Check out this list of the best small business ideas you can use to start your own business.
If possible, examine each one with an open mind, because all of them have the potential to earn you a nice profit. And freedom.
I’m talking about the kind of freedom that exists when own what you do.
When you don’t have a boss.
Business Investment Amounts
I’ve provided estimated total startup costs for each business idea. They’re labeled as low-cost, medium-cost, or high-cost.
Low – $20,000 and under
Medium – $21,000 to $50,000
High – $51,000 to $100,000 or more
Now those figures aren’t exact. Your actual investment may be more or less. Use those numbers as a general guide. More will be revealed as you investigate the opportunities you’re interested in.
With that in mind, let’s see if any of these interesting ideas for a small business resonate with you, so you can be the boss of your own future.
Here are the categories:
- Small Business Ideas For Sales Pros
- Small Business Ideas For Pet Lovers
- Small Business Ideas In Health/Beauty
- Small Business Ideas In Home Services
- Amazon-Related Small Businesses
- Online Small Business Ideas
- Miscellaneous Small Business Ideas And Opportunities
Read on to find a business idea that’s right for you.
Best Small Business Ideas For People Who Can Sell
If you like selling, and aren’t afraid to find clients or customers, the small business startup ideas I listed in this section are the ones you should focus on.
1. Executive Coach
Lots of former middle managers and executives are earning a nice living as executive coaches. But there’s something crucial you need to understand about how this type of business operates. It’s this:
Clients don’t come to you.
That means you’ll need to make lots of phone calls and write a significant number of emails. And you’ll also want to quickly get involved in formal and informal business networking groups. And more.
But once you get a few clients and do work that’s above and beyond what you promised you’d do, you’ll start getting referrals. And those can lead to more income.
Finally, you can go the franchise route.
That would translate to starting a coaching business with business systems already in place.
Investment: Medium to High.
But if you go the franchise route, your upfront investment will be higher.
Headhunters, also called Executive Recruiters, match high-level positions with companies looking to fill those slots.
The good news is that if you’re successful at it, a solid six-figure income isn’t out of the question.
But you need to be on the phone all day.
You’ll be hunting and gathering clients on the corporate side, and then on the headhunting side.
Check out this informative article to see if becoming a headhunter is right for you.
Note: if you become a successful headhunter, you may want to open your own firm. That way you can hire other headhunters and receive a portion of their fees, too.
3. Sales Trainer/Consultant
If you’re a highly successful salesperson who’d like to capitalize on your skills, becoming a sales trainer is something that should be on your radar.
For instance, are you comfortable speaking in front of groups both large and small?
Do you feel you can translate what’s made you successful in sales to others, so they can become more successful?
If so, you need to look into offering sales training to small businesses.
And you can do it on your own or become a franchisee. It depends if you want to design your own programs or use someone else’s sales training programs.
Investment: Medium to High.
4. Business Broker
Every day in America, dozens of small businesses are bought and sold. But who does these transactions?
In most cases, business brokers.
In your role as a business broker, you’d find the best businesses for sale, list them on your website and others, respond to inquiries from prospective business buyers, and arrange meetings and visits to the businesses you’ve listed.
It’s important to know that your clients are the business owners selling their businesses, and they’re the ones who pay you if you help them sell their business. Figure 10% of the sales price.
For example, if you sell their business for $300,000, you’d get paid $30,000. That’s a nice payday!
If you’d like to learn more about how the business of business brokering works, The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) has put together a free guide explaining the business brokerage profession.
Investment: Medium to High.
5. Franchise Broker
I was a franchise broker for almost 10 years. Here’s what I know about the business.
With the average commission hovering a little over $20,000, a career in franchise brokerage can be a decent money-making venture. Except…
There are thousands of franchise brokers around. And like almost anything in life, the 80/20 rule applies.
Specifically, only 20% of franchise brokers make big money.
Like $300,000-$500,000 a year money. The remaining 80% don’t make anything near that amount.
That said, the best way to enter the field is by having previous experience running and/or owning a franchise, or at least being employed by a franchisor in a high-level position.
The next best way?
Have experience as a successful small business owner.
Tip: read this comprehensive article on franchise brokers, franchise consultants and franchise coaches (they’re all the same).
If you’re interested in becoming a franchising broker, there are several franchise brokerage firms that (for a fee) train people to be franchise brokers.
