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In this Article: A compilation of the best Small business ideas to start today. Whether you want to start a business at home, or create the next big thing, these are the best business ideas to consider.
Are you searching for the best Small business ideas? Are you ready to break free from your tedious 9 AM – 5PM job? You came to the right place. Today, we uncover the best small business ideas for you to start right now.
Backed by hours of research, this list of the best business ideas is designed to help anyone ready to dive into the world of entrepreneurship. Our small business ideas can be started from home and for a low-cost, making it a win-win all around.
With a little bit of hard work, grit, and discipline, your business idea can and will make more money for you than your average day job.
However, launching a profitable business requires you to make personal sacrifices. Fortunately, after about a year or so of hard work, it will all be worth it when you are making life-changing income. If you are ready to put in the work, then let’s dive into the best Small business ideas for 2021.
Best Small Business Idea #1: Start a Blog.
Got a niche interest, some unique brand of expertise, or an absolutely killer personality? Then forget peddling a product or selling a service. Starting a blog is the best online business idea for 2021.
Around the world, the top blog owners are making millions of dollars. Plus, getting a blog off the ground is easier than ever thanks to hosting platforms like Bluehost!
Getting your blogging show on the road couldn’t be easier thanks to their easy-to-use tools and top-notch customer support. Just watch and see:
- Visit Bluehost.com. Simple enough so far, right?
- Click “Get Started” and choose your hosting plan; they recommend “Choice Plus”.
- Choose your domain name (and don’t make it lame!)
- Let ’em know who you are! (That’s an excellent way of saying “now put in your personal details and payment information.) This is also where you select the length of your plan: 12, 24 or 36 months.
- Create your password. You’ve probably done this enough times before—no telling!
- Next, you’ll be taken to choose a theme for your blog. Don’t worry, you can skip this step if you aren’t ready to make that choice yet.
- Done all those steps? Congrats! You, my friend, are ready to start your Bluehost blogging journey.
Launch Your Blog Today with Bluehost ($2.95/month).
Eager to Learn More? Check out our Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Blog.
2. Freelance Writing Business
Are you a good writer? Do you have a solid grasp of grammar and spelling? Freelance writing may be an excellent way for you to earn extra money online.
You don’t need any special training or education, just some writing samples you can show to potential clients. Blogs, product descriptions, how-to guides, biographies- clients will pay you to write all of these and more.
How to Start a Freelancing Business (Quick Steps)
- Create an Account with Flexjobs. This is the best marketplace to land high paying freelance gigs.
- Showcase Your Expertise. Do you have old work? Make sure to highlight your vast experience and previous work!
- When you first start out, do not focus on how much you make each freelance gig. Instead, build up a Rolodex of satisfied previous customers. Have them write you a quick testimony and refer you to others. After time, you can command a higher fee for your skills.
Get Started Freelancing Today on Flexjobs.
Best Small Business Idea #3: Start a Dropshipping Business.
Ever seen footage of an Amazon warehouse? They’re huge. Like Amazon, small businesses rely on large storage spaces or warehouses. Why? Well, selling physical goods usually requires a decent amount of space, more than you or I have in our garages, apartments, or spare bedrooms.
That’s the beauty of dropshipping; it allows regular folks to dip their toe into the entrepreneurial world and experiment with different business ideas without investing in mountains of inventory or big (and expensive) warehouses to store it in.
Rather than buying stock in bulk and sending it directly to customers, a dropshipper takes orders from their customers, buys the relevant number of products from a third-party supplier and has them deliver the product.
The dropshipper never handles the goods, but they still get their share of the proceeds. Essentially, you are the middleman and broker deals between consumers and third-party suppliers. Brilliant!
Dominate E-Commerce (Launch a Store)
For the real ‘hands on’ types, dropshipping could feel a little too detached. You might find that bringing those dream online business ideas to life requires a more personal approach.
Not a problem! Launching a more traditional online store and dominating the E-commerce world is straightforward with user-friendly ecommerce platforms like Shopify.
Want to know how to get started? Read on!
1. Sign up for Shopify and begin your 14-day free trial.
14 days! Not bad, right? Ever tried to open a physical store and negotiate yourself half a month’s free rent? Not gonna happen, trust us.
2. Enter a store name.
Big decisions, we know. Don’t fret, you can always change this down the road, but you WILL have to pay to change the store URL, so put some thought into your choice here.
3. Add your products.
What’s a store without something to buy? Well, just a building, we suppose. The point is, you need to create your product pages: photos, a concise yet informative name, a detailed description—the works. Remember, this is your product pitch; you’ve got to do everything in your power to communicate your product’s strengths.
4. Organize your store’s back end.
It ain’t glamourous, but it’s gotta be done. Pricing, inventory information, categorization, and shipping calculations, these arrangements are gonna make your store run like a dream. Doesn’t mean they’re exciting though.
5. Create additional pages.
Who are you? Where can customers get in touch? What makes your business stand apart from the rest? You can answer these questions with the help of additional store pages: ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘FAQs’ and more.
These pages are crucial for completing your image as a real online E-Commerce platform. What is more, they’re a walk in the park to set up with Shopify’s simple tools.
6. Get designing!
This is the fun part. Now’s the time to make your platform truly yours—themes, font, layout, images, colors and more. If your customers can see it, it’s got to portray your unique brand and style.
7. Set up shipping.
Your customers come from all around the world. Make sure to implement shipping policies to account for that.
8. Set up payment and taxes.
We’re in the post-cash world. Your customers will try to use a myriad of different payment methods: PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, or even Shopify’s proprietary Shop Pay, and it’s up to you which of these your store will accept.
Hint: more = better.
Tax information will vary depending on your region and the nature of your goods; it’s best to seek external advice regarding that part of the store setup process.
