Author Topic: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur  (Read 1982 times)

Panchos

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What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« on: June 28, 2015, 03:51:32 PM »
Evening all!

I'm looking to start my own business. I'm currently a firefighter/paramedic full-time and work part-time at another fire department. I'm trying to find more part-time work on my days off to reach FIRE sooner, but there are no options worth the time. I've always thought that I'd start my own business once I became a fireman, but have never had any great ideas (photobooth, storm mitigation, non-emergency medical transport, personal concierge, roofing estimator, CPR/first aid classes, personal trainer, etc. etc.). I was wondering if there are any other entrepreneurs out there who would share their insights; and/or anyone that wishes there was a service available for them. I'm based out of Kansas City and would want to keep it local. Not looking to branch out or create competition if you're worried about that. Also, I've seen many people list cleaning as a service they outsource. Perhaps a green cleaning company by a fireman (trustworthy person) would be successful? I'd like something that I could do alone and on my days off. If the business were to take off, I wouldn't be opposed to leaving the fire service to run a business full-time.

A little about my background; 3 years experience in homeowner's claims for State Farm as a field adjuster; B.S. Emergency Management; M.S. Occupational Safety Management (no experience).

If there's anything you currently outsource and would like to divulge the details (how much per visit and how many times a month), I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 04:00:51 PM by Panchos »

arebelspy

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 03:58:58 PM »
It doesn't sound like you want a business, but a second job/side gig.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Panchos

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 04:00:01 PM »
Whichever works out better. Firemen run plenty of businesses on their days off; concrete work, landscaping, mowing, electrical, etc etc.

arebelspy

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2015, 04:02:02 PM »
Again, those don't sound like businesses.

Do you want a scalable business you can grow, or a side gig/2nd job just to do some work yourself and pick up some extra cash.

They're VERY different, and it's not a matter of "whatever."  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

arebelspy

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What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2015, 04:03:14 PM »
I'm not trying to nitpick or be pedantic.  The distinction is crucial for you to be able to get accurate answers to your questions.

If the question is business ideas for entrepreneurs, that's a whole different discussion than side-gigs to make some extra money in your free time.

One will make you lots of money but none for a long time, and is much riskier. The other makes you just a small amount, tied to your time, but does it right away and has very little risk.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Panchos

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2015, 04:05:39 PM »
That's to be determined. I'd love to run a business and wouldn't be opposed to leaving the fire service assuming I have a good idea. That being said, I'm the sole provider for my wife and three kids. I'd like something that would be stable and good enough for me to make the switch (80k+ year). It would seem a side gig would be best at this moment, but always like to consider all of my options.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 04:09:32 PM by Panchos »

arebelspy

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What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2015, 04:08:22 PM »
I'd love to run a business, but haven't come up with the right idea yet.

You still aren't quite answering my question.  :)

Maybe someone else will chime in and try to clear up what I am trying to communicate, quite poorly. :)

Let me try this: Who do you want doing the work?  You or someone else?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Panchos

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2015, 04:10:44 PM »
Depends on the business. I'm sure I would start by running it myself and eventually train others as it grows. Naturally, the best case scenario would be to have a business that I could simply manage while my employees do the leg work.

BlueHouse

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2015, 04:54:41 PM »
Hereís a business idea that I would absolutely pay for.  And yes, you can start out servicing it yourself and as the business grows, hire additional people.

I think thereís a tremendous calling for handyman services, but the people who do this near me are either flaky or not organized enough to make this a viable business.  Hereís what I would do differently:

1. Focus on new developments in HCOL or gentrifying areas.  Iím in a new urban development in HCOL WDC.  My neighbors tend to be single women or gay couples.  We also have straight couples that seem to be older/retired so they donít want to do the work themselves either.  Even the youngest couples are so busy focusing on their careers that very few people do any DIY.
All of my neighbors have houses built by the same developer and we have the same problems.  We share information and try to combine services through a neighborhood list serve.  Even with all of this info, I canít find a good reliable handyman. 

2. Become an expert in the systems used in the neighborhood houses.  Iíd love it if someone could tell me that my Zone 2 heat pump is crap and is likely to die within the next 3 years because everyone elseís in the neighborhood already has.  Then do research on the best alternative, and find an HVAC company that you can oversee.  If you do that for one house in my neighborhood, youíd immediately have 15 people lined up to do exactly what you did for the first (assuming it was well-researched and well-priced).   So far, on our listserv, weíve coordinated window-washing, power washing, floodlight motion-sensors, etc.  Be the person who is willing to do the legwork to find the best deal and oversee it for us.  Work a deal with the companies so that we get a good deal if we use your name.

