Looking for that perfect small business idea? Seems like every time you look at your news feed, another disruptive technology is taking over. All the good ideas have been taken and there is nothing left for you to do but stay stuck in your dead-end job, right? Wrong!
As a millennial, you don’t have to be part of the disruption in order to profit from a business. There are many businesses that you can start now that can be profitable. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to invent something new. You just need to find a way to solve a need in the economy and make money while doing it.
1. Hacking The Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is huge and continues to offer opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Uber and Lyft have allowed people to turn their vehicles into a salary, but being a driver for one of these companies is not the best part.
“At the end of the ride, he handed us a very nice business card that explained that he was a private driver for hire,” Evan Kaeding, of Billy, recalls of an Uber ride he recently took. “His offerings ranged from fixed rate airport rides to Willamette Valley Vineyard tours.”
When you factor in the cleanliness of the vehicle and professionalism of the driver, he likely makes more money as a private driver than he does from Uber. But, what if you want to make money from the sharing economy but don’t want to be a driver? Well, there is a way to do that!
“The gig economy is booming but driving strangers around isn’t for everyone,” says Mike Catania, co-founder of PomotionCode.org. “Instead, budding entrepreneurs can work to recruit drivers. Right now, both Uber and Lyft discreetly pay bounties to people to sign up new drivers and pay up to $500 each. An ambitious millennial can easily build a company around recruitment without the hassle of other people leaving a mess in your backseat.”
2. Anything in Healthcare
Starting a business in the healthcare field can be a sure bet if positioned properly. Why? We’re all getting older. Newsmax reports that 10,000 baby boomers will retire each day for the next 19 years. They are the largest generation and getting older quickly.
“With the aging baby boomer population, the need for medical services is ever increasing,” says Lawrence J. Buckfire, attorney and founder of Drug Lawsuit Source, a website that specializes in dangerous-drug lawsuits. “This includes medical supplies and senior living facilities. The need for medical professionals and non-medical personnel to work in facilities is growing, even just to help avoid drug mistakes, medication errors and drug errors with the elderly,”
Some of the best fields in healthcare for the future include technology for compliance and anything associated with data analysis. A recent study by the Journal of Health Information Science and Systems explains big data in healthcare will continue to be a growing need. “Big data analytics in healthcare is evolving into a promising field for providing insight from very large data sets and improving outcomes while reducing costs. Its potential is great; however there remain challenges to overcome.”
3. Water is the New Gold
Water is becoming one of the hottest commodities on the market thanks to the decade-long drought in California. Also, the world population is growing and the need for clean water is increasing.
“There are more than a billion people without access to clean water,” says Nicholas Armer, Director of Business Development for FlowMetrics. “That number will only climb as our population grows and need for clean water increases. Starting a business that addresses that need only makes sense.”
With water becoming a whole new industry that is in demand, there are opportunities from bottling to supply, to associated services. Desalination companies are starting to increase service offerings throughout the world, which also opens up opportunities for people to bring that water to the local level. How will that happen? Well, leave it to a millennial to find a way to disrupt it.
4. People Need to Sleep
Speaking of an increase in population, housing is once again in demand. Despite the housing-market crisis at the turn of the century, states like California are now unable to keep up with housing demands. To hark back to what I wrote earlier about the aging population, there is going to be an increased need for affordable retirement living as well.
Thinking outside the box, keep in mind that many people now travel for work. This leaves the door wide open for short-term housing, which has already been disrupted thanks to companies like Airbnb. And, it’s not only the property owners who can make money.
“Regardless, the growing appetite among travelers and investors for short-term rentals points towards lucrative business opportunities for agents,” writes Teke Wiggin in an article on inman.com.
Summing it Up
If you think all the best business ideas are taken, you aren’t thinking deeply enough. You can build off a current thriving industry and find a new way to disrupt it. Even if you don’t plan on disruption, there are plenty of ways to work yourself into the industry and make a good profit. Regardless of what you choose to do, just remember there are plenty of opportunities out there waiting for you to take advantage.
Brian Horvath is a freelance writer from Michigan and founder of MyBusinessTalk. He is a journalism graduate and a regular contributor to numerous online magazines and journals.