I can also suggest looking at government as a customer. The government is literally swallowing up 40 percent of our GDP annually. Where does all that money go? Some obviously to wages of government workers, but the rest (and then some) to businesses and contractors that serve the government.
As you drive around, as you go through life today, I encourage you guys to look at everything you see in common public areas that the government, local, state or federal probably pays for. Roads, grass, lawn services, street lights, government buildings, sewers, water, signs, cop car equipment, police body cams(saw one yesterday when he wrote me a speeding ticket), fire station equipment... that was just me spit balling. You hopefully get the picture. The government is literally the worlds biggest customer, and while everyone from here to China has been fighting over the eyeballs of Amazon customers, very few fight for the business of the government.
Think it sounds harder? My question is: Harder than what? Effectively adjusting strategy every 6 weeks to stay relevant to search, kissing customers asses on social media and managing inevitable bad reviews that can put you out of business isn’t easy. Quite frankly, if you’re looking for easy, keep your day job.
NOTABLE! Most liked posts in thread: 100 Unsexy Business Ideas: Name as many as you can!
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It wasn't seafood cannery but it was seafood sales. They sell and deliver seafood all over the midwest. Now he visits the shop but he has a few cafe's around town he likes to play in. They are swingers so they travel all over 'swinging'.
I know a couple of guys that own scrap yards that are huge. Both guys go to the yards sometimes but they are mostly working on their race cars every day. Although, there is a guy in Dallas that owns a scrap yard that works just as hard as any of his employees every single day.
Ray owns a vending business, goes in every morning to read the newspaper then heads over to the other side of the building to work on his racecar. Then heads to the Smoke Pit to eat lunch and then home to take a nap.
While there are a lot of small plumbing and carpet cleaning businesses, I know a guy in each that never does any of the work. One of the guys, Howard, owns a window cleaning business too. They say there is a lot of money in the window cleaning business. Back when I first started Howard told me he could make me a millionaire if I started a window cleaning business. Not sure why I never did.....
I'm sure if I really thought about it I could find more. I stayed active in my cleaning business only because I loved it but there was 1 year I showed up 1 day. Granted I did go racing 5 days a week back then so when I did show up it wasn't like I stayed the whole day. I went from working 24/7 to basically answering my phone 24/7, even at the race track. For that business I'd still be answering the phone if I owned it. That was a part I really liked in that business. In my little home business now, I don't answer the phone. I get hundreds of texts a week so texts is the only way to keep track of them all. We now have a google number so I can look at the texts but my sales lady mostly keeps track.
Lots of the people that start these businesses could quit working IN the business but like me, they like to work in the business. There is a guy named Jonathan Pototschnik that started a mowing only business here in the Dallas area.... struck it rich.... now he sells software for the mowing industry and is still actively involved in the software business but he doesn't HAVE to be. I don't know if he is still active in his mowing business or not, I haven't talked to him in a 5-7 years. Last I heard he had bought a condo in Downtown Dallas.
Some of us just like to work. The difference is that if I wake up and choose to do nothing..... I can.
Nothing's fastlane right at the start, but you can make it that way. For example through intentional iteration.
One single coffee shop won't make you rich, but 29 shops could. A normal electrician company won't be fastlane. But by either scaling or increasing magnitude, it could be.
It's probably more in the mindset. If you actually know there's a way to turn your company fastlane, the probability of achieving that is way higher.
The often mentioned Mike Rowe and his series "Dirty Jobs" here is the full list of industries from its 8 season run.
