There’s no such thing as a guaranteed path to entrepreneurial success. However, there are goods and services that, for a variety of reasons, tend to be easier to manage and more reliable for medium- to long-term returns.
So while the profitability of any venture is ultimately a matter of luck and skill, consider these three small business ideas that don’t need a lucky charm (or an MBA) to pull off with stellar results:
- Small-Scale Laundromats
One recurring theme among failed businesses is a downturn in demand. For a broad set of goods and services, customers eventually lose the need or desire given enough time. For a clearer idea, just think of any fad that was immensely popular for a handful of weeks or months, only to close up shop when the sensationalism died down.
The demand for outsourcing laundry is relatively stable; after all, for as long as people own clothes or linens, there’ll be a need to have them cleaned. Moreover, there’s a strong market for secondhand equipment and parts, so not only will you organically earn back your investment in top-of-the-line models from industry leaders like Continental Girbau, but they should be fit for resale should you ever choose to liquidate your business.
Self-service laundry practically runs itself, so you’ll only need a small number of employees to staff your location and coin-operated washers from reliable suppliers like the folks from http://cgilaundry.com/ who can guarantee quick responses in the event of machine failure.
- Graffiti Removal Services
For people living in urban centers, another small business idea with reliable demand is graffiti removal. City officials and private building owners pay good money to have their walls and structures cleansed of unsightly tagging and unsanctioned (read: ugly) artworks.
All you need to get started is labor (usually the owner and their friends or family), a vehicle suitable for transporting equipment (often a truck or van), and the equipment itself: a high-powered, portable jet of water and painting tools. The equipment shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg, nor should it prove particularly difficult to learn.
For your earlier assignments, bring a camera to document how the area looks before and after you’ve set to work on it in order to market yourselves to potential clients. As far as return on investment goes, the rate for a cleaning job varies, but you’re sure to find room in what’s notably become a multi-million dollar market.
- Professional Photography
Never mind what the purists will tell you –anyone can learn to take professional-quality photographs. The how-to for this is beyond the scope of this article, but rest assured that with a blend of theoretical knowledge and dedicated practice, you can make a decent living off of photography.
There’s a lot of space within the wide category of photography as it intersects with other industries like event planning, PR work, and journalism –so again, it won’t take too much to tap into the demand.
Capital expenses obviously include a professional camera, which you’re better off going for rather than a prosumer model while learning the ropes –if you’re serious about starting a business, don’t waste time on the eventual learning curve. Paid photography classes, books, and the like are advisable investments, as would be a website or blog to showcase your portfolio and draw attention from your market.
It’s worth saying again that there are no certain paths to success in business, and it ultimately boils down to grit, tenacity, and luck. That having been said, there are strategic choices like the ones outlined above that can give you a needed edge if you’re setting off on your first or second venture –stack the odds in your favor and build experience with these relatively more dependable ventures.