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GOLD! 100 Unsexy Business Ideas: Name as many as you can!

reedracer

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I've been contemplating ideas for the elderly care space for a while now. And every idea I come up with ends with the same conclusion, Where the hell does the money come from?

For example: Dementia and Alzheimer caregivers give over 470 billion dollars a year in unpaid aid to loved ones who remain at home due to the outrageous costs of nursing homes and care centers.

  • At $470 billion in 2013, the value of unpaid caregiving exceeded the value of paid home care and total Medicaid spending in the same year, and nearly matched the value of the sales of the world’s largest company, Wal-Mart ($477 billion). [AARP Public Policy Institute. (2015). Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.]

If you really would like to change the world this is one way to do it. I was thinking of a way that medicaid/care could be subsidized and used to pay your friends and family for taking care of you, Or a home-care app that allows you to find trained "freelance" caregivers(but that comes with many problems of course, Especially vetting).

If anyone would has any ideas HMU, Or take this idea, but you better use it and change the world because a lot of people need help and with humans living longer alzheimers care is really going to begin taking an unprecedented toll on productivity and QOL in about 30 years.
The elderly is a mixed bag. Here in KC you can go independent living for $750 a month all the way to $4k a month. My mortgage is the first number!
I believe the answer lies in the fact there are those who have money to pay for services. If your 'why 'is to help those who can't pay for basic needs, then help lots of folks who can pay so you can help the less fortunate.
I send my mom money every month. No much, but it pays the taxes on the house my sister and I got for her. This allows her to use what savings she has and her social security to get along ok. I could not do that without income.
 
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reedracer

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[QUOTE="Mike Rowe was in an amazing video based on this topic:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVEuPmVAb8o
[/QUOTE]
I'm trying to work up a parable that was probably already written. Something like "It's better to have passion for the work you are doing than looking for work that's your passion."
No worries, it's come to me someday.
 

GradyS

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I'm trying to work up a parable that was probably already written. Something like "It's better to have passion for the work you are doing than looking for work that's your passion."
No worries, it's come to me someday.
Mike Rowe is the man.
 

JunkBoxJoey_JBJ

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Nose hair trimmers
Back shavers
Man wipes

Heard it from a friend...:happy:
 

reedracer

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Along the same lines, what are some "unsexy" products that companies/people have to buy but don't want to?
Hemorrhoid Creme
Anti-Fungal Jock. Feet, Vaginal, Intestinal and any where else it appears
Hair Removal products
Legal Services
Adult Diapers
Diabetes equipment
Bug control products indoor outdoor
Mole/Vole/Gopher control
Drain cleaner
Propane refills
Liability insurance
 

Ernman

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So I guess in summary, my hypothesis is that those boring businesses aren't unpopular because "they're boring" or "unsexy." But maybe because the skills gap or the barriers to ENTRY (CENTS) is much higher... It also doesn't help when all of the major influences of our generation consists of tech entrepreneurs (Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gates, etc...).
Saw this post while revisiting this thread. A very interesting comment. Without having done any other research, I'd be inclined to agree. Not only do some not know how to start, but I've seen where some don't know how to keep an established company running or go to the next level. A friend of mine owns his own company making an interesting product. He's done well over the years and intended to pass it down to his son. All his son wants to do is "manage" the social media and advertising - not learn how to run the biz. Admittedly, this is one isolated example and I hope not representative.
 

Lex DeVille

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This morning I reverse engineered the search process. Came across several good ideas. Maybe some of you can use the process to come up with less conventional ideas to run with.

1. Go to Google
2. Search for "bid on government jobs in [town name]" "bid on government jobs in Los Angeles"
3. Look through the contracts posted

Doing this I came across things I've never seen before. For instance:

- Sludge Haruling Services
- Pool Chemicals
- Manhole Casting Replacement
- Street Resurfacing
- Park Bridge Replacement
- Air Filtration / Exhaust Removal System
- 4th of July Fireworks Display
- City Tree Pruning
- Park Lot and Trail Sealing

Each city has their own contracts that are open for bid. So you just need to pick a city and then figure out where they list their bid projects (it's easy to figure it out on Google). This will lead you to ideas for unsexy service businesses and also possibly B2G or B2B product ideas.
 

