Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Ray Phelan
The best small business ideas are born at the intersection of passion, skills, strategic thinking – and timing.
Last year, it might have looked like a great time to open that fancy Crossfit microbrewery.
But good thing you didn’t, as you’d have been shuttered for most of 2020.
That’s why many of the small business ideas in this article are low-cost online businesses that you can start from home.
In fact, this blog you’re reading came from this approach.
I started this blog as a small business idea in 2020 to make money online.
It now brings in over $25,000/month
In this guide, we’ll cover 107 small business ideas to help you start brainstorming your next entrepreneurial venture. Whether you want to start a part-time side hustle or full-time operation, this guide is for you.
Let’s get started.
What Are the Best Small Business Ideas?
Here is a list of the 107 best small business ideas to start in 2021.
Best Online Small Business Ideas
1. Best Online Small Business Idea: Start a Profitable Blog.
When you start a low cost online business, you’re most likely selling one of three things:
- Your time (coaching or consulting).
- Your own products (ecommerce or SaaS).
- Someone else’s products (affiliate marketing or ads).
With a blog, you can sell all of these from one website and make the most money from any low cost online business idea out there.
For example, when I first started my blog in 2020, I sold high-end SEO consulting services. Once I got more traffic, I added a few digital resources and sold them to my email list.
Today, I’m in over 200 affiliate programs and make over $25,000/month from this blog promoting SaaS software with a profit margin of 88%.
So how do you get started?
First, you need to reject common blogging advice and learn how to blog like a business from day one.
A lot of common advice from successful bloggers (who all started 5-10 years ago mind you) is to “write about your passions” so that you can make a decent side income within a few years.
I never liked this generic advice. I always felt that it was written to appeal to the widest possible audience and it never gave tactical step-by-step guidance on how to grow from zero.
The entire reason I started this blog in 2020 was to prove that most blogging advice is outdated and you absolutely can make life-changing money in months, not years.
You just need to scale and treat it like a business.
If you’re interested in learning how to start a blog and follow the exact formula that made me a million dollars in under two years, check out my ultimate guide to learn how to start a blog.
Some of the steps I cover in my 15,000+ word blogging guide include:
- Choosing your blog’s niche is based on four primary business factors, not your passions.
- How to choose your domain name and set up web hosting for as low as $2.95/month with a company like Bluehost.
- How to install a simple WordPress theme along with all of the relevant plugins bloggers need.
- Getting to know SEO tools and performing keyword research to generate traffic to your site.
- Becoming well-versed in search engine optimization (SEO) writing to help your content rank.
- Scaling your guest blogging and link-building strategies to build Domain Authority.
- Monetizing your blog with the right tactics at the right stage of your blog’s growth.
If you’re ready to get started now, I recommend you sign-up with Bluehost for $2.95/month, which is 63% off their regular price.
Blogging is the ultimate low-risk, high-reward business idea, and my top pick.
With a low barrier-to-entry and high profits, it’s a great idea, even while working full-time from home.
2. Online Courses and Coaching.
It has become easier to share your knowledge or expertise via online course platforms. If you are a subject matter expert or passionate about something, then you can convert it into a substantial income.
You can get started today with a One-Month Free Trial of the Thinkific Pro Planwith my link below.
Offer online coaching classes to students, build a community to help while building your online coaching business. You can set up a Facebook page or even a podcast where you can reach out to people looking for online coaching classes. All of these coaching and training-based business models can be done at a low cost and at home.
3. Start an Ecommerce Business.
With COVID accelerating e-commerce for 4-6 years, retailers are moving online faster than ever before. With ecommerce, there are multiple routes you can go – Amazon FBA, dropshipping, or full-fledged manufacturing your own products and selling them on your own website. Dropshipping is a good option for beginners since you don’t have to fulfill orders or ship them yourself or have an actual store.
Dropshipping is a process where online retailers post products from wholesalers, but the dropshipping suppliers manage all of the shipping. The retailer just has to generate online orders and send the shipping information to the wholesaler.
Here’s a breakdown of how dropshipping works:
For a list of business ideas in dropshipping, you first need to do some market research and identify products in high demand. You can also check top-selling products on sites like Amazon and Google Shopping to get ideas.
You can learn more about dropshipping in my ultimate guide to dropshipping.
If you want to build a website to do this, there are a few routes you can take. If you’re starting from scratch, I recommend you get started by creating a Wix website.
They are the easiest-to-use ecommerce platform and come with all the marketing tools you need.
Selling products online is a simple process:
- Choose your ecommerce platform.
- Upload or add product information to your store.
- Choose a theme and design your web pages.
- Set up settings for taxes and shipping.
- Test your shopping cart functionality and do final QA checks.
- Launch your ecommerce site.
- Start a business (It’s really that simple)
While it’s easy to launch an ecommerce site, the challenge becomes how to get website traffic.
I wrote a full guide to ecommerce marketing which includes the top eight strategies to drive traffic and sales.
If you’re a physical retail business (or plan to have a storefront), your best option is to go with Square Online.
They are the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses looking to move online. Square Online syncs with its popular Square POS system and offers a lot of unique features for small businesses, like the ability to book online appointments, online food ordering for restaurant websites, and tools for in-person retail.
4. Start a Podcast.
Podcasting is witnessing a meteoric rise. Back in 2006, only 22% of adults in the U.S. listened to podcasts. Now that number is over 75%.
