Start a business that takes care of unpleasant things that people avoid doing

(This blog has been reposted due to problems with the previous post.)

Sometimes you hear entrepreneurs lament about the things they have to do in their business to make a profit. Instead of complaining, they should be thankful that these unpleasant thing they have to do are precisely the reason their business is thriving.

To put it in another way, people normally refrain from doing unpleasant tasks themselves if they can help it. There are 2 categories of unpleasant tasks.  The first is a single task which is unappealing to do for various reasons. One reason could be due to the repetitiveness of the task, such as scanning a book for e-filing, thereby creating boredom. Another could be the danger or risk involved like climbing up a high tree to trim the branches. The effort needed could be another reason like spring cleaning your home. Some tasks could be unpleasant due to the smell or dirt involved.

The second category of unpleasant tasks comprise a string of individual activities that need to be done. The activities by themselves may individually be not too difficult or unpleasant to do. However when added together, they could become somewhat overwhelming for the average person or even a typical company to handle.

It is the tasks or problems in the second category that should attract entrepreneurs. Solving problems in the first category is relatively straightforward. Many companies are already providing services to tackle these problems faced by individuals.

Take an example that I have come across. This person provides a customized travel service online. First he receives instructions from the client on the number of persons and the dates for the travel. Then the client provides very specific details regarding the airline and flight dates and times preferred. Next comes the type of accommodation required for each destination in the itinerary. The person providing the service then takes care of the transport requirements, like booking a car for use on arrival at the destination. It could also mean booking a train ride from one destination to another. Sometimes it may just be arranging transport from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. The client may also want to see a play or concert or a soccer match at certain destinations. This person’s job is thus to obtain tickets for the event. Every significant aspect of the trip is taken care of by this service provider. All expenses are charged to the client at cost. What the person providing the service charges is a flat fee for the work to be done.

Of course the client going for the trip could do all these things by himself or herself. However, most working people would be hard pressed for time to plan in detail such a memorable holiday. Paying someone to do all that for you is a small price to pay.

There are also many situations of companies willing to pay a fee for getting certain things done. These companies would rather have their employees take care of their core business. Herein lies the opportunities for entrepreneurs to seize.

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