For freelancers and entrepreneurs, Craigslist is a hotbed of opportunities to solve problems. Small businesses are heading to the job classifieds platform to solve low staffing issues, and if you pay close attention, patterns emerge. Maybe some small, yet common one-time gigs show up, or tasks that can be automated for a number of these companies. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you can head in and create a product to help these companies. Airbnb did it with housing. So can you for your industry.
The best area to check out within Craigslist is the Gigs section. This is where plenty of postings pop up each day. You can search by your city to see what stands out to you, or branch out into bigger cities. Location is irrelevant, as your main objective is to find common threads. Your plan is not to solve one gig, but to solve many. Researching multiple cities will give you a better sample size to work with.
Many freelancers operate within the Upwork platform, and I expect we’ll see this number grow in size as more jobs become automated. Although Upwork is great for one-to-one transactions, you are limited with just their account. What if you want to build a major business? You will need to source opportunities to solve problems elsewhere. This is why Craigslist is so attractive, because you do not need an account, all it takes is email for communication and the pay is 100% yours (Upwork takes 20%).
New ideas are easy to dream up, but where you find the best ideas would be with problem-solving. Craigslist is a place with so many businesses in need of help, and you can be that problem-solver. That’s the definition of an entrepreneur.
If you are looking to find your next base of customers or a new business idea based on common patterns, Craigslist is a great platform to gauge what people are needing today.