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15 Stellar Startup Business Ideas for the Burgeoning Entrepreneur

15 Stellar Startup Business Ideas for the Burgeoning Entrepreneur

We live in a gig economy and more and more people are embarking on new business ventures for themselves. In 2016, nearly 34 percent of the workforce was made up of freelancers and that’s expected to rise to 43 percent by 2020.

Whether you’re looking to leave your full-time job behind or embark on a rewarding side hustle, it’s never too late to channel your entrepreneurial spirit. Because we live in such a technology-driven society with the internet allowing us to connect with customers around the globe, launching and maintaining a startup business is easier than ever.

Here’re 15 stellar startup business ideas for the burgeoning entrepreneur:

1. Online Coaching

If you know how to do something well and enjoy teaching others, launching an online coaching business can be one of the most rewarding business endeavors out there.

Whereas pre-internet, you would largely be limited to the people in the city you live in, a camera and internet connection is all that is needed to share your skills with the entire world.

Looking to get started?

  • Write down three skills you’re really good at.
  • Break them up into how-to steps.
  • Begin putting lessons together.

Whether it’s offering dating advice, teaching music or yoga lessons, people are willing to pay for specialized coaching.

2. Social Media Management

If you haven’t noticed already, social media is everywhere and every business on the planet is looking to use it to expand their customer base. It’s how businesses attract new customers and keep existing ones informed about new products and services.

Creating social media posts for businesses and launching campaigns that truly go viral isn’t easy, but for those with a wild creative streak, it can be incredibly lucrative.

If you have experience in navigating the ever-changing social media landscape, the sky’s the limit for expanding your client base.

It should also go without saying that being an expert in social media strategy will prove incredibly useful in growing your own business.

3. Healthy Option Vending Machines

After years of unhealthy processed foods, we’re seeing a movement towards more health-conscious fare. It’s happening in the restaurant biz, and vending machines are likely next to ditch the empty calories.

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Employers want their employees to stay healthy. It means fewer sick days and higher rates of productivity. It’s why so many businesses are looking to ditch the standard junk food vending machines and bring in healthier snacking options.

The healthy vending machine wave is already a strong $43 billion and growing industry and new entrepreneurs have the option of launching with a single machine or fleet of any size.

4. Flipping Websites

Flipping houses is so 2010. Plus, it’s incredibly hard labor and there’s no telling when the housing market is going to take another downward turn.

If you’re willing to do your research, flipping websites can equal some fast cash — though it does require some skill.

Through buying and selling domains on your own or using existing platforms like Flippa.com, this is a business with absolutely zero overhead. When you factor in that every new business is launching a website and a good domain name is everything, this online business will be around for quite some time.

5. Virtual Assistant

If it has the word “virtual” in the job title, then you can bet that it’s a growing industry. There are quite a few companies out there looking online for remote help and assistants are one of the leading roles they’re looking to fill.

As a virtual assistant, you’ll pick clients whom you enjoy working with and will manage their emails, schedule meetings, and complete other tasks that they need done in order to help their lives and businesses run a little smoother.

This startup industry should be especially appealing to somebody who is well organized and prides themselves on planning and helping others.

6. Crowdsourcing

It’s a term you’ll find littered throughout media outlets like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, and for a good reason.

Renting is more popular than ever. People would much rather pay a few bucks to borrow X or have somebody do X task for them.

It’s precisely why mega crowdsourcing companies like Takl and Upwork are booming and long-established companies like Budweiser and Coca-Cola are embracing the trend.

Looking to launch your own crowdsourcing business?

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  • Build a platform where people can list their goods or services.
  • Get it in front of your intended audience.
  • Take a fair cut of each transaction.

Find the right niche and you just might have the next Airbnb on your hands.

7. Drone Photography

Few technologies have seen the boom in popular culture the way drones have and it’s estimated that some 600,000 are currently in the skies today.

Offering photo and video options that would have previously costed thousands of dollars and required the use of a helicopter, drone photography is a booming industry.

Resorts use them to capture the grandeur of their lodgings from above, farmers use them to monitor crops, and newlyweds use them to take wedding selfies.

With a higher-end drone and good camera, an operator can tackle any number of projects.

8. Property Management

From housesitting to managing a vacation rental, ensuring that one’s property is properly cared for is a service that will always be in demand. Property owners may not be around to handle things like managing repairs or tackling the needs of renting guests and will need reliable help.

It will take some willingness to be flexible in your schedule and knowing somebody who needs their home or property managed will help to help to establish early clients. With a large enough portfolio though, this can be a very profitable business.

