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How to Get Your Business Listed on 411

Getting your business listed on 411 can be a great way to reach potential customers and increase your visibility. 411 is a directory service that provides listings for businesses, organizations, and individuals. It is an easy way to make sure your business is seen by potential customers. Here are some tips on how to get your business listed on 411.

Create a Listing

The first step in getting your business listed on 411 is to create a listing. You can do this by visiting the website and searching for your business name. If you don’t find it, you can create a new listing by filling out the required information. This includes basic contact information such as address, phone number, and website URL. You can also add additional information such as hours of operation, payment methods accepted, and any special offers or discounts you may have. Once you have completed the form, you will need to submit it for review before it will be published.

Verify Your Listing

Once your listing has been approved, you will need to verify it before it will be published. This is done by sending a verification code via email or text message to the contact information provided in the listing. Once you have entered the code into the verification page, your listing will be officially published and available for customers to view.

Promote Your Listing

Once your listing has been verified and published, you should promote it in order to get more visibility for your business. You can do this by sharing the link on social media or through email campaigns. Additionally, you can add a link to your website so that customers can easily find it when they search for related services or products online.

Getting your business listed on 411 is an easy way to make sure potential customers are able to find you online. By creating a listing, verifying it, and promoting it effectively, you can increase visibility for your business and reach more customers than ever before.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


list of small business ideas

70 Small Business Ideas for Anyone Who Wants to Run Their Own Business

Meg Prater (she/her)

Published: July 31, 2023

A good business idea may seem hard to come by, but with some planning and preparation, you can easily launch a small business to supplement your income — or become your own full-time boss.

Small business ideas symbolically showing the spirit of a small business

Maybe you already have an idea of the business you’d like to start. But while you might feel ready for a new venture and passionate about your idea, you might be looking for some direction.

Download Now: Business Startup Kit [Free Templates]

To help get you started, here's a list of small business ideas separated into a few sections:

Best Small Business Ideas

Best businesses to start with little money, home business ideas, easy businesses to start, how to start a small business at home.

The first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur is finding a business idea that works for you. In this article, you’ll find dozens of small business ideas you can start from home and scale up as your clientele grows. Let’s get started.

list of small business ideas

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You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

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Fill out this form to build your business plan today., what makes a good small business idea.

Not all small business ideas are made equal: Some require more effort and funding than others, while some can be launched with few resources — or resources you already have. As a potential small business owner, you’ll want to save as much money as possible on training, rent, supplies, and other necessities.

Let’s go over what makes a good business idea:

  • Requires little to no training . A good small business idea will ideally leverage your existing field of expertise and require little to no training. That will not only shorten your time-to-launch, but also lessen your expenses, since training courses can cost a significant amount of money. Plus, you’ll be more confident offering services that you feel prepared to deliver.
  • Requires low setup costs. Your business should be cheap to start. Maybe you only need to purchase a website domain or buy a desk for your garage.
  • Requires little hands-on inventory or supply management . A great business idea needs few supplies and little inventory management. If you want to sell physical goods, you can either try drop-shipping and manually make goods in small batches.
  • Is based online . The best small business ideas are based online and can be carried out from your personal computer. This will automatically lower your commuting costs and give you greater flexibility over your personal and work life.
  • Can sustainably be managed by few people . As a small business owner, you won’t have the funds to hire other people to help you run your business — at least not at first. A good business idea should give you the ability to run your business on your own.

Airbnb Co-founder, Brian Chesky, said, "If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life."

If you’re like Brian and you’ve already thought about a solution for a problem you encounter in your life — or you’re on the path to doing so — then starting a small business may be in your future. It may also be for you if you dream of clocking out of your nine-to-five job for the last time and becoming your own boss.

Below, we include the absolute best ideas for you to start your small business — with resources and examples to help you get started.

1. Handyman

small business idea example: handyman

Image Source

Are you always fixing things around the house? Often on-call when friends need small projects completed? Create a website , conduct a competitive analysis to determine what your time and expertise are worth, and turn to the friends you’ve helped before for referrals.

A handyman business is a good idea if you’ve already built a robust set of skills to help others fix up their homes. Consider specializing in what you feel well-prepared to do — for instance, if you know your way underneath a sink and water system, then you might provide sink fixing services to start, then expand your offerings once you earn more skills.

No certifications are needed to become a handyman, and there are no special education requirements. You might need, however, a license if you’re planning to undertake jobs worth more than a certain dollar amount. Some states might not require this license.

To start your handyman business, we recommend the following resources:

  • Handyman License Requirements by State
  • The Most Requested Handyman Services
  • Association of Certified Handyman Professionals

2. Woodworker

Similarly, if you have a passion for crafting beautiful furniture or other home goods out of wood, that could be a small business niche for you. Get started by listing a few of your pieces on sites like Etsy . Once you build a following, consider starting a website, accepting custom orders, or expanding to refinishing work and upholstery.

A woodworker small business is ideal if you already have a passion for woodworking, as well as the tools to begin fulfilling orders as they begin to come in. Since delivering a well-made product is key to keeping your customers happy, you don’t want to be “training” as you create a custom shelf or a custom storage box. It’s recommended to have at least one year of experience as a woodworking apprentice.

To start a woodworking business, there are no special education requirements, but there are a wide range of woodworking training certifications online, so we suggest starting with a certification. The Woodwork Institute , YesTomorrow , and The School of Fine Woodworking are potential places to start.

3. Online Dating Consultant

Dating consultants usually charge for their time. They help people create successful online dating profiles, source possible matches from outside the typical online channels, and offer a level of personalization that a site like Tinder can’t. Think you’ve got a knack for the match? This might be the business for you.

Online dating consultants need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as heightened levels of empathy. The good news is that there are no special education or licensure requirements, though we recommend getting a certification such as IAP College’s relationship coach certification or Hart Academy’s online dating coach certificate .

To start an online dating consultant business, you’ll need a website that shares all about you and offers free dating resources your customers might benefit from. Once they download a resource, you can loop them in for a free consultation.

4. Sewing and Alteration Specialist

small business idea example: sewing and alterations

People will always need clothing hemmed and buttons mended — and you could be the person to do it. If you love sewing and have a sewing machine at home, start by offering simple services like those mentioned above and expand your repertoire to dressmaking and design as you build a customer base and demand.

You don’t need a special license or degree to begin a sewing and alterations business, but it’s essential to build your skills so you can take on more complicated projects. High-value clients will want to customize complicated items of clothing such as suits, pants, gowns, and dresses. That’s where you’ll see the highest potential for profits.

Altering these items require special skills, however. A few courses you might consider include:

  • International Open Academy's Tailoring Course for Beginners
  • Jackson Sewing Academy’s Basic Alterations Course
  • American Bespoke Tailoring Academy’s Programs

You’ll also need to shop for sewing supplies of all colors to accommodate your clients.

5. Freelance Developer

From building websites for other small businesses to providing technical support for certain projects, quality web development is in high demand right now. As a web developer, you'll naturally have a technical skill set. Distill your knowledge and expertise so customers who don't have your experience are able to understand what it is you'll be helping them achieve.

To help with this, test your messaging on friends and family who don’t have a firm understanding of the work you do. If they’re able to summarize what you do, your messaging is likely effective among people outside of your industry. You can start finding your first freelance contracts by visiting different freelance websites .

Unlike a few other options in this list, a freelance developer does need some training to launch a successful business and start taking on projects, but if you’re a beginner, don’t worry. There are plenty of boot camps to get you up to speed with either full-stack or front-end web development. Some of these boot camps are even offered through accredited tech schools.

Some boot camps you might consider include:

  • Coding Dojo
  • Fullstack Academy
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Coding Boot Camp

These vary in price, so be sure to do extensive research to find one that fits you and your budget.

6. Personal Trainer

Offer in-home consultations, personalized nutrition and exercise regimens, and community boot camps to get the word out. Don’t forget to populate an Instagram feed with inspirational quotes, free exercise videos, and yummy snack ideas as well — it’s a common way for fitness gurus to build their brands in our digital world.

If you choose to go this route, it’s OK to start small at first, then scale up. For instance, MOURfit is a personal training business in Indianapolis that started in a shared gym, then grew to a private gym that offers group fitness, personal training, and nutrition services.

To start a personal training business, you’ll need a certification. If you already earned a degree in an unrelated discipline, we recommend starting with the NASM-CPT certification , which is nationally accredited and only requires a high school diploma or GED. You can also get a Bachelor’s degree in physical and exercise science — here’s one example from Emory & Henry College .

7. Freelance Graphic Designer

Set your own hours, choose your projects, and build a portfolio and business you’re proud of. From website design to blog graphics and more, many companies seek out experienced graphic designers for support on a variety of projects.

The good news? There are no special education requirements for becoming a freelance graphic designer, though we recommend seeking a credential (like SAIC’s graphic design certificate or RISD’s graphic design certificate ) or an Associate’s degree in design so you can confidently present your portfolio and complete your first few projects.

If you’re just starting out with graphic design, try these tips and tricks that are ideal for beginners. If you’re more experienced but need to build your portfolio to attract clients, these prompts will get your creativity flowing in no time. We also recommend reviewing other people’s work on portfolio websites to get a feel for what is “trendy” and receive feedback as you grow your small business.

Free Download: How to Hire and Work with Freelancers

8. Life/ Career Coach

If you have experience navigating career, personal, and social transitions successfully, put it to good use as a life or career coach. Many of us are looking for guidance in our careers — and finding someone with the time to mentor us can be tough.

Life/career coaches don’t come cheap, but they are able to offer clients the intense and hands-on training and advice they need to make serious moves in their personal and professional lives. After all, everyone needs some uplifting advice from time to time.

To start your life/career coaching business with confidence, you can look for a certification program (like the Life Coach School’s or Diane Hudson’s ), then apply your skills as you acquire new clients.

small business idea example: Career Coach Nariah Broadus

A resume writing business is economical, has few overhead costs, and has few educational requirements. We still recommend having an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and a few resume samples on hand. If you still feel that you need to brush up on your resume writing skills, you can take a course like Coursera’s or LinkedIn Learning’s .

Once you’ve gotten resume writing down, you can expand your business to include cover letter writing, and even offer career coaching services in conjunction with these services.

10. Freelance Writer

If you have writing skills , there’s someone out there willing to pay you for them. Write blog posts, magazine articles, and website copy galore — just make sure you have a body of work built up to share with potential clients. Even if you create a few sample pieces to have on hand, they’ll help exhibit your work and attract new business.

To become a freelance writer, it’s essential to choose a specialty. For instance, you might choose to only write for publications in the healthcare industry (maybe because you were previously a healthcare worker), or focus on lifestyle publications. Whatever the case, specializing will help you find your niche market and gain confidence as a new freelancer writer.

There are no educational requirements to freelance writing, but you do need strong writing skills. It also helps to enjoy writing. While a certification may beneficial, getting practice and writing every day is more important. Try these writing prompts to start.

11. Landscaper

Mowing, tree-trimming, and seasonal decor are all neighborhood needs. If you have or can acquire the equipment, a landscaping business can be a lucrative affair. It’s also a great choice if you enjoy doing it for your own home and have a good eye for landscape design.

The good news is that you can start small. For instance, you could offer your neighbors seasonal planting services and start with a few perennial plants, or simply offer mulching services.

To grow your landscaping business, you should consider taking some formal training. The following organizations offer courses:

  • New York Botanical Gardens

After completing a course and getting enough experience, you can apply for a certificate from a landscaping organization. While a certificate isn’t necessary to work in the field, it can build your credentials and help you make industry connections to take your landscaping business to the next level. The Association of Professional Landscape Designers offers one potential certificate you could pursue.

Some states require licensure, especially if you’ll be using pesticides and fertilizers. Be sure to review the requirements for your state.

Learn some of the basics now with this video on landscape design from Lowe’s:

12. Videographer

Video production requires you to have invested in the equipment up front, which can be quite expensive. But that’s also what makes your services so valuable. Make sure you have a reel of your work to share or create a website with several selections of your work available for interested viewers.

There are no educational or licensure requirements for starting a video production business. As with writing and other creative arts, though, it pays to specialize. Real estate videos differ radically from wedding videos, and wedding videos differ radically from in-studio interviews and testimonials. By specializing, you target a highly specific customer who’ll benefit the most from your services, and you can also skill-up more effectively in one shooting style.

While you can find general classes on videography, you should consider taking a class in the type of videography you’d like to do. For instance, you could take The Complete Wedding Videography Course , if that’s the route you’d like to take.

Hot tip: If you’re interested in specializing in video marketing, check out The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing and download our starter pack below.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

13. Photographer

Start by conducting photo shoots for your family and friends. As you build a body of work, ask for referrals and reviews. Photography businesses often grow by word of mouth, so create a Facebook page where you can tag recent clients. Photos where you tag those clients will show up in their friends’ newsfeeds, where they can view your work. You can also ask them to leave reviews on your Facebook business page.

Like with a video production small business, you’ll want to specialize. Will you do product shoots or portraits? How about wedding or fashion photo shoots? Once you specialize, you’ll be able to create a body of work that most accurately represents your strengths.

There are no educational or licensure requirements for starting a small photography business, but we recommend investing in a few photography courses, especially if you haven’t used your camera in a while. Some courses you might start with include:

  • Cornell’s Digital Photography Certificate Program
  • New York Institute of Photography’s Course

From there, seek courses that help you build skills in your chosen specialty.

If you’re not sure where to start with freelance photography, take a look at Erica Clayton’s journey into the business below. Her advice? Give yourself a firm deadline to turn a profit.

14. Bed and Breakfast Owner

small business idea example: bed and breakfast

This is another business venture that will require you to research the correct licensure from your state, but it will be well worth it to see your dreams come true. Consider what guests will be traveling to your area and create special packages and themed stays that coincide with their interests in your locale.

To start a bed and breakfast business, you’ll need a physical business location and a small staff for maintenance, customer service, and upkeep. For that reason, we recommend it if you have startup funds to start your business. (Don’t have any? Here’s how to start crowdfunding to launch your new business .)

A successful bed and breakfast business will also need an SEO-optimized website with a hotel booking system. If you create your website on the WordPress platform, you can easily create a B&B website using a hotel booking plugin — so there’s no need to code the booking form from scratch.

With Airbnb and hotels stealing market share, the competition is tough in the bed and breakfast space, so we recommend providing a unique angle to the stay. As mentioned, the stays can be themed — maybe your B&B is a vintage home with all original furniture, or maybe you offer traditional fare from your homeland.

15. Clothing Boutique Owner

If you dream of building your own fashion empire, why not start with a local boutique? Build buzz with impressive clothing styles, inspiring social media accounts, and heavy community involvement. While you can open a physical store, you can easily start online — and if that proves profitable, you can open up a local shop.

There are a few ways you can start a clothing boutique. First, you can make the clothes yourself if you already have experience in fashion design or know how to sew, knit, and curate colors and patterns.

Alternatively, you can design certain aspects of the clothing — such as a graphic or a logo — then send it to be printed on-demand at a local print shop when orders come in.

Lastly, you can dropship the items from a warehouse you’ve partnered with. This method is less reliable because there’s less quality assurance for each item, especially if you never visit the warehouses yourself. Regardless of the method you choose, starting a clothing boutique is highly doable, and you don’t need to have a fashion degree (though it certainly helps).

Take some inspiration from Sleep Ova , a luxury loungewear boutique based in Los Angeles, CA.

small business idea example: sleep ova

16. Specialty Food Store Owner

small business idea example: specialty food store

Gourmet foods, cheeses, sake, wine — you name a food, there’s a specialty food store out there for it. Put your passion for exotic olive oils to good use and open a store like American Provisions where you offer the kind of expertise and selection your audience couldn’t dream of getting from their local grocer.

To start your specialty food store, you’ll want to curate and source the items from makers that you love and trust. Ask around your community to find local makers of the food you want to sell, and the makers will likely be open to a partnership, especially if they get a cut of the profits.

When it’s time to sell, you’ll want to find a physical location, but if that investment is too high, you can start by setting up stalls at food festivals and local markets. Or you can go the ecommerce route and sell the products through your website, taking care to carefully pack perishable items.

17. Food Truck Owner

Always dreamt of owning a restaurant but not quite ready to take the plunge? Test out your concepts with a food truck. It’s a great way to become familiar with food and restaurant licensing in your state, see what people like and don’t like, and build a ravenous following before ever opening or investing in a brick-and-mortar location.

Food trucks will require a larger investment, but thankfully, you can rent the truck itself — the Food Truck Group and Roaming Hunger are two potential leasers you could look at. The cost will be high, so we recommend renting one in preparation for an event such as a food festival or concert. There, you’ll get to test out the popularity of your cuisine and see if the food truck business is right for you.

Taco Nganas , a taco truck in Memphis, TN, started with one food truck and expanded to three, building a loyal customer base along the way.

18. Car-detailing Specialist

small business idea example: car detailing

The devil is in the details, and you can be too. Car-detailing services that travel to the client are convenient for busy people who can’t find the time to run through the car wash. With this business, your clients only have to pay and the service will be done for them before they know it. Just make sure you have the flexibility, transportation, and equipment to take your business on the road.

There are no educational requirements for car detailing, but you should still take a course such as Auto Finesse’s detailing training to learn core concepts and brush up on your skills.

To get your car detailing business off the ground, you’ll need an SEO-optimized website and a way for customers to book online with you. Before you take that step, however, consider listing your services on websites like Angi , Thumbtack , and even Nextdoor.com so you can get your first local clients.

Don’t have a lot of money to start your business? Check out the ideas below.

1. Translator

Speak a foreign language? Start a translation service. Consider specializing in a specific genre of translation, like medical or financial translation, as you might be able to fill a niche need in your community.

small business ideas: translator

To become a translator, you should have a rock-solid grasp of two languages — ideally, you’ll be near native level for both. You don’t need special credentials to become a translator, but a certification (such as from the American Translators Association ) will legitimize your business and help you get clients.

Prior to gaining a certification, you can also pursue an online certificate, which will teach you the basics of translation. Some providers include:

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • The University of Arizona
  • University of Georgia

2. Garden Designer

Many people have the willingness to do the dirty work in their backyards, but few have the know-how to complete the first part of this process — designing and planning the backyard space. Draw up the designs for your clients’ outdoor spaces and let them do the actual digging.

But you can also offer installation services, or hire your own contractors to fulfill the design.

small business ideas: garden designer

To become a garden designer, you should seek at least one credential so you’re well-versed in the basics and prevent damage to a client’s landscape. The American Academy of Garden Design offers courses and certificates that start at $450. A cheaper option is New Skills Academy’s Garden Design Certification ($120).

Remember, the goal is to start a business for cheap, and a certification can have a high ROI after you book your first few clients for garden design.

3. Travel Planner

The time of the travel agent might be passing, but people are still looking for those with a knack for more nontraditional travel coordination. If you always plan the perfect vacations complete with beautiful hotels, the ideal location, and a bevy of delicious restaurants lined up for every evening, consider advertising your services as a more modern approach to travel planning.

You don’t have to only plan trips for individuals, either. If you’re experienced enough, you can even start a group travel company, like Art N Soul Escapes .

You can become a travel planner by first volunteering to plan a few trips for your family and friends. Try it and see if you like it. Once you feel like you’ve gotten a good taste, attend a travel planner program and get certified. Some options include:

  • The Travel Institute Training & Certification Program
  • Penn Foster Travel and Tourism Specialist Diploma

You can also seek employment at a travel agency first, then strike out on your own once you’ve learned the basics.

4. Home Inspector

A home inspector examines a house’s drywall, electrical wiring, energy efficiency, and structural integrity to find potential issues on behalf of a home buyer. Home inspectors work in the field. They visit homes in person and provide a written inspection report. Alternatively, some home inspectors offer virtual inspections, which may be a good fit if you’d prefer to work from home.

small business ideas: home inspector

Working as a home inspector requires certification and a great deal of expertise, but it can offer a flexible work schedule and stable income. Confirm the licensing requirements in your state before getting started with this type of small business. You’ll want to make sure you’re providing the best service to your clients by having all of your credentials in order.

To become a home inspector, you should invest in a certification program, such as:

  • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
  • ATI Home Inspector Academy

Be sure to check local authorities and universities for a course.

5. Personal Chef

We all love to eat, but few of us have the time or energy to cook healthy, delicious meals. Advertise your services to local families and businesses alike. To save on start-up costs, consider scheduling certain groups of clients together — say, vegetarians — so you can cook larger quantities of the same dish.

You can also begin by selling food in batches at local farmer’s markets or via a food truck. Once you’ve generated some awareness, you can begin taking on clients. Alternatively, you can start a delivery meal prep service by cooking 5-7 days’ worth of meals for clients.

small business idea example: personal chef

Chef Paul’s mouth-watering dishes are available to clients across the country. His clientele niche consists of athletes, corporate businesses, and local gyms.

6. Property Manager

Many people maintain properties they don’t live in — often based in different cities or states. As a property manager, you can help a property owner ensure their home is well taken care of, handle small fixes as they arise, and serve as a liaison to renters. It’s helpful if you have a background in real estate.

This option is a great fit if you have stupendous organizational, administrative, and customer service skills. As a property manager, you’ll be handling everything from screening potential tenants to collecting rent.

To become a property manager, you must first complete coursework in your desired state. We recommend working at an existing property management company to get your foot in the door. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can then start your own property management business.

7. Massage Therapist

Soothe aching muscles and promote peace for your clients as a massage therapist. As a massage therapist, you’ll offer targeted, personalized care that’s an edge above in-shop or mall massage services. To start this small business, you should invest in customer service courses, as well as a massage therapy certification.

small business idea example: massage therapist

Be sure to look into training and certification courses in your city and state, and to invest in a portable bed to take on client visits.

8. Interior Designer

Similar to landscape design — there are many people who have the ability to buy the furniture and home decor they need to fill their rooms, but few who know where to start. It might take some time to build a portfolio, but documenting your projects and sharing them online can build a fanbase beyond your wildest dreams.

To start an interior design business, we first recommend trying your hand at decorating your friends’ homes and working with their vision and specifications. One big aspect of interior design is providing fantastic customer service and knowing how to fulfill a client’s design vision while employing your interior design expertise.

You can then take an interior design course to round out your knowledge, such as the one offered by The New York Institute of Art and Design .

Need inspiration? Check out Sandra Cavallo’s interior design Instagram account.

small business idea example: interior designer

9. Nonprofit Owner

If you dream of devoting your life to a cause you believe in, it might be time to start a nonprofit. You’ll need to incorporate your business and file for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status — and then you’ll be required to meet ongoing standards of compliance, but the payoff is making a meaningful impact on a cause you believe in.

The best thing is that you can begin a nonprofit easily from your home, even before filing for 501(c)(3) status. First, create a non-profit website (ideally with a .org top-level-domain). Define your mission and goals, and figure out how you’ll execute your non-profit activities. For instance, if you’re raising money to buy books for local schools, who will deliver them? Which retailer will you use? Start small, then expand.

Thereafter, apply for exempt status so that you’re not taxed like a regular business. The profit margins may be smaller, but the job is endlessly rewarding.

Whether you’re a math whiz, piano master, or Shakespeare aficionado, there’s someone out there who needs a little help in your area of expertise and is willing to pay for it. Advertise your services through local schools, community colleges, community centers, and even social media to get the word out and build a customer base.

To start a tutoring business, you should first gain experience educating others by either volunteering or even teaching friends and family. But you can begin straight away by listing your services locally and online and launching a tutoring website.

Be sure to define your niche. Will you be tutoring students in their homes? Or opening a local tutoring location? Which subject will you teach? Create handouts, use textbooks, and know which online resources will be best for your tutee’s learning style.

11. Consultant

If you have significant experience in or knowledge of a specific subject, consider becoming a consultant. Perhaps you’re an expert at hiring practices, have a knack for SEO , or have led multiple sales teams to six-figure success. Identify your expertise and market yourself as a consultant and charge the going rate.

Download Now: Free Consultant's Success Kit

Some consulting industries are more competitive than others, so be sure to complete your research prior to starting a small consulting business. One way to find out how competitive a consulting niche is by doing keyword search . If your target niche is highly searched or already is dominated by big companies, you may have a harder time breaking in. You can use keyword research tools to uncover keyword volume and local demand.

12. Event Planner

An event planning business is an excellent choice if you have great organizational and interpersonal skills, and it’s relatively cheap to start. You might choose to specialize in a specific type of event — like weddings or company meetings — or set yourself up as an event planner of all trades.

The good news is that event planners are always in demand. It’s not a job that can be easily automated, so this small business idea is set to thrive regardless of the digital landscape. To start, you’ll want to look for a platform that will easily allow you to advertise your availability, such as event planner directories like Eventective and WeddingWire .

If you’re highly organized, are detail-oriented, and have experience planning large events, it might be time for others to benefit from your skills.

13. Personal Assistant

Personal assistants help business owners and executives take care of administrative tasks. To launch a freelance personal assistant business, you should leverage networking opportunities on LinkedIn and attend small business events at local chambers of commerce. Most local business owners might not even know they need a personal assistant until you market your services to them.

If you’re an organized, highly-detailed person, the life of a personal assistant might be for you. Don’t want to be tied to one office or person all day, every day? Consider becoming a virtual assistant, which allows you a more flexible work environment.

To become an assistant, choose a niche — will you be helping women business owners specifically? Do you have a specific field of expertise, like bookkeeping? A website can also go a long way, and be sure to print business cards for you to hand out during networking events.

14. Consignment Shop Owner

If you have an eye for style but don’t want to invest in the inventory of a brand-new boutique, consider starting a consignment shop. It will allow you to curate a collection of clothing that matches your goals and aesthetic, without the overhead of a boutique selling entirely new garments.

The beauty of a small consignment business is that you can now start one online. You can sign up on a platform such as Poshmark , Depop , and even Etsy , then easily start selling your own used fashion from home.

Once you’ve defined your niche — such as vintage clothing, unique locally made art, or colorful shoes — you can begin sourcing new products from your local stores and thrift shops.

15. Caterer

If the personal chef gig is too restrictive for your schedule, consider catering instead. Pick your projects, work on fewer but larger events, and hone in on your time management skills.

Becoming a caterer is a natural step for those who are used to cooking for large events — for instance, you may have already catered your friend’s wedding, or brought a 20-person meal to a potluck (that counts, too!).

It’s essential that you have enough temperature-regulated storage for the meals prior to each event, and that you arrange for reliable, temperature-controlled transportation to and from your home kitchen. Alternatively, you can lower your costs by inviting customers to pick up their order at your home.

16. Gym Owner

Kickboxing gyms, yoga studios, CrossFit, oh my! Turn your passion for fitness into a community for others by creating your own gym — start one from the ground up, become an affiliate, or open a franchise location.

Available franchise opportunities include Anytime Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, Pure Barre, Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and more. Be prepared to take out a loan to finance your franchise — most agreements start with fees upward of $20,000. But the payoff can be tremendous due to brand recognition. You’ll have no trouble recruiting new members as long as you use local marketing strategies .

Alternatively, you can create a local studio, but ideally, it should be for a specific activity instead of general fitness. Yoga, pilates, bootcamp-style gyms, and martial arts perform well as independent fitness studios.

17. Boutique Agency Owner

What’s your specialty? Whether it’s marketing, social media, or PR, it might be time to start your own agency. Many other small businesses need this type of help but don’t have the resources or volume to necessitate a full-time position.

To start an agency, you would ideally have worked in your specialty for a number of years. You should also be prepared to interface directly with clients, fulfill their requirements, and temper their expectations (if they want results in an unreasonably short amount of time).

Consider building a small team and learn from other entrepreneurs who’ve successfully started their own agencies, like Duane Brown of Take Some Risk .

18. Coffee Shop Owner

Turn your caffeine addiction into something a little more lucrative. Opening a franchise or buying an existing shop are lower-risk entry points to the coffee game, but they usually require a little more cash upfront. Starting a shop from scratch requires more planning and work — but it also maximizes your earning potential in the future.

A coffee shop is an excellent fit if you already have a full-time remote job and wish to supplement your income with a small business. You can manage the coffee shop as you work at one of the tables, but be sure to have the budget to hire an experienced barista who can pick up the slack.

If you would like to open a coffee shop and run it full-time on your own, you’ll need to undertake barista training, understand worldwide coffee sources, and have excellent customer service skills.

19. Moving Company

A truck, moving equipment, manpower, and the correct permits and insurance are the building blocks of starting your own moving company . Before you buy your first fleet of trucks, however, start small with a moving van and keep your costs low.

Still sound like too much of an initial investment? Consider offering packing services only, which have a much lower financial barrier to entry. You can partner with moving companies and offer to do their packing, or have them refer clients to you.

You could even take a niche approach to the industry as Astro International has by offering international moving services.

small business idea example: moving company

20. Home Staging

If you have a flair for interior design, a staging service might serve as your creative outlet and professional calling. You can build a portfolio with little initial investment by staging homes using the owner’s existing furnishings and decor. Most stagers eventually build up an inventory of furniture as they become more established and network with area realtors.

