Today, we’re doing another round of business idea giveaways with serial entrepreneur Steve Chou.
Plus, Steve has a new book out in May called The Family First Entrepreneur. Make sure to grab a copy today!
We did one of these episodes back in September, episode 530, so check that out if you enjoy this format.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
- Elo Health – Get 50% off your first month!
- Uber Eats for Merchants – Enjoy 0% commission for the first 30 days on all orders!
1. Core Web Vitals
This first idea was inspired by a search on ExplodingTopics.com, an idea-generating tool that helps you find the most trending words in your target market.
When I was on there recently, one of the exploding topics that popped up was Core Web Vitals. This is Google’s metric of how user-friendly your site is, and it’s an essential ranking factor.
There are lots of people looking for information and assistance around how they can improve their Core Web Vitals score, so you can either:
- Learn the skills yourself – Watch YouTube videos on how to improve Core Web Vitals, then offer your newfound skills on platforms like Fiverr.
- Start a productized service – Partner with somebody who already has a working knowledge of Core Web Vitals and offer to periodically optimize their site for a flat fee.
2. Accountability Service
This next idea from Steve is to create an accountability service.
Steve has been teaching a class on how to start an e-commerce store for more than a decade, and what he found is people need reminders to stay on top of work.
The service could be as simple as sending a text message at the start of each week reminding the user about any pending tasks they may have.
A service like this could be especially useful for people with big professional and/or personal goals but who struggle to put in work consistently.
3. Turn Health Into a Video Game With AR
My oldest son is in first grade and he reads a decent amount outside of school. But because of his school’s “Eager Reader” program, he sometimes reads 2-3 hours a day.
How the program works is students and/or their parents record the minutes they read each week for 4 weeks. The more minutes they read, the more prizes they can get. Essentially, the program gamifies the challenge of reading outside of school.
Given the rumors that Apple is working on AR (Augmented Reality) glasses, this got me thinking about how we can gamify bigger societal issues, like obesity and environmental challenges.
So you could, for example, create an AR glasses dashboard that shows you how many minutes a dish adds or subtracts from your life when browsing a restaurant menu (think anti-smoking commercials in the 90s).
If you could gamify health in a way that would have wide-scale adoption, you might actually spark some change there. You just need to find the right metrics.
4. Rent a Garden
Steve and his wife have always wanted to start a vegetable garden.
The problem is whatever they try to grow in their backyard always dies, mainly because they don’t have the right growing conditions.
Steve’s idea is to maintain a patch of land with optimal plant growing conditions, then rent it out to people in the area who want to grow their own food. You could even charge renters an extra fee to take care of their plants for them.
5. Summer Program Aggregator Site
In Steve’s household and in mine, summers are a major source of stress because of summer camps.
Summer camp prices, registration dates, and session lengths typically vary, making it difficult to find a schedule that works for both parents and kids.
A solution I came up with is a summer program aggregator site, where you’d collect summer camp information for parents’ convenience.
Steve says he’d even pay for a service that automatically sends him to the camp signup forms or, better yet, signs up for him.
As a side hustle, this will require a lot of local knowledge of what different camps and programs are available in your area. The good news is you don’t need any money to start.
Related: The Best Summer Side Hustles
6. Ethnic Foods Monthly Box
The next idea from Steve is to create an ethnic food subscription service.
Steve recently got back from Japan and found that certain Japanese foods weren’t available in the United States.
He said it’d be great if there was a service that sent you a box of food from Japan as part of a subscription service.
But you don’t have to stick to only one country. You can, for example, curate a box based on a different country every month for 12 months.
“There’s no reason why you can’t focus on many countries, and that gives you an excuse to travel as well,” Steve added.
7. Laugh Reminder App
Did you know that laughter may actually be the key to longevity?
That’s according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, which found that participants who reported laughing more lived longer and had fewer instances of heart problems than their non-laughing counterparts.
That’s why I’m proposing the laugh reminder app.
The app will ping you at least once a day with a funny video, story, or clip of somebody laughing. Bonus points if it’s a friend or a family member with a great laugh. You could either upload your own videos to make the app more personable or curate videos by other people.
We all could use more laughter, and this app is a great way to make it a daily vitamin.
Steve’s been playing around with a bot he made called SteveBot.
He built it out using the ChatGPT API and fed it transcripts of his videos and podcast episodes. The goal was to train it to answer questions the way he would.
“It’s basically creating a robotic clone of yourself.”
If you have a podcast, run a blog, or offer online courses, you could benefit greatly from having a bot that can answer reader or listener questions in your own manner of writing or talking.
9. Content Repurposing Service
This next idea is inspired by PodReacher, a done-for-you podcast repurposing service founded by Jaclyn Schiff, who reported a revenue of $420k in mid-2022.
As podcasting flourished amid the COVID-19 pandemic, PodReacher helped podcasters get more mileage out of their digital content.
Online services like PodReacher show the value of catching a rising tide — a framework that you can also apply to non-podcast-related side hustles.
10. Easter Egg Party Service
Steve came up with this next idea after one of his friends threw a huge Easter egg hunt.
The party itself was fun, but his friend had to painstakingly stuff some 2,500 eggs with treats and hide them around his property. Steve’s idea is to start an egg-stuffing service to minimize the hassle of throwing Easter parties.
You could also offer similar party-throwing services for other events and holidays.