9. Launch your store!
There are still several analytic tools to set up and manage, but once payment is all good to go, you’re cleared for E-commerce takeoff. Strategically market your product and let the money start flowing in.
Best Online Business Idea #4: Sell an Online Course.
From selling goods to selling skills. Taking your expertise, channeling it into a killer online course (or set of courses) and offering that to aspiring novices is one of many online business ideas that’s only becoming more lucrative as time goes on.
Over the years, websites like Thinkific have helped countless folks earn some spare cash while educating strangers all over the world. You could be a veritable online Yoda for legions of eager beginners.
Whether you’re an artist, analyst, marketer or tech whiz, there’ll always be eager students raring to soak up your knowledge.
5. Freelance Computer Programmer
Bricks are a thing of the past; the new world will be built upon foundations of code, and the architects? Those will be talented computer programmers.
It’s true, as the digital age continues, the world will continue to praise programmers and software developers as the all-important brains behind the whole operation. If you’re weighing up several small business ideas, taking up freelance computer programming is one of the most future-focused choices out there.
If you’ve got the right kind of technical skillset (or are willing to learn), developing websites, digital platforms or providing development support on a freelance basis could be the path to a bright future indeed for you! Flexjobs is the best place for freelance computer programmers to find high paying jobs.
Best Online Tech-Related Business Ideas #6: Software (Product) Development Firm.
Proud of your programming know-how and want to bring your talents to the broader world? Well lucky you: small business ideas don’t come much more financially viable than software development.
By starting a software development firm, you’ll be opening yourself up to all manner of businesses with incredibly specific software requirements. It’ll be your job (if you choose to accept it) to create software that perfectly meets those needs.
Programming wizards with a problem-solving mindset make perfect software developers. If that’s you, then it’s time to research the process of opening a business: business planning, registering your firm as a legal entity, filing for taxes, acquiring the relevant certifications and all the rest.
It’s a lot of planning, but if you’ve got the skills it’ll be more than worth it, and can transform into a seven-figure business within a matter of months.
7. Freelance Content Marketing
The online world moves at a million miles per hour (or close enough to it). For most people, it’s hard enough to keep up with their emails, let alone the flurry of online trends that come and go seemingly every day.
If you’re one of the ‘switched on’ few who can keep on top of the internet’s lightning-fast trend changes, then freelance content marketing could forge the path to your first fortune!
Honestly, those with proven credentials and an intimate understanding of how to promote online content receive the same praise as software developers and data analysts in the business world. Strong content marketing is the key to pulling in loyal customers; want to learn how it works, and begin your content marketing journey?
There are more online courses than you could watch in a single lifetime about the topic, and rightly so, the industry changes so often that old courses are left in the dust shockingly quickly.
It’s hard work, but if you’ve got what it takes, there’s serious money to be made in freelance content marketing. This is one of the best small business ideas if you are willing to learn, test out new strategies, and continuously adapt to the dynamic business environment.
Find Content Marketing Gigs Online at Flexjobs.
Best Small Business Idea #8: SEO Consultant.
Just like content marketing, starting an SEO consultancy is one of those business ideas that begs constant vigilance. The industry changes with such frequency that only the most dedicated, quick-minded SEO consultants make the big bucks. If that’s you, then step on up and collect your SEO consultant hat.
What are SEO consultants, though? Put simply, they are experts in tailoring websites (including the content within them) to mesh well with search engines, mainly Google.
Google’s search results will dish up SEO-friendly content far sooner than a non-SEO-friendly website. For businesses looking to attract customer attention (i.e. all of them), SEO consultants are essential; they can help web content shine with all the stuff Google loves keywords, tags, compelling content, meta descriptions, and the rest.
9. Affiliate Sales and Marketing
When it comes to marketing, the power that individuals hold is greater than it’s ever been. The concept of an influencer was non-existent 10 years ago; now, consumers trust influencers far more than the companies they represent.
This is excellent news for you, especially if you’ve got a social media following of your own. How? It all comes down to affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing refers to an agreement between an individual and a business. It’s a pretty simple agreement. For every customer that uses the individual’s affiliate link (and makes a purchase, of course), the individual will receive a cut of the revenue from the said purchase.
If you’ve got a sizable following, that’s a lot of people out there willing to click your links, which means a lot of money for you. Granted, a public cult of some sort is a prerequisite for becoming an affiliate partner. Still, if you’ve got that box checked, there’s truly nothing stopping you!
Flexoffers is a Leading Marketplace that Connects Marketers with Promotable Products.
10. Instagram Influencer
Companies will pay people with large social media followings to feature their products or services on their Instagram page. For this to work, you do need to have a large following on Instagram, but there are ways to start growing your page if you are not there yet.
The more followers you have, the more you can earn. If you don’t already have a large following, you’ll need to work on building that up. Once you have enough followers (usually several thousand, at least) you can start reaching out to brands (on Flexoffers) you like to offer to feature their products on your page, for a fee.
11. Social Media Manager
Just like a good website, businesses need an excellent social media presence. Not only is this one of the best ways to keep their customers updated on new products and services, but it’s an excellent tool for engaging with their customers and ensuring that they keep coming back.
That can eat up a lot of time, so companies are eager to hire people to do this job for them. You need to have a good understanding of how to make social media posts that get a lot of engagement, and that’s it.
No special equipment, no special training, just a solid understanding of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others.
Freelancing sites like Flexjobs are full of social media manager jobs, and you can quickly find a lot of clients.
12. Start a YouTube Channel
There are a couple of ways to get a YouTube channel started and make it profitable. You can approach it just like a podcast, but with a video. In fact, some of your favorite podcasts may have a YouTube channel, and if you were intrigued by the podcast idea, there’s no reason you can’t do both.
