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36 Ultimate small business ideas to get you started

Steps

1. Identify your small business idea

Starting a business takes time and energy, and one must undergo periods of extended self-reflection to find a business idea that’s both realistic and viable. Not every great business idea needs to be one-of-a-kind; some successful businesses are based on an old idea, re-imagined.

2. Start as a side business or hobby

Being your own boss and determining your own work schedule is the dream life. That’s why starting a small business is the ideal scenario for many people. Whether you’re providing a much-needed service or crafting unique products to sell, who wouldn’t want to make a living off of doing what they love? However, knowing how to start your own business can be difficult, as there are many important factors to consider including the how-to with managing business taxes and legal hoops to jump through before you start earning a decent pay check.

3. Decide on your software

There will be heaps of questions to answer before choosing the right software solution for your company. But answering those questions, making time to analyse your current workflows, and mapping out your requirements – although time-consuming and demanding – is bound to benefit you, your employees, and your business in the long run.

4. Create a business plan

From entrepreneurs with the seed of a great idea to established companies, every business needs a business plan. Contrary to popular belief, business plans don’t need to be thousand-page documents. The critical factor is that they meet the needs of your business.

Business plans themselves come in various forms. As we noted, start-ups might use a one-page document to ask for initial funding. A legacy company might use a 10-page analysis to showcase its financial health.

Both could even be for the same audience such as a financial institution. Or it could be used for customers or suppliers. Whoever it’s directed toward, the narrative of the plan serves the company that is creating it.

Despite a difference in style or purpose, every business plan includes a handful of central elements.

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

Choosing the right business structure for your new venture is a crucial decision. Many business owners lean toward two of the most popular options—LLCs and sole proprietorships.

Each one has its fair share of benefits and drawbacks.

The right one for you and your business will depend on several factors. You’ll need to consider things like the tax implications, start-up costs, regulations, liability protection, and more.

6. Create a business bank account

Open a business account when you’re ready to start accepting or spending money as your business. A business bank account helps you stay legally compliant and protected. It also provides benefits to your customers and employees. Common business accounts include a checking account, savings account, credit card account, and a merchant services account. Merchant services accounts allow you to accept credit and debit card transactions from your customers.

7. Determine if your business idea works well from home

Not all businesses are going to work well as home-based businesses. You are not going to be able to start a manufacturing business in a residential neighbourhood, for example, and a business that involves a lot of clients coming and going may not be practical from a home office.

8. Set up an office

Many entrepreneurs, especially those who provide services to a regional, national, and especially global customer base, can feasibly choose between working from a home office or an outside office.

Granted, if you meet regularly with clients or need “walk up” availability a home office may not be the right choice, for business and for family reasons, but in many industries and professions technology makes meeting clients in an office less or even completely unnecessary. And saying you have a home office doesn’t carry a negative connotation the way it once did; “working from home” no longer implies a lack of professionalism or business success.

9. Get to work

To start working We need to stop delaying and get to work and 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.


1. Handyman

The term handyman increasingly describes a paid worker, but it also includes non-paid homeowners or do-it-yourselves. For those looking to begin a small business in the home, a Handyman may be just the answer.

Starting a Handyman business is ideal for those interested in helping people with personal maintenance needs, repairing, improving, and beautifying their properties.

With a Handyman business you can also make money from other services and products. From home improvement products to roofing materials, there is a large variety of options that you can offer your customers and clients.

2. Woodworker

Thinking of starting your own woodworking business? Great idea! Just like many other small businesses, a woodworking business is also considered to be a profitable business, as the demand for wooden products is not decreasing. Any kind of entrepreneurship means to plunge into a totally new world. However, the success lies in positivity, intention of learning new things and perseverance.

Woodworking is a comparatively easier business idea to start as a small capital business. But the output can be pretty good if you can nourish the entire process systematically with exact calculations. If you want to invest small at first, you can try it from your home initially. Later on, think bigger once your business flourishes.

At the preliminary stage, you’ll just need some handy woodworking tools, raw materials for crafting and manufacturing and some decorations to make your workplace attractive. Proper marketing is really important to make any business popular and successful.