11. AI Travel Tool
Every year for the past 15 years, we travel with the same group of friends for Thanksgiving.
But now that we live in different states, planning trips are tedious. It’s hard to settle on a date and destination that works for everyone, and there are simply too many factors to consider.
I feel like AI can handle that stuff better, so my idea is to create an AI travel tool specifically for group trips. Ideally, the tool will also let me do things like plug in my bank account or credit card for rewards like cash-back, points, and miles incentives.
12. Backpack Umbrella
This idea from Steve is the result of a problem he ran into during his recent trip to Japan.
It rained on one of the days he was there, and he had to hold onto his phone to look at maps — all while walking along a busy street and holding an umbrella.
“I saw this dude with this umbrella attachment sticking out of his backpack, so he had his hands free,” Steve said. But the attachment wasn’t a product. It looked like something the man had put together on the fly.
Steve thought it was genius, and it got him thinking about creating a backpack attachment or harness that holds your umbrella so you can walk hands-free in the rain.
13. Proximity Friend Notifications
With this idea, I’m thinking of something similar to what Facebook used to do before where if you were traveling to a city and wanted to know which of your friends lived there, Facebook would give you a list.
This can be a great way to reconnect and meet with old friends if you’re visiting or passing by where they live.
This could even work in an international setting. So if you have a friend in Japan and you happen to be traveling there, for example, you’ll get a notification, and you can then ping them to meet and hang out.
Steve is on board with this idea and says that his wife already does something similar where she shares her location with a group of friends whenever she’s traveling.
14. Social Proof Service
During his recent trip to Japan, Steve said he and his wife had a hard time choosing which restaurant to eat at because Yelp didn’t work there.
Unable to ask the internet for help, they decided to eat at restaurants that had the longest lines getting in. “It’s kind of like this social proof thing,” he told me.
Coincidentally, one of his friends had recently opened a restaurant and was worried that no one would show up.
A solution and business idea Steve shared to solve this problem is a social proof service. How it works is you offer to hang out outside restaurants and other establishments for a fee.
The idea is to attract actual customers by making the place seem more lively and crowded than it really is.
15. Treasury Direct Better Interface
Series I Savings Bonds, more commonly known as “I Bonds,” are a relatively safe investment with historically high interest rates. But while they sound like a no-brainer investment, the process of buying them is a pain.
I would know — I’ve had to go through a horribly tedious process involving our bank to create a TreasuryDirect.gov account for my wife after it flagged my first attempt to do so.
The site itself has an awful interface, which only added to my frustrations. That got me wondering whether or not it would be possible to layer a better interface for the site on top of its existing one.
Steve agreed and liked the idea, adding that better site interfaces in general could help make the process of buying investments like I Bonds and T-Bills more intuitive.
16. Lego Separator and Organizer Service
Steve explained that when his kids were younger, they’d buy new LEGO kits almost every week. Now, they have a bunch of half-built, half-broken LEGOs just lying around the house.
Recently, his wife told him she wished there was a LEGO separator-slash-organizer service that would take all your half-built and half-broken LEGOs, separate them, organize them into bags, and send them back to you for your kids to play with again.
Steve took this idea further, adding that it’d be better if the service gave you instruction manuals of what you could build next with your newly organized LEGOs or put together new kits for you based on the LEGOs you sent them.
I think this service could also be valuable for when you want to get rid of old LEGO kits but don’t want to sell or donate them as-is, missing parts and all.
17. Central Affiliate Program Database
As an online business owner, one of my biggest pain points is figuring out whether a company or brand has an affiliate program, and if so, on what networks is it available.
So my idea is to create a central affiliate program database that would show me the information I need at a glance. That database would probably be a huge pain to maintain, but it would be very valuable for me.
For Steve, something valuable that he’d pay for is a service that consolidates all of the affiliate programs he has into one central dashboard to make payout easier.
18. Pet Discouragement Service
Steve says his kids are always bugging him to get a pet.
But kids being kids, they’re not really aware of how much trouble it is to take care of a pet, he explained.
So his idea is to create a pet discouragement service, where you’d walk customers’ kids through the responsibilities of a pet owner in an effort to dissuade them from getting a pet.
You could even have kids practice taking care of a pet for short-term periods.
19. The Round-Up-Your-Order Shopping Cart Plugin
I came up with this last idea after I bought Girl Scout cookies from our neighbor.
These days, it’s all very modern, where you just scan a QR code and it’ll take you to the Girl Scout’s personalized checkout page.
I got three boxes of cookies for $18, but there was a missed opportunity there to offer a donation option at checkout through a round-up-your-order shopping cart plugin.
The plugin makes it easier for customers to donate the spare change from their purchase to a charity or nonprofit organization.
In my case, they could’ve rounded up my order to $20.
Links and Resources
- 17 Business Ideas Free for the Taking!
- Steve’s Book: The Family-First Entrepreneur: How to Achieve Financial Freedom Without Sacrificing What Matters Most
- National Institutes of Health Study
- The most popular businesses to start
Looking for More Side Hustle Help?
- Start Your Free $500 Challenge. My free 5-day email course shows you how to add $500 to your bottom line.
- Join the free Side Hustle Nation Community. The free Facebook group is the best place to connect with other side hustlers and get your questions answered.
- Download The Side Hustle Show. My free podcast shares how to make extra money with actionable weekly episodes.