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40 Small Business Ideas to Start a Business Successfully [Profitable]

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Jul 17, 2024• Proven solutions

Are you tired of doing the same old thing in your 9 to 5 job? If you want to be your own boss, then you’re likely looking at a variety of small business ideas that may appeal to you and the life that you want to live.

The fact is, there are a lot of different new business ideas to choose from. So many, in fact, that you may have some difficulty sorting out all your options. How can you pick out the most successful small business ideas from the rest of the options that are available to let your business come true?

In this article, we want to share our top small business ideas list. We have 40 different, good business ideas that anyone can pick up and start.

It is also important to come up with a great business name. Some free-to-use business name generators can help you save a lot of time.

Part 1: Options for Easy-to-Start Small Businesses

1. Pet Grooming

Do you have a way with animals and do you enjoy taking care of and interacting with them? Offering an in-home or mobile pet grooming service is an easy way to make some extra cash. You can learn how to do pet grooming on the Internet. Some people will also combine this small business with dog-walking services so that they can build the largest customer base they can for their efforts.

small business ideas pet

2. Private Lifeguarding Service

If you’re in an area where you can swim year-round and you have your lifeguarding and/or CPR certification, you may be able to make some good money as a private lifeguard. Private lifeguards are available for pool parties and other unique events that involve pools or water sports. This is also a good business idea if you are thinking about offering swimming or diving lessons, as well!

3. Virtual Assistant Service

Administrative tasks are often difficult for small businesses to take care of, so many of them have made the choice to outsource virtual assistants. In short, a virtual assistant works for a company or a CEO; they deal with emails, take care of travel arrangements, deal with calendars, and more.

4. Mobile App Developer

Apps are really essential in a world where pretty much anyone and everyone has a smart phone. But, we need people who are able to make those apps – and why shouldn’t it be you? There are huge markets for mobile games, productivity apps, and more. You can make apps for businesses or consumers – just learn how to make them and see what you can do!

small business ideas Mobile App Developer

5. Resume Writer

One of the biggest issues that many people have is that they aren’t completely sure as to how they want to develop a resume. As a resume writer, you can work with clients to help them put together solid, well-edited cover letters, complete resumes, and stand-out portfolios that will help them to get the job that they have always dreamed of having. You can also make a video resume.

6. Home Inspection Specialist

While you will need to get some certification in regards to this job, you will find that this job offers maximum flexibility. You can even start doing it before you leave your full-time job. All you need to do is learn about the requirements in the state that you live in, take the appropriate classes and obtain the proper licenses. Then, you’ll be called by real estate agents, home sellers, and home buyers.

7. Bed and Breakfast Owner

Is hospitality your specialty? If so, then you may want to take a look at your options in regards to running a bed and breakfast. You need to get special licensing from your municipality, but then you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can put together special packages for visitors and connect with other local businesses to offer unique discounts, too.

8. Clothing Boutique Owner

Many people enjoy fashion, and if you’ve ever dreamt of being a fashion tycoon, then you may want to think about starting a boutique. You can get a small shop with windows, put together a solid social media account, and connect with other businesses in your area. If you go about it correctly, you could make it the go-to boutique in your area.

small business ideas Clothing Boutique Owner

9. Coin and Stamp Dealer

Did you know that some people still collect stamps and coins? If you’re looking at creative small business ideas, then selling stamps and coins is definitely something that you will want to consider. You can do your job entirely online, and there’s the potential to make a lot of money if you’re really good at what you do.

10. Night Club Promoter

Night clubs are always looking to boost their attendance, so if you want to start a business that allows you to host huge parties and promote them, this is a great idea to explore. You need to know the dos and don'ts. You want to build a following on social media and connect with multiple clubs. Then, you can promote their events and build up to hosting your own events, too!

Part 2: Great Business Ideas for Beginners

11. Tutor

Do you still have a solid idea as to what it is that you learned in a subject in school? Maybe you went to university for math, English, or the sciences? If so, then you may be a perfect candidate to become a tutor. There are opportunities for both online and in-home tutoring available nowadays, making it an easy start among small business ideas.

small business ideas Tutor

12. Children’s Daycare Provider

Do you enjoy kids and do you have experience caring for young ones? Then you may want to look at the possibility of becoming a daycare provider. You will have to set apart an area of your home to be used as the daycare and be able to provide safe options for them as well. A home inspection is usually required, too. But, if you can get past all of that, you can make a decent amount of money as a home daycare provider.

13. Landscaping Services

If you’re someone that loves getting outside and getting your hands dirty, then this is the number one choice for you on any small business lists. All you need is the tools necessary to take care of people’s lawns. You could just offer lawn mowing services, or you can go ahead and step it up by becoming a landscape designer – it’s up to you!