To get your first home staging clients, you should first rely exclusively on networking. Find your local realtors’ association and attend their events with business cards handy. Once you’ve gotten your first clients and built your portfolio, you can begin posting your designs on your home staging website.

small business ideas: home staging

If you don’t yet have enough experience, be sure to pursue an interior design course before opening this small business.

These home business ideas give you a few more business options that are either based at home or online.

Frontend, backend, and every type of code in between, this skill requires no in-person interaction with your clients. But one skill you’ll want to carry over from the in-person world for this type of business is active listening. It can be easy to zone out while building a product, but developing a connection with the client is just as important as developing the code for their website.

If you keep the client top of mind when you can’t be around physically, you can ensure that you’re meeting their development needs with your coding work.

Download Now: 25 Free HTML & CSS Hacks

2. Vending Machine Owner

Since 2015, the growth rate for vending machine businesses has increased 1.4%. Even as social distancing restrictions are still in place, this business can still be lucrative if you choose the right locations. High-traffic is key — places like hospitals, schools, and community centers are smart places to start placing your machines to generate enough revenue to cover cost and turn a profit.

small business idea example: vending machine owner

3. Social Media Manager

Do you have a knack for social media? As a social media manager, you can use your skills to manage the social media accounts for companies and even individual people. Influencer marketing has become more common and many influencers rely on marketing agencies or employees to help them run their social channels.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

4. Data Entry Clerk

Many businesses seek data entry clerks to help them enter information into their computer systems and spreadsheets. If you have strong computer and typing skills, this might be the business for you.

5. Audio or Video Editor

As of March 2021, there are 1.75 million podcasts available to listeners. For this reason, brands are turning to audio and visual content to connect with consumers. The catch is that many don't have the time to invest in the production of this content, or they don't have the skills to do it. Audio and video editors are in demand when it comes to producing quality content for hungry audiences.

6. Voiceover Artist

Speaking of podcasts and videos, many content creators recognize the value and level of professionalism that great voice talent can bring to a project. There are gigs out there for podcast intros/outros, narration for explainer videos, or even voice work for audiobooks. Learn how to get started with no experience from Kat Theo below:

7. Dog Walker, Groomer, or Trainer

Licensing and insurance will be the two most important factors in opening a dog walking, grooming, or training business, but your canine colleagues will surely make up for the initial red tape. To test the waters before jumping in, consider walking dogs through companies like Rover. Ready to run your own show? Consider a franchise like Dogtopia .

8. Candy Seller

If you grew up in a close-knit, southern neighborhood, you're probably familiar with the " Candy Lady ". This home business can be started by anyone who's trustworthy in the community. Aside from selling the most popular snacks, a candy seller can provide the neighborhood with fresh fruit and produce that may be harder to find if you live in a food desert.

Online Business Ideas

If you want a business idea that you can run entirely online, check out the ones below. These ideas are ideal for those looking for a passive income stream. In other words, you shouldn’t need to do too much manual work to launch these businesses from your home or preferred business location.

1. Become an online reseller.

To become an online reseller, all you need is some business savvy and some funds to invest in product stock from manufacturers — or, of course,the willingness to sell your own used items. Generally, this is a low-touch but high-performance way of creating a passive income online business.

Online resellers usually use a platform, such as Facebook Marketplace or Amazon Sellers, to sell either their own or manufacturers’ stock. The benefit of using Facebook Marketplace is that you can begin today with your own Facebook account, and simply list items that you already own.

Interested buyers typically drive directly to your home for pick-up — but if you’re not interested in human interaction, you can leave it outside and have the buyer pay via an online platform.

online business ideas: amazon seller

Amazon Sellers requires a little more up-front investment, but the yield is usually higher and you can turn your Amazon reselling business into a more passive income stream. Amazon allows you to buy stock from various manufacturers, which they then keep in their warehouses. When an Amazon user buys from you, Amazon will fulfill that order and then give you a substantial cut.

2. Try affiliate marketing.

An affiliate marketing business is a great fit if you already own a website or a blog you wish to monetize. We’ve already shared how blogging is a great business to start — if you’ve already bought a domain name and begun writing content, then using it to start your affiliate marketing business is a great option.

Affiliate marketers create blog posts and content that contain affiliate links. When a user clicks on that link, a cookie is added to their browser that tracks their activity for a specified period of time. If they make a purchase at the affiliate website, then you get a commission — usually recurring, if you’re selling subscription products.

There are countless affiliate marketing programs for you to start your online business. These programs come with many benefits, such as pre-made advertisements and lazy copy for you to use.

To create a viable affiliate marketing online business, you should choose the right blog niche , such as technology, household decor and organization, or fitness, and then find affiliate marketing programs that offer products your readership would be genuinely interested in.

3. Become a content creator or influencer.

Instagrammers, YouTubers, podcasters, and TikTokkers with more than ten thousand followers can eventually turn their accounts into a small online business that generates passive income.

As a content creator or influencer on social media, you can not only earn money from sponsored partnerships, but you can monetize your audience in other ways, such as creating Subscriptions on Instagram , allowing companies to advertise on your YouTube channel, or creating a paid-only newsletter.

online business ideas: content creator

Becoming an influencer or content creator takes hard work, but it can be a fun way to create a small online business, assuming you’re posting content that you enjoy creating. First, you should choose a niche, such as thrifted fashion, work-from-home hacks, or even industry tips. Then, you should learn how to become a social media influencer and digital creator , then create a social media content calendar .

Most importantly, have fun with this online business idea as you give it a try. The good news is that it has little overhead — all you need is a willingness to spend time on social media content creation.

4. Open a dropshipping store.

We’ve mentioned dropshipping a few times already, but this is such a great online business idea that it’s absolutely worth mentioning again. Dropshipping businesses don’t manufacture what they sell, or even buy stock from manufacturers in advance. Instead, wholesalers fulfill the order directly after a buyer places an order through your website.

Opening an ecommerce store can be forbidding for those who don’t want to deal with inventory management or supply chain logistics . Dropshipping is the best alternative.

The only thing you need is the willingness to invest in an ecommerce website builder and the ability to manage relationships with local or international manufacturers. From there, you need to only publish your site and advertise your brand via ecommerce marketing .

Learn how to start a dropshipping business here , with examples.

5. Sell print-on-demand products.

Print-on-demand (POD) is another way to start a dropshipping business, except it’s a little more frictionless because most POD services allow you to create a storefront right on their website, instead of you needing to look for a separate ecommerce site builder.

With a POD online business, you design unique artwork. The print-on-demand provider will allow you to place that design on t-shirts, hats, tote bags, phone cases, and more. You do not keep any inventory; instead, the POD provider will print it only after a buyer makes an order, then ships it directly to them.

online business ideas: print on demand shop

The only thing you need to start this small online business is a penchant for design and the budget to pay for a print-on-demand subscription (although most providers are free, and they simply take a cut of the sale). Get acquainted with design principles and color theory , and you can get started with this business in no time.

6. Become an independent author.

Think becoming an author is only for those who are extremely lucky? Think again. Whether you write historical epics or self-help guides, chances are that there’s a market to read your work, and you can now easily publish it online .

We recommend editing and proofreading your book, or hiring someone to do it, before self-publishing it. Then, it’s as simple as signing up on a self-publishing platform such as Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble Press , uploading your file and cover, and pushing it live. You’ll enjoy benefits such as large royalties (up to 70%) and the ability to unpublish the book at any time, in case you find a typo or another change you’d like to make.

To get this online business idea off to a strong start, invest in an author website , spend some time doing social media marketing , and learn the basics of book marketing .

7. Sell downloadable digital products.

Downloadable journals, templates, art prints, designs… Some people would simply prefer to print these at home, instead of paying for the full price of the paper and the design. Downloadable digital products can be a profitable small business idea for those who are already design-savvy or who are willing to learn how to use an online design tool .

online business ideas: digital products

But if you’re not too crafty, you don’t need to create full-on journals or beautiful art prints, either; you can create templates for marketplaces such as Canva’s . There, people are able to customize a base design to their specifications, so you don’t have to worry too much about creating something specially beautiful — it’s more about functionality and customizability.

If you plan to create digital products that buyers can print at home, think about printing specifications, such as recommended paper size, paper weight, PPI (pixels per inch; a higher PPI results in better print quality), and so on. It’s essential to create a positive customer experience, even if users are ultimately responsible for what the final result looks like.

8. Publish a subscription-based newsletter.

We’ve already discussed becoming an independent author, but if long-form writing, such as novels, seems out of reach, you can always go for something much shorter and simpler: Newsletters. And the best part about paid newsletters is that you typically don’t need to have a separate website and blog; instead, you can sign up on a platform and begin publishing right away.

A website can, of course, benefit you, but the core of your revenue will come from the newsletter itself.

online business ideas: paid newsletter

With newsletter monetization platforms such as Substack or even Patreon , you can publish shorter content that features your opinion, experience, and expertise. We recommend pairing this small business idea with a robust social media marketing strategy , where your followers can learn more about you and be swayed to subscribe to a gated newsletter.

Choose a niche you’re passionate about, and this online business idea can feel less like work and more like a profitable hobby.

9. Create an online course.

If you want to monetize your expertise a little further for your online business, then creating an online course is the best choice.

To create a course, you’ll need to sign up on an online course platform such as WordPress or Teachable , sketch out a curriculum, film your lectures, and create worksheets and guides. You can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you’d like, but to make this online business as passive as possible, you’d ideally record all your lectures at once and allow users to access them by paying a premium fee.

If you’d like to try your hand at it first, you can try publishing a course on a platform such as Udemy and see if it feels viable to you. To become an online course teacher, you don’t need a specific level of education, but you should have a strong grasp on the material you’re teaching and a strong set of customer service skills to handle inquiries or course refunds.

10. Transcript videos, shows, and podcasts.

A freelance transcription business is an excellent idea for those who speak only one language and are passionate about improving communication. Transcribers listen to speech, write it out — usually verbatim — and deliver it to the original publisher in an organized document.

This small online business is a good fit for those who are looking for a part-time side business. You should be able to type quickly and have a good listening ear. Indeed has listed the top transcription companies where you can get your foot in the door.

Once you understand how the industry works, you can consider opening your own small transcription business and offering services on freelancer marketplaces such as Fiverr or Upwork .

Whether you’re looking to start your venture today or you simply don’t want to jump through the normal hoops of launching a small business, the below ideas are extremely easy to start — so easy, all you’ll need to do is sign up on a website or tell your friends about your services.

1. Vacation Host

Have you ever used a home-sharing service instead of a hotel? You could make a living by hosting visitors in your own home or renting out a room. Consider becoming a host with companies like Airbnb .

To become a vacation host, you don’t need any special skills except friendliness, courteousness, and agility (in case of guest emergencies or language barriers). A customer service course will prepare you to welcome guests and give them a pleasant stay.

You’ll need to invest in supplies and toiletries, such as new bedding and one-time soaps and toothbrushes, but the overhead is relatively small, and you can stop at any time.

2. Pet Sitter

Do you have a passion for pets? Consider becoming a pet sitter. While the pet's owners are away on vacation, either host their pet at your home or make visits to their home. Join a pet sitting service like Wag to get started.

small business idea example: pet sitter

If you start a pet sitting business, be sure to have some experience with dogs, cats, and other household pets. You should also choose a niche based on timing. For instance, do you prefer long-term arrangements? You can market yourself as an excellent vacation pet sitter. Do you only do single afternoons, or only on weekends? You can pull in clients by telling them you’ll take care of their pets during their dates or weekend trips.

3. Daycare Owner

Childcare continues to be in high demand. While nannies and nanny shares are popular right now, a good daycare is hard to find. Fill a need in your neighborhood by opening your own. And, as always, make sure you’re complying with your city and state’s zoning, licensure, insurance, and inspection requirements.

Home daycares are especially a good fit if you’re an experienced parent and have all supplies ready at home. But be warned that you’ll also need to buy more supplies to accommodate the additional children you’ll need to take care of.

We recommend getting a soft start with this business by advertising it first to your friends, families, and close neighbors. That way, you can better gauge whether it’s a good fit for you and whether you want to make the full investment.

If there’s a topic you have a heavy interest in, then there’s an audience out there with a heavy interest in it too. A blog can be used to build an online community whose engagement can be monetized. Affiliate marketing , sponsored content , and co-marketing are some ways to make money once your blog develops a following.

→ Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

Blogging is one of the most accessible small businesses to start, and there are countless niches to choose from. That said, because there are many blogs online, you’ll need to learn blog SEO and keyword research to ensure your audience finds you. That way, you actually make money out of your blogging efforts.

The great news is that a small blogging business has a ridiculously low overhead. All you need is a custom domain and your time for writing blog posts.

5. Home-Baked Goods Seller

Warehouse-made, store-bought chocolate chip cookies will never compare to a batch made with love in someone’s home. Simple desserts can be easily baked and packaged to sell at local events or around your neighborhood. Use custom labels and watch the word spread about your goods!

You can begin a baked goods business easily by opening a Facebook and Instagram profile. Facebook and Instagram are both excellent platforms to market your goods, show pictures of your previous baked products, and even showcase happy clients.

Build a loyal following slowly, and save on costs by asking clients to drive to your home to pick up their order. Choosing a niche can be helpful here, or baking in a specific style that can’t be found at grocery store bakeries. The overhead can be especially low if you already have most essential baking supplies.

6. Ecommerce Store Owner

Do you create, collect, or curate anything special? Consider starting an ecommerce store and turning your hobby into a full-time job. Whether you need somewhere to sell all that pottery you’ve been making, or an excuse to search for the sports memorabilia you love tracking down, an ecommerce store can make it financially viable for you to pursue your passion.

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Starting an ecommerce store is simple and easy. You can set up a shop using an ecommerce website builder , all of which start at a minimal monthly subscription (some even start at free). Be sure to take good photos of your products and write descriptive product pages .

If you don’t have inventory, you can always own an ecommerce store by using dropshipping . Instead of creating and shipping your products yourself, you’ll instead partner with a dropshipping website and have them mail out the orders directly to your client.

7. House Cleaner

With a low barrier to entry, house cleaning can be a great way to start doing what you love — soon. Consider advertising to homes in your neighborhood and get more bang for your buck by earning a few small businesses as clients as well. They’ll usually bring in a higher paycheck for a similar amount of work.

To become a house cleaner, you should be prepared to invest in cleaning supplies and accessories, or be willing to use your own. If you plan to serve small businesses, you should buy industrial janitorial supplies so you can get work done more effectively.

Need some inspiration? This small business cleaning service grew virtually overnight on Instagram after their content went viral during the pandemic.

small business idea example: go clean co

8. Packing Services Facilitator

Moving is always a pain, and many people hire the entire packing process out. As a packing services facilitator, you’ll be going to people’s homes and packing up their smaller items into organized boxes. To start this business, you must be comfortable with face-to-face contact and with manual labor.

small business ideas: packing services facilitator

You can begin this business by advertising in your own neighborhood. Once you’re ready to expand, consider partnering with a local moving service that will refer new clients to you. That way, you’ll have a steady stream of clients, and you won’t have to invest in a moving truck (the moving service will take care of that for you).

Business Ideas for Students

1. etsy shop owner.

Creating novelties by hand is a fun and unique way to start a small business, and you can easily sell them via Etsy . Whether you make jewelry, knitted comfort items, or even custom wigs , there’s probably a market for your products and an Etsy buyer who’s ready to purchase.

small business ideas: etsy shop owner

This idea is excellent if you’re already an expert in the craft you aim to sell. That way, you don’t need to pursue additional education or certification courses. Once you set up your Etsy store, which is free, tap into your audience with creative marketing on social media and optimize your website using keywords that describe the products you make.

2. Tour Guide

Love the local history of your city or state? Consider becoming a tour guide. Sure, you’ll need to conduct plenty of research to be able to do the job well, but that’s half the fun. Set yourself apart by offering tours that speak to a specific niche of your community’s history.

You can start a tour guide business easily. First, decide what your specialty will be. Some tour guides, like the ones at Freedom Trail in Boston , offer historical walking tours of their town’s most haunted spots while others curate guided foodie tours for guests to get a true taste of the city.

small business idea example: tour guide

Maybe you love the outdoors and are an experienced backpacker — you can then offer hiking tours. To begin, use a platform such as TripAdvisor or Airbnb, where you can sign up as a tour guide provider. Remember to launch a website, and to file for sole proprietorship status .

3. Online Class Instructor

Tutoring is often done in person and with one client at a time. Remotely teaching an online class offers more flexibility because you can teach multiple students from home. English is a common subject for online classes because of how many people want to learn it. But anything that you have a mastery over could be translated to a virtual class.

4. Small-Batch Goods Seller

Using organic, all-natural ingredients is more expensive, but worth it. There are many products you can learn how to make at home without any preservatives, chemicals, or toxins. Candles, soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers are some examples of goods you can create and tailor with custom scents. Try starting out making soap with this complete beginner’s guide to soapmaking:

5. Makeup Artist

Many people prefer to have a professional do their makeup because they may lack the proper products or just the skills. It may be for a special occasion, photoshoot, or video shoot, or another event. Being able to do a variety of different looks will make your business more attractive to more customers.

To run a successful makeup artist business, you’ll need to be social media savvy . Instagram in particular is an excellent platform to advertise your services and get new clients.

You should also consider honing in on a specific niche. For instance, you might do wedding makeup exclusively.

6. Professional Organizer

A lot of people struggle with clutter or disorganization in their homes and offices. It can be a large undertaking to create organized systems and habits. Grab a lot of storage bins and a label maker and get started!

To become an organizer, you’ll first need to have the chops: Is your own home organized? Do you enjoy making order out of chaos? Then, launch a website to market your services locally. Be sure to create local listings to ensure people find your business, including listings on Angi, Houzz, and Thumbtack.

Meg Golightly, founder at Gosimplified , has made this small business idea into a successful career.

Is your head buzzing with small business ideas yet? After all that brainstorming, you’ll need a practical plan to get started with your new small business.

  • Identify your small business idea.
  • Start as a side business or hobby.
  • Decide on your software.
  • Create a business plan.
  • Decide whether you'll be an LLC or sole proprietorship.
  • Create a business bank account.
  • Determine if your business idea works well from home.
  • Set up an office.
  • Get to work!

1. Identify your small business idea.

Whether you choose an option from the list above or have another idea up your sleeve, it’s important to have the experience, training, or skills necessary to be successful. Want to run a daycare but have never even visited a successful daycare center? Spend time conducting research to learn whether this is really the right fit for your experience, interests, and target audience.

2. Start as a side business or hobby.

Can you get your business off the ground as something you do in the evenings or on the weekends (a.k.a. a side job)? This allows you to make some mistakes, test the market, and understand whether your idea has legs before you quit your nine-to-five job and lose your primary income.

3. Decide on your software.

You’ve got a lot of things on your plate when first starting up. But one step that’s critical (and often forgotten by first-time entrepreneurs) is deciding on the software that can help you be more efficient as your business grows.

Every business is different — but almost all companies can use software to help with analytics, project management , accounting, bookkeeping, email marketing, and other basic day-to-day tasks.

One of the most important software tools every small business should utilize is a free all-in-one CRM platform to keep track of important customer information in one central database. It will help align your team and make sure you stay organized as your business grows.

4. Create a business plan.

No business plan? No business. Particularly if your small business idea requires investors, you'll need to draft up a business plan to provide an overview of your market positioning, your financial projections, and your unique competitive advantages. You can download HubSpot's free business plan templates for free to get started.

One-Page Business Plan Template

Download Free Business Plan Templates

Your business plan should include the following elements:

  • Executive summary — A high-level overview of your company and market placement.
  • Business model — Outline what your business does, who your business serves, and how your business is structured. You should include a description of what products and services you offer, and how they meet the needs of your customers.
  • Market condition — A summary of pertinent competitor information. Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your closest competitors.
  • Products and services — Use this section to describe your products and services in detail, and outline what differentiates your product from others in the market.
  • Operations and management — Outline your business’ organizational structure, key roles, and responsibilities.
  • Marketing and sales strategy — This section should describe how you will market and sell your product. Include information on your ideal customer, how you plan to position your offering, and your sales strategy.
  • Financial plan — Create a detailed outline of your business financials. Include your start-up costs, your initial financial productions, and how you anticipate generating funding.
  • Appendix — Once the above pieces are complete, end the document with an appendix summarizing your business plan.

Every business is different — but almost all companies can use software to help with analytics, project management, accounting, bookkeeping, email marketing, and other basic day-to-day tasks.

5. Decide whether you’ll be an LLC or sole proprietorship.

Two common legal structures for small businesses are limited liability corporations (LLCs) and sole proprietorships.

An LLC is a more complex business structure than a sole proprietorship and can include individuals, corporations, and other LLCs as members. Additionally, LLCs are not subject to a separate level of tax and offer the business owner liability protection and tax advantages. LLCs are formed on a state-by-state basis.

Sole proprietorships are businesses owned and operated by one person and are not identified as a separate entity from the owner by the government. While a sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, sole proprietors are personally liable for their business.

Besides an LLC or sole proprietorship, there are a few other options for you to consider.

Sean Flannigan, Sendle's Content Manager, says, "While many small businesses might be best served by choosing an LLC or sole proprietorship, there are a few other options."

"Partnerships are great for businesses operated by several individuals. It hews most closely to a sole proprietorship in that the individuals take on the business liability and pay taxes on a personal level."

He adds, "To completely avoid personal liability, small businesses might choose to incorporate as a corporation, S corporation, or B Corp. S corporations avoid corporate taxation whereas B Corps must meet a threshold for public benefit and accountability."

Additionally, Flannigan says, "There are tons of great reasons to become a B Corp beyond just doing good business. All that said, many small businesses that aren't aimed at super-fast growth choose to go with an LLC to keep things simple while shielding owners from too much liability."

Learn more about choosing the right structure for your business from the Small Business Administration.

6. Create a business bank account.

Once you have a legally formed business and have been issued an Employer Identification Number (EIN), open a bank account specifically for your business. Having a business bank account is essential for keeping your personal and business finances separate which can help you gain an accurate picture of your business’s cash flow and financial health.

Additionally, keeping your personal and business finances separate makes bookkeeping and tax preparation easier.

Many banks offer business checking and savings accounts. Business checking accounts typically do not have a limit on the number of transactions that can take place, and issue a debit card that can be used for making business purchases. However, these checking accounts do not accrue interest.

Business savings accounts typically earn interest over time but have a limited number of transactions that can occur each month. When you’re just starting out, look for a business bank account that does not have a minimum balance requirement so you are not penalized for having low funds as you work to build your business.

7. Determine if your business idea works well from home.

Ask yourself whether your business idea will work well from home. Some businesses simply aren’t suited to be based from home. If you want to run a dog boarding center but live in an apartment without a backyard, you might want to consider a dog walking business instead.

8. Set up an office.

If your business idea is well-suited for being run from home, it’s still important you have a designated workspace. While a home office might not be possible, consider setting aside a corner in your living room or putting a desk in your bedroom for a space that inspires you and creates the conditions for success.

Need a more professional space? If you conduct client-facing work requiring you to be on video calls, no one wants to see your rumpled sheets in the background. Check out local coworking spaces for memberships that earn you access to conference rooms, desk space, and more.

9. Get to work!

You’ve put in the hard work and I’ve got good news — it’s only going to get harder. But most entrepreneurs will agree that the payoff of being your own boss, making your own hours, and working on projects that you’re passionate about will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

Starting a Small Business: FAQ

What are the types of small businesses.

The types of small business structures are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.

Which business type is best?

The best business type is a limited liability company (LLC). Operating as an LLC means that your personal assets are separate from your business assets. If your business goes bankrupt, your personal holdings won’t be affected. That said, it’s also one of the costlier types, requiring a fee paid to the state.

The easiest business type to start is a sole proprietorship. The main downside is that there’s no differentiation between you and your business.

How do I create a business idea?

To create a business idea, determine your skill set, work preferences, startup budget, and available resources. It’s important to strike the right balance between what you can feasibly offer and what you can feasibly afford in the short and long term.

We recommend starting with your skill set so that you can easily determine the niche in which you can effectively compete. For instance, if you have ample experience as a writer, you might consider starting a freelance writing business. But if you know you’d prefer to work with clients face-to-face, you might choose to start a ghostwriting business instead. That’s why it’s so important to take your work preferences into account, as well.

After that, take a look at your budget and determine the type of business you can start based on the resources at your disposal. For instance, you might not be able to afford a physical office or location, so a location-based business will likely not be a good fit. In that case, starting an online business is your best option.

What are some of the most successful small businesses?

Every small business has the potential to be successful and profitable, provided it’s backed by a strong product-market fit and a robust business plan . These two elements are essential. Maybe post-natal services are one of the most successful small businesses to launch, but if you live in an area with declining population or a large elderly population, then that small business idea won’t yield a high return on investment.

Think carefully about the market where you’re launching your business, and you’ll be more than likely to see lasting success.

What are the top growing small businesses?

top growing small businesses as reported by the bureau of labor statistics

The top growing industries are healthcare support, technology, personal care, food preparation, and community and social service. As such, launching a small business in any of these fields is bound to yield a high return on investment, but remember to take your target market into account.

Here are some small business ideas for each of those industries:

Healthcare Support

  • In-home care assistant
  • In-home elderly care provider
  • Psychological care provider
  • Pre-natal and post-natal support specialist
  • Freelance programmer or web developer
  • Freelance IT support specialist
  • Freelance cybersecurity expert

Personal Care

  • Hair stylist
  • Nail technician

Food Preparation

  • Personal chef
  • Food truck owner
  • Food delivery

Community and Social Services

  • Non-profit owner
  • Education specialist

Brainstorm Your Next Small Business Venture

Selecting a small business idea to work on is a personal decision. Money is important, but you’ll need more motivation than that to keep going. Bounce ideas off your friends and family until you reach the perfect idea that works for your schedule, fulfills your life’s passion, and makes financial sense. Don’t be afraid to ask for help throughout this process — and remember to have a little fun while you’re putting in the work.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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26 Great Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

Table of contents.

Tejas Vemparala headshot

If you are thinking about starting a business , you should be considering whether your idea fills a need in the way people live their lives and approach their work. If you can identify an unmet need and a target market, then you might just have a business idea with legs. But how can you come up with a good small business idea in the first place? This list of business ideas includes 26 great types of business to help you find success.

Starting a business is a lot of work, but we’re here to help! Check out our useful resources for everything you need to successfully build your business from the ground up.

  • How To Start A Business: Step By Step
  • 11 Things To Do Before Starting A Business
  • Tax and Business Forms You’ll Need To Start A Business
  • Startup Costs: How Much Cash Will You Need?
  • 20 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business

26 great small business ideas

This list of 26 great business ideas will help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey. Note that many of the ideas below only require you to have a credit card processing partner to get started, so you can keep upfront expenses relatively low.

Read on for some inspiration into the many types of businesses that could launch you to success.

1. Online reselling

Online reselling

If you’re interested in clothing and sales, you might consider starting an online reseller business . Although it takes time, dedication and an eye for fashion, you can start your business as a side hustle and turn it into a full-time resale business. You could start by using online store websites like Poshmark and Mercari to sell your unwanted clothing and items, then expand to your own resale website.

Consider shopping estate sales and flea markets for hidden finds at a low cost and then listing them for a profit online. You may be able to collect a substantial inventory of items that are in good shape for very little overhead if you’re diligent enough and search the right places.

2. Pet sitting

pet sitting

About 70% of U.S. families have a pet . When these families go away for extended periods, your pet-sitting small business can give them peace of mind. As a pet sitter, you’ll watch over your clients’ dogs, cats or other pets at their house. As part of the job, you’ll need to feed them, give them water, play with them, and (with dogs) walk them as needed. To help keep clients satisfied, you’ll need to regularly update them on how their pets are doing.

If you have other sources of income that require nothing more than an internet connection and a laptop, pet sitting may be an especially apt small business idea. Almost all pet owners will be glad to let you work on your laptop while you spend time at their home with their pets, meaning that you can run two income streams simultaneously.

3. T-shirt printing

t-shirt printing

If you have a sense of fashion (or humor), you might enjoy launching a T-shirt printing business. You can also license someone else’s designs and screenprint them onto a blank tee. Either way, if you have space for a T-shirt printing setup, you can easily acquire the necessary tools to get started.

T-shirt printing can be a great e-commerce business. You can allow customers to place online orders and sell T-shirts in bulk. This way, you can sell to customers around the country and even the world.

4. Cleaning service

cleaning service

If you like to clean, you can easily turn that into a business. With a few staff members, a host of cleaning supplies and transportation, you can offer cleaning services to homeowners, apartment complexes and commercial properties. Most cleaning services charge $25 to $50 per hour. Cleaning services are straightforward businesses that require relatively little overhead; you simply need planning, dedication and marketing to attract customers.

If you’re looking to differentiate yourself from other cleaning services, consider adding premium options like floor waxing or exterior power-washing for an additional fee. These services could be the deciding factor between your new cleaning service and seasoned companies that maintain too large a client list to provide that level of cleaning.

5. Online teaching

online teaching

The demand for online education has opened up possibilities for entrepreneurs. Since this is an online venture, you can choose any subject you know about and teach a course regardless of location. If you don’t have advanced knowledge in any particular subject, consider teaching English as a foreign language online to students overseas.