Note: years ago, I was the keynote speaker for the Franchise Brokers Association (FBA), and I got to know the team there. Experience tells me that their training is #1. And a few of their brokers have told me as much. FBA Website
Finally, my dad, Jerry Libava, was the person who got me into franchise brokering, and I was fairly successful at it. But I haven’t done it since 2008.
6. Vehicle Leasing Agent
I was in the car business in the 1980’s. That’s when leasing was becoming popular. Because of that, a lot of independent vehicle leasing companies opened their doors. And some of them are still around.
In case you don’t know, a leasing company specializes in finding new (and used) vehicles for their clients. These companies are always on the hunt for the best deals they can present to their clients. And some of their clients are small business owners who need multiple vehicles.
FYI: for many years, it was difficult for independent leasing companies to compete with dealer deals, as manufacturers were consistently offering subsidized lease payment programs that couldn’t be touched by non-car dealers.
“Lease A Toyota Corolla for only $199 a month for 36 months, no money down!” That has certainly changed. How much?
Ask my friend, Katie, who’s been in vehicle leasing for a long time. She’ll tell you that deals that those don’t exist anymore.
That said, can you make a good living leasing cars?
Maybe. It depends on how good you are at sales and how large your local network is.
Here’s another opportunity in the automotive sector.
Investment: Medium to High.
7. Financial Planner
Financial instruments have become more complicated. That translates into a need for people who can explain and leverage them for their clients.
If this field interests you, you can either join an existing financial planning firm or hang your own shingle.
These days, the best way to hang your own shingle to is become an Investment Advisor Representative at an RIA. A what? Read this.
Income-wise, most financial planners get paid a percentage of their clients portfolio to manage their money. The more clients, the more income. But you need to find clients and then make them money.
I asked my friend, Dan Miller, Partner, and Wealth manager of Wealth Horizon, for his views on a career as a financial advisor.
Long-gone are the days when you could build a business through cold calling. Additionally, the large Wall Street wirehouses pressure you to sell their products (i.e., proprietary mutual funds). To become a truly independent Financial Planner, who works as a fiduciary, you may want to consider completing the coursework to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). With that knowledge you are in a good position to join an independent practice. You may begin as a Para-Planner, where you will actually prepare the financial plans and may also have the opportunity for client-facing.
Most importantly, if you are selective, you can work for a firm that will mentor you and further train you on the entire client service process.
Furthermore, in time they will likely turn over some of the “smaller” clients to develop on your own. A small client today, does not mean they won’t become a large client over time, as they grow with your practice. Younger clients will continue to have more disposable income from increases in salary, bonuses, inheritance, etc. At some point they may choose to make a job transition and have a meaningful 401(k) to roll-over. As you grow your experience base and practice, they may become a valuable source of referrals, as you have helped them focus on a multitude of services you can provide them, over and above simply managing their investments.
This is a wonderful field, and one in which there is a shortage of women. As you have no doubt read, there is going to be an enormous transfer of wealth to women over the next several decades, due to inheritance and divorce, among other factors. That is why I would also encourage to always include the wife (or spouse/partner) in the planning process. Down the road it will also be beneficial to develop relationships with the children. This will help insure you have “sticky” assets, that don’t transfer to another advisor, when there is a change in ownership.
Investment: Low to Middle.
Let’s move onto the next section.
Best Small Business Ideas For Pet Lovers
The numbers are off the chart.
According to the American Pet Products Association, $123.6 billion was spent on our pets in 2021. And that’s just in the U.S. Check out how that money was spent:
Pet Food/Treats: $50.0 billion
Pet Supplies, Live Animals & OTC Medicine: $29.8 billion
Vet Care/Product Sales: $34.3 billion
(Grooming, dog-walking, pet-sitting, boarding, training, and pet insurance)
To that end, if you’re a pet lover and would like to receive some of the money pet owners spend on their furry family members, here are a few small business ideas you can profit from.
8. Retail Pet Store Owner
Now all pet owners need supplies. Those supplies include everything from leashes to pet toys to flea prevention products…and more.
And while it’s true that consumers can shop for their pet supplies at big box stores like Target®, a lot of people like shopping at pet stores for their products.
Today’s pet supplies stores vary from franchise businesses like Pet Supplies Plus, to the small to medium-size independent stores almost every town has.
