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

greenGabbard

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I was looking around my town the other day and came across the local mortuary and thought who "wants to do that?" And instantly thought it could be fastlaned with a franchise model. Or a local cemetery or funeral chapel. just think of all the wonderful meet you'll meet just never talk to :run:
 

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Late Bloomer

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I was looking around my town the other day and came across the local mortuary and thought who "wants to do that?" And instantly thought it could be fastlaned with a franchise model. Or a local cemetery or funeral chapel. just think of all the wonderful meet you'll meet just never talk to :run:
This is already being done. The Neptune Society sells a prepaid cremation service that is fulfilled by a network of local mortuaries.
 

Geekour

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Does anyone have any tips on how to research a local market to narrow down what service business is most likely to have a need and potential for growth? This would help focus on an industry and maybe some sort of product that can help further fill that need in the industry. If you search on google or google maps you can see some results but how would you know specifically without putting in money that something is worth pursuing. Of course there will be competition but is there such thing as too much competition or saturation to enter? @Duane @minivanman
 

minivanman

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This is only me personally, I'm sure others look at it totally different..... I could care less about what others are doing in a service market. As I've said before, I was charging .50c a square foot for carpet cleaning when the highest other company within a few states was charging .32c. I actually had to hire a 2nd guy to help my lead guy because we were busy. I was alway told that January & February would be dead. I was told to go on vacation. Well, I put a little effort in to advertising for January and I'll be damned if January wasn't my busiest month for that year.

What service are you wanting to offer and where? I mean, if you want to offer an odd-ball service like teaching frogs to walk instead of hop..... probably not going to get much business. Scaling is the hardest part for people. They get caught up in working IN the business instead of working ON the business. I did that at first.

Here is how I do anything, even when I was broke..... I wake up and if my gut feels good about it..... let's do it! I'd rather spend time to see if I can make something work rather than spend time doing research that really doesn't tell me much anyway. I can make almost anything work if I really want to.... almost. You just need to make sure you have a large enough customer base. I like atleast a few hundred thousand but that's just me. :)
 

Cruze

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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.
Wow, awesome words again, @Kak ! Eye opener. You are so right.
 
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As I was on my way to Jack In The Box at 10pm for my lunch..... yep, time slipped away today! lol Anyway, I was reminded of another business. There is a guy that started his business many years ago picking up trash in shopping center parking lots. Not the guy driving the truck through the parking lots.... he has 1099 workers picking up the trash on the sidewalks, the grass areas and anywhere a truck can't get to. If I remember right he makes about $600,000 a year.
The guy you're referring to did an interview on Side Hustle Nation episode 266. I thought it was very eye opening. I even bought the guy's book, which wasn't so informative.
 

HustleHard

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Amazon Home Services.

If you're providing any service and NOT on Amazon, you're missing out.

Our plumbing and electrical businesses are expanding massively.
Just curious but do you have your plumbers license, or did you start the business and hire someone with a license to legally operate?

Are you doing Google local service ads as well? If so, how's that working for you? Google Local Services Ads Roll Out to 30 Major Cities By 2018 | VitalStorm

I see you're big into E-commerce as well as distribution, any other businesses you're running? Which of your different businesses would you say is your most profitable?
 

AlessioLC

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I love it "By itself, it’s basic and ordinary. You young, startup-crazy whippersnappers want something so high-profile and instantly viral. My businesses aren’t viral, but they help a specific type of person by providing a quality solution, over and over again."

"Multiply a small, quaint, and profitable business by ten and you’ve got a diversified, multi-million dollar portfolio."

"You would think these ten companies would dominate his time. Not so. He spends his time sailing around the world with his wife and family in one of his sailboats, the “Zephyr” or the “Whispering Eye."
 

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GradyS

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@Kennypaul admitedly I could have done a better job of including more unsexy products. One day if I have time, I should make another thread like this, but even better and include a ton more ideas. I have a lot of them.
Wow! I just have to say this thread is EXACTLY what I Was looking for. Normally I just browse reddit and other sites, but this one was so good I had to create an account just to comment.

I've read the first few pages and am going to dive in to more of the site when I get a chance, but there was one industry that stood out to me on the first page or two.

Construction/Concrete Barrier Rental

This seems so simple, but after a quick search there really aren't that many companies that do it. I live in the SE, and there is ALWAYS some kind of road construction going on.

At the risk of sounding like a complete newbie, how in the world would you get started in this business?

I would think you would need to figure out a way to get in a public bid for the next construction project, but then what? Try and win a bid, and then just purchase a ton of equipment and store it in a storage facility? The few companies I have seen online have a much larger range of offerings (which I'm sure comes after years of growing) but starting seems overwhelming.

When I have some time later tonight I'm going to go back through this thread with a notebook and take a ton of notes.

