venture capitalists are typically looking for the next big thing, and so many entrepreneurs struggle to convey the scale-ability of their enterprise. Venture capital funds, by their very nature, have a short shelf life as they generally seek to recover their investment, turn a profit then move on to the next fresh start-up.

7. Good ol' bank loan or line-of-credit

closeup of a young businessman using a tablet on a table full of chartsGetty

In the modern age, it almost seems anachronistic to seek a bank loan. But if you've a solid credit history or existing assets which you're happy to offer as collateral, as well as a workable business plan with clear profit forecasts, it's still possible to launch your start-up with an infusion of bank cash. The advantages of this option are that you retain full equity, you can feasibly obtain a large figure and that you can build your credit; the negatives are that you'll need to pay back everything, plus interest, or leave yourself vulnerable to bankruptcy.

8. Ditch the bank in favor of micro-finance

Small-scale entrepreneurs can access capital via microfinance, circumnavigating the bank entirely. This is an especially good option for people with a bad credit score or track record, as micro-finance institutions like Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) are more willing to green-light loans to individuals normally deemed high-risk. In essence, such organizations exist to promote financial inclusion and cater for those at the bottom of the financial pyramid. Pros: no need for assets, low interest rates. Cons: modest loans, various documentation (references, financial statements, business plan etc.) required.

Conclusion

Needless to say, all of the aforementioned options require a good deal of consideration. What might be right for one budding tycoon may not be right for another. For example, you may have an excellent bank manager whom you implicitly trust, and a robust line of credit, making a bank loan the perfect option. Or you could have a supportive network of financially-secure family and friends willing to back your idea to the hilt. Perhaps a combination of funding options is best, but only you will truly know. The important thing is to go with a funding option with which you are comfortable and confident so that you can focus on turning your business idea into a success.

Melissa Blaustein column: Entrepreneurs Need to Escape The “Start up” Trap - Savannah Morning News

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 08:54 PM PST

For many, becoming a small business owner has always been a part of the American Dream and for entrepreneurs launching a successful startup today is, in many ways, the 21st-century version of this ambition. But even if the business gets off the ground, it is becoming more and more challenging for company owners to scale up.

To put it in perspective, "young" businesses — 6 to 10 years — were half as likely to employ 1,000 workers or more in 2014 compared to 20 years ago. That's based on an analysis of Census Bureau data in research released this month from the Progressive Policy Institute and Allied for Startups.

Large companies have been blamed for acquiring small companies before they can grow. However, there's another explanation for the scaling-up trap that deserves more attention: the unintentional tax and regulatory cliff created by decades of policies favoring small businesses.

In the United States, small businesses are often exempt from obligations to provide certain employee benefits and comply with certain regulatory rules if the company is small enough. While these "carve-outs" are beneficial for companies who stay below the relevant thresholds, the threat of losing these exemptions can make entrepreneurs think twice before expanding. In fact, sometimes, selling small businesses to larger rivals is more lucrative for owners than scaling their own businesses.

In order for our startup ecosystem to grow, it is vital we create policies that help small companies flourish into larger employers. That's why we are calling on policymakers, in both the United States and European Union, to establish a Startup Tax Credit that would be structured to support small businesses while they continue to scale. The tax credit — refundable against income taxes, payroll taxes in the United States, or value-added taxes in Europe — would rise to a maximum level as a small business expanded and then, would gradually phase out as the business expanded further. While this tax credit wouldn't be a perfect fix, it would ultimately encourage small businesses to grow.

Not only would a Startup Tax Credit be good for business, but it would also be a big boost to the economy, creating jobs and spreading wealth across our societies. It's clear that as our policy currently stands, small business owners are faced with a difficult decision when deciding whether to scale up. In order to help startups succeed and, in turn, boost local economies, developing the Startup Tax Credit is the best place to start.

Melissa Blaustein is the founder and CEO of Allied for Startups, a global network for startups, entrepreneurs, VCs, and advocacy organizations. She co-authored this piece with Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. The duo wrote this for InsideSources.com, an independent news outlet that publishes commentary the decision makers and wonks who understand the issues and shape policy.

Small Business: Growing oysters in half the time in modified moulds - Aqua Mould Systems - New Zealand Herald

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 08:00 AM PST

Kaeo-based Shaun Gregory talks designing a shellfish mould to grow oysters in and how his idea could be a game changer for the industry.

What does your business do?