You can make big money too. Just take Joe Rogan for example, who was paid $100 million to move his podcast exclusively to Spotify.
So how do you get start your business?
The first step is to plan your podcast episodes and get your software and equipment.
Next, you need to sign up for podcast hosting. A podcast host is a service that stores your audio files and distributes them to the major podcast networks like iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, etc.
You can read about all of the equipment you need to get started and the best podcast hosts in my guide to podcast hosting.
5. Sell Custom Printed Products.
Another option for ecommerce is to create a brand and sell custom products like T-shirts, mugs, stickers, bags, and more.
There are a lot of websites that take care of the logistics for you.
For example, here’s how the process goes with a company like Printify:
- Pick one of over 200 products you’d like to sell.
- Use a mockup generator to apply designs to your products based on images and graphics.
- Order samples to make sure your products have the quality and feel that you’re looking for.
- Publish your products and sync them automatically with an ecommerce platform like Shopify.
- When you make a sale, your product is put into production and you don’t have to manage any manufacturing or shipping.
To succeed with a custom printed product business, you need excellent designs, a strong brand, and good marketing skills to generate sales.
6. Graphic Design.
Companies are always on a lookout for graphic designers to help them with their brand image.
From designing marketing collateral like banners, posters, and logos to designing landing pages and websites, the opportunities are vast.
You can pitch your design skills to small business owners or individuals to start your own business. Graphic designers can also join freelance websites like Flexjobs to find relevant work.
If you have prior knowledge in this field, getting new clients should be relatively easy. However, learning the basics of graphic design from scratch is also simple, with a lot of online courses and tutorials available.
First, you leverage graphic design software like Adobe InDesign or Photoshop to learn the foundation of graphic design.
Alternatively, you can use other user-friendly online tools like Visme to hone your graphic design skills further.
Here are some amazing graphic design courses that will give you a great head start in this career:
- Fundamentals of Graphic Design (Coursera)
- Graphic Design Fundamentals: Getting Started (Creative Live)
I recommend you get started with Adobe Photoshop as part of Creative Cloud. Try Adobe Photoshop
7. Web Development.
There are over 4 billion internet users in the world and 6 out of 10 small businesses have a website. Front-end web development is a valuable skill to cater to the surging demand for launching new websites.
You can start by developing websites for your friends and family to polish your skills. While there are a lot of website builders that can help small businesses create their own websites, developers are needed for more custom jobs (and new businesses are always looking for efficient coders at cost-effective prices).
You can kickstart your career by offering competitive prices for your services and then slowly transform it into a more lucrative business plan by solidifying your portfolio.
8. Instagram Influencer.
With the rise of social media channels like Instagram, consumers are increasingly turning to niche influencers to get product advice.
The truth is, most influencers have trouble actually influencing purchase decisions. Sure, we like to look at their photos, but will we actually buy a product that they’re recommending? Most often, no.
That’s why you should cater to a small, engaged community. It’s not all about follower counts, but engagement.
First, you have to choose your niche. It can be anything from tech gadgets and marketing to beauty or fitness. Make sure to select a niche you’re passionate about and can create a lot of content for.
Next, you have to build a solid Instagram following by posting interesting content and discuss helpful things that are relevant to your target audience.
There are a lot of social media marketing tools to help you schedule posts in advance so that you’re not always struggling to come up with new posts.
Once you build a strong following, you can get paid to promote products via sponsored content.
It requires a lot of hustle and not everyone can make it as an influencer.
But people with the right marketing skills, know-how, (and thousands of Instagram followers) can earn anything from $500 to $6,000 per post. And if it can publish a few sponsored posts a week, it can be a profitable business.
You can check out my full guide to making money on Instagram for more tips.
9. Phone Case Business.
There are more than 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world, and the number is increasing every day.
Since pretty much everyone has a smartphone, smartphone cases are one of the top-selling mobile phone accessories. As a result, some mobile case sellers can rake in 6 or 7-figure incomes by selling a high volume of cases.
The competition is pretty fierce, but you can get started by testing out your phone case ideas with Amazon FBA before creating a full-fledged website.
When designing your cases, go for unique designs that cater to a specific audience.
You need to be creative and innovative to create a collection of smartphone cases that your audience would purchase. One popular Etsy store managed to sell handmade cases worth $60,000 in its first year.
The idea is to find your own unique niche.
You can easily list your collection of new products on ecommerce giants like Amazon and eBay. Once you start making some money, you should then look into launching your own ecommerce website on a platform like Shopify to improve your profit margins.
10. Affiliate Marketing.
It’s been a buzzword in the marketing arena for quite some time.
When someone asks how to make passive money online, a lot of people automatically envision affiliate marketing. Brands that want to sell products online create new affiliate programs and allow affiliates (publishers and bloggers) to promote their products and earn commissions.
According to one blog income report study, bloggers making between $7,500 — $25k per month make 38% of their income from affiliate marketing.
In simple terms, it’s a business model where bloggers and influencers recommend services or products they like or find useful and earn a percentage of profit for each sale that follows. It is a great form of passive income and the perfect business model for bloggers.
Here’s a rundown of how affiliate marketing works:
To get started, register with networks like ShareASale, Awin, Rakuten, Clickbank, or Skimlinks to start making money from the type of content being published on the website. The income will gradually grow along with the growth of your website – Sky’s the limit here
To get more pertinent insights, check out this blog post of mine about the 105+ best affiliate programs to join this year.
