Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.
One should think about their skills, hobbies and basic daily habits as well. Do you like to cook? Be a personal cook or dinner parties. Baking? Make wedding cakes or cupcakes for weddings/special events. Do you enjoy cleaning? Trying going to banks/repo companies and ask if they are in need of a repo cleaner or market yourself as a all-around cleaner. Know how to mow a lawn? Get paid to do it in your neighborhood. Sell products from large companies – Jewelry in a candle, Sentsy, Health and home products – etc.
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents' minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you're looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.
You can potentially make even more money by offering to handle snow removal in the winter. Shoveling snow is often a homeowner's least favorite job, and there are many homeowners who simply cannot handle their own shoveling because of physical limitations. Typically, snow removal companies charge a flat fee for the winter, no matter how many times it snows. You can offer to remove snow a la carte, or you can copy the standard procedure and charge a flat rate. If you already own a snowblower (or can invest in one), this can help you speed up the snow removal process and allow you to take care of multiple neighbors each time it snows. (A snowblower will also save your back muscles!)
How's this for meta? In Second Life (secondlife.com), you can start a business and earn virtual Linden dollars, which can be traded for actual U.S. currency. Leo Newball Jr., a 29-year-old who lives in Brooklyn, is a Second Life DJ—he plays music for virtual parties and events. Newball charges $25 to $50 an hour; in a given month, he makes between $200 and $800 while parked in front of his computer (virtual dollars can be exchanged for U.S. currency for a small fee through the LindeX Exchange). Nearly any type of business can fly on Second Life—from selling clothes for avatars to virtual real estate.
Do you have baby items taking up space in your garage, but you aren’t ready to part with them yet? After all, you might want another kid . . . maybe one day. Instead of selling that high chair or baby jumper, why not rent them? Oh, we’re serious. On websites like goBaby, cribs can go for $10 to $50 a day, and strollers can collect $15 to $40 a day.(7)
This comes back to the implementation of sales funnels within an ecommerce environment. In fact, much of what people think about traditional ecommerce stores taking months or even years to build and costing a small fortune simply isn't true. Dave Woodward, co-founder of ClickFunnels, says that over one-third of their two-comma club (members who have a sales funnel making a million or more per year) are ecommerce entrepreneurs.
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers. Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.