Innovative Business Idea #1: Personal Outsourcing Service Portals
Talent brokerage websites are becoming ever more popular. These are sites that link together people with skills to people who need work done. Two of the more popular sites are Elance and oDesk. These sites host peoples’ profiles, from writers, web programmers, to designers, video producers, and marketing consultants. People in need of services can go to these web portals and easily hire people from all around the world. An entrepreneur can get a logo designed for a few hundred dollars from a graphic designer in the Philippines. A website owner can hire a writer in India to write 10 articles for their website for $50.
Elance and oDesk provide a wide range of services. There are also a number of startups that have tailored their websites to a specific niche. The Content Authority focuses only on writers, Fiverr only offers $5 services, while onlinejobs.ph offers freelances only from the Philippines.
Innovative Business Idea #2: SunRun
Solar power has always been a hot industy. A lot of new companies have entered the arena trying out different business models. One such company is SunRun. A solar system for a home is quite expensive ($30,000++), so SunRun will pay for the system, install it, and then will charge you for the power used (at a cheaper rate than what you would pay your electric company). If the solar panels generate more power than you use, you’ll earn credit which can offset future bills.
Innovative Business Idea #3: Fusing Fashion With Technology
As tech devices become smaller, faster and more powerful, startups are looking to integrate them into fashion (or even directly into the body). This provides a number of innovative ideas for a business startup.
South Korean designer Soomi Park has taken LEDs and fused them with cosmetics to create light up eyelashes. As larger eyes are seen to be more attractive in women (many women in South Korea look to cosmetics and surgery to make their eyes look larger) Soomi turned to technology.
Another example of a company blending technology and fashion is Electro-LuminX. They have created ‘Light Tape’ which is a strip of light that is as thin as a credit card, highly durable, and is bendable. If you have seen the latest TRON movie, then you’ll have seen their work. The Light Suits were made using Light Tape.
When it comes to small food business ideas there are a wide range from low costing start ups like creating a recipe book or starting a cooking class, to more expensive start ups like mobile food vans and vending machines. Here are 12 ideas to get your appetite for starting up a business going.
1. Local Pride
One of our small town business ideas we posted about revolved around the concept of ‘local pride’. This is the concept of taking something that is unique about your local culture and selling it to other areas. When it comes to food, are there any special sauces, dips, meats, desserts or any kind of food that is special in your local area that people outside would be interested in. If there are you can look to export them, or create a cookbook or guide on how to make them.
2. Locally Grown: New Food Business Ideas
People are becoming more and more conscious about where their food is coming from. Farmers markets are popular as the food is sourced locally. Because of this high demand there are a lot of organic food business opportunities to take advantage of. Such as starting up your own farmers market in your neighborhood, or how about selling your own grown produces at one.
3. Mobile Food Business Ideas
There are a whole host of ideas that can done in the back of a van. You’ve got the traditional ice cream van, or how about a hot dog, kebab, or Thai food van. The options are endless. A great resource for starting a food truck business is Mobile Cuisine Magazine.
4. Good ol’ Sandwiches
Sandwiches are simple to make and don’t require too much equipment to get started. You can go large and open up a sandwich bar, go a bit smaller and start up a mobile van or apush cart sandwich stall. Another idea is to start a sandwich delivery service to hungry office workers during the week.
5. Late Night Snack Delivery
Do you live in a college town? Well those kids stay up late at night and don’t usually have a stocked up fridge. So why not set up a late night food delivery business like Get Baked.
6. A Pick Up and Delivery Service
A lot of neighborhoods have restaurants that can’t do deliveries because it is not feasible. From this problem, business opportunities arise to create a service for people to have their food picked up and delivered to them for a small fee. This can also be applied to picking up and returning kegs to parties.
7. Cooking Classes and Recipes
A great small food business idea is to start up cooking classes in your local area.
Or if you are looking for home based food business ideas how about creating online cooking class videos
Home grown recipes can be turned into a cookbook, a class, or a website
8. A Local Restaurant Guide
A local community could use a restaurant guide – online or offline. This guide would give weekly/monthly restaurant guides and reviews, coupons, and advertise promotions and events. It will generate revenue through advertising (local restaurants, grocery stores, cooking classes, etc.).
