There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. and growing, leading to more new business owners turning up every day. These are great ways to be an entrepreneur, make money, and build wealth. We will never run out of new business ideas. How do you choose the right business idea for your small business?
If you are looking for inspiration to start your own small business, take a look at these 40 great business ideas for beginners.
How to Choose the Perfect Small Business Idea for Your Own Business
It can be tough to make it in the business world, so make sure your business ideas count. It takes a lot of planning, research and diligence to create a solid business idea that is applicable to your particular situation.
Here are some tips to match the right business idea with your personality, skillset and goals:
Focus on your skills, experience and preferences. What are your strengths? What are you good at? Do you have hobbies that make your happy? It is important to consider what skills you are naturally gifted with when answering these questions.
Narrow down your list. Once you have an idea of what types of businesses you are interested in, you can start looking them up on the internet. Ask people in your community and local businesses to find out if they know of any companies that match your criteria.
Consider what you will need to start the business. Are you able to afford the funds necessary to start a company? To keep costs low, are you able or willing to take on most of the work? Are you in control of your business and personal finances? Are you able to create a business plan? The SBA offers a free template to create your business plan .
Make a list of pros and cons. This is an important step in helping you determine if the business is right for you.
Noodle out the business/lifestyle ratio. You can set your own hours when you work for yourself. This is a good thing. The bad news is that you might be working 60+ hours a week, especially during the startup phase. It is essential to find small business ideas that allow you to balance your business and family life.
The Ultimate Small Business Ideas List
Now that you’ve decided you’re ready to start a business let’s dig into the list of 40 best small business ideas for beginners. You’ll find everything you need to start a business, from being a virtual assistant to running a specialty grocery store. By the time you’re finished, you should have plenty of inspiration to get started on the right track to owning a thriving business.
1. Virtual Assistant
If you have strong organizational skills and a knack for detail, consider becoming a virtual assistant, as it is an easy way to get a business started. You can help business owners who are too busy, or don’t have enough time, by being a virtual assistant. You can perform tasks such as managing schedules, booking travel, answering emails and more.
If you’re good with children, starting a childcare business could be the right choice. You will need minimal startup costs and a basic education in early education development. You can begin by offering daycare services for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged kids and even special needs children.
3. Social Media Consultant
Knowing the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can lead to this lucrative service business. Consultants are social media managers who help companies develop and implement a social strategy. This could include helping create or manage profiles on various platforms, developing and implementing campaigns and more.
4. Instagram Influencer
If you have a large following on places like Instagram, consider becoming an influencer. You can use Instagram to promote products and services for your followers in return for money. You will typically get paid per post or commission for products you sell. Be sure you read up on the FTC’s Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers before starting one of these online businesses though.
5. Etsy Seller
An Etsy shop is a great business idea if you have a creative flair. Etsy allows artists and crafters to sell handmade or vintage goods on a single platform. First, create a profile and upload photos of your products. Next, you will need to set up shipping and payment information. Finally, write a description about your items. Then, when someone buys something from your shop, you’ll need to ship it out.
6. Dog Walking Business
Many people find themselves with more time on their hands than money. However, if you enjoy the company of dogs, dog walking is an easy way to get some extra cash and be your own boss while doing it!
7. Event Planning Business
Consider starting your own event planning business if you love to plan events. As an event planner, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of the event planning process, from budgeting to coordinating vendors to designing invitations.
Do you have a passion for hair and styling? Starting your own hair salon is a great business idea. It is easy to open a salon. All you need is basic equipment. Plus, plenty of online courses are available to help you get started.
9. Yoga Teacher
If you’re a yoga teacher, you can build a yoga business to make money while doing something you love. You will need to purchase equipment, rent space or buy it. It is important to remember that opening a yoga studio can be costly. But if you have the right connections and are willing to put the time and effort into it, you could be looking at a profitable business venture.
10. Landscaping Business
A landscape business is a profitable small business to start if you’re good with your hands and have a love for nature. Landscapers are responsible for maintaining and designing gardens and landscapes. Tasks you’ll be doing could include mowing lawns, planting flowers, trimming trees and more.
11. SEO Consultant
A consulting business is one of the more lucrative ideas on this list. A consulting business is a great idea for those who are skilled in search engine optimization. An SEO consultant reviews a client’s website to make recommendations for improving search engine rankings. You can provide your consultation services to businesses who need them, or you could even start an agency offering these types of services.
12. Web Development
For online business ideas, you really can’t beat web development. Web developers design websites and create content. They also test their functionality and make sure they work properly. If you are interested in tech, web development is a great side-business. But, of course, it is a great business to own and do as a full-time job too.
13. Digital Marketing
Another up-and-coming business is digital marketing. This is where business owners are responsible for creating and promoting websites. Here’s what you do: You build a website, promote it on channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc., use SEO to improve its ranking in search engines (Google/Yahoo), manage online advertising campaigns, update company collateral with new messages that fit the online branding and so on.
14. Professional Photography Business
If you have some starting capital, consider investing in equipment and offering photography services online. You can also get involved in concert photography and LinkIn professional photos. Also, you can upload pictures to photo-sharing sites for royalties and sell them as prints or on products like phone cases, T-shirts etc.
15. Visual Artist
This is the best business for graffiti artists and spray paint artists. If you are good at spray painting, you won’t become a starving artist. Both options also allow you to find work. While it will be a challenge to get as rich as artists like David Choe and Banksy, visual artists can make anywhere from $16 to $70 per hour by mastering their spray cans.