Bat biologist (bat guano collector)
Baseball Rubbing Mud,
septic tank technician
worm castings rancher
Golf ball diver,
Garbage collector/recycling separator/composter (vineyard),
disaster cleanup crew member (basement sewer),
demolition worker (office building interior)
Pig farmer in Woodward,
removing chewing gum from sidewalks,
pigeon droppings removal
Baby chicken sexer,
Hot tar roofer,
marine mammal rescuer,
volcanic ash mud bath mixer
mudbug harvester (crawfish),
Cob home builder,
charcoal maker (lump charcoal factory)
scrap metal recycler
owl vomit collector,
cattle rancher (cow breeding)
waste water sewage plant
firefighter (Fremont, CA),
cow feed mill
storm drain cleaner,
drain cover foundry
rough necker (oil drilling)
concrete truck cleaner
Lance Burton animal handler,
food recycler/pig farmer
Rose Parade float dismantler
terra cotta facade maker,
converting trash into electricity
Keeping trains on track
cracklin and boudin sausage maker
cleaning animal skulls with Skulls Unlimited for display in educational facilities around the world
pipe organ specialist,
truck tire retreading,
KC-135R Stratotanker fuel tank cleaner
tiger shark necropsy,
shark repellent researcher,
shark suit tester,
cow hoof trimmer
Mussel farmer, taro farmer, alpaca shearer
Vervet monkey rehabilitator
Bait and lobster fisherman,
Lake Erie seaweed cleanup,
Lake Erie water snake researcher
blood worm digger
mosquito control and poison testing
Tree trimmer and stump grinder,
fainting goat farmer,
exotic insect breeder
Surveying salmon spawning grounds
manufacturing CowPots (a type of flower pot made from cow manure)
Wine barrel maker,
logging with mules
Bowie Baysox groundskeeper,
placing boat moorings
geothermal well driller
Wine cave digger,
incinerator for trash from international flights
cattle feed farmer
cleaning the inside of the boilers of the steam yacht Medea.
fainting goat farmer,
vervet monkey rehabilitator,
cattle rancher (cow breeding),
food recycler/pig farmer,
logging with mules
Clay jug potter specializing in faces on the jug,
Bridge maintenance worker,
NASA Crawler-transporter lubricator
Fish farming hybrid striped bass,
tilapia, and carp;
bird conservation ("Vomit Island," Ohio)
horse manure and garbage removal/composting
H5N1 avian influenza testing
Yak and bison rancher
mudbug harvester ("Shrimper"),
cattle rancher ("Avian Vomitologist"),
Lake Erie water snake researcher ("Snake Researcher"),
exterminator ("Vexcon" and "Termite Controller"),
Artificial reef maker,
goat milk soap maker,
frac tank refurbisher
Cleaning airport runway paint striper
collecting diapers for odor analysis,
spray installation of cellulose insulation
Cleaning barbecue smoker,
large animal veterinarian,
removing underground fuel oil storage tank
Recycling Mississippi River barge,
steel mill worker
Cedar shake and shingle maker,
Handmade brick maker;
cranberry harvesting; cranberry jam, jelly, and syrup maker.
Building and installing rooftop water tower,
cleaning elevator shaft
Fishing and processing of fish aboard the F/V Legacy, a trawl fishing vessel and at-sea fishprocessor in Alaska's Bering Sea; viewer mail
Working on a dairy farm: milking, artificial insemination, cow midwife
Erosion control technician,
aerial tram maintenance
Making a home energy efficient by improving insulation,
turkey artificial insemination,
Cleaning up diesel spill
salvaging truck from bottom of lake
Wind turbine generator technician,
garbage removal from sinkhole,
printing press operator
Making shampoo from mud,
yak and bison rancher
Researching the greenland shark
Potato chip maker,
effluent channel building cleaner at wastewater treatment plant
Cutting concrete wall,
docking and castrating lambs
making raw meat dog food out of green tripe
turkey artificial insemination
cleaning barbecue smoker
wine barrel maker
alligator egg collecting
Demolishing a mobile home,
Cleaning diesel fuel from dirt,
chicken egg farm
making vellum from goat skin
Transplanting a saguaro,
incinerating toilet cleaner
Bird ringing common terns and Canada geese
abandoned mineshaft plugger
Excavator at the Tar Pits,
dead cow renderer
goose and duck feather plucker
Olive oil presser,
cloth diaper cleaner
Suet bird food maker,
CNC plasma cutting,
Breeding and training Alaskan Huskies as sled dogs
Recovering derelict boats,
High-rise window washer,
brine tank cleaner (Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay)
Alligator snapping turtle researcher,
Dung beetle researcher
studio glass maker (Fenton Art Glass Company)
tagging salmon with acoustic tags
Shrink wrapping a boat to protect it during winter,
Dyeing shirts with red dirt from Kauai,
Recycling used paint,
maple syrup maker
Catching feral chickens,
Making a fire pit, countertops, and bath tub out of decorative concrete;
Bone black manufacturer;
inspecting abandoned mineshaft
concrete truck cleaner
cleaning a buoy
cleaning grinder sump pump on fish processing ship
cleaning elevator shaft
aerial tram maintenance
welding inside a rotary kiln
cleaning walnut cleaner
changing main shaft packing on water turbine
Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch: ring-tailed lemurs, porcupines, baby dromedary camel, baby albino eastern grey kangaroos, red kangaroos, wallabies, two-toed sloths, bearcat
Lightning rod installer
Making fleece roving and yarn,
custom fitting for bowling ball,
Seagull abatement specialist,
Asphalt road paving;
Linemen replacing power pole,
treating head lice
Jelly bean maker (Jelly Belly),
Cleaning fish grinder
log cabin sawmill
Breeding walleye for recreational fishing, animal acupuncture
Excavating dinosaur fossil site
Managing Myriophyllum spicatum, an non-indigenous invasive species,
collecting seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank Project at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Maintenance on water softening basin
Assembling cow bladders
Disposing biohazardous medical waste
Erecting radio communications tower
Commercial processing of onions,
building wooden ladders for San Francisco Fire Department
Removing eastern brown snakes
Capturing saltwater crocodiles to study
maintaining the local golf course
Now I’m not suggesting you pick from this list. The ultimate would be something totally off of everyone’s radar.
3 of my 4 businesses have almost no web presence at all. Wrap your head around that one. The difference is, I find my businesses incredibly sexy.Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
Everything is a regular job in the beginning, regardless of what it is. You have to put the work in it and once it's grown into a decent sized company that's stable and profitable, you hire people to run it for you and then you can do whatever the hell you want. You only have to check in on it periodically to make sure your managers are doing their jobs properly and everything is flowing smoothly.
I have one of those unsexy businesses and the first two years in business I worked 12 hour days consistently. Now some weeks i work 80 hours, but most weeks I work less than 10 hours, just depends on what I'm doing. The important part is that regardless of what I'm doing, the money still comes in.
Good thread idea.
But of course, the most important factor isn't "sexyness", it's "will it pay".
Two that jump out are clinical waste disposal and hazmat diving. Anyone involved in that stuff is getting solidly paid, because (1) it's unbelievably disgusting and (2) it has high barriers to entry.
High barrier to entry + no-one wants entry + people need it done whatever the cost = $$$$
If you have lived in Florida, then you know about Bob:
This guy has a barricade company.
An 8-figure company... selling barricade services. He is only in one state. Imagine if he was in all 50. It'd probably be a billion dollar company!
Oh yeah, the owner's name isn't even Bob.
My son is finishing up high school next month having spent the last 2 years in a vocational program to be a diesel mechanic. He will have no shortage of job options right out of the gate, with no debt and a solid skill set I hope he leverages into Fastlane opportunities.
He has been a mediocre to terrible traditional high school student depending on the day, but has excelled at being a mechanic. Not a lot of people out there who don't mind getting dirty.
There is an entire show on CNBC called "Blue Collar Millionaires," pretty much all the industries featured on the show are ones named throughout the thread, and industries people claim are "bad," like roofing, wielding, pipe-fitting, plumbing, electrical, etc. Yet I am sure CNBC has no problem finding blue collar millionaires for their show, because they are all around. You might not notice them, because they still wear jeans and a t shirt, still drive an older pickup, no designer suits or lambos, yet they have 7, 8, and 9 figure net-worths. Sure, some of them spend some cash on toys, and those are usually the ones that make it on the show, but the ones that don't, they are the ones in your local gas station buying their coffee in the morning, in line next to you.
