Do you dream of a flexible schedule, living where you vacation, and being your own boss? Starting a business takes risk, hard work, and grit. Living in the resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado we have noticed gaps that need to be filled. In this article, we will cover possible business ideas that cater to your town and steps to take to validate your business.
Possible Business Ideas
67% of US households own pets. In mountain towns, that number is even higher. These towns typically lack pet sitting services including grooming, daycare, walking, and boarding. In areas with larger populations, there are services such as Rover which is a mobile app where you can arrange pet services with verified people on a whims notice. The same concept can be brought to small towns. No fido left behind.
Mobile Carwash (or mobile anything)!
While making pancakes on a Sunday morning, I looked out at my car covered in dirt from a recent road trip around Colorado. A man knocked on our door asking if we wanted our car washed. Twenty minutes later, both of our cars were spotless. I had one regret – I should have grabbed his contact information for the next time I needed a wash. If only he had a mobile app where I could schedule another car wash. This concept could be applied to numerous services such as massages, ski rentals, cleaning and grocery delivery.
In Telluride, Colorado, a company named Telluride Sitters provides babysitting services and rental gear such as strollers, high chairs, and cribs. They even have a mobile app. Is this something your town may be lacking? Ask someone with young kids what they wished was more accessible. They will typically reply with reliable childcare. Even better – childcare in a pinch. Imagine being able to call a childcare service with reputable babysitters the morning of a powder day. Priceless.
You have skills that may be in demand in your town. You can offer virtual assistant services to people who may not have the time or expertise. Even better – you could have a team of virtual assistants and manage them for clients. This could include social media, graphic design, bookkeeping, organizing, and more.
Small communities typically lack workers with a licensed trade skills such as electricians, irrigation experts, and plumbers. Rather than working for a company, there may be an opportunity to not only practice your trade but be an entrepreneur and start your own business. In small towns, great service travels fast and you should be able to grow on referrals.
Residents in resort communities have large investment properties that require constant maintenance. In cities, contractors are much more accessible than small towns and resort communities. In Denver, Colorado, if you run into a house issue, someone could be there in 30 minutes. In small communities it could take days or weeks. Why not apply the big city model to your resort community. Strike up a conversation with a few homeowners or a rental company and assess the demand.
Steps on Validating Your Business
You may have a need in your town that you would like filled, but you may be on an island. Ask around. Ask community members what they are lacking in services. Is your neighbor complaining they cannot find a dog walker or are you and your friends itching to get first tracks on a powder day but cannot find a babysitter? By listening and asking the right idea will come to you to fill the community gap.
Run Small Tests
You have the perfect idea. You are going to start a dog boarding business. You need marketing, a physical space, signage, and more. Before you drop money on all the things, could you run a small test? For example, the holidays are coming up. You could decide to run a test of getting five dogs in your house to see how if the demand is present. Was it easy to line up five dogs? Did you only get two? Do you have a large waitlist?
Get Involved and Ask For Help
We live in a glorious time where information is free and at your fingertips. It has never been easier to start your own business and be your own boss. Luckily, other entrepreneurs have been in your same shoes and are more than happy to pass along information. Get in touch with fellow peers and learn from them through mentorship. Go to community events, talk with people, and ask for help.
Once you know you’re ready to start your business, the first step is to legally form your company. There are several company structures with pros and cons depending on your goals. It is wise to consult a tax professional beforehand because setting up your business correctly from the start will save you time and money in the long run. At Singletrack Bookkeeping, we know small businesses. Reach out for a free consultation.