16. Sign Company
There is a big push right now to make older neon signs more eco-conscious by replacing them with greener LED-powered signage. This is a niche that is growing in California, particularly as they seek to decarbonize their electric grid. So, if you have a knack for business and design, consider starting your own sign company.
17. Acting Coach
If you want to become an acting coach in the United States, it’s important that you have proper training first. Usually, at least two years of college or conservatory-level courses are required before being certified by the state.
18. Accounting Business
If you’re an accountant, starting your own accounting firm could be a great way to make money. You can offer services such as bookkeeping, tax preparation, and consulting.
19. Bookkeeping Business
This business is accounting without the hassle of tax preparation and consulting. If you are passionate about numbers and bookkeeping, then consider opening your own bookkeeping business. You can offer bookkeeping services for small businesses as well as for individuals.
20. Personal Chef Service
If you have a passion for cooking, consider starting your own personal chef service. Personal chef: You will prepare meals for clients, either at their home or at yours. This could include anything from breakfast to dinner to a whole week of meals.
If you have a way with words and an eye for style, blogging could be perfect for you. You will need to register a domain name and create your website. The rest is up to the individual. When you create an online presence, you can monetize your blog and generate revenue from ads and affiliate links.
22. Online Store
If you have an eye for fashion or design, consider starting your own e-commerce store. You can sell anything from clothing and accessories to home decor and furniture.
23. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create visual concepts using images, words or other elements for companies in need of marketing materials. All it takes to get started is a degree in graphic design, a digital diploma or mad skills in Photoshop and Illustrator (and talent, of course).
24. Personal Trainer
If you’re passionate about fitness and helping others achieve their health goals, consider providing personal training services. You’ll be responsible for designing custom workout programs and helping your clients reach their fitness goals.
25. Catering Business
If you love to cook, consider starting your own catering business. As a caterer, you’ll be responsible for preparing and serving food at events such as weddings, corporate functions, and birthday parties.
26. Ice Cream Shop
Ice cream shops are a great small business for someone with limited startup funds, as most require a relatively small initial investment to get started. If you ever want some inspiration, read about kid CEO “Beau” Tracy Shell. When he was eight years old, he started Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s ice cream catering company. In 2019, he opened his own ice cream shop Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s Cool World at the ripe old age of 15.
27. Clothing Boutique
If you have a way with style and an eye for fashion, consider opening your own clothing boutique. You can sell anything from jewelry to accessories to clothes and shoes.
28. Coffee Shop
You’ve probably heard of Starbucks, but there are still plenty of opportunities out there if you want to start your own coffee shop or cafe–especially if you’re willing to put in the extra effort to differentiate yourself from the competition.
29. Hot Spot Owner
The great thing about starting a hot spot is that you can do it anywhere–all you need is a space, Wifi and desktops or laptops. Then you can charge people for their use of your space to work, listen to music, or simply hang out. Better yet, combine it with your coffee shop to have another source of revenue going
30. Health Coach
If you’re passionate about health and fitness, consider launching your own wellness business. As a coach, you can help others achieve their health goals through exercise routines and nutritional advice.
31. Car Detailing Business
Detailing cars is a great way to make money on the side. In addition, it’s a relatively low-cost business to start, as you can get started with just some cleaning supplies and your own labor.
32. Asphalt Maintenance Company Business
If you have a van or large truck, consider starting your own asphalt maintenance company. You will be responsible for sealing and repairing cracks in parking lots and driveways with asphalt sealants like epoxy resin crack fillers (a polyurethane material).
33. Pressure Washing Company Business
Pressure washing is a great business to start if you’re looking for something relatively low-cost and easy to get started. You can start by buying a pressure washer, some cleaning supplies and getting insurance.
34. Junk Removal Business
Junk removal is a great business for someone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty. It can be a relatively low-cost business to start, and you can get started with just a few tools and supplies.
35. Food Truck Business
Owning a food truck is one of the most profitable business ideas on this list of business ideas. Starting your own food truck could be a great idea if you love food and cooking. You’ll need a lot of factors to consider when starting a food truck business, such as costs for startup, equipment (i.e. refrigeration), and the cost of food.
If you get tired of the same hum-drum, cookie-cutter supermarket chains, know this: Everyone else is too! It is possible to make a profitable business out of a specialty supermarket. As the name suggests, a specialty supermarket focuses on selling unique and hard-to-find items that you won’t find at your local Walmart or Safeway.
37. Home Contractor
If you have experience in home repairs or remodeling, consider starting your own home contractor business. As a contractor, you’ll be responsible for repairing and renovating homes and apartments.
38. Handyperson Service Provider
Handypersons are in high demand for home repairs. But if you get started with a small business of your own, you can offer additional services like organizing closets and garages.
39. Raise Honeybees
Of all the home business ideas on the list, this one is the sweetest! With a little capital and knowledge, honeybees are highly in demand. First, you’ll need to purchase hives, bees, and other supplies like pollen patties, smokers and special apparel that helps keep bees out of your clothes.
40. Flea or Farmer’s Market Vendor
If you’re crafty and enjoy selling your creations, consider becoming a flea market vendor. This can be a great way for you to make extra income and you can sell anything you like!
Start Setting Up Your Own Small Business and Use this Guide for Inspiration
There you have it–40 small business ideas to get future small business owners started! If you want to have a more successful business, you need to make a business plan before you start.
If you are still struggling to decide what kind of business to start, this guide may help. You can be confident that these businesses won’t break the bank and are relatively inexpensive to start. Who knows, you might just be the next million-dollar idea! You might just find the next million-dollar idea with a little effort.
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