Small businesses account for half of all private sector jobs in the US. Their proprietors also file half a billion patent applications every year. Owing to their contribution, they have even been called the backbone of the US economy.
But all these businesses started from an idea. An entrepreneur somewhere thought up a unique solution to a problem and then figured out how to make money from it. They thought outside the box and reaped the benefits. Here are five such unusual business opportunities which every entrepreneur should think about and draw inspiration from.
1. Marijuana Dispensary
It may come as a surprise to many people, but any savvy entrepreneur can actually open a marijuana dispensary these days. However, this is only possible in Oregon, Alaska, Washington State, Washington DC, and Colorado.
Two firms, ArcView Market Research and New Frontier, recently released a report on the marijuana market. They discovered that it is currently valued at just under $6 billion dollars and is expected to be worth up to $22.8 billion by the year 2020. Behind this growth is a high demand and high prices.
To operate a medical or retail marijuana dispensary, you’ll need a license. Only residents of the 5 areas mentioned earlier are eligible to apply for one. They must be at least 21 years old, have a clean criminal record, and notify the licensing authorities of the location of their business
2. Personal Trainer
Fitness enthusiasts who spend most of their time in a gym can also teach what they practice. They can make money working as personal trainers. The best time to get into the business is in November and December. Many people crowd the gyms at about this time hoping to be in shape by New Year.
March is also perfect. Summer is just around the corner and again, people need to be in shape for summer break. A good promotion strategy is to create a boot camp and charge admission fees.
3. Pet Hotel Owner
Pet lovers too can turn their passion into cash. They can take care of their neighbor’s pets when they leave for work or go away on vacation. This can even be a full-time business if you’re willing to turn your shed into a pet hotel. Some minor construction work and air-conditioning are all that is necessary to get this done. Once finished, a pet hotel with 10 -20 rooms each going for $15 a day can be a nice source of income.
4. Freelance Writer
Writing is also another nice way of making money and it’s pretty easy to start your own freelance writing business. With a laptop, and an internet connection, you can research and write articles for $15 to $50 each. Most blogs also hire staff writers to write on various topics. By contacting a blog’s editor, you can land a full-time writing gig.
Instead of writing for other people’s blogs, you could also create your own and monetize it. But it requires patience and making money as a full-time blogger takes time. Successful blogs bring in income from advertising, contextual ads and affiliate marketing. You can also sell products or write e-books to earn profit from your blog.
Not all profitable businesses are conventional. With the right application, even out-of-the-box ideas can lead to viable businesses. Just ask bloggers, personal trainers, pet hotel owners, freelance writers, and marijuana dispensary operators.