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Ernman

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Each city has their own contracts that are open for bid. So you just need to pick a city and then figure out where they list their bid projects (it's easy to figure it out on Google). This will lead you to ideas for unsexy service businesses and also possibly B2G or B2B product ideas.
Brilliant Lex - if nothing else, it should be interesting to investigate. While most government bids are lowest price and usually have advantage to "socio-economically disadvantaged small businesses", you're not suggesting bidding on the jobs but using this as a tool to find businesses to start. It's a NEED identification tool for unsexy biz.
 

Mattie

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I've been contemplating ideas for the elderly care space for a while now. And every idea I come up with ends with the same conclusion, Where the hell does the money come from?

For example: Dementia and Alzheimer caregivers give over 470 billion dollars a year in unpaid aid to loved ones who remain at home due to the outrageous costs of nursing homes and care centers.

  • At $470 billion in 2013, the value of unpaid caregiving exceeded the value of paid home care and total Medicaid spending in the same year, and nearly matched the value of the sales of the world’s largest company, Wal-Mart ($477 billion). [AARP Public Policy Institute. (2015). Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.]

If you really would like to change the world this is one way to do it. I was thinking of a way that medicaid/care could be subsidized and used to pay your friends and family for taking care of you, Or a home-care app that allows you to find trained "freelance" caregivers(but that comes with many problems of course, Especially vetting).

If anyone would has any ideas HMU, Or take this idea, but you better use it and change the world because a lot of people need help and with humans living longer alzheimers care is really going to begin taking an unprecedented toll on productivity and QOL in about 30 years.
You have this correct. Being a former nurse aide, I know how much money they dish out for private care, medications, and those who don't have wealth are the one's who will suffer the most.
 

Devampre

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Two quick questions. (Forgive me if they've been addressed already.)

Any unsexy business ideas that have little starting overhead expenses and little legal hurdles?

Also, are there any unsexy business ideas that are digital or are we looking at anything on the internet as being sexy?
 

Lex DeVille

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Two quick questions. (Forgive me if they've been addressed already.)

Any unsexy business ideas that have little starting overhead expenses and little legal hurdles?

Also, are there any unsexy business ideas that are digital or are we looking at anything on the internet as being sexy?
We wouldn't have to forgive you if you just took the time to read the thread like everyone else. Answers for both of your questions are in the previous 10 pages.
 

GradyS

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This morning I reverse engineered the search process. Came across several good ideas. Maybe some of you can use the process to come up with less conventional ideas to run with.

1. Go to Google
2. Search for "bid on government jobs in [town name]" "bid on government jobs in Los Angeles"
3. Look through the contracts posted

Doing this I came across things I've never seen before. For instance:

- Sludge Haruling Services
- Pool Chemicals
- Manhole Casting Replacement
- Street Resurfacing
- Park Bridge Replacement
- Air Filtration / Exhaust Removal System
- 4th of July Fireworks Display
- City Tree Pruning
- Park Lot and Trail Sealing

Each city has their own contracts that are open for bid. So you just need to pick a city and then figure out where they list their bid projects (it's easy to figure it out on Google). This will lead you to ideas for unsexy service businesses and also possibly B2G or B2B product ideas.
Interesting. In doing this I just came upon a giant list in my area of every company that bid on some work and is a "hauler." Makes me wonder, has anyone done any work to help those types of companies? A "shovel" situation? Other than just offering a website, I'd rather do something with more substance.

I can't get over this nagging feeling that all of these companies have absolutely terrible customer service, but I don't think the answer is just launching another 3rd party call center.
 