That said, if you can come up with a unique concept, and a decent commercial location, the customers are there.
9. Pet Services Provider
If you love pets, another business opportunity you need to explore is becoming a pet services provider. For example, you can offer:
- Dog walking
- Dog poop removal
Your target market would be dual-income and higher-income pet-owning households. The good news?
You can easily setup a pet-sitting and/or dog walking service yourself.
Not only that, it’s also the type of business you can operate from home.
And once you get a dozen or so clients, you can ask for referrals. Plus, at a certain point, word of mouth marketing will start kicking in, and you can potentially have a nice business going.
Finally, even though you (probably) didn’t wake up this morning thinking you’d like to set up a dog poop cleanup business, it’s a service you can offer that’s worth a look. But you don’t have to believe me.
If you’d like to see for yourself that this is a legitimate business opportunity, check out the interview I did with a Pet Butler franchisee.
10. Dog Trainer
Generally speaking, of all the dogs you run into, how many of them are calm and well-mannered?
Most of them? Some of them? Very few of them?
I’m going with very few of them. And that means there’s an opportunity for you to provide dog training. But you would need to learn exactly how to do it.
According to the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers® (CCPDT®), you need at least 300 hours of experience in dog training within the last 3 years. The resources section on their website provides access to schools where you can learn how to train dogs and get the hands-on experience you’ll need.
Finally, you’ll find that there are several opportunities within the field you can specialize in.
For example, you can specialize in training dogs for bomb detection, security, or for use on police departments.
Investment: Low to Medium
11. Pet Groomer
Another specialized pet service you can provide is pet grooming. But not just any pet grooming.
If you’re going to become a pet groomer, you need to offer mobile pet grooming. Why?
Because it’s a service that’s sorely needed. And I’m confident you can turn it into a profitable small business.
A Short Mobile Dog Grooming Business Story
I remember seeing a large van driving near my Castle a couple of years ago with the words “Mobile Dog Grooming” in large letters on the side of the van.
I took a snapshot and called the phone number when I got home. Why? Because Bear needed a haircut!
I got a recorded message (of course), stating that the groomer was on the job, but would be happy to get back to me in a day. But…
The woman’s voice also said that she was booking appointments 3 months out.
I didn’t leave a message.
That’s because I have no interest in a service that I need to wait 3 month to receive. One month? Maybe. But 3 months? No way. Now stay with me here. This next part can be profitable for you.
How To Create A Profitable Pet Grooming Business
There’s money to be made in pet grooming, but you need to make it a multi-unit business. Not an “answering machine,” one-person show. Here are the steps.
First off, get an education on how to groom pets. There are lots of places to learn how to do this.
Then, come up with a catchy name for your grooming service. Correction. For you mobile pet grooming business.
Thirdly, find another groomer. Better yet, two more experienced pet groomers.
The 4th thing you need to do is lease or buy two vans that can be customized for water use and blow-drying etc. Of course, you’ll want to add your brand name and logo to your vehicles.
Next, hire a human answering service that can handle scheduling. It’s more important than you think.
Finally, start adding additional vans, equipment and groomers as your business grows.
And who knows?
In 5 years’ time, you may have 5, 6, maybe 7 mobile pet grooming vehicles each grooming 5-6 pets a day, making money for you.
Investment: High (if you do it the way I suggested).
Small Business Ideas In The Health And Beauty Industry
If you want to start a small business, there are a lot of
drop-dead gorgeous, beautiful opportunities in this space. Here are 5 of them.
12. Personal Fitness Coach
Big gyms like Planet Fitness aren’t for everyone. Especially people who are extremely out of shape.
So if you’re into fitness, and want to help others get in shape, personally customized 1-on-1 workouts are the thing. A thing you can capitalize on.
That said, the best and most profitable way to get into the personal fitness business is to specialize in one part of fitness. The NASM website is chock full of ideas and niches you can start a business around.
And once you decide on what you want to focus on, this is a business you can operate from home. How great is that?
Just give yourself time to grow your business. It’s not going to happen overnight.
But there IS money to be made.
13. Hair Stylist
These days, hair stylists don’t need to work for a salon owner. You have options.
For example, you can rent space at any one of a number of “Salon Suites” type of businesses.
Doing so would involve signing a lease and paying monthly rent. But you get to choose your own clients. And you get to keep all the money because it’s your own business. But I only recommend it if you have already built-up a good following.