6. Online bookkeeping

Online bookkeeping

As with education, technology allows many bookkeeping services to be performed online. If you are an accountant or bookkeeper who wants the freedom and autonomy of running your own business, take advantage of modern technology to start your own online bookkeeping service.

7. Consulting


If you are knowledgeable and passionate about a specific topic (like business, social media, marketing, human resources, leadership or communication), consulting can be a lucrative option. You can start a consulting business on your own, then grow your business and hire other consultants over time.

8. Medical courier service

Medical courier

If you have a reliable vehicle and good time management skills, consider creating your own courier service – more specifically, a medical courier service. As a driver, you would be responsible for transporting medical items like lab specimens, prescription drugs and equipment. You could start your courier business on your own or hire other drivers to work for you.

The healthcare industry is expanding , which is a good sign for medical courier service job stability. There’s a wide range of client groups your business can serve, including hospitals, nursing homes, labs and private practices.

9. App development

app development

If you are knowledgeable and experienced in technology, you may want to consider a career in app development. Smartphones are an everyday accessory for many Americans that has increased the demand for mobile apps. Similarly, virtual reality software has become popular in recent years, so there is also a demand for VR app development. 

10. Transcription service

transcription service

If you have a good ear and can type quickly, a transcription service would allow you to work from home with a flexible schedule. Medical transcription services are especially needed as voice recognition technology proliferates for healthcare provider dictation. 

You can accept as few or as many transcription jobs as you’d like. This flexibility can be especially beneficial if you’re not looking to start all at once or if you have a day job you would like to keep for now. To boost your business prospects and justify charging more, consider becoming a certified transcriptionist and delving into a few specialties.

Medical transcriptionists typically charge 6 to 14 cents per line of transcription, which adds up quickly. The typical turnaround time for transcription work is 24 hours, so it’s important to stay on top of the jobs you accept. However, the ability to accept only a few requests at first means you can scale up as you are ready. Best of all, there is very little startup cost and overhead. You only need a computer, the appropriate software and a secure messaging service.

While not required, a medical transcription license can increase your business’s competitive advantage while expanding your customer base to include larger companies. Some service providers prefer that their transcriptionists have training from a certified program.

11. Professional organizing

professional organizing

Looking for a small business idea that can really spark joy? Professional organizers, like Marie Kondo, help people declutter and minimize for a living. In an age of materialism, many people are desperate to downsize and take control over their possessions. Minimalism is becoming extremely popular, but people often find it hard to part with things they’ve owned for a long time. Part of being a professional organizer is helping clients develop a system for downsizing.

If you’re a highly organized person who enjoys making spaces functional and comfortable, you might be good at coaching others to do the same. People will pay you to help them devise a method of minimizing their possessions and maintaining an organized space. To promote your business, ask if your clients will let you take before-and-after photos of the areas of their homes you’ve organized. If so, you can use those to create a portfolio that you can put on social media to attract more clients.

12. Freelance copywriting or content writing

freelance copywriting

If you’re a natural wordsmith with a bit of marketing knowledge, you can establish yourself as a freelance copywriter or content writer. Whether you write blogs, web content or press releases, plenty of companies will pay for your services. Increase your value by using SEO knowledge to help clients craft a strategy around specific keywords that their target audience is already using in their online searches.

Freelance copywriting is a great business to run because as long as you have an internet connection, you can work. It’s a business that you can operate from the comfort of your own home or even from the road if you travel. If you establish a large enough network and gain referrals from satisfied clients, you could even make freelance writing your full-time job .

13. Home care service

home care

A background in care and hospitality can go a long way to support housebound seniors who require in-home care. It’s also a service for which demand is only going to grow. According to the Population Reference Bureau, between 2020 and 2060, the 85-and-over population is projected to triple from 6.7 million to 19 million. The global number of centenarians (those over age 100) has already reached nearly 600,000. Many will need care and assistance, often in their own homes.

Luckily, you don’t need a background in healthcare to help seniors and grow a successful business at the same time, although those skills will be in demand as well. Many seniors need help with all kinds of tasks, like errands or repairs around the house. With some experience, you could consider growing your business to help seniors transition from their homes to assisted living facilities, offering services such as packing, transporting, setting up, or storing their furniture and possessions.

Senior home care is a rapidly growing industry. As a senior care provider, you can tap into this market while offering seniors premium care and assisting them with everyday tasks.

14. Translation service

translation service

According to research from IBISWorld, the translation services industry saw a decline in 2020, as did many industries; however, IBISWorld forecasts a “major uptick” for the industry over the next five years. That projected growth isn’t surprising, as the internet has opened up entrepreneurs in other countries to English-speaking markets, and vice versa.

This trend has created an opening for multilingual speakers to offer specific services, such as document translation and the translation of website information into languages for use in other markets. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, you could be successful in carving out a niche in the translation services industry.

15. Digital marketing

digital marketing

The importance of the internet grows with every passing day, but it also becomes harder for businesses to cut through the online clutter and properly market themselves. Digital marketing services are always in demand. Yet, many small and midsize companies would rather outsource them than establish a costly in-house team. If you have chops in SEO, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, web development or social media management, you could seize a business opportunity that allows you the freedom to work from home.

Digital marketing is an important part of any brand, so you’ll need to respond to developments in your clients’ marketing strategies. Social media management entails watching for comments and messages around the clock, not just scheduling posts with a set-it-and-forget-it mindset. If you enjoy strategizing and implementing marketing plans meticulously, digital marketing could be the right business for you. You may also consider becoming an affiliate marketer, which is another form of digital marketing.

16. Owning a food truck

food truck

Food trucks come in all shapes and sizes, serving up a wide range of snacks and cuisines. Take your favorite style of food on the road, and sell your culinary passions directly to hungry customers. Sure, you’ll be working, but you’ll be in a space you’re passionate about, with a chance to connect to people who have similar interests. 

Starting a food truck is a great small business idea for entrepreneurs with a taste for the culinary. The overhead and upkeep for a truck is significantly less than for a restaurant, and you have the added benefit of mobility. [Check out our recommendations for POS systems for your food truck.]

Starting a food truck business can be profitable. However, there are some startup costs to consider, such as purchasing a food truck and modifying it to meet local regulations. If you’re interested in serving up smiles with a food truck, get more information in our guide to starting a food truck business .

17. Lawn care service

lawn service

If you grew up with a lawn, chances are your parents made you maintain it. For many, lawn care is bothersome, but for some it offers a sense of peace and serenity. Working outdoors with your hands to tame and beautify the natural landscape can be a rewarding experience, but since so many people find the work tedious, it can also be profitable.

Lawn care services require little more than some basic equipment, a trailer and perhaps some staff, depending on how many clients you have and how big the jobs are. You can grow a small lawn care service into a full landscaping company by offering premium services and establishing a reputation as a brand that does a thorough job with a smile. If you like working outdoors and creating elegant landscapes, this could be the business for you.

Some states require landscapers, especially those using pesticides, to have a license. Check your state’s requirements to help you determine if you need to obtain a license for your business’s services.

18. Rideshare driving

rideshare driving

If starting your own business seems daunting or too much of a risk, you can always use your car to become a rideshare driver. The overhead and responsibility of running the company fall on the rideshare service, giving you the freedom to work as much or as little as you want. Rideshare applications such as Uber and Lyft allow people to start side hustles that pay well and require little more than a willingness to drive people to their destinations and make occasional friendly conversation.

Rideshare drivers have the independence of a small business owner without the heavy workload required to manage behind-the-scenes logistics. If any of the other business ideas seem to require too much effort or upfront capital, ridesharing might be the way to dip your toe into the world of entrepreneurship.

19. Real estate

real estate

For many people, navigating the housing market is overwhelming. As a real estate agent, you can help people find their dream home at a price that fits their budget. In many states, you only need to complete a few months of classes and pass an exam to qualify as a real estate agent. Keep in mind that even with a certification, you’ll need strong social skills, so if you’re not a people person, this might not be the route for you. [Read related article: How to Become a Real Estate Agent ]

20. Graphic design

graphic design

Corporations, small businesses and sole proprietors all need eye-catching promotional materials, but not everybody has an eye for what looks good. If you have an artistic streak and know how to organize content into a visually pleasing format, start a graphic design business to provide flyers, digital ads, posters and other engaging visual materials. Graphic design requires few physical tools beyond a laptop and a desk.

21. Dropshipping


Not all companies that sell goods store them on-site. In drop-shipping, people who run e-commerce sites go to a third party to fulfill all orders. The third party is likely a wholesale retailer or other entity that runs a warehouse and shipping operation. The minimal inventory and tools needed for drop-shipping make it an especially great startup idea if you’re worried about overhead costs and physical space.

22. Personal training

If the gym is like your second home, you might want to share some of your expertise and help others reach their fitness goals. As a personal trainer, you can offer in-home training sessions that cater to each of your clients’ exercise capabilities. You can also help clients build customized nutrition and meal plans so their diets complement their physical goals.

Many personal trainers start their client acquisition process with social media pages that detail their experience in the gym along with some motivational quotes. While a certification can help expand your customer base, you aren’t legally required to have any specialized training to start this type of business.

23. Resume writing

People are always applying for jobs, whether they want to make a career shift, increase their pay or switch work environments. Of course, most job applications require candidates to submit resumes to detail their professional background. As a resume writer, you can help job applicants’ resumes stand out from their competition.

You’ll also help your clients create cover letters and portfolios that show off the best of their work. Plus, you don’t need any special schooling to be a resume writer – just some basic organizing and proofreading skills. If you know what makes resumes appear professional and ready for employers’ eyes, you’re already off to a great start.

24. Host a podcast

Podcasts have become extremely popular, with more than 100 million active podcast listeners in the U.S. alone. Best of all, you can start a podcast on any topic that interests you, from business to history to pop culture and more. Starting a podcast requires consistency and dedication, as well as a basic understanding of audio editing (and video editing if you want to start a companion YouTube channel for subscribers to follow).

Once your podcast has built up a substantial following, you can sell time to advertisers or establish partnerships with companies that generate revenue. As your brand expands further, you may even be able to charge to speak at events or moderate panels on topics your podcast focuses on. Of course, in order to get to that level, you need to come up with a unique small business idea that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about, and then make sure you can relate to your target audience . 

25. Launch a newsletter

If podcasts aren’t your thing but you like the idea behind building a robust list of subscribers and then selling space to advertisers and partners, consider creating an email newsletter. More than 90% of Americans subscribe to email newsletters . This means if you can capture the attention of a particular audience, you could build a substantial following and monetize it. 

To do so, come up with an umbrella topic you can write about at length, and then work to establish a brand voice and mission. Explore the best email marketing software that can help you manage your subscriber list and email sends, and then you’re ready to get started. Solicit feedback from your audience over time to give them more of what they want and less of what they don’t. After all, their continued engagement with your newsletter is what will help you build it into a successful business. 

26. Event catering

Do you have a passion for the culinary arts? If so, event catering may be a great business idea for you. There’s no shortage of people who need delicious food to serve their guests, whether that’s at parties, weddings, fundraisers, or family reunions. If you have a knack for cooking or baking and love to serve hungry guests, event catering could be a fun and lucrative way to do just that.

To get started, you’ll need to set up a menu and price sheet, as well as obtain all necessary permits and licenses. Start small to get the word out about your catering service, but when your food speaks for itself don’t be surprised if your business grows by leaps and bounds through word of mouth alone.

What are the most successful small businesses?

Small businesses that involve website design, a subset of digital marketing, are among those that make the most sales and bring in the most profit. People learn about businesses on the internet more often than via other avenues, so finding clients and a steady income stream isn’t as difficult. Cleaning services and real estate businesses also have high success rates, which makes sense – all people need homes, and they prefer them to be clean.

Some of the most profitable business ideas are website design, cleaning services and real estate.

What would be a good small business to start?

If you want to maximize your profit while minimizing your workload, try any of the small business ideas that most frequently prove successful. However, if you’re more interested in pursuing your passions while earning enough money to live, start a small business that fulfills you, requires you to use your skills and offers you a good work-life balance . There are so many great business ideas – and you know better than anyone what small business ideas will bring you happiness, success and stability.

How can I start my own business with no money?

You don’t need money to become a small business owner. The first step in starting a business with no money is to keep your current job and launch your small business as a side pursuit at first. Then, develop your business plan and analyze your consumer base, market and potential challenges. 

Near the final stages of planning, you’ll better understand how much money you need to make your business a full-time job. You can find this money through crowdfunding platforms and investors . Consider taking out a business loan only as a last resort.

You should also work with reliable professionals, including an attorney and an accountant. Most of the businesses on this list require particular permits or licenses, and legal counsel can help you make sure you do it all by the book. Meanwhile, an accountant is critical for managing finances properly, especially in the early days when you’re still establishing your revenue stream. While these professionals represent an upfront cost, they’re well worth it and can help you build a healthy business.

Choose a small business idea with low startup costs. If you still don’t have enough money, finance your business idea through crowdfunding or investors.

How do I start a small business from home?

Home-based businesses tend to be the most convenient and manageable ones. That said, not all great business ideas are suited for home offices, so make sure your business can be conducted from home – jobs with on-site needs and heavy in-person demands might not be suitable. In your business plan and budget, incorporate any office supplies and tools that make your online business ideas feasible, such as a separate business computer, a suitable desk, high-speed internet, filing cabinets and a business website.

What makes for a good work-from-home small business idea?

A good work-from-home small business idea boasts the following traits:

  • Minimal inventory and supplies: Presumably, your home isn’t a mansion (yet), and you have only so much space in which to store inventory and supplies. That means lawn care service is probably a no-go if you’re looking to work from home. The same might be true for T-shirt printing if you don’t have space to store your prints. Copywriting and graphic design, on the other hand, require little more than a laptop and a working internet connection, and you probably already have those.
  • Low startup costs : A viable work-from-home business shouldn’t cost much to launch. With minimal storage space, it’s not like you can pile up raw materials and inventory. You might need to buy some software or obtain licensure for certain small business ideas, but your financial obstacles should be few and far between.
  • Computer-based, online work: Many of the above small business ideas require the use of a computer with an internet connection. Drop-shipping, digital marketing and translation are all great examples. An exception to the rule is pet- sitting if you watch over pets at your house rather than the owner’s home. Then, all you need is a pair of watchful eyes and open ears. You can even do computer-based work while watching the pets.
  • Flexible schedule: Traditional office jobs often demand a rigid 9-to-5 schedule from employees. This schedule can feel less important to adhere to if you’re working from home , especially when you’re your own boss. As such, the best work-from-home small business ideas allow for a flexible schedule. If you do your best app development work at 3 a.m., who’s to stop you?
  • Modest collaboration needs: Although remote team collaboration is easy to achieve, working from home goes more smoothly when you’re almost fully independent. A small business in which you answer to just a handful of clients and one or two colleagues (if any) leads to greater independence. Then you can truly work on your own terms and see your small business idea through to full fruition.

What is the step-by-step process for starting a business?

Starting a business takes work, but with the right tools and guidelines, your company will be up and running in no time. Although your specific business journey will be unique to you, we identified a few steps that entrepreneurs can take to start their businesses.

  • Choose a business idea and find your niche
  • Analyze the current market
  • Create a business plan
  • Assess your finances and raise money as needed
  • Determine your legal business structure
  • Register your business with the government and IRS
  • Choose the appropriate business insurance policies
  • Hire employees and build your team
  • Choose your vendors
  • Market and advertise your business


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30 Unique Small Business Ideas to Try in 2023

list of small business ideas

Christopher Ike

Last updated on October 12, 2023 12 mins read

30 unique business ideas

Have you been searching for the right unique small business ideas to try in 2023? You’ve pitched your tent on the right post. We’ve compiled a detailed list of 30 small business ideas for all sizes and purses.

Starting a business offers numerous perks. You own your time, you get a chance to do what you truly love, and most importantly, you get to make more money.

In this post, we’ll share 30 small business ideas worth considering. From cleaning services to selling your expertise and starting an eCommerce site, you can’t run out of options.

Most of these businesses are easy to start, don’t require heavy financial investment upfront, and require very little technical expertise.

Let’s get started.

Top 10 Startup and Small Business Ideas to Try in 2023

Are you looking for your next startup idea? We begin with:

1. Cleaning services

Consider starting a cleaning business if you don’t mind doing the dirty work others cannot do for themselves. The financial reward can be incredible.

small business ideas 2022

Starting a cleaning business is fairly easy and you can start with very little capital. Sometimes, all you need is a scrub and cleaning soap.

That said, here are some cleaning businesses you can easily get into:

  • House cleaning services : Know some busy, single professionals in your neighborhood? Why not approach them and ask to clean their homes for a small fee? The growth potential in this business will surprise you.
  • Vehicle cleaning : Some vehicle owners do not have the time to clean their vehicles. Why not give them some help? You could even take things a bit further by approaching companies and asking to clean their private or a public fleet of vehicles.
  • Carpet cleaning : Got carpet cleaning equipment or know where to hire? Consider starting a commercial or home carpet cleaning service.
  • Graffiti cleaning : Do you know how to take graffiti off walls? Shoot a shot at a graffiti cleaning business.

2. Freelance Writing Business

Freelance writing is readily one of the easiest online businesses to start in 2023. A computer and an internet connection are all you need.

Contrary to popular opinions, you don’t need to have a degree in journalism, literature, or English to get started.

You don’t even need to be a native English speaker to break into freelance writing.

If you have expertise or experience in a particular field – say crypto trading – you can make a business out of it by writing on that subject or shooting videos for your YouTube channel. You can help people understand what are cryptocurrencies, how to trade, which exchanges or crypto portfolio trackers to use.

Moreover, you can also provide Blockchain PR services, since blockchain technology is the future and offer them on your Patreon account. Moreover, you can also provide Blockchain PR services, since blockchain technology is the future.

But if you don’t have any expertise, one good way to start is by hunting for re-writing gigs on platforms like WriterAccess , Fiverr and Upwork.

3. Amazon Kindle Publishing

Can you possibly make money off your writing skill even while sleeping? You definitely can, thanks to Amazon Kindle Publishing.

Amazon kindle publishing

It works like this: You write a book and upload it to Amazon Kindle Publishing. Amazon’s review team will review the book.

Once approved, it will be published on Amazon, and readers can purchase your book. Each time your book gets sold, Amazon will take a certain percentage and leave the rest to you.

If done correctly, Amazon KDP can be a source of passive income. Plus, it is scalable.

Are you great with kids? Why not help give busy parents a helping hand by starting a daycare business?

Starting a daycare business can be fulfilling and rewarding. On top of that, you don’t need so much upfront investment to get it off the ground. You could even start one from the comfort of your home. Suppose, If you are thinking of starting a doggy daycare business you just need a doggy daycare business plan to start your business

Remember that you might need to get a permit to start your daycare, so look into that before starting one.

5. Pet Grooming

If you enjoy having pets around, and grooming them doesn’t seem like much work, consider starting a pet grooming business.

To stay flexible, consider offering home services. In this arrangement, you visit the homes of pet owners, groom their pets, and get paid for your services.

Creating a Google My Business Page for your business can help you reach more clients in your local area.

6. Aerial Photography

The demand for aerial photography has risen to unprecedented heights in the past decade. If you are good at flying a drone – or at least can learn one quickly – an aerial photography business won’t be a bad idea.

Luckily, a good drone isn’t expensive – with as little as $1,500, you can get a nice one for yourself from Amazon.

Who will your ideal clients be? Real estate developers, intending couples with an upcoming wedding event, movie and music producers, and more. In addition, photography makes a great hobby and can quickly turn into your favorite pastime activity.

7. Build and Sell Themes Online

If you’ve got good coding skills and are particularly good at front-end development, you can build a business out of your skills by creating and selling website themes online.

Depending on your skill set, you can build themes for WordPress and sell them on Themeforest.

However, if you have limited knowledge about WordPress, you can build your theme using Bootstrap, CSS, HTML, and Js and then publish it on GetBootstrap.

Consistency and persistence will go a long way in turning this small business idea into reality.

8. Blogging

Can you still make money today by blogging? The short and simple answer is yes.

To succeed with blogging, you need to have good writing habits as well as find a niche with little competition and hit hard on it. Patience and diligence will undoubtedly help. If you’re planning to start a blog, it’s important to choose the right hosting solution. Beginners can try managed WordPress hosting, where technical tasks like migration, maintenance, and security are handled by the service providers. Blogging is a good business idea for college students, stay-at-home moms, etc.

9. Food Delivery Service

Food delivery business idea

Starting a restaurant can be daunting and capital-intensive. Too many details need to be taken into account starting from restaurant design plan to the color and pa.ttern choice of utensils If you have been looking at starting one but haven’t got the funds, look into starting a meal delivery service instead.

It works like this: you prepare quality, tasty meals at home and then deliver them to your customers either at work or in their homes.

Depending on the laws of the city you live in, you might need a permit and courier insurance to run this type of business.

10. Property Management

If you’ve worked in the real estate industry before, or you are just good at real estate management software development, you might find success as a property manager.

The thing is, there are lots of property owners who don’t have the time to manage their properties spread across town. They need someone they can trust to collect rents, fix broken stuff, and kick bad tenants out.  If you’ve worked in the real estate industry before, or you are just good at management, you might find success as a property manager, especially with the right property management software.

So, if you are up to the challenge, by all means, give it your best shot.

Top 10 Most Successful Businesses to Start

Not all businesses succeed. In fact, some go belly up even before they get a chance to start.

You sure don’t want that to happen to you. What small business ideas with a high probability of success can you explore in 2023?

Here are a few:

11. Virtual Assistant Service

Many small business owners and solopreneurs need helping hands to keep their business going, and wouldn’t mind paying to get one.

Why not cash in on this opportunity by offering virtual assistant services to these busy entrepreneurs? Global marketplaces and BPO’s like 1840 & Company can help you find clients

You can help them manage booking appointments, send and reply to emails, make calls to their clients, answer customer queries, and lots more.

The best part is that you can do all this without being physically present.

Crowdsourcing platforms like Upwork, Remote.co, and Indeed can help you find clients.

12. Social Media Management Service

Having a solid online presence is key to surviving and staying relevant in business in this digital age – little wonder why many companies are jostling to establish themselves on social sharing sites.

13. Web Design Agency

In the early age of the web development services business, you needed to know how to write long, intricate codes to build a web application. But all that has changed now, thanks to no-code solutions like WordPress and Wix.

If you like to design stuff and don’t mind devoting time to learning how to use WordPress, consider starting a web design business. Automation web testing comes in the website development life-cycle. You can also offer web design as well as automated testing services. And can work as an automation testing company.

To acquire clients for your business, start by telling your friends and family what you do. You’d be amazed at how this simple networking strategy can bring you lots of clients. You don’t have to stop with web design. Branch out into other agency roles, such as SEO. This London-based SEO consultancy is a great example of how you can start. You could even work fully remotely. A solid online presence is a key to surviving and staying relevant in business in this digital age – little wonder why many companies are jostling to establish themselves on social sharing sites. Further, you can use social media scheduling tools to schedule posts promptly to boost reach.

How to acquire customers

14. Coffee Shop

Coffee shop business idea

Turn your love for coffee brewing into some serious cash-making venture by launching a coffee shop.

If you don’t have the time and dedication to build your coffee business from the ground up, franchising might be a better option. Alternatively, you can purchase an already established coffee shop and rebrand it.

Of course, you will some serious cash to pull that off.

15. Sell Online Courses

Got a skill you can also teach to others without thinking so much about it? Why not start making money out of it by creating and selling your courses online?

And you can teach just about anything: DIY hacks, copywriting, how to fix broken stuff, gardening, etc.

You don’t need expensive filming gear to get started; your smartphone is enough.

Udemy, Skillshare, and other course building platforms are good places to start.

16. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is ideal for 9-5ers, stay-at-home moms and dads, and anyone looking for a passive side income.

How does it work?

You find a physical or digital product you would like to promote, drive traffic to that product, and hope to make a sale. Each time that product gets sold, you earn a commission.

For example, we run an affiliate program at Adoric. Each time you refer visitors, and they sign up for any of our paid plans, you earn a 20% commission. You can utilize a referral software to set up and automate the process for such a marketing campaign.

To find profitable products to promote, check out platforms like Commission Junction or Clickbank.

17. Home Tutoring

Home tutoring is another unique small unique business idea worth giving a try in 2023.

The best part is that you can provide this type of service virtually online or physically. And you can teach just about anything: maths, economics, piano, swimming, etc.

Platforms like Tutorme can help connect you with clients looking for your services.

18. Video Editor

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine just after Google?

This is a clear indication that video consumption is soaring and with the increase in the video popularity it is advised to make videos  using creative slide templates to reach your audience.

Hence, if you are good at video editing, there are lots of people out there that will need your services. Besides, some video editing effects are available for free so it makes the job easier for you.

19. eCommerce

Thanks to the internet, selling is now easier than ever. You can sell products to people on the other side of the planet without stressing about it.

When done right, an eCommerce business can be extremely profitable.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is vital for the success of your business. WooCommerce, Shopify, Oberlo, etc. are some that you can try.

Not sure which to go for? Also, choose your hosting provider carefully and consider deploying your online store on a managed VPS instead of using traditional shared hosting to guarantee yourself much better loading speeds, security, and scalability. Providers like ScalaHosting are among the top-rated companies in this segment, and with their SPanel, VPS management is no longer a challenge even for newbies.

Check out this detailed WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison guide

WooCommerce vs Shopify

20. Amazon FBA

Still talking about eCommerce, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is one of the small-scale business ideas that you will likely find success with come 2023.

You find products you would like to sell, purchase them, and send them over to Amazon’s warehouses. If your products pass Amazon’s quality test, they will be uploaded online.

When customers place an order for your products, Amazon will package and deliver them. Payments and returns are handled out of the box for you.

Amazon FBA is more convenient than selling via Shopify or WooCommerce. Furthermore, you can use FBA tools like Helium 10 or Jungle Scout to increase sales on Amazon. If you want to import products from China, then you can get help from a sourcing agent like Sourcing Nova to find the best quality manufacturers.

How To Automate Small Business

Automating your processes can save you time and money if you own or manage a small business. There are many different ways to automate small business processes, and the best way to find out is to experiment.

Here are some tips on how to get started:

1. Create a process map. This will help you understand your current workflow and identify areas that could be automated.

2. Use software to help automate tasks. Programs like Automation Anywhere can streamline many common business processes, including email marketing, accounting, shipping, and customer service. You can also try Edi Consultant to automate your small business.

3. Use artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning operations to make decisions on your behalf. This can include things like automating billing or scheduling appointments.

4. Use big data analytics to improve decision-making and optimization of your processes. This will allow you to better understand customer needs and trends and optimize your operations accordingly. To do it effectively you can partner with an information broker who specializes in collecting and analyzing data from various sources to provide valuable insights.

Top 5 Business Ideas for Women

Are you a stay-at-home mom, single mom, or just a woman looking to take her destiny into her hand by starting a business?

Here are 5 unique business ideas that you should try your hands on.

21. Personal Shopper

Turn your shopaholic craze into a profitable business venture by helping those who haven’t got the time to shop for themselves.

The coolest part is that you need virtually nothing to get started – just your passion for shopping will do.

To get started, talk to as many people as you can and let them know you can help them with their shopping needs. From there, you can begin to scale up by building a website to promote your business.

22. Handmade Crafts

If you are skilled at making mittens, beaded bags, shawls, or any other valuable craft, consider selling your handmade crafts in places like Etsy.

A lot of women have built for themselves a business empire via Etsy – so also can you.

23. Church Management

Church management software is transforming how religious institutions operate. It simplifies administrative tasks, improves communication, and enhances member engagement.

Startups and small businesses have a significant opportunity to develop customized church management software solutions to meet the unique needs of religious organizations in 2023.

By offering user-friendly interfaces, automation features, and robust support, entrepreneurs can contribute to the growth and effectiveness of churches while building successful ventures in the digital age. Church management system streamlines operations strengthens community connections, and enables data-driven decision-making, making it an essential tool for church growth and sustainability

24. Caregiver

A lot of families have aged and sick ones that need to be taken care of at home. So, if got some nursing experience, or you are just a people person, you can make a business out of this.

Keep in mind that you might need to get certified by a recognized body to provide personal care to invalids.

25. Teach English Online

The demand for English teachers around the world has been on the rise. If you speak English natively and have a good internet connection, you can build a business out of this demand by teaching English online.

You can use platforms like VIPKID can help you connect with potential clients around the world.

26. Blogging

If you naturally like to write, you might find a lot of success with blogging. A lot of stay-at-home moms are meeting their family needs from the blogging incomes.

What can you blog about?

Anything you have passion for. It could be about your new reality of being a mom. Or maybe helpful personal finance tips. But all that has changed now, thanks to no-code solutions like Appy Pie website builder, WordPress, and Wix.

To see substantial income from blogging, you need first to build sizable traffic to your website. This will require publishing content regularly.

You can then monetize that traffic using Google ads, Affiliate marketing, etc.

