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Innovative Business Idea: Looking for one?

In this economy, people are selling everything. Ebay, Etsy and other such retail hubs are increasingly popular. But let’s step outside the overstuffed box of old sports cards, second hand coach bags, and retro 70s clothing we are trying to get rid of and think of what else we can make money on. In this country, everything is for sale…

 

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  • Parking spots | Parkingspots.com connects those who have parking spots to rent out with those who need them on a monthly basis. The Toronto-based company lets spot-holders in the US and Canada list their off-street parking spots, along with the price they want to charge.Also check out UK based YourParkingSpace and Boston and New York based SpotScout.

    A similar service is offered by ParkAtMyHouse

    , operating in the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. Fun detail: car owners can pre-book a spot daily, but can also make one-off bookings for a football match or a day of shopping in the city.
  • Storage | Los Angeles-based Homstie offers listings for excess storage space, collecting fees for featured listings and for providing custom lease agreements. Also check out Store at My House.
  • Camping | Swedish Single Spot Camping offers a P2P camping solution by connecting anyone who owns a suitably sized piece of land with anyone looking for a place to pitch their tent. Listings cost the landowner a mere EUR 40 per year.
  • B&B | Air BnB is an online marketplace that allows locals to earn money by renting out their extra space as alternative lodging for hotel-weary travelers. Also see Roomorama.
  • Any space | Combining all of the above, US-based Spareground is a marketplace for just about any kind of unused space. Consumers with space to share simply create a listing with its description, location and price. Those seeking space search by category or keyword and then contact the owner directly to arrange the terms.

 

Think of how much more in tune you would be with your community if you are providing an affordable alternative to expensive storage units or  opening your home to budget travelers. We need to get over their fears of interacting with others, we need to get more involved in our communities – and make money doing it. The more I travel, the more I notice how distant Americans can be compared to other cultures.

 

These sorts of businesses seem relatively easy to start up and participate in. Has anyone out there had experience with sites like this or thought of getting into such a business?

 

About the Author: Christine Haskell

Christine is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft with several years experience in the .com industry. She recently started social venture labs, an idea incubator for those leading small mission-driven businesses or organizations looking to create relationships, share ideas and [...]