10 “Old” Businesses That Offer Great Opportunities

Eating A SandwichIt’s easy to read headlines and get excited about new and exciting business ideas.

Artificial intelligence, artificial reality, blockchain and more.

It’s all very exciting, but 99.9% of new businesses come from somewhat old and boring ideas.

Very rarely does a business truly jump ahead by leaps and bounds to change the world.

And that’s okay. It’s just a mindset shift that entrepreneurs take when they’re looking for new opportunities. Instead of looking for the next exciting thing they’re often just looking for ways to tweak “old” ideas that already exist.

Here are a few of those types of ideas…

1. Maintenance & Repair

We have lots of traditional “things” like cars, lawn mowers and machines. General maintenance isn’t something that most people perform anymore. We could learn to do it, but that would take time and even then we’re still not going to do it all the time.

That’s why services like auto care and other maintenance are great businesses and probably always will be. As long as people have machines that wear and break there will be a need for those that can help.

And it’s not just traditional machines, but new technology like computers, smartphones and more.

2. Delivery

Amazon is creating its own delivery service. In the next ten years it’ll probably have the drone program going pretty strong.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity in the delivery space.

Ten years ago the idea of 2-day shipping was fantasy. We thought of it as something that only rich people could afford. The idea of paying $50+ for two-day shipping was pretty crazy for most people.

But now it’s a reality for a lot of people. I think there are some 100 million Amazon Prime members.

In 10 years, the idea of two-day shipping could seem long. Those that are able to find even more efficiencies or that find a way to be part of more efficiency will find opportunity.

All kinds of businesses will need to get their products to customers faster. If you can create a business that helps, even locally, you’re looking at a great opportunity.

3. Low-Cost Healthcare

Not necessarily in the insurance area, but in helping people to live healthier. People don’t necessarily want to live longer, but there is huge demand for wanting to live healthier. It’s not a new industry, but there is perhaps more demand than ever.

If you can offer a service or product that really helps people live healthier and in a low-cost way you’re really in a great position as an entrepreneur.

Traditional health is getting too expensive. More people are looking for and need low-cost options.

4. Clerks

Organizing information has been a basic need for a long time. And it continues to be one of the most sought after skills in business. Business owners and managers don’t always like organizing their information. They look to hire clerks, virtual assistants and service businesses to help.

If you have a skill for organization you can pretty easily setup a service business in this area. There is high demand. Go onto job boards and look for those hiring clerks. Reach out and offer your service. Then hire people to perform the tasks and procedures you create.

5. Sales

This might be one of the oldest jobs in history. And it’s still one of the most sought after by businesses. If you can sell you’ll never be out of job. You may have to change industries, but if you know how to sell businesses will want to hire you.

I’m starting to see more entrepreneurs create sales agencies. The work with a variety of businesses or sometimes niche industries to create sales programs. It’s a great idea and a great service that fills a huge need.

6. Data Analysis

We have more data than ever. In business and work and even in our personal lives. It’s a lot for people to parse through and understand what it all means. It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to take on that task and provide understanding and takeaways for customers.

Businesses are almost always looking for data analysts. That’s an opportunity for service-based businesses.

Consumers are parsing through all kinds of data like health data, financial data and more. Great opportunities for apps, services and more.

7. Low-Cost Food

Low-cost food is an old business. I was just reading this great story about a startup that brought good food to consumers at lower prices. The fast food boom has been huge for the last 50 or so years. I don’t know that fast food will keep booming, but there is opportunity for companies that can provide low-cost food. Both in terms of buying price and in saving people time. You might be able to marry this idea with the delivery idea above.

8. Customer Service

Very similar to sales. It’s not the most glamorous area, but it’s very much in demand. Agencies in this area have provided the service for businesses for many years and you’ll still see new agencies enter this area. If you can find a way to make it more efficient and keep your employees sane and loving their jobs you can start a great business in this area.

9. Water Care

In my local area there are a couple water care companies. They setup a water filtration system in homes and charge a monthly or yearly fee. People hand over the money without even thinking about it because they know how important it is to have good, clean water. Very little maintenance for the company and a great service provided. I have to look into this one more myself…

10. Design

Definitely not a new industry, but that should give you reason to believe that it will continue to be important in the future. Communicating a message is the main focus with design. Businesses still struggle with branding and marketing and advertising and all of it. Designers that can bridge the gap can be of great service. And entrepreneurs that partner with skilled designers can start wonderful companies.


How can you take these existing business ideas and innovate? Look for ways to lower the prices. Look for ways to make things more efficient. Look for industries that have been around for awhile, but that aren’t glamorous or that are things people don’t really like doing or that they don’t really want to get into. Work for a small business in one of the fields above for six months to a year and learn what you can. Then look for ways to make improvements.

There is often opportunity in obvious places and that includes existing businesses.

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