6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas

Tough economic times can inspire a lot of creativity when it comes to new business ideas. For example, though a recession was in full-swing, 2010 saw the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in decades, according to the Kaufman Foundation.

But it seems counter-intuitive. After all, starting a new business is incredibly risky. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), over 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years, and of those that make it, another 50% fail in the next few years.

Those aren’t good odds for anyone. But when times are bad, sometimes things can’t get much worse – especially for people who’ve lost their jobs and perhaps even their homes. So the prospect of starting a new business just isn’t as risky as it might otherwise be. Moreover, for many people, creating their own job becomes their only option.

Though, there are plenty of jobs that are considered “recession proof,” such as plumbers, morticians, accountants, and grocers, there are also plenty of weird and wacky new business ventures that have thrived in a down economy. These businesses might make your eyes widen with disbelief. I know mine sure did when I found out about them!

So what are some weird and wacky businesses people have started?

Weird & Wacky Small Business Ideas

1. Bed Bug Barrier
If you’ve ever been to a hostel or hotel infested with bed bugs, then you know how terrible those little mites can be.

Well, Tony Abrams made a fortune by inventing barriers to keep the bedbugs from biting. His business, Bed Bug Barriers, creates and sells barriers that go underneath the legs of a bed. These barriers trap the bedbugs as they attempt to crawl into the bed to bite sleepers.

Think it’s crazy? He’s made millions with this idea.

2. Rent-A-Chicken
I know what you’re asking: why on earth would someone want to rent a chicken?

Well, some people who are interested in urban farming want to get chickens. However, that’s a big step. What if they don’t like caring for chickens? Then, they’re stuck with a coop and several chickens they don’t want.

This is where Rent-A-Chicken comes in. This husband and wife team in Traverse City, MI will bring you everything you need to care for a brood of hens for the summer. For $250, you can see whether or not you really want to try raising chickens on your own. In fact, there’s another business just like this in Australia called Rent-A-Chook.

Wacky? Yes. Useful? You bet.

3. Hangover Helpers
Here’s the situation: You and your friends were up all night partying. Now, you’re suffering from a horrendous hangover, you’re dehydrated, and your apartment is trashed. The thought of having to make yourself something to eat and then clean up that colossal mess is just too much to handle.

So what do you do? You call the Hangover Helpers. These two college guys in Boulder, CO help their hung over clients crawl back into the land of the living with as little pain as possible. The guys show up at your house armed with a breakfast burrito and Gatorade for you. They then clean every room where the party happened. This includes cleaning dishes, pots, and pans, and recycling all of your beer bottles.

Think this idea is too crazy to actually work? These guys have already been featured in Forbes Magazine, on CBS, and on the talk show, Regis and Kelly. They have enough business to keep them busy as long as they want.

4. The Smashing Place
Have you ever intentionally broken a plate? I’m talking about when you’re stressed or angry, and you just hurl the thing across the room and watch with a real sense of pleasure as it smashes against the wall. Feels pretty good, right? You might even feel the stress or anger leak right out of you.

Well, that’s the whole idea behind The Smashing Place. This business, located in Tokyo, allows clients to come in, buy a plate or a cup of their choice, and smash it against a concrete wall. They can swear, stomp their feet, or do anything else they want to relieve stress.

I have a feeling a business like this would really take off in a place like New York.

5. I Do, Now I Don’t
When Josh Opperman’s fiancée left him after a three-month engagement, he was crushed. All she left him was the fancy engagement ring he’d worked so hard to save up for.

However, when he took the ring back to the jeweler to return it, he got a nasty shock. They only offered him $3,500 for the ring he paid over $10,000 for. Yikes.

So he started I Do, Now I Don’t to get even. I Do, Now I Don’t is a website that allows people to sell their engagement rings (or any other fancy jewelry) to other users for way less than going to a jewelry store. Think of it as the Craigslist for fine jewelry.

The site has been an incredible success and has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, Fox News, and in The New York Times.

6. The Pet Loo
If you’ve ever had a pet while living in an apartment, then you know how painful it can be to take them out for potty when it’s 10 degrees with a fierce wind. Or maybe you work long hours and always have to rush home to let them out. Or maybe you’re a senior citizen and it’s hard to make multiple trips in and out of your home.