3. Online Dating Consultant

– A career as a dating consultant could be rewarding in more ways than one; you can earn a steady income, as there’s no shortage of people wanting to date, plus you get immense satisfaction from helping two people connect with each other.

So, how exactly do dating apps make money while keeping in mind the importance of utility to the user in the space? In general, the business model for dating apps falls into three broad categories: subscription plans and freemium, which utilize advertising and in-app purchasing.

4. Sewing and Alteration Specialist

The alteration service business demands sewing skills and a creative craft mind. With a low start-up capital investment, any individual can initiate an alteration business right from his/her home location.

This business can be operated part-time also. You will be making handsome money by helping others to get perfect outfits.

The increasing awareness of fashion and trends has increased the demand for alteration service business. In to-days world, no one wants to wear a dress that is not perfectly fitted. And here is the gap where you come in.

An aspiring individual passionate about fabric, textiles, colours, and designs can initiate this venture by having little equipment or tools in hand.

5. Freelance Developer

It’s common for developers to go the freelance route.  It is also true for many who have developer jobs but are considering going out on their own.

The idea of freelancing is also appealing to those who would like to make extra money even though they’re already working a dev job.

Freelance developers also have a higher earning potential out of the gate opposed to other types of freelancers like writers.

Developers can make $30-$150 (or even more) an hour depending on the project, their skill set, and experience.

6. Personal Trainer

Becoming a personal trainer can be one of the best business ideas if you are a fitness enthusiast and have a passion for helping others to meet their goals of being healthy and fit. Career opportunities in fitness are very high and rapidly increasing every day in this field.

More people are attracted to a healthy lifestyle and, it is the reason why your business is can be lucrative. The industry is expected to grow even more in the future as more fitness enthusiasts are entering the market. You can start your fitness centre to grow as a personal trainer. Do a bit of research about opportunities available in your area, talk to the other personal trainers before setting up your business. Set up a gym to train people if everything goes well.

Once you start your business, remember that the business very promising and rewarding if you are passionate about being fit and also helping others to be fit and healthy. As a personal trainer, you need to inspire people towards a healthy lifestyle.

7. Freelance Graphic Designer

Graphic Design is one of the fast-growing high demand creative industries today. The increased need for promotional and marketing collaterals has skyrocketed the scope of the industry. This continually evolving field ranks among the top in the leading freelance services. Every company, big or small requires graphic design, and it is not probable for most companies to retain and train an in-house resource.

The working hours and the quantity of work are not justified. This scenario makes freelance graphic design career the hotshot player in the playground. Nevertheless, knowledge of the design software is not enough to warrant success in the field of freelance graphic designing.

Staying on top of the game at all times is mandatory. The industry has its share of opportunities and pitfalls. It takes extreme caution to tread carefully while simultaneously moving forward.

It involves the high level of creativity, constant follow up of market trends, the know-how of the industry, and fluency in the graphic design software. It is also important to weigh the options and plan the game accordingly.

8. Life/ Career Coach

A life coaching business is the ultimate self-improvement journey… you can’t really master something until you’ve coached someone else on mastering it.  When you’re a life coach, you’ll have to walk your talk.

The greatest joy is feeling the ecstasy of knowing that you helped another soul improve their life.  You’ll feel their gratitude, as well as you own gratitude for having the privilege to serve another human being, yourself, and the greater good.  You really ARE making the world a better place.

Finally, let’s not for the last benefit: MONEY.  Yes, you actually GET PAID FOR THIS!  It seems ridiculous, but you actually get paid lots of money to wake up in the morning, saunter into your own private office, pick up the phone, help people, grow yourself, and feel proud for changing the world.

A life coaching business is the profession of guiding, supporting, counselling, and tracking the life of your client… for fun and profit.

9. Freelance Writer

A freelance writer is a self-employed person who writes articles, ad copy, or other types of content for a living. They may write for news outlets, periodicals, companies, or other clients.

Freelance writing can deal with virtually any subject in any field or industry, making freelance writers a diverse group of people with a wide range of interests. Learn more about what freelance writing is and what it takes to get into the profession.

Freelance writers typically work for a company or individual on a contractual basis.

These contractual positions don’t necessarily need to have a formal contract in place (although that’s probably in your best interest as a writer). Occasionally, you may be able to land a large contract with one client—writing a marketing campaign full-time for three months for one company, for instance. More often, though, freelancers will work with many clients or publications at once.