11. Virtual Assistant.
You can use your excellent organizational skills to start your business and create an extra stream of income as a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants (VAs) are in high demand by corporations, freelancers, and every kind of business.
It is also an excellent opportunity to know successful and influential people from different fields of work to build your professional network and learn from experts. At the same time, it also provides you the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world while developing your professional skills.
While it’s typically a lower-paying home business, it can hone your digital skills and be the first step in starting a more lucrative freelance career.
People are always looking for virtual assistants on freelance job websites like Flexjobs.
12. Social Media Manager.
Billions of people are on social media – it’s natural that there are jobs and businesses to be sprung from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you have experience with social media marketing and know how the ad network operates, you can start a consulting business on social media.
Everyone from small businesses to large corporations need help getting their message out there on social media.
There are a ton of different responsibilities and services a social media manager can provide:
Create content for brands.
Create custom ad campaigns and track ROI.
Integrate content with other email marketing and PPC strategies.
Analyze results, A/B test, and tweak campaigns.
You have to stay ahead of trends in this constantly-changing landscape too. For example, TikTok is currently a huge opportunity for major brands, and many don’t even have an account or post regularly.
LinkedIn is also a growing platform for digital marketing to businesses and connecting with new clients.
If you’re looking for a job to gain social media experience, Flexjobs, CareerBuilder, and Fiverr offer a lot of opportunities related to social media management.
Once you have the necessary skillset, you can start your own consulting business and charge either a performance fee or monthly retainer for your work.
13. Travel Business Consultant.
While it doesn’t seem like there may be a lot of jobs in travel, it’s still a lucrative industry. While travel agents are virtually gone, persons are now looking for help managing their Airbnb listings and increasing their rental income from vacation properties.
It takes a lot of marketing skills to help property owners increase their booking rates. Airbnb and VRBO bookings aren’t just going to happen without visibility, professional photography, and helpful customer service.
Create a website and build pages on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram to promote your business and connect with people who want to increase their rental income. When you develop a solid customer base, you can also collaborate with travel agencies to cut exclusive deals for your customers.
To make it a full-time career, you can also consider earning a certification in travel consulting.
14. Interior Designer.
Over the years, people have become more tasteful about how every little detail of their home’s design. There is always the need for interior designers who can create visually-pleasing and functional living spaces.
Plus, people that hire interior designers are usually on the upper end of the income bracket. And there are plenty of opportunities to get into corporate interior design, where large businesses pay you to design hotel lobbies, corporate offices, resorts, and more.
To start, check out some ideas on Pinterest, which offers plenty of interior design ideas to take inspiration from. Then use your own personal and professional network to build a business around your design skills. A portfolio is huge here, so you may also consider taking free work and working with home developers and realtors to stage homes before making the leap into full-time entrepreneurship.
Here is the list of free interior design courses you can opt for to get a formal education.
15. Wedding Photographer.
The price of wedding photography has increased over the years, and it is a good option for an artist who needs to make an income. Professional wedding photographers can charge anywhere from $2,500 – $10,000+ for each photoshoot.
First, you can build your clientele by searching online and registering on aggregators, including MyWed, to gain clients. You can create business accounts and reach out to potential clients through Facebook and Instagram.
To hone your skills, you can either take online wedding photography classes or learn by reading this detailed guide. Here is the list of wedding photography gearyou need to start your wedding photography business.
This business idea also requires a solid portfolio. So choose a website theme for photographers and work on building your inbound traffic and word of mouth marketing.
16. WordPress Website Consultant.
WordPress is the go-to platform for small businesses and budding bloggers to start a website of their own. If you are well-versed in setting up WordPress websites, use this skill to build a business.
Apart from WordPress consulting, you can also offer digital marketing services to your clients to diversify your revenue streams.
If you build a successful small business as a WordPress website consultant, you can even transform your business into a full-fledged digital marketing agency.
You can learn more about building websites on WordPress through courses on Skillshare.
17. Drive an Uber or Lyft.
Driving an Uber can help you earn a decent amount of side money. Apart from driving, you need a comfortable and clean vehicle, and the ability to deal with a lot of different personalities.
Any person with a vehicle and a valid license may be eligible. There is currently no background check, and you can see all the requirements on Uber’s website to know if this small business is right for you.
However, before making your final decision, make sure to factor in the costs of gas, wear and tear, toll charges, and maintenance to identify actual profits per month. You can use this helpful calculator to calculate your earning potential.
18. Develop an App.
There is an app for anything and everything – and it may seem like a saturated market to get into.
However, there are still a lot of ways to create ideas for new apps, or improve the user experience for a current app.
One benefit is that you don’t need super-advanced coding skills to build certain types of apps. You can check out this course on Creative Live to learn about how you can build apps with little or no coding skills.
A lot of market research needs to be done in order to have an app that is actually seen in the app store.
Research the most successful apps in your niche, look into their marketing strategies and every other detail – their description, cover art, reviews, etc. You may be able to find a unique app idea that people are looking for.
19. Buy and Sell Domain Names.
Buying and selling domain names is one of the original online business ideas, and there are customers who are still looking to buy.
