Insights from Justin Cooke of Empire Flippers (online business broker).
music selection: “Rockin’ The Paradise” — Styx
For virtually every product or service on the market you can find online reviews, booking portals, unboxing videos, testimonials and more. There is a real shortage of this infrastructure for retirement communities. Justin reckons a great deal of money could be made blogging about retirement communities, building affiliate relationships, and even setting up “Zillow for Retirement Communities”. The opportunity is only going to grow as Baby Boomers retire.
TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS
Justin has sold quite a few online businesses centered around technical and vocational training. Much of the approach used for retirement community web tools would apply here. Vocational training is growing by leaps and bounds as the economy transforms to adapt to technology trends. Employers increasingly demand discreet and applicable skills that technical schools provide. You could blog, review, or do an interview podcast around technical and vocational training. You could monetize through referrals and affiliate sales.
Education is becoming increasingly decentralized. Platforms like Udemy and Lynda make it easy to create courses and get them in front of potential students. Tools like Kajabi and Teachery make it possible to create beautiful courses and memberships with no coding knowledge. Take an inventory of your skills. Is there something you are good at in your job or volunteering? Do you have a certification that others need? Do you have a hobby where you’ve developed expertise? Any of these could become the start of an online education business.
AVOID HYPER NICHE BUSINESSES
It seems appealing to predict a big trend and become the first mover into the space. For example Virtual Reality (VR) will certainly be part of daily lives in the future. But it would be very difficult to build a sustainable business around VR right now. Instead, you want to give yourself an “umbrella” to stake out a related business that lets you capture the market as it matures. For example, you might start businesses fixing cell phones and replacing broken screens. You might start a business writing smart phone apps. That way, when VR arrives in a big way you can move into VR device repair or writing VR software.
THE SEXY TRAP
Businesses like 3D printing offer huge potential. But they have attracted a lot of attention and a lot of fierce competition. Lots of entrepreneurs are looking for something “hot” and bypassing boring but profitable businesses. Mark Daoust of Quiet Light Brokerage notes he recently helped sell a business that sold and installed the Koala Care baby changing stations you find bolted to public bathroom walls. The demand is enormous, the product is profitable, and the business is dead simple to run. Alternatively, consider upcycling. One woman bought inexpensive furniture on Craigslist and repainted it in Disney colors. When Frozen came out, she painted a lot of furniture blue and white and listed it on OfferUp. She frequently earned ten times what she paid.
Devour your prey raptors!
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