9. Starting a Small Food Business for Niche Markets
Homemade products, a catering service, or food cart business ideas can be tailored to a niche market such as:
If you love animals why not look into pet business ideas that are based around making treats and pet food.
12. Vending Machines
Though starting a vending machine business/ service can have high costs, this is offset by the low maintenance of the business. It will take a keen eye and business sense to find the right locations and negotiate placements. There are franchise opportunities to help you get started.
If you are looking for food related business ideas, an important thing to keep in mind are the laws and regulations in your local area relating to food businesses. Home based food business will have different laws governing them from state to state – some places will require you to have a commercial grade kitchen that is inspected regurally. To find out about these food laws in your area visit http://www.sba.gov/
Solar or alternative energy businesses are an ever growing market. Part of this is fueled by government support for people to use solar resources as they give out grants, and special loans. A solar business model is a great cause to build a business around (what is social entrepreneurship). Here are a range of solar business ideas to help you along.
Residential and Commercial Solar Energy Business Opportunities
When it comes to solar power for residential or commercial buildings, there are three main phases that can be a source for business ideas:
Obviously creating a manufacturing business will require a large workforce, equipment, and lots of capital. Installation on the other hand can be a much more inexpensive business to start up. So too is a maintenance service that cleans panels, upgrades inverters, fix storm damages, etc.
There are a number of ways in which solar energy can be used in a building, not just the commonly know solar panel business opportunities. Other examples include:
Underground Thermal Piping: This is when you lay down rows and rows of piping underground. The sun heats up the soil, which heats up the water in the pipes which is then taken into the house.
Solar Water Heating Systems: Heating water can take up a majority of the expenses when it comes to a home’s electricity bill. A small water heating system will reduce this cost.
A solar tube
Solar Tubes: Solar tubes are tubes that are fitted above the roof and bring sunlight during the day down into closets, hallways, bathrooms or bedrooms.
Creating Brokerage/Solar Power Firm
SunRun has a unique solar business model. Instead of people buying the expensive solar systems (costing up to $30,000), SunRun bears this cost and charges people like any energy company would. So SunRun installs the solar panels onto the houses, then you pay them for the energy you use at a lower rate than normal electric companies charge. If the solar panels produce more energy than the house uses, then you get energy credits.
There is an increasing need to accurately measure, monitor, and adjust power needs and systems. This is where software comes into play – and someone needs to make it.
Starting An Energy Auditing Firm
An energy auditor goes into businesses or homes and records how much energy is being used. They then make recommendations on ways this can be reduced.
Start An Independent Solar Consultancy
This is a service where you would go into homes or businesses and advise them on the benefits and feasibility in using solar power, the available systems, and the calculated results in converting to solar power sources. Basically you walk them through the whole process as it can be daunting.
Solar BusinessOpportunities in Financial Consulting
A solar system is a sizeable investment for homeowners and businesses. There are a wide range of systems to choose from. There are also a number of government programs that give out special grants and loans for people looking to install solar systems. Banks will also have specialized loans for purchasing solar systems. A solar financial consultant will help people navigate through the costs and will even help people find and apply for the specialized grants and loans.
Starting a Solar Business Within a Specific Niche: Become An Expert
Homes and commercial buildings are the common areas when looking into solar business ideas. But there are other, specialized areas that can utilize solar energy. These specialized areas are lacking in experts and services catering towards them:
Solar for RVs
Solar for Boats
Solar for camping
Solar use for specific locations (places that are affected by seasonal changes)
DIY guide to home solar power use
Importing Solar Power Technology Into Developing Countries
Developing countries, especially in Africa, that rely on kerosene lamps have seen a number of solar energy start ups. These are not nonprofit organizations looking to conduct charity work. They are businesses with a long term view on developing these rural areas – with financial goals.
There use to be a nonexistent telecom industry in these rural areas as no telephone lines were laid to these areas. Instead they have leapfrogged fixed lines and are now using mobile phones. The same is happening with energy. The main source of light is through using kerosene lamps because there is no electricity. Now they are leapfrogging power lines and going straight to solar power.
