4 Business Ideas That Get You Outdoors

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The impacts of being cooped up in an office are an under-discussed part of human life. At a reasonable estimate, the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life at work. For those of us whose work mostly involves being in front of a computer, in a sedentary position, that’s a lot of time that we are devoting to something that has been proven to be detrimental to your health.

Of course, there are ways and means of mitigating the effects of this kind of working life, but let’s be honest – how many of us actually rigorously practise the “Workstation Workout”? How many of us even remember what we are supposed to do in order to keep fit at our desks? The answer will of course be that some of us do, and some of us don’t – but what should worry us is the fact that if we want to get ahead – in business or merely in employment – we are expected to work longer hours, and this means more time in an office.

Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of time spent outdoors, and of working in the open, for those who are physically capable of doing so. The more time you spend in the great outdoors, the more energy you are likely to have and the better it is likely to be for your mental health. There are also untold physical benefits, including the straightforward fact that you will inevitably be getting more exercise and fresh air. So if you’re looking to try your hand in business any time soon, maybe you should be looking to the open air.

Your options for a business that gets you outdoors

Let’s not get off on the wrong foot here: it would be inaccurate and patronising to say that all jobs that get you outdoors are inherently good for your health. Not all outdoor jobs are well-paid enough for the people doing them to be able to work reasonable hours – and downtime is essential for a healthy work/life balance. Some other jobs may get you into the open air, but be hard to even charitably describe as “fresh air” jobs. In other cases, such as construction, the big money and ability to choose your hours comes when you’ve already made millions. The options we are going to discuss here are business ideas which can be launched at short notice and, if done right, can make you real money and be beneficial for your health.

Landscape Gardening

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For some people, gardening is such a pleasant experience that they choose to do it as a hobby. If you happen to be one of those people, then the chances of turning it into a business have to be considered attractive. 

Many people in the modern era fall into the category that could be described as “cash-rich, time-poor” – and find themselves with an outdoor space that they want to be able to relax in but that they will never have the time to really tend to. If you enjoy the outdoors and have a green thumb, this could be where you come in. You’ll need to have an eye for design, be physically mobile and, for some of the larger jobs, ideally have someone to help out – but gardening can be a lucrative business option that actively aids your health while you’re working.

If you don’t believe that you have the gardening and designing chops to make this work, then there are options where you can still make money without the landscaping side; as long as you have a vehicle and can get around, then garden clearing is a service that’s very much in demand for people who simply want to declutter their outdoor areas.

Home Removals

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There are few jobs less sedentary than removals, and once again this is a form of business that can get you into the open air on a regular basis. Like gardening, it is also a way of monetizing one of the great human truths: in this case, the fact that people just plain hate moving house. Think about your last home move – it took a lot of time and effort, and for the duration of the move you will have simply wanted it to be over so you could get on with your life. That’s how everybody feels about moving; there’s a reason it’s considered one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life.

This is why it’s worth exploring the opportunity to buy a moving franchise; people who are moving house are, almost invariably, willing to pay well to make at least a chunk of that stress go away. You can play a part in this by moving boxes and furniture from the old house to the new one. It’s a physically demanding occupation, and one which involves a certain amount of organizational skill if it is going to be done correctly. It is also a job in which you can be sure you are making people’s lives easier, and that’s no small thing.

Tour Guide

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If you happen to live somewhere that is popular with tourists, then there may be a business opportunity in offering tours of the area. Unlike the other options, this is not necessarily a hugely physical job, but it will require a certain level of energy. However, it can be a highly enjoyable way of running a business and becoming a key part of your local community into the bargain.

You will need, obviously, a level of local knowledge. More importantly than this, you’ll want to have the ability to express that knowledge in an entertaining and innovative way. If there are existing tours that already do decent business in your town, then you might also need a particular niche that is different enough to stand out. Innovative tours exist around the world – many cities have spooky tours, while others will focus on wartime history in the local area – so it might be worth thinking of a way to take a sideways look at your locale and attract tourists.

This is a particularly good business opportunity if you’re skilled at networking. A good tour guide can drum up a lot of interest, and at the end of a tour the patrons are likely to be ready for something to eat and drink – so if you can deliver a decent crowd of customers to a local cafe or restaurant on a regular basis, you may be able to partner with those businesses and augment your business.

Dog Walker

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One of the simpler business opportunities out there, and not necessarily one that will see you becoming financially independent immediately, dog-walking is nonetheless worth a try. It’s certainly a good way to get plenty of exercise, and it is a business that will attract plenty of customers as long as you know where to advertise your services. There are more than enough people out there who love their dogs but simply do not have the spare time to give their pets the necessary exercise. If you like our canine pals – and who doesn’t? – then you can certainly make some money this way.

This is a business idea that will generally work best in residential areas that have some decent open spaces nearby. A higher volume of potential customers, allied to the opportunity to vary the walking routes you take, will generally be best for you and best for the dogs – and what’s best for the dog is also best for the owner.

Getting outdoors is something that is not always easy for an entrepreneur, but it is essential in life – so the business ideas listed above are very much worth your consideration.

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Larry is the father of 5 wonderful kids. He has his normal "offline" job but has also been running an online business for over 15 years. When he is not working on websites or blogging, he enjoys video gaming and watching sports.

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