Trading domains is a tactics almost as old as the Internet itself. The domain name Insure.com was bought for $16 million in 2009. Even though old, valuable domains are mainly taken, if you get lucky and jump on a trending domain name, then you can flip it for extra money.
The key is to identify interesting blog names that have the potential to sell later. Buy them with cheap hosting plans and place them in an auction.
20. Freelance Content Writing.
Content writers are in huge demand. If you have a knack for crafting engaging stories and writing articles, then you can turn your skills into a lucrative freelance writing business.
From website copy and sales pages to blog posts and email newsletters, you can write content for a variety of purposes. Experienced freelancers earn anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000 per week. You can also take up editing and proofreading work and use the latest grammar tools to help clients publish and upload error-free work.
Freelance copywriting gives you the opportunity to earn money from any location. Check out my article on freelance writing jobs to polish your skills further.
If you are starting out, you can find work on websites like FlexJobs.
Once you build your portfolio, you can even launch your own website and generate inbound leads. One other option is to connect with potential clients on social media platforms like LinkedIn and offer anything from content writing to SEO writing.
21. Data Analysis.
Online businesses need to be data-driven to make more informed decisions. Talented data analysts, who can make sense of big data and develop actionable insights, are in high demand. If you’re great at crunching numbers and have sufficient digital marketing knowledge, then this business is for you.
Get comfortable with analytics tools like Google Analytics and data visualization tools like Tableau to improve your resume.
The data analyst industry offers good pay for full-time jobs as well. An average data analyst earns around $60,000 per year.
You can learn more about data analysis by taking online courses from edX and Coursera. Once you build your data analytics expertise, you can find remote data analysis jobs on platforms like Flexjobs. Develop your skills and you can then build a profitable data consulting business.
22. Airbnb Host.
You can make the most out of your unused space by listing your property on Airbnb. It has become a lucrative business for millions of homeowners who want to earn some extra side income by renting out their space.
Aside from renting out your room or apartment, it also provides an excellent opportunity to meet different people from all over the world. However, you might need to stay available on call to help out your guests with local requirements. You should also check if there are any rent control measures in your local area to be aware of.
You also have the option to enhance this business by offering food, personalized experiences like city tours, errand services, welcome gift baskets and transport on a chargeable basis. This article from Fundera talks in detail about how to calculate your earning potential from Airbnb.
Start earning money as an Airbnb host today. Become an Airbnb Host
23. Personal Trainer or Wellness Coach.
Personal fitness trainers are always in high demand. If you’re into fitness and know the technicalities of workouts and diet plans, then you can make some extra money by helping people become physically fit.
Once you find the right clients and build a stellar reputation, the job is both physically and financially beneficial. With a lot of temporary gym closures and social distancing in place, it may be beneficial to start an at-home fitness business, where you travel to the client’s locations or workout outside.
There’s also the option of starting your own fitness blog to share your fitness tips with a wider audience and position yourself as an authority in your niche.
Strive to learn more about fitness training and earn certifications to add more credibility to your profession. You can also opt to become a wellness or mental health coach and offer continuing education credits like Core Wellness.
24. Create a YouTube Channel.
With the rise of live streaming and video-on-demand, YouTube has matured from just a video platform to a content-on-demand powerhouse.
While the market has become saturated, there are still plenty of opportunities to make money on YouTube.
First, pick a niche you’re passionate about to create engaging and unique videos. And of course, the more entertaining content you post, the more views and subscribers you’ll gain over time.
Many wildly-popular YouTubers earn millions by posting videos. However, an average YouTuber earns around $3 to $5 per 1,000 views.
Before starting your YouTube channel, learn about YouTube guidelines so that you can monetize your content. Also, invest in a good camera and microphone to make quality videos for greater earning potential.
Your expert knowledge of another language can help you earn some money. Translators are always in demand, but many high-quality translators are rare to find.
26. Tour Guide.
If you are living in a tourist hotspot and love interacting with new people, then you can easily become a tour guide. However, to offer this service you also need to have extensive knowledge of your surroundings along with its history and culture.
You can launch your own tour guide company to help tourists get the best experience during their travel. On top of that, you can offer a little something extra by arranging vintage vehicles or unique local food for the travelers to stand apart from other travel agencies.
Tour guides also earn handsome tips if they delight their clients with their services. Read this detailed article to find out the qualities you need in a tour guide.
27. Stock Photographers.
From websites and banners to social media and marketing, stock images are used everywhere. If you have a DSLR and decent photoshop skills, then you can easily sell your images to stock photo websites including Pexels, Unsplash, and Shutterstock, among others.
Every time a client uses your photo, you get paid with a markup amount. You can later build your own website to secure better corporate projects.
Before considering the profession, learn about the type of equipment and investment, you would need to start stock photography. I recently put together a list of 18 best photo editing software for photographers, which might come in handy while building your stock photography business.
Ghostwriters might not get the credit for what they write, but they sure make a lot of money. Jeff Hadden has made millions just by writing for famous and successful people. He started writing as a side gig and ended up making a lucrative career out of it.
You can secure ghostwriting gigs on FlexJobs. Beginners can expect to earn anything between $15 to $30 per hour depending upon their quality of work. Once you gain experience and develop a portfolio, your remuneration can increase exponentially.
Learn the ethics and rules of ghostwriting before entering the arena.
If you know the art of mixing beats and have a taste for music, then you have the ability to become the DJ of your next local gig. Famous DJs usually earn thousands of dollars per month by doing a bunch of gigs.