Eight19 is a company based in Cambridge, UK. They have created the IndiGo solar system that is used in remote towns in Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, and South Sudan that are far away from the electrical grid. It is a pay as you go solar system that they install in households. People pay $1+ per week for energy that can light 2 light bulbs a night. There is long term thinking here: once these communities develop they will start bringing electrical appliances into their homes (TVs, etc.) and will then upgrade their solar systems and will pay for more energy per week.
There are a lot of different gadgets that have a solar application to them. There are iPhone, laptop, phone, and battery chargers, novelty toys, educational solar kits, solar powered advertising and promotional materials, all of which need a home, online or offline, where they can be sold.
More and more homes are turning to solar powered outdoor lighting. This is because solar powered light fixtures are getting cheaper, more powerful and can last longer. Why not set up a shop that caters to these solar powered light fixtures. Or start a landscape design company that goes to homes or even businesses and creates landscape lighting design plans for beautiful outdoor lighting.
Some unconventional solar power business opportunitiesinclude:
Becoming a Stock Trader who focuses on alternative energy companies
Solar Ovens: restaurants and bakeries could use with solar heated ovens. Or like the business idea above, importing solar power systems to developing countries, a business idea would be to go and set up solar bakeries in these rural areas.
There are three areas when it comes to recycling business ideas and they are A) reduce B) reuse C) recycle. There are a lot of business opportunities ranging from inexpensive start up ideas like upcycling, to going full out and creating recycling processing plants that turn used goods into usable raw materials.
‘Reduce’ Ideas For Recycling Businesses
These business ideas help people use less.
Design Reusable Grocery Bags
You can help people use less grocery bags by designing your own line of tote bags. Websites such as Zazzle and Cafepress let you design a tote bag and create your own shop. Every time someone buys one of your designs you get a percentage of the sale. This way you don’t have to buy any supplies or stock beforehand. You can even start a business that designs special ones for businesses, schools or clubs with their logos on them.
Darya Pino over at Summer Tomato created her own grocery bag – designed specifically for shopping at farmer markets:
“The issue when you buy ripe, seasonal produce from your local farmers market is that it’s extremely juicy and delicate, making it nearly impossible to get home safely in any standard soft bag.”
Design Water Bottles
A way to help people reduce using plastic water bottles is to design and sell a range of your own designer water containers. Once again Zazzle and Cafepress have a selection of water containers you can design on and easily create a shop around. The water containers from Zazzle are even made from recycled aluminum.
Create your own water containers
Set Up Shop
How about setting up a shop, online or offline, where you sell all of these goods that help people reduce wasting materials:
Aluminum water containers
Grocery tote bags
Eco friendly trash bags
‘Reuse’ Recycling Businesses
The Art of Upcycling
Upcycling is another way of creating recycling business opportunities. This is the art of taking used materials and items and crafting them into new or different items. Any discarded novelty, antique, or sentimental piece can be turned into new valuable items. Take an old side table for example: a new coat of paint simply transforms the discarded item into a new piece of furniture.
Or how about using wine bottles to create lamps or tiki torches:
A recycled wine bottle turned into a lamp by Wit & Whistle
A wine bottle tiki torch
A lot of old household items (kids toys) or scrap from junkyards can be turned into lamps. All it takes is a little imagination and know how (see here on how to build a lamp).
Other upcycling ideas:
Turning coffee can into candle lanterns
Using old fabric, vases, or other items to create one off lampshades
Clothing: take used simple clothing and add ribbons, iron on graphics, embroidery, etc.
Start a scrap metal recycling business by creating art pieces or crafts from junkyard materials
Creating furniture from junkyard items can be a lucrative venture – imagine creating a coffee table out of an engine
Create furniture out of car parts
Start a boutique paper recycling business – which recycles its own paper and creates designer paper goods – cards, origami decorations, wrapping paper, etc.
Create an eBook outlining how your made your popular creations so others can make them too
These upcycled creations you make can then be sold online or at local flea markets. Crafts are one of the top searches on eBay. And Etsy.com is a site dedicated to letting people sell their crafts.
Dirty Jobs: Reusable Cloth Diapers
A number of parents would rather use reusable cloth diapers rather than the store bought disposable ones. There is a need for services that picks up and drops off reusable diapers, and services that clean them.
