Three years ago a young mother of four, while homeschooling her children on botany, assigned them to distribute a significant amount of wildflower seed on the empty lot next door. The experiment that began as a learning experience has developed into a lucrative business. The wild flowers bloomed prolifically that spring and early summer. That Mom saw an article in the local paper encouraging those with abundant cut flowers to come out to the Farmer’s Market to sell them. She and her family now raise acres of cut flowers, selling not only at the Market, but to local and regional florists.
A young man needing to earn his own spending money for college the next fall was looking to do anything that wasn’t related to the food industry. He had a special place in his heart for older folks and wanted to serve them and make money, too. He started “Grandson for Rent”. On his own computer he made cards with his picture, contact information and noted in print that he was honest and reliable. His services included handling those jobs around the house that were simple but not designed for those challenged by the aging process. He was willing to clean gutters, wash windows, rake leaves and weed gardens. He went to a neighborhood where he knew many retirees resided and handed his card out door to door. He left for college that following September with more than enough spending money. He also made many new “old” friends who had jobs lined up for him when he returned home on his holiday break.
We often get asked what kind of business the community will support. What business will be the most successful? Our best answer is the business you have the most passion about and are willing to devote your time, energy and capital. Our population is diverse in age and in interests. The influx of tourism throughout our region adds another dimension to potential business opportunities. Because we are located 100 miles from an urban metropolis, there are many opportunities to supply goods and services on a small business scale.
Here are just a few ideas that won’t take a great deal of startup capital yet have the potential to grow into a booming enterprise.
“Know It All”. Start a home based business, teaching what you know best. Writing, painting and drawing, foreign languages, quilting, yoga, the basics of fine wine or vocal coaching can be taught individually or if space allows, in a group. Want to teach others about the great outdoors? Groups will flock to your birding tours. Waterfall tour guides are always in demand. Collaborate with one of our caterers to pack your tour the perfect picnic lunch. Full service is one important key to success.
“Shuttle Up”. It isn’t just our elderly population who need access to transportation to shopping and medical appointments. Our tourism industry could be tapped as well. Mom wants to shop one day, but Dad wants to take the kids fishing. They only arrived with one vehicle. A shuttle helps solve the dilemma. When not shuttling people, you can also shuttle goods; firewood, groceries, restaurant takeout or laundry.
“Bottle It”. Our region is rich with opportunities to sell your secret formulas. Retail establishments look to stock local products. Craft shows and festivals throughout the region have turned a passion for BBQ into a national bestselling sauce. If you make it, package it and have complied with the local, county and state regulations, you will find a market for it.
“Party Animal”. If all your friends tell you that you throw the best party, chances are others will think so, too. A creative mind can conjure up the ideal fun time for kids of all ages. Boomers are waiting for someone to create a 60th birthday party with a disco theme. Destination gatherings aren’t just for weddings. Our mountains seem to be where people like to reunite. A good weekend coordinator can serve family, sorority, fraternity, armed service and employee reunions.
“Glamping”. Visitors to our area are continually looking for a unique opportunity to experience the magic of the mountains and the great outdoors. Yet, not everyone wants to pitch a tent and eat beans out of a can. Adding the right combination of glamour and camping could find your unique accommodations destination garnering attention on the international travel blogs. Did someone mention Creekside yurts?
Whether your idea for a business is traditional or unconventional, our Chamber of Commerce will be an essential key to your success. Call us at 877-745-5789 for an appointment to brainstorm your idea with our staff.
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