Translation: renting space isn’t recommended for newer stylists. Why?
Because these places are appointment only. Unlike a hair salon, (as far as I know) there’s generally no walk-in foot traffic.
14. Make-Up Artist
You’re in luck.
That’s because I happen to know a bit more about the business of being a make-up artist than most. Why?
Because both my mom and my dad were make-up artists.
My dad was a make-up artist for the stars.
And my mom had her own business as a make-up artist. She even had her own line of cosmetics she proudly displayed at the upscale hair salon she leased space from.
If you want to be a make-up artist, you can be home-based or you can rent space in a working salon or spa. But you need to be mobile. Why?
Think weddings and other special occasions.
I remember many a Saturday or Sunday morning where my mom would travel to someone’s home to do makeup for the entire female portion of the wedding party, including both mom’s. It was a good payday.
Here’s how to become a make-up artist.
15. Wedding Planner
Speaking of weddings, planning them can be a lucrative small business.
Today’s wedding planners have the important responsibility of helping clients plan the entirety of their wedding.
Planners engage in discussions with their clients regarding things like logistics, they negotiate contracts with vendors, and make certain all wedding-day activities occur without any issues. And a dozen other things.
This Brides Magazine article shows you the steps you need to become a wedding planner.
Finally, if you decide to become a wedding planner, your income stream comes from the fee you charge the bride and groom, along with (if you can get it) a portion of the products and services you recommend. Think of the florists you tell your client to use along with the best bands and/or DJ’s you recommend.
16. Weight-Loss Coach
I don’t have the data for the percentage of people who want to lose weight. But do you really need it? I say you don’t.
That’s because it’s safe to say the number of people who want slimmer figures is in the millions.
That means there are plenty of opportunities for you to start a business focusing entirely on weight loss.
The quickest way to start a small business focused on this rather large (no pun intended) niche is to offer 1:1 programs. But how?
You need to learn the business.
Here’s a course I found on Udemy.
And if you’re good at using search engines like Google or Bing, I’d wager you could find more courses, and maybe even people in your local area who teach weight-loss techniques.
And once you’ve learned the techniques, you need to put together a top-shelf coaching program and start finding clients.
Here’s how to do that, step-by-step.
I invite you to give your brain a break for a few minutes by watching The Cleveland Orchestra do what it does best.
Or, some Genesis
Let’s get back to my small business ideas list.
There are two ways you can start a business.
The first way is what most people do. They kind of wing it.
In other words, they come up with an idea for a small business they can own. Then they:
- Come up with a name
- Buy a domain
- Build a website
- Come up with content for it
- Create social media accounts
- Start selling their products/services
And in a perfect world, it works out well for them.
The other way to start a small business is to create an actual plan for their business…before they get to far in their “process.”
This plan should be put together in a formal way. As in written out, early in the process.
And with the help of LivePlan, it can be done relatively easy (with any of the 33 small business startup ideas listed here).
Please watch this short, short, video from my friend, Tim Berry. He’s the King of Business Plans.
I hope so.
Because putting together your business plan early will save you a lot of headaches and fear, as your business goes through its various up and down cycles.
Try Tim Berry’s LivePlan today
Note: if you thinking about starting one of these small business ideas from home…as in a home-based business, don’t skip writing a business plan. It will help you a lot!
Now let’s get back to The Best 33 Small Business Ideas You Can Profit From Right Now.
Small Business Ideas In Home Services
I’m back again talking about today’s “busy families.” Why?
Because they’re the main target for home services providers.
But you need to target families who have the money, so research your local area. That way you’ll be able to only go after families with enough income to pay for what you’re offering.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few home services you can provide.
17. Daycare Business
Working couples with children need day care…at least part-time. Would you like to be the one to provide it?
If you have a home with ample space, you may be able to create a special area for a day care business. But you’ll need to check local regulations to see if it’s feasible.
In addition, you’ll need to have excellent liability insurance…just in case.
But if you want a pretty decent business, you should consider leasing a commercial space. You’d also need to hire other caregivers who can help you. The best part?
You can do financial projections, easily, before you move forward. How? With a business plan of course.
18. Nanny Provider
Nanny services are super popular nowadays, and parents who have a lot on their plate often need to shell out money to have someone watch their kids on a full-time basis, at their homes.
