Startup

343 Business Ideas to Start

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by Janet Attard

Last Updated Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Looking for business ideas? This list of business ideas has 343 startup suggestions to consider. Read the tips on how to choose the right type of business for you first, then browse through these startup ideas.

small business startup ideas
Image source: Yayimages

Are you looking for small business startup ideas? Do you want to start your own business, but wonder what’s a good business to start? Maybe you’re tired of working for a boss who makes every workday stressful. Perhaps you are convinced you can make more on your own than you can working for someone else — or you just want to bring in a little extra money to pay for a few luxuries in life. Perhaps you’ve been laid off and haven’t been able to find a new job. Or it could be that your family really needs two incomes but you don’t want your kids to be latchkey kids.

Those are just a few of the possible reasons for starting a business. No matter what your reason is, what’s important is that starting a business can be personally and financially rewarding–if you come up with the right business idea.

What’s the Best Business To Start?

That’s one of the first questions most people ask. Others are “What’s an easy business to start?” and “What’s the best business to start at home?”

But the question you should be asking yourself is, “What’s the best business for me to start.”

Different businesses require different skills, abilities, and cash to get going. A great business for a programmer to start, might not be a good idea for physical therapist or waiter. Your own likes and dislikes also need to be considered. Some businesses might be lucrative, but involve doing work you dislike doing. Others can be highly enjoyable, but not produce enough income for your needs.

So, how do you find real business opportunities and avoid scams?  Or if you’re looking to add new product lines to an existing business how do you evaluate business ideas that come to your attention? The answer is as individual as you are. Here are some of the criteria you should consider when you are deciding what type of business to start:

  • It is something you know how to do and can do well.
  • It is something you LIKE to do and wouldn’t mind doing day after day.
  • It is something with a broad enough appeal to sell on a steady basis.
  • It can be sold at a price that will cover all of your expenses and overhead plus return a healthy profit.
  • The market (your potential customers) is one you will be able to reach
  • You have or can raise sufficient funds to get the business started and keep it running until it becomes a profitable venture.

RELATED: Where to find a business idea that’s right for you

If you haven’t yet found your entrepreneurial niche, perhaps you’ll spot a business that sounds promising (based on the criteria just mentioned) in the list of business ideas below. Some can be started as a home-based business, others really can’t. Some require you to be an expert in a particular task or industry. Others are in fields that can more easily be learned. 

Many can be turned into full-time businesses, but some are ideal primarily for moonlighting or as add-on income streams in an existing business. All are viable ways to make money, if you know the business and become good at marketing.

Free Business Startup Checklist

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The list below is not all-inclusive. There are many, many other ways to start a business. (If you know of anything you think we should add to our list use our site feedback form to let us know.)

To help you find ideas that match your skills and interests, we’ve grouped the business ideas into a number of categories. Under some of the types of businesses (Artist, for instance) we’ve mentioned particular products or services that might be offered either as the main business or as one of the business’ offerings. Once you find a business idea you think you’d like to start, check out our how to start a business guide to find out how to get ready to launch the business.

List of Business Ideas

Here are 343 small business ideas. To get to the businesses in any category, just click on the category name below. Alternately, you can just scroll through the entire list of business ideas to find one that stirs your interest.

Art
Automotive
Business and Consumer Services
Crafts
Computer & Internet
Consulting Services
Editorial, Graphic Arts, Publishing
Entertainment
Miscellaneous
Planning and Organizing
Retail and Commercial
Sales

Art

Paint and sell original works of art
From landscapes to abstracts, decorative art (tole painting), and even children’s books, there is a market for good art.

Sculptor
Artists carve and sell everything from granite statues to ice sculptures and even pumpkins at Halloween.

Draw caricatures

Graphic designer
Big and small businesses alike need graphic designers to create brochures, posters, logos, packaging, signage and so much more.

Draw original artwork for presentations

Book illustrator

Paint wall murals

Hand paint designs on furniture, and decorative items

Create animated videos for businesses

Sell hand-painted or handmade holiday ornaments

Art instructor

Art broker

Back to Category Listing

Automotive

Automobile Detailing

Auto parts sales

Auto repair garage

Brake replacement & repair

Body shop

Car wash

Car rental

Car accessories business

Junk car removal

Limo service

Mobile car tune-up and repair service

Motorcycle Repair

Muffler shop

Tow truck service

Back to Category Listing

Related articles:

Business and Consumer Services

Advertising specialty sales

Administrative support services

Appliance repair

Bakery

Bed and Breakfast Inn

Bicycle repair

Balloon decorating service

Boat excursions and tours

Business plan writer

Cabinet maker

Car Detailing

Carpet and upholstery cleaning

Catering

Chemical testing

Child Care Service

Chimney sweep

Cleaning Service
Repeat business from private homes and commercial establishments make this a good business to establish

Clown

Coin dealer

Collectibles dealer

Collections service

Commercial disinfecting service
Take your cleaning service a step beyond by providing professional disinfecting services for offices and other businesses.