However, it is not that simple. You need to learn the basics of sound mixing, design, and production of music before cutting to the professional scene. Go through this guide to get a better idea of how to get started.
I’d suggest you first take an online DJ course to understand the nuances of art to build a successful career as a DJ.
Style and fashion are always a topic of discussion. Naturally, being a good tailor is a great business opportunity. Your expertise to design and make designer-clothes within a limited budget can help you get access to a wide array of customers.
According to Entrepreneur.com, the business of alteration and tailoring requires a minimal investment of $2000. But you always have the option to start small and build your business gradually.
You can take an online fashion designing course from Oxford Home Study to gain more technical expertise in clothing and styling.
Baking can make you a lot of money and seems like an easy small business idea. However, you should have a knack to make scrumptious delicacies, then you will be able to sell them at premium prices. People always give more value and preference to hand-made and gourmet baked products.
To get started, you also need to stock up some essential cooking equipment.
You can start by cooking something as simple as your mom’s perfect recipe for cookies to perfect your skills. Later, you can master a bunch of niche recipes to create your own USP and command premium rates on your products.
You can find free baking classes on Skillshare to master your baking skills further.
32. Freelance Content Marketing.
Startups, small businesses, and influencers are always looking to scale up their online presence by promoting high-quality, engaging content.
Your expertise in providing highly-effective content marketing strategies can help you get some high-ticket clients. Once you start building a portfolio of established clientele, you stand a chance to earn thousands of dollars per project.
You can start looking into your existing network to find out about the companies that are seeking content marketers to build their brand.
Content marketing is a dynamic skill set, and as technology keeps on evolving, you need to be on your toes to stay updated. Keep following top content marketing blogs to stay in the groove.
33. Freelance eBook Writing.
Access to cheaper or even free self-publishing tools has made it easier to write and publish a book. With around 89 million Americans reading e-books, it’s a lucrative opportunity.
However, you should not go full time with this profession as only established authors earn more than $10,000 a year through e-books. Instead, start small, keep writing for others to make a name, and then probably foray into writing your own eBooks.
You can leverage it as your boutique side business for extra income until you hit the sweet spot. Meanwhile, keep researching on the right strategies to write an eBook.
34. Invest your Money.
If your money is lying unused in banks and earning you minimal interest, then you might consider investing in more lucrative schemes. Warren Buffet is the most prominent example of being a smart investor who has made a fortune out of his intelligent investing habit.
You can start small with short term trading while learning the ropes of the stock market. Invest smartly in value stocks to grow your wealth steadily.
You can also take online stock market courses to get a better understanding of other financial investment options like cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
35. Build a Niche Website.
You can always find readers who are willing to read about the subject you are passionate about. For instance, if you start a blog about solo travel, then you can write valuable content about your personal travel experience that readers find useful. Make it engaging and informative to offer value to your audience.
However, you need to invest time in building your audience. You can also do market research to identify whether your niche is feasible in the long run as a money-making gig or not. Sift through the internet to search for ideas to build a profitable niche website.
36. Car Washing and Detailing.
The majority of car owners never get the time to wash their cars and keep them squeaky clean. With the increasing number of car owners, it is a great business idea to start earning handsome income in your free time.
All you need is a sponge, car shampoo, tire black, hose, and some networking skills to get the business. A mobile car wash service has the potential to generate a revenue of up to $1,00,000 in a year. So, you might even want to make it your full-time business later.
Keep researching new car washing techniques to keep yourself updated.
37. Carpet Cleaning Business.
Every home has at least one carpet, and they are bound to get dirty. People are always in search for a reliable carpet cleaner to get rid of allergens, dust, bugs, and stains.
You need to invest in a good vacuum cleaner, cleaning agents, and carpet brushes to launch this business. Do market research on prices to offer the best options. You can start by asking around in your neighborhood for house cleaning service requirements.
Make sure to keep on learning about new carpet cleaning services and techniques to upgrade your knowledge. Further down the road, you can even hire many carpet cleaners and launch your own carpet cleaning company.
38. Child Care.
Singe parents and nuclear families are always short of time to take care of their children. Hence, there is always a demand for compassionate childcare professionals. It is a lucrative career and small business option if you love being around kids.
No one wants to leave their children with someone they don’t trust, so make sure to be dependable, caring and honest. And before taking the plunge, be sure about the age-group of the kids you are willing to look after.
As you gain experience, you can also open your own day-care center to look after the kids and expand your business. To increase your chances of finding success in this arena, you might want to earn formal certification in childcare and learn about local requirements.
39. Computer Repair.
There are more than 1 billion computers in use right now. No wonder the market for credible computer repair services is huge. According to statistics, the computer repair industry earned a total revenue of $19 billion in 2018.
Given the high repair costs at authorized service stations, you have a great opportunity to earn money by offering cost-effective repair services. If you’re a handyman, You can start by approaching small businesses and neighboring homes to get computer repair projects. Gradually you can expand your team to take bigger orders from medium or larger enterprises.
From learning to fix networking issues to replace the crashed hard drive, opportunities are immense in this field.
If you have the attitude and body for the modeling business, then this gig requires is for you. Marketers and fashion designers are always hunting for fresh models to launch their products.
However, it is important to assess what you are subscribing to. Talk to people who are already in the industry, find a mentor who can help at an early stage of your career, and make the right contacts. The job may look glamorous, but it demands a lot of commitment and hard work to reach the top.