Top 5 Business Ideas for Teens

Who said your teenage son or daughter can’t start a business of their own. If your kid has got an entrepreneurial spirit, here are some small business ideas you can encourage them to try their hands on:

27. Car Wash

list of small business ideas

Make your enterprising kids work for their weekly allowance by letting them wash your car. Once they start getting better at it, you can ask your neighbors and friends if they would like your kids to wash theirs too.

28. Errand-running

Helping others with errands like buying groceries, grooming pets, etc. can be a lucrative venture for teens.

It has a minimal entry barrier, easy to start, and doesn’t require any capital – a bicycle is enough to get started with.

29. Ice Cream Joint

Who doesn’t love a cold cup of ice cream in the heat of summer? Why not sell this business idea to your kid and see if they would run with it.

You can support them by purchasing a vending machine and renting a small space somewhere in your neighborhood.

30. Podcasting

Some people have a natural flair for creating audio content. If you’ve noticed this talent in your teen, encourage them to start a podcast.

And they don’t need to buy expensive gear to hit the ground running – their smartphone is enough.

31. Laundry

The laundry business, though old, still strives till today. This makes it an excellent business opportunity for teens and young persons looking to start their first entrepreneurial venture.

Starting a business and finding success with it can be demanding, but at the same time rewarding.

If you are stuck on ideas, try any of the 30 small business ideas shared in this post.

Already have a business going for you? Let Adoric help you win more customers and boost your sales.

Sign up for a free account today. No credit card is required.

Sign up a free Adoric account

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99 Best Small Business Ideas for 2023: Start a Profitable Business Today

99 Best Small Business Ideas for 2023: Start a Profitable Business Today

Will your business idea succeed? Take our quiz - completely confidential and free!

I deeply appreciate a great business idea .

Not just any idea, but one that ignites a spark – the kind that fuels innovation, solves problems, and, most importantly, changes lives.

An idea, small as it may seem at the beginning, has the potential to ripple into something extraordinary and impactful.

Over the past 30 years, I’ve started multiple businesses, evaluated hundreds of business ideas, and had the extraordinary privilege to connect, collaborate, and learn from many unique, ambitious small businesses and startups from all corners of the globe. From bustling urban metropolises to the quiet countryside, these business ideas are a testament to human creativity and tenacity.

This guide is not just a list – it’s a starting point, a catalyst, and an invitation to dream, dare, and create.

So whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking for your next venture or starting your first business, I invite you to dive into these ideas with an open mind. The next spark that lights up the business world could be here, waiting for you.

What makes a business idea great?

When brainstorming your next entrepreneurial venture, these factors can turn a good business idea into a great one:

  • Passion matters. Pick something you love. If flowers are your thing, consider opening a florist shop. Or, if breaking a sweat gets you pumped, being a personal trainer could be your calling.
  • Fill a gap. Solve a problem or cater to a need. For instance, an eco-friendly cleaning service might be what your green-conscious community craves. Or perhaps a gluten-free bakery could satisfy those with diet restrictions in your area.
  • Grow, baby, grow. Can your business grow over time? A home tutoring service could begin with you, then expand to include more tutors and subjects. Or, start a local food truck that could grow into a whole fleet or a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
  • Show me the money. Being a personal chef for busy professionals or starting a digital marketing agency can be serious money-makers. Profitable ideas bring in cash.
  • Be unique. Stand out from the crowd! A mobile pet grooming service or a farm-to-table app can offer unique solutions to grab people’s attention.
  • Leverage your skills. Use what you already know. A software engineer might freelance, while a home baker might kick off a custom cake biz.
  • Keep it real. Make sure you can actually pull it off. Consider a bed and breakfast if you have a spacious home and love guests. If you have gardening skills, a landscaping business could be your green ticket.
  • Consistent demand. Find a need that won’t go away. A home health care service for older adults or a grocery delivery service offers convenience that will always be in demand.
  • Stay flexible. Adapt to changing trends. A clothing store that keeps up with fashion or a fitness instructor who offers diverse classes can stay relevant and exciting.
  • Location, Location, Location. Sometimes, where you make all the difference. A café in a bustling area or a tour guide business in a tourist hotspot can thrive thanks to their prime locations.
  • Easy peasy. It’s a bonus if your business idea requires little to no training. Like being a dog walker if you love animals or a house cleaner if you’re meticulous and organized.
  • Low startup costs. The less you have to spend to get going, the better. Think of businesses like freelance writing, graphic design, or being a virtual assistant, where you just need a computer to start.
  • Less is more. Ideas manageable by a small team (or even just you) can be a big plus. Running a blog, a small Etsy store, or a home-based beauty salon can all be handled by one or two people.

illustration of entrepreneur evaluating startup ideas

There’s no magical formula to finding the perfect small business idea. It’s all about spotting the right opportunity that aligns with your skills, passions, and community needs.

Small Business Ideas:

Best small business ideas Small business ideas on a small budget Home-based business ideas Most profitable online business ideas Easy businesses to start Best businesses to start with little money Niche businesses Business ideas for women Business ideas for students How to start a small business Small Business FAQs: Your questions answered

list of small business ideas

We’ve packed this guide with many cool business ideas to get you started on your venture. But as we all know, it’s not just about the idea. You also have to overcome those tricky hurdles.

So, we’re tackling the top three challenges for each idea and giving you actionable tips to overcome them. Plus, we’ve gathered helpful resources to help you hit the ground running.

Are you ready to turn your business dreams into reality?

Best small business ideas: start a profitable business today

illustration of a personal trainer

1. Personal Trainer

Personal training is a booming industry fueled by increasing global fitness and health awareness.

Market demand: With rising health consciousness, there’s an increasing need for fitness professionals who can guide individuals toward their health goals.

Competition: While gyms often offer personal training services, independent trainers with a niche focus or specialized skills can differentiate themselves.

Initial investment: Starting out might require certifications, gym equipment (if not using a public gym), and marketing materials.

Revenue model: Earnings can be on a session-by-session basis, monthly retainers, or even packages that include diet and exercise plans.

Scalability: Expanding to online training sessions, creating fitness courses, or opening a fitness studio can be the next steps.

Regulations: Certain certifications or health and safety measures might be required, especially if operating a private gym.

However, this idea is not without its challenges.

Challenge 1: Building credibility. Your credibility as a personal trainer is paramount. This challenge is especially pronounced if you’re new to the industry and lack experience and a client base. To overcome this challenge, get certified by a reputable organization. This is a testament to your knowledge and expertise, improving clients’ trust. For example, certification from The American Council on Exercise or the National Academy of Sports Medicine could be a good starting point.

Challenge 2: Differentiating your services. The fitness industry is crowded, making it difficult to stand out. To overcome this challenge, find your niche. Maybe you could specialize in yoga for pregnant women or strength training for senior citizens. Alternatively, consider combining fitness with nutrition consulting.

Challenge 3: Finding clients. Acquiring clients can be demanding when you’re just starting. To overcome this challenge, leverage the power of social media to showcase your skills. For instance, Instagram is an excellent platform for sharing workout videos and health tips. Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to create a business page and collect reviews.

Biggest risks:

  • Injury concerns: Clients might suffer injuries during training. Mitigation: Acquire insurance, set clear guidelines, and ensure proper training.
  • Retention: Keeping clients motivated and loyal. Mitigation: Offer varied training regimens, continuous engagement, and occasional discounts.

Success strategies:

  • Branding: Establish a recognizable brand with success stories and testimonials.
  • Diversification: Offer online courses, group classes, and workshops.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated with fitness trends and techniques.

Exit strategy:

  • Licensing Programs: Develop and sell licensed fitness programs or courses.
  • Partnership : Merge or partner with a larger fitness institute or gym.
  • Consultation Role: Transition into a fitness consultancy role, advising gyms or health institutions.

Ideal for: Individuals passionate about fitness, have a knack for motivating others, and are willing to keep up with evolving fitness trends.

We recommend the following personal trainer resources:

  • NASM-CPT Certification
  • ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

2. Home organizer

A home organizing business caters to those needing neat, orderly spaces but lacking the time or skill to create them.

Market demand: With the minimalist trend and the desire for efficient living spaces, professional home organizers are in demand.

Competition: Local competition can vary, but a unique selling proposition like eco-friendly organizing or specialized room focus can be advantageous.

Initial investment: Minimal, mostly around marketing, transportation, and initial organizing supplies.

Revenue model: Typically charge by the hour or project, with potential for add-on services like product sourcing or maintenance visits.

Scalability: Potential to grow into a full-fledged consultancy or launch a line of organizing products.

Regulations: Generally light, but local business regulations and permits will apply.

Challenge 1: Demonstrating the value of your services. Convincing potential clients of the benefits of a professional home organizer can be a challenge.  For example, I’ve never understood why people could not easily organize their spaces. However, many friends relied on a home organizer for help, which tells me that a great organizer can provide lots of value. To overcome this challenge, create a portfolio showcasing your work – before and after photos can prove your skills. This could range from organizing kitchens to decluttering garages or streamlining home offices.

Challenge 2: Differentiating your services. Again, differentiation is key in a market with various service providers. To overcome this challenge, consider specializing in a particular organization, such as home offices for remote workers or organizing spaces for families with young children. This will make your services more specific and appealing to your target audience .

Challenge 3: Establishing trust. Clients must trust you enough to let you into their homes and personal spaces. To overcome this challenge, cultivate a professional online presence, showcasing positive customer testimonials and your methodology. Ensure your business name and logo echo the trust and professionalism you want to project.

  • Client dissatisfaction: Not meeting the client’s organizational vision. Mitigation: Clear communication, mock-ups, and iterative feedback.
  • Damage: Accidentally damaging client’s property. Mitigation: Careful handling and insurance.
  • Niche focus: Specialize in certain areas like kids’ rooms, garages, or home offices.
  • Workshops: Conduct organizing workshops or online webinars.
  • Collaborations: Partner with interior designers or home sellers for mutual referrals.
  • Franchising: Offer franchising opportunities for your organizing brand.
  • Online courses: Develop and sell home organizing courses or tutorials.
  • Product line: Design and sell organizing products or tools.

Ideal for: Detail-oriented individuals with a passion for space management and aesthetics.

We recommend the following home organizer resources:

  • National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals

how to start a business hero

3. Meal prep business

A meal prep business offers a convenient solution for health-conscious individuals and busy families in a fast-paced world.

Market demand: Busy lifestyles and the need for healthy eating create demand for convenient, pre-prepared meals.

Competition: Though many meal kit services exist, focusing on niche diets (Keto, Vegan) or local specialties can set you apart.

Initial investment: Costs involve kitchen equipment, ingredients, packaging, and delivery mechanisms.

Revenue model: Earnings can come from weekly meal subscriptions, individual meal orders, or specialty diet packages.

Scalability: Expanding into new cuisines, collaborating with dieticians, or even opening a storefront are growth options.

Regulations: Health and safety regulations, food handling certificates, and local business permits are vital.

Challenge 1: Adhering to food safety and regulations.  Meeting local health department regulations and maintaining impeccable food safety can be challenging. Stay updated with the latest food safety practices and guidelines to overcome this challenge, such as safe food temperatures and proper storage methods. Ensure your kitchen meets all local health codes. You could consider taking a food handling course or getting certified in food safety.

Challenge 2: Differentiating your services. The food industry is highly competitive, making it critical to offer something unique. To overcome this challenge, c arve out a niche by catering to specific dietary requirements like gluten-free, paleo, or vegan meal plans. For instance, you could specialize in gourmet keto meals or vegetarian meals for athletes.

Challenge 3: Building a customer base.  Attracting and retaining customers in a market with diverse tastes and preferences can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, develop a solid online presence to reach your potential clients. Share tantalizing photos of your meals, client testimonials, and nutritional facts on social media platforms. At crowdspring, we’ve seen how a well-designed website or a visually appealing Instagram feed can significantly boost customer engagement and sales for businesses in this niche and all other small businesses.

  • Food safety: Concerns over food spoilage or contamination. Mitigation: Strict adherence to safety guidelines and regular quality checks.
  • Fluctuating demand: Changing customer preferences or seasonal fluctuations. Mitigation: Diverse menu offerings and regular feedback loops.
  • Market Research: Continuously research and adapt to dietary trends.
  • Collaborations: Partner with fitness professionals or nutritionists.
  • Sustainability: Offer eco-friendly packaging or locally sourced ingredients.
  • Brand sale: Once well-established, sell your brand to a larger food company.
  • Franchising: Offer franchising opportunities to expand geographically.
  • Consulting: Provide consultation to budding food entrepreneurs or restaurants.

Ideal for: Those passionate about cooking, staying updated on dietary trends, and understanding the local palate.

We recommend the following meal prep business resources:

  • Department of Health and Human Services Cold Food Safety Chart
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Resource Hub for Meal Planning

Business ideas on a small budget: start a business with little money

1. freelance writing.

With the need for quality content on the rise, freelance writing is a viable business that requires little more than a laptop to get started.

Market demand: With an ever-growing digital landscape, quality content is crucial. From blogs to eBooks, businesses need engaging written material.

Competition: The freelance writing space is vast, but niche specialization or a distinct voice can set you apart.

Initial investment: Minimal. Costs primarily include marketing, writing software, and professional development.

Revenue model: Writers can charge per word, per article, or establish monthly retainers with regular clients.

Scalability: Expand by starting a content agency, venturing into publishing, or offering writing workshops.

Regulations: Generally light, but it’s essential to understand copyright laws and client contracts.

Challenge 1: Building a portfolio. Clients typically want to see examples of your work before hiring you, which can be challenging when you’re just starting. To overcome this challenge, start a blog or write guest posts for online platforms to showcase your writing style and versatility. You could write about topics you’re passionate about, from tech and travel to finance and fitness.

Challenge 2: Finding paying clients. Finding clients willing to pay for your writing services can be daunting initially. To overcome this challenge, join platforms like Upwork, where you can find freelance writing gigs. Online and offline networking can also help you connect with potential clients.

Challenge 3: Standing out in a crowded market.  Differentiating yourself as a writer in a content-filled market can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a niche or develop a unique writing style that sets you apart. Even with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), great writers will continue to be in high demand. And, importantly, great writers who can also smartly leverage AI to improve their writing will stand out. For example, if you have a medical background, consider medical writing.

  • Inconsistent workflow: Freelancing can be feast or famine. Mitigation: Establish long-term contracts or diversify the client base.
  • Plagiarism concerns: Potential content theft. Mitigation: Use plagiarism checkers and maintain copyright agreements.
  • Continuous learning: Stay updated with the latest writing trends and SEO techniques.
  • Networking: Engage with fellow writers, attend conferences, and join writer forums.
  • Diversification: Explore different forms of writing, from technical to creative.
  • Authorship: Transition into book publishing or eBook creation.
  • Consultancy: Offer content strategy consultation for businesses.
  • Agency model: Develop a full-fledged content agency, outsourcing to other writers.

Ideal for: Individuals with a flair for words, adaptability to various writing styles, and a deadline commitment.

We recommend the following freelancer writing resources:

  • American Writers & Artists Institute

2. Virtual assistant services

As businesses strive to streamline operations, the demand for virtual assistants (VAs) who can handle administrative tasks is rising.

Market demand: Business owners increasingly outsource administrative tasks, leading to a surge in virtual assistant demand.

Competition: Many individuals and agencies offer VA services; however, expertise in specific industries or software can provide an edge.

Initial investment: Relatively low, typically requiring a computer, relevant software, and communication tools.

Revenue model: Charge hourly, or offer bundled packages for specific tasks or monthly assistance.

Scalability: Build a team of VAs, offer specialized services, or even start a VA training program.

Regulations: General business regulations apply, but data protection and privacy laws are especially pertinent.

Challenge 1: Building credibility. Establishing your reliability and competence as a VA can be challenging, particularly when starting. To overcome this challenge, gain relevant skills and experience in administrative tasks. This could include data entry, calendar management, email handling, etc. You could also consider getting certified as a VA.

Challenge 2: Finding clients. Finding businesses willing to delegate tasks to a VA can be tough. To overcome this challenge, join VA platforms like Zirtual, where you can connect with potential clients. It’s also important to network within business circles and offer your services.

Challenge 3: Standing out in a crowded market. With many individuals offering VA services, it’s crucial to differentiate yourself. To overcome this challenge, consider specializing in an industry or a specific type of task. For example, you could be a VA specializing in content creation for health and wellness businesses.

  • Data breaches: Handling sensitive client information. Mitigation: Use secure communication channels and invest in cybersecurity.
  • Task overload: Taking on too many clients or tasks. Mitigation: Use project management tools and set clear client boundaries.
  • Skill upgrade: Regularly update skills, especially in high-demand areas like social media.
  • Niche services: Offer specialized services, e.g., real estate VA, legal VA.
  • Client relations: Foster long-term relationships through impeccable service and clear communication.
  • Agency model: Grow into a larger firm, hiring other VAs.
  • Training programs: Offer VA training or coaching for newcomers.
  • Consultancy: Advise businesses on operations and optimization.

Ideal for: Organized individuals adept at multitasking, with a keen eye for detail and strong communication skills.

3. Freelance graphic design

A freelance graphic design business allows you to utilize your creativity while working from home.

Market demand: With the emphasis on visuals in today’s digital world, graphic designers are crucial for branding, advertisements, and more.

Competition: The design field is vast. A distinct style or expertise in specific software/tools can be beneficial.

Initial investment: Costs include design software subscriptions, high-quality computer hardware, and marketing.

Revenue model: Charge per project, hourly rates, or retainers for long-term clients.

Scalability: Consider starting a design studio, offering design workshops, or expanding into related fields like animation.

Regulations: Be aware of copyright and trademark laws, especially when using or creating distinct images.

Challenge 1: Building a portfolio. Clients want to see your work before they hire you. To overcome this challenge, work on projects on a platform like crowdspring to showcase your design skills. For example, you could create a new logo for a well-known company or redesign a popular website.

Challenge 2: Finding paying clients. Finding clients willing to pay for your services can be challenging. I founded crowdspring to give designers worldwide opportunities to compete for clients based on their talent, not their resumes. A platform like crowdspring solves this problem by giving you access to clients from 100 countries.

Challenge 3: Standing out in a crowded market. Graphic design is a competitive field, and standing out can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a niche, like logo design, UI/UX design, or book cover design . Having a unique style can also help you stand out.

  • Design rejections: Clients may not always align with your vision. Mitigation: Clear communication, mood boards, and iterative feedback.
  • Software obsolescence: Rapid tech advancements. Mitigation: Stay updated with the latest design tools and software.

Success Strategies:

  • Portfolio building: Regularly update a personal portfolio showcasing diverse work.
  • Continuous learning: Engage in courses to master new design techniques.
  • Networking: Attend design conferences, join forums, and collaborate with peers.

Exit Strategy:

  • Design school: Start a training institution for upcoming designers.
  • Licensing: License your designs or artwork for commercial use.
  • Consultancy: Offer brand consultancy or visual strategy services to companies.

Ideal for: Creatives with an eye for aesthetics, a passion for visual storytelling, and tech-savviness.

entrepreneur sitting in front of a computer

4. Resume writer

Resume writers help clients craft compelling resumes that stand out to potential employers. This business is especially in demand in today’s competitive job market.

Market demand: A standout resume is paramount in a competitive job market, leading to a demand for expert resume writers.

Competition: While numerous online templates exist, personalized touch, industry knowledge, and ATS optimization can differentiate your service.

Initial investment: Minimal, mostly around marketing and potentially some premium resume design software.

Revenue model: Charge per resume or offer packages that include cover letters, LinkedIn optimization, etc.

Scalability: Extend services to career coaching, interview prep, or even corporate outplacement support.

Regulations: Understanding data protection is crucial since you’ll handle personal information.

Challenge 1: Staying updated with industry trends.  Resume trends and employer expectations can vary by industry and change over time. To overcome this challenge, regularly follow industry blogs and career advice sources to stay updated on what employers seek.

Challenge 2: Balancing detail and brevity.  A good resume is detailed yet concise, which can be a challenging balance to strike. To overcome this challenge, develop expertise in writing concise descriptions and using industry-specific keywords.

Challenge 3: Differentiating your services.  There are many online resume services, so standing out can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, offer personalized service, quick turnaround times, and extra services like cover letters and LinkedIn profile writing.

  • Client dissatisfaction: Not capturing a client’s essence or missing crucial details. Mitigation: Detailed client interviews and multiple revisions.
  • Evolving trends: Resume preferences change over time. Mitigation: Stay updated with HR trends and attend relevant workshops.
  • Niche focus: Specialize in resumes for specific industries or job levels.
  • Continuous feedback: Engage with HR professionals to understand their preferences.
  • Portfolio building: Showcase success stories and testimonials (while maintaining client privacy).
  • Online courses: Offer courses on resume building and job searching.
  • Agency model: Expand to a full-service career consultancy.
  • Partnership: Collaborate with job boards or recruitment agencies for referrals.

Ideal for: Those with a knack for understanding career trajectories, excellent writing skills, and an understanding of HR processes.

Best home business ideas: start a business from home

1. home-based bakery or food business.

If you love baking or cooking, starting a home-based food or bakery business can be fulfilling and profitable.

Market demand: People consistently seek unique culinary experiences and homemade specialties, providing ample opportunities for local food artisans.

Competition: While many pursue home-based food businesses, a signature dish or unique packaging can help differentiate you.

Initial investment: Costs include kitchen upgrades, ingredients, packaging, and marketing. Health and hygiene certifications might also be necessary.

Revenue model: Charge per item, offer catering services, or create subscription-based meal plans.

Scalability: Venture into a full-fledged café, offer cooking classes, or distribute to local stores.

Regulations: Understanding health and safety standards is crucial. Local licenses for food businesses might be required.

Challenge 1: Meeting health and safety regulations. Complying with food safety regulations and securing permits can be daunting. To overcome this challenge, learn about your local health department’s requirements for a home food business. Obtain necessary permits and ensure your kitchen complies with all regulations. Consider a ServSafe certification to enhance your credibility.

Challenge 2: Building a customer base. Making people aware of your products and persuading them to choose you over commercial options can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, u se social media platforms to showcase your products, share customer testimonials, and engage with potential customers. For instance, you could start a YouTube channel sharing your baking or cooking process or an Instagram page showcasing mouth-watering photos of your creations.

Challenge 3: Standing out in a crowded market. The food industry is highly competitive, and can be tough to stand out. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a niche, like gluten-free baked goods, vegan pastries, or ethnic cuisine.

  • Quality inconsistencies: Maintaining a consistent taste and quality. Mitigation: Regular quality checks and vendor evaluations.
  • Storage issues: Perishable items require effective storage. Mitigation: Investment in good quality storage solutions and inventory management.
  • Branding: Effective branding, from logo to packaging.
  • Community engagement: Attend local food fairs, collaborate with local businesses, or offer samples.
  • Continuous innovation: Regularly introduce new flavors or dishes.
  • Franchising: License your brand and recipes to others.
  • Cookbook creation: Share your culinary secrets in a published cookbook.
  • Teaching: Offer cooking workshops or online courses.

Ideal for: Culinary enthusiasts passionate about food, hygiene consciousness, and attention to detail.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.

Market demand: E-commerce is booming. Dropshipping offers an inventory-free way to participate in this digital marketplace.

Competition: It’s crowded, but targeting a niche market or offering unique products can set your store apart.

Initial investment: Mostly platform fees, marketing, and website setup. No inventory costs are involved.

Revenue model: Earn the difference between wholesale and retail prices.

Scalability: Expand product range, explore different suppliers, or start your product line.

Regulations: Understanding regulations and import/export duties is crucial, depending on what you sell.

Challenge 1: Supplier reliability.  Working with reliable suppliers is a significant concern. To overcome this challenge, thoroughly vet potential suppliers and consider their reviews and reputation.

Challenge 2: Competitive differentiation.  Standing out in a crowded market can be tough. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a specific niche, offer excellent customer service, and invest in professional branding .

Challenge 3: Profit margins.  Profit margins can be low because of competition and the cost of goods. To overcome this challenge, focus on selling higher-margin goods, upselling, and cross-selling .

  • Supplier issues: Supplier inconsistencies or stock issues. Mitigation: Maintain relationships with multiple suppliers for backup.
  • Thin margins: Dropshipping often has slim profit margins. Mitigation: Effective marketing and upselling techniques to increase order value.
  • Market research: Regularly scout for trending products.
  • Customer service: Efficient customer support for queries and returns.
  • Branding: Effective branding to make your store memorable.
  • E-commerce platform sale: Selling the entire online store with a good customer base.
  • Transition to wholesale: Switch from dropshipping to bulk buying and storing inventory.
  • Affiliate marketing: Shift towards promoting products rather than selling them directly.

Ideal for: Aspiring entrepreneurs with strong market research skills, minimal startup capital, and digital marketing acumen.

3. Etsy shop owner

If you have a talent for creating handmade goods, consider starting an Etsy shop .

Market demand: Handcrafted, vintage, and unique items are highly sought after, with platforms like Etsy making them accessible globally.

Competition: While Etsy has many sellers, a unique craft, consistent quality, and excellent branding can help you stand out.

Initial investment: Material costs, shop setup fees, and marketing expenses.

Revenue model: Profit from the sale of crafted items or digital downloads.

Scalability: Expand product range, offer workshops, or explore wholesale opportunities.

Regulations: Adherence to platform rules and understanding shipping and customs if selling internationally.

Challenge 1: Standing out among thousands of shops. Etsy is a bustling marketplace with many talented creators, so standing out can be tough. To overcome this challenge, consider specializing in a specific niche to make your shop more memorable. It could be anything from vintage jewelry to hand-painted ceramics.

Challenge 2: Driving traffic to your shop.  With so many shops on Etsy, driving traffic to your shop can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, promote your shop on social media, and consider Etsy’s built-in advertising options. Use SEO techniques to make your shop and products more discoverable.

Challenge 3: Managing inventory and fulfillment.  Keeping up with product demand and ensuring prompt delivery can be demanding. Set realistic expectations for your customers regarding shipping times to overcome this challenge. Keep a steady supply of raw materials on hand, and consider hiring help during busy times.

  • Copycats: Other sellers replicating your unique designs. Mitigation: Regularly introduce new products and potentially trademark unique designs.
  • Platform dependency: Being overly reliant on Etsy for sales. Mitigation: Diversify with your website or other platforms.
  • Customer engagement: Personalized notes, custom orders, and excellent communication.
  • Quality imagery: High-quality photos showcasing products.
  • SEO: Understand Etsy SEO to ensure your products are easily discoverable.
  • Brand expansion: Start a standalone e-commerce website.
  • Teaching: Offer craft workshops or online courses.
  • Licensing: License your designs or patterns to larger manufacturers.

Ideal for: Craft enthusiasts, artists, and makers with a keen sense of aesthetics and attention to detail.

4. Event planning

Event planning could be a great business opportunity if you’re organized and enjoy working with people. You could plan corporate events, weddings, parties, and more.

Market demand: From corporate events to weddings, individuals consistently need to turn visions into reality.

Competition: The industry is vast. Specializing in specific events or themes can carve out a niche.

Initial investment: Marketing expenses, potential venue booking advances, and event planning software.

Revenue model: Charge per event, hourly rates, or a percentage of the event budget.

Scalability: Expand into a full-fledged event management company or branch into specialized areas like concert management.

Regulations: Understanding local event permits, health and safety regulations, and contracts is essential.

Challenge 1: Building a portfolio. Without a portfolio, it can be hard to secure clients. To overcome this challenge, offer to plan events for friends and family to build your portfolio. Take high-quality photos of these events to showcase your skills.

Challenge 2: Managing multiple vendors. Coordinating with various vendors can be a logistical challenge. To overcome this challenge, build a network of reliable vendors. Keep communication lines open and maintain good relationships with them.

Challenge 3: Handling high-stress situations.  Events often come with last-minute changes and issues. To overcome this challenge, develop strong problem-solving skills. Be adaptable and always have a backup plan.

  • Client dissatisfaction: Not meeting client expectations. Mitigation: Detailed initial consultations, mood boards, and regular check-ins.
  • Unforeseen mishaps: Events can face unplanned disruptions. Mitigation: Always have a backup plan and thorough contracts covering potential issues.
  • Networking: Build relationships with vendors, venues, and caterers.
  • Portfolio building: Document each event with high-quality imagery.
  • Continuous learning: Attend workshops and stay updated with industry trends.
  • Consultancy: Offer event strategy and consultation services.
  • Training: Provide event planning courses or workshops.
  • Agency model: Grow into an event management agency, hiring other planners.

Ideal for: People-persons with strong organizational skills, creative vision, and crisis management capabilities.

5. Life and career coach

A life and career coach helps clients set professional and personal goals and create a plan to achieve them. This could be an excellent business idea if you enjoy helping others achieve their potential.

Market demand: With the complexities of modern life, many seek guidance in personal or professional spheres.

Competition: There are many coaches, but a genuine success record, expertise, and specialization can make one stand out.

Initial investment: Costs for certification (if pursued), marketing, and coaching tools or software.

Revenue model: Charge per session, offer package deals, or run group workshops.

Scalability: Expand into a coaching firm, offer online courses, or write self-help books.

Regulations: While formal regulations are limited, having recognized certifications can boost credibility.