These blue collar guys are the ones I know, and I am sure part of it's my geographic region, I'm on the east coast, there are not silicon valley billionaire founders walking around. But you know what there are? At a local diner I go to for breakfast there is a table of generally older guys, usually around 10 of them. They wear jeans with holes in them, denim shirts, their hands are full of calluses, they shirts stitched with names of various local companies: towing, construction, etc. The difference between them and the other blue collar guys? It's their names stitched on their shirts, the tow yard a mile down the road filled with millions worth of heavy wreckers? Yup, the owner is the one who drove up in the beat up pickup, yet he has a farm with 100s of acres of private land just a few miles down the road off the main highway. The guy next to him? Well he owns a construction company and property development company, you know the huge shopping center with a 100 stores, and a big movie theater about 2 miles down the road? Yup, he owns it. You know the nearest 10 housing developments? He built all of that. Yeah, he splurged a little more and has a nicer truck, probably cost him 80k for it, oh, and his mansion that sits acres off the road so you'd never know it was there. It's only a few miles away too if you know what you're looking for. That table with the 10 rough looking old guys? They're worth more than 250 million combined. Know what else? They are not Stanford computer scientists, or Harvard MBAs, they've never even stepped foot in a community college, and they grew up poor down the street from my father. Unless you have the inside knowledge I have, you'd come into the diner, take a quick look and see a bunch of rough looking blue collar workers. I am sure this story plays out around the country.Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
- Parking lot cleaning
- Parking lot stripe painting
- Concrete barrier rental
- Chain link fence rental
- Premier even rental (tents, tables, chairs, etc)
- Mobile restrooms. Not port-a-potties. Think real restroom on a trailer. Could be included in above event rental
- Mobile truck wash (tractor trailers, construction equipment, etc)
- High rise window cleaning
- Tree removal/pruning
- Freight forwarding
Many existing companies in these fields are dinosaurs and have absolutely crap service, but no one is competing with them. Lots of room for disruption.
The big companies don't give a fu** because it's ran by a bunch of minimum wage employees that hate their jobs.
The small companies are mainly ran by workers with poor manners and communication skills, not business savvy entrepreneurs. So it's very hard to find a company with amazing customer service, and someone that is on point with everything they do. Replying back to customers, handling service complaints, and maintaining consistency in your services.
How do you dominate the service industry?
In the beginning, you will not get that many jobs, so you don't have to worry about not having the time to do it all. This is the most crucial part, you have to solve the problems/issues well, and give your customer an amazing experience. You have the free time to treat everyone special, so do it and they will sing praises about you to everyone because 0.1% of the companies out there genuinely care about the customer. 99.9% of the companies don't care about the customer, they only care about getting paid. After mastering your craft and getting some good jobs under your belt though, you'll get some buzz about your company and you will start getting more and more calls. This is you differentiating yourself from the competition and you will see it pay off in your phone starting to blow up all day.
This is where the 12+ hour days come in to play. In the beginning, you will work from 8 am until it's dark out and you can't work anymore, and all while working, you have a blue tooth headset with 2 portable chargers and you're answering the phone and talking to customers. Have the customers text/email you their contact info and pictures of the job so you can provide quotes. Never let your phone go below 30%.
Get a calendar notification app and put everything down on your calendar so nobody gets forgotten about. Every single thing that you plan on doing even 1 hour in the future. I can't stress how important this is, my calendar is always full of 1000 little things, and I never forget about ANYONE'S problem that they called me about because I have my phone reminding me and I don't dismiss anything until after it's done. If I am about to do it, I snooze it 30 minutes until it's done.