41. Dog Walking.
If you are a dog lover, then you can help dog owners while earning a handsome amount. Many dog owners don’t have the time to take their dogs out for a walk, or need a pet sitter. As per AVMA, more than 50 percent of households have pets.
You can also take the help of mobile applications such as Wag to connect with dog owners.
Here’s the application process to apply:
Dogwalker is another great website that can help you connect with dog owners to get your business started.
Once you understand this type of side business, you can start your own dog walking and pet business. Expand it further by offering dog grooming, play dates, pet sitting, and other related services.
42. Real Estate Broker.
The real estate market is back to booming in the USA, and though not quite a boom, it’s picking up in the UK too. However, people want to avoid the hassles of getting the paperwork done and legal permissions required to acquire their property so they are looking to a broker or online letting agent to facilitate.
You can broker the deals to help buyers and sellers have smooth transactions. Build a healthy pool of clients by assisting them in buying and selling commercial and residential properties. You can also build a small sales team to approach the customers more efficiently.
Do proper research on how to become a real estate broker, take up required real estate courses, pass the examination with good grades to properly facilitate your real estate career.
43. Custom Furniture Supplier.
Custom-made furniture is in high demand. If you have an eye for creativity and are good at building furniture from scratch, then you can convert your craft into a great money-making opportunity. People are ready to pay a hefty premium for a great degree of personalization and customization.
The number of people who want to make their homes look authentic is growing exponentially, and so is the business opportunity. You can get business by contacting local homes and listing your products on platforms like eBay and Amazon.
44. Handmade Jewelry.
There are huge opportunities in the industry, with its growth projected at 5-6% per year. With no big corporate players in the field, the entry to this segment is also easy.
You can start selling online to earn a name, and if you end up becoming a household name, you can even open up a brick and mortar storefront.
Take a diploma or opt for online courses to understand the nuances of jewelry design and its making.
45. Human Billboard.
If you have no problems with parading around promoting stuff and grabbing eyeballs from strangers, then you can make some good bucks by becoming a human billboard. Brands can either rent out your beard or hair to carve their logo. All you need to do is to walk around in the markets and crowded public places to get noticed.
You can earn from $5 per day to $7,000 for a contract of five years. However, the business idea is quite radical and might appeal only to a bunch of people – but it pays.
The average human billboard salary can be as high as $50,242 per year.
The job of a human billboard is most suited for students who want to earn a quick buck to meet their tuition fees and other daily expenses.
46. Purchase a Website.
If you have an eye for spotting the right business for investment, then you can look for purchasing an existing website. Several websites on the internet have great potential but need an expert to make it possible.
You can buy a website at a discounted price, build its audience and business to sell at a larger premium later.
Here are the places where you can buy a website:
Website trading is a real thing, and people make a lot of money through it. The prices of a website usually depend on its traffic, domain name, revenue, and potential to scale up.
47. Mobile Laundry Service.
Laundry service is worth more than $40 billion in the USA. People will never stop wearing clothes, and as a result, they would continue to require laundry service.
Several home pickup laundry services have mushroomed over the years, but there is still potential to open a reliable mobile laundry service for locals by offering better services at a lower cost.
You can do a course in retail laundry and cleaning to understand the proper usage of chemicals and fabrics.
48. Junk Removal Service.
Well, it is not a conventional business idea that you usually pitch to your peers, but it has got great potential. You get the opportunity to clear the junk and make it accessible to recycling units for a sustainable future.
You can also get a franchise of big companies like JunkLuggers to kickstart your business. To get started, you would need proper equipment like a truck, shovels, garbage cans, sledgehammer, and more.
Once you set up your junk removal business, go through this guide to get an idea of how to make money with your new endeavor.
49. Wedding Planner.
Weddings have become more opulent, organized, and resource-intensive. To manage all aspects of the wedding efficiently, couples these days look for credible wedding and party planners, and they are willing to pay good money.
You can jump into the wedding planning business right away if you have contacts with professionals like good caterers, florists, performers, travel agents, photographer DJs, and more. Or use your social media accounts to create relationships.
The process is time-intensive and capital intensive but can bring abundant rewards. An average wedding planner earns around $40 per hour for their services. You can also get a diploma in wedding planning to take your skills to the next level and prove your credibility in the industry.
50. Personal Chef.
Becoming a personal chef can help you earn big bucks for your exemplary cooking skills. The majority of people are too busy with their profession and get little time for themselves. You can help such professionals out by preparing delicious food of their choice.
The personal chef job market is expected to grow by 5.2% between 2016 and 2026. The demand for chefs capable of cooking healthy and delicious meals is only increasing with time.
You can learn how to make new dishes on YouTube or take a certification in personal cooking to make yourself more employable. This can even lead to you starting a catering business, becoming a party planner, opening up your own brewery, restaurant, bar, or coffee shop where your culinary skills are put on display to the public.
51. Contract Customer Service (CSR).
Many organizations cut down their costs by outsourcing customer service to freelancers. If you are good at communicating and have sufficient management skills, then you can easily take customer service jobs.
Freelancing websites, including UpWork and Fiverr, offer a lot of contract-based customer service. If you already have the relevant experience, then you can also build a virtual team and start your own customer service agency.