The other approach that tends to work is to come at this like you’re creating your own TV show. Some people make educational channels, others make comedy channels. You can demonstrate home improvement techniques or share creative ideas for teaching math to children.
The options are limitless. You’re going to need a good camera and microphone, as well as some editing software.
Required Reading: How to Make Money on YouTube.
13. Video Production
If you’re good with a camera and have a basic understanding of video editing software, you can start working in video production. Sometimes people are looking for a video of a product they want to feature on their website, other clients want someone to create an animated video or add graphics to live-action one.
To do this well you will need some videography skills, but there are plenty of courses you can take for that. If you are going to be filming things, you’ll need a good camera, too.
Find Video Production Jobs on Flexjobs.
14. Start Selling on Etsy
Etsy is one of the biggest E-commerce platforms for individuals looking to sell their niche, creative or unique handmade goods. If you can work a sewing needle with superhuman finesse, or if you have got a penchant for crafting one-of-a-kind figurines, Etsy could be the perfect home for all your creative online business ideas.
Of course, there’s room for a range of products on Etsy—art, clothing, accessories, trinkets and more—and with over 45 million unique buyers, Etsy businesses are open to a vast number of potential customers. What are you waiting for? Your Etsy customers are waiting.
Sign Up for Etsy Today.
15. Amazon Reselling
Amazon Resellers buy products from a brand and sell them on Amazon. It’s the digital equivalent of opening your own retail store. Literally, anyone can sell products on Amazon, so you just need to decide what products you want to sell and figure out what price you want to sell at.
The downside to this is that your profit margins will likely be very slim because you’ll be competing with other Amazon sellers to offer the lowest price. If you can find a product that isn’t being sold directly on Amazon by the brand that makes it, that’s the best way to go.
16. Start a Web Development Firm
Much like marketing, every business needs a good website, and the smart ones invest a lot of money in their online presence. If you’re already a web designer, why not consider starting your own firm?
You can begin with freelance work, establish solid relationships with a few clients, and grow your firm from there. Once again, sites like Flexjobs can be a great place to start finding clients.
17. Develop a Mobile App
Do you have a cool idea for a mobile app? Take that idea and make it a reality. Apps can be a great way to generate passive income, and it’s not as challenging to make them as you might think. There are phenomenal programs, like CodeAcademy, to help you learn computer programming so you can make the app even if you aren’t a coder.
The beauty of apps is that nearly everyone has a smartphone these days; the market is so big that even if you only reach a small percentage of it, you could still be seeing tens of thousands of downloads, with each potentially generating income for you.
Best Home-Based Business idea #18: Start a Ghostwriting Business
Ghostwriting is a form of freelance writing where you write for someone else, in their voice and under their name. It can be anything from blog posts to books, and it’s a lot more common than you think.
From famous bloggers to CEO’s and professional athletes, they all use ghostwriters because they don’t have enough time to write articles as often as they would like.
A lot of writers prefer ghostwriting because they do not need to come up with the ideas, and they can often earn more money than they would be writing under their own name.
As you can imagine, Flexjobs is the best online platform to find and land ghostwriting gigs.
19. Data Analyst
Data analysts provide a valuable service. Businesses need analysts to look at statistical reports and interpret them. As a data analyst, you gather and analyze data.
That data can be marketing research, internal efficiency reports, or financial information. It’s an ideal job for someone who loves numbers and statistics, and if you’re already working in this field, setting up your own data analysis business will be fairly straightforward.
Flexjobs and Upwork are two leading platforms that help data analysts find high-paying work. As we continue to progress in a digital era, working as a data analyst will continue to be one of the best work from home jobs.
20. Virtual Assistant.
Do you have a talent for administrative work? Or are you a tech wiz? Virtual assistants are increasingly popular- most of them work as virtual administrative assistants or help troubleshoot technology problems.
This can be a great way to find regular work with a flexible schedule. Businesses are starting to realize that much of their administrative work does not actually need to be done in the office, and they can save a lot of money by outsourcing that works to independent contractors on Flexjobs.
21. Rent Out Spare Space on Neighbor.com
Neighbor.com is like Airbnb for your stuff. Instead of renting out a room to people, you turn your extra space into storage space that people can pay to use.
A lot of people like this because there is a lot less risk involved in storing someone else’s stuff than there is in letting them into your home for the night. Plus, if you have space and are not using it, it just doesn’t make sense to not make money off of it.
Related: Neighbor Storage Review.
22. Airbnb Host
If you have a guest room you don’t use, you have all you need to start hosting on Airbnb. This could be ideal for you if you love meeting new people.
Even if you’re not much of a people person, you can renovate your garage to be a separate living space or buy a particular property if you have the money. You can even hire management companies to handle the cleanup and booking, making Airbnb almost entirely passive income for you.
23. Build a Niche Website
If you command expertise in any subject, you can create a niche website. This can be inspired by your day job or your hobby. A niche website targets a specific interest, usually with a particular term in mind.
Build up your audience, sign up for Google ads or a similar service, and start generating revenue. If you are really into coffee, for example, begin reviewing speciality coffee gear, describing different brewing techniques, or writing in-depth articles about growing coffee.
24. Google Paid Ad Specialist
Google: they are a pretty huge company; you might have heard. Google AdSense? Yeah, that is their incredibly popular, affordable advertising service; it’s pretty huge too. Our advice?
If you are looking through online business ideas and cannot make up your mind, seriously consider following the path of a Google paid ad specialist. For an advertising platform that seems so simple, there is a lot of nuance to crafting an effective campaign: location, wording, tags, timing, budget and quite a bit more.
The difference between a good campaign and a ‘specialist’ campaign is thousands upon thousands of dollars, and companies know it. So, take some courses, get some certifications, and earn your AdSense stripes. After that, there is nothing but money to be made as a Google AdSense specialist.