Danny Sullivan

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Just recently stumbled upon an boring business.

Since we're living in very dense populated area and parking space is almost always an issue - especially for caravans and motorhomes - some guy around is renting old factory space for quite low prices per m² and is renting them out as permanent parking spaces to caravan and motorhome owners (which we have quite a lot around here).
He provides basic stuff like electricity, security cameras, old water disposal, sometimes a place to wash the vehicles (in case they're standing outside).

Basic costs per m² might be 4-5 € and with the monthly rental he's taking in around 7-8 € per m² and location, if booked full (which is the case mostly).

There's not much staff needed to run these places either.

Thought i'd share.
 

focusedlife

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Pet Boarding/ Doggie Daycare?
I knew a pothead couple that used to do this.

They'd RENT places with big yards and essentially fund their rentals with these littl e"underground" doggie day care businesses.

It was both brilliant and baffling.
 

reedracer

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Just recently stumbled upon an boring business.

Since we're living in very dense populated area and parking space is almost always an issue - especially for caravans and motorhomes - some guy around is renting old factory space for quite low prices per m² and is renting them out as permanent parking spaces to caravan and motorhome owners (which we have quite a lot around here).
He provides basic stuff like electricity, security cameras, old water disposal, sometimes a place to wash the vehicles (in case they're standing outside).

Basic costs per m² might be 4-5 € and with the monthly rental he's taking in around 7-8 € per m² and location, if booked full (which is the case mostly).

There's not much staff needed to run these places either.

Thought i'd share.
Is anyone doing an AirBNB for campers, caravans, and motorhomes? There are thousands of these things sitting on lots waiting for their annual 3 week trip - if that. Dives me nuts that much capital is sitting on a lot for $50 a month.
 

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Kevin88660

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I am in Singapore. The huge opportunity for young business people here, which I believes applies for U.S. as well is to take over the business of baby boomers who have no successors. It is HUGE! Almost all of them are in the unsexy business fields.

Why on earth would you want to start a business form scratch and in the best case make you 8-10k a month two years later, when you can learn the rope from a mentor who is not short of money and wants the business to have a successor largely for legacy and emotional reason, and you can take over a business that is currently making 20k a month.

Traditional business
-wholesale and distributing of b2b industrial products. (Lots of small shops in industrial parks)
-Funeral business (lots of money with aging population). My corp banking friend says these business had the largest pile of cash in their acc.
-Construction/Raw material
-self employed sales people in Real estate, insurance and stocks brokers who want to pads their client base to a young person

...many many more I believe.

The common thing is their children have ZERO interest in the business.

They are looking for successors for non monetary reasons mainly. They want to be responsible to their clients. They want to see their handwork and legacy not going to waste. They want to groom a hungry young man/woman. Their business, is too small to generate interest to the Private equity community.

You are their only chance.
 

Kevin88660

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I am in Singapore. The huge opportunity for young business people here, which I believes applies for U.S. as well is to take over the business of baby boomers who have no successors. It is HUGE! Almost all of them are in the unsexy business fields.

Why on earth would you want to start a business form scratch and in the best case make you 8-10k a month two years later, when you can learn the rope from a mentor who is not short of money and wants the business to have a successor largely for legacy and emotional reason, and you can take over a business that is currently making 20k a month.

Traditional business
-wholesale and distributing of b2b industrial products. (Lots of small shops in industrial parks)
-Funeral business (lots of money with aging population). My corp banking friend says these business had the largest pile of cash in their acc.
-Construction/Raw material
-self employed sales people in Real estate, insurance and stocks brokers who want to pads their client base to a young person

...many many more I believe.

The common thing is their children have ZERO interest in the business.

They are looking for successors for non monetary reasons mainly. They want to be responsible to their clients. They want to see their handwork and legacy not going to waste. They want to groom a hungry young man/woman. Their business, is too small to generate interest to the Private equity community.