Challenge 1: Gaining credibility.  In a field where trust is paramount, establishing credibility can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, acquire coaching certifications from recognized institutions and collect client testimonials.

Challenge 2: Client acquisition. Attracting clients in a competitive market can be tough. To overcome this challenge, offer free introductory sessions, create a strong online presence, and use referral programs to attract new clients.

Challenge 3: Adapting to client needs. Each client’s needs are unique, requiring different strategies and techniques. To overcome this challenge, develop various coaching techniques and stay up-to-date with the latest personal and professional development research.

  • Client dissatisfaction: Not achieving client goals or improvements.= Mitigation: Set clear expectations, continuous feedback loops, and personal development.
  • Dependency on personal brand: Most coaches rely heavily on personal reputation. Mitigation: Diversify services and create evergreen content/products.
  • Continuous learning: Stay updated with the latest techniques and psychological insights.
  • Networking: Attend seminars, join coaching networks, and engage in collaborative ventures.
  • Personal branding: Regularly publish content, testimonials, and success stories.
  • Book publishing: Share insights in a widely distributed format.
  • Online courses: Develop courses offering structured self-help or development pathways.
  • Consultancy: Work with organizations on employee development or holistic strategies.

Ideal for: Empathetic individuals with strong communication skills, a genuine desire to help others, and an understanding of human behavior.

We recommend the following life and career coach resources:

  • Life Coach School’s Certification

6. Sewing and alteration specialist

If you have a knack for sewing, starting a sewing and alteration business could be a great fit. You can offer various services, from mending clothes to creating custom garments.

Challenge 1: Keeping up with fashion trends.  Fashion trends change rapidly, and staying current can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, regularly follow fashion blogs, magazines, and influencers to stay updated.

Challenge 2: Meeting client expectations. Every client has unique needs and expectations for their garments. Communicate clearly and set realistic expectations for turnaround times and final results to overcome this challenge.

Challenge 3: Marketing your services. Standing out in a competitive market can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, build an online portfolio showcasing your work and ask satisfied customers for reviews.

We recommend the following sewing and alteration specialist resources:

  • International Open Academy’s Tailoring Course for Beginners
  • American Bespoke Tailoring Academy’s Programs

Most profitable online business ideas

1. social media consultant.

With businesses striving to maintain a strong social media presence, social media consulting is a business you can start with minimal investment.

Challenge 1: Keeping up with social media trends. Social media platforms and trends are ever-changing. Staying up-to-date can be a challenge. Regularly educate yourself on the latest social media trends, algorithms, and practical strategies to overcome this challenge. Following industry leaders and participating in relevant forums can be beneficial.

Challenge 2: Proving your expertise.  Without a proven track record, convincing potential clients of your expertise can be demanding. To overcome this challenge, start by offering your services to small businesses in your network. Use the results you achieve for them to showcase your skills. Additionally, consider acquiring a certification in social media marketing.

Challenge 3: Attracting and retaining clients. With numerous social media consultants, attracting and retaining clients can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, specialize in managing social media platforms or catering to a particular industry. Offering a comprehensive package that includes strategy, content creation, and analytics could also give you an edge.

2. Virtual tutoring

With the increasing demand for online education, virtual tutoring is a great business idea that requires minimal investment.

Challenge 1: Building credibility. Without teaching credentials or a proven track record, it can be hard to gain trust. To overcome this challenge, gain a teaching certification or tutor qualification to enhance your credibility. Join platforms like Chegg Tutors or Tutor.com to gain experience and testimonials.

Challenge 2: Finding students.  Attracting students willing to pay for your tutoring services can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, use social media to reach potential students in your subject area. You could also connect with local schools and colleges to offer your services.

Challenge 3: Standing out in a crowded market. With numerous online tutors, standing out can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a particular subject or cater to a specific age group. For instance, you could offer advanced calculus tutoring for college students or reading tutoring for elementary students.

3. Online course creator

With the growth of online learning, creating and selling online courses can be a profitable business idea.

Challenge 1: Identifying a course topic.  Choosing a topic that is both popular and within your expertise can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, look at existing courses on platforms like Udemy or Coursera. Identify gaps where your unique knowledge could fill a need.

Challenge 2: Creating engaging content. Online learners have many options, so your content needs to stand out. To overcome this challenge, invest time in creating interesting content. Use videos, interactive quizzes, and real-world examples to make your course more appealing.

Challenge 3: Promoting your course. Attracting students to your course, among many choices, can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, To overcome this challenge, leverage social media platforms, your personal network, and email marketing campaigns to promote your course. Consider offering a discount for the initial enrollees.

4. Online dating consultant

In the age of digital dating, an online dating consultant can help clients optimize their online profiles, choose the right dating platforms, and navigate online interactions.

Challenge 1: Establishing trust.  Building credibility in a field often seen as subjective can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, use testimonials and case studies to highlight successful matches you’ve facilitated.

Challenge 2: Staying current. Online dating trends and platforms change rapidly. Regularly research and stay updated with the latest dating apps and trends to overcome this challenge.

Challenge 3: Managing sensitive client information.  Handling sensitive client information requires careful handling. To overcome this challenge, implement robust data privacy measures and be transparent about your privacy policies.

We recommend the following online dating consultant resources:

  • IAP College’s relationship coach certification

5. E-commerce reseller

E-commerce reselling involves purchasing products and reselling them online at a profit. Platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy make it easy to start.

Challenge 1: Finding profitable products. Identifying products that will sell well at a higher price point can be difficult. Research trends and best-selling items on various e-commerce platforms to overcome this challenge. Attend auctions, estate, and clearance sales to find potentially profitable items.

Challenge 2: Managing inventory. Storing and organizing your inventory can be challenging as your business grows. To overcome this challenge, implement an inventory management system early on. This could be as simple as a spreadsheet tracking what you have in stock.

Challenge 3: Standing out from the competition. Many resellers might be selling similar products, so differentiation is critical. To overcome this challenge, provide excellent customer service and fast shipping. Write detailed product descriptions and take high-quality photos.

6. Mobile app developer

As smartphones become more integral to our daily lives, the demand for innovative mobile apps continues to grow. A mobile app development business could suit you if you have coding skills.

Challenge 1: Staying updated with changing technologies.  Mobile app technologies are continually evolving, and keeping up can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, dedicate time for ongoing learning. Follow industry blogs, participate in relevant forums, and attend developer conferences to stay current.

Challenge 2: Differentiating your apps. There are millions of apps in the app stores, so standing out is tough. Identify underserved niches where your app could significantly impact overcoming this challenge. Focus on providing an exceptional user experience to set your app apart.

Challenge 3: Attracting clients. Finding clients willing to pay for your app development services can be hard. To overcome this challenge, build a portfolio showcasing your best work. Leverage your network and use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential clients.

We recommend the following developer resources:

  • Fullstack Academy
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Coding Boot Camp

7. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves earning a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products.

Challenge 1: Choosing the right products. Picking the right products to market can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, look for products that align with your target audience’s interests and needs.

Challenge 2: Building an audience.  An affiliate marketer needs a large, engaged audience to be successful. To overcome this challenge, use content marketing , social media, and SEO to grow and engage your audience.

Challenge 3: Trust and reputation. Maintaining trust while promoting products can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, always disclose your affiliate relationships. Promote products you believe in.

8. Content creator or influencer

A content creator or influencer generates engaging content for a specific niche or audience, often brand-sponsored.

Challenge 1: Building an audience.  Growing a dedicated audience can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, consistently create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

Challenge 2: Securing sponsorships.  Finding brands willing to sponsor your content can be tough. To overcome this challenge, develop a unique brand voice and style to attract potential sponsors.

Challenge 3: Maintaining authenticity. Maintaining authenticity while promoting brands can be challenging. Only promote products and brands you believe in and use to overcome this challenge.

9. Independent author

As an independent author, you publish your own books, typically selling them online.

Challenge 1: Writing the book.  The process of writing a book is long and challenging. To overcome this challenge, break down your writing into daily or weekly goals to make the task more manageable.

Challenge 2: Self-publishing. Self-publishing is a complex process involving many steps, from editing to cover design. To overcome this challenge, hire professionals, like those on crowdspring, for editing, book cover design , and formatting. A good book cover is essential in attracting readers.

Challenge 3: Marketing and distribution. As an independent author, you’re responsible for marketing and distribution. To overcome this challenge, create a marketing plan that includes social media promotion, email marketing , and partnerships with relevant influencers or blogs.

10. Subscription newsletter

A subscription newsletter is a regularly delivered email with valuable content that subscribers pay to receive.

Challenge 1: Creating valuable content.  Continually creating content that people are willing to pay for is a challenge. To overcome this challenge, conduct regular audience research to keep abreast of their changing needs and interests.

Challenge 2: Building a subscriber base.  Growing a subscriber base from scratch is difficult. To overcome this challenge, offer a free version of your newsletter, then upsell to a premium subscription with additional benefits.

Challenge 3: Retaining subscribers.  Keeping subscribers engaged and preventing them from canceling their subscriptions is tough. To overcome this challenge, regularly seek feedback from your subscribers to understand what they like and don’t like about your newsletter.

11. Translator

Starting a translation service can be a flexible and rewarding business if you’re multilingual. Translators work across various industries, translating everything from legal documents to novels.

Challenge 1: Gaining client trust. As a translator, you’re handling sensitive and potentially confidential information. To overcome this challenge, provide testimonials, get certified if possible, and consider getting insured.

Challenge 2: Staying up to date with languages.  Language is constantly evolving, and staying current is essential. To overcome this challenge, regularly interact with native speakers, continue learning, and stay updated with popular culture in the countries of your languages.

Challenge 3: Facing heavy competition. The translation field is quite competitive, and setting yourself apart can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a specific industry, like medical or legal translation or a less common language pairing.

We recommend the following translator resources:

  • A certification from the American Translators Association will legitimize your business and help you get clients.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Online Translation Certificate
  • The University of Arizona’s Online Translation Certificate
  • The University of Georgia Online Translation Certificate

Easy businesses to start

1. personal shopper.

If you have a good eye for style and enjoy shopping, consider starting a personal shopping business.

Challenge 1: Building a client base.  Finding individuals willing to pay for your shopping services can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, start by offering your services to your personal network and ask them for referrals. A professional website showcasing your services, pricing , and testimonials can attract potential clients.

Challenge 2: Staying updated on fashion trends.  The fashion world is always changing, and staying updated can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, subscribe to fashion magazines, follow fashion influencers, and attend fashion shows. Also, networking with local designers and boutique owners can keep you updated with the latest trends.

Challenge 3: Differentiating your services. With various personal shoppers and stylists available, standing out is crucial. To overcome this challenge, cater to a specific market, like plus-size or sustainable fashion. Offering related services, such as wardrobe organization or image consulting, can differentiate you.

2. Language tutoring service

Consider starting a language tutoring service if you’re fluent in a second language. You can offer personalized lessons to students or adults seeking to learn a new language.

Challenge 1: Attracting students. Many language learning resources are available, so attracting students to your service can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, focus on providing customized, one-on-one tutoring sessions that online platforms can’t offer. Market your services at local schools, community centers, and online platforms.

Challenge 2: Adapting to different learning styles. Each student will have a different learning style, and adapting your teaching method to each can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, familiarize yourself with other teaching methods. Be flexible and patient, and tailor your lessons to each student’s learning style and progress.

Challenge 3: Staying motivated over long periods. Language learning is a long process, and it can be hard to keep students motivated. To overcome this challenge, break down the learning process into achievable goals. Celebrate your students’ progress to keep them motivated.

As a blogger, you create and publish articles on your blog, typically monetizing through ads, affiliate marketing, or selling products.

Challenge 1: Creating quality content.  Creating high-quality, engaging content regularly can be a daunting task. To overcome this challenge, start with topics you’re passionate about and knowledgeable about. Your enthusiasm will resonate with your audience.

Challenge 2: Attracting readers.  Building a steady readership base is challenging. To overcome this challenge, implement good SEO practices, promote your blog through social media, and collaborate with other bloggers to boost your visibility.

Challenge 3: Monetizing your blog.  Making a consistent income from your blog can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, diversify your income streams. Combine display ads, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and selling your own products or services.

Best businesses to start with little money

1. online course creator.

If you’re an expert in a specific field, consider monetizing that knowledge through an online course.

Challenge 1: Building a credible presence. Before people will pay for your expertise, they need to trust in your knowledge and abilities. One way to establish credibility is by creating a personal website that outlines your qualifications, professional experiences, and client testimonials. Prominently link your online course from a dedicated landing page to make it easy for potential students to find and enroll.

Challenge 2: Choosing the right course platform. Numerous platforms can help you create and host your online course. The challenge is finding one that fits your budget while providing the necessary support services, like automatic student payment processing and class reminders.

Challenge 3: Creating engaging content. You must create compelling, well-structured content to keep students engaged and ensure they find value in your course. You might find online course creation templates or platforms with inbuilt course structure guides helpful.

We recommend the following resources for online course creators:

2. Self-publishing author

If you have a way with words and a story to tell, consider self-publishing your own book.

Challenge 1: Attracting attention. A professionally designed book cover is essential for capturing readers’ interest, whether you’re launching an ebook or a print version. Invest in a quality cover design that entices potential readers and accurately represents your book’s content.

Challenge 2: Choosing the right publishing platform. You’ll need to find a self-publishing platform that suits your needs, whether that’s wide distribution, high royalty rates, or excellent customer service. Take the time to research different options and consider the pros and cons of each.

Challenge 3: Marketing and promotion. Book fairs, bookstore readings, and social media promotion are all excellent ways to get the word out about your book. Remember, the more people know about your book, the better your chances of selling copies.

We recommend the following resources for self-publishing authors:

  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

3. Podcast host

If you’re a charismatic speaker or storyteller, consider starting a podcast.

Challenge 1: Creating quality audio content. You’ll need a decent microphone and a quiet, echo-free recording environment. Learn how to edit audio files to ensure your podcast sounds professional.

Challenge 2: Choosing a podcast hosting service . Many podcast hosting services are available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Research and choose one that suits your needs and budget.

Challenge 3: Growing your audience. Marketing your podcast and growing your audience can be a significant challenge. Develop a clear, appealing logo and build a dedicated podcast website where listeners can learn more about your show, access episode lists, and find subscription links.

4. Tour guide

If you know your local area and enjoy public speaking, consider starting a tour guide business.

Challenge 1: Public speaking and customer engagement. As a tour guide, you’ll need to be able to speak confidently, engage with a diverse range of people, and stay focused despite distractions or interruptions.

Challenge 2: Marketing and promotion. Start with a website and promotional materials like flyers and business cards. Consider investing in online advertising or partnerships with local hotels or travel agencies as your business grows.

Challenge 3: Differentiation. Consider choosing a specific niche, like historical tours or food-tasting tours, to make your services unique and attractive to potential customers.

We recommend the following resources for tour guides:

  • World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations
  • American Tour Guide Association

5. Build a handyman service

A handyman service is a profitable venture for those who are good at fixing things around the house and already own tools.

Challenge 1: Proving your expertise. Unlike white-collar professions, trade skills are often overlooked and undervalued. To overcome this, establish your credibility with potential clients by highlighting your experience, licenses, or certifications in the field on your website and promotional materials.

Challenge 2: Expanding your reach. You must connect with potential customers in your area to get more jobs. This can be done by distributing business cards and displaying professional signage.

Challenge 3: Protecting yourself from liability. When working in someone else’s home, there’s always a risk of accidental damage. To mitigate this, invest in general liability insurance and clearly state your terms of service on your website.

We recommend the following resources for aspiring handymen:

  • The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals (ACHP)

6. Selling handmade goods/crafts

Crafters who enjoy making unique items with their own two hands can turn their passion into a business by selling handmade goods on platforms like Etsy .

Challenge 1: Showcasing your products. You must visually capture the essence of your work to entice potential buyers. To overcome this, invest time and resources into high-quality product photography.

Challenge 2: Standing out from the competition. The online marketplace is filled with a plethora of handmade products. To overcome this, consider carving out a niche for yourself, making unique items that cater to a specific audience.

Challenge 3: Finding the right selling platform. There are many e-commerce platforms out there, but finding one that fits your needs and budget is crucial. Research your options before settling on a platform.

We recommend the following resources for crafters:

  • Handmade Magazine

7. Start a monetized blog

For those with unique thoughts, insights, or experiences to share, starting a blog can be a profitable venture.

Challenge 1: Becoming a subject matter expert. It’s important to pick a specific niche to blog about to gain credibility and high rankings on search engines. Research and continuously expand your knowledge about your chosen subject.

Challenge 2: Building a loyal readership. To monetize your blog, you’ll need a steady stream of readers. This can be achieved through regular content updates, reader engagement, and effective SEO strategies.

Challenge 3: Monetizing your blog. Consider paid advertisements, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing to generate income from your blog. Choose the method that aligns best with your blog’s content and audience.

8. Join an affiliate marketing program

Joining an affiliate marketing program can be profitable for those with a robust online presence.

Challenge 1: Building audience trust. Promoting affiliate products requires your audience to trust your opinions and recommendations. To overcome this, ensure your affiliations align with your brand and promote products you genuinely believe in.

Challenge 2: Attracting a large audience. The success of affiliate marketing heavily depends on the size of your audience. To overcome this, utilize your website, email newsletters, and social media to grow your audience.

Challenge 3: Choosing the right affiliate programs. Not all affiliate programs offer the same benefits. Research various programs to find the ones that fit best with your brand and have good commission rates.

We recommend the following resources for those interested in affiliate marketing:

  • The Affiliate Marketing Association

9. Become a makeup artist

Running a makeup artist business can be rewarding if you have a knack for makeup and enjoy working with people.

Challenge 1: Meeting licensing requirements. Some states require special licensing to practice as a makeup artist. Check with local government agencies to learn about necessary licenses or certifications to overcome this.

Challenge 2: Promoting your services. As a makeup artist, you must showcase your work to attract clients. Develop a portfolio of your work and regularly update your website with your latest creations.

Challenge 3: Networking within the industry. Success as a makeup artist often relies on referrals and industry connections. Attend industry events and build relationships with photographers, event planners, and others who could refer clients to you.

We recommend the following resources for makeup artists:

  • The Professional Beauty Association

10. Launch a house-sitting business

A house-sitting business caters to those who yearn for security and peace of mind while they’re away from home. Whether your clients are globetrotting or jetting off for work, you are their domestic guardian.

Challenge 1: Building trust with clients. Personal branding is vital since you’re asking clients to entrust you with their homes and valued possessions. Overcome this by creating professional business cards and a logo that communicates reliability.

Challenge 2: Expanding your client base. Initially, you could house-sit for people you know and garner testimonials. Word-of-mouth is powerful advertising. Encourage happy clients to share your business cards, effectively expanding your reach.

Challenge 3: Enhancing your skills and services. Clients may expect you to handle minor home maintenance issues. Improve your competitive edge by learning basic home repair skills. This way, you can deal with emergencies, increasing your service value.

We recommend the following resources for house sitters:

  • The International House Sitting Academy

11. Ignite your creativity with a t-shirt company

A t-shirt company is an excellent platform to express your creativity, with a low barrier to entry, making it an enticing business prospect.

Challenge 1: Designing your t-shirts. Not a designer? No worries! Platforms like Crowdspring can assist you with custom t-shirt designs .

Challenge 2: Setting up your online storefront. You’ll need an e-commerce website and a logo that aligns with your brand to sell your products.

Challenge 3: Ensuring quick product delivery. Partner with a rapid fulfillment service that guarantees two-day deliveries to impress customers.

12. Empower others as a life/career/health coach

If you’re passionate about helping others achieve their potential, consider becoming a life, career, or health coach.

Challenge 1: Establishing your credibility. Since your expertise is your selling point, showcasing your skills is vital. A professional website reflecting your niche and the benefits clients can expect is a perfect start.

Challenge 2: Building a client base. Referrals are key, so make a lasting impression with a memorable logo and business cards to help clients spread the word.

Challenge 3: Upskilling. While certifications are not required in this unregulated industry, consider pursuing a reputable certification once revenue starts coming in. This will enable you to charge higher fees and elevate your service.

We recommend the following resources for life/career/health coaches:

  • International Coach Federation (ICF)

13. Help job seekers with a resume writing service

Job hunting can be stressful. With your knowledge of the hiring process and concise, impactful writing, you can ease the stress and help job seekers snag that coveted position.

Challenge 1: Staying updated with resume-writing best practices. As hiring practices evolve, it’s essential to stay informed. Regularly attending workshops and webinars can help keep your skills fresh.

Challenge 2: Reaching your audience. You’ll need a professional website that outlines your services, skills, and pricing. Also, consistent email or social media communication can help build client relationships.

Challenge 3: Working remotely. Your laptop and a stable internet connection are your office. With these, you can manage your website, interact with clients, create resumés, and market your business – all from your comfort zone.

We recommend the following resources for those helping with resume writing services:

  • The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA)

14. Simplify travel with a planning business

With the many travel platforms available today, planning a trip can become overwhelming. If you’re organized and knowledgeable about the travel industry, consider starting a travel planning company.

Challenge 1: Establishing a reliable contact point. You’ll need a professional website featuring your logo, contact details, services, and pricing. An engaging bio can also create a human connection with potential clients.

Challenge 2: Meeting clients. While a physical office is unnecessary, meeting clients in person can help build trust. Coffee shops are a perfect informal meeting place, and online platforms like Zoom can widen your client reach.

We recommend the following resources for travel planners:

  • American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA)

15. Beautify homes with a staging business

If you have an eye for design and understand what home buyers look for, a home staging business could be your calling.

Challenge 1: Showcasing your work. On your website, include high-quality photos of spaces you’ve staged. If you’re new, stage your home or a friend’s and photograph your work.

Challenge 2: Investing in essential equipment. Good photography is key to demonstrating your skills. If your smartphone’s camera isn’t up to par, consider investing in a good digital camera and basic lighting equipment.

Challenge 3: Networking with real estate agents. A successful home staging business often relies on referrals from real estate agents. Business cards can help leave a lasting impression and potentially lead to future referrals.

We recommend the following resources for home stagers:

  • International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP)

Niche business ideas: unique startup ideas

1. virtual reality (vr) arcade.

Starting a VR arcade can be profitable as VR technology becomes more affordable.

Challenge 1: Investing in VR equipment.  VR equipment can be costly, which can be a hurdle when starting. To overcome this challenge, research different VR systems to find the best balance of cost and quality. Leasing equipment may be a viable option to reduce initial costs.

Challenge 2: Attracting customers.  Drawing customers to your VR arcade can be challenging. Host themed gaming events, tournaments, or parties to overcome this challenge to attract a diverse customer base. Offering a unique selection of VR games can also help you stand out. And you can bring your arcade directly to your customers’ homes and offices.

Challenge 3: Keeping up with technological advances. VR technology is rapidly advancing, and staying updated can be a challenge. To overcome this challenge, attend industry trade shows, follow VR news, and connect with VR equipment manufacturers to keep abreast of new developments.

2. Drone photography business

With the advent of more affordable and high-quality drones, starting a drone photography business can be a profitable venture.

Challenge 1: Acquiring necessary licenses and permits. Flying a drone for commercial purposes requires compliance with aviation regulations. To overcome this challenge, understand the local regulations in your area. You may need to pass a test to receive a license for commercial drone operations.

Challenge 2: Developing photography skills. A drone isn’t enough; capturing high-quality and appealing images is necessary. To overcome this challenge, practice your photography skills often. Experiment with different drone settings and shooting angles to create unique images.

Challenge 3: Finding clients. Finding clients who need your services can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, showcase your work on social media and photography platforms. Attend networking events and connect with businesses needing your services, such as real estate agencies or event planners.

3. Subscription box service

Subscription boxes are a popular trend providing customers with regular deliveries of products they love.

Challenge 1: Identifying a unique niche.  The market is crowded, and finding a unique niche is critical. To overcome this challenge, look for trends and underserved markets. Your box could focus on anything from artisanal cheeses to eco-friendly products.

Challenge 2: Sourcing products. Finding suppliers that offer quality products at a reasonable price can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, attend trade shows, browse online marketplaces, or contact manufacturers directly. Negotiate bulk pricing to keep your costs down.

Challenge 3: Retaining customers. Keeping customers subscribed month after month is essential for your business’s success. To overcome this challenge, regularly change your box content to keep it fresh and exciting. Provide excellent customer service and consider a loyalty program to retain customers.

4. Indoor plant business

Indoor plants have become a popular home decor trend. If you have a green thumb, consider starting an indoor plant business.

Challenge 1: Maintaining plant health.  Keeping a large inventory of plants healthy can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, learn about the specific needs of the different types of plants you sell. Regularly monitor them for signs of pests or diseases.

Challenge 2: Attracting customers. Differentiating your plant business from others can be tough. To overcome this challenge, offer unique plant varieties that aren’t commonly available. Provide exceptional customer service, including advice on plant care.

Challenge 3: Managing inventory. Balancing the demand with the supply of healthy, attractive plants can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, keep track of your sales to understand which plants are most popular. Adjust your inventory based on consumer demand.

5. Personal chef service

If you love cooking and have culinary training, a personal chef service might be your recipe for success. You’ll create customized meals for clients, perfect for busy professionals or individuals with dietary restrictions.

Challenge 1: Building a client base. Finding clients willing to pay for a personal chef can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, leverage your personal network to find your first clients. Consider offering free or discounted services to friends or family in exchange for referrals.

Challenge 2: Meeting varied dietary preferences and requirements. Clients may have specific dietary needs or restrictions. To overcome this challenge, learn about different dietary requirements such as gluten-free, keto, vegan, etc. Ensure you’re comfortable preparing meals within these constraints.

Challenge 3: Managing your time effectively. Juggling multiple clients and their individual meal plans can be a challenge. To overcome this challenge, create a clear schedule and stick to it. Use meal planning and prep techniques to streamline your cooking process.

6. Voiceover services

Voiceover work is in demand for commercials, animation, video games, and more. This could be a great business idea if you have a unique voice and good speaking skills.

Challenge 1: Building a portfolio. Without a portfolio, it can be challenging to attract clients. To overcome this challenge, consider initially offering your services for free or at a low cost to build up your portfolio. Make sure to get high-quality recordings of your work.

Challenge 2: Staying healthy. Voiceover work requires a healthy voice. To overcome this challenge, regularly practice vocal exercises, stay hydrated, and avoid behaviors that could harm your vocal cords, like excessive shouting or prolonged periods of speaking.

Challenge 3: Finding consistent work. Voiceover work can often be project-based, which may lead to inconsistent income. To overcome this challenge, network within the industry and maintain good client relationships to secure repeat work. Register on platforms that match voiceover artists with clients.

7. Home staging business

If you have an eye for interior design and a knack for making spaces look their best, a home staging business could be your calling. This involves preparing homes for sale, making them attractive to potential buyers.

Challenge 1: Building a network. Establishing relationships with real estate agents and property developers can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, attend real estate events and join local business networks. Offer incentives for referrals from real estate agents and past clients.

Challenge 2: Managing inventory. Handling furniture and decor items for multiple homes can be tricky. To overcome this challenge, use a reliable inventory management system. Consider renting furniture and decor instead of buying them outright to save on storage space and costs.

Challenge 3: Dealing with diverse tastes. Different clients and potential buyers may have vastly different tastes. To overcome this challenge, focus on creating a universally appealing aesthetic. Keep up-to-date with home decor trends and customer preferences in your local real estate market.

8. Mobile spa service

Bringing the spa experience to clients’ homes is a great business idea. It offers convenience and a personal touch, providing services like massages, facials, and manicures.

Challenge 1: Building trust.  Gaining clients’ trust when entering their homes can be a challenge. Use client testimonials and professional certifications to prove your credibility to overcome this challenge. Always maintain a professional demeanor and respect clients’ privacy.

Challenge 2: Travel logistics.  Managing travel time and costs between appointments is crucial. To overcome this challenge, plan your appointments carefully to minimize travel time. Factor travel costs into your pricing or set a specific service area.

Challenge 3: Maintaining hygiene standards.  Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene while working in different environments is critical. Invest in portable cleaning tools to overcome this challenge and follow a strict hygiene protocol for each client visit.

9. Children’s party service

If you love planning and have a knack for creating fun, themed events, consider starting a children’s party service. This involves organizing and hosting birthday parties, holiday events, or other celebrations for kids.

Challenge 1: Managing expectations.  Parents and children may have different expectations for the party. To overcome this challenge, conduct a detailed consultation with parents and the child (if appropriate) before the party to ensure everyone is on the same page about the theme, activities, and other special requests.

Challenge 2: Safety and liability . Children’s safety is paramount, and managing potential risks is essential. To overcome this challenge, always have safety protocols, and consider getting insurance to cover potential liabilities.

Challenge 3: Keeping up with popular themes. Kids often want parties that reflect their interests, which can change quickly. To overcome this challenge, stay up-to-date with popular kids’ shows, movies, and toys to ensure your party themes are current.

10. Food truck business

Operating a food truck allows you to share your culinary skills with a broad audience without the overhead costs of a traditional restaurant.