25. Buy and Flip Websites
You have heard of house flipping, right? Indeed, you’ve seen all the TV shows of people snatching up properties; making ’em shine with a little elbow grease, and then selling them for a hefty profit.
Well, website flipping is a lot like that, except, you know, with websites. Maybe the website’s coding or layout needs overhauling; perhaps there is an advertising or monetization method worth implementing, or perhaps it has a valuable URL that could be resold for a decent sum.
Whatever is ailing a website’s prospects, these skilled flippers can make the changes and earn themselves some profit.
If this is one of the great business ideas that’s caught your attention here today, then there are a few things to bear in mind.
First, you will need to get ready for some digging. Finding valuable websites—ones with decent traffic but fatal flaws—will not necessarily be easy.
Second, you will need some technical skills to get your websites shining and make that all-important profit. If those things pose no issue to you, then you could be on your way to earning a decent little income from your programming polish and advertising expertise.
26. Buy and Grow an Established Website
This falls in the same general ballpark as the entry above, Website Flipping. There is, however, a key difference. Instead of selling the websites you ‘renovate’, we are suggesting that you keep them and benefit from their continued growth with various advertising methods (we recommend researching affiliate marketing).
Granted, it might be a slower method of earning revenue than straight-up flipping a site. Still, there is certainly something to be said for an ongoing revenue stream.
Best Online Business Ideas #27: Start a Podcast
You can make a podcast about almost anything. Some are fictional, story-telling podcasts, others are political, some talk about literature, others focus on mental illness, and there are even podcasts about dinosaurs.
If you have expertise on a subject, or you are a good storyteller, you can start a podcast. You can set up accounts with various online payment sites and ask your listeners to donate. However, as your audience grows, you will be able to find sponsors and start earning advertising money.
While you’ll eventually want to invest in a quality microphone and some sound editing software, you can start off using free software and the built-in microphone in a laptop or cellphone and build up from there.
Buzzsprout is the Best Podcast Hosting Service to Launch Your Podcast.
28. Marketing Services Business
Every business needs marketing, and they are typically willing to invest a lot in good marketing. If you already work in this field and want to branch out on your own, offering freelance marketing services is a viable option.
Even if you do not work in marketing already, and you think you have a knack for it give it a shot. Create some marketing samples- you can literally just create samples of made-up services or products to show off to potential clients.
Offer discounted services to one or two clients and then ask them to provide testimonials, reviews, or recommendations. The biggest hurdle is getting the first few clients (on Flexjobs); if you do a good job for them, things will be smooth sailing after that.
29. Sell Stock Photography
It is hard to believe, but there is an authentic market for high-quality, well-shot photos of just about everything. Yes, we mean absolutely everything, from rocket ships to paving slabs and beyond.
Businesses, advertisers, publications, websites, and more need stock photos for a myriad of reasons, and what’s more, they’re willing to pay good money for them.
Those with decent photographic gear and a knack for getting those hot snaps, it is time to listen up. You could be earning your slice of the stock photography pie right now.
Plus, unlike with other online business ideas, stock photography is a passive revenue stream. What does that mean? Your photos will be available to buy forever; the more pictures you have, the more income you will generate without doing anything at all!
It is not a full-time career for everyone, but selling photos is a great way to earn a little passive revenue on the side.
30. DoorDash Delivery Driver
DoorDash is a service that provides food delivery from restaurants that do not have their own delivery drivers. It is a win for the customer and for the restaurant; the customer can have their favorite foods delivered, and the restaurant does not have to pay for a delivery driver.
DoorDash charges a delivery fee, which is how you get paid. Download the app and get started. It is that simple.
Related: DoorDash Driver Review.
31. Drive for Uber or Lyft
Uber and Lyft are two of the best apps to make money, and you do not need to pick just one: many, if not most drivers work for both.
Download the app and get started. You will need to show proof of insurance, and each company has a slightly different hiring process, but unless your car is dangerous to drive, you will be hired.
The most significant advantage is that you have complete control of your schedule. You start driving when you feel like, and you stop when you feel like it.
32. Instacart Shopper
Instacart is DoorDash for groceries. People log into the app, put in a grocery list, and then you go and buy everything on their list and deliver it.
Anybody with a car and a bit of free time can do it. Sometimes Instacart shoppers are just people with full schedules who do not have time to go to the store, but often their elderly or sick people who are not physically able to do their own shopping.
So, in addition to getting paid, you will be really helping someone in need. The ease and flexibility of Instacart Shopping make it one of the best side hustle ideas around.
Related: Instacart Shopper Review.
33. Do Odd Jobs on TaskRabbit
Task Rabbit connects customers with people willing and able to do everyday tasks like cleaning, moving, or small repair jobs. Mounting TVs on the wall, planting flowers in a garden, and fixing a running toilet are all examples of jobs that people post on Task Rabbit.
As you can see, you do not even necessarily have to be handy. Some jobs just need an able body, like moving furniture up or downstairs. Anybody can find work on Task Rabbit.
34. WordPress Support
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for website building in the world. Its free options are great, and the paid options are incredible. While it’s made to be reasonably easy to use, that’s not always the case, and not everyone is tech-savvy enough to use it without help.
Websites are vital to modern businesses, now more than ever, so someone who can help put a site together or maintain it is worth their weight in gold. If you are familiar with WordPress, now’s the time to start making money with it.
Find Freelance work on websites like Flexjobs. The largest online marketplaces connecting companies with talented freelance workers.
35. Data Entry Clerk
Data entry is incredibly simple, and anyone can do it. The catch is that it is very time-consuming. That is why companies will happily pay people to do it for them. If you have the time and the typing skills, data entry can be an easy way to bring in some extra cash.