We have designed a method of growing shellfish. What we're dealing with at the moment is oysters but we've patented this method and moulds for all shellfish so it may go beyond oysters eventually.

We take infant oysters which are around 10mm in size and place them into the moulds. What it allow us to do is grow a uniformed-shaped oyster and the reason to try and get consistency in a uniform-shaped oyster is so we can apply automation and efficiency to the industry.

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In the past, large oyster companies have tried to design and produce an opening machine and have failed because of the inconsistent shapes, they haven't come up with anything that is viable so my thoughts were I'd grow oysters in a mould to get around the shape. The other thing our system offers is that you can have branding in the shell. I started the business in May 2013.

What was the motivation for starting it?

I had the idea about 12 years ago but it has taken such a long time because money and time were the two things I didn't have.

I've had to do this on a shoestring budget. Once I had the New Zealand patent approved then I was able to look for investors and the company now has 13 shareholdings. I've managed to do a fair bit of capital raising and get through the R&D stage and we're just about to enter commercialisation where we will do the first sales of the system.

Have you signed any contracts with companies to use your invention?

The first company that's coming onboard, and we're only dealing with one company at the moment, is one of the biggest oyster companies in New Zealand - who I won't name because we're just going over the fine details of the deal. They are going to be coming onboard in six months' time.

How exactly does your growing system work?

With conventional oysters, the way they are grown at present, it takes 12 to 14 months to produce a mature oyster and in our system it takes six months.

Aqua Mould Systems has created a system which makes shellfish grow faster. Photo / Supplied
Aqua Mould Systems has created a system which makes shellfish grow faster. Photo / Supplied

The main reason would be that our system has a neutral buoyancy which allows the oysters to stay in the top four inches of the water at all times so it goes up and down with the tide. By doing this, they are feeding 24/7 unlike conventional methods they come out four hours around the low tide everyday.

Also, oysters' main feed is phytoplankton and 95 per cent of phytoplankton is in the first six inches of the water so we're in the optimum feeding zone and they are feeding 24/7 - that would be the main reason. There's no genetically modified oysters here - they are all natural. All we are doing is controlling the way they are growing, given them the best environment.

What model will you run this business on and what do you want to achieve?

It's going to be a game changer for the industry. It'll make oyster farming more user-friendly and there'll be a lot of savings for farmers because of automation.

Aqua Mould Systems has created a system which makes shellfish grow faster. Photo / Supplied
Aqua Mould Systems has created a system which makes shellfish grow faster. Photo / Supplied

On the farming side where I've been working for the past 20 years, most of my colleagues including myself, have all got bad backs from working in the mud in general, so by apply this method most of it is automated now and most of the heavy lifting out - it's all done by a hauler. We used to have to work around the tide so quite often we'd be down at the ramp at 3am going out to work with headlamps on. Our systems float and you can access them at any time.

What's your long-term goal?

Our long-term goal is to totally automate the factory side so the oysters will be opened by machines, picked by a machine and so forth. We won't be dealing with the oysters ourselves. Our main market to start off with will be large companies that own farms and factories so they can clip the ticket at both ends, and we'll be doing it through a licensing deal.

We're targeting the New Zealand market this year. We'll start with the large New Zealand company, and by the end of the year we should have a turn-key package we can replicate anywhere in the world. We've got patents in eight countries, plus the European patent which has numerous countries under it.

What advice do you give to others thinking about starting their own business?

If you really believe in something then don't give up on it. Surround yourself with people who are good in the areas you are not.

How to Hire Well for Your Seasonal Business - Business.com

Posted: 24 Feb 2019 08:00 AM PST

Image credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Seasonal industries have a short time period to perform their best. A weak hire can impact business for the year, so it's important to get it right.

If your company or project calendar kicks into gear during specific times of the year, you're likely looking to add a roster of seasonal hires.

When the job lasts just a few months, it may feel like the hiring process would be shorter to match. But here's the thing: Seasonal industries have a short time period to perform their best. A weak hire or team can have an outsized effect on business for the year, and the impression left on customers will last until the next season. Make this year surpass expectations with a stellar line-up of seasonal workers.

Attracting the best candidates with your brand

Find your most promising applicants by meeting them where they already are: social media. The average internet user has eight social media accounts, and it's a safe bet that they don't spend all their time on LinkedIn.

Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too: The latest research shows that people are just as likely to use social media to get their news as they are to connect with friends. One report showed that 75 percent of potential hires fall under the label of "passive candidates," meaning your social media recruiting strategy will likely catch the eye of someone you wouldn't have otherwise targeted for a new job. You're simply posting content where your future employees are already seeking it. That's why nearly 15 percent of respondents in a recent survey reported getting jobs through social media.

So, what to post? You may have heard the concept of "building your employer brand." That means showing some personality! Social media helps nurture relationships, so instead of limiting social posts to job listings, be sure to include some daily life and just-for-fun content. Remember last year's new hire orientation and end-of-season celebration? Share a photo with a caption about getting ready for this year, using relevant hashtags like #SummerJobs or #tbt (for Throwback Thursday).

Including this range of content in your feed will show all sides of you as an employer, which attracts the candidates that will be happiest on your team.

Avoiding bad hires

While it may seem obvious, the goal of finding great hires is as important as the goal of avoiding less-than-stellar ones. Supervisors report spending nearly one-fifth of their time managing underperforming employees — that's one full day of an otherwise productive week! 

Start by encouraging employee referrals, so you'll have trusted candidates rise to the top of your recruiting funnel. Take a look at your interview process: Are you asking enough questions? Are they the right ones? Just because a seasonal employee will work for a short time doesn't mean their vetting process should be short, too. There are plenty of valid reasons for people to seek seasonal employment, but you should keep an eye out for potential red flags like a choppy resume full of short stints with no explanation.

Another powerful tool in successful seasonal hiring? Fast, affordable, online background checks you can trust. Screening is a critical step to ensure you're making solid hiring decisions with good information—and not putting your business or customers at risk.

Not all background checks for employment are the same. Regulations vary by region, so make sure that your background check is designed to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and that the provider is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

Next, look for a thorough screen that boasts its own tools beyond a basic national database search. Ask about a social security number trace, access to primary sources for criminal records, a Department of Justice Sex Offender Search, and a rigorous QA process for validation. Lastly, look for customization options for job-specific needs, like DMV state driving records or education verification. [Check out Business.com's recommendations for the best employee background check services.]

Bringing your best people back next year

Just because a position is seasonal doesn't mean you can't have consistency year after year. In businesses like tax preparation and summer school, you're likely to be able to bring your strongest employees back every year if you provide a positive experience. (A loyalty bonus can't hurt, either.)

Some companies will benefit from using an applicant tracking system. This growing industry is transforming the way that recruiters and small businesses manage their applicants. Easily and automatically keep track of candidates, resumes, and every completed step of the hiring process. When it's time to hire next year, you can revisit your top candidates without duplicating efforts.

Of course, it's easiest to simply keep in touch with your crew throughout the year. If you're connected on social media, try posting throwback photos during the off-season, or reach out with a quick survey about how to improve. If you know what your team members do when they're not working for your business, tie that in. Last summer's camp counselors may be studying for finals right now, and are sure to appreciate some summer memories.

With the right staff, this season could be your best one yet. Give your business the solid foundation it needs to grow — and a top-notch team to make it happen.

David Bloom

David Bloom is General Manager of the Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Group at Sterling, the global leader in employment background screening solutions. His team recently launched the self-service SterlingNOW. David was included in Entrepreneur Magazine's Brilliant 100 and on Business Insider's list of 100 most interesting people in the NYC tech scene. David holds a BA degree from Bates College and an MBA from Cornell University.


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24 Ideas for Your Next Small Business in 2019 - TheStreet.com

Posted: 02 Jan 2019 12:00 AM PST

More than 20.5 million Americans own their own businesses.

Another 53 million work freelance full or part time in various fields ranging from computer programming and rideshare driving to, yes, journalism and writing. (Hello!)

Most of the rest of us want to. The OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) found that 58% of women and 69% of men in America agree with the statement "I would rather take a risk and build my own business than work for someone else." The numbers say that you, dear reader, would like to be your own boss.

So what holds us back? A lot of things, really. Money for one. Starting a new business can take quite a bit of startup capital that few people have just lying around. The bigger issue, though, is often ideas.

Thousands of talented people want to write a novel, if only they could think of a story. Many more would start a band if they had a catchy tune. Then there are the millions of entrepreneurs who would open their own business if they could come up with the right thing to do.

To help with that process, here are some ideas for small businesses to get you thinking.

Food Service

The restaurant business is tough. While not as bad as people say, it's still a competitive industry. On the other hand, if you know what you're doing this can be a business model that people love, that fits into any community and that faces almost no competition online.