9. Eldercare

There are more than 74 million baby boomers in the United States today and as they age they want to continue the lifestyle their accustomed to. Most of them want to continue to live at home, but as they grow older they’ll be in need of more at-home care.

Because of this, there is a wealth of opportunity for businesses that serve the various needs of senior citizens.

Whether it’s helping out with driving and delivery services, cleaning, landscaping, pet care, or medically-specific requirements, this market is a deep well of possibilities for anyone who enjoys serving others.

10. Monthly Box Services

Subscription box services are one of the fastest growing startup businesses today and the vertices for these services are nearly endless.

Seriously, they range monthly tie subscriptions like Spiffster to Cuban snack services like Abuela Mami.

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The business model is so appealing because it allows you to zone in on offering a premium service to a particular niche with continuous recurring revenue.

As the business grows, you can branch out to other products that people may want monthly or bi-monthly. This is exactly how Dollar Shave Club grew from nothing into a company valued at over $600 million.

11. Website Consulting

Remember earlier when we pointed out how every business needs a website? Well, many of them have no idea how to build or maintain a website and turn to outside help in order to get their business on the web.

If you happen to be an IT wizard with an eye for design, then the opportunities to custom build websites are endless.

You’ll need the patience and know-how to deliver a stellar website that aligns with your client’s vision, but you’ll be able to charge several hundred dollars for getting their idea up and running online.

12. Plus Size Clothing

With all the technology focus on this list of stellar startup ideas, launching a clothing business kinda seems out of place.

Customers and retailers are looking for more diversity these days and want collections and products that appeal to every body type.

There’s a real need in the fashion industry for more startups dedicated to curvy bodies and with 25 percent of women browsing through the plus size section while shopping, opportunities abound for the right products.

13. Professional Organizing

Just like virtual assistant, property management and website consulting, there’s a large market out there for those who can make life and business a little easier for others.

If you can declutter an overwhelmed mom’s closet or help a business owner finally tackle the storage room that hasn’t been organized since the Clinton administration, your services will be put to use.

Obviously, this job is only for those who are highly organized and have an eye for making the most out of any sized space. As long as people are messy though, this job will need to be filled.

Bonus: Combine it with crowdsourcing and expand your business faster.

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14. Gadget Repair

Cell phones and tablets are in the hands of everyone, yet most of us don’t know what to do past turning the device off and back on once there’s a problem.

People put their entire lives into these devices and can’t fathom the thought of going a day without them.

If you can repair a smartphone or tablet with a quick turnaround time, then you’ll always have customers.

Companies like iDropped smartphone repair are going national, but with the market for this service being anyone with a cell phone — so, everyone — this industry is going continue to grow.

15. SEO Management

As long as people continue to use their smartphones, tablets and laptops to find their next Chinese restaurant/ landscaping company/ personal trainer, this business will be around.

Businesses big and small want to do everything possible to ensure that customers can find them when a keyword is plugged into Google, and those who know how to work that internet magic are in high demand.

Knowing how to manage SEO really well isn’t something that one stumbles onto, there are hundreds of algorithm classification factors; but it offers a passive income route to earn serious online revenue.

Bonus Advice!

Our world is only becoming more digital with every passing day and those who can figure out how to combine the best aspects of existing businesses with new niches will pull ahead of the pack.

Several of the business ideas above offer the potential to be incorporated into each other and provide you with a greater chance for entrepreneurial success.

Good luck out there!

The Bottom Line

While the business world is constantly changing and trends come and go, there has never been a better time to be a burgeoning entrepreneur.

The internet has allowed us to reach a greater audience faster than ever before and with that comes not only new businesses, but new ways for old business ideas to find greater success.

All of the business ideas above are on the upward swing, but it’s up to you to find the one that fits best and make it your own.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

1. Digital Savviness

As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

How to Develop This Skill

For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

2. Financial Forecasting

Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

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However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

How to Develop This Skill

Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

3. Video Production Skills

The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

How to Develop This Skill

Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

  • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
  • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
  • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

How to Develop This Skill

Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

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5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

How to Develop This Skill

Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

6. Honing Pitches to Investors

Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

How to Develop This Skill

Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

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Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

How to Develop This Skill

Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

8. Automating to Your Advantage

The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

How to Develop This Skill

Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

9. Managing Millennials

Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

How to Develop This Skill

Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

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Offer Constructive Feedback

Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

How to Develop This Skill

Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

As the African proverb goes:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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