There are lots of business ideas out there. The problem with many of these ideas is that they are designed to make someone else rich and that making money is their sole concern and purpose. These are ‘one way street’ business ideas.
Frugal entrepreneurs strive for something better. They look for ideas that can make the lives of people easier and more enjoyable and make them money at the same time. There is a broader intent, a greater purpose, if you will. Well, this is my highly idealized view at least.
Here are some frugal business ideas that I have been thinking about. I know that there are probably lots of legitimate reasons why the might not work and I accept that. They are simply rough ideas at this point. Here are three such ideas:
A Premium ‘Enhanced Privacy’ version of Google, Bing, Yahoo, Safari, or Facebook, etc.Problem
Well, basically there is no privacy whatsoever on the internet. Your internet activity is tracked and you are targeted directly with custom-tailored ads. Even if you are using an ad blocking software and are not seeing most ads, your every keystroke is still being tracked and recorded. All the cool ‘free’ products on Google like Gmail, Google Analytics, YouTube, Webmaster Tools, etc. aren’t really ‘free’ at all. You surrender varying degrees of personal privacy in order to use these products. This is also true for social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Some people may want to be able to use cool products while not surrendering any more privacy then they need to. Enter Feevacy.Opportunity
Offer a privacy-enhanced version of Google (or Bing, or Yahoo, or Safari, or Facebook, etc). At this point, you are probably (quite justifiably) saying sarcastically to yourself “Oh yeah, sure. Start a new Google. Right, sure, no problem”. You are right – that probably would be silly. Google itself, however, could offer a premium service. So too, could Bing and Yahoo and Facebook and all the others. A monthly subscription fee could offer consumers varying degrees of privacy; everything from no tracking at all, to the limited tracking of basic aggregate information, to full tracking. Offering people options to protect their privacy while making money sounds pretty good to me.
Telemarketing Call Control CenterProblem
We have a national do not call registry in Canada. It is supposed to stop unsolicited telemarketing calls. The problem is that it doesn’t work.
You can be pretty much assured that any time your phone rings between 6 and 8 pm (or the very instant you sit down for dinner) that it is a telemarketer. In the past month, I have received ‘exclusive’ offers for discounted window installation, a free home alarm system upgrade, a cruise which I had “already won”, and countless other phone spam which I didn’t bother to pick up the phone to answer. I normally get at least one or two calls per evening.
Informing the callers that I am on the National Do Not Call Registry and asking them to remove me from their calling list actually seems to redouble their efforts. I guess they are excited that someone actually answered the phone.Opportunity
I would pay for the equivalent of a spam filter to be applied to my phone line so that telemarketing calls stop. Calls could be routed through a phone spam filter and simply disconnect the line if the call is from a known phone spammer. New spam could be reported with a simple button push. Callers could also be manually blocked by me. I can do this with spam filters on my email accounts and there should be a simple way to do this for phone lines as well. This company could be called SPAMaster, TeleSPAMaster, or SpaMasterFlash.
TerrifiCall Consulting or maybe JediCall
(a.k.a. Service the Way It Used to Be for a Fee)Problem
You all know how frustrating it is to call most businesses these days. You call up the main number and know that a mind-numbing (and often confusing) line up of menus are waiting just ahead. It is not uncommon for some businesses (especially utilities and telecom companies) to funnel you through three, four, or even five separate menus until you actually get to speak to someone. This is frustrating and a waste of time. It also demonstrates a supreme lack of respect.
As little as twenty or so years ago businesses actually paid people to be available to answer phone calls from their clients. A human being would actually answer the telephone and be there to help you without you having to navigate through a maze of phone prompts, all the while being told repeatedly by a prerecorded message that “Your call is important to us”. Fiddlesticks! If my call was important, you would answer the phone. The new ‘normal’ in customer service stinks.Opportunity
TerrifiCall would provide an opportunity for companies to really stand out by going ‘back to the future’ with old-school customer service by offering professional call center training and support.
Terrificall consultants would act as customer service Jedi masters, spreading their precious knowledge of this lost ancient art. At first, customers would be utterly shocked at being treated like people. They might call back time and time again in disbelief. They might even ask their friends to call to make sure that the attentive and respectful service that they received was real. Eventually however, confidence in the company and its products would increase and calls to the call center would actually decrease. Increased sales and profits would soon follow.
Changes bring new business opportunities. Entrepreneurs recognize these opportunities and act upon them to make money. Frugal entrepreneurs like making money too, and they also consider larger quality of life questions and happiness. Their loves and passions influence their very perception of ‘opportunity’ and this is an important aspect of what makes them unique. Opportunities to make life easier and more enjoyable are everywhere. Frugal entrepreneurs can seize these opportunities and make lots of money at the same time.
Being frugal is lots of fun. You can be a part of this fun by visiting this website several multiple times per day and by leaving multitudes of comments and sharing this post with everyone you know.
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you visit again sometime very soon.
Do you have any frugal business ideas that you would like to share? Please leave a comment below.
Author: Jason Milburn Google