1. Fast Casual Restaurant

Picture a Five Guys or a Chipotle (CMG) . These are the modern version of old-fashioned diner dives, a long counter where someone serves up good food fast. They're a step up from fast food in quality, a step down from full service in price and overwhelmingly popular. Better still, this model requires less overhead since you can run it with fewer staff and a smaller footprint.

2. Bar and Coffee Shop

Hugely popular and astonishingly rare, the bar/coffee shop hybrid answers three questions: What does a coffee shop serve at night? What does a bar serve in the day? And why is it that the same people seem to go to both places… Serve espresso at 10 a.m., craft beer at 10 p.m. and keep that marginally employed writer (hello again!) spending money all day.

3. Bakery

Everyone loves a treat and these days bakeries have an edge in that market. Social media positively melts down for psychedelic frosting or a cookie that looks like it will bite you back. With creativity and a novel approach, a bakery has the ability to stand out in a market that many other dessert shops lack.

4. Coffee Shop

A regular coffee shop can work. In fact a popular one can succeed brilliantly, but beware. This is a low-margin business that depends on moving a positively enormous amount of product. What's more, your regular customers will be money losers. What, you think a business actually profits off someone camping on his laptop for five hours after paying $2 for a dark roast?

Professional Services

The big advantage to a professional services firm is that you can open one cheaply. You're essentially selling your own skill and expertise. Especially today, you may need little more than a web presence and a business card to get started. These are just a very small number of the ways you can do it.

5. Contractor

Can you fix things or build things? You may want to look at construction and contract work. Maybe you'll go into carpentry, helping people remodel their houses. Maybe you know how to fix plumbing or rewire electrical systems. Whatever you can do it's almost certainly in high demand.

6. Accounting or Law Firm

Obviously this is a niche field. Unless you currently are a CPA or a JD there's not a whole lot of value in hanging your own shingle, and you can probably expect an unpleasant visit from the real thing if you do. However, for white collar professionals there's a lot of value in launching your own offices. Just have some runway capital on hand. It will probably take a while to succeed.

7. Consulting

This one is a little more nebulous… The question is, ultimately, what are you good at? Do you currently work in PR? Maybe it's time to offer those services on your own. Do you do human resource work? You sound like a terrific career coach. Have you spent years in a bank? It might be time to offer financial planning. Whatever you're good at, someone out there could use a consultation on the subject.

8. Graphic Designer

Graphic design combines two fields that rarely overlap: Technical competence and a creative eye. If you can look at a blank page and not only see what belongs there but also know how to make it happen, there are literally thousands of companies out there who will need your services. From designing logos to helping a business create its entire look, graphic design is a strong and growing field.

Media

Media is an upside-down place to work at the moment. While many business models struggle to survive, others have emerged and made individual bloggers and YouTube stars millionaires. You probably won't be the next Ariana Huffington or PewDiePie, but there's a lot of room here to make a living.

9. Freelance Journalist

Outlets have begun relying on freelancers for an increasing amount of coverage, so there's lots of opportunity to work as a reporter and be your own boss. Just beware… Work can vanish in an instant and you cover all your own costs. Not a problem when writing from your desk, but it can make it hard (if not at times impossible) to get out in the world and do the shoe-leather work of real reporting.

10. Freelance Writing and Editing

Firms need people to write PR copy for them. Other companies need someone to polish up their website, edit books, ghostwrite articles or help clean up white papers. Today every business in every business model produces many, many times more written material than they used to. Someone has to ensure that it all sounds crisp, clean and professional.

11. Blogger

Here's the secret that most people don't realize about being a blogger: It's a business. Shocking, right? Yes, to succeed as a blogger you have to write catchy, interesting articles. You also have to understand SEO, audience engagement, bounce rates, monetization, affiliation and partnership deals and much more. This is a marketing and technology business, and if you've got a flair for that you might have the makings of a successful blogger.

12. Social Media Consultant

This overlaps with consulting, but then again most things do. Most businesses know two things about social media: First, it's incredibly important. Second, almost no one really understands it. If you're one of the few people who do get the marketplace of ideas on Twitter (TWTR) , Instagram, Facebook (FB) and more, you might have a thriving business opportunity.