Concrete construction and repair

Cook

Cosmetologist

Crafts instructor
Teach other people how to make decorative accessories, sew, paint, or do other crafts. Bring in extra money by selling supplies and patterns.

Currency auctions

Dance instructor

Daycare for adults

Dental claims processing

Dog walking service
Start a dog walking business in your neighborhood or town. Simple to start and with people busier than ever, there is a lot of demand.

Dog obedience training
Have experience training your own dog? Turn it into a business with almost no investment.

Dog/yard cleanup
Help to clean up the home and pets and get paid. Here’s how one person made money two ways from this idea.

Drive for ride-hailing service
Make your own hours and work for Uber, Lyft or even start your own local airport shuttle business.

Drive for local businesses
Create your own business delivering food or packages to customers of local restaurants and shops. Or, sign up to be a driver with a service like DoorDash*

Elderly companion
Adult children of the elderly are often looking for someone to spend time with their parents. You can get paid to visit and do interesting things

Electrician
Always loved electrical work? Get licensed and become an electrician – tons of demand in most areas. Already licensed? Look for local electricians who may be retiring and ask about buying their business.

Environmental cleanup service
Cleaning up after environmental disasters can be a lucrative business if you have the knowledge and skills to handle the problem.

Environmental contamination detection and analysis
Manufacturers and other companies have a need to monitor and analyze groundwater and other pollutants.

Errand service
Run different types of errands for busy people in your area. A business you can start in minutes with no investment and can spread by word of mouth.

Executive recruiter

Financial planner

Fishing boat rides

Flea market seller

Food delivery service

Formal wear rental service (male or female)

Food truck

Framing service (picture frames)

Furniture reupholstering

Genealogist

Grant writer
Nonprofits need money to do the work they do. If you have experience with grant writing, you can get paid as a freelancer for helping them get access to the funding they need.

Hair Salon
Enjoy making people feel beautiful? Start a business where people pay you to help them look and feel confident. Keep startup and overhead costs down by starting out in a coworking salon facility that divides up a large space into small, private salons individual stylists can rent.

Handyman service
Get paid to help people repair broken furniture, fix loose cabinet doors, install shelves, and do a variety of needed fixit services in their homes.

Home or office organization services
Help people organize their homes or businesses and get paid to do it

Home attendant service
The aging population makes this a business that will be needed for years to come. Check state licensing requirements as you research this idea.

Home design service
Help people bring harmony to their home with Feng Shui, or simply help them design their homes for efficiency, comfort, and beauty.

Home staging service
Help home sellers get the best price by making minor changes that maximize the home’s eye appeal to potential buyers.

Home healthcare service
Hire and send trained medical professionals to the homes of people who have healthcare and rehabilitation needs. Licensing is likely to be required.

Home inspector
Inspect homes for real estate buyers ahead of their purchase so they are forewarned of possible structural damage, potential for flooding basements, and other issues they’d want to avoid.

Housekeeper
As a housekeeper, you’ll take care of light cleaning and other household chores such as ironing clothes, washing dishes, preparing meals, running errands, and other chores needed on a regular basis.

Outsourced HR services

HVAC installation & service

Inventory control service

Janitorial service

Junk removal services

Landscaping

Laundry service

Lawn cutting

Lawnmower and motor repair

Lead generation service

Limousine service

Loan consultant

Locksmith

Magician

Mailing service

Market research

Marketing agency

Masonry & Paving for homeowners

Medical Claims Billing Service

Medical transcription

Moving company

Music teacher – private lessons

Nail salon

Novelty T-shirt sales

Nutritional supplement sales

Nutritionist

Paddleboard lessons

Painter

Personal fitness trainer

Personal concierge

Personal chef

Pet sitting

Pet walking

Pet grooming

Pet waste cleanup

Pest control service

Plumber

Pool cleaning service

Portrait and wedding photographer

Private investigator

Property Management

Power washing service

Public relations agency

Public speaker

Remodeling service

Reupholster furniture

Seminar producer

Senior services

Screen printing

Shopping service

Shuttle service

Sightseeing tours

Small business consultant

Swimming pool installation

Swimming pool maintenance

Researcher

Tailor

Tax preparation

Telemarketing service

Telephone service reseller

Tool rental

Travel agency

Tree trimming and removal

Tutor

TV installation

Veterinarian

Water taxi service

Wig store

Window cleaning

Yard cleanup

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Computer & Internet

App developer

Affiliate marketer

Blogger

Computer consulting

Computer backup service

Computer repair
Do you enjoy tinkering with computers and solving problems when they don’t work? Get paid for fixing and troubleshooting computer issues.