10. Landscaper

A landscaper earns a living by elevating outdoor spaces. They plant beautiful flowers and plants, manicure lawns, and trim hedges in order to make residential, commercial, and public spaces more aesthetically pleasing.

Since educational requirements are not particularly strict for someone looking to break into the landscaping business, this might be a good choice for someone wanting to start a career fairly quickly.

Landscapers may primarily work to improve existing garden layouts, or they may work in more specialized areas. Some specialties include designing water gardens and fountains (aquascape), installing lawn sprinkler systems and drains (irrigation systems), or designing practical solutions for orchards and farms.

Large corporations have company grounds to be maintained, schools and universities have campus grounds to keep, cities and towns have public parks that need maintenance and improvements, and zoos and theme parks need landscape design solutions as well. All of these are potential clients or employers for a landscaper.

11. Videographer

A videographer is someone who is responsible for recording live events and small-scale video productions. Videographers focus on smaller productions like documentaries, live events, short films, legal depositions, weddings, birthday parties, sports events, commercials, and training videos. For smaller productions, a videographer often works alone with a single-camera setup or with a small team of light technicians and sound technicians.

Freelance videographers have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the kind of projects they’d like to work on. For example, they may be able to get special permits to take videos of locations that are not otherwise open to the public. They may be able to copyright their work and post it in online video channels, which may help get more freelance work and even bigger projects. Freelance videographers work extremely hard to get projects by putting in bids for work and convincing companies that they deserve to have the job.

12. Photographer

There are tons of people earning a decent side or a full-time income by running a photography business. But as the market is competitive, to be successful you need to work hard and plan properly.

Photography is all about catching beautiful moments or events for your clients. And people love to get beautiful photos of the memorable incidents of their life. Therefore, photography is a multi-million-dollar industry worldwide. There are several business opportunities in the photography industry you can consider launching according to your skill and investment capacity.

Amateur photography and the photography studio business are two completely different things. And if you are clearly starting the business, you must craft a business plan prior. Otherwise, there is every possibility you may fail to get succeed in the business. Even, if you a master of photography, you have to create a plan of action first.

13. Ecommerce Store Owner

An ecommerce business is any business that buys and sells goods or services over the internet. Ecommerce businesses will digitally transfer money and data to execute these online transactions.

eCommerce is more about letting AI do the hard work. Some of the most advanced AI techs are no different from running a large crew of brilliant specialists. Free from the physical limitations known in brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce clients can shop from anywhere. Vendors can reach clients more effectively, and clients can get faster to their products. Everyone involved is reaping the benefits of eCommerce’s incredible flexibility and affordability.

14. Travel Planner

Are you a savvy spender with some knowledge of the travel industry? If you know how to find great deals on airfare, hotels and rental cars, you can start a home business as a travel planner.

With the rising cost of travel, people are looking for ways to secure deals with super savings. If you know how to find great deals on airfare, hotels and rental cars, you can start a home business as a travel planner and be your own boss. When you help others save money on travel, it actually puts cash right back into your pocket in the travel industry.

15. Home Inspector

Home inspectors are an elite group of talented professionals who offer a valuable service. Their skills in testing and evaluating the condition of a home are essential for new home buyers to discover potential expensive repairs, and these services are vital to most home mortgage approvals.

A home inspector has a large responsibility to their clients. Their evaluations and opinions of a home’s condition can help a new homeowner know what to expect when they buy a home. Many home purchase contracts are contingent upon a “satisfactory” home inspection, putting much pressure on inspectors to be thorough and have expert opinions.

As a part-time business, a home inspection business should be qualified to perform home inspections and give confidence to clients.

16. House Cleaner

The Bureau of Labour Statistics also shows the cleaning industry growth at 7%, above the national average for all occupations. The field is expected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, presenting a good opportunity for prospective business owners in this category.

But, even if you’re motivated by the potential to become a cleaning business owner, it’s natural that you’d still have some questions when deciding whether to start a cleaning business.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make as a business owner when you start a cleaning company is to decide if you’re interested in starting a residential or commercial cleaning service.