3. Have a schedule and a plan for economies of scale.  Schedule all preventative maintenance tasks in advance and do all of the same type of work over the course of a weekend or a few days in each neighborhood.  This is the way to keep costs low and get a shit-ton of work, IMO.  For instance, if you emailed the whole neighborhood every February and told me it was time for me to have my sprinkler system serviced and that you were arranging with the company to come out on the following 5 days to the neighborhood, then I would sign up, as would probably 40-50 other homeowners.  The next month, you could tell us itís time for you to inspect the roofs on block x, and if we want an inspection (flat roof with the possibility of leaks, would make me want this).  Following month could be outdoor caulking / etc. 
4. Basically, everything a husband would do if he were the best home handyman in the world.  If you did this and got in front of me every month (by email or in person) and did a good job, Iíd find more and more and more for you to do.  And so would MANY of the other people in my neighborhood. 

If your organization and communication skills are good, you could definitely outsource much of this and/or hire people to do it.  Youíd have to get great insurance and workersí comp for anyone you hire, but you could have very long-term and repeat customers and believe me, once someone finds a good handyman, youíll have more business than you can handle ó just donít waste your time traveling between clients.  Thatís why I say to focus on new development.  And yes, there is a tremendous amount of work/maintenance/installation for new development. 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

arebelspy

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2015, 06:14:37 PM »
Depends on the business. I'm sure I would start by running it myself and eventually train others as it grows. Naturally, the best case scenario would be to have a business that I could simply manage while my employees do the leg work.

Okay, cool.  Now that I've got that clarified, here you go (would have been a different set of links for the other answer):
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/a-six-figure-side-project/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/profitable-bootstrapable-(eventual)-hands-off-businesses/

My reply in the first link (4th one down) should give you lots of reading.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Panchos

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2015, 07:15:24 PM »
Thanks. I'll check them out. I'd eventually like to get enough money to pay off the house and then do some real estate to really get some hands off passive income. I just saw some of the threads you've made about RE. Pretty inspiring.

Freedom2016

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 07:45:35 AM »
Hereís a business idea that I would absolutely pay for.  And yes, you can start out servicing it yourself and as the business grows, hire additional people.

I think thereís a tremendous calling for handyman services, but the people who do this near me are either flaky or not organized enough to make this a viable business.  Hereís what I would do differently:

1. Focus on new developments in HCOL or gentrifying areas.  Iím in a new urban development in HCOL WDC.  My neighbors tend to be single women or gay couples.  We also have straight couples that seem to be older/retired so they donít want to do the work themselves either.  Even the youngest couples are so busy focusing on their careers that very few people do any DIY.
All of my neighbors have houses built by the same developer and we have the same problems.  We share information and try to combine services through a neighborhood list serve.  Even with all of this info, I canít find a good reliable handyman. 

2. Become an expert in the systems used in the neighborhood houses.  Iíd love it if someone could tell me that my Zone 2 heat pump is crap and is likely to die within the next 3 years because everyone elseís in the neighborhood already has.  Then do research on the best alternative, and find an HVAC company that you can oversee.  If you do that for one house in my neighborhood, youíd immediately have 15 people lined up to do exactly what you did for the first (assuming it was well-researched and well-priced).   So far, on our listserv, weíve coordinated window-washing, power washing, floodlight motion-sensors, etc.  Be the person who is willing to do the legwork to find the best deal and oversee it for us.  Work a deal with the companies so that we get a good deal if we use your name.

3. Have a schedule and a plan for economies of scale.  Schedule all preventative maintenance tasks in advance and do all of the same type of work over the course of a weekend or a few days in each neighborhood.  This is the way to keep costs low and get a shit-ton of work, IMO.  For instance, if you emailed the whole neighborhood every February and told me it was time for me to have my sprinkler system serviced and that you were arranging with the company to come out on the following 5 days to the neighborhood, then I would sign up, as would probably 40-50 other homeowners.  The next month, you could tell us itís time for you to inspect the roofs on block x, and if we want an inspection (flat roof with the possibility of leaks, would make me want this).  Following month could be outdoor caulking / etc. 
4. Basically, everything a husband would do if he were the best home handyman in the world.  If you did this and got in front of me every month (by email or in person) and did a good job, Iíd find more and more and more for you to do.  And so would MANY of the other people in my neighborhood. 