When you get home every night after working, put all the jobs you picked up on email and send it out to the clients that you will be out there between X times... Invoice out all the jobs that you did that day... Check your ads and make the tweaks that you want to make (holy crap it's midnight already, I gotta go to sleep). Rinse and repeat until you are so busy you need to hire your first employee...
Go out with him for the first few months until he doesn't need you anymore, then go directly behind his work without telling him to make sure he is performing the same level of service you would be performing.
Then start playing the manager role where your employee/employees are doing the work and you are just giving great customer service. You are still differentiating yourself from the competition by providing the customers with great communication and managing your employees to where any issues they have are quickly solved. This is where you can start experiencing some freedom because all that you need to run your business is your phone/laptop. You can be in Vegas, on the beach, or wherever and answering phone calls and managing employees.
One thing that really kills your time, but is a smart move to make is having your employees send you pictures of all the jobs they do and you send them over to the customer with the invoice. It takes up some time, but I can't tell you how much it saves you on managing because you see the completed job so you don't have to worry if the employee is showing up and doing the work or not. Install GPS trackers in your vehicles as well and you can check on your phone where the employees are at any time.
Eventually you have enough employees and cashflow to where you can hire a manager to take over your management role, and now you're one of the big companies, but you can still differentiate yourself from other big companies on procedures that you implement with management making sure everyone is doing their job properly and still providing an amazing service for your customers. I have a lawn service company that is a massive company, but they are amazing with how they run their operation, and I will never go to a different company. They charge premium prices, but I don't care because I know I'm getting high caliber work and service.
So I was driving through a construction zone today and I saw a barrel barricade, and it reminded me of this thread.
In my area, there’s only ONE company providing barricading services to construction sites. I was speaking to some people and it seems like a VERY lucrative opportunity.
Essentially how it works is the barricading company leases the barrels to the contractor at a rate per barrel per day. They drop them off, and they pick them back up when the job is done.
You don’t even need to manufacturer the barrels in house. Import them from China. Rent a storage place. Store them there per season (construction is usually seasonal). Rent a few trucks for drop off/pick up of the barrels. Hire a few people to do the labor.
After you’ve built a reputation, expand into road signs, flagging, traffic control, permanent signs, etc.
This is something I might start very soon...
Man threads like these pump me up for some reason.
Anyways, an idea that I’m actually starting with a partner: mobile oil change. Super convenient (for the customer). I used to work at a construction place and we had to manually drop off each truck at the mechanics for an oil change... we’re not talking about 1 truck, but HUNDREDS of trucks. Talk about time lost for the employer, especially in an industry like construction where finishing contracts on time is so important.
So you can target it as both a B2C, and B2B.
Keep on posting guys.
And yeah in the beginning you might have to trade time for money. That doesn't mean you can't keep expanding. You can automate the entire process by hiring employees, training them properly and then just managing them. Or even better.... you can hire a manager and then go hang out on the golf course.
True, there are tons of people that got successful doing what's sexy. There are a lot of successful musicians, fashion designers, restaurant owners, entertainers, pornographers, digital nomads lounging on a beach in Thailand, amazon arbitrage guru's and personal trainers.
I'd rather just do something boring nobody wants to do and/or has a high barrier of entry that isn't over-saturated with annoying "everyone should buy my course guru's" and is still in high demand.
One guy sells a very niche roof for government buildings across the country (federal, state, county, and city. he builds a team and sends them to whatever location to install the roof). Only a few companies in the country do what he does. His business is worth 8 figures.
One guy mows the median grass on the interstate during the summer. In the winter he plows snow.
One woman purchases and installs highway signs.
One guy (veteran) does a special thing for sidewalks.
One guy builds roads.
None of these people started with big money or had heavy contacts in the government.
Half of them didn't even go to college.
One guy didn't even finish high school.
Point being, you can make it work. All of them were breaking even for the first 2-3 years of business and doing small jobs. Generally have to work your way up to the big jobs.
I think I remember Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs interviewing someone who cleaned up crime scenes. He was doing quite well.
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