While you can certainly add cleaning services as your cleaning business grows, most cleaning companies fall under one of these two umbrellas.

17. Personal Chef

A personal chef not only prepares meals for those who are too busy to do so, they also cater small events such as corporate lunches, small parties and special occasions such as anniversaries or birthdays. Personal chefs can either prepare the meals in their own home, a commercial kitchen or the homes of their clients depending on what the client wants.

There are several reasons why starting a personal chef business might just be right for you and one of them is the low costs you need to start the business as most times you will have to cook in your client’s kitchen or your own, which means that you will not need to buy any kitchen equipment. The only difference is if you intend to lease a commercial kitchen which will see your costs go up.

Take time to know the rules regarding the personal chef business in the area you are looking to operate from because some states do not allow for intermediate storage of food stuffs purchased as they are expected to be transported to the kitchen or residence of the client. If a food storage facility must be used via an agreement with your client, it has to have undergone inspection and must also be licensed to store food.

18. Property Manager

Property managers are people that specialize in ensuring a rental is being operated according to the guidance given by the owner—whether the goals be financial or based on providing attractive living conditions, or both.

Guidance can take different forms—corporate property owners may issue mission and vision statements for their properties, while individual owners may give verbal guidance on their goals for the property.

The manager makes sure that responsible tenants occupy the property, payments are received on time, budgets are followed, and the rental is maintained properly.

19. Massage Therapist

The 21st century is all about personality, fitness, and health. Today people have largely shifted their focus towards their standards of lifestyle in which health maintenance is their prime objective.

If you have an inclination towards human interaction and you want to contribute substantially towards the ideas of a healthy living, then try being a massage therapist. You can gain customer satisfaction by providing them relief from knotted muscles after physical activity, conditions of daily stress, and finally induce into them a sense of calmness.

This business allows you to expand within a short frame of time giving you full opportunities for business autonomy and growth.

20. Interior Designer

Interior design involves the conversion of empty residential or commercial spaces into fully functional, aesthetically pleasing, and efficient homes or offices. This business involves a lot of creativity, efficiency, and aesthetics. In addition to these, interior designers are also required to keep up with the times with respect to new interior design fads and trends as well as new materials in the market.

An interior designer is also required to be business savvy and aware of the costs of different materials in market.

An interior designer should also possess good communication skills since he/she will spend a lot of time liaising with the client and suppliers or contractors.

It is quite obvious then, that interior designers will need to be creative with design elements and to have in-depth understanding of their field.

21. Tutor

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 centres’, and even social media to get the word out and build a customer base.

22. Event Planner

If you’re the premier party-giver in your crowd, then you can have a ball as an event planner. You’ll work for private and corporate clients, creating, planning and organizing. Your clients can be individuals, companies, or groups like charities, associations and organizations.

23. Personal Assistant

Starting a personal assistant business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion. 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.

24. Caterer

A Catering Business is a food business that specializes in food delivery for groups of people. In addition to food, many caterers also offer supplies and services. The style of food varies as does the cost, but all caterers specialize in feeding groups of people away from the caterer’s kitchen.

It is worth noting that there is another type of catering referred to as ‘On-Premise Catering”. This is primarily offered by event venues such as hotels and event centres’ that require those that rent their space to also use their on-premise catering if food is involved in the event.

25. Gym Owner

Fitness is booming and with the ever-increasing number of corporate wellness programs and health insurance incentives, opening a gym appears to be full of opportunity. 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.

26. Boutique Agency Owner

Boutique owners operate retail stores that generally sell clothing, accessories and other sundries. They often have experience in the retail industry, and always have a passion for fashion.

As a business owner, they are pure entrepreneurs and are ultimately responsible for every aspect of running a small business. They need to manage the design/look and feel of the store, inventory, sales & marketing, employees, bookkeeping & finance.

27. Moving Company

To start a moving company you don’t need to buy those big trucks and rent a warehouse. In most big cities 80 percent of the moves are small, local moving jobs for which you don’t need storage facilities or big trucks. Many people are also looking for in-house moving help that only requires manpower to move a bedroom worth of furniture. Thus, you can easily start your new moving company with a smaller van. Many customers today prefer to call a small moving company because usually is less expensive and still quality moving service. This though does not mean you won’t be making a profit. Moving is a hard labor and it is not cheap.