If your organization and communication skills are good, you could definitely outsource much of this and/or hire people to do it.  Youíd have to get great insurance and workersí comp for anyone you hire, but you could have very long-term and repeat customers and believe me, once someone finds a good handyman, youíll have more business than you can handle ó just donít waste your time traveling between clients.  Thatís why I say to focus on new development.  And yes, there is a tremendous amount of work/maintenance/installation for new development.

Old thread, I know, but this struck me because it's exactly the business idea that a friend of mine (in DC!) had. Basically being a "super" but for homeowners who don't want to be bothered with this stuff - they pay a flat/monthly fee and her company takes care of all home maintenance stuff.

Don't know if she ever ran with it, though.

BlueHouse

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Re: What do you outsource? Business ideas for the entrepreneur
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 09:06:04 AM »
Hereís a business idea that I would absolutely pay for.  And yes, you can start out servicing it yourself and as the business grows, hire additional people.

I think thereís a tremendous calling for handyman services, but the people who do this near me are either flaky or not organized enough to make this a viable business.  Hereís what I would do differently:

1. Focus on new developments in HCOL or gentrifying areas.  Iím in a new urban development in HCOL WDC.  My neighbors tend to be single women or gay couples.  We also have straight couples that seem to be older/retired so they donít want to do the work themselves either.  Even the youngest couples are so busy focusing on their careers that very few people do any DIY.
All of my neighbors have houses built by the same developer and we have the same problems.  We share information and try to combine services through a neighborhood list serve.  Even with all of this info, I canít find a good reliable handyman. 

2. Become an expert in the systems used in the neighborhood houses.  Iíd love it if someone could tell me that my Zone 2 heat pump is crap and is likely to die within the next 3 years because everyone elseís in the neighborhood already has.  Then do research on the best alternative, and find an HVAC company that you can oversee.  If you do that for one house in my neighborhood, youíd immediately have 15 people lined up to do exactly what you did for the first (assuming it was well-researched and well-priced).   So far, on our listserv, weíve coordinated window-washing, power washing, floodlight motion-sensors, etc.  Be the person who is willing to do the legwork to find the best deal and oversee it for us.  Work a deal with the companies so that we get a good deal if we use your name.

3. Have a schedule and a plan for economies of scale.  Schedule all preventative maintenance tasks in advance and do all of the same type of work over the course of a weekend or a few days in each neighborhood.  This is the way to keep costs low and get a shit-ton of work, IMO.  For instance, if you emailed the whole neighborhood every February and told me it was time for me to have my sprinkler system serviced and that you were arranging with the company to come out on the following 5 days to the neighborhood, then I would sign up, as would probably 40-50 other homeowners.  The next month, you could tell us itís time for you to inspect the roofs on block x, and if we want an inspection (flat roof with the possibility of leaks, would make me want this).  Following month could be outdoor caulking / etc. 
4. Basically, everything a husband would do if he were the best home handyman in the world.  If you did this and got in front of me every month (by email or in person) and did a good job, Iíd find more and more and more for you to do.  And so would MANY of the other people in my neighborhood. 

If your organization and communication skills are good, you could definitely outsource much of this and/or hire people to do it.  Youíd have to get great insurance and workersí comp for anyone you hire, but you could have very long-term and repeat customers and believe me, once someone finds a good handyman, youíll have more business than you can handle ó just donít waste your time traveling between clients.  Thatís why I say to focus on new development.  And yes, there is a tremendous amount of work/maintenance/installation for new development.

Old thread, I know, but this struck me because it's exactly the business idea that a friend of mine (in DC!) had. Basically being a "super" but for homeowners who don't want to be bothered with this stuff - they pay a flat/monthly fee and her company takes care of all home maintenance stuff.

Don't know if she ever ran with it, though.

 I wish I knew your friend because I would like to hire her.  And I could get at least 20 other people with exactly the same roof, mechanical system, sprinkler system, plumbing, etc to sign up with a single email.  New home developments are the place to do this, IMO. 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand