242: Business Brainstorm Part 3: Pool Business, Closet Building, Pest Control, Damage Remediation, Property Management | The Sweaty Startup
Max and I talk about more startup business ideas in this part three episode of The Sweaty Startup podcast. You may be learning how to start a business while working another job, or you’re learning how to start a general contracting business. Maybe you are ready to dive into the world of entrepreneurship. Whatever situation you are in, many untapped business opportunities can make easy money with little to no effort, and have super low competition.
One idea that Max and I talk about is starting a pool cleaning service. If you have a van or a vehicle, you can start with just $700 or less for cleaning tools and supplies. If you don’t have a van or can’t afford one, and you live in a neighborhood with a bunch of pools, you can walk to these jobs until you earn enough to afford one. A pool cleaning business is great because it’s recurring income, and during the winter you don’t lose many clients. Top that off with the fact that a lot of pool cleaning services are lousy–they offer terrible services, meaning easy competition. If you increase your set of skills, such as learning how to repair pool filters and pumps, you can charge close to $100 an hour, and when you’re ready to sell the business, you can sell it at a much higher value due to its source of recurring revenue.
Next, in our discussion is starting a closet buildout business. I once spoke to a closet builder to have a closet installed in my room. The major issue was they were booked out and offered to install one for $3,000. I even searched for closet builders for Athens, Georgia, but by the time I reached page three of the search results, there was no one else listed. So, I decided to do it myself. I spent a total of 25 hours building the project, for half the cost of what the closet builders offered and three times more the closet space. Not only are there opportunities in this area, but $10.5 billion comes from the closet building industry, which shows there is money to be earned.
A home inspection business, like pest control, is one of the cheapest businesses to get involved in that requires little skill to complete. Max explains that you only need about $200 for tools and $700 to go through an online certification process that takes around four weeks to complete. Depending on the size of the house, an average home inspection costs between $200 to $500. Even better is the fact that one person can do five or seven homes in a day, potentially earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a year if working solo. If you have a knack for sales, you can sell a lot of pest control.
Another business to get involved in is damage remediation (restoration). There are so many different types of restoration projects out there, but the most common ones are smoke and water damage. Max found a stat where 14,000 people experience water damage in their homes every day in the U.S. You do have to understand and work with insurance companies for payment purposes, but repair jobs can pay anywhere between $13,000-$16,000. It may even help to work for a restoration company for five years to learn everything you need to know and then go and create your own company, contracting whatever you want.
The last item that Max and I talk about in this podcast is property management. I love real estate. We talk a lot about property management businesses on The Sweaty Startup podcast. In my opinion, real estate is about data. It’s recognizing how much revenue you can make on a property and knowing how much you’re going to spend on that property. You can start in this industry with little money and do very well. In fact most property management companies from the ’80s are unmotivated because they’ve been around for a long time. Their marketing is poor. They’re not good stewards of other people’s money and they don’t care what happens to it. Most property management companies don’t have the incentive to increase their sales or to go above and beyond for their customers anymore. So again, these are the types of companies that you are competing against. If you can answer the phone and provide a good customer experience you will do well.
If you’re just learning how to start a startup in the USA, or if you are trying to figure out how to start a business while working, then these business ideas are worth considering. Some require time to learn and develop the skills needed to run one, but it will be well worth the time and effort if you can establish quality service and recurring revenue.
Three Key Takeaways
- Take advantage of untapped business opportunities. There are so many businesses that can make you easy, recurring money with little to no effort.
- You can compete. Your competitors are often unreliable, and offer poor-quality services. If you can give or do something better than they can, you will stand out to potential customers.
- Be a good, reliable steward. Companies often treat their customers like a walking dollar sign, not putting in the effort to go above and beyond and giving them a good experience.
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