You are their only chance.
Young people should be pitching to them insanely. But what I am seeing is the reverse. These old folks are looking for young people they can trust but keep getting ignored!

Crazy! Unbelievable!
 

minivanman

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Is anyone doing an AirBNB for campers, caravans, and motorhomes? There are thousands of these things sitting on lots waiting for their annual 3 week trip - if that. Dives me nuts that much capital is sitting on a lot for $50 a month.
I had thought about this about 15 years ago and had inquired a little about it and then..... oh look, a squirrel.... I must have went on to something else. I do think about it every time I pass by a lot loaded with them waiting on their yearly 2 week trip. I'm putting this on my calendar for next year. I'm full up this year.
 

Danny Sullivan

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Is anyone doing an AirBNB for campers, caravans, and motorhomes? There are thousands of these things sitting on lots waiting for their annual 3 week trip - if that. Dives me nuts that much capital is sitting on a lot for $50 a month.
Well there are several for Europe, like Yescapa, Paul Camper, Goboony or Share A Camper in Australia / New Zealand. Campanda is operating in Europe and the US and is providing commercial and private contracts.

 

Ing

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Is anyone doing an AirBNB for campers, caravans, and motorhomes? There are thousands of these things sitting on lots waiting for their annual 3 week trip - if that. Dives me nuts that much capital is sitting on a lot for $50 a month.
I ve thought about it here in Germany.
And did the maths. When you have a place with a roof already , than its a deal. BUt if you have to build one first, it can barely bring you money.
And: hard to scale!
 

payingkarma

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I don't normally sign up for forums, but this one is an exception, and so I did...

Lots of great ideas... wish the momentum keeps up and we compile a bigger list...

Here's what I have gathered and thought will never see the light but here it is for taking...

List of Businesses to start some are blue collar and some are grey and white...but most are boring like hell...

Environmental industrial processing, cleaning, manufacturing equipment
Snow Plowing Business
Parking lot resurfacing
Horse Cremation Service (and other animals )
Exotic Fruits from around the world - import ( first find what's needed then import)
Hail damage restoration-Paintless Dent Removal (a skill that will take time to hone)
Semi-truck engine oil, filters, and parts
Business Broker (10% commission for doing nothing, I mean zilch...)
Home Heating oil delivery business (tie up with another seasonal one)
CRM consultation services for small businesses
Rents the traffic barrels to the state (someone covered this already here)
Grease vent cleaning ( I almost bought but the seller went MIA)
Scrapyard - buy $200 totaled car / separate and sell parts on ebay as used
Filling 1099s ($10 a piece) for real estate attorneys etc.
Head lice removal ($150k easy but need some licensing)
Scaffolding equipment rental (pretty much any rental woud work but CapEx intensive)
Integrated distributor (Specific consumable product)
Child Care Centers
Non-Profit (donation and making money)*
Industrial Supplies (b2b)
Self-storage
Private Label Supplements and Cosmetics (billion-dollar fragmented industry is the key) -weight loss, supplements and anti-aging cream etc.
Curtain walls - to dust polluting spaces - partition for cleaning and spray paint (touch up) shops
Worm farm
Lease Tracking Services - Insurance Risk management
Manufacture Bullet-proof products - (anti gun products) -
Cannabis accessories (CBD etc.) - It's a new industry so providing tools for them
Equipment Rental -- landscaping & construction
Merchant cash advance (use Banks for lead sources, CoC)
Filling a gap - What's Too small for Wholesale and Too big for retail-odd lots
RENTING ANYTHING - when the market is unsure - Piano Renting
IT support for small-biz- - markup on all gadgets sold and installation money too.
PowerWashing -- 2 men crew, home, office etc. but pick a niche
PowerWashing - semi trailer - recurring revenue
ISP - Internet service provider - recurring revenue (wireless ISP - cheaper to start)
Pool Cleaning (Grow by buying accounts)
Consumer Packaged Goods (FMCG) - Repeat customers for consumables
Durable Medical Equipment-High margin recurring medicare products - Finding the right product is key
Lead Gen - Affiliate marketing - find a niche-recession resistant
Teach your trade (Niche Education)- subscription business - $100/month
Find a lending partner and make them a loan to small biz (give better rates than sharks)
INDUSTRIAL COATING
High-Performance Coating (Industrial / Construction/Niche)
TRAILER Park - MHP
Chain link fence rental
Fence company - Make money of Material and Installation
Mold removal