Challenge 1: Navigating regulations. Different areas have different rules for food trucks. To overcome this challenge, thoroughly research local laws regarding sanitation, permits, and where you can park and sell.

Challenge 2: Differentiating yourself. The food truck industry is highly competitive, with many unique offerings. To overcome this challenge, find a unique culinary niche or specialty that sets you apart.

Challenge 3: Dealing with logistical challenges.  Operating a mobile food business comes with unique logistical challenges, like vehicle maintenance and varying locations. To overcome this challenge, regularly maintain your truck and maintain a consistent schedule and location to build a regular customer base.

11. Handyman

Starting a handyman business could be the perfect fit if you’re skilled in-home repairs and enjoy variety in your work. Handymen provide many services, from repairing a leaky faucet to assembling furniture.

Challenge 1: Building a client base. Winning customers’ trust to let you into their homes can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, build your reputation by offering excellent service and encouraging satisfied clients to leave positive reviews.

Challenge 2: Keeping skills up-to-date.  The field of home repair is constantly evolving with new materials and techniques. Regularly upskill by attending workshops and staying informed about industry trends to overcome this challenge.

Challenge 3: Liability. There can be liability concerns when performing home repairs. Protect your business by obtaining appropriate insurance and always following safety procedures to overcome this challenge.

We recommend the following handyman resources:

  • Handyman License Requirements by State
  • Association of Certified Handyman Professionals

12. Woodworker

Crafting unique wooden items, from furniture to decorative pieces, can be a rewarding and profitable business if you have woodworking skills and an eye for design.

Challenge 1: Sourcing quality wood.  Finding a reliable source of quality wood can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, establish relationships with local lumber yards or mills. Consider using reclaimed or recycled wood for an eco-friendly angle.

Challenge 2: Staying competitive.  Standing out in a market full of mass-produced goods can be tough. To overcome this challenge, showcase your unique, handmade pieces and emphasize their quality and craftsmanship.

Challenge 3: Safe workshop practices.  Woodworking can be dangerous if safety practices aren’t followed. To overcome this challenge, invest in safety equipment and training, and maintain a clean and organized workspace.

We recommend the following woodworker resources:

  • The Woodwork Institute
  • The School of Fine Woodworking

13. Videographer

With the rise of video content online, there’s a growing demand for skilled videographers. Videographers capture important moments and create compelling visual stories from weddings to corporate events.

Challenge 1: Staying updated with technology.  The technology and techniques used in videography are constantly evolving. To overcome this challenge, regularly participate in industry workshops and webinars to keep your skills current.

Challenge 2: Standing out in a competitive market.  With many people offering videography services, differentiation can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, specialize in specific video content, like drone footage or documentary-style videos, to stand out.

Challenge 3: High upfront costs. The cost of professional-grade video equipment can be high. To overcome this challenge, start with essential equipment and gradually upgrade as your business grows. Renting equipment is also an option.

14. Photographer

Photography is a diverse field with a multitude of niches. From event and wedding photography to portrait, nature, and product photography, this could be a great business venture if you have a keen eye and technical skills.

Challenge 1: Competition and market saturation.  With the rise of high-quality smartphone cameras and photo editing apps, competition in the photography business is intense. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a specific type of photography and build a strong portfolio showcasing your unique style and expertise.

Challenge 2: Staying current with technology.  The world of photography is ever-evolving, with new equipment and software emerging regularly. To overcome this challenge, regularly attend industry workshops, webinars, and trade shows to stay updated on the latest trends and technology.

Challenge 3: Building a consistent client base. Finding regular clients can be a challenge, especially when starting. To overcome this challenge, networking is vital. Attend local events, collaborate with other businesses, and use social media to expand your reach.

We recommend the following photographer resources:

  • Cornell’s Digital Photography Certificate Program
  • New York Institute of Photography’s Course

15. Bed and breakfast owner

Owning a bed and breakfast can be a rewarding business for those who enjoy meeting new people and providing hospitality. This business requires managing bookings, maintaining the property, and providing guests with an unforgettable experience.

Challenge 1: Regulations and licensing.  Complying with local zoning laws, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and meeting health and safety standards can be complex. To overcome this challenge, research local regulations thoroughly and consider hiring a business attorney to ensure you meet all legal requirements.

Challenge 2: Attracting guests. Attracting guests in a crowded market with many lodging options can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, create a unique guest experience, build a strong online presence, and use online booking platforms to reach a wider audience.

Challenge 3: Managing operational tasks. Running a B&B involves various tasks, from housekeeping and maintenance to guest relations and marketing. To overcome this challenge, implement efficient operating systems and consider hiring staff as your business grows.

16. Clothing boutique owner

Owning a clothing boutique can be a stylish and rewarding business opportunity. As an owner, you’ll curate a unique selection of clothing and accessories, provide a personalized shopping experience for customers, and build relationships with designers and distributors.

Challenge 1: Sourcing quality inventory.  Finding unique, high-quality items that resonate with your target market can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, attend trade shows, build relationships with independent designers, and watch fashion trends.

Challenge 2: Standing out in a competitive industry.  The retail clothing industry is highly competitive, with many established brands and stores. To overcome this challenge, create a unique shopping experience, offer exceptional customer service, and curate a distinctive collection that appeals to a specific demographic.

Challenge 3: Managing inventory.  Keeping track of inventory and predicting what items will sell can be complex. To overcome this challenge, invest in a reliable inventory management system and analyze sales data to guide purchasing decisions.

17. Specialty food store owner

From artisanal cheeses to locally sourced produce and gourmet chocolates, owning a specialty food store is a fantastic opportunity for food enthusiasts. As an owner, you’ll source and sell unique food items and provide customers with various flavors they can’t find in standard grocery stores.

Challenge 1: Sourcing unique products.  Finding and maintaining a supply of unique, high-quality food can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, build relationships with local farmers, attend food trade shows, and always be on the lookout for new and exciting products.

Challenge 2: Navigating health and safety regulations.  Food businesses must adhere to a variety of health and safety regulations. To overcome this challenge, hire a business attorney or consultant specializing in food businesses to ensure you meet all regulatory requirements.

Challenge 3: Standing out in a competitive market. Making your stand out with many different food stores can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, specialize in a specific type of food, provide exceptional customer service, and host in-store events like tastings or cooking classes.

18. Trucking business

Starting a trucking business can be lucrative, especially with the continuous demand for transportation services. As a truck driver, you’ll deliver goods over various distances, manage your schedule, and maintain your vehicle.

Challenge 1: High startup and operational costs.  Purchasing trucks and maintaining them, in addition to fuel costs, can be expensive. To overcome this challenge, consider leasing your trucks or look for used options in good condition to reduce upfront costs.

Challenge 2: Regulation compliance.  The trucking industry is heavily regulated, and compliance can be complex. To overcome this challenge, stay updated with industry regulations, ensure proper licensing and permits, and keep detailed records.

Challenge 3: Long and irregular hours. Truck driving often involves long hours on the road and erratic schedules. To overcome this challenge, create a balanced work schedule, prioritizing rest and self-care to maintain health and safety.

19. Car detailing specialist

A car detailing business can be profitable for individuals with an eye for detail and a passion for cars. As a car detailing specialist, you’ll restore vehicles to their original condition or, even better, provide various cleaning services.

Challenge 1: Attracting regular customers.  Cars only need occasional detailing, so attracting regular customers can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, provide outstanding service, offer loyalty programs, and consider branching into related services like oil changes or tire rotations.

Challenge 2: Staying current with the latest technologies.  Detailing techniques and technologies continually evolve, requiring you to stay updated. To overcome this challenge, attend trade shows, sign up for professional training, and subscribe to industry publications.

Challenge 3: Overhead costs.  High-quality cleaning supplies can be expensive, which can add up over time. To overcome this challenge, buy cleaning products in bulk and consider using eco-friendly products, which can be a unique selling point.

20. Garden designer

A garden design business might be the perfect fit if you have a green thumb and an eye for design. Garden designers plan and design gardens for residential and commercial clients, transforming ordinary spaces into lush, green havens.

Challenge 1: Seasonal demand.  Garden design tends to be seasonal, with demand spiking in the spring and summer. To overcome this challenge, diversify your services to include winter tasks like garden preparation or interior plant design.

Challenge 2: Keeping up with trends and technology.  Like any design industry, garden design trends change, and new technologies (like 3D design software) emerge. To overcome this challenge, attend industry events, follow influential garden designers, and learn to use design software to present your ideas professionally.

Challenge 3: High competition.  The landscape design field is competitive, with many individuals and companies offering similar services. To overcome this challenge, find a niche in your specialized market, such as native plant gardens or small-space solutions.

We recommend the following garden designer resources:

  • American Academy of Garden Design
  • New Skills Academy’s Garden Design Certification

21. Travel planner

As a travel planner, you’ll plan and organize travel itineraries for individuals, families, and businesses. This business can be very rewarding for those who love travel and are excellent at logistics and planning.

Challenge 1: Building supplier relationships. Strong relationships with accommodation, transport, and activity providers are vital to providing quality experiences for your clients. To overcome this challenge, attend travel industry networking events, join professional organizations, and always provide feedback to suppliers to strengthen relationships.

Challenge 2: Staying updated with travel trends.  Travel trends change rapidly, and staying updated can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, subscribe to travel publications, attend travel expos, and connect with other travel professionals to keep abreast of the latest trends and destinations.

Challenge 3: Attracting clients in a competitive market. The travel planning market is highly competitive, with many online and offline services available. To overcome this challenge, differentiate your services by specializing in a specific type of travel (like sustainable travel or adventure tourism) or a particular region.

We recommend the following travel planner resources:

  • The Travel Institute Training & Certification Program
  • Penn Foster Travel and Tourism Specialist Career Diploma

22. Home inspector

A home inspection is an essential step in the home-buying process, and as a home inspector, you will provide potential home buyers with detailed reports about a property’s condition.

Challenge 1: Acquiring necessary certifications. You must be certified or licensed in most states to perform home inspections. To overcome this challenge, research what qualifications are needed in your area, and consider investing in courses or training programs that can help you get certified.

Challenge 2: Building a client base. As a home inspector, you must build a network of real estate agents and potential home buyers who can refer or use your services. To overcome this challenge, start building relationships with local real estate professionals, and consider advertising your services in local homebuying resources or online platforms.

Challenge 3: Staying up-to-date with building codes and standards.  Building codes and standards can be complex and vary by location, and keeping up-to-date with these can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, join professional organizations and subscribe to industry newsletters to stay informed about regulations and industry standards changes.

We recommend the following home inspector resources:

  • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
  • ATI Home Inspector Academy

23. Consultant

Consultants are experts who provide professional advice in business, education, law, regulatory compliance, human resources, marketing, finance, health care, and many other specialized fields.

Challenge 1: Establishing credibility. Clients want to know they can trust your advice. Consider certifications or advanced degrees related to your expertise to overcome this challenge. Regularly attend industry conferences and publish articles to establish thought leadership.

Challenge 2: Finding clients. Attracting your first clients can be difficult when starting. To overcome this challenge, leverage your network. Reach out to former colleagues or friends who may need your services or know someone who does.

Challenge 3: Setting fees. It can be challenging to determine what to charge for your services. To overcome this challenge, research what others in your field charge and consider your experience level, the project’s complexity, and the potential value to the client when setting your rates.

24. Property manager

A property manager handles all the day-to-day tasks related to managing a rental property for property owners. This could include finding tenants, handling maintenance and repairs, and dealing with tenant issues.

Challenge 1: Acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills.  Property management requires diverse skills, including knowledge of real estate laws, maintenance skills, and people skills. To overcome this challenge, consider taking courses or earning a certification in property management to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.

Challenge 2: Building a client base. Building a client base can be challenging when you’re just starting. To overcome this challenge, network with local real estate professionals, attend real estate events and advertise your services to property owners.

Challenge 3: Handling multiple tasks efficiently.  Property management involves numerous tasks, from dealing with tenant complaints to overseeing property maintenance. To overcome this challenge, invest in property management software to help you keep track of all your tasks and streamline your workflow.

25. Massage therapist

A massage therapist helps clients reduce stress, relieve pain, and promote overall wellness through various massage techniques.

Challenge 1: Getting proper certification.  Massage therapists must be certified, and the requirements can vary by location. To overcome this challenge, investigate the specific requirements in your area and enroll in a reputable massage therapy program to gain the necessary skills and certification.

Challenge 2: Building a clientele. When you start, finding clients can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, offer discounted or introductory rates to attract initial customers. Also, leverage social media and local networking events to promote your services.

Challenge 3: Physical demands of the job.  Massage therapy can be physically demanding, which can lead to burnout. To overcome this challenge, be mindful of your physical well-being, take time for self-care, and consider adding other wellness services to your offerings to diversify your workload.

26. Interior designer

Interior designers use their creative and technical skills to design and enhance indoor spaces to make them functional, safe, and attractive.

Challenge 1: Acquiring necessary credentials.  In many areas, interior designers must be certified or licensed. To overcome this challenge, look into the requirements in your area, and consider obtaining a degree in interior design or a related field.

Challenge 2: Building a portfolio.  Prospective clients will want to see examples of your work. To overcome this challenge, consider offering your services to friends or family to build your portfolio or use design software to create mock-ups of your design ideas.

Challenge 3: Keeping up with design trends.  Design trends change quickly, and it can be hard to keep up. To overcome this challenge, follow design blogs, attend industry trade shows, and network with other designers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.

We recommend the following interior designer resources:

  • The New York Institute of Art and Design

27. Consignment shop owner

Consignment shops sell items for individuals and take a percentage of the sale price. This model allows you to offer various items without purchasing inventory upfront.

Challenge 1: Sourcing items.  Finding a steady supply of items to sell can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, build relationships with local communities. Advertise your service and explain the benefits to potential consignors.

Challenge 2: Pricing items. It can be difficult to determine how to price things. To overcome this challenge, research what similar items are selling for and consider the item’s condition, brand, and demand when setting prices.

Challenge 3: Building trust. People need to trust you with their items. To overcome this challenge, be transparent about your pricing and terms. Regularly communicate with consignors about their things and any sales.

28. Gym owner

Owning a gym can be a rewarding business for fitness enthusiasts.

Challenge 1: High startup costs. Equipping a gym can be expensive. To overcome this challenge, start small with essential equipment and add more as your membership grows. Consider leasing equipment to lower startup costs.

Challenge 2: Attracting members.  Competition in the fitness industry is fierce. To overcome this challenge, offer unique classes or amenities that set your gym apart. A strong social media presence can also attract members.

Challenge 3: Retaining members.  The fitness industry often sees high churn rates. To overcome this challenge, foster a sense of community in your gym. Regularly check in with members to ensure they are satisfied and encourage them to meet their fitness goals.

29. Boutique agency owner

A small creative boutique agency offers specialized work for a limited client list.

Challenge 1: Building a client base.  Attracting clients to a newly established boutique agency can be tough. To overcome this challenge, offer a unique selling proposition that distinguishes you from the competition. Leverage your network and engage in strategic partnerships.

Challenge 2: Managing limited resources. With a small team, managing resources effectively can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, prioritize client work that aligns with your agency’s strengths. Hire freelancers for specialized tasks, if necessary.

Challenge 3: Maintaining consistent revenue.  Revenue flow can be inconsistent due to the project-based nature of the work. To overcome this challenge, seek long-term contracts with clients. Offer retainers for regular work.

30. Coffee shop owner

Coffee shops are popular for people to relax, work, and socialize.

Challenge 1: High startup costs.  Initial investment costs for a coffee shop can be high due to equipment, supplies, and location. To overcome this challenge, consider starting as a coffee cart or kiosk before moving into a larger space. Leasing equipment can also help reduce upfront costs.

Challenge 2: Attracting customers.  Competition in the coffee industry is stiff. To overcome this challenge, offer unique coffee blends or special promotions. Engage with your community through events and local partnerships.

Challenge 3: Maintaining quality.  Consistency and quality of coffee, and customer service are vital. To overcome this challenge, train staff properly and invest in quality ingredients.

31. Moving company

A moving company assists people and businesses in relocating their goods from one place to another.

Challenge 1: Regulatory compliance.  Complying with state and federal regulations can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, ensure you have the correct licenses and insurance and adhere to all regulations in your region.

Challenge 2: Managing logistics.  Coordinating the scheduling, truck maintenance, and employee availability can be complex. To overcome this challenge, invest in good management and planning software to streamline operations.

Challenge 3: Building trust.  People entrust movers with their possessions, so building trust is crucial. To overcome this challenge, offer excellent customer service. Collect and share customer testimonials.

33. Daycare owner

Running a daycare means you provide care and supervision for children while their parents are at work or otherwise occupied.

Challenge 1: Licensing and regulations.  Daycare businesses are heavily regulated and require licensing. To overcome this challenge, meet all local and state requirements and maintain your license.

Challenge 2: Safety. Ensuring safety is a significant challenge when caring for children. Regularly review your safety procedures to overcome this challenge and invest in safe, high-quality equipment.

Challenge 3: Staffing. Hiring qualified, trustworthy staff is critical. Conduct thorough background checks on potential hires to overcome this challenge and invest in training.

33. House cleaner

A house cleaner offers cleaning services to homeowners who are too busy or unable to clean their homes.

Challenge 1: Building a client base.  Finding a steady stream of clients can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, start with word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family. As your cleaning business grows, consider online advertising.

Challenge 2: Setting competitive rates. Determining a fair but profitable rate for your services can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, research your competitors’ pricing and consider your time, effort, and expenses.

Challenge 3: Managing your time.  Balancing multiple clients and their various needs can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, develop a scheduling system and leave time for travel, rest, and administrative tasks.

34. Tour guide

As a tour guide, you lead individuals or groups around places of interest, providing expert knowledge about the locations.

Challenge 1: Gaining in-depth knowledge. Having a comprehensive understanding of your chosen tour area is essential and challenging. To overcome this challenge, research extensively, visit often, and keep updated on any changes or developments.

Challenge 2: Attracting tourists.  It may not be easy to attract enough tourists to make your tours profitable. Collaborate with local businesses, hotels, and travel agencies to overcome this challenge to recommend your tours. Also, have an online presence to reach more potential clients.

Challenge 3: Managing different personalities.  Handling a group with different personalities and expectations can be tough. To overcome this challenge, develop strong people skills. Be patient, empathetic, and flexible to cater to different needs and ensure everyone enjoys the tour.

35. T-Shirt printing business

T-shirt printing businesses design and sell custom-made shirts. They typically create t-shirt designs and then use a third-party printing company to produce the t-shirts. This makes it an excellent option for artistically inclined entrepreneurs who don’t want to deal with the hassle of production and inventory.

Challenge 1: Finding a unique niche.  The t-shirt market is saturated, and finding a unique niche can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, research your market, find out what designs or messages resonate with a particular group, and specialize in that niche.

Challenge 2: Quality control.  Ensuring consistent, high-quality prints can be challenging when outsourcing production. To overcome this challenge, thoroughly research and select a reputable print-on-demand service—order samples to check the quality before selling to customers.

Challenge 3: Attracting customers.  Attracting and retaining customers in a crowded online marketplace can be tough. To overcome this challenge, invest time in creating a strong brand, utilizing social media marketing, and providing outstanding customer service.

Best small business ideas for women

1. personal stylist.

A personal stylist business caters to individuals who need assistance with their wardrobe choices. Stylists help clients make the best clothing and accessory decisions for their lifestyle, profession, and personal style.

Challenge 1: Convincing potential clients. Convincing people that they can benefit from your stylist services might be tough, as people are used to picking out their own clothes. However, you can make a compelling case with solid marketing showcasing your past work and highlighting the transformation and confidence your clients gain.

Challenge 2: Staying up-to-date with fashion trends. The fashion industry changes rapidly, and your advice will only be as good as your knowledge. To overcome this, keep up with the latest trends, attend fashion events, and continuously educate yourself about the industry.

Challenge 3: Sourcing clothing items. Finding high-quality, stylish items within your client’s budget can be challenging. Develop good relationships with local boutiques and retailers. You can often negotiate discounts for your clients, which adds value to your service.

We recommend the following Personal stylist resources:

  • The Association of Image Consultants International

2. Fitness Coach

As a fitness coach, you would help clients achieve their health and fitness goals. This business is perfect for women passionate about health, fitness, and inspiring others.

Challenge 1: Establishing credibility. Establishing your credibility can be challenging in a market full of fitness gurus. Get certified through a recognized fitness institution, adding to your credibility and helping you stand out.

Challenge 2: Client retention . Keeping clients motivated and committed to their fitness goals can be tough. Developing a personal relationship with your clients and regularly tracking and celebrating their progress can help them stay motivated.

Challenge 3: Staying current with fitness trends. Like fashion, fitness trends change constantly. Staying up-to-date with the latest techniques, diets, and workouts is crucial. Regularly attending fitness workshops and seminars can help you stay current.

We recommend the following Fitness coach resources:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association

3. Personal Chef

Personal chefs prepare meals for individuals or families, typically in the clients’ homes. This business suits women who love cooking and are great at creating varied, healthy, and delicious meals.

Challenge 1: Dietary Restrictions.  Handling clients with specific dietary needs or restrictions can be a challenge. To overcome this, get educated on various dietary needs (vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, etc.) and tailor your menu accordingly.

Challenge 2: Managing multiple clients. Managing multiple clients and their unique preferences can get overwhelming. Good organization and planning skills are essential. Develop a system for tracking clients’ likes, dislikes, and dietary needs.

Challenge 3: Sourcing ingredients.  Finding high-quality ingredients that are also cost-effective can be a challenge. Build relationships with local farmers or wholesalers for fresh, affordable produce.

We recommend the following personal chef resources:

  • American Personal & Private Chef Association

4. Childcare services

Starting a childcare service can be a great small business idea for women who love children and have a knack for caring for them. This service caters to parents needing a safe and engaging environment for their children at work or otherwise occupied.

Challenge 1: Licensing and regulations.  Meeting the licensing requirements and abiding by the rules and regulations set by your state can be challenging. Do thorough research on what’s needed to be in compliance and stay updated on regulation changes.

Challenge 2: Trust building.  Parents need to have absolute trust in you before they can leave their children with you. To build this trust, create a transparent operation where parents feel involved and secure about their child’s safety and well-being.

Challenge 3: Adequate space. Having enough space that is also child-friendly can be a challenge. Ensure you have a safe, clean, and engaging space for children. This might require some investment in toys, books, and child safety measures.

We recommend the following childcare resources:

  • National Association for Family Child Care

5. Elder care services

Providing elder care services is another rewarding business that caters to families with elderly loved ones who need assistance with day-to-day activities.

Challenge 1: Emotional and physical demands. Working with the elderly can be emotionally and physically demanding. Ensuring you are equipped to handle these demands is important. Consider obtaining a certification in elder care to learn more about this population’s unique needs and challenges.

Challenge 2: Trust building. As with child care services, families must trust you before entrusting their loved ones. Highlight your qualifications, experience, and passion for caring for the elderly to build this trust.

Challenge 3: Regulations and compliance. Meeting the necessary regulations and compliance measures can be challenging. Understand these for your state or region and ensure you are always compliant.

We recommend the following elder care resources:

  • National Association for Home Care & Hospice

6. Social media consultant

For those adept at navigating the world of social media, offering consultancy services to businesses can be a fruitful venture. Businesses, big and small, need to maintain a strong social media presence and often require expert help to manage this aspect of their branding .

Challenge 1: Staying current. The world of social media is ever-changing, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends, algorithms, and best practices can be challenging. Regularly educating yourself, attending webinars, and following industry experts can help you stay in the loop.

Challenge 2: Proving ROI.  Clients will want to see tangible results from their investment in your services. You should be adept at tracking and presenting key metrics that demonstrate the value of your work.

Challenge 3: Building a client base. Finding and retaining clients is a challenge many new businesses face. Networking, both online and offline, and offering excellent service to your existing clients (who can then refer you to others) can help build your client base.

We recommend the following social media consultant resources:

  • Social Media Examiner for the latest industry news and tips.

7. Virtual assistant services

Virtual Assistant (VA) services are in high demand as businesses and entrepreneurs seek ways to outsource tasks and increase productivity. You might manage calendars, answer emails, or coordinate projects as a VA.

Challenge 1: Diverse skillset. As a VA, you may be expected to handle various tasks. Building up a diverse skill set can be challenging, but plenty of online resources are available to learn new skills.

Challenge 2: Building a client base. Finding clients when you’re starting can be tricky. You might consider joining a platform connecting VAs with clients or networking in online business communities to build relationships.

Challenge 3: Managing multiple clients. As your client base grows, staying organized can become a challenge. Investing in good project management software can help you stay on top of tasks and deadlines.

We recommend the following virtual assistant resources:

  • Association of Virtual Assistants

8. Herbal farm stand

Running a herbal farm stand can be an excellent small business idea if you love nature and have a green thumb. You can grow various herbs and educate your customers about their benefits.

Challenge 1: Knowledge of herbs. Knowing the properties of different herbs is vital. The key is continuously learning and staying updated about different herbs and their uses.

Challenge 2: Seasonal variations. Herbs are seasonal, and you must adapt your offerings based on the time of year. Planning and preparation for each season is crucial.

Challenge 3: Attracting customers. Creating awareness and attracting customers to your stand can be a challenge. Consider marketing strategies such as community workshops or herb-related events.

9. Children’s book author

If you have a knack for storytelling, consider becoming a children’s book author. You can inspire young minds and address various important topics through your stories.

Challenge 1: Content creation. Creating engaging and age-appropriate content can be challenging. Learning about child development and studying successful children’s books can help craft your stories.

Challenge 2: Illustrations.  Illustrations are a crucial part of children’s books. You may need to collaborate with an illustrator if you’re not artistically inclined.

Challenge 3: Getting published. Navigating the publishing world can be daunting. Consider working with a literary agent or explore self-publishing options.

10. Food product creator

If you love cooking and have a unique recipe, you can turn it into a business by becoming a food product creator. You could sell your products in local stores or online.

Challenge 1: Food safety regulations. Understanding food safety regulations and acquiring the necessary licenses is crucial. Research your local laws thoroughly.

Challenge 2: Scaling production. Scaling production from a home kitchen to larger quantities can be challenging. You might need to collaborate with a commercial kitchen.

Challenge 3: Distribution.  Getting your product onto store shelves or selling it online requires a clear distribution strategy. Research various distribution channels and decide which works best for your product.

11. Career coach

A career coach helps clients navigate their career paths and strategically decide their professional futures.

Challenge 1: Establishing credibility.  As a career coach, your expertise and insights are your product. Establishing credibility through certifications, testimonials, and a strong online presence can help gain clients’ trust.

Challenge 2: Client acquisition.  Getting your first clients can be difficult. Network at professional events, offer free sessions to get started and ask for referrals.

Challenge 3: Keeping up with industry trends. The job market is dynamic, and staying updated about trends can be challenging. Regularly reading industry-specific news and attending workshops and seminars can help stay current.

12. Art curator

Starting your own art curation business can be great if you have an eye for art. You could curate art for businesses and homes or create your own online gallery.

Challenge 1: Building relationships with artists.  Having access to high-quality art requires good relationships with artists. Regularly attending art shows, galleries, and other networking events can help.

Challenge 2: Understanding the client’s taste. Each client will have a unique taste and style. Spending time understanding their preferences before suggesting art can improve client satisfaction.

Challenge 3: Keeping up with art trends.  The art world is continually changing. Regularly researching, attending shows, and studying can help you keep up with current trends.

13. Pet sitting

A pet-sitting business involves looking after pets while their owners are away.

Challenge 1: Handling different animals.  Different pets require different care. Understanding the needs of various animals will be important.

Challenge 2: Trust issues with clients.  People love their pets; handing them over to strangers can be tough. Building a good reputation, obtaining positive reviews, and having a professional website can help gain trust.

Challenge 3: Handling emergencies.  Being prepared to handle emergencies is important. First aid training for pets can be extremely helpful.

We recommend the following pet-sitting resources:

  • Pet Sitters International
  • National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

A doula provides emotional, physical, and educational support to mothers before, during, and after childbirth.

Challenge 1: Getting the necessary training . Before practicing as a doula, you’ll need to complete training and certification. Many organizations offer these, such as DONA International.

Challenge 2: Building a client base. Word-of-mouth is especially important in this field. You’ll want to network with healthcare providers, join local parenting groups, and build a strong online presence.

Challenge 3: Emotional challenges. Being a doula can be emotionally demanding. Practicing self-care and finding support amongst other doulas can help.

We recommend the following doula resources:

  • DONA International
  • Birth Arts International
  • The International Doula Institute

15. Skincare product maker

You can create your skincare products to sell online or at local markets.

Challenge 1: Developing unique and effective formulas. To stand out, your products must be unique and effective. This might require a deep understanding of various ingredients and their effects on the skin.

Challenge 2: Regulations and compliance. Skincare products must comply with specific regulations. Understanding these and ensuring your products meet them is crucial.

Challenge 3: Branding and marketing: many skincare products are out there. You need strong branding and marketing to set your products apart to succeed.

