Not all business ideas are created equal. For every innovation that’s touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread, hundreds fail to capture the imagination of consumers — or the all-important attention of investors.
The hard truth is that truly great ideas only come around once in awhile. If you’re waiting for lightning in a bottle, you’re probably going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you’re okay with pursuing a tried, true, slightly less flashy business idea, you’ll find the road ahead considerably less bumpy. Competitive and difficult, to be sure, but without the sorts of man-sized potholes that can trip up even the savviest of entrepreneurs.
Here’s a look at five business inches and ideas that offer opportunity to entrepreneurs willing to work hard and plan well. Which suits you best?
- Online Retailing
Thanks to broadband Internet, lightning-fast logistics and convenient selling platforms, online retailing is easier than ever. If you’re a crafty type, look to Etsy or another “maker” platform. If you’re into old books or music, check out eBay or Amazon. Or start your own online retailing site. The possibilities are endless.
- Scrap Metal Recycling
Scrap metal recycling is a decidedly unglamorous business, but someone’s gotta do it. And if entrepreneurs like Autocats founder Scott Vollero, who had no prior experience in the scrap metal business prior to starting what would become a multimillion dollar business, can do it — well, so can you.
- Home Health Care
As the U.S. population ages, there’s a golden (pun intended) opportunity to serve its needs in the most intimate settings — the home. It’s an absolute joy to commune with the elderly, who have so much to share. If you can make a business out of it, all the better.
- Digital Marketing
The marketing industry’s center of gravity is now indisputably in the digital realm. Whether you’re a talented graphic designer, incisive brand strategist, or simply great at managing the many moving parts that underpin successful marketing projects, you likely have something to offer here.
- Leisure Rentals
Being a professional landlord isn’t all about sitting by the pool, sipping icy drinks and watching the rent checks roll in. It’s a tough job — particularly at the outset, when you’re likely to be personally responsible for playing handyman when things go wrong. But if you pick your properties right, it’s also incredibly lucrative.
No Guarantees in Life
The only certain things in life are death and taxes. In business, death is a bit less certain — some companies carry on for centuries — but taxes are, of course, a big deal. Beyond that, nothing’s guaranteed. You can put the brightest minds to work on the best idea in the most favorable economic conditions imaginable and still come up short.
So what’s an entrepreneur to do? Simple: focus on execution and live every day knowing it could be your last (in business).
Are you planning to start a business in the near future?