Ink cartridges found in home and office printers can easily be recycled. Instead, a lot of people throw away used cartridges and buy new ones. What many people don’t know is that they can save up to 50% by refilling the cartridges. And this is where a business opportunity arises. A few basic tools, ink, and a little know how, and you’re in the ink recycling business.
eBay Sales Associate
In our eBay business ideas post we went over the idea of becoming a sales associate. This is when you help others sell their used items on eBay and take a percentage of the sale for your services. You can start off by helping friends and family selling household items they don’t want anymore. This can then be expanded into niche items like targeting schools to sell used school textbooks for kids, targeting mothers who want to sell their kids old clothes, or targeting new mothers who have maternity clothing they don’t need any more.
‘Recycle’ Recycling Business Ideas
A Recycle Rewards Program Business
A unique business idea is to create a rewards program that rewards people with gifts, services and experiences as the accumulate points for recycling. This can be done in a number of ways. One way is to approach businesses, large and small, and help them create a rewards program that you manage. Another business model is to approach collection banks/depots to implement a rewards program in your local neighborhood.
For businesses it is more of a feel good factor
For collection banks/depots, they can make more money if they collect more materials
Expanding Your Rewards Program Business:
Create a website with the different rewards, and the point system so people can check in to see how they are doing.
Hype: create hype around the prizes. Once a month give out a lottery prize – something big like a weekend stay in the Caribbean – something that will get people talking and recycling.
Branding: create promotional materials that you can give to your clients, something like “A Member of The Richmond Recycling Effort” which will make them feel good and they can use in their marketing material. Other businesses will see this and will want to know how they can be a part of your cause.
A lot of homes get remodeled or demolished – as a result there are a lot of left of over materials that could be reused. Things like faucets, kitchen fixtures or cabinets, hardwood flooring, can be sold instead of ending up in a dump. One way to create a business around this is to create a website for your local area – one that allows people to list materials they have and lets others buy them. You can make money from listing fees, taking a commission of the sales, or through placing advertising on the site.
Residential / Corporate Recycling
Here are a number of business ideas that help homes and businesses reduce, reuse and recycle:
Auditing: you can go into homes and businesses and give them an audit on their waste levels
Consulting: you can help homes and businesses reduce their waste, create recycling programs, hauling systems, etc.
Hauling: you can create a hauling paper or plastic recycling business that visits homes or businesses and takes away their plastic bottles, paper, etc. Why not implement the branding idea from earlier: create promotional materials (stickers, certificates, etc.) that acknowledge the businesses you service “A Member of the Richmond Recycling Effort”. Not only will they feel good about it, but other businesses who hear about it will want to know how they can become involved in the “Richmond Recycling Effort”
Advanced Business Ides (That Require High Capital)
Start up a collection bank – you pay the people for their materials (or create a rewards program instead) and you earn money by selling the sorted materials to processing plants.
Start up a processing company: this is where the materials are cleaned and prepared for the recycling stage.
Start up a recycling manufacturing company: this is the part of the process that takes the materials and creates new materials. For example taking aluminum cans and creating usable aluminum sheets. Examples of materials that can be recycled are: Computer parts,wood, textiles, paper, plastic, and aluminum cans.
You then sell the recycled materials to companies who need it to make goods: recycled paper pulp to paper manufacturers, recycled aluminum cans to the automotive industry.
Starting Up a Business With a Recycling Component in the Business Model
If you want to get involved in the recycling business, you don’t have to start a recycling business – instead you can integrate the cause into a different business (social entrepreneurship). A great example is TerraCycle who started out as a fertilizer company. They would take old water bottles from landfills, clean them, stick on their own labeling, and fill the bottles up with their fertilizer. A great way of integrating recycling into a business model.
They key to successfully starting a recycling business is to find an idea that you gets you passionate about it. There also needs to be demand, but when it comes to waste and eco friendly products and services there is going to be a continual rise in demand.
There are so many benefits a child can get from starting up a small business project. They can learn business and communication skills, practical math skills, and about responsibility. There is a wide range of fun and easy business ideas for kids that will get them excited to start their own business project.