52. Pet Grooming.
Pet grooming has become a thriving small business idea in areas where affluent pet owners reside. From a spa and foot massage to haircut and massage therapists, people are spoiling their pets with no end in sight.
To set-up a pet grooming business, you need around $2,000 and can earn an average of $48,000 per year. Find clients in your neighborhood or look for them on Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
You can also enroll in a dog grooming course to get a better insight into the job.
If grooming isn’t your thing, you can start by setting up a pet sitting business too, which requires little startup costs.
53. T-Shirt Printing Business.
T-shirts with exciting graphics and funky logos are in high demand. T-shirt retailing business is worth millions of dollars and relies on efficient t-shirt printers to meet the supply.
Several suppliers are already in the business, but there is enough room for new players. You can take the orders from multinational brands or local businesses or even launch your own line. Moreover, this industry allows you to work on your terms, i.e., you can either choose to work from a small room or start off with a big factory-based production.
Take a print production course from LinkedIn Learning to understand the dynamics of dyes and printing technology.
54. Mobile Cleaning.
Whether you work in an office, school, healthcare setting, or even work from your home, every person wants a clean space to get things done. Starting a mobile cleaning service is something that can be done rather quickly and with lower overhead than other small businesses.
Focusing on a specific type of cleaning will also help you stand out. For example, using safe products, focusing on a niche, or specializing in allergen removal may help attract more business.
There will always be persons who need assistance with their finances. If you are an accountant, starting your own bookkeeping, or accounting business is a wonderful option.
Finances can be worked on remotely, or in an office setting, and many people are willing to pay higher rates, making it a very profitable small business. It is also a rather low cost, home business that most accountants are already qualified to run.
56. Resume Writer.
Writing a good resume is not something that comes easily to every person, especially now with automated reviewers and the use of keywords within job descriptions. Resume writing is one of the few online business ideas, if you know how to create professional and unique resumes that land jobs.
There are plenty of clients for this particular small business; start with word of mouth, reach out to your people, and utilize social media accounts. Your small business could be just a few clicks away and with barely any startup costs.
List of Business Ideas for Food Lovers
57. Ice Cream Shop.
Another one of the great small business ideas for foodies is to start your own ice cream shop. Let’s face it people love ice cream and you will have plenty of customers with the right product and a solid business plan.
You have quite a few options for your sweet new business. Start your own brand new shop, buy a franchise from a popular chain, or take over a current shop.
An ice cream food truck is another great small business idea. Being mobile may be the wave of the future for most food, and offering catering services will also help you to find new customers.
58. Homemade Popcorn Business.
It does seem like a very simple small business idea, but creating homemade popcorn may be a great starting point for your own retail business or mobile catering business. Plus who doesn’t love tasty popcorn?
You will need to create some homemade recipes, but luckily the startup costs could be substantially lower than other food businesses. Popcorn is cheap, and one batch could sell up to $20 or more.
Once you’ve come up with some creative popcorn recipes, get your name out using your social media accounts, and use digital marketing as an inexpensive way to spread the word. You will also want to connect with a party planner or two, restaurants, and other food-related businesses to offer your product as an add-on to their services.
More Small Business Ideas.
Those are my 58 favorite small business ideas. Here are some more to pique your interest.
59. Craft Beer Pub.
Open up a craft beer pub and serve your own brewed beer, host events, and build a fun spot to hang out in your community. Any business that fosters community is a business that can build quickly.
60. Wine Bar.
Start a wine bar in your local city. Wine bars are widely popular in major cities across the world but in small towns, not so much. Start a business that is in a blue ocean without a ton of competition.
61. Home Bakery.
Starting a bakery from home is the best way to test baked good ideas. Every successful business idea starts small, so don’t be afraid to start baking at home in order to start a side business.
62. Meal Prep Service.
Want to start a business that has a subscription model? Meal prepping is a rising industry that operates on recurring revenue model. If you are looking for a business that can compound, this is an option for you.
63. Home Chef.
Similar to baking from home, being a home chef is a way to use your skills for starting a side hustle. Busy people and families are always looking for people to come to their home and help them. You have child care service providers, cleaners, and even chefs.
64. Art Lessons
Teach hobbyists’ or kids art. It could be anything you know how to do from painting to pottery. Don’t over think it. If you have a skill in any art at all it can be a great option.
65. Knitting Club
Knitting club is not only reserved for your grandma. If you know how to knit don’t under estimate the potential here for people wanting to learn how to knit.
66. Custom Embroidery Business.
Embroidery has been around forever and it is one that you can actually do from home with a few simple pieces of equipment.
67. Soap and Lotion Making.
Making soaps and lotions is easy to do from home and still have room to grow. A lot of popular brands today started as a small operation.
68. Flea Market Vendor.
If you make any type small custom goods being a flea market vendor might be something for you to look into. Almost every city has multiple local flea markets that you can setup a booth at.
69. Scrapbooking Services.
Scrapbooking is a pain to do yourself which is why this is a great service to offer to families. They want to have family photo albums but they don’t want to deal with putting it together.
70. Antique Refurbishment.
There is a ton of value in restored furniture. Being able to take an old beat-up piece of furniture and turn it around is a service that people are willing to pay serious money for.
71. Furniture Making.
Good with your hands? Find a way to make furniture for your local community. You could sell it at local flea market or even online at Etsy.
