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Deb Neuman Deb Neuman
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Profiting from poo

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When I'm asked by someone, 'What kind of business should I start?' my first response is usually, 'Find something you love, then determine if it can be profitable.' This response was turned upside down recently when I interviewed two guys who do something few of us would love to do they pick up dog poop.

Childhood friends Jason Gibbons and Justin Lubitz grew up together, went their separate ways after high school, returned to Maine and decided to go into business together. They pondered many ideas, but this one was the winner. Picking up dog doo-doo from people's yards might not sound particularly appealing to you, but Jason and Justin saw an opportunity and went for it. They had seen similar businesses in other states and thought Maine could use this service. They were right!

Nine months ago Scoop Dooty was born, and today they have more than 60 happy customers. On a daily basis you will find Justin and Jason in backyards scooping up treasures and cleaning yards. When I asked them if they liked the work, they admitted that the actual scooping isn't all that appealing, but there is great satisfaction in leaving a yard clean, making a customer happy and turning a profit. Their rates are very affordable appealing to customers who don't have the time or the desire to do it for themselves.

Jason and Justin are solving a problem for people and that is the key to business success. Rather than thinking about what they love to do, they asked, 'What do people need and what problem can we solve?' In spite of the 'dirty job' factor, they do love their business. They speak with so much excitement about it. They are proud to offer a service people need and to offer it in a professional manner. They love the freedom and opportunity having their own business affords them. Plus, they love their work environment. They would much rather be outside working than stuck in an office cubicle.

So when you think about finding a business you love, keep in mind that not all aspects of the business will be particularly pleasant. As a former innkeeper who cleaned a lot of toilets, I can relate. There are certain parts of any business that are not fun, but if you can find something that in spite of the 'yuck' factor you love doing and you can make a profit doing it, you can follow the footsteps (wear boots) of the Scoop Dooty guys - and you too can begin to shovel money into your bank account!

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