If your child has experience being around animals then there are a number of pet related business ideas to consider.
You can expand on the traditional small business ideas for kids such as lemonade stands or paper routes. Instead of a paper route, kids can contact local businesses and see if they want somebody to hand out or deliver flyers. Kids can even help design the flyers too. The traditional lemonade stand can be evolved into different online business ideas for kids. Kids can make handmade crafts which can be sold on websites such as eBay.com or etsey.com.
Other items can be made and sold online or at flea markets or at school. Badges or stickers are some ideas that other kids might want to buy and personalize their backpacks or folders with.
How about helping out a child to become an event organizer? For example organizing a paintball day out where you can make t-shirts, and produce photographs and videos to sell.
Other good business ideas for kids at school to start would be a website. It is easy these days to set up a website, through WordPress, and start posting articles right away. The website can be about anything. There are a number of ways to turn the website into an online business. In our post here (unique business ideas) we listed out the different ways a website can earn income, from Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliate sales, to creating your own product.
Kids and Apps
Another online business idea for kids, and one that will be heaps of fun, would be to create your own app game. Kids are the best ones to come up with game ideas, with their vivid imaginations and simple thinking. Most popular games today are kid’s games, but modernized. Website such as elance.com and oDesk.com have a number of web designers and app programmers that can build the app. Costs range from a few hundred dollars for a simple app to thousands for a more complicated one.
A young story teller
The Young Author
If your child has a vivid imagination, loves to read and write, then why not get them to write their own story book. This could be a short novel or even an illustrated book (use elance.com or oDesk.com to find illustrators.) The book can then be sold through places such as lulu.com (a place that helps people self publish physical copies) or on Amazon (it is relatively easy to self publish an eBook on their site).There is always the option to create a comic book, or rent out comic books to other kids.
Doing Good: Recycling Collection
Most people want to do good but they will rarely have the time or patience. So why not have kids charge them for doing good. A recycling collection service business can be set up where the kids go around to the houses every week to collect bottles and cardboard, and deliver them to the recycling centers.
The key to getting children to become passionate about a business project that keeps them working at it is to find those fun and cool business ideas for kids which get them excited. Then again some kids might not be ready, but any business experience they pick up while they are still young will be valuable to them as they grow older.
Being a student is a great time and place to be to start a business. There is a lot of free time and a wealth of resources (students with other skills (design, programming, etc.), and teachers). If you are looking for business ideas for college students have a look at this post college student business ideas, or if you are looking for ideas for businesses for kids look here Great Small Business Ideas For Kids: Easy And Fun Ways For Kids To Learn About Business. This post is targeted at small business ideas for students in middle and high school. The only real difference in MS/HS vs. college is the resources. There are more valuable resources on a college campus (wider variety of available student skills and experienced lecturers) to help you out with your business. Below are a number of specific small business ideas for high school students and middle schoolers.
Students spend a lot of time writing about different class subjects. This writing skill can be put to use to create a source of income. A number of people who own websites look for people all the time to help write articles about business, finance, health, design, astronomy (anything really). One website to check out is thecontentauthroity.com, this is a site that connects writers to website owners who are looking for articles to be written.
Starting a Business Online
One of the good business ideas for students to start is an online one. There are so many different ways to start a business online. Looking through different eBay business ideas is one way to find the right online business to startup. One idea is to go around flea markets and garage sales looking for items that can be bought cheaply and sold for a profit through eBay. Another idea is help other people sell their stuff, and you take a percentage of the sale as a fee (look for local clubs that might have things to sell). There are also so many different ways to make money through creating your own website. Have a look at our post here on unique business ideas for the different ways to monetize a website, from Google AdSense to creating your own products.
Become a Social Media Consultant
Companies are looking for people who are living in the social media world. They need help in creating their social media strategy and figuring out ways to target people through these channels. A business could be set up to help companies start and maintain their social media profiles, and find new ways to get their message across online.
The Business of Skills
There are a number of ways of using tutoring to come up with small business ideas for high school and middle school students. This can be tutoring other students in school classes, or if there is a special skill you have that is in demand such as sports, music or graphic design, these can be charged as a service too.
