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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 August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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