36. Sell Items on TeeSpring
TeeSpring lets you design custom items (clothing, home decor, phone cases, etc.) and sell them. You come up with the design, price it and market it, and when people order it, TeeSpring manufacturers it to order and takes a percentage of the profit. It is no risk to you, and it is a straightforward way to earn passive income once you’ve got your design.
37. Sell Old Items on eBay
eBay has been around forever, and if you are not making money on it, you’re crazy. It is dead simple, and it is a great way to de-clutter your home.
Take a few pictures of the stuff you want to sell, set a price (or a minimum bid, if you’re going to auction it), and start selling.
You can also buy things at low cost and then turn around and auction them for better prices if you have an eye for antiques and valuables. This is one of the best ways to make an extra $1,000 a month.
38. Invest Your Money
This is one that people tend to overlook, but you will not find a single millionaire who did not invest their money. Investing is consistently one of the most reliable ways to increase your wealth.
Don’t do it on your own, though. Acorns ($5 Sign Up Bonus) can help you start investing the right way. You might think you need thousands of dollars on hand to invest, but plenty of investment firms will allow you to make initial investments with a few hundred dollars or less.
Top Small Business Ideas #39: Boutique Financial Planning Firm
Do you have a vast knowledge of the financial world? Or at least a sector of the financial world? It is a strange question, I know. We only ask because, if you do have that knowledge, boutique financial planning could be your golden goose of small business ideas.
Boutique financial planners (AKA independent advisory firms) are small-scale financial advisory companies that specialize in a specific industry or type of customer (retirement financing, for example).
As a boutique financial planner, you cannot lend money like a major bank; your powers stop at advice, expertise, and consultancy. Still, if you have the knowledge, people are willing to pay.
40. Tax Preparation
They say nothing is certain except death and taxes. Well, there is nothing you can do about that first part, but if you have the skills, at least you can make taxes into something a bit more optimistic.
If you neglected to read the heading, we are talking about starting a tax preparation operation. Not one of the most glamorous small business ideas we’ve touched upon today, but an important one, nonetheless.
Helping folks with their tax forms and various tax needs is a noble pursuit, one that stands to save countless people from hours of tax-related frustration.
However, starting a tax preparation business is not something you can do at a moment’s notice: there is a bit of prep-work that needs to come first. You’ve got to know your local tax game like a shepherd knows their sheep.
Courses—both physical and virtual—can help you here, and you can even acquire certifications in the field! You’ll also need to apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to meet the IRS’ requirements for working in the field. Once you’ve got that, you are good to start pulling in the clients and raking in that dough.
41. Launch a Real Estate Brokerage Firm
Real estate can be a great business to start on your own schedule. If you are already a good salesperson, or just a great people person, this could be a smart way to go.
You will have to get licensed first, and that process varies from state to state. What they all have in common is an education process followed by an exam for a license.
Basically, you cannot get licensed until you can prove that you understand how the process of buying and selling property works, and the legal issues surrounding it. Once you are licensed, you’re good to go.
42. Start a Home Appraising Business
A home appraiser determines the value of a home. Appraisers are responsible for accurately calculating the fair market value of the house, whether you are selling it, determining the property tax owed or using it as collateral for a loan.
Appraisers do particularly important work that’s highly valued by lenders, and so they tend to be paid well. If you have an eye for home value and property quality, this could be the career for you.
43. Property Manager
If you like the idea of running a rental property, but the risks of ownership make you nervous, you might enjoy being a property manager.
Property managers handle all day-to-day aspects of rental properties and can work for both commercial and residential properties. You will collect rent, hire or supervise maintenance workers, and ensure the buildings are up to code. It is a scalable business idea as you can eventually start hiring other workers to manage multiple properties.
44. Event Planning
Do you love planning and hosting parties? Do you just love planning in general? Believe it or not, that is a unique skill set that not everybody has. Event planners find work planning private events like weddings, anniversary parties, and such, or they can plan public events for companies and organizations.
A good business idea is to find a non-profit you really like and offer to help them plan a fundraising event for free or for a low price. They’ll jump at the chance to have a professional organize their fundraiser, and you’ll have a happy client who can recommend you to others and provide testimonials for your portfolio.
45. Interior Design
Like event planning, interior design is something that most people do not do well (even if they don’t realize it). Interior design is not just for homes; doctor’s offices, small businesses, and restaurants all recognize that good design can improve their business.
Start with your own home, your friend’s homes, or both. Take before and after pictures. This gives you the beginnings of a portfolio. If you have friends who own a business, ask if you can take a crack at it for free.
Once you have some pictures of work you have done, build a website for yourself and start calling up local businesses and advertising to homeowners.
46. LinkedIn Consultant
LinkedIn. It is the professional social network, and just like all the other social networking platforms, keeping your profile presentable and up to date is of the utmost importance.
Some professionals know the ins and outs of LinkedIn better than the rest; they know what works, what makes individuals stand out, and the power that a top-notch LinkedIn profile has. If you’re tuned-in to the LinkedIn ecosystem, then you could make serious money sharing that expertise with others.
LinkedIn consultants help other professionals fine-tune their online profiles above and beyond the norms of the website. Some clients need a LinkedIn consultant’s services to secure a sought-after job; others want to bring their profile up to the standard of their peers.
There are a range of reasons a professional might need a LinkedIn consultant. And there is no reason you can’t be that consultant—assuming you have the knowledge that is!
47. College Admissions Essay Editor
No! This is not helping college students cheat on their assignments. We would never condone such acts. College admissions essay editing is a perfectly legitimate variety of proofreading.
By assisting high schoolers with their language, grammar, style, and overall structure when crafting their admissions essays, you will help them land the college of their dreams and earn yourself a decent paycheck in the process!
Getting into college, especially when it is a prestigious one, is a competitive endeavour indeed. Kids (and parents) who want to maximize their chances of acceptance will often get a professional author, journalist, or writer of another variety to give their admissions essay a once over (maybe twice over) with their magic wordsmith wand.