And just so you know, nannies offer way more than day care or babysitting services. One difference? They put in more hours. And a lot of them live on premises.
But if you want to profit from this much-needed service, you need to become a nanny services provider. But what does a nanny provider do?
There are three main things they do.
- They connect families who are looking for a nanny with professional nannies.
- Nanny providers do thorough employment screening, going through resumes and conducting background checks to ensure the nannies they use are top-notch.
- They help place qualified nannies with families who need of their services. And for that, they receive a fee.
For more information on how to start a nanny business, and how you can profit from it, check out this comprehensive article.
19. Landscape Design Consultant
If you like the outdoors and get serious joy out of seeing projects evolve from beginning to end, starting a small business in the landscape design field may be worth a look. Especially if you have an associate or bachelor’s degree in landscape design, plant science or horticulture.
Your role would be to help create beautiful outdoor spaces for both residential and commercial clients.
And like most businesses, you’ll need to find clients.
Then, once you have a few clients, you partner with a top landscaping company or two in your local area to do the work. Now this is important.
If you structure things right, you can have two paydays.
One from your client and one from the landscapers who may be open to paying you for referring the work.
If this field interests you, I encourage you to check out this excellent series of videos below to learn more about starting this type of services business.
20. Outdoor Lighting Specialist
A close cousin to the business idea I presented above is an Outdoor Lighting Specialist. And it’s another business you can start from home.
If you have an eye for design, can work with low-voltage electricity, and can market a business, this relatively new home services business opportunity may be right for you. And interestingly enough, there’s a quick way to get into business.
That’s because of a company called AMP® Pro.
In a nutshell, AMP® Pros are a group of landscape lighting professionals authorized to purchase and install the industry’s best products.
Finally, if you’d like to get a feel for all the different outdoor lighting looks being used today, this lighting website is a wonderful place to start.
P.S. If you’d rather buy a franchise, there are a couple of franchise opportunities being offered in the outdoor lighting space.
Investment: Low to medium.
21. Plumbing Business
When was the last time you heard someone say, “I’m studying to become a plumber?” Exactly.
Data strongly suggests that there’s a huge shortage of qualified plumbers.
The fact is, there are always opportunities to profit off of things few want to do.
But it’s not like you’d need to be a plumber for the rest of your life. Here’s an idea.
Learn the trade, inside and out. Do the work.
More specifically, become a Master Plumber.
“A master plumber is a person who has earned the highest professional level of plumbing. To become a master plumber, you must complete an apprenticeship, become a licensed journeyman, and earn a license to be a master plumber.”
Once you’ve done that for a few years, you’ll have the ability to expand your one-person business by hiring some of the other plumbers you met as you were learning the trade. The ones who don’t want their own business.
At the beginning, they could use their own vehicles, but sooner or later, you would need to buy vans and have your logo added to them.
Then hopefully, your small business would get to the point where your role as the owner can change.
To managing staff and finding new business…not clearing drains and installing plumbing fixtures.
This is Important
I’m going to end this by posing two important questions to you.
Will you be the one to take advantage of this huge opportunity?
Or are you going to let someone else do it?
Note: you should be able to find a college in your area that offers courses. If not, there are specialty schools that offer comprehensive training and apprenticeships.
22. Painting Business
Painting homes and businesses, inside and out, is a time-consuming venture.
And while some consumers and small business owners are do-it-yourselfers when it comes to painting, a lot aren’t (ahem).
That means there’s a need for painters. I’d say a massive need. Especially painters who show up on time, clean up after themselves, and do great work.
The good news is that starting a painting business is relatively simple. Especially if you can paint well. Or would like to learn how. But you’ll need to market your services.
With that in mind, the folks over at Benjamin Moore® recently put together a simple, step-by-step guide on how to set up a painting business. You can check it out here.
Finally, this is a fairly high-margin business (the labor part), but you’ll need to manage your expenses well.
23. Garbage Can Sanitization
You need to file this one under “Businesses that are easy to start.” I’ll explain why.
I didn’t even know a business like this existed-until my brother-in-law told me a pays a guy to sanitize his outdoor garbage cans every year. That’s a problem. A marketing problem.
Note: although it’s not the most luxurious small business to start, the potential to make money is there. Especially if you come up with a unique (and thorough) marketing plan. Here’s the best part.
