The Ultimate List of 398 Great Business Ideas


The Ultimate List of 398 Great Business Ideas

I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way, owning a business has become part of the American Dream. In fact, MarketWatch suggests:

  • Some 39 percent of employees hope to own their own business;
  • More than 50 percentof workers in their 20s who don’t own a business hope to do so in the future;
  • 50 percent of workers in their 30s and 35 percent in their 40s want to start their own business; and
  • Even 25 percent of workers in their 50s and 17 percent of workers age 60 or older who do not currently own a business want to do so in the future.

Given these numbers, you may well wonder why more people have not started their entrepreneurial journey. Something must be standing in their way.

Is it money? Is it risk? No, I believe the first hurdle to starting a business is the question, “What kind of business should I open?”



I base this belief on the following results from Google’s Keyword Planner tool:

  • Business ideas has 27,100 average searches per month.
  • Small business ideas has 22,200 average searches per month.
  • Entrepreur ideas has 8,100 average searches per month.
  • New business ideas has 5,400 average searches per month.
  • Home business ideas has 5,400 average searches per month.
  • Nnline business ideas has 4,400 average searches per month.

Yep, people are looking for great business ideas and guess what? Small Business Trends has got ’em. We’ve been writing about business opportunities for years and now, we’ve collected all 398 in one easy-to-access list below.

So, if you’re ready to start a business but don’t know which one to start, then hit the list below for tons of great business ideas and inspiration.

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Great Business Ideas – The Lists

Over the years, we’ve put together a number of lists chock full of business ideas. Take a look:

25 Businesses You Can Start for Less Than $100

If you’ve been bit by the entrepreneurial bug but don’t have a lot of cash, here are 25 business ideas that you can start for less that $100.

25 More Businesses You Can Start for Less Than $100

If you couldn’t get enough of the last list, here are 25 more businesses you can start for less than $100.

50 Low Tech Businesses You Can Start

Not into technology? No worries because we put together a list of 50 low tech business you can start.

A little later, we shot a video that pulled out the top 10 non tech startup ideas. Give it a watch:

50 Most Fun Home-Based Businesses

Everyone loves to have fun, right? Well we created a list of 50 businesses you can start at home while having a blast and doing the things you love.

The 20 Most Fun Self-Employed Jobs

Continuing on the “fun train”, here’s a list of 20 fun self-employed jobs that you can do.

50 Unusual Pet Businesses to Start

Pets are always big business but this list of 50 unusual pet business ideas was written to help you see beyond the realm of typical pet businesses and into the fun, weird and different.

65 Side Businesses You Can Start

Don’t worry if you can’t quit your day job — there are lots of businesses you can start on the side while still working. Here’s our list of 65 side business ideas.

17 Great Business Ideas as a Second Career

Ready for a change? If you’re looking for a new career, why don’t you check out our list of 17 business ideas for a second career?

19 Hot Sports Business Ideas

Love sports? Then make them your day job with these 19 sports