July 25, 2015
Almost everybody has, at some stage, thought about starting a business. For most people, the biggest challenge is the lack of a good idea. Thankfully, there’s a solution.
First, it’s important to understand that it’s not so much the idea that matters, but the execution. Most major companies are not the first of their kind, but they are the best. Facebook for instance was the sixth major social network, and the reason it’s managed to succeed is because it outperformed in areas where past networks like MySpace failed.
So what businesses can you start today, that require no special expertise or knowledge, won’t cost you a fortune to get going, and you can be 100 percent sure has a demand in the market?
How about a service business? They might not be as glamorous as a VC-funded tech start-up, but there is still some serious money to be made, so hear me out.
You see we live in a very exciting time, especially for small businessesb. Broadband and the Internet are ubiquitous and nowadays the public is much more comfortable conducting their business online. In fact, they want to do everything online. This presents the right person with some very special opportunities.
Most offline businesses, even in major cities, are still stuck in the dark ages and have huge inefficiencies. There’s tons of opportunity for combining the new power of the internet with the old tried and true service businesses. If you don’t believe me, take a look your average business in your average city.
Many small businesses don’t even have online payment and scheduling. There are key features missing like a live chat option. Their websites are very often unprofessional and poorly designed. Their AdWords ads are not well optimized. They don’t leverage social media correctly. They don’t understand the importance and power of email marketing and the list goes on.
Then there’s just run-of-the-mill issues, like letting the phones ring out, slow response times to email and just generally very poor customer care. When’s the last time you received a phone call from the owner of a company to thank you for using their service and to ask if you were happy with everything, before billing your card?
There is oceans of room for improving on these businesses. You don’t necessarily need an innovative new product, you just need to do everything better than the competition. And in a lot of different niches in a lot of major cities, this is entirely possible.
Now wouldn’t it be great if someone had taken the time to write down every detail of their journey from the start of a service business through to launch? Well you’re in luck because Rohan Gilkes detailed every step of his way to creating a 2 million dollar a year cleaning company, on Reddit. Everything you need to know to get started is detailed in there and remarkably it’s 100% free.
Now there is a trick to picking the right niche. Look for huge inefficiencies in your competition. Look at your competitors negative reviews on Yelp for ideas on the areas they’re failing in. Lack of online payment and scheduling is a major one. So is unclear pricing. It’s a hassle for people to have to call for a quote. Could you introduce flat pricing to a niche that typically doesn’t use it? Also think about the possibilities of repeat business, costs to advertise on AdWords or difficulty of ranking keywords through SEO.
House cleaning and lawn care companies are the two most popular at the moment. But there are even better opportunities if you think outside the box and dig around a little. However, these opportunities won’t be around forever so move now before it’s too late.
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