So what do you do when the economy is collapsing all around us, despite the upbeat rhetoric and hot air coming from the media and government? You dig deep down inside yourself to find the ENTREPRENEUR INSIDE OF YOU.

How can the media possibly put a positive spin on the recently announced closing of hundreds of WALMART stores?  WALMART is a leading indicator of consumer spending health. So consumers must be in bad shape just on that indicator alone. And they are. Far too many are unemployed and many more are heading for the streets, too. Millions of people are UNemployed and it is getting worse. The collapse of the oil fracking industry is crushing the economy and has cost hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs already and more to come as the oil price drops to even further, possibly to $15 a barrel. And more bad news is to come in the very near future as corporations try to repair bottom lines during this early earnings season, (first 3 months of each new year), by firing thousands upon thousands more employees. Solution?  ENTER:  THE ENTREPRENEUR WITHIN.

If you’ve been out there trying to find jobs you’ll know that many job seekers are so frustrated that they are tossing in the towel and simply giving up. If you are one of the people either on the unemployment index or who has given up, you may still have a chance to make some good money.  ENTER:  THE ENTREPRENEUR WITHIN.

You don’t need bundles of cash to get a small business started. All you need is a good idea and to take it one step at a time and with very little cash.  You’ll find some ideas and tips by clicking here to read “Christmas Gifts: Start-Ups While Unemployed”.  But let’s get a bit more concrete and personal. Let’s use the MARIJUANA industry as a role model to help generate ideas for entrepreneurial start ups. But, first, I’d like to start with a philosophical discussion about legalizing marijuana right across the entire nation.

Those communities which have entertained the marijuana business are enjoying an economic boom. This is not much different than escaping the prohibition on alcohol, or expanding the franchise for casinos which now proliferate the nation and keep state and local governments in the money. Governments are starving for tax dollars, and it is going to get worse as more layoffs happen and unemployment rolls and food stamps expand. It only makes sense to take money back from the black market and bring it out in the open where it can be taxed. Okay the philosophy stuff is done. I got that off my chest.

Now, let’s turn to the four states that already have legalized marijuana. They are booming. But therein we can find some ideas for possible entrepreneurial businesses you may be able to model in your own locale and switch on the entrepreneur inside you even if your jurisdiction has not yet legalized marijuana. Think about how you can modify these ideas to apply to other industries that are NOT involved in the marijuana industry.

Here are just some of the clever entrepreneurial businesses emerging within the marijuana industry:

  1. Grow ops…an obvious, of course. But how about growing herbs or vegetables, instead of marijuana, in your own hot house?
  2. Specialized Electrical contracting for a growing industry.
  3. Specialized Plumbing for a growing industry.
  4. Specialized Contracting or Construction or Buildings for a specific industry.
  5. Specialized inspections to head off building code violations or other violations.
  6. Tours of businesses of interest within a new, growing, or well-publicized industry.
  7. Making items, customized or mass produced, that are used in the industry. Marijuana, for example, needs holders of all sorts, apparatus of all kinds to grasp, cultivate, store,  or process marijuana.
  8. Transportation of tools to be used in the industry or custom runs for small quantities of tools or raw materials used in manufacturing.
  9. Bed and Breakfast to serve tourists who come into town to buy or use products from that special industry. For example, in the states of marijuana, there is no place visitors can go to smoke it. They can buy it, but then can’t smoke in hotel rooms. And they can’t take it home across state lines. Can’t smoke where they buy it. Can’t smoke in public. So, maybe a bed and breakfast or your backyard patio to be rented out for short periods? Check with your lawyer before you invest time and effort.
  10. If you have skills in the kitchen. Preparing special dinners for visitors out on your patio. And in marijuana states, a place they can smoke marijuana during or after dinner. Best to check with a qualified lawyer about this idea.
  11. Glass blowing for marijuana. This can become an attraction, an art, or you can sell items to feed into the industry. Anything you can think of that you can do for your locale non-marijuana industry that might become a tourist attraction in and of itself?
  12. Baking classes to teach how to cook and prepare foods related to the industry. Be careful. If in the marijuana states and wanting to cook with marijuana, you’d best talk to a lawyer first. It may be illegal to do so. Thus, your recipes may need to be marijuana-free but suitable for the do-it-yourself once they leave? Be sure to check with your lawyer before you try your first recipe. For those of you not in marijuana states, is there any baking or cooking or recipes you can build that fits with your own local industry.
  13. Transporting tourists for the day, there and back, but not trafficking of marijuana, to go visit and experience the businesses involved in the industry. Again, my advice is to check with your lawyer before you commit to this idea.

Take time to study the marijuana boom, both the business ideas within it and all the great business ideas that have sprung up to service and facilitate that industry. You may be able to find ideas that you can apply in your locale even if the marijuana industry has not yet come to your state.

Switch on the entrepreneur within you.