The idea is simple -
Take a mundane / boring / unsexy / crappy business and do the following
1) Answer the calls (9/10 competition is not doing it)
2) Schedule and Show up on time (preferable in a near vehicle, dress, clean cut)
3) Price your service 15 - 30% above 70% of your competition
4) Provide guarantees and live up to it.

--or--

Fill a market gap - where your's is the only solution and give a crappier service, you'll have a business, albeit with pissed off customers.
The question you must be asking is "What are you disrupting today?"

Either way you'll ensure success.

But you can't take crappier business and give crappier service...
 

payingkarma

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Sep 16, 2019
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I contracted with a painter sometime back. He had (has) no website and there is nowhere to be found. He was relying on GCs and other Painting company to give him work...he was a sub 100%.

He has $0 marketing and no knowledge. I told him I will give him business and he would pay me 10% of gross.

I put a tracking number using Twilio (very cheap). and routed the phone to him.

I bought a domain, installed wp, and put in a site and did some seo ( a weekend) and a few places where I can advertise on the cheap.

All in all, I spend 20 hours and maybe $50. He gets a few calls a week, and he closes 2 - 4 jobs a month.

Jobs are between $1000 -$3000 on average. I get $100 to $300. Since I track and record I can ask what happened on each of it. I don't micromanage but he knows I know everything.

I make between $700 and $1600 consistently every month. I spend $50 to $100/month on marketing.

At this time I want to do more SEO and get paid for free, but I'm lazy and don't really know local SEO that well...

Now, here is the key thing. I spend $100 and less than 2 hours a month and make $1000. Anyone can do this... And in fact if you can find 5 different trades or 2 different cities, you are sitting on 10 grand, and that 10 - 20 hours of work a month.

Taking action sets your apart - and calling people and spending the first 20 hours in setting things up.
 
Sep 19, 2019
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Been there, done that. It's better to take the day off.

You're absolutely right, on your first point. I used to get bids to supply things to the government. Total waste of time. Lost every one of them to either a black guy that got "ten points preference", so he could bid below my cost, but still make money because of the "preference points" boosted the price bid to something higher than was actually bid due to the "preference points" being added. If you're black, female, AND a vet, this can be YOUR ticket! Or, lost it to a bid that was so tightly written that only ONE product could fit the requirements - the one they wanted, of course.

So much of this was illegal, but go ahead and file a complaint. Then you get to deal with a government slacker that is paid to waste MORE of your time.

Rigged all the way, no matter how you cut it. And then, they're slow pay.

Who needs losers like this for customers? Yeah - if you're selling $100 million jets, or $125 hammers, okay...

As for selling commodity items, if you can sell lower than Amazon, you might have a shot at it. But only if a black female vet doesn't bid against you, that is.

The ONLY time I've ever heard someone making money selling to the government was a guy that sold them paint. He bought cheap paint and diluted it 50%.

Ha - gotta admire his thinking. The reason I know about this is he got caught and was sued - lost - and even went to prison for it. Well, it looked good on paper anyway...
This is something any of you who are white guys in the USA, like me, should keep in mind, and not just those who want to sell to the government. I hired a business consultant who advised me against starting a carpet cleaning business because companies who hire minority-owned (or woman-owned) businesses get tax breaks for doing so. I'd be at a constant disadvantage. It's systemic racism.
 

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