There is no shortage of entrepreneurial business ideas in the U.S., but let’s face it, many are fairly mainstream. Here’s a list for entrepreneurs who don’t fit the mold.
Your Next New Startup Could Be One of These 6 Entrepreneurial Business Ideas
I didn’t know there’s a business for that…
1. Rent a Chicken
Yes, you heard right. There’s a company located in Traverse City, Michigan whose owners capitalized on local interest in keeping chickens (primarily in order to have access to their own fresh eggs, but secondarily many also wanted to teach their kids about urban farming in a small, manageable way). Rent-a-Chicken enables people who are interested to rent fully-grown chickens, foregoing the additional expenses of hatching and raising chicks and ensuring that the chickens have a place to “roost” if the customer decides urban chicken farming isn’t quite right for them.
If their “In the News” page is any indication, this strange entrepreneurial business idea might not be so strange after all. Their public attention has come from coverage in the New York Times, Bloomberg Business, the faraway Sacramento Times and places closer to home.
2. Doll Repair Hospital
Another Michigan entrepreneurial business idea! The Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop accepts both walk-in and mail-in “patients” at their Berkley, Michigan doll hospital, a service they have been providing for 60 years. This is a great option for those whose most-beloved toys are simply too treasured to toss away just because of some damage or missing appendages. In addition to toy repair, the company is also one of the largest independent toy stores in the United States and is regarded as one of Michigan’s best stores for teachers, stocked with bulletin boards, charts, decorative items and resource books. Plus, they have a “Great Wall of LEGO” for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages. You can shop their facility in Berkley, MI or online at http://www.reallygreattoys.com/.
3. Goat Herd Mowing and Clearing
Not only can you rent a chicken or two if you’re interested in urban farming and fresh-to-table eggs, you can also rent a goat, or rather anywhere from 10-50 goats in the greater Duvall, Washington – Seattle area from The Goat Lady. Your goats offer “an ecological means of clearing brush” at a much lower cost than hiring a landscape company (check website, these are current prices at the time the article was written):
- 25 goats – First day $350, $325 for additional days
- 38 goats – 1 day $500
- Pricing includes set-up and blackberry stalk cutting
And – as The Goat Lady says – they are much, much more fun to watch. The goats can be rented for both commercial and residential brush and grass-clearing and The Goat Lady will provide electric fencing to make sure the goats stay where they’re needed to work.
4. A Match-Making Internet Dating Site… for Dogs
BarkBuddy is an app that helps dog owners find other dogs that live in their area so they can set up play dates for their pups. Dog owners download the app and enter in information about their own dog(s). Then they can check out their “matches” and swipe through profiles of dogs that are in their area. Like Tinder, the more dog owners swipe right or left, the smarter the app gets at serving up the right matches.
5. A Bark-Worthy Monthly Subscription Box
Don’t worry, this article isn’t going to the dogs, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about Bark.co and their monthly BarkBox subscription offer. Bark.co is the parent company to BarkBuddy, by the way, but before there was BarkBuddy, there was the BarkBox, “the idea that started it all.” BarkBox subscribers get a monthly delivery right to their door filled with all-natural treats and toys, based on three dog-size options:
- 0-20lbs – small and cute
- 20-50lbs – just right
- 50+lbs – big and bold
6. Corporate Zombie Walking Challenges
If your company’s lunchtime walking group has dwindled or failed to get off the ground, you might be able to motivate your team to take action with A Step Ahead: Zombies. Instead of just another step-counting app, this interactive web-based game can give your team a rush of adrenaline as well as motivation as they go into motion to outrun a pack of rabid virtual zombies.
“Workouts logged stem the tide of the Zombies’ advance, while tracking and improving your diet make you more resistant to Zombie contact.” Corporate teams can continue to unlock new challenges and earn rewards based on progress made over the course of every 6-week challenge. The app automatically syncs to pedometers including Fitbit, Misfit, Withings and Jawbone devices. Not only can you use this for an internal team fitness challenge, your team can also take on other teams worldwide.
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