We recommend the following skincare product-maker resources:

  • The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild
  • The Skin Deep Database by EWG

16. Voice-over artist

As a voice-over artist, you provide the voice for characters in animations, provide a voice for commercials, narrate audiobooks, and more.

Challenge 1: Developing your skills. Voice acting is more than just reading lines. Training and practice are essential to develop a range of voices and styles.

Challenge 2: Building a portfolio. Potential clients will want to hear samples of your work. Creating a diverse portfolio to showcase your talent is crucial.

Challenge 3: Finding work. Like many creative fields, finding consistent work can be a challenge. Networking and marketing yourself are key.

We recommend the following voice-over artist resources:

  • VoiceOverXtra

17. Food tour guide

Starting a food tour guide business can be great if you love food and local cuisine. You can share your passion for food with locals and tourists while supporting local businesses.

Challenge 1: Building relationships with local businesses. It’s essential to build positive relationships with local eateries for the success of your food tours.

Challenge 2: Marketing your tours. It’s crucial to market your tours effectively to both locals and tourists. This can involve online marketing strategies, working with local hotels and tourism boards, and using social media platforms.

Challenge 3: Health and safety. Awareness of and addressing the health and safety aspects of running food tours is important. This can include ensuring food safety standards are met and addressing potential allergies.

We recommend the following food tour guide resources:

  • Global Food Tourism Association

17. Online nutrition coach

As an online nutrition coach, you can help people reach their health and fitness goals by providing personalized diet plans and support.

Challenge 1: Gaining credibility. You’ll need to gain a credible certification in nutrition or dietetics. Consider institutions such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or Precision Nutrition.

Challenge 2: Building a client base. Like many online businesses, building a client base can take time. You can use online marketing strategies and client testimonials to attract more clients.

Challenge 3: Keeping up with research. Nutrition science is a field that continually evolves. Staying up-to-date with the latest research is key to providing the best advice to your clients.

We recommend the following online nutrition coach resources:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Best small business ideas for students

1. pet-sitting service.

If you love animals, consider starting a pet-sitting service. This business can be started with minimal upfront investment and has a high earning potential.

Challenge 1: Building trust with pet owners. Pet owners need to trust you before they’ll leave their beloved pets in your care. To overcome this challenge, get certified in pet first aid and CPR. Consider getting bonded and insured to provide peace of mind to your clients.

Challenge 2: Attracting clients. Getting the word out about your service can be tough when starting. To overcome this challenge, leverage social media to reach local pet owners. You can also offer your services to friends, family, or neighbors to gain initial clients and testimonials.

Challenge 3: Managing multiple pets at once. If you have multiple clients, managing all their pets can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, use a scheduling tool to keep track of your pet-sitting assignments. Don’t take on more than you can handle – providing quality care for each pet is essential.

2. Personal stylist

If you love fashion and enjoy working with people, starting a personal stylist business could be the right choice. You can help clients revamp their wardrobes, prepare for special events, or develop a new unique look.

Challenge 1: Building a client base. Securing consistent clients can be challenging in this industry. To overcome this challenge, start with people in your network and offer your services to them. Use social media platforms like Instagram to showcase your work and attract clients.

Challenge 2: Keeping up with fashion trends. Fashion trends are always changing, and staying current is vital. To overcome this challenge, follow fashion blogs, attend fashion shows, and watch fashion influencers on social media to keep up-to-date.

Challenge 3: Meeting individual client needs.  Each client has different tastes, body types, and comfort levels. To overcome this challenge, understand what works for different body types and personal styles. Always listen to your clients and tailor your suggestions to their preferences.

3. Craft class business

Consider teaching others through a craft class business if you’re skilled in a particular craft, such as knitting, pottery, or painting.

Challenge 1: Attracting students. Competing with online tutorials and large craft workshops can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, offer a unique value proposition like small class sizes for personalized instruction. Promote your classes locally at craft stores, community centers, and on social media.

Challenge 2: Sourcing materials.  Obtaining the necessary materials for each class can be costly and time-consuming. To overcome this challenge, look for bulk discounts from craft supply stores or online retailers. Alternatively, consider asking students to bring some of their own materials.

Challenge 3: Catering to different skill levels.  Your students may have varying levels of skill and experience. To overcome this challenge, consider offering different classes for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students. Be patient and encouraging with students who are just starting.

4. Landscaper

Starting a landscaping business could be rewarding if you have a green thumb and an eye for design. Landscapers help homeowners and businesses design and maintain their outdoor spaces.

Challenge 1: Seasonal nature of the business.  Landscaping is often a seasonal business, with demand fluctuating throughout the year. To overcome this challenge, diversify your services to include winter maintenance tasks or indoor plant care.

Challenge 2: Standing out in a competitive market. The landscaping industry is highly competitive, with many established companies. Differentiate your business by specializing in a specific landscaping style or a unique service offering to overcome this challenge.

Challenge 3: Physical demands.  Landscaping is physically demanding work that can lead to injury if not performed safely. To overcome this challenge, invest in proper safety training and equipment to protect yourself and your team.

We recommend the following landscaper resources:

  • Association of Professional Landscape Designers

As a tutor, you can help students excel in a subject where they may struggle or want to advance.

Challenge 1: Demonstrating expertise.  Tutors must show they have the knowledge and skills to help students improve. To overcome this challenge, obtain certifications or degrees in your chosen subject. For languages, consider proficiency certificates like the TOEFL or IELTS.

Challenge 2: Finding clients.  Marketing yourself to parents and students is a common challenge. To overcome this challenge, advertise locally in schools and online on tutoring websites. Word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful, so offer an incentive for referrals.

Challenge 3: Creating a lesson plan. Developing an effective lesson plan that caters to each student’s learning style can be challenging. To overcome this challenge, develop flexible lesson plans and be prepared to adjust your teaching style according to the student’s needs.

Feeling inspired by a wealth of small business ideas? It’s time to channel that creativity into action. Here’s how to transform your vision into a thriving small business.

How to start a small business at home

1. Turning your idea into a business 2. Crafting a comprehensive business plan 3. Choosing the right business structure 4. Crafting a compelling brand identity 5. Accounting, insurance, and location 6. Funding your business 7. Launching and growing your business

Our comprehensive guide on how to start a business provides an in-depth exploration of each step involved in the process, and we highly recommend taking the time to read that guide for a thorough understanding. For a quick start guide, here’s what you need to know.

1. Turning your idea into a business

Every business starts with a simple idea. Think about what you’re passionate about or a problem you’ve noticed you could solve. Your idea doesn’t have to be brand new; it could be an improvement on something that already exists.

Starbucks didn’t invent coffee shops, but it did reinvent the coffee shop experience, turning it into a third place between work and home.

Testing your idea

Once you have an idea, you must see if others think it’s good too. This is called market validation. Talk to potential customers, ask them what they think, and see if they’d be willing to pay for your product or service. When Dropbox started, they made a simple video explaining their idea and shared it online. The huge number of people who signed up for the waiting list was a sign that people wanted their product.

Understanding your customers

Know who you’re selling to. Create a picture of your ideal customer. How old are they? What do they like? What problems do they need to solve? Netflix knew people didn’t like late fees and waiting for DVDs in the mail, so they created a streaming service that allowed customers to watch shows and movies anytime.

Study your competitors

Look at businesses that are similar to yours. What are they doing well? What could they improve? This can give you ideas and help you find ways to stand out. When creating the first iPhone, Apple saw that most phones had tiny buttons and small screens. They made a phone with just one button and a big touchscreen, which made it different from everything else on the market.

Validating your idea with real data

Remember, it’s not enough to have a great idea—you need to validate it with comprehensive market research . Use surveys, interviews, and maybe even a small version of your product (a prototype) to gather feedback. Adjust your idea based on what you learn. Before opening their first store, the founders of Warby Parker, an eyeglass retailer, tested their idea of selling glasses online by shipping samples to people’s homes. The positive feedback they received helped them shape their business.

2. Crafting a comprehensive business plan

Think of your business plan as a GPS for your business journey. It outlines where you want to go and the best way to get there. It’s not just a formality; it’s a living document that guides your decision-making and helps convince others, like investors, to join you on your venture.

Key components of a business plan

Your business plan should be a detailed guide covering all the vital aspects of your business. Here are the key sections you should include:

  • Executive summary. This is like the trailer for your business plan. It should be exciting and summarize the most compelling parts of your plan.
  • Company description. Introduce your business. What does it do? Who does it serve? Why is it unique?
  • Market analysis. Prove that you know your industry. Who are your competitors, and what are the trends? Show you’ve done your homework.
  • Organization and management. Who’s running the show? Include bios and relevant experience that make your team sound like the Avengers of your industry.
  • Service or product line. What are you selling or offering? Explain why customers will be queuing up for your product or service.
  • Marketing and sales. How will you attract and keep customers? Detail your strategy for making sales and building relationships.
  • Funding request. If you’re looking for funding, be specific. How much do you need, and what will you use it for?
  • Financial projections. Impress with numbers. Include projections like profit and loss statements, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Appendix. Add any documents supporting your plan, like resumes, legal documents, or product pictures.

Airbnb’s original business plan wasn’t overly complicated. They identified a problem (expensive hotel rooms and unused apartments) and offered a solution (a platform for renting out spare rooms). They showed they understood their market, outlined how to attract hosts and guests, and were transparent about their financial needs. The clarity and simplicity of their plan helped them secure early investments and set them on the path to success.

3. Choosing the right business structure

Your business structure affects everything from your day-to-day operations to taxes and how much of your personal assets are at risk. Choose wisely!

  • Sole Proprietorship. This is the simplest form of business, but it means your personal assets are on the line. It’s like a solo performance—no backup band.
  • Partnership. Got a business buddy? This might be for you. But remember, it’s a bit like a marriage; choose your partner carefully.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC). This structure keeps your personal assets safe if your business faces legal troubles. It’s like a safety net for your savings.
  • Corporation (C Corp). This is for the big players. It’s a separate entity from its owners, which means more paperwork but more protection and funding options too.
  • S Corporation. It’s like a C Corp but with tax benefits. Profits and losses can pass through to your personal tax return, potentially saving you money.
  • B Corporation. The “B” stands for beneficial. This is for companies that want to make a profit and positively impact society.

Once you’ve chosen your structure, it’s time to tackle the red tape: Register your business. This process varies by location, but it typically involves registering your business name and obtaining a business license. We have detailed guides for starting an LLC , forming a corporation , or registering a DBA (doing business as).

You’ll also need your EIN (Employer Identification Number), like your business’s Social Security number. You’ll need it for tax purposes.

For example, many Etsy sellers start as sole proprietors, but as they grow, some become LLCs to protect their personal assets. Understanding and adapting to legal requirements as your business evolves is crucial.

Hire an expert to form your company and save time. Our trusted partners can help: Northwest ($39 + state fee) or incfile ($199 + state fee) . We recommend Northwest. After evaluating the leading registration companies, Northwest stands out as our top choice due to its competitive pricing, exceptional customer support, and commitment to privacy. Pay just $39 + state fees and you'll get a free year of registered agent service, articles of organization, privacy, and client support from local experts.

4. Crafting a compelling brand identity

Your brand is the personality of your business; it’s how customers recognize and remember you. It’s more than just a logo—it’s your business’s promise to your customers.

Elements of brand identity :

  • Brand name. Choose a company name that’s memorable, easy to spell, and gives an idea of what your business does. Avoid names that are too generic or hard to pronounce.
  • Logo. Your company logo should be simple, scalable, and effective without color. It should work on a business card and a billboard.
  • Color scheme. Colors evoke emotions. Choose colors that reflect the personality of your brand and appeal to your target audience.
  • Typography. The fonts you use say a lot about your brand. Whether it’s professional, quirky, or luxurious, make sure your typography aligns with your brand’s tone.
  • Brand voice. How does your brand communicate? Is it professional, friendly, or authoritative? This brand voice should be consistent in all your messaging.

Warby Parker disrupted the eyewear industry with a strong brand identity that promised affordable, stylish glasses. Their friendly, approachable voice and clean, modern design helped them stand out in a crowded market.

Developing your brand

  • Understand your audience . Who are they? What do they value? Your brand should speak directly to their desires and needs.
  • Analyze competitors . What are they doing well? Where do they fall short? Use this information to differentiate your brand.
  • Create a brand story . People love stories. What’s yours? How did your business come to be? What’s your mission? This can form an emotional connection with your audience.
  • Be consistent . Ensure your brand identity is consistent across all channels, from your website to your packaging and marketing materials.

For example, Airbnb’s brand revolves around the idea of ‘belonging anywhere’. Their consistent messaging and community-focused brand story have helped them build a global presence.

5. Accounting, insurance, and location

Setting up a robust financial foundation is critical for the survival and growth of your business. It involves understanding and organizing your finances, protecting your business, and choosing the right location.

Accounting systems

  • Bookkeeping. Accurate bookkeeping is the backbone of your business’s financial health. Tools like QuickBooks or Xero can help you keep track of expenses, income, and tax obligations.
  • Budgeting. Forecast your revenues and expenses to avoid cash flow problems. It’s crucial to know when you can afford to invest in growth or need to tighten your belt.

For example, many Etsy sellers start as hobbyists but soon realize the importance of proper accounting once their shops grow. Utilizing simple accounting software helps them manage their finances effectively.

  • Liability insurance. Protects against claims that your business caused injury or property damage. It’s essential for both product and service-based businesses.
  • Property insurance. If you have a physical location or significant business property, this insurance can protect you from loss due to fire, theft, or other disasters.
  • Workers’ compensation. If you have employees, most states require workers’ compensation insurance, which covers injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of work.

For example, food truck owners must navigate various risks, from kitchen fires to road accidents. Comprehensive insurance coverage is crucial to protect against such unforeseen events.

Choosing a location

  • Online businesses. Your “location” may be a domain name. Choose one that’s easy to remember and reflects your brand. Ensure your website is user-friendly and secure.
  • Offline businesses. For physical locations, consider foot traffic, accessibility, competition, and costs. The right location can significantly impact your visibility and sales.

For example, local coffee shops often choose locations with high foot traffic to attract customers. They also focus on creating a welcoming atmosphere, encouraging people to linger and return.

Services like Netflix or Spotify invest heavily in user interface and server infrastructure rather than physical locations, ensuring seamless access for users worldwide.

6. Funding your business

One of the most crucial steps in starting a business is securing the necessary capital . There are several avenues to explore, and the best choice depends on your business type, stage, and personal preferences.


You can use personal savings or assets to fund your business. This is common for smaller startups or sole proprietors who want full control without outside interference. Many tech startups begin with bootstrapping. Founders might use their savings or continue working part-time jobs to fund the initial phase of the business.

Friends and family

Reaching out to your personal network can be a great way to raise initial funds. Outline the terms clearly to avoid misunderstandings. A local boutique might start with funds from friends and family, allowing them to stock their first inventory and rent a small storefront.

Angel investors and venture capitalists provide funding in exchange for equity or a share in the profits. This route is more common for businesses with high growth potential. Many now-famous tech companies started with angel investments or venture capital, which allowed them to scale rapidly and disrupt industries.

You can apply for a small business loan, but you’ll need a solid business plan and often some collateral. For example, individuals looking to open a franchise often secure loans to cover the franchise fee and initial operating costs.


Websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo allow you to raise funds from many people, typically in exchange for early access to products or other perks. Many innovative consumer products find their footing through crowdfunding, harnessing the power of community support and interest.

7. Launching and growing your business

With the groundwork laid, it’s time to open your doors, virtual or otherwise, to the world. Launching your business is a significant milestone, but it’s just the beginning. Sustaining and growing your enterprise requires constant effort and adaptability.

Ensure your operational processes are as efficient as possible to save time and money. Online stores like Amazon have revolutionized their operations with advanced warehousing and logistics, ensuring speedy delivery to customers.

Implement marketing strategies that effectively reach and resonate with your target audience. Beauty brands like Glossier have leveraged social media marketing to build a loyal customer base through relatable content and influencer partnerships.

Keep an eye on your business’s performance and be ready to adapt your strategies based on customer feedback and market trends. For example, food truck owners often adjust their menu and locations based on customer preferences and local events, staying relevant and in demand.

As your business stabilizes, look for opportunities to expand, whether through new products, services, or entering new markets. For example, a local café might start offering baking classes or selling their signature coffee blend online to reach a wider audience and create additional revenue streams.

Remember that each step involves more detailed tasks you’ll need to handle, and you’ll often need to juggle multiple steps simultaneously. But that’s all part of the thrill of starting your own business!

Small business FAQs: Your questions answered

Jumping into the small business world can seem a bit daunting at first. What type of business should you start? How do you brainstorm business ideas? Which businesses stand the best chance of success?

We’ve got you covered with this quick FAQ rundown.

What kinds of small businesses are there?

There are many small business structures , including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each has unique features and benefits.

Which is the best type of business structure for most small business owners?

Most people choose an LLC (limited liability company).

Why? Because, as an LLC, your personal assets are protected if your business goes belly up. But keep in mind being an LLC means paying small annual fees to the state.

A sole proprietorship might be a good and inexpensive option if you want something more straightforward and cost-effective. But remember, in this scenario, you and your business are the same, and you risk losing personal assets if your business is sued.

How do I whip up a business idea?

Brainstorming a business idea involves a few key things: your skills, preferred working style, budget, and resources.

If you’re a wizard with words, freelance writing could be your gig. But if you’re all about that face-to-face client interaction, ghostwriting might be more up your alley. Start by focusing on what you’re good at and see how that translates into a business niche.

Then, look hard at your financials and resources to see what business setup you can manage. Maybe renting a physical office is out of the question for now, making an online business a perfect fit.

Which small businesses are super successful?

Success in the small business world isn’t one-size-fits-all. It depends heavily on finding a product or service that fits the market like a glove and backing it up with a rock-solid business plan.

Tailoring your business to your specific market is the secret sauce for lasting success.

Which small businesses are on the rise?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , sectors like healthcare support, technology, personal care, food preparation, and community and social service are growing like crazy. So, dipping your toes into these industries could potentially yield impressive returns. But remember, it’s all about understanding and catering to your specific market!

Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Stats

How do I finance my small business?

You’ve got several business financing options to explore here. You can boot-strap using your savings. Or, if you’re comfortable with the idea, ask friends or family for help. Small business loans, crowdfunding, and finding an investor or business partner are viable paths. Remember, each option has pros and cons, so consider carefully before committing.

Do I need a business plan?

Think of a business plan as your business’s roadmap. It will outline what your business is about, your goals, how you plan on making money, who your customers are, and many other essential things. It’s not just a document for potential investors – it’s a handy guide to help keep you on track.

How do I find my target market?

Finding your target market is all about research. Start with a broad idea of who might need or want your product, then narrow it down.

Surveys , interviews, or even something as simple as social media can give you insights into your potential customers. Once you have a clear picture, you can tailor your business to meet their needs.

How do I handle the competition?

Competition can be challenging, but also a chance to learn and grow. Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing – what’s working for them and what’s not. Use this knowledge to your advantage to improve your products and services. Remember, the goal isn’t to copy them but to find ways to differentiate yourself and highlight your strengths.

What’s the best way to market my small business?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, as the best marketing strategies depend on your business and target market. However, some common effective strategies include social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). Don’t be afraid to try different strategies to see what works best for you.

Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. There are countless business ideas, whether you’re looking for a home-based business or an easy one. Understanding the challenges associated with each idea and having strategies to overcome them is essential.

Remember that a strong and unique brand can set you apart in any field. At crowdspring, we’re dedicated to helping businesses create a compelling brand through custom design and business naming services. Whether it’s an eye-catching logo, a professional website design, or a memorable business name, we support your entrepreneurial journey. The possibilities are endless, so go ahead and take the leap. Your dream business awaits!

list of small business ideas

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list of small business ideas

Small Business Trends

40 best small business ideas to start in 2023.

Starting your own small business is filled with potential rewards. It gives you the chance to live and work on your own terms, free from bosses or supervisors. Brainstorming and coming up with small business ideas for launching your own enterprise can also provide a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Additionally, it allows you to build a community, create jobs, and make valuable contributions to your local economy.

There are a variety of potential small business ideas to explore that could be a right fit for you. A lot of small business ideas will require small funds to start up but will also depend largely on what skills you have as well as your previous knowledge of the business.

Small businesses are the backbone of the US, with over 30 million small businesses fueling the American economy. The options for you to open your own small business are endless. All you need is a great small business idea, some thorough reflection, funding, and the required expertise to run the business. If you are looking for small business ideas to start your own enterprise, below is our exhaustive list of the best small business ideas to consider.

list of small business ideas

Table of Contents

What Makes a Good Small Business Idea?

A good small business idea should fulfill a gap in the market. This means you should provide customers with products or services that cater to an identifiable need in a specific customer base. Additionally, it should be scalable. This refers to the ability to expand production or reach more customers without negatively impacting quality or revenue. Importantly, your business should be affordable to start, requiring minimal financial capital to get off the ground.

Additional characteristics of a successful small business idea include:

  • Market demand: Your product or service should have sufficient demand in the market. If there isn’t enough demand, it won’t generate profit. Similarly, the market needs to be sustainable enough to secure recurrent sales, otherwise your business might run out of customers.
  • Profit generation: Your small business idea needs to be able to make money. If you’re operating at a loss or breakeven point, it could hinder your business’s growth and survival. Understanding the cost to produce your product, including labor costs, manufacturing costs, and input costs, and the ultimate selling price is crucial.
  • Potential for growth: Turning a profit is important, but the best businesses also show potential for further growth. You should aim to generate enough profit to cover your initial investment and to allow your business to expand.

If you want to know more about seasonal business ideas, check out our article 32 Winter Business Ideas .

small business ideas

Small Business Deals

Be sure to check out Codie Sanchez’s enlightening video, ‘Businesses that Never Fail? 6 Businesses with Amazingly Low Failure Rates.’ This video serves as an excellent companion to our article, providing further insights into top business ideas with high success rates. Sanchez breaks down real data to highlight businesses that have consistently thrived, giving you a comprehensive view that’s not just theory but proven fact.

Our Methodology: Small Business Ideas

Embarking on the entrepreneurial path calls for a fusion of innovation, passion, and market savvy. Here are seven small business ideas that encapsulate current market trends and opportunities:

Subscription Box Service (8/10)

With personalization at its core, this business idea caters to niche interests, from eco-friendly beauty products to gourmet snacks. It’s a way to offer consumers a unique blend of convenience and discovery.

Virtual Event Planning (7/10)

As the world embraces remote interactions, virtual event planning for webinars, conferences, and social gatherings can fill a significant gap, offering clients a seamless digital experience.

Home Renovation Services (8/10)

With more time spent at home, many homeowners are looking to improve their living spaces. Offering specialized renovation services, such as kitchen makeovers or outdoor additions, could meet this increasing demand.

Health and Wellness Coaching (9/10)

The pursuit of health is eternal and offering personalized wellness and fitness coaching, especially with a virtual option, aligns well with the growing focus on holistic well-being.

E-commerce Niche Store (7/10)

Specializing in a specific product category, such as sustainable household items or tech gadgets for productivity, can capitalize on consumer desires for specialized online shopping experiences.

Educational Content Creation (8/10)

Developing educational materials and courses, particularly for online learning platforms, can tap into the continuous need for skill development and education.

Mobile Pet Services (7/10)

With the pet industry booming, mobile pet grooming, training, or veterinary services offer convenience to pet owners and cater to the increasing expenditure on pet care.

These ideas are designed to offer a snapshot of possibilities that blend profitability with passion, serving as a launchpad for your entrepreneurial journey.

The Ultimate Small Business Ideas List

Are you thinking of making a leap into entrepreneurship in 2023? Do you want to start a business but don’t know how to start a business? If Yes, here are 40 small business ideas to start in 2023.

1. Dog Walking Business

list of small business ideas

If you like dogs and the outdoors dog walking can be a lucrative small business idea. There are plenty of pet owners that can’t walk their dogs and don’t want their pets cooped up indoors. By starting a dog walking business you get to offer your furry friends some workout while making some extra cash in the process.

You can charge a small fee for daily or weekly walks with a dog walking business. Not only is the demand for dog walking high, but the business also has a relatively low barrier to enter.  All you need is the right training, some gear, and be an animal lover.

If you are really good at what you do you can capitalize on good referrals from your clientele to take on more clients and add more services like a mobile pet grooming business. You can market your services through social media, and local advertising flyers, and partner with pet shops, veterinarians, and pet groomers.

2. Consulting Business

If you have business expertise, then you can offer your services as a consultant where you help others by offering insights and guidance. To start running your consulting business you will however need to assess your skills and strengths to choose your niche.

As a consultant, you stand to offer a diverse range of services, from HR to strategy development, technology, accounting, and more while helping other businesses to improve and grow.For you to succeed you will need to analyze your market needs and pain points that your customers experience to better succeed in your consulting endeavor.

To get started on this business idea, you’ll need to create a website and social media presence to promote your services. You can also reach out to local businesses and offer your consulting services directly. considered among the best small business ideas you can start your consulting practice during your free time and gradually grow into a full-fledged consulting firm.

3. Catering Business

A catering business offers lower startup costs compared to opening a restaurant or a diner. With a home-based catering business, you can set your own hours and dishes your prepare from the comfort of your home.

You can do the prep work at home, and bring everything to the event location for the final cooking and plating. Or you could do all the cooking from your home kitchen, and deliver the completed dishes to the venue. Besides letting you cut costs compared to your brick-and-mortar, you have the option between offering on-site and off-site catering services.

With on-site catering, the food is cooked and completed at the event location while with off-site catering, the food is cooked somewhere else and then brought to the event location. Always remember this small business idea is built heavily upon great referrals that come from great quality and customer satisfaction. Being a food-based business you will need to make sure that you have all the required licenses and are also insured.

4. Food Truck Business

list of small business ideas

A food truck business can be a rewarding venture if you like making meals on the go. With a food truck business, you don’t have to spend the time and money to set up a dedicated location. You can start with just a vehicle, cooking equipment, and some great ingredients.

Not only can you make some good cash from your own food truck business but you can take your business to different locations based on demand during different periods of the day or week giving you more options to capture customers.

This business idea costs less than a third of what it costs to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant offering you some savings in terms of the initial investment. This can be a great option if you are a food-minded entrepreneur and can be run in your free time without the risk of completely committing to the business as a full-time gig.However, you will need to check and comply with your state’s ordinances, business licenses, and safety standards.

5. Online Courses Business

With the advent of technology and the internet, you can offer online courses with little startup capital. In today’s busy world people are looking for opportunities to acquire new skills and training online as it allows them more flexibility to learn new things.

If you have a specific skill set or knowledge that people might be interested in why not earn some extra cash by offering an online course? All you need is to design a great course topic and a platform to build and launch your online course.

Offering online courses can be a great way to make some extra cash on the side provided that you have prior teaching experience. When it comes to what you can teach the sky is the limit, you can offer courses on business skills, art, graphic design, music, and more!

Because online courses are not limited to your specific area you can generate a global clientele. You can also spruce up your courses by offering tutorials, video content, ebook, and other resources.

6. Digital Marketing Services

In today’s competitive world businesses are in bad need of digital marketing to help their brands reach audiences and promote their products or services.

If you have skills in digital marketing then you can offer your services to help businesses reach target audiences by promoting them and connecting with potential customers using the internet and social media. The perks of digital marketing are evident as they are more cost effective than traditional marketing. In addition, they help users to measure success and make marketing changes as they see fit.

There is a huge demand for digital marketing services as more and more businesses are moving towards online operations in a bid to capture more markets and bolster their brands. Your job will involve Search Engine Optimization (SEO), creating and managing social media accounts, email marketing, media buying, and managing your client’s online reputation.

One of the best ways to start your digital marketing business idea is to start your own blog to showcase your skills and portfolio to attract potential clients. As your business grows you can fulfill your staffing needs by setting up remote teams and looking for virtual assistants.

7. Cleaning Service

list of small business ideas

Starting a cleaning business offers some good financial incentives thanks to the high demand for cleaning services. This kind of business is less expensive to set up and requires some basic supplies and transportation.

A smart cleaning service business will look towards attracting both homeowners and businesses and hopefully build some recurring clients. you can increase your chances of succeeding in a small business idea by opening mobile cleaning services. With the right equipment, you can offer additional services with minimal additional capital investments.

Small business ideas like a cleaning service will allow you to work on your own schedule and grow your business at your own pace. However, despite this type of business being easy to start and scale, competition among cleaning services can be intense. To stand out you will need to make sure that your branding is on point and that your pricing points are competitive for your local area.

What makes cleaning services a good business idea is that you get repeat business from private homes and commercial establishments to fuel your growth and profits.

8. Landscaping Business

If you are passionate about gardening then you might want to consider embarking on a landscaping business. Depending on your skill set your landscaping work could entail a simple mow-and-go service, or it could be one that creates beautiful landscapes, complete with water features, wildlife areas, and even golf holes.

when it comes to equipment you will need standard gardening equipment that includes shovels, trowels, pruners, and wheelbarrows. Once you have invested in these you are practically set for years.

Starting a home-based landscaping service comes with many perks. for one, you can commit as much or as little time to the business as you want and let your small business ideas grow organically. In addition, because you work within your community you get to have a short commute and be able to sprout additional small business ideas such as a plant nursery, lawn care service, floral business, and more.