Johnny, if I can help in any way I am extremely passionate about unsexy businesses, and I'd love to go through a list with you. I'd even put together the list for you if you have them scribbled down somewhere.

Looking forward to reading more and contributing more on the site.
 

pipedream2017

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So I was reading through this thread and an idea came to me.

The country where I live uses a lot of cans, there are thousands of bars, restaurants in the city near me. What if I went up to each bar and offered them a % and left them with a plastic bin and asked them to put the cans in it and once a week I would take it away for them. Also I could tell them instead of a %, that I am donating 10-20% to a local charity (animal charity would be one I would like to donate to).

1000 businesses 100 cans a day = 500 cans a week. 1000x500 = 50,000 cans a week

52 weeks x 50,000 cans = 26,000,000/70,000 cans per tonne = 371 tonnes

371 tonnes x 0.40/kilo = 150,000 revenue
 

Elbert Dockery

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I personally think this thread should be gold if not notable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Solais

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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.

Just FYI, one of my previously failed business ventures was something related to this.

You cannot do what you suggested because the IRS/DOL (Department of Labor) requires employers to classify them as W-2 employees. HomeHero (a startup that crashed back in early 2016) ran into the exact problem.

There’s No Magic in Venture-Backed Home Care – Kyle Hill – Medium

I would strongly advise ALL entrepreneurs to look into regulations/laws before jumping into an idea.
 

12B745

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Pet Boarding/ Doggie Daycare?
My grandparents did this, and it worked out pretty well for them. They were also the only service in town for it. Plus, with profits, you could expand to other towns as well, make a chain of them.
 

Lex DeVille

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Home or business staging is something I see on real estate websites.

When I type in my area + home staging in Google, there's not many people doing it who have a website. Those who do, mostly have crap websites and they operate as individuals instead of as a team (which means they can't scale).

This could be a big business or a nice side hustle. Maybe an upgrade service for realtors. Not sure I'd call it "unsexy" but at least it's not digital. You'd need to network and advertise. Once you get it going you could become the "go-to" business for staging services.

- Home staging
- Showroom staging
- Business displays
- Wedding setup

Just some ideas that might work with this type of business. I don't have any experience in this area though.
 

YoungPadawan

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Alright, here's one of the most unsexy businesses ever, but is highly lucrative. This is what I've been doing for the past week:

Custom manure application

Every hog or dairy operation has to get rid of their manure, so every fall they hire out guys to spread the manure on the fields. At minimum, they get $55 dollars per acre, and you spread 100-150 acres per day for 2 months, that's $330,000 minimum for two months of work.

So, does it fit CENTS? Yep:

Control: Yep, you own the business totally. Lots of hog and dairy operations to choose from.

Entry: Yes, you need to have $60,000 worth of manure pumping/hauling equipment to get started.

Need: Hell yes, there is always a shortage of custom manure applicators, and if you are reliable, you can create a monopoly in your area.

Time: Yes, you can hire employees to do this. It isn't difficult, though it may be difficult to find good employees.

Scale: Yep, you could buy additional tankers and pumps and expand.

Yes, it's a nasty, smelly job. But that's the beauty of it - no one wants to do it. And you can minimize the nastiness by buying a remote control pump so you wouldn't even have to get out of the tractor.
 

Shepherd

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Alright, here's one of the most unsexy businesses ever, but is highly lucrative. This is what I've been doing for the past week:

Custom manure application

Every hog or dairy operation has to get rid of their manure, so every fall they hire out guys to spread the manure on the fields. At minimum, they get $55 dollars per acre, and you spread 100-150 acres per day for 2 months, that's $330,000 minimum for two months of work.

So, does it fit CENTS? Yep:

Control: Yep, you own the business totally. Lots of hog and dairy operations to choose from.

Entry: Yes, you need to have $60,000 worth of manure pumping/hauling equipment to get started.

Need: Hell yes, there is always a shortage of custom manure applicators, and if you are reliable, you can create a monopoly in your area.

Time: Yes, you can hire employees to do this. It isn't difficult, though it may be difficult to find good employees.

Scale: Yep, you could buy additional tankers and pumps and expand.

Yes, it's a nasty, smelly job. But that's the beauty of it - no one wants to do it. And you can minimize the nastiness by buying a remote control pump so you wouldn't even have to get out of the tractor.
As someone who has spread a lot of shit (literally) in my life and am very familiar with this industry, there is definitely opportunity here.
 

Thoelt53

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Wow! I just have to say this thread is EXACTLY what I Was looking for. Normally I just browse reddit and other sites, but this one was so good I had to create an account just to comment.

I've read the first few pages and am going to dive in to more of the site when I get a chance, but there was one industry that stood out to me on the first page or two.