Do you have photography skills? Then there is the option to start a photography business. This can be for events such as sports or weddings. Or it can be to service online businesses that need stock photography, where you upload your well shot phonographs to websites and if someone decides to use and license your photograph you get paid. Some websites where you can upload your photos to include istock.com and fotolia.com.
There is a range of different business ideas for students to try out. Choosing the right one will come down to experimenting to see which one gets you the most excited and is in high demand within your area or online.
It is a great time to start a business when you are in college. This is a time when you’ll have a lot of spare time (even though you might not think so) to try out different college business ideas. You’ll also have access to valuable resources that can help you out: other student skills (programming students, design students), lecturers (some who might work at companies or have started their own companies), and you have access to all the other students for man power.
Top Small Business Ideas For College Students
Starting an Online Business
Social Media Consultancy
SMS Marketing Company (like Groupon)
A college campus is much like a small town (have a look at these business ideas for small towns) and because you have access to the other students, a lot of simple business ideas will be serviced based. Other reasons why a service based business would be good to start off with is because A) you have the time on your hands to perform these services, and B) they are inexpensive to start.
Tutoring is a simple college business idea that can be started up cheaply and fast. This can range from tutoring other college students, or even high schoolers or middle schoolers. The subjects you tutor will be based on what strengths you have – high and middle schoolers will need help with their SATs or class work, or you can tutor other skills outside of the classroom such as guitar and music or become a personal trainer. A lot of people when they start college want to reinvent themselves, so they are interested in learning new things such as the guitar or trying to get fit. Why not be a personal trainer who helps people train WITHOUT the need of a gym membership.
Note taking is a business that can be done on campus. You can either do it yourself where you go to the classes and take notes for other students, or hire people from each class to take notes, and charge this service to students who are too busy to attend.
Article Writing: Some of the best online business ideas for college students include doing article writing. If you don’t mind writing, there are a number of people who run websites looking for smart people to write articles for them. The topics cover everything from finance to interior design to business. There are a number of online websites where you can start earning money by writing 400-1500 word articles – thecontentautority.com is a place that caters to connecting writers to website owners while elance.com and odesk.com handle article writing and a range of other jobs.
Virtual Assistant: There is an increase in need for virtual assistants. This is a relatively new form of business that is catching on as more and more people are finding out what it is. Virtual Assistants are hired to help people do a range of tasks from updating or posting to a website, contacting people, administrative work – the list is endless. Being a virtual assistant (aka VA) allows people to work from home and have flexible working times. Places such as elance.com and oDesk.com have job postings looking for Virtual Assistants.
On Campus Services: Some unique college campus business ideas that could be in demand would be a food pick up service, where you run around restaurants picking up peoples deliveries for them. Or how about a keg delivery and return service?
Freelance Work: If you have any desirable specific skills, these can be turned into a service. Once again sites such as elance.com and oDesk.com have constant job postings for programmers, designers, writers, photographers, marketers, etc.
If you have graphic design skills, not only can this be used at the websites just mentioned, but you can look for students at your college that are starting up a business or local small business companies that need graphic design work.
There are a number of ways to make a living through creating a website. A website can be a viable online business if you can build high traffic and then monetize the website through any of the following ways.
First there is PPC advertising such as Google AdSense where you make money every time someone clicks on an ad on your website.
If you were to build a website around your college community, you can then pitch your site to local businesses to see if they would want to pay and advertise on the site.
Then there is the Amazon’s Affiliate Program where you can showcase Amazon’s products on your site, and if someone goes from your site to Amazon and purchases the product, you earn a commission.
An Online Business Idea: Starting a Social Media Consultancy
As more and more businesses, small and large, are trying to form their own social media strategy, they are turning to young people who live and breathe it for help. Sites like Elance and oDesk will have job postings, and local businesses could be in need of very targeted social media marketing – you could help them target college students.
College Town Business Ideas: An SMS Marketing Company
One of the more interesting SMS business ideas is to build up a list of phone numbers of people with similar interests (people who like sports, music, business, finance, etc.) or of a similar demographic (college students, mothers, etc.). This can be done though a number of creative ways: setting up a website, holding a competition or scavenger hunt and asking people to text to “4533” to get details. Once you have this list, you can then talk to local businesses. Businesses will pay you to send out discounts “come to Al’s Pizza in the next 2 hours and receive 50% off”, vouchers or even hold competitions. This is kind of like Groupon, but using SMS.