This line of business offers you a client base from small households to resorts, hotels, and even corporations. given the nature of your business being visual don’t forget to include some great snaps of your previous work in all your marketing materials. You can start building relations with potential clients through traditional direct marketing via brochures and flyers by going door-to-door distributing them.

9. Ice cream shop

small business ideas - ice cream shop

Opening and running an ice cream shop business can be a fun way to start your own business. You can spin several great business ideas for your business based on flavors and toppings to create specialties like gelato, popsicles, smoothies, ice cream tacos, doggy cones, and more. you can even offer alternatives like low-calorie, sugar-free, lactose-free, and plant-based.

While your business may boom in the summer, you may be surprised that craving for ice cream is year-round. Your earnings will however vary depending on your location, size, and other market factors in your area.

To start with, you don’t need a lot of flavors or specialty products to succeed; you will need to focus on two things– making customers happy and making a profit. An ice cream business comes with a simple business structure which makes launching and building the business relatively easy.

Starting and owning an ice cream shop requires little experience and no specific certifications or qualifications what you need is hard work, determination, and the desire to achieve success. You can tweak your business structure by offering deliveries, offering promotions, and special offers, participating in food and music festivals and hosting fun events to draw in the crowds during lean seasons.

10. Property Management

list of small business ideas

By starting your property management business, you help property owners by overseeing and managing the daily operations of their property or properties. As a property manager, your business will be responsible for collecting rent, handling inquiries, handling maintenance requests, setting the budget for the property, processing rental applications, and more.

Before opening your property management business, you need to consider capital and operating expenses to start your property management business on average, this type of business comes with a price tag of $19,267 .

Busy property owners see the advantage to hiring a property manager as it removes the need for them to be nearby and actively manage the property and focus on other aspects of their business. if you are a natural problem solver, then being a property manager can be a profitable business idea to explore.

Your services will be much appreciated as property owners will, in return, focus on investing in quality properties rather than managing the portfolio of properties they currently own.

11. Personal Trainer

There are many clients people out there looking for personal trainers, wellness advice, tips on nutrition, and reducing stress. If you are passionate about fitness and like working with people?

You could be a great personal trainer, helping people get fit and feel good about themselves. To start your personal training business, you will need to get certified. You have the option to work with gyms to offer your services, train people in their homes, or perhaps offer training at a facility of your own. Reputation and personal referrals can help boost your clientele. You can also offer virtual training through Skype and other platforms to reach out to broader customer bases.

The key word in personal training is to offer a personalized training program taking into account your client’s specific needs as well as any health conditions. You should also be able to monitor clients’ medical conditions as they perform their workouts as well. To see your market potential, you will need to canvas available health clubs, gyms, and community centers in your area. Look for ways to present custom programs that are

12. Graphic Designing

If you have some mad graphic design skills, it could come in handy to start your own graphic design business. An increasing number of businesses are looking for graphic design services for marketing materials like logos, brochures, business cards, leaflets, banners, and more.

Essentially your business task is to help translate your clients’ corporate identity to be recognizable and to help create order and logic in printed marketing materials. Your responsibilities will also include working with professional printers to specify colors, paper, and other processes. To promote your skills, you can send your portfolio to businesses in your area and even ask friends and family to recommend your services.

In addition, you can help businesses in designing and develop their social media pages for promoting and advertising their business. To get started with this business idea, you will need to fine-tune your design skills; luckily there are plenty of online courses that you can take to learn them. With this business idea, you literally have no overhead costs and can help small-business owners create great marketing collateral.

13. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to break into eCommerce and is one of the fastest-growing small business ideas in the world. If you’re wondering how to start dropshipping , it’s a business model where you, as a retailer, do not keep goods in stock. Instead, you transfer customers’ orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a third party that ships directly to the customer.

This means you can focus on marketing and sales without the need to handle inventory or logistics. To get started with dropshipping, you’ll need to find reliable suppliers, set up an online store, and learn effective marketing strategies to attract customers to your products. With the right approach and dedication, starting a dropshipping business can be a lucrative venture in the eCommerce industry.

Not only is dropshipping a very lucrative business, but it also offers lower risks compared to the traditional retail business model, where retailers are responsible for the order fulfillment process from start to finish.

Dropshipping eases the pressure on you and lets you not worry about keeping items in stock, packing, and fulfillment. You can also dropship products out of your own home or garage and set your own working hours. Platforms like Amazon and eBay offer robust support for you to start up your own dropshipping business easily.

To succeed in dropshipping business, you should have a knack for selecting the right products at the right margin from reliable suppliers. You will need to also focus on a specific niche or look for trends you can capitalize on to make a profit. There are plenty of home-based business ideas that you can try based on your skills and budget.

14. Photographer

list of small business ideas

Both businesses and private individuals need some professional photography services. Whether it’s for weddings, parties, websites, billboards, printed materials, or social media professional photography services are in high demand. Besides taking some great snaps you can enhance your editing skills as well to offer a complete package for your services.

You should also consider becoming a stock photographer where you create stock pictures of popular themes such as finance, productivity, landscapes, and more and cash in from royalties and licensing fees.

15. Event Planner

Event planners serve an essential business need where they can put their party experience to good use by planning, designing, and throwing events for both private and corporate clients. As an event planner, you will need to be well-organized, detail-oriented, and have great interpersonal skills.

As an event planner, you are required to wear several hats and include handling each and every aspect of the event including selecting locations, catering, security, and all other facets to create a memorable event. An important aspect of event planning entails having a great relationship with suppliers, talent, and a growing number of satisfied customers. On the latter point encourage customers to share their testimonials of your business and engage in social media marketing.

16. Food Delivery Service

list of small business ideas

If starting your own restaurant seems a daunting task you should perhaps consider entering into the food delivery business. With a food delivery service, you can start your business with little rent, labor, and startup capital. As a business delivering food to people can help expand your customer base and increases your revenue while at the same time giving your customers a variety of options in terms of the food they want to be delivered to their homes and businesses.

You can get started with this business idea by first contacting local restaurants and seeing if they are willing to partner with you. You can also sign up for a food delivery service like DoorDash or uber eats.

17. Daycare Service

There are lots of working parents who need the support of childcare providers. if you are passionate about looking after kids, whether part-time or full time your daycare solution can help you earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away.

To succeed you will need to identify the particular age group you’re comfortable caring for, have a passion for children, childproof your establishment, and have all the necessary certifications. Besides offering financial rewards childcare can be extremely gratifying as you get to be a part of a community that helps children learn, grow, and develop.

This can be a great home-based business idea where you can expand and offer a day nursery for children of different ages. You’ll, however, be expected to provide a basic educational program, refreshments and fun activities for the children.

18. Affiliate Marketing

If you are a website owner, writer, blogger, or social media influencer you can create a side hustle through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketers help to drive traffic to a business’s website and then earn a commission on any sales that they help generate.

Through affiliate marketing, you can literally earn money with little effort by simply adding tracked affiliate links into the text of your blog or website. To start all you have to do is have a captive audience and join an affiliate program and get paid commissions for new leads or sales you bring when readers click on the links.

Businesses love affiliate marketing because they only pay if a defined action occurs leading to an increase in sales. As a marketing affiliate, you can make some quick cash by providing your readers with great suggestions for products and services. To get started you will however find businesses that offer affiliate programs such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Clickbank, and eBay.

19. Freelance Copywriting

If you have a diverse knowledge of subjects and have a natural talent for churning out compelling content then you should consider offering your services by writing copy for businesses and publications. There is an abundance of demand for content for blogs, websites, press releases, social media, and publications with companies willing to pay for your services.

You can also increase your value by using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills to help your clients craft a strategy around specific keywords that their target audiences are already using in their online searches. With a freelance writing business, you have the luxury to work from the comfort of your own home without investing in office space.

20. Real Estate

list of small business ideas

If you have a sharp eye for apartment buildings, commercial properties, or single-family homes and know how to flip them, then you should consider entering the real estate industry. Despite fluctuations in the market, historically the real estate sector remains among the best investment options available.

A real estate business affords you a flexible schedule, and a steady income provided that you know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspects of the business. What is important is that you will need to research your purchases thoroughly and be willing to hold on to properties for an extended period of time for them to appreciate in price.

21. Interior Designing

There are more and more people looking for guidance in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing homes and workspaces. Choosing the right fixtures, desks, chairs, and lighting can be a challenge for many.

Does decorating excite you? does hunting for interior decoration items sound like something you would like to do for a living? Then why not offer your keen eye for function and aesthetics to help boost productivity and create some great ambiance? You can start by taking courses on interior design at community colleges and major universities.

You could also gain a lot of insight and information about interior design through books and websites. You can even consult catalogs to learn more about current trends and practices.

22. Specialty Cake Baker

list of small business ideas

By starting your specialty cake bakery, you can create custom cakes for celebrations and special occasions. To start you will need some expertise in regards to baking, and cake making and have all the kitchen equipment needed to produce your cakes and cookies.

You can start your unique bakery from the comfort of your kitchen and if business booms you can opt for starting a commercial kitchen complete with commercial mixers and ovens. When it comes to customers you can start by taking orders from family and friends and selling your produce at local farmers’ markets, online, and at fares. If you are great with your hands and are good at crafts perhaps you can also consider some craft business ideas .

 23. Laundromat Business

Let’s face it not everyone has the time or the energy to do their laundry. There is a growing number of people looking for simple and reliable laundry services. To start however you will need to invest in low-cost and large-capacity laundry machines. Typically a laundromat business comes with simple operations and low labor costs as your customers provide much of the labor themselves.

With this business model, your customers pay you upfront for your service, making for a healthy cash flow. And because you require little inventory you won’t have money tied up in unused stock.

You will also need to learn the basics about detergents, fabric softeners, and how to correctly wash clothes without damaging them. Through time you can add on to your services such as folding clothes, full laundry services, and pickup and delivery to generate additional revenues.

24. Translation Service

If you are fluent in more than one language then you can start a translation business where you can translate from one language to another. By providing translation services you help provide a valuable service to businesses needing translation services.

However, to effectively start a translation business you will need to decide on a niche that you are proficient at by specializing in a specific genre of translation, this could be legal, medical, or financial depending on the demand.

25. Transcription Services

A transcription business offers its services by converting audio-recorded memos, notes, and manuscripts into a written or electronic text document. The business helps to serve a wide range of businesses in fields such as journalism, law, medicine, research, and corporate executives.

Equipped with some copyediting and proofreading skills this line of business can be a great way to start generating some steady income by provided that you can deliver the service within a limited period of time. You can start this kind of business with basic equipment such as an earphone and a laptop and test it out as a part-time job before undertaking it as a full-time project.

26. Virtual Assistant

small business ideas - virtual assistant

If you have strong organizational skills and can offer administrative, technical, and creative solutions then you should consider being a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, you can offer a range of services to businesses acting as remote workers and helping businesses with correspondence, managing schedules, acting as a social media manager, administrative services, business development, social media, marketing, or other tasks.

As a virtual assistant, you can offer these services to both individuals and businesses. This kind of business gives you more flexibility in your day-to-day life, more control over your future and freedom, and earn a supplemental income.

27. Website Hosting Services

In an ever-connected world, many businesses are seeking online solutions to capture more markets and remain competitive. If you have website hosting experience and can write code then you can use your expertise to help them manage and host their website. What is required is that you are good with computers and have an eye for design and web development to start the business.

In today’s digital world, nearly every business needs a website this is where you can help other businesses create the perfect website for their needs. Web hosting offers a great business model and can generate some good profits in the long term. It comes with a recurring payment system as your customers will pay you monthly. Looking for a guide on how to start a website? Check out our article website startup guide .

28. Bed and Breakfast Business

If you happen to live in a popular tourist area and have extra room to let out why not consider a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) business? Typically, a bed and breakfast business offers accommodation, typically owned and operated by a family or small team who also live on site.

The draw of B&Bs is that guests usually expect a homely atmosphere, a sense of individuality, and authentic food and beverage experiences. They are especially popular for weekends away, romantic trips, or special occasions such as traveling for a wedding. To succeed you will need to consider what guests will be traveling to your area and create special packages and themed stays that coincide with their interests in your area.

To further reach out to potential clients you will need to be available in local listings including platforms like Airbnb, and Booking.com.

29. Franchisee

If you are not confident about managing and starting your own business perhaps you could consider entering a franchise business. By being a franchisee, you don’t necessarily need business experience to run a franchise and you are already buying into a successful business model with a clear plan to grow.

Franchisors will usually provide the training, resources, and support you need to operate their business model. As a franchisee, you will, however, need to pay an initial franchise fee to the franchisor for the rights to use their brand in addition to ongoing franchise fees for marketing, royalties, and more.

To begin you will have to do your own due diligence such as seeing if your franchise of choice is available in your area and whether the franchise model would do well in your area. Also, make sure to check for existing versions of any franchise in your area as many franchisees are unlikely to allow multiple franchises in the same market location.

30. Clothing Store

list of small business ideas

If you have an eye for fashion and love helping people coordinate outfits, you may have considered starting a clothing store. What is important is that you should find a niche that will help you stand out from the competition.

Besides gauging the pulse of the latest fashion trends you will succeed if you also focus on better service and developing a competitive advantage. In addition, having some retail experience could come in handy

31. Bookstore

If you are passionate about books and want to help customers find love in reading books why not be a literary entrepreneur? As a bookstore owner passion and knowledge combined with business acumen are the ingredients to success.

Once you have decided on your location, inventory, and startup capital focus on bringing in the crowds. You will need to attract customers with events, special promotions, and advertising that can feed into your success.

32. Florist

Flower shops are a popular business as they serve a variety of needs, from decorating weddings and funerals to selling arrangements on major holidays and special events. If you have a passion for flowers and plants and know how to serve your target market consider opening a florist business.

Y ou will need to first develop an understanding of the floral industry, and how it works, and capitalize on floral market trends. The floral business comes with various services that include flower care, flower arranging, floral design, merchandising, and flower delivery. Business ideas like these can also go on the road allowing you to generate great revenues by selling them at fairs, online, or farmers’ markets.

Running a flower business can be an excellent business idea once you wrap your head around your pricing, put costs down, and manage your customers. The key to your success is how you package your offerings and bring joy to people’s lives and expand touch points online as well as open side businesses such as floral design and event decoration.

33. Gift store

small business ideas - gift store

A gift store can be a lucrative business venture provided that it offers unique items, and personalization and comes with a variety of price points. The market is abundantly clear millions of people buy gifts for friends every year whether for holidays, functions, anniversaries, or special occasions.

Gift shops have no shortage of items to sell and cover an endless range of items including toys, memorabilia, arts and crafts, greeting cards, home décor, and jewelry.

To successfully run your very own gift shop you will need to fine-tune your business against your local competition in addition to online retailers. You must be ready to distinguish yourself and think differently while properly planning and researching your business model. For more insights check out our article on 30 unique business ideas .

34. Tax Return Preparer

Tax preparation isn’t an easy task for everyone. In fact, many businesses every year grapple with their tax returns. If you are a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)  and have a foundational tax knowledge of taxes perhaps you should consider offering your services and helping others.

Tax preparation is a profitable business and comes with minimal expenses. You can start by first obtaining a Preparer Tax Identification Number with the IRS and completing the registration requirements in your state.

Practically all businesses are required to not only pay taxes but also record their financial dealings, conduct audits, pay bills and manage their finances you can also increase your revenue services by offering bookkeeping and accounting services as well.

35. Videographer

Video content is a much sought-after service for both private and business purposes. Besides being a lucrative business, it allows you to express your creativity and tell stories through the medium of film.

The application for videography not only helps capture memories and important life events but is also a marketing tool for brands to raise their profile.

By starting your own video production company, you can produce the films you want while working flexible hours. If you have storytelling and filmmaking skills, you might be able to start a video production company with the right equipment with limited startup capital. Besides helping businesses with their video projects you can curate your own stock videos and license them out to others.

 36. Social Media Influencer

a social media influencer is someone who earns money by influencing the buying habits of others through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Tiktok. Social media influencers communicate with people who follow them and partner with brands and businesses to help them connect their brands with customers.

Unlike celebrities who gain followers because of their music or movies, social influencers gain followers based on their ability to create specific niche content based on the interests of their followers. They achieve this through a myriad of ways that include sponsored social media posts, offering webinars, becoming brand ambassadors, making appearances in corporate events, affiliate marketing, podcasts, and more.

Social media influencers can have a following of few thousand to millions of followers. the amount of revenue social media influencers earn varies based on their niche, the particular social media platform they use, and their ability to create compelling content. For example, the average minimum price per post of Instagram influencers with 100,000 to one million followers was $185, while the average maximum price was $2,500 in 2022. In fact, the influencer market has grown significantly in recent years rivaling traditional advertising with global brands spending millions on hiring top influencers.

There is no requirement to be an influencer besides being able to create compelling content and having a huge following. Influencers today can be anyone from celebrities to bloggers, fitness trainers, and more. To start on your path to being a social media influencer you will first need to choose a particular network to focus on building your following. once you have achieved this you will need to build a theme around your content, it would be best if choose a theme that you are knowledgeable about so that you can build yourself as an expert. once you are set up make sure to churn out a continuous body of regular content to get your followers engaged and anticipate your posts.

 37. Podcasting

Podcasting can be a great way to market yourself and connect with potential customers who are interested in what you have to say. Essentially it combines the instant information exchange of blogging with audio files that can be played on a computer or mobile device. Podcasts are relatively easy to produce and allow people to show off their craft to anyone with an Internet connection. you can easily start generating revenues through ads, sponsored content, and even as an influencer.

In recent times podcasting has garnered immense popularity with podcasts have become the new talk radio on mobile devices. it has become so popular that close to 180 million Americans listen to podcasts, this amounts to a whopping 62% of Americans with most Americans averaging eight podcasts a week.

The value of podcasts is not lost on businesses as it allows them to build their authority, repurpose high-performing content, make deeper connections, and reach new audiences. they are ever more using podcasts for calls to action, use podcast reviews as testimonials, improve conversion rates, and more.

38. Coffee Shop Owner

small business ideas - coffee shop owner

Coffee is considered one of the most popular drinks in the world with millions of people consuming it daily. People are ever more interested in getting their daily fix in trendy places and socializing over coffee. Besides your love for coffee java, you’ll want to create a community and boost your local coffee culture.

You can continue to grow the business by expanding beyond the standard coffee drinks by offering other drinks and pastries. The success of your coffee shop is hinged on the experience you want to offer, how you market yourself, your interior design, and the quality of your service, and is located in a heavy foot traffic area.

Make sure your offering goes beyond the staple offering of a coffee shop think about gifts, seasonal menus, and an interactive experience. To succeed in this business idea, you’ll need the basic equipment and Barista knowledge.

39. Moving Service

A moving service helps businesses, individuals, or families transport physical goods from an existing location to a new one. It comes with services for packing, loading, moving, unloading, and unpacking helping people and businesses relocate. For your moving business to be successful you will need to have good organizational skills while making sure that cargo is handled without injury or damage to the contents.

To start your moving small business you don’t necessarily need direct experience in the moving business. What is important is that you will need to be a great leader, and have the experience and skill set to oversee and manage fast-paced, service-oriented operations which focuses on excellent customer service. Equally important make sure to treat each one of your customers well as there is no substitute that helps a business grow more than happy customers leaving amazing reviews and telling friends and family.

To get your moving small business idea up and running you will need good insurance, the right permits, manpower, and a moving van. When on the right track you can further grow your moving business by adding complementary services as well. s you can see, there are plenty of ways to capitalize on your interests, skills, and income goals within the moving industry.

There are also plenty of ways that you can specialize by starting a moving company that offers niche services and support to new and existing customers. you can opt to offer packing materials for purchase; offer packing and unboxing services; offer specialized services such as moving large, fragile, or antique cargo; offer temporary storage options; and provide a self-service option that includes trucks, materials, and equipment. This business idea might not generate as many customers as people on average businesses move every four to seven years you can increase your chances of getting clients by putting your business in directories, local listing, networking, and partnering with real estate agents.

40. T-shirt Printing

small business ideas - t shirt printing

A T-shirt printing business can start as a side hustle and grow into a full-fledged business. T-shirts are ubiquitous besides being a staple of casual wear they also help to reflect individual personalities, interests, and identities. They also serve various corporate goals such as branding, uniforms, promoting team spirit, marketing, and promotions

You don’t necessarily need any artistic or graphic design skills but having one will increase the chances for your success. This type of business comes with low costs and risks and you can offer T-Shirts to multiple kinds of audiences, from tourists, mom and pop shops to corporations. You can get ahead of the competition by marketing online and start getting printing work done by third-party print service providers.

Like any other printing business t-shirt printing apart from the initial investment is very cheap to run, with costs coming down with proper maintenance of machines- the only recurring cost being ink and other printing material costs. You can start building your client ist by reaching out to your local businesses, charities, sports teams, hospitals, and more. You don’t need to stretch the capacity of your operation by focusing on distributions. you can opt to be solely a t-shirt manufacturer by producing your t-shirts en masse and then selling them to wholesalers. There are plenty of low-cost business ideas with high-profit potential.

Starting a Small Business with the Help of AI

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized various sectors, and the realm of small businesses is no exception. Utilizing AI can help streamline operations, make data-driven decisions, and even interact with customers. In this article, we’ll delve into the pros, cons, benefits, and risks associated with leveraging AI for starting a small business.

Pros of Using AI in Small Business:

  • Efficiency and Automation: AI can handle repetitive tasks such as data entry, bookkeeping, and customer inquiries, freeing up time for business owners to focus on core activities.
  • Data Analysis: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data, providing insights that help in decision-making, trend spotting, and forecasting.
  • Personalization: AI-driven tools can customize marketing campaigns and product recommendations based on individual customer behavior and preferences.
  • Cost Reduction: Over time, the automation and optimization provided by AI can lead to significant cost savings.

Cons of Using AI in Small Business:

  • Initial Costs: Setting up AI-driven tools and systems can be expensive, especially for startups with limited capital.
  • Dependency: Over-reliance on AI systems can make businesses vulnerable if there’s a system failure or malfunction.
  • Learning Curve: Implementing and understanding AI solutions may require training and can be time-consuming.
  • Job Displacement: While AI can handle many tasks, it might lead to reduced hiring, which can affect job opportunities in certain sectors.

Benefits of Using AI in Small Business:

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Chatbots and virtual assistants can provide 24/7 customer support, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
  • Scalability: AI-driven solutions can easily adapt to increasing data or tasks as the business grows, without the need for major changes or upgrades.
  • Competitive Edge: Small businesses can level the playing field against larger competitors by utilizing AI for analytics, marketing, and operations.
  • Innovation: AI opens doors to new business models, products, and services that might not have been possible otherwise.

Risks Associated with Using AI in Small Business:

  • Data Privacy Concerns: Using AI requires collecting and analyzing customer data, which can raise privacy issues and regulatory challenges.
  • Unpredictable Outcomes: AI algorithms, especially those that use deep learning, can sometimes produce unexpected results or decisions.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: AI-driven systems can be targeted by hackers, leading to data breaches or system compromises.
  • Ethical Dilemmas: Businesses may face ethical questions related to AI, such as bias in decision-making algorithms or the implications of fully autonomous systems.

Integrating AI into a small business strategy presents a multitude of opportunities to enhance operations, engage with customers, and drive growth. However, entrepreneurs must be aware of the challenges and potential pitfalls that come with this technology. It’s crucial to strike a balance: harness the power of AI while maintaining a human touch and adhering to ethical and regulatory standards. With the right approach, AI can be a game-changer for aspiring and established small business owners alike.

How to Choose the Perfect Small Business Idea

If you have your heart set on starting your own business, then you probably have got some lucrative business ideas circling in your head. Choosing the right small business idea to start can be challenging. There are many small business ideas that can be profitable. When working on your business idea, you must weigh various factors during the decision-making process, including:

  • Focus on your skills, experience, and passion: It is best that you choose a business that you already are passionate about and know about. Leveraging the skills and experience you already have can help increase your chances of success.
  • Research Your Small Business : After narrowing down the business ideas you’re passionate about, comes the research stage. At this stage, you will need to research different types of small businesses and get a feel for the effort and dedication they require.
  • Test your business idea: it is important before launching your business to first test it out. you should be asking questions like: Is there enough demand for the product or service in your market? Can you afford the startup costs? How will you stand out from competitors, and more? Testing your business idea gives you an understanding of whether you are really prepared to execute the business idea.
  • Identify what you will need to start the business: ask yourself if you have the necessary funds to start a business. Whether you will be doing all or most of the work yourself to keep costs down? Are your personal and business finances in order? Can you outsource some components of your business, do you have enough of a market to sustain your business, is your supply chain strong, etc?
  • Evaluate business-life fit: one of the reasons to start a small business is to be your own boss and pursue your passion. You will need to make sure that you have a balance between work and family life or risk getting burnt out or succumbing to stress.
  • Write your business plan: Before investing a significant amount of money and effort in your business idea you will need to craft your business plan. Learning how to write a business plan will help you identify, describe and analyze the business opportunity by probing through technical, economic, and financial feasibility. It not only brings clarity to your entrepreneurial endeavor but also helps to identify your future financial needs and acts as a guide to deciding courses of action.
  • Find the right financing: finding the seed money to finance your small business ideas can be stressful. This is because some traditional business loans will often require multiple years of business history for loans to get approval. You can source funds from microloans, grants, crowdfunding, or asking friends or family to invest in your business idea. For example, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers grants for small businesses and advice as well. Equally important is that you keep your business finances separate from your private savings.
  • Weigh profitability: the financial health and longevity of your business lie in how profitable it is. When selecting a business idea it is important that you factor in profitability. Costs related to your product or service offering should include its necessity, market size, marketing costs, manufacturing costs, retail value, and scale of production. Before going all in you will need to understand your earning potential of your business.

This table breaks down the process of choosing a small business idea into easy steps. It’s a simple guide to help you navigate through the important parts of starting your own business.

How to Protect an Idea for a Small Business

Very often startups overlook the need to protect their business idea and guarantee ownership of their products and services. A mark of a successful business comes from its uniqueness and the ability to distinguish itself from the competition. Your business idea besides having distinct Unique Selling Points (USPs) and being commercially viable should have legal protection. Depending on your business line, make sure you are legally protected in terms of patents, trademarks, copyright, and intellectual property rights.

Time to Start a Business

The best small business ideas are those that can be started quickly and easily. The best time to start a business is when you know you have clearly identified your target audience, are financially prepared, and you’ve developed a business plan. Testing your product or service will help you identify areas for improvement. In most cases starting a business can take between six months to a year.

What Is the Most Profitable Small Business?

Most profitable business ideas are products of a solid business model, hard work, and determination. Whether you enter a high-growth industry o a niche market there are several online tools and solutions that can help give your business that extra edge in terms of marketing, project management, accounting, and more. when it comes to profitable business ideas focus on a business where there is high demand and unmet supply. For example, food truck businesses are all the craze not only do they allow you more mobility but afford you the ability to tweak your offering for special events, around heavy foot traffic areas, or even during rush hours. if you play your cards right you will be able to grow a healthy client base by offering convenience, great customer service, and competitive pricing.

What Are the Easiest Online Business Ideas to Start?

Virtual assistant jobs and online e-commerce stores are considered some of the easiest online businesses to start. They not only offer easy start-up investments but also let you work on your own hours. Starting an online business is quick, easy, and cost-effective all you need is a laptop and an internet connection. For more insights check out our article business startup checklist .

What Small Business Idea Has the Lowest Startup Costs?

Small business ideas are the best way to start your own business. Despite many people aspiring to become entrepreneurs, many find it difficult to pursue their dream because of the significant costs associated with starting a business. However, there are many low-cost business ideas that one can launch with little or no cash required. Some excellent small business ideas can be straightforward to execute and they help you build an enduring brand. A great business idea can come with little or no startup capital and can include copywriting, virtual assistants, offering online courses, and digital marketing services.

Which business is most profitable for beginners?

In an ever more connected world, people are looking for products that they can get with minimal hassles. For savvy entrepreneurs dropshipping can be an easy, low-cost, business to start. Simply put dropshipping follows a fulfillment model where third-party supplies, stores, and ships the products to customers on your behalf. The perks of running a dropshipping operation are that it comes with low overhead, reduces your risk in terms of handling and storage, and is scalable where you can source products from one or more suppliers into your own online store.

What Businesses Will Grow in 2023?

If you’re looking for small business ideas for 2023, there are many businesses that you can get up and running with a shoestring budget. You might want to explore a business that is online based as it offers little investments and opens you to markets beyond your local area all you need is a special set of skills that you can market, a laptop, and the Internet. Businesses like content marketing, virtual assistants, and digital marketing are highly sought after as business look to expand their markets and engage more with their target audiences.

Image: Envato Elements

manufacturing business

The article provides a comprehensive list of small business ideas for entrepreneurs to consider in 2023 with a variety of ideas spanning different industries and sectors.

A successful small business idea bridges a market gap, offers scalability, and generates profit while maintaining affordability.

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