I have seen hundreds of new business plans and concepts over the past few months.

Few caught my enthusiasm as much as that of a son of a friend of mine. His idea is to send someone to your house to do basic car repairs. When I heard about this idea and asked the usual questions about it, I categorized it in my head as “automotive services,” which of course is a big field with a good future.
 
But then a few days ago I was driving down the road and the truck in front of me said something like “the nation’s largest onsite surgical instrument repair company.” “The nation’s largest?” – you mean there is more than one company doing what struck me as a very “nichey” business?
 
When I thought about these two very different ideas together, I re-categorized both ideas in my head. They were no longer “automotive services” and “medical and health services,” they had become “onsite services.”
 
When I was a kid we had doctors making house calls and we had regular visits from TV repairmen (how many of you are old enough to remember them?). For some years now we have had pizza companies that will deliver to your door, but (to me, oddly) there is no one offering to bring a bag of burgers of other food styles to your door (with a few exceptions in bigger cities).
 
But as more people work, in more of a hurry and with less time available, the convenience of “house calls” has rising potential. I have already heard about a few doctors offering house call service, and I know a local vet who operates out of a mobile van. There is even a pet washing company that will come to your house, but mess up their van with wet dogs and cats rather than messing up your house.
 
If one thinks broadly enough about it, there are probably hundreds of business opportunities – for both new businesses and existing businesses – in this very basic idea of “onsite.” Both businesses and consumers value this convenience. Ideas that might not have worked twenty years ago, when we (as a society) were less wealthy and less time-pressed, might work now.
 
What new product or service might you bring directly to people’s homes or offices? How might you expand on this concept or mix together some basic or traditional ideas to the concept of “delivery?”


     

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  1. Very interesting insight about the value of “onsite businesses.” I work at home and live in a beautiful townhome community here in Raleigh, NC. The fact that I am home during the day and that my home has lots of windows gives me an opportunity to, um, observe what goes on in the neighborhood. Of course, there are the comings and goings of the traditional onsite services like phone, cable, satellite installation, furnace repair, and so on. But I also see some of the new kinds of services you mention. There’s a dog-washing van that I see here frequently as well as a car-washing crew that shows up. My favorite, though, is our vegetable-lady. During the growing season, she brings us a box of fresh locally-grown produce every week. We order and pay for it online.

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