Technology

The best thing about starting a business in technology is that it's generally location-independent. You can solicit business from all around the world and may well get to work with clients who can afford to pay top rates for outstanding work. This is a high-skill field that's in high demand. If you've got the chops, consider opening a business as a…

13. Web Developer

Bespoke web development, like graphic design, combines technical savvy with an eye for aesthetics. This isn't a field to enter without experience, but if you're a sharp, talented coder who can lay down a clean user interface against a sharp color scheme, it might be time to start seeing which local companies look like they still use Geocities.

14. Freelance Coder

Many companies rely on outside contractors to help finish big projects, especially during crunch time. Like all freelance businesses this is generally a boom-and-bust model. You might spend three weeks looking for work then spend a month barely looking up from your computer screen. If you can make the income stream work, though, this is a lucrative field with many opportunities.

15. App Development

The best part of app development is passive income. Every product you create will sit out there on the iPhone and Android stores making money for you long after you stop putting a single hour into it. Of course, that depends on getting those products in the public eye. So brush up on your marketing skills, come up with a few ideas and enter the world of independent development.

16. Security Consulting

From white hat hackers to security analysts, the market for security consulting right now is enormous. You can even build a thriving business just speaking to company employees, helping IT fix its PEBCAK errors. This is a high-skill field that demands an outstanding resume, but if you've got the right background it can be incredibly lucrative.

Retail

Modern retail is at once a challenge and an opportunity. Online stores have stolen customers from brick and mortar at a devastating rate, it's true. But their biggest victims are the large-footprint businesses like Sears (SHLDQ) , Borders and Best Buy (BBY) . In their place has opened up plenty of room for the small, highly-curated shop that provides an experience as well as a sale.

17. Bookstore

Don't click away yet! Bookstores may struggle, but that doesn't mean they can't succeed. If you can build an identity and experience into your store, with a well-chosen selection that makes life easier than clicking around through Amazon's (AMZN) vastness, you may well have a healthy business model on your hands. If that doesn't convince you, think about this: Americans love to read, and two-thirds of them would rather do it on paper than pixels.

18. Clothing

Clothing has an edge over most other retail spaces these days, because try before you buy matters so much more in their space. You can't slip on a blouse or see just how those jeans fit while clicking around a website. Especially in the far more lucrative women's market this is a critical feature. If you've got an eye for fashion and can build a selection that will get people in the door, this business model comes with a built-in killer app: The changing room.

19. Food Shop

People need to eat. People who want to eat rarely want to wait two or three days for shipping. Get where we're coming from? Whether you open a niche shop that caters to specific interests or sell general goods to the millions of Americans who live more than a mile from the nearest grocery store, a well-placed small grocer can succeed and thrive.

20. Online Retailer

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. One of the best things about online retail is using breadth of audience to make up for niche demand. Whether you want to sell artisan products, like hand-carved jewelry, or creative works like your very own board game, chances are someone out there wants it. With a storefront you'd be out of luck unless that person coincidentally happens to live a few miles away. Online, though, your customers can find you from anywhere.

Other

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning and launching your own business. The truth is, for almost any skill set there's someone out there who needs it and will pay good money in exchange. The best way to come up with a business idea is to sit down and think about what you can do, what you love to do and what people need. Here are a last few ideas to help with the creative process.

21. Bespoke Travel Planning

Yes, the internet put a stake through the heart of traditional travel agents. Good riddance. That was a business model built entirely on having access to booking systems and little else. Enter the bespoke travel planner. You help your clients have the best possible trip for their money, booking them into hotels, tours and restaurants they never would have found otherwise. You don't sell access, you sell expertise. That's a winning formula.

22. Storage

You know what isn't sexy? Storage. You know what makes an absolute fortune these days? Storage. Whether renting lockers to individuals or bulk warehouse space to companies, secured storage is a booming business model nationwide. You'll need more startup capital than most businesses because this requires lots of square footage, but if you're looking for a business that people need… Well, look no further.

23. Diet and Fitness

Some people look great in tailored shirts and yoga pants. The rest of us would like to look like those people. If you know how to build a diet and exercise plan for losing weight and looking great, we've got some news that's hardly new: You're sitting on a product that lots of people want. Get out there and sell it.

24. Landscaping

Perhaps you simply love working with your hands. You have a talent for helping things grow and shudder at the thought of sitting behind a desk all day. Now consider that there are far, far more people who own homes and lawns than who share your gifts. Yep, right now there are millions of Americans looking at desiccated dirt and mournful trees wondering, "how do I fix this?" Consider that your bat signal.

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