For parents, their child’s future could rely on this essay; they will happily pay top dollar for a real expert to give it their seal of approval. Reckon you are that expert?
Perhaps it is time to take your talents to Flexjobs and share them with prospective college students of the world.
48. High-End Resume Consultancy
Calling the high-end job market “competitive” would be an understatement; when it comes to the real high-flying jobs, only the most stunning, attention-grabbing resumes stand a chance at avoiding the trash pile.
Sadly, even the best and brightest among us struggle to distil their talents and virtues down to some words on a few sheets of paper.
That is why resume consultants exist; their impartial perspective, a flair for impressive (yet professional wordsmithing) and knowledge of what recruiters want makes them invaluable for professionals seeking their dream job.
Anyone who can prove their credibility—say, for example, anyone with a proven history in recruitment—could easily find success with resume-based small business ideas like this.
Whether for high-end positions or just run-of-the-mill jobs, there’s room for resume consultants in every area of the job market.
49. Dog Walking Business
Believe it or not, dog walking can be big business. Dogs that do not get regular walks start to chew on things, have accidents in the house, and get out of control. Plus, their health suffers from lack of exercise.
Dog owners who lack time to walk their dog every day will happily pay someone to do that for them. Best of all, a dog walking business is easy to start. If you can walk and hold a leash, you can walk a dog.
50. Online Music Educator
Everyone wants to learn guitar, or piano, or how to sing. The list goes on- the point is, everyone wishes they had a musical skill, but most do not.
If you play an instrument, you have a valuable skill that people will pay to learn. These days it is easier than ever to do that since you can offer all the instructions online.
You can even prerecord the entire instructional course so that it effectively becomes passive income. People pay to take your course, then download the videos, and all you have to do is sit back and collect the money.
Start Teaching People Online. Thinkific is the best platform to sell on courses.
51. Personal Fitness Trainer Business
Do you like working out? Are you in great shape? Is fitness something you are passionate about? Become a personal trainer! Personal trainers can make great money, and you really do not need any special education or training to do it.
Some gyms may require various degrees or certifications, but most don’t. If you can show that you understand how to work out and keep yourself fit and healthy, you can be a trainer.
52. Yoga Instructor
If you love yoga, why not get paid to teach others how to do it? Getting certified as a yoga instructor is easy to do, and it can be a great side gig or a great new career. You can teach just a couple of classes a week, or you can go all in and open your own studio. Either way, you will be earning money and having a great time doing it.
53. Become a Personal Chef
This one requires some training or experience. Just because you love to cook doesn’t mean that people will pay you to be a personal chef.
If you are already a professional chef, and you’re tired of the restaurant game, working as a private chef will provide you with a much easier schedule and probably higher pay.
If you’re already in culinary school or thinking about going to culinary school, consider looking for personal chef jobs rather than restaurant jobs. The workload is lighter, the schedule is more flexible, and you are probably going to be paid better, too.
54. Pet Grooming Side Business
Pet groomers are a godsend. Dogs and cats need baths, but even the most well-behaved pets still cause problems at bath time.
The fur they shed can clog drains, drying them off seems nearly impossible and leaves your towels smelling like wet dog, and water gets everywhere. And that is not even mentioning other things like trimming nails or keep their fur cut and brushed.
Pet groomers usually have tubs and plumbing that can handle all the fur, as well as dryers that work better than towels and the skill to trim the animal’s nails without hurting them.
If working with animals all day sounds great to you, consider setting up a grooming business. You can even set up a mobile pet grooming business where you go to the client instead of them coming to you.
Best Small Business Ideas #55: Car Detailing Business
Is your car spotless? Do you love keeping it that way? Do you get a deep sense of satisfaction after giving the car a thorough cleaning? If yes, then why not get paid to do it? Not everyone loves cleaning as much as you do, but everyone likes having a clean car.
Car detailers clean the inside and outside of the car, applying treatments to keep the car clean and make sure it smells and looks fresh for a long time.
You probably know from personal experience that they can charge a pretty penny for that service, too. If this is something that you already like doing, you might as well turn it into a business.
56. Massage Therapist
Massage therapists provide a specialized service, and they can charge a premium for it. To be one, you will need training and certification. The road to becoming a massage therapist can seem complicated, but the benefits are enormous.
This is the type of thing you can do as a side hustle or make into a full-time career. We tend to think of massage therapists as women, but many people prefer male masseurs- apparently, the stronger hands and larger fingers make for a much more pleasant massage.
57. Open a Coffee Shop
If you are passionate about coffee, turn it into a business. Maybe you have a cabinet full of different coffee brewing equipment, perhaps you even roast your own coffee at home.
If you are good at it, do not let those skills go to waste- monetize them! If the coffee’s good, people will pay for it. A comfy neighborhood coffee shop is always in demand.
58. Sell Baked Goods
If you love baking, and your friends and family always comment on how excellent your baked goods are, it is time to stop giving them away for free. Everyone loves baked goods- bread, cakes, pies, cookies, they love them all.
Relatively few people are good at making them, though. If you are good at baking, that is a sill you can make some money from.
You do not necessarily need to buy a shop; you can rent professional kitchen space in many larger cities, and in some states, you can sell home-baked goods at the farmer’s market.
59. Sports Coach
Whether it is basketball, soccer, volleyball, or football, if you love a sport and are somewhat knowledgeable about it, you should try coaching.
Some are more lucrative than others- coaching tennis at a club is going to pay a lot more than coaching a private youth soccer league, for instance. But any money is better than no money, so put your knowledge of sports to fair use.
60. Find Work on Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing website that helps businesses find people to handle tasks that their computers are unable or unavailable to do. The jobs are usually related to data entry, analysis, or content moderation.