Construction/Concrete Barrier Rental

This seems so simple, but after a quick search there really aren't that many companies that do it. I live in the SE, and there is ALWAYS some kind of road construction going on.

At the risk of sounding like a complete newbie, how in the world would you get started in this business?

I would think you would need to figure out a way to get in a public bid for the next construction project, but then what? Try and win a bid, and then just purchase a ton of equipment and store it in a storage facility? The few companies I have seen online have a much larger range of offerings (which I'm sure comes after years of growing) but starting seems overwhelming.

When I have some time later tonight I'm going to go back through this thread with a notebook and take a ton of notes.

Johnny, if I can help in any way I am extremely passionate about unsexy businesses, and I'd love to go through a list with you. I'd even put together the list for you if you have them scribbled down somewhere.

Looking forward to reading more and contributing more on the site.
Home - J.Derenzo

This company owns every concrete barrier I’ve ever seen in the Boston metro area. Every. Single. One.

Granted they do a large amount of roadwork here, there are various other companies doing roadwork using J. Derenzo barriers. So they are either being subcontracted out to, or leasing to other companies.

Just food for thought.
 

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Bekit

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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.
@Kak , why do you have almost no web presence for 3 of your 4 businesses? This is outside of my paradigm and I'm just curious to learn...Would it not make a difference in your sales and customers finding you to have a good web presence?

On the topic of unsexy businesses, I recently saw a YouTube video by the channel "edutainment" that threw out there the idea of disrupting the restaurant industry by having a sort of "Uber eats" concept, except a chef would come to your home, prepare a meal, and clean up afterwards. With the easy availability of meal kits from places like blue apron, it wouldn't be hard at all for someone to set this up.
 

GradyS

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Alright, here's one of the most unsexy businesses ever, but is highly lucrative. This is what I've been doing for the past week:

Custom manure application
How would you actually get started in this though? You aren't going to plunk down $60k just to go out and get your first customer. There are plenty of farms near me and I hadn't even considered this.
 

LamboKing

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How would you actually get started in this though? You aren't going to plunk down $60k just to go out and get your first customer. There are plenty of farms near me and I hadn't even considered this.
I’m curious, could this be done with human capital or without investing so much monetary capital at first?

I’m mainly city based, but there are some rural cities within 100 miles of me.
 

YoungPadawan

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How would you actually get started in this though? You aren't going to plunk down $60k just to go out and get your first customer. There are plenty of farms near me and I hadn't even considered this.
Well, you could rent the minimum of 2 tractors that you'd need (one for the pumping, and one for the hauling.) You could rent the pump, which is what we do ($250 a day). We own a tanker, so I'm not really sure, but you could probably rent that as well.

If you did choose to rent this stuff, you'd have to go balls to the wallz for finishing the job as quickly as possible.

That's the thing with this particular task. It has a pretty good sized barrier to entry, which keeps the prices nice and high, and a lot of the competition away.
 

Shepherd

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Are you knifing the manure in the ground with a custom applicator as well or just spreading it?
 

Lex DeVille

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Well, you could rent the minimum of 2 tractors that you'd need (one for the pumping, and one for the hauling.) You could rent the pump, which is what we do ($250 a day). We own a tanker, so I'm not really sure, but you could probably rent that as well.
Don't farmers do this? What do they need someone else for?
 

YoungPadawan

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Are you knifing the manure in the ground with a custom applicator as well or just spreading it?
We're just spreading it at the moment. Our gauges weren't working right on our tanker, so we couldn't tell if the tank was empty or not when we were knifing it in. Now we are able to see it stop when we spread it. It's on our own land that we spread it, so it isn't as big of a deal to have to make a second pass later to work it in.

Hopefully the neighbors don't mind the extra smell too much... Lol
 

Shepherd

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We're just spreading it at the moment. Our gauges weren't working right on our tanker, so we couldn't tell if the tank was empty or not when we were knifing it in. Now we are able to see it stop when we spread it. It's on our own land that we spread it, so it isn't as big of a deal to have to make a second pass later to work it in.

Hopefully the neighbors don't mind the extra smell too much... Lol
Are you dealing with the integrator (owner of the animals) or the individual growers? I'm guessing you can probably get a lot of business if you get a recommendation from the integrator.
 

YoungPadawan

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Are you dealing with the integrator (owner of the animals) or the individual growers? I'm guessing you can probably get a lot of business if you get a recommendation from the integrator.
Yeah, we're dealing directly with the owners. They have hog operations throughout the midwest, so we're hoping to maybe eventually be their exclusive haulers if they knew that we only hauled out of their sites only, to avoid cross-contamination and whatnot. We're just helping with the one operation located near us now.

But, one baby step at a time. Lol
 

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