Well, all these reasons are why The Pet Loo was invented. The Pet Loo is a square of fake grass, which sits atop a simple waste containment system that you put inside your home or apartment. It’s just like a mini-backyard where your dog can relieve himself. Although The Pet Loo is based in Australia, similar businesses have sprung up here in the States.

Good idea? No doubt.

In fact, people are putting their Pet Loos in their laundry rooms, their basements, on balconies, and even in their grass-less backyards.

The Take-Away
So these are six strange businesses that worked, but what can you take away from them? Well, if you’re thinking about starting a business, don’t go for “weird” just because it worked for others. That’s a sure way to fail. The key to all these unusual businesses is that satisfy a need, even if many people don’t realize they have that need (like with the Tokyo business, The Smashing Place).

This highlights a vital element that can’t be overstated; every successful business needs to provide value to people in some way.

1. Get Inspired
For unique business ideas, look at your own life. Successful businesses are often started when the inventor or owner is annoyed by an unmet need they have.

For example, what chores annoy you the most? Are there things that frustrate you on a daily or weekly basis? Often, simple questions like these can offer important insights to solid business ideas. You also might get some inspiration from these 18 side businesses you can start today.

2. Write It Down
Next, write out several ideas and resist the temptation to just go with your first one. I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost ten years now and had early business ideas that would’ve failed had I not kept on brainstorming and analyzing them.

In fact, largely due to this process, the first business I started was a great success. So invest the time to brainstorm and think through several ideas.

3. Make It Happen
There is a wealth of resources for starting your own business, including tips on how to keep expenses low, small business tax deductions, and useful online resources for small business owners.

Additionally, make sure you find your nearest SCORE chapter. This nonprofit organization is an incredible resource that could very well make the difference between success and failure, especially if you have little or no business experience.

Final Word
Starting a business is rarely easy, but it’s a lot easier when you’re doing something fun or something you care deeply about. I’ve been involved in several businesses and had a blast creating every one of them.
Have you ever had a weird or wacky business idea that you moved forward with? How did it turn out?

Source : www.moneycrashers.com

How Influencer Marketing Can Become a Powerful Weapon for Brands

Marketers are dedicating more and more time and resources to influencer marketing. In fact, there is 63 percent of the marketers it surveyed had increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2017. That trend is likely to continue in the coming years. And maybe you’re part of it.

But that’s only half the battle. Just increasing your influencer marketing budget doesn’t mean you’re going to yield better results. You need to have an accurate idea how to properly distribute that budget for your campaign and how to allocate a suitable amount for each aspect, to ensure that you don’t overspend. What’s more, you should be certain that whatever you’re spending it on is worth it.

All of this is a challenge, of course. But, with thorough planning, you can budget accurately for your 2018 influencer marketing campaigns. Here are three tips on how to manage that:

1. Understand the worth of influencers.
Influencer marketing can be applied to a slew of different startup ideas, but in some areas, it’s integral to driving large sales. Let’s focus on an apparel item, jerseys, for example — the kind worn by millennials, which play off music and sports personalities.

2. Have influencers share links to your product pages.
Of course, you also need to drive traffic to your website to make sales. And toward that effort, you’ll find influencers an effective source of traffic. If you have influencers promoting a particular product of yours or a range of products, make sure those influencers share a link to the relevant page on your site instead of just mentioning it.

You’re probably already doing this with bloggers and YouTubers. But Instagram influencers can be trickier since they have only one space to add a URL to. So, instead of having them change the URL in their bio for every new post, have them promote a link to their unique landing page within your website. This landing page can then display some of their favorite products, which their followers may then be more tempted to buy. Jersey Champs did this; it capitalized on its well-known influencers by handing out free samples; and the move worked for them.

Overall, think in terms of leveraging the trust an influencer has established with his or her followers; then use that trust to influence your own target audience. Again, check that influencers are sharing links, to make shopping at your site easier for their followers. That’s the kind of strategies that drive conversions.

3. Your target audience is key, and so is your price point.
To make sure the influencers you work with can influence your target audience, you’re probably lookingfor influencers whose audience contains people from your target demographic. To do this, use the influencer marketing tools — like GrooveJar, MailChimp and Almighty.Press — that give you insights into the audience demographics of each influencer.
Also pay attention to your price point.
Source : www.entrepreneur.com

Become a Productivity Monster by Eliminating These 5 Time-Wasting Habit

The amount of time we have available every day is limited. Not every entrepreneur can put in 18-hour days — personal obligations and family life take up time, making it important that we maximize the time we do have allocated for business.
Here are five time-wasting habits that many entrepreneurs are guilty of. Eliminate these and watch your productivity increase.

