Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

6 Uncommon But Successful Small Business Ideas

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | May 25, 2017 4:49 PM

You've heard it before: Most new businesses go out of business within a very short time. For some, this is within the first several years. Some of this is due to the inexperience of the new business owners but it's also an issue of uniqueness. That is to say that some businesses fail because there are too many other similar businesses already on the market. An article on the Forbes website even goes as far to say that if you can do an Internet search and find 10 similar business, you should move on. 

The answer to this, of course, is to find a truly unique business. If you're leaning in this direction, here are six unusual business ideas that just may get your creative juices flowing. 

1. Rent-a-Chicken 

Yep. This is really a thing, according to Money Crashers. Chalk it up to the increased number of people who want to try their hands at homesteading. After all, having a steady supply of eggs to eat goes a long way toward making your life sustainable, at least from the standpoint of your food budget. 

The problem is some would-be chicken farmers find out - too late - that they're just not that into chickens. Rent-a-Chicken to the rescue! This rental company allows you to rent chickens to see if you like the experience. If you do, then maybe you'll be ready from a brood of your own. If you don't like chicken farming, then you can just give the chickens back. 

2. Memory Glass 

When someone is taken from you, it's natural to want to preserve a small part of them. For most people, that might be a photo album filled with pictures. However, for the enterprising, it's via art glass. Artful Ashes specializes in creating glass art made from the ashes of a loved one. The glass art can be formed into the shape of globes, hearts, and other keepsake shapes. 

3. Saving Your Socks 

One and one and one makes three. This might be the lyrics to a song, or it could be the formula for a really brilliant solution to a perpetual problem. If you guessed the latter, you're right. In this instance, the perpetual problem is the lost sock in the dryer. Throx, is in the business of making not two, but three socks for each "pair." The idea is that if you lose one of the socks in the set, you still have an extra. Each sock set is one-size fits all. 

4. Mannequins 

What's a new dress-shop owner on a budget to do? There's all those dresses and no mannequins to hang them on. That's where Mannequin Madness can help. Mannequin Madness specializes in all things mannequin, including used mannequins. And these dress dummies are definitely the right price for the business owner on a budget. Case in point: A new mannequin can cost over $200.00 but a used one will cost around $60.00. Mannequin Madness does sell new mannequins, too, but it is its used mannequins make this business interesting, unique, and budget-friendly all at the same time. 

5. The Pet Loo 

The Pet Loo is like a porte-potty for pets. Basically, the concept behind this business is that it provides Fido with a spot of grass when it's not possible to take him out to tinkle. These little squares of turf come in various sizes, allowing your pooch to go potty almost anyplace. They're good for potty training, too. 

6. Self-Storage 

If you're interested in the set-it-and-forget-it model of business, you might find self storage to be a good option. Storage units are basically like the garage that you've always wanted but didn't have the time nor the cash to take care of. And they're profitable businesses, too. They net almost 3% in profit. For some places, this amounts to a windfall of several hundred thousand dollars per quarter. 

Final Thoughts 

The smartest new business owners invest in business concepts that no one else is doing. By going for a very small niche, these new owners open themselves up to big profits and very little competition. If you're interested in owning your own business, whether it's mannequins, socks, or something else, your best bet is to go with something unique.

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