They tend to be small, uncomplicated jobs that will not take much time, and can be done without special training. It is a great side business in your free time.
61. Public Speaking
Fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias out there, so good public speakers really have a lot to offer.
While you can certainly make some money teaching other people to be better public speakers (most people are horrible at it), you can also make money just doing the speaking yourself.
To get paid for public speaking, you need to be a good speaker, and you need to have enough expertise on the subject matter you are speaking about that people want to hear from you. If you have those two things, you can make money public speaking.
62. Life Coach
It is half-time, the opposing team is on the ropes, and things are looking bleak. Who is the one that gathers the downtrodden team, whips up a genius game plan and snatches that unlikely victory at the last minute?
It is the coach! If you think about it, life is a lot like a game of football or basketball (do not think too hard about that). Just like all the best teams throughout history, people need coaches too, life coaches!
A life coach helps people map out their lives, goals, and long-term aspirations. By taking an honest approach to their clients’ lives, life coaches can help them draw up a practical ‘action plan’ for their futures.
If you are a practical-minded person with a strong personality and a strategic approach to situations, taking up life coaching wouldn’t be the worst side business idea in the ‘business idea bucket’.
All it takes is earning a simple certification and then jumping through the typical business classification/insurance hoops; after that, you will be set to start pitching your services to clients-in-waiting!
63. Career Coach
So, you know everything we just said about life coaches? Just replace the word “life” with “career” and it all still applies. Not satisfied? Okay, okay.
These are two similar small business ideas, but there is a fair amount that differentiates them.
While life coaches can expect to handle a range of personal situations—from emotional to practical, interpersonal to financial—career coaches are hyper-focused on professional development and helping people succeed in the working world.
That is not to say that career coaching is easier; indeed, the corporate world can feel like a labyrinth without the guidance of someone on the outside with a figurative map and compass.
Have you developed a knack for helping people find their calling? Got a firm grasp of the corporate world and structure? Perhaps being a career coach is YOUR calling. And you did not even need a career coach for that piece of advice.
64. Computer Repair Small Business
Computers are not only at the core of most modern workplaces but most modern jobs too. When they inevitably break down (because it is inevitable), it can throw things into chaos. Believe us, it is nasty: screaming, crying, keyboards snapped over knees—scary stuff.
That is why, in this computer-centric world, computer repair experts are like modern-day Superheroes.
If you fancy yourself a computer superhero, if the internal workings of the PCs just “makes sense” to you, then computer repair could be one of many tech-related small business ideas that’ll bring in those big bucks.
All you need are some basic tools, the right knowledge, and enough credentials to secure those first clients. Get those, and you will be good to go.
65. Local Tour Guide Business
This one may be more difficult if you do not already live in a tourist destination, but it’s not necessarily off the table. If you are familiar with the history of your town or city and have a passion for telling people about it, you will love being a tour guide.
Plan out your tour routes and the sights you will visit, then start advertising your services around town and online.
Walking tours will be the easiest for you when you are just starting off because you will not need to invest in a vehicle (like a bus) to drive your tour groups around in. That said, you may be able to earn more right off the bat if you can get a tour bus.
66. Business Consulting Small Business
Do you have a sharp business mind? Do you know all the ins and outs of running a successful business? Consultants are always in demand, and it can be an excellent way for you to take control of your own schedule and earn an extremely comfortable living at the same time.
Businesses will pay top dollar for good consulting because they look at it as an investment. To get started, you will need to build a website and find a few clients. You may need to begin cold-calling small businesses in your area to get your first few clients.
Once you’ve done some consulting for a couple of smaller businesses, be sure to ask them to provide a short testimonial describing how you helped them and add it to your website, because that’s how you’ll start attracting new customers.
Find Consulting Work on Flexjobs.
67. IT Consulting Business
Whether you work in IT or you just have expertise in that area, consider IT consulting. IT consultants help businesses learn how to use information technology to improve their business.
As an IT expert, you have a lot of valuable knowledge and insight. You may start off by cold calling businesses in your area to offer your services, but eventually, word of mouth and good marketing can start bringing new clients to you.
68. Cyber Security Business
Businesses are increasingly aware of the need for good cybersecurity. If they fail to protect their customers’ information, they can be liable for millions of dollars in damages.
If you have the expertise for it, a cybersecurity business can be a great way to go. Be sure to get one or more certifications (like the Certified Ethical Hacker Certification), so your clients know that you know what you’re doing.
Bonus Best Business Ideas
The business ideas listed above are low-cost and easy to start. These are additional small business ideas for you to consider.
Food Industry Business Ideas.
69. Craft Brewery
70. High-Class Winery
71. Meal Prep Service
72. Food Catering Business
73. Restaurant Owner
74. Food Truck
Best Tech-Related Business Ideas.
75. Computer Training
76. Internet Research
77. Social Media Consultant
78. Smartphone Repair
79. Smartphone Accessory Manufacturing
80. Digital Marketing Consulting
81. Product Management Business
82. Start a Tech Blog
83. Create a Fitness Tech Device
84. Livestreaming Service
85. Livestreaming Influencer
86. Analytics Software provider
87. 3D Printing Manufacturing
88. Create an Artificial Intelligence Platform
89. UX/UI Consultant
90. Drone Videography
91. Antivirus Developer
Outdoor and Sports Related Business Ideas.
92. Adventure Planning Firm
93. Bicycle Repair Shop
94. Biking Blog
95. Open a Gym
96. Start a Golf Club
97. Fitness Rental Equipment
98. Fishing Blog
99. Sell Fishing Equipment
100. Refurbish and Sell Used Boats
Seasonal Business Ideas to Start at Home.