There is a wide range of different business ideas for college students. As you will have time on your hands and most of the ideas are inexpensive to start, it would be recommended to test out a number of college business ideas. Look for ideas that get you excited and help solve other peoples’ problems as these are the ones that will be successful small business ideas.
eBay is a great place to learn entrepreneurship and about starting a business. This is because you can simply start selling on eBay with things around the house that you don’t need any more. Selling 5-10 household items will be a great introduction into starting a business on eBay. Once people have a handle on selling on eBay, they then start looking for eBay business ideas. When it comes to ideas for selling on eBay there are 3 main areas: importing stock, sales assistant, or build it.
The first step to starting an eBay business is choosing the right business idea to startup with
Finding the right eBay business idea will be a matter of trial and error. The great thing about starting a business on eBay is that there is minimal cost in starting out. So the best way to find a profitable and enjoyable business is to keep testing out ideas until you hit on the right one. Below are a few areas to get you started.
This is when you find things you want to sell, then buy them for a lower amount than you will sell them on eBay. One way of doing this is through wholesale, where you buy in bulk at a cheap price, then sell the individual pieces at a higher amount on eBay. Another way is to go through drop shipping. Drop shipping is when you sign up with a company to sell their products. Every time you make a sale they will deliver the product straight to the customer directly from their warehouse (here you don’t need to buy the products).
Other ways of finding stock to sell on eBay include discount stores, flea markets, or garage sales. Items at a garage are usually priced much lower than what they could be sold for on eBay (as eBay has a larger number of buyers). Buying low at a garage sale then selling on eBay would be a viable business.
Local Pride: Business ideas for small towns include exporting their culture in one form or another. This can be in the form of unique products, music, food or sauces, crafts or clothing from your town that people in other towns, states or countries would be interested in buying.
Coupons and Vouchers: A unique eBay business idea would to find coupons and vouchers from newspapers and magazines and sell them online. A $50 coupon could be sold for $20. You will have to check for the terms and conditions of the coupons and vouchers as a few companies do not allow their discounts to be sold on.
Becoming A Sales Assistant
Other ideas for things to sell on eBay would be to help others sell their stuff for a commission. This way the products find you.
As a “sales assistant” you help others sell their goods. This could be anything, from old clothes, hardware, gardening equipment. Some ideas on how to find people who need help selling their things would be to join or contact local groups – sport teams, book clubs or new mothers are some groups who could have items they want to sell (i.e. maternity clothing). Once you have sold a number of items on eBay, you can apply to become an eBay Trading Assistant which will let you be listed with eBay as an accredited sales person, boosting your creditability with potential clients. There is even the option to open up an eBay drop shop (people can drop off the things they want to sell at your store), there are franchise opportunities to buy into for this.
‘Build It’ Business Ideas For eBay
If you are looking for exciting and unique business ideas then the “build it” arena would be the right place. Creating your own products to sell on eBay will be a challenging venture but can be more rewarding financially and emotionally.
Crafts: Some ‘build it’ business ideas for eBay include making crafts. Hand crafts is one of the more popular searches on eBay. It will be quite easy to test out your craft business idea by making one or two examples and selling them before buying bulk supplies and expanding.
Pet Ideas: There are a number of pet business ideas that can be done on eBay. Organic or locally made treats, toys or clothing are a few products that can be made and sold on eBay.
Digital Products: There is a wide, wide range of digital products that can be created and sold through eBay. Reviews and guides, your own software, video or audio courses or eBooks are a few examples. eBay has a short guide on selling digital goods here: Selling Digital Goods On eBay
Gift Baskets: A gift basket business would be one of the more unique business ideas to start on eBay, where you collect a range of quality goods (bath/spa products, food goods, maternity gifts, Christmas gifts, Valentines gifts) and package them together. This could do especially well around the holidays or special events.
