I will be the first person to tell you that having a great idea for a new business is not really the most important key to success as an entrepreneur. The ability to execute on a business idea and get from business idea to fully functional business is far more important. I would much rather invest into someone with a good business idea and a proven track record of solid execution than someone with a great business idea and no work ethic or wherewithal to actually get the business idea off of the ground.
That being said – if everything else is held constant we all want to think of creative business ideas, right? Here are 5 creative business startup ideas that I am coming up with off of the top of my head and hopefully they will give you a flash of inspiration for a great business that you can start!
In no particular order and with no particular rhyme or reason here are the 5 ideas (and please feel free to add your own thoughts and ideas via the comments below):
Idea #1: A-Z “Guide” Niche Website
While the idea to starting a niche website may not be a smack your head “Why didn’t I think of that?” creative idea there are some great benefits. The beauty of using the Internet to start a business is that the startup costs are so very low. For a couple hundred bucks you can choose a domain name, install WordPress, and start building your website. There are no office leases to sign, no employees to hire, and no payroll taxes to worry about. Of course, if your idea takes off then you can certainly expand and you may just find yourself wanting to hire employees but the beauty of starting a small website online is that it allows you to test the market for cheap.
Start with a subject that you know and then build exactly the type of site that you would want to visit to learn about that particular subject. If you love gardening then build a gardening tips website. If you love tinkering on cars then build a website with tips for doing your own car repairs. It could be a relatively boring but lucrative niche like car insurance or it could be a really fun niche like cell phones. Maybe you have a personal goal to lose weight – why not chronicle your progress and compile a great collection of weight loss tips? The list goes on and on.
Choose a subject that you enjoy and that has some commercial appeal. Your #1 goal should be to provide high quality information that appeals to your target market (gardening hobbyists or car repair tinkerers in our examples) and as you serve your target market you will find many different ways to help those people while making some money at the same time (advertising, recommended products, e-book guides, premium membership, etc).
Idea #2: Scoop Poop
Yup, you heard it right. You asked for creative business ideas so here one is: scoop poop for a living. The US pet care market is growing by leashes and hounds (ahem… leaps and bounds) so why not cash in by offering a service that will do what many dog owners despise doing? The best thing about the poop scooping business is that it is easily scalable – hire some college kids to visit a house weekly to scoop poop for a monthly fee and if you can line up a number of houses all in the same subdivision then transportation costs are decreased. Another upshot to this business idea is that the startup costs are LOW (think $9.97 pooper scooper at Wal-Mart to get started).
Idea #3 Flier Marketing Service
Lots of local small businesses are interested in different ways that they can reach the community around them for cheap. Marketing for them usually involved buying space in the local Coupon Clipper or paying for Google AdWords clicks. Many small businesses would jump at the chance to have your company design and pass out fliers around town announcing sales or specials that they are offering. Once again, this is a great business for outsourcing the actual passing out of the fliers to college kids while your responsibility would be to line up new projects.
Idea #4 Food Delivery Service
Have you ever been stuck at home not really feeling like going out to but have really wanted to order some food that was not pizza or Chinese food? Well, if you started a service that will pick up food from restaurants that do not deliver and then deliver the food to people for the price of the food + a delivery fee then you have a nice business model that once again you can scale fairly rapidly by having students or other delivery drivers on call for you to route orders to (bonus points if you design an efficient website and phone ordering system).
Idea #5 Fund Raising Service
If you have ever been sick of getting requests to buy candy or other items that you don’t necessarily want for a school or sports team fund raising event then you can probably see the value in helping schools and other organizations come up with creative ideas for raising money. Maybe you partner with local businesses to get reduced prices on their products in exchange for the brand name exposure and possible charitable contributions or maybe you just simply develop a lot of contacts for various types of fund raising methods but chances are that many school officials would welcome creative assistance for raising more money.
What creative business startup ideas do YOU have?
Author Bio: Joel Ohman is a Certified Financial Planner™ and serial entrepreneur. He has a number of different web based projects that he is currently working on including a website for comparing insurance providers and a website with an easy to use credit card finder. He is new to Financial Highway and would recommend that you check out the recent post that is very apropos to the topic in this post: “Would You Rather Do What You Love, Or Be Paid More?”