Startup costs are fairly low, because you don’t need lots of inventory except for heavy-duty gloves, concentrated sanitizing detergent, and a mobile water supply.
Add your marketing costs in, and you have a shot at making pretty good money. Especially if you have a few part-time employees and several vehicles equipped with mobile washing equipment.
Another way to use this idea?
Have your entrepreneurial teenager start this business.
And speaking of cleaning, here’s a low-cost opportunity to own your own expandable commercial cleaning business.
Investment: Low to Medium.
24. Home Theatre Designer/Installer
Televisions are getting larger. Obviously.
Plus, there are more TV channels and Streaming channels than ever.
And speaking of size, the U.S. market for home theatre is estimated to $13.1 billion. That’s huge.
In view of that, and the fact that the pandemic turned a lot of us into homebodies, there are plenty of homeowners you can offer your services to. Especially the ones with above-average income who don’t have the desire to hook their high-end entertainment systems up themselves. There’s more.
Think of the number of people who walk into a big box store to buy audio-visual equipment. How many of them know what they’re doing? Even with the volume of research data available, it’s still an overwhelming experience. So many choices.
If you’re interested in learning how to start this type of small business, there are hundreds of places you can get educated on proper home theatre design, setup, and installation.
Finally, if you decide to set up a Home Theatre business, you need to secure deals that only you can offer, by partnering with a local retailer or two who will gladly sell you their products. Investment: Low.
Amazon Small Business Ideas
Amazon has changed our world.
While it’s hurt retailers a lot, it’s also opened the door to folks who want to be in business for themselves using the power of the brand.
Here are two ways you can use Amazon to make money for yourself.
25. Amazon FBA Seller
In 2021, eCommerce sales in the U.S., reached $870.8 billion. And 41% of all of those eCommerce transactions took place on Amazon. Do you want in?
If so, one interesting way to get involved with Amazon is by becoming an Amazon Seller. In this case, someone who sells products-almost any product, and then outsources fulfillment to Amazon.
FBA, also known as Fulfillment by Amazon, is a service that helps Amazon sellers outsource shipping to Amazon.
With this fulfillment option, Amazon packs, ships, and delivers your products to customers.
In addition, Amazon handles customer service and returns for your orders.
Amazon stores and delivers products that you choose, direct to customers.
That means you’ll have the ability to sell tangible products through the world’s largest distribution platform.
And if you don’t have your own products to sell, you can find a few, private label them, and sell them yourself on Amazon.
If this is something you’d like to try, and you want to learn how to do it right, check out this online course.
Because being an Amazon FBA Seller is an interesting way to get into a business of your own. With the Amazon name behind you.
Investment: Low to Medium.
26. Amazon DSP
Speaking of Amazon, there’s another way you can get in business leveraging the Amazon name. But it requires a much higher investment.
That’s because you’d own and operate a fleet of Amazon delivery vehicles that will service a specific geographical area. Your title: Delivery Service Partner (DSP)
And unless you live somewhere super-remote, you’ve undoubtedly seen numerous Amazon vans delivering products to homeowners in your neighborhood. Like all the time, right? How would you like to have a piece of the revenue generated from these daily deliveries?
If so, you need to get a good understanding of how this business works, along with the investment amount needed to get it up and running.
Read all about the Amazon DSP Business Opportunity.
27. Freight Broker
Although this is not an “Amazon” business, it’s somewhat related, as it involves the movement of materials. And if you like action, this fast-paced small business idea offers plenty of it.
From Lance Surety Bonds:
“Freight brokers play an integral role in the national and international shipping industry. Not only do freight brokers ensure shipments reach their final destinations safely they also help truckers to stay on the road and maximize their earning potential. Sometimes referred to as transportation brokers or truck brokers, freight brokers are essential to the supply chain.”
And even if you don’t have experience in logistics or shipping, you can learn how to become a successful freight broker. How?
By taking a formal course or two. Like one of the ones featured here.
And just so you know, every freight broker is legally required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). And that requires you to be bonded and insured.
All in all, for a high-energy person, this is a small business opportunity worth looking into.
Online Small Business Ideas
On a monthly basis, 70,000 + people type “Make money online” into their favorite search engine.
That tells me a lot of people want to work at home on their computers.
There are lots of opportunities to do just that. But here’s the thing.