When it comes to creating your own products to sell on eBay, there are a number of different online places that can compliment your eBay store. A brand strategy would be to set up your own website, highlighting what your business does, creating demand through social media, and then set up your shop on eBay.
The Hidden 4th Option
The 4th option would be to become an eBay affiliate seller. This is where you set up a website and promote goods being sold on eBay. If someone reads an article on your site, clicks on the ads and goes and buys the product on eBay, you’ll earn a commission. Learn more about the partner network here.
When it comes to starting a business on eBay the main business principle to remember is that you make your money when you buy or find your stock, not when you sell it. The lower you can buy the goods to sell, the more profit you’ll make. For other best eBay business ideas have a look in eBay’s Want It Now section.
There is such a wide range of business ideas for Africa to take and run with. It is a place made up of so many different nations with many different demands for products and services. To determine what are the best business ideas, see which ones get you the most excited and ones that solve peoples’ problems or fears or helps people with their passions.
If you are looking for more social business ideas (providing water, food, education, etc.) have a look at our section on Social Entrepreneurship
As with many developing countries, a lot of African nations will be seeing a continuous increase in mobile phone purchases for years to come. This allows for growth in business ideas around SMS platforms. Some SMS business ideas include creating a marketing company where you build a list of phone numbers of people with similar interests. You then make money by allowing businesses access to this list to provide discounts or promotions. Another idea would be to provide an SMS information on demand service. This is where people can subscribe to get information through SMS for such things as news, sports new, financial news, or directories. Find out more here: Create a Business Around Your Phone With These SMS Business Ideas
Renewable energy is becoming a major factor in a lot of African nations. Clean and inexpensive forms of power are needed in developing and rural areas. Startups that install and maintain solar panels could be lucrative and beneficial business ideas in Africa.
Exporting Culture: There are so many unique cultures in Africa, all of which there is an interest for outside of Africa. Music, food, clothing, arts, photography, and crafts are just a few elements of a culture that could be marketed abroad. The reverse is also true, bring outside business/cultures into the local area.
Africa is a diverse and vast landscape. There are a number of developing countries, which have hidden potential using the right small business ideas in Africa. The best way to find an idea that will work is to see what is in demand. What are some problems or fears that can be solved or are there any passions that can be serviced.
The only difference in starting a business in a large town or city to a small one is the number of people you can target. You will still need a business idea that fills a demand. The best business ideas for small towns will solve peoples’ fears or problems or help them with their passions. Below are a number of business ideas that are suitable for small town entrepreneurs.
Small Town BusinessOpportunities and Ideas
SMS business ideas can be successful ventures for those who are a part of communities or clubs. If you can build up a list of peoples phone numbers who have similar interests (sports, music, cooking) or similar backgrounds (college students, mothers), you can then use this list to form a marketing company. Local businesses would be willing to pay you to have access to the list to send discounts, promotions or hold competitions – which will benefit the people as they will get exclusive discounts and promotions, and businesses benefit by having a very targeted marketing campaign.
Clean Energy Business: A lot of people are turning to solar power for cleaner and cheaper electricity. There could be a demand in your town for a business that installs and maintains solar panels. With this type of business there could be the opportunity to buy into a franchise that will help you set up a solar business in your local town.
Local and Organic Foods: Where does the food being sold in the supermarkets or grocery shops come from? If they come from out of town or out of state, there could be a demand for locally grown and locally made organic foods. This could range from vegetables, meats, to potato chips, candy and drinks.
Local Pride: A small town business idea could be to take something unique about the place and market it outside. Is there anything unique about the town’s culture that you can export? Local products (crafts, clothes, furniture), specialty foods or sauces, unique photographs are some business idea examples.
Jump Starting Tourism: Is there a highly sought after benefit within your small town that out-of-towners would want to come and experience. Are there spectacular views, nature walks, attractions that photographers would want to come and photograph, or is the town a quiet place that people from nearby larger towns would want to come to, to rest and relax in a local B&B.
Though a small town is limited by the number of people it has, there are still a number of businesses that can be started. The advantage of starting in a small town would be the lack of competition. The way to determine what are the best small town business ideas is to go out and look for what is in demand. What are some of the problems that can be solved, or what benefits can the town offer outside.