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Published on October 1, 2018

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

More by this author

Chris Porteous

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

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

2. Flexibility

Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

3. Being a Team Player

Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

4. Positive Mental Attitude

There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

5. A Strong Work Ethic

People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

  • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
  • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
  • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
  • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

6. Public Speaking

Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

7. Integrity

From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

  • Always doing what you say you will do
  • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

…even when no one is around to check up on you.

There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

8. Managing Your Time

Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

9. Assertiveness

In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

  • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
  • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
  • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
  • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

How do you use this information for yourself?

It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

10. Creative Thinking

LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Final Thoughts

The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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