You need to separate the online scams from the real opportunities.
For example, it would behoove you to avoid answering ads with headlines that read, “Make Money From Home As A Medical Transcriptionist,” or “Check Out This 5-Figure Online Income Business.” Please.
And let’s not forget about those B.S. Multi-Level Marketing schemes. FTC warning
That said, there are a few opportunities in the online space that are legit. Like:
28. Website Designer
These days, a small business without a website is a business that’s not serious.
With that in mind, here are two questions for you.
Do you have an eye for design?
Are you comfortable with technology?
If so, and you like working on your PC/Mac a lot, there’s a huge need for website designers. Huuuuge! Here’s what you need to know.
To get into the business of web design, you’ll need to become an expert with all the latest web design tools.
In addition, you’ll need to become proficient with website building platforms. Like:
In addition, you’ll need to have at least basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), including how to use the top SEO tools. Sounds like a lot, right?
It is, but I promise it’s not as difficult as you think. You just need to do it a lot. Repetition, along with keeping up with the trends in SEO is key.
To conclude, if you’re interested in owning your own web design shop, check out this excellent list of courses. You can learn how to do this. And maybe you should.
29. Blogger/Freelance Writer
If you want to work from home…correction, if you want to work from anywhere, I encourage you to read this section in its entirety.
Let me start by saying that making money, good money as a blogger, is 100% possible. Keep reading.
About 17 years ago, I decided to reach out to George Nemeth.
George (who sadly passed away several years ago-his obit is a must-read), was the founder of Cleveland’s “Brewed Fresh Daily.” It was a popular blog focused on small business and entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.
I started reading it, and it quickly become an everyday thing for me. I liked it a lot…especially George’s fearless tone.
At the time, the internet was just starting to become a part of more and more lives. Because of that, I became interested in finding out how to leverage this new power. So I called George.
By then, we had gotten to know each other pretty well. He liked what I did for a living and I guess he must have liked me as a person, because without hesitation, he agreed to meet with me to talk about my online ideas.
“George, I’m thinking about starting a blog. Do you think I should?”
“Joel…you have to do this. It will help you build credibility, plus you’ll be able to reach a ton of people.”
“But I don’t really know how to write, George.”
“Yes you do, Joel. Really. Just start writing, and you’ll see what I mean.” So I did.
And George was right. I wish he could see me now. He’d be so darn proud. He was a good guy.
Fast-forward to now, and with the help of lots of other teachers and mentors, The Franchise King Blog is (as far as I can tell), the longest-running blog in franchising.
The Money Part Of Blogging
Have I become a millionaire because of my blog?
Heck to the no.
But my writing has led to several profitable opportunities.
Like when Wiley Publishing approached me to write what they felt was badly needed at the time: a new book on how to buy and research franchises. That was directly a result of having a blog. Now here comes the good part.
You can do it too.
Will you get a book deal with a nice advance like I did? I have no idea.
Will you get enough traffic to sell some ad space on your website? Maybe.
Can you add products and services to your website/blog that you can make a little (or a lot) income from as an affiliate? You could.
Here’s the deal.
If this is something you’re interested in, it’s worth a shot. Especially if you can write…or at least be willing to learn how. Here’s an idea.
Take Jon Morrow’s free video course on how to start a blog.
Jon is an amazing writer and blogger (so is his story). Plus, he’s a good guy who has taught me a lot over the years. And I know you’ll like his course a lot.
In addition, Jon teaches an amazing writing course. One that’s focused on how to become an extremely profitable freelance writer. You’ll find it here.
FYI: lots of bloggers provide freelance writing services for small businesses…including me. It’s a terrific side-gig that can turn into a full-time business.
Finally, if you can make it work, owning and operating a blog devoted to a topic you know lots about or are passionate about, is a great business to own.
P.S. Don’t forget video blogging.
If you’re comfortable in front of a webcam, you can do blogging via video!
Miscellaneous Small Business Ideas And Opportunities
30. Custom Imprinting Business
Companies and consumers always have a need for custom imprinted products.
I’m talking about everything from hoodies and pens to customized party favors and more.
But to be substantially different in this huge industry, you need to have the ability to offer something truly unique.
And that’s exactly what the business opportunity Rene Rodriguez came up with offers.
But to do his small business idea justice, you need to see it for yourself. Check out this unusual small business idea. What do you think? It’s certainly different, right?