Home Service Business Idea
72. Basement Remodeling.
73. House Baby-Proofing Business.
74. Home Landscaping.
75. Garden Consultant.
76. Gutter Cleaner.
77. Aquarium Maintenance.
78. Painting and Wallpaper Services.
79. Irrigation Services.
80. Apartment Preparation Service.
81. Stair Lift Installation.
82. General Handyman.
83. Landscaping Business for commercial businesses.
Outdoor and Sports
84. Bicycle Repair.
85. Adventure Planning.
86. Fishing and Charter Boat Tours.
87. Buy and Sell Used Boats.
88. Fitness Rental Equipment.
89. Health Club.
90. HR Consultant.
91. Business Plan Writer.
92. Financial Planning.
93. Local Marketing Services.
94. Contract Writer.
Steady Income Businesses
95. Coin-Operated Laundry.
96. Pest Control.
97. Property Management Company.
98. Pool Maintenance.
99. Vending Machine Owner.
100. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)
101. Lawn Care and Landscaping Service.
102. Snow Plowing Service.
103. Start a Food Truck.
104. Outdoor Adventure Business.
105. Chimney Sweep.
106. Fireworks Seller.
107. Halloween Retailer.
108. Canoe and Kayak Rental Business.
109. Miniature Golf Course.
List of Business Ideas FAQ.
What business can I start with no money?
If you don’t have any startup capital, there are still plenty of business opportunities out there. Most of them are ways to make money online by offering digital services. Here are some of the best ones:
1. Start a blog and make money with affiliate programs, ads, online courses, and digital products.
2. Become a freelance writer.
3. Join a platform like Fiverr and offer graphic design services.
4. If you have coding skills, start a business and develop websites and apps.
5. Become an online business coach and sell 1:1 coaching.
6. Join a high-end freelancing site like Upwork and become a social media marketing consultant.
7. Offer other digital services like SEO consulting, PPC management, or content marketing services.What are the best startup ideas?
If you’re looking to create a startup this year, there are plenty of options out there. Here are some of the best startup ideas:
1. Start a dropshipping business to sell products online.
2. Create a SaaS application and build monthly recurring customers.
3. Invest in real estate and co-working spaces.
4. Start a blog and make money with ads, online courses, and affiliate programs.
5. Start a podcast and make money by selling ad slots after building up your audience.
6. Start a digital agency and sell anything from web development and site management to social media and SEO consulting.
7. Start a food truck business and find a great location to generate sales. What are the most successful small businesses?
The most successful small businesses have strong revenue and profit margins. Here are some of the types of small businesses that are most successful:
1. Legal services.
2. Accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, and payroll services.
3. Real estate leasing and sales.
4. Dental offices.
5. Outpatient care businesses.
6. Custom design services.
7. Warehouse and storage companies.
8. Mineral quarrying and mining.
9. Medical laboratories.
10. Secondary schools and education.What business can I do from home?
With the rise of the digital economy, it is easier than ever to start an online business and work from home. Here are some good options:
1. Freelance writing.
2. Graphic designer.
3. Web developer.
5. Social media specialist.
6. Home tutoring.
7. Speaking and coaching.
9. Airbnb host.
10. Virtual assistant.How can I be my own boss?
If you want to be your own boss, follow these steps:
1. Determine what you want to do and which small business ideas are best for you.
2. Evaluate the market and competition.
3. Make sure you have enough money to start your new venture and set aside capital.
4. Create a business and marketing plan.
5. Choose your business name and create your brand identity.
6. Officially start your business by forming an LLC or S Corp.
7. Get your finances in order by hiring a bookkeeper or using small business accounting software.
8. Set up a business bank account.
9. Start marketing your business online by building a website and creating a social media presence.How can I earn money fast?
If you need to make money fast and don’t have time to wait for profits, there are a lot of options. Here are some of your best options:
1. Refinance your debt to get a lump sum of cash.
2. Sign up for an online survey site like Survey Junkie to make money filling out surveys.
3. Use investment apps to that pay you back every month.
4. Utilize an ecommerce platform to sell products online and get traffic quickly by using Google and Facebook ads.
5. Sign up for a gig economy app like Fiverr and sell digital services online.
6. Create an account with an app like Turo or Spinlister to rent out your stuff.
7. Write and publish an eBook to make money on Amazon.
8. Call your bank and see what kind of account bonuses you can get.
9. Build an online course and sell your knowledge to students.
10. Become a freelance writer.
11. Host a podcast and make money selling ad slots.What type of business should I start?
1. Find a business that is not overly saturated.
2. Start a business based online. They are only growing in popularity. You can start an Etsy store, consulting virtually, or freelance writing business the options are endless, but you have to start the business that you can actually do.
3. One based on a trend. Every industry has emerging trends so a key factor is finding a business idea that is actually on an upward trend.
Now it’s your turn.
All of the small business ideas mentioned above can help you earn a decent income even with a low startup cost.
Ultimately, I recommend you start something online like a blog, ecommerce business, or consulting firm, as these are less susceptible to market shifters like Covid-19.
When you’re ready to get started, the first step is to register your business with GovDocFiling.
They make it super easy to get started:
- You choose your business entity.
- Fill out an online application.
- GovDocFiling takes care of the rest. They’ll file all necessary documents with your state and get you up and running quickly.
Did you miss any of your picks of the best business ideas? Let me know in the comment section below.
Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Ray Phelan