101. Pest Control Business
102. Pool Maintenance
103. Vending Machine Owner
104. Snow Plowing Service
105. Lawn Care and Landscaping Services
106. Fireworks Seller
107. Chimney Sweeper Business
108. Halloween Costume Retailer
Home Based Business Ideas
109. Vintage Clothing Reseller
110. House Cleaning Business
111. Sell Handmade Goods
112. Babysitting Business
113. Clothing Designer
114. Ebook Author
115. Home Staging Business
116. Sell Collectibles
118. Take Paid Surveys
That’s it! These are the absolute best business ideas today.
How to Start a Small Business from Home
As you can see, there are literally hundreds of legit small business ideas. However, it requires you to act. Do not just stare at this screen. Choose a business idea and execute.
Often, you will have to pivot the direction of your original business idea, which is normal. Some of the largest tech companies in the world shifted their businesses early on.
For example, Slack started out as an internal gaming chat function. But, once Stuart Butterfield realized the sheer potential of this chat function, he abandoned his original idea of creating the largest multiplayer online game in the world and focused extensively on building out this core feature.
Today, Slack has a public valuation of $19.5 billion. Below are our expert tips to executing a business idea and starting a profitable business from home.
1. Choose Your Best Business Idea
Whether you are launching a new multi-million-dollar blog or a tech startup, dream big and set goals. The earlier you start working on your small business idea, the better.
Do not get hung up on choosing a business idea. Instead, dip your toes into the world of entrepreneurship, and adapt to the dynamic business environment. Remember, it is okay to pivot your business’s direction.
2. Treat it as a Side Business First
The last thing you want to do is quit your job to work on a business idea that has not displayed success. Start by working on your business idea on the evenings or weekends.
This allows you to start creating a product, gather data, and refine your business before you go full-time. Also, once your side business gains traction, you can strategically invest your own capital into the venture to help fuel its growth.
3. Establish Product Market Fit
This step applies to all top business ideas. It does not matter if you are dabbling with freelancing, podcasting, blogging, or selling an individual product.
You successfully achieved product-market fit when your target customers are buying the product (or service offering), sharing it with others, and using it regularly.
4. Create a Business Plan
Once you established a product-market fit, you need to create a robust business plan that outlines your overarching business strategy. At a minimum, it needs to include your product/service offering, pricing, competitor research, business model, and marketing strategy.
These key points are what separates a healthy business plan from a generic one. The more in-depth your business plan is, the better. As the old saying goes, “better safe than sorry.” So, over-prepare.
5. Decide Your Businesses Legal Structure
The most common small business structures are LLC’s and Sole proprietorships. Both legal structures have advantages and disadvantages. It depends entirely on what business you start.
While this step is important for handling taxes, you can change your legal structure anytime. As you can imagine, when your company grows, you will dissolve your sole proprietorship and file as an LLC or corporation.
6. Set up Business Bank Account
After you choose your legal structure and file with your state, you will receive an Employee Identification Number (EIN). This number is used for tax purposes, but it is also used by financial institutions when they create a business bank account under your name.
As an entrepreneur, you need to separate your personal and business finances. It will become a tax nightmare if they are not separated. So, if you are like me and want to avoid this eventual headache, set up a business bank account. It is quick and easy.
7. Stay Focused and Enjoy the Grind
Starting a business is not a get rich quick scheme. And it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It requires you to make personal sacrifices, step out of your comfort zone, and try new things.
However, the entrepreneurship journey is one that you will never forget and can change your financial life for the better.
Best Business Ideas: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
These are the most common business idea questions I get asked by aspiring entrepreneurs on a routine basis.
Read along to find and narrow in on the best business idea to start.
What are the Best Startup Ideas?
The best startup ideas are ones that flip an entire industry on its head. Here are some of my favorite startup ideas.
- Build a Product that implements Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing
- Develop a SaaS Product
- Start a Blog and build out digital products that you can sell to your readers.
- Set up a Software Development firm and build products for venture-backed companies.
- Start a Coffee shop that converts to a brewery at night.
- Set up a B2C Ecommerce Website
- Invest in Commercial Real Estate
- Launch a Podcast and create a brand that resonates with your listeners
- Design and Sell Clothing. LuluLemon is an excellent example of this in action.
Do I need to know how to code to start a tech company or launch a website?
Absolutely not! While it will undoubtedly give you an advantage of knowing the ins-and-outs of coding, it is not a requirement to start a tech company.
If you are eager to learn, then give Codeacademy a try. They offer the best online computer programming courses.
What Are the Most Profitable Small Businesses?
If done right, small businesses are notorious for high-profit margins and low costs. Around the country, these are the most successful small businesses.
- Online Businesses
- High-End Restaurants (In a Great Location)
- Unique Breweries
- Boutique Accounting Firms
- Law Firms
- Private Medical Offices (Dental, Orthodontist, Family Practices)
- Real Estate Brokerages
- Warehouse and Storage Spaces
- Lawn Services
- Funeral Homes
- Cleaning Services
- Software Development Firms
- Construction Companies
- Fitness Gyms
While there are literally thousands of profitable small business ideas, these are the best of the best. For years, these small business ideas have minted millionaires.
What Businesses Can I Start from Home?
Do you dream of working from home? In our day and age, it is easier than ever to start a business and work from home. Here are the best businesses you can start today from home.
- Start a Blog
- Launch a Profitable Podcast
- Become a High Paid Freelancer
- Social Media Influencer
- Freelance Web Developer
- Create and Sell an Online Course
- Airbnb Host
- Online Tutor
- Business Consultant
- Graphic Designer
- Resume Writer
- Freelance Marketer (SEO, Paid Ads, Social Media Management)
- Become a High Paid YouTuber
That’s a Wrap: Best Business Ideas
The opportunities are endless. Find a business idea that allows you to leverage your professional skills and network. This will make it easy to land clients, build authority, and establish yourself as a go-to expert.