Investment: Low to Medium.
31. Vehicle Detailer
With today’s vehicles averaging close to $50,000, it’s important for owners to keep them maintained inside and out.
That’s one of the reasons why auto detailers have plenty of work now, with more expected in the future.
If you’d like to become part of this growing service industry, you can go with a franchise, or start a detailing business on your own.
If you want to go into the business using the franchise model, Detail Experts is the dominant player in the space.
Plus, they’re the world’s first eco-friendly auto and truck wash franchise. Specifically, they offer a patent-pending method of cleaning that uses 99% less water than their competitors. Here’s their franchise website.
Here are more franchise ideas in the automotive sector
Now if you want to start a vehicle detailing business on your own, you have two ways to do it.
- Mobile only
- Lease a location.
With a mobile detailing business you go to the customer.
It’s convenient for them, and the growth of your small business happens when you add additional mobile detailing vans or trucks.
The other way is by opening a shop.
That way may be more expensive than a mobile detailing business, but there are several factors that could make it close. Like your monthly rental cost, payroll, utilities, insurance and more.
Of course the volume of business you can do if you have enough space and employees can be pretty good. And that can lead to more profit.
Take a look at both business models and see what makes sense for you.
P.S. if you do end up starting a detailing business, you need to focus on top-level customer service. Period.
Investment: Medium to High.
32. Fishing Charter Business
This small business idea brings with it an unusual requirement.
You’ll need to be located near water.
Not a creek, though. It needs to be a large river system, a lake, or an ocean.
You must love fishing. And you need to be a people person. Why?
Because you’re going to meet all types of people from near and far.
But what do you need to start a fishing guide business?
According to The Fishing Wire, this is what you’ll need to do right away:
- Get the required U.S. Coast Guard license
- Obtain a guide’s license for the state you live in, if necessary
- Obtain the appropriate insurance
- Buy the gear necessary to run fishing charters
- Set up the business entity
- Drum up business
Simple enough. Wait. There’s one more thing you’ll need to make it official. And it’s not a big deal.
This 27-foot Sportsman® fishing boat will cost you around $170,000 give or take. I found it for you on Boats.com. Pretty nice boat.
Note: I’ve gone on fishing charters before. They cost around $500-$600 for a half-day, plus tips. And well over $1000 for a full day.
That said, if you decide to do this, and you only invest in one boat, you won’t become a millionaire.
But you will be outdoors doing what you love.
And it will be your own business.
Today’s modern math should be enough to make you consider how lucrative tutoring could be. Right?
Not to mention the difficulty some kids have understanding chemistry. Or physics. And let’s not forget the market for SAT preparation.
From Oases Online:
“Children in the early elementary school grades have a lot of work to do. To clarify, they are learning mathematical building blocks and acquiring reading comprehension. When kids struggle to master these early skills they can have difficulty grasping more challenging concepts. However, the school system cannot always offer added support. Consequently, “‘These gaps become greater as children get older, but tutoring can support their ability to acquire comprehension skills and decipher concepts before the situation becomes too stressful,’” says Charlene Andersson, an educator for eighteen years who tutors grade-school students in Valencia, Calif.”
So if you’re a former educator, and you feel you have what it takes to tutor students, there’s money to be made (along with kids you can help) in tutoring. College students can do well at this too.
With that in mind, you can certainly make a business out of tutoring.
For instance, you can do it as a solo practitioner. But since you’re the business, your income will be somewhat limited.
The other way is to start a tutoring business?
Hire a group of tutors under you.
In this case, you’ll secure new clients via marketing and referrals, and then set up schedules for your tutors, and get a piece of what they make.
That being said, you can run this as a home-based business, and have your employees go to your clients homes, or…
You can set up a commercial space with desks, chairs etc., and have your students come in to get tutored.
To conclude, whatever way you decide to start this business, as long as you have a decent size network of parents who are willing and able to pay for tutors, and you can stay organized, this small business idea shows all the signs of being a winner.
Final Thoughts On These Small Business Ideas
Could one of these 33 small business ideas be right for you?
Can you see yourself starting one of these businesses?
If there are one or two of them you like, dig in a little. Find out what you can. Talk to people who are in the business. And who knows?
Your life may look a lot different a few years from now.
Because you’re a successful small business owner.
A person without a boss.