One might get the notion that by catching all the headlines, most start-up companies are high-tech Silicon Valley types, run by millennial whiz kids. In actuality, the average age of an individual who starts a new business is 42, and some of the most popular ones are in the trucking and construction businesses. These and other blue collar or traditionally skilled trade work are becoming more mainstream in entrepreneurship. A survey by Invoice2go, a data infrastructure firm, showed eight of the top 10 highest earning industries for small business ownership come from the blue-collar sector, and bill more than $5,000 per month on average. The concept of needing a four-year college degree and compiling large debt along the way is challenged by these survey results. Bob Briski, a director at Invoice2go, suggests, “While society tends to push everyone to get a four-year degree, and typically take on a lot of debt in the process, we are seeing countless examples of people carving out a very successful path of their own, particularly in blue-collar industries.”
The needs of today’s society are really no different from the past. When something breaks that you can’t fix, you call a mechanic, plumber, electrician, etc. The supply and demand mismatch for labor in the blue collar trades is the result of thirty years of politicians and educators telling Americans that everyone must have a college degree. They followed in droves, leading us to where we are today; too many watered down college degrees, and too few skilled trade workers.
The metamorphosis is beginning to take place in the small business community. Just because a job is considered blue collar, doesn’t mean that education and training are not involved. If we look at the trucking industry example, there will be a need for trucks in the short haul, driven by man or not, and for those who can repair them when they break. Innovative blue collar entrepreneurs are seizing on this and realizing that their subset of talent can be leveraged to their advantage. Based upon invoices for income, Invoice2go survey results show the top ten businesses for entrepreneurs as follows:
Interestingly enough, the segue into blue collar work is not just by those with skills in the trades. White collar entrepreneurs are delving into areas that are not being met by others. One such example is College Hunks Hauling Junk. With a van and an idea; today, it’s a national franchise. The field is open for other ambitious entrepreneurs willing to get their hands dirty and think beyond tech. The classic stereotype of the technician not showing up on time, or charging you more than anticipated is changing by bringing in a new business model that focuses on the customer first. Solve the problem for them quickly and efficiently, and of course at a reasonable profit, and you have a formula for success.
Instead of searching for the big idea or next Uber, think of the next industry or sector that could be polished up from an older, blue collar model. Open a blue-collar startup and use your entrepreneurial skills to grab an edge over the competition and claim your piece of a rapidly growing market.