Computer programming
Are you a coder? Make money writing software for games, cell phone apps, websites, online storefronts, and so much more.

Computer training
Are you an expert on using computers or software? Teach those skills to people who need them. Sell training by the hour, or create training course once and sell it over and over  on online teaching platforms.

Data recovery service
Know your way around computers and hardware? Get paid to help people recover lost data. Jobs can be lucrative.

Back to Category Listing

Consulting Services

Agricultural consultant

Air quality consultant

Business improvement consultant
Make money helping businesses identify problems and find solutions

Coach (personal or business) or mentor

Computer Consultant

Construction management consultant

Diversity consultant

Engineering consultant

Environmental consultant

Expert witness

Failure analysis/evaluation

Fitness consultant

Franchise consultant
Franchise consultant help prospective franchisees evaluate their skills and interests and determine the best franchise for the individual to purchase

Health & wellness consultant

Healthcare consultant

Human resources consultant

Image consultant

International consultant

Internet marketing consultant

Labor relations consultant

Social media consultant

IT consultant

Marketing consultant

Medical office consultant

Product development consultant

Proposal consultant (government contracts)

Proposal consultant (grants)

Retail consultant

Risk management consultant

Safety consultant

Sales consultant

Security consultant

Skincare consultant

Total quality management consultant

Training consultant

Utility auditing consultant

Wedding consultant

Yoga instructor

RELATED: Starting a Consulting Business

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Crafts

Arts and crafts instructor

Calligrapher

Custom designed T-shirts

Custom designed jewelry

Custom-designed dried or silk flower arrangements

Decorative pillows

Design and sell craft patterns 

Design and sell handmade jewelry

Handmade dolls and children’s’ toys

Handmade candles

Handmade pottery

Handmade soaps

Handmade knitted goods

Leather belts

Quilts

Crafts supply sales

Woodcrafts

RELATED: How to Get Started Selling on Etsy

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Editorial, Graphic Arts, Publishing

Advertising agency

Advertising copywriter

Audio editing

Audio transcription

Audiobook narrator

Blogger

Book cover designer

Cartoonist

Columnist

Commercial photographer

Computer animation

Editor

Ebook design & production

Ghostwriter/ghost blogger

Graphic artist

Book indexer

Internet Publisher

Literary agent

Multimedia presentation creation

Newsletter production for clients

Nonfiction writer

Novelist

Proofreader

Publicist

Subscription newsletter

Translator

Video animator

Video editing

Videographer

Write book jacket blurbs

Write publicity releases

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Entertainment

Agent

Ballet studio

Bandleader

Comedian

Dance company

Dancer

DJ

Escape Rooms Musician

One-man band

Producer

Singer

Songwriter

Voiceover actor
Make money by being the voice in commercials, animated movies, videos, documentaries, audiobooks, and more

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Miscellaneous

Environmental restoration

Fundraiser

Import/Export Business

Manufacturer

Plant nursery

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Related articles:

Office Services

Business Support Service

Bookkeeping

Commercial art

Legal transcription

Mailing list management

Medical transcription

Resume writing

Translation service

Virtual assistant

Back to Category Listing

Planning and Organizing

Business plan writing

Business turnarounds

Professional organizer

Event Planning Service

Meeting planning

Party planning

Show promoting

Back to Category Listing

Retail and Commercial

Antique dealer

Collectibles shop

Bar/Club

Used book store or online seller

Bakery

Bicycle sales

Bicycle repairs

Bodega

Boutique owner

Chemicals

Chinese food take-out service

Clothing Store

Coffee shop owner

College food delivery service

Delicatessen

eBay Business

Fishing supplies

Gift basket Service

Gift shop

Homemade foods

Janitorial supplies

Jewelry store

Pizza parlor

Posters

Restaurant

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Sales

Business broker

Manufacturer’s sales representative

Network marketing business

Real estate sales & rentals

Telemarketing service

Sales coach or trainer

Direct selling

Printer toner recharging

Sales training

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© 2020 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

 

About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter and on LinkedIn


 

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