1. Trying to do everything yourself.
You have to learn to delegate if you are ever going to be productive. All entrepreneurs are guilty of this at some point, especially in the beginning. You think you can handle everything — but as tasks and responsibilities stack up the weight on your shoulders becomes unbearable and everything collapses.

One of the best things I did for my company was admitting to myself that there were some things I wasn’t the best at. Delegating those tasks to other people that handled them more efficiently made a significant impact. You can’t do everything yourself, and the sooner you realize this, the better off you will be.

2. Saying ‘Yes’ to everything.
One of the hardest things to do is say no. Personally, it took me a while to learn that it was physically impossible to try to accommodate every request that was presented to me. This circles around to point number one above — I thought I could do it all. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. If I received a request for a quick 15-minute chat, I would squeeze it in.
Looking back, all those little requests were time sucks. Instead of worrying about someone saying, “I can’t believe he said no — what a dick,” I learned to deny opportunities and requests that weren’t going to benefit my company and brand. Learning to value my time has lead to increased productivity, and while it might feel uncomfortable the first couple of times, I promise it becomes much easier after you experience first hand how eliminating time-sucking requests improve your productivity.

3. Waiting for perfection.
Perfection doesn’t exist, and if you sit around waiting for it you’re going to miss the boat. When people are hung up on a task they will often say they are trying to perfect it before moving on to the next one. They are simply procrastinating.
It’s important that you understand perfection is a unicorn you most likely aren’t going to encounter. Imagine if companies such as Uber and Airbnb waited to expand into new markets until they perfected all of the working components of the business. They would still be sitting there wasting time, scratching their heads, waiting for something that wasn’t ever going to happen. Look how fast both companies have grown because they were extremely productive.

4. Allowing distractions to constantly interrupt your day.
Distractions will only interrupt your day if you let them. You have to create a work environment that provides you with some distraction-free time, allowing you to stay 100 percent focused. Every entrepreneur is going to have different distractions to deal with. Here are a few of things I do to eliminate some distractions:
No personal text replies: When I’m working I don’t reply to personal texts. It’s a time suck, but it also tells the other person that your work time isn’t valuable. Just because someone is bored at his or her desk or on a day off, it doesn’t mean you have to entertain them. When you ignore work-time texts and begin to reply to them in the evening when you are done, you will notice your mid-day interruptions will decrease significantly.
Airplane mode: If I’m working on something extremely important that requires complete focus I’ll switch my phone to airplane mode. When I simply silence my phone I still see the notification icons and I’m apt to pick it up and check emails and messages. Airplane mode prevents this and allows me to fully focus.
Block off calendar time: I have specific time blocked off on my calendar every day. When you get into this habit, you know without a doubt that you have a period of time without meetings, conference calls or distractions. This time will quickly become your most productive daily block of time.

5. Constantly refreshing your email inbox.
If you are constantly refreshing your email inbox, you are pissing away valuable time. It can become quite addictive. I suffered from this myself, and had to create a system to check and respond to emails that wouldn’t dig into my productivity.
I check my emails at set times every day and I also have someone screen them. The screening eliminates a lot of wasted time deleting junk, unsolicited requests and spam. When I do jump into my inbox it’s in and out, as I know everything waiting for me requires my attention and I fire back replies and address each one without having to waste time identifying the emails that are important. It’s a habit that isn’t easy to break, but once you do develop a system that works for you, the time saved will be very noticeable.
Source : www.entrepreneur.com

How Significant Is Website Development for Your Business on the Internet?

Happy Internet Day!
The internet has been home to thousands of enterprises throughout the world.
Through their webs, they aggressively expand their business to grab the used-to-be-unreachable markets in other part of the globe.
How good is your web in supporting your business? Reveal the answer now…

An official web is your ‘front desk’ welcoming visitors (or potential buyers), listening them, and engaging them into your products or services. Webmasters suggest that a professional web should be clean in design, good in performance, and easy in navigation. Of course, a poorly-designed web with a complicated navigation which goes down every once in awhile will never leave a good impression to visitors. That’s the last thing you ever want to happen to your web.

Your dedication and consistency in business, in serving your costumers, is visually reflected by your web’s performance. Customers or partners will expect your web to run smoothly on a regular basis. And, to meet their expectation, web development is there!