14. Event Planning

Many people find planning for the details surrounding any sort of party or event to be stressful or anxiety-inducing – and that’s where you could come in, if you decided to start a business for this sort of work. You will have the opportunity to put together events for businesses, individuals, and whoever else may come looking for the services you have to offer.

small business ideas Event Planning

15. Social Media Management

A majority of small businesses (and even some larger ones) don’t have the time or knowledge to sort out what it is that they need to do in order to have a solid social media presence online. But, if they want to perform well in marketing, then they need to make some considerations here. As a social media manager, you may be working for multiple businesses, taking care of their social media needs.

16. Affiliate Sales

Affiliate sales are a really easy side business if you do things correctly. You have to have a blog and/or website to really get this started. In short, you will provide links on your pages to third party products or companies. Then, if people use those links to buy products, you’ll get a certain percentage of kickback. Some people find this successful – others find that it takes a lot of work. It’s best to do this on the side.

17. Tax Preparation

Tax preparation is something that many people dread, and so we will always need more people who know how to take care of everything related to it. There are classes you can take to become a tax preparation professional, or you could even consider getting your CPA if you don’t already have it.

18. Travel Consultant

You don’t have to dream of traveling when you can help people with their traveling dreams! Many times, travel consultants are able to connect with different hotels, theme parks, and other destinations in order to provide their clients with great deals. In return, those same hotels, theme parks, and other destinations will provide you with free stays, discount tickets, and more. It’s a win-win!

small business ideas Travel Consultant

19. Cupcake Business

Cupcakes are really popular right now and, because of that, you could make quite a bit of cash just by being “the cupcake guy” or “the cupcake girl” in your local community. People love these bite-sized snack foods and they use them for special events like weddings, birthday parties, and more.

20. Cake Making Business

While cake making is similar to cupcake making, there is one big difference – how elaborate the decorating is! If you decide to make cakes for celebrations, then you want to be sure that you have a fairly solid handle on how to decorate them well. You need to know how to start it first. You want to have a variety of designs and you want to be sure that you have some creativity in your back pocket as you get new clients and try new things.

Part 3: Most Successful Small Business Ideas

21. Blogging

When you go into blogging, you want to be sure that you have a niche and that you’re going to be prepared to work very hard. You need to be consistent in your posting and you want to be sure that you are going to be able to connect with people in your comments and via social media. But, once you catch that audience, you’ll make some great connections and be able to sell ad space and/or get experiences in your niche.

22. Web Design

Everyone wants to start a website, but many people don’t know how to design one very well. Here is an example for your reference. Because of that, web design businesses are some of the most successful types of businesses that you’re going to see when you’re looking at new business ideas. Many web designers learn how to code and build websites on their own, so even if you don’t have the training you believe you need, you can get started toward this sort of small business today.

23. Online Course Development

Do you have an area of expertise that you want to share with others? Maybe you’re looking to teach some classes about web design, a class you took in college, or some topic related to what you’re passionate about? Online course development may be a great consideration. You can put together online courses for other websites or build your own!

24. Podcasting

Like blogging, podcasting is something that you’re going to have to put a lot of effort behind for it to be successful. But, once it lifts off, you’ll find that you have more opportunities than you ever realized you could have. Podcasting will require you to have some audio editing knowledge and a niche that you want to reach out to, but once you do that, you’ll be solidly positioned to start a career in it.

small business ideas Podcasting

25. Amazon Sales

Selling on Amazon is quite lucrative, even though they take a bit of the money as commission. You can either sell and deliver your own items as a third party, or you can provide the items to Amazon, get a portion of the sales of those items, and have Amazon take care of the heavy lifting. Either way, this could provide some great cash flow if you have the right products.

26. Phone Case Design and Sales

As mentioned earlier, everyone has a smart phone nowadays, and we all want our phones to feel unique. Enter the phone case. There are all sorts of designs that you can get, but you could also start a business designing your own cases and you’ll still be able to come up with some neat designs you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re willing to design and sell them on sites like Etsy, you could make a nice chunk of change doing so.

27. SAT or ACT Tutor

Students all over the country are looking for help in preparing for the tests that get them into college. And, if you have expertise in high school level math and writing, then you’ll find that you are in high demand. There are tutoring websites that you can start your business through, or you can advertise it yourself and build your own website where you connect with students and their parents. You could also do in-home tutoring, if you wish.