There are some differences types of moving companies for you to choose from. You should decide if you want to provide moving labor services only or become a full-service coast to coast mover.

28. Home Staging

Home staging is an up-and-coming trend, with more than 38% of real estate agents saying they stage sellers’ homes before listing them for sale.

For those who don’t want to do the work themselves, there are professional home stagers!

With the right design skills, this industry is a lucrative one for talented individuals. Staging your home can be an excellent way to make it look sell faster and harder.

29. Makeup Artist

If you have interest in creating magic with powders, lipsticks etc and transforming ordinary faces into the focus of attention is something you love doing most; starting a makeup artist business is probably the best idea for you. As a makeup artist you will finding business is not a big deal, because everyone in the world wants to look beautiful. Makeup is a day-to-day requirement, let it be parties, weddings, magazine photo-shoots, makeovers or anything similar, a makeup artist is always sought after in all the cases, either to create the beauty or enhance it. As a makeup artist you can find business anywhere, let it be a cost-effective service in low profile areas or a celebrity/model-makeup/high end service in high profile areas. You can also market your services in various packages, i.e., casual makeup, hairstyling, weddings and special events make up, makeovers etc. To sell a cost-effective service is probably the easiest one, however, to sell luxurious service you need to incur additional marketing costs.

30. Professional Organizer

Professional organizers are usually people who are highly organized themselves. They have a knack for knowing where everything goes and enjoy sticking to the system they have created.

If you are one of these highly organized people, and you’re also interested in helping others reach the same level of organization, starting a small business as a professional organizer may be an excellent business idea for you.

Professional organizers can work with many types of people and businesses to help them clean out their accumulated clutter, get organized, and create a system for managing documents or possessions going forward.

31. Social Media Manager

A social media manager is in charge of all marketing campaigns and activities carried out through social media platforms. Supporting a social media strategy, social media managers develop brand guidelines, craft digital content, engage with online audiences, and even gather user-generated content for future use. With these techniques, social media managers can strengthen a brand’s online presence and customer relationships.

Larger businesses, however, have an additional option. They often choose to hire a specialist social media manager to take charge of all things social. Indeed in some cases, they hire an entire team to run their social accounts, often expanding into such areas as reputation management and social listening.

32. Dog Walker, Groomer, or Trainer

Dog walkers are responsible for the safety of their clients’ dogs during walks. Because of this they usually have their clients complete a document listing their contact information, their vet’s contact information, and other important information about the dog such as age, breed, weight, medical conditions, and current medications.

Some dog walkers work alone, while others hire additional walkers to work as a part of their business. This allows the dog walking business to serve a greater number of clients and potentially expand their service area. Some dog walkers also choose to offer additional services such as pet sitting and grooming.

Dog walkers also have the option of working through companies such as Wag! or Rover, which connect dog walkers with those in need of walks for a portion of their earnings.

33. 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.

34. Pet Sitter

Do you love spending time with animals and looking to get into the pet sitting industry? Pet sitting is a lot more popular and profitable than you might think! Although you might be getting into this business for the opportunity to work with furry friends of all kinds.

While the pet’s owners are away on vacation, either host their pet at your home or make visits to their home.

35. Day-care Owner

As the number of dual-working parent households continues to rise, the demand for day-cares is at an all-time high. A day-care business can be a lucrative opportunity that can set you up for your financial freedom journey as a business owner.

If you’ve had to care for and raise your kids, perhaps worked as a babysitter in your teenage years and felt that you enjoyed the experience. A day-care business can be a rewarding business opportunity that is in demand and fulfilling!

Make sure you’re complying with your city and state’s zoning, licensure, insurance, and inspection requirements.

36. 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 neighbourhood. Use custom labels and watch the word spread about your goods!

Cottage food laws are allowing people to turn their passion for baking goods at home into a small business – a situation where everyone wins the jackpot. Avid bakers are able to set up a home baking business more easily and can then help to feed the local economy. The rest of the community benefits even more, because they can shop for the best quality freshly baked goods just around the corner in their local area.

I Am Andrei

Andrei is old enough to have 7 years of experience and young enough to give much more relevant advice than the dinosaurs in this industry.

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