Web development, and web maintenance, makes your web regularly updated in terms of content and programs run on the web. Additionally, it keeps the security of the web and increases visitors’ experience. Of course, you want to leave a remarkable impression in your visitors’ mind by developing some specific features that will make every activity able to be done by visitors, or administrators, simpler and quicker.

Regular check, content submission and backup process are the basic steps in the web maintenance. They should be performed on a regular basis. Seems so simple? In fact, every step of the process contains a lot of smaller tasks that can put your whole system at risk if properly done. That barely explains why many business owners are reluctant to do it on their own.

Trusting the maintenance and development of their web to a professional such as www.juicegraphic.com is much preferable for sure. In the professional’s hands, you will never put your web at risk and, at the same time, you can invest your valuable time in other business activities.

Is Social Media Marketing Just a Trend?

Are you one amongst those who use social media for your tactical plan in your search for traffic?
Why do you harbor your hope on it? Is it because of the popularity?
What do the experts and surveys say about social media marketing?
One by one, your curiosity will be answered…

Social media have been part of today’s people’s lifestyle. It indicates that the media are a potential for marketing. BUT, again, it’s prone to be lifestyle-like, which can come and go rapidly. What if the period of the popularity is much shorter than what you expected it?

Fortunately, a lot of surveys show the opposite, breaking the doubts over the use of social media in digital marketing. This contradictory issue is starting to fade away as numerous surveys show positive results & bold statements about how effective social media marketing is!

In 2014, Hubspot, for instance, reported that 92% of their respondents, who are marketers, felt the effectiveness of social media for their business. 80% of them got increased traffic to their web after some time plunging into the marketing.

It is NOT just a trend. Moreover, there are practical, technical reasons why social media will be able to adapt the changes in the world of digital marketing. Here are 10 reasons why the media will always be people’s interest and able to survive. They:
1. Increase brand recognition
2. Give more opportunities
3. Improve brand loyalty
4. Increase conversion rate
5. Increase brand authority
6. Increase inbound traffic
7. Increase SERP ranking
8. Richer costumers’ experience
9. Deeper costumers’ insights
10. Lower marketing cost

It’s hard to disregard the long list of the significances of social media in ecommerce, especially, that social media give many appealing features to the web such as increased SERP ranking, inbound traffic and conversion rates! Really good for SEO! The opportunities should never be missed because of the lack of knowledge about social media. Leave it to an expert likewww.juicegraphic.com that knows what to do and how to do it properly.

Happy New Year, Time for Better Tactic, Better SEO, Better Profit!

A year has been passed. 365 days of efforts have been invested in your online business.
Is the result good? Or, bad?
Had you set up a good tactic for your SEO? If not yet, it’s another year to do it.
SEO is everything; you will never want any opportunity to slip away from you due to ineffective SEO, won’t you?

Are you a practitioner in ecommerce? Then, SEO is your best friend. Your online stores, official webs, or applications will hardly be sold without beingvisible, being noticed by consumers. SEO is the king of all techniques, strategies or methods to make your business visible and noticed. So, don’t you ever look it down because the result will be a fatal decline, if not a total loss, of traffic.www.juicegraphic.com is a professional SEO expert. They will design a SEO tactic perfect for your specific business.

So, how influential is SEO for your business? In what ways?

SEO should be the core of your digital marketing approach because:

It gives good visibility
SEO makes your business appear on the SERP, like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. The more often you appear there, the higher probabilities consumers will buy your products or services.
It gives good credibility
SEO increases your sales in almost no time – that’s for sure. The more sales people make over your products or services, the more reviews can be gained. Positive reviews are sort of achievements on the internet. How about the negative? Take it as a booster to evaluate and improve the quality of your products or services.
It gives more convincing marketing
Want to disregard one of the best ROI’s in advertising? Of course, not. SEO is the highest in ROI. It is good to promote products or services – much better than traditional offline marketing. With your business appearing on the SERP often, consumers will be confident to make purchases.
It gives high traffic
What if your visitors or buyers tell more friends about your business, or to take a look at your web? It’s a higher traffic.
It gives more income fast
SEO gives an unbeatable insight to the consumers to buy your products or services. More sales, more profit!
Now, refresh your SEO tactic. Lose some, add some. Consult your business withwww.juicegraphic.com.