28. Google Ads Specialist

Many businesses know that Google Ad campaigns are important, but they don’t have the time, budget, or knowledge to take care of them on their own. If you’re someone that really “gets” how online marketing works and you’re familiar with Google, you can connect with businesses and do some great work in designing and maintaining their Google Ad campaigns.

29. Interior Design Consultant

Decorating is a talent, and some people just don’t have the knack for it. Maybe you do! And if you do, there are plenty of people out there who are completely willing to pay for your services as an interior design consultant. You’ll go into people’s homes, talk to them about what they want to see, and then put together designs based on what you know and what’s available. You make your own schedule, meet lots of interesting people, and get to do something that you really enjoy.

30. Photographer

Photography is a skill, and if you’ve got a camera (a real one, not your phone) and you’re good at what you do, you’ll find that it’s quite a natural progression to start your own photography business. Build up a portfolio of friends and family, and do some events for a solidly low cost at the beginning. As you get more skilled and more known, you will be able to increase prices, get more gear, and maybe even get a studio that you can rent out to other photographers when you aren’t using it. You can also use iPhone to take photo for practising.

small business ideas Photographer

31. Online Dating Consultant

Matchmakers have been around since the beginning of time, and this is today’s modern version of one. Online dating consultants can work directly with people who are looking for love and make sure that they make connections in a positive way. And yes – people are willing to pay for this service! You can make a lot of money if you’re a smooth talker that is ready to help others make the love connection!

32. Vape Shop

Vaping has become really popular, and with that comes the need for places where people can buy vaping supplies. If you’re into vaping, or you are willing to learn the language and connect with people in the industry, this could end up being very lucrative. Find a solid location to have your shop and connect with the vaping community in your area via social media and you’ll get business really quickly.

33. Bakery

Everyone loves the smell of a bakery, and different people need different baked goods for any number of reasons. If you enjoy baking, then it may be your best bet to start this adventure yourself. You can plant yourself in the middle of your local commercial district and you’ll find that you have a lot of business throughout the week.

small business ideas Bakery

34. Car Washing and Detailing

Do you love making cars look fresh and clean? Do you enjoy getting outside and getting active? If so, then start your own car washing and detailing business. Many car owners would totally pay someone to come to their home with the right materials to get their car looking as good as new. If you have a pail, a good hose, sponges, polishing wax, and car shampoo, you’ll be ready to get started.

35. Hair Salon or Barber Shop

Hair salons require a little more work to start up than some of these other suggestions, but they are often quite successful when you get them started. In order to do the hair salon/barber shop thing yourself, you need to have a beautician’s license and licensing for your business. You’ll get to interact with lots of unique people and you’ll get to have fun dealing with the issues and concerns around their hair.

36. Gift and Greeting Card Shop

While big box stores sell a majority of greeting cards, small towns don’t always have access to these luxuries. So, if you live in a more rural area, you will find that this is an opportunity that you can capitalize on. Here are some ideas for making birthday gift card.

37. Flower Shop

Flowers are great for any occasion, and you don’t need any sort of schooling to be able to run a flower shop of your own. Opening a flower shop is actually really inexpensive – you really just need to buy a cooler to keep your flowers fresh and you need to rent the space. You can grow flowers yourself in a greenhouse or connect with local flower enthusiasts to buy their products. People in your local area will love having access to fresh flowers for weddings, funerals, dances, and other events.

38. Videographer

Becoming a skilled videographer has two sides – knowing how to film well, and knowing how to edit well. While the upfront equipment may be expensive at first, you will find that there are always people that want someone to professionally film their wedding, any sort of presentation, or any number of things. So, if you start your own videography business, you will find that you’re always going to have a steady flow of customers that need your services.

39. Writer

Writing is a much easier career to break into than it used to be. Not only can you find plenty of jobs for freelance writing, but it’s also easier for you to self-publish as well. So, you can go down a number of paths. Maybe you want to do some writing for a blog or you want to do some web content for small businesses? If you establish yourself well enough from the beginning of your writing career, you’ll find that you have a much easier time getting jobs later on.

40. Woodworker

Working with your hands is a lost art, and if you’re good at it, you can turn a hobby into a profession. Whether you make furniture, decorations, or items for special occasions, you will find that there’s a lot of money to be made if you decide to start a business as a woodworker that makes customized items. You can sell those items online and/or you can choose to go to craft fairs in your local region.

small business ideas Woodworker

Start Your Small Business Adventure

These aren’t the only types of business ideas that you may be looking at. There are all sorts of opportunities available, and as an entrepreneur, the only restriction you have is the creative small business ideas that your mind can come up with. Explore your options and see what opportunities may arise in regards to your future business endeavors.

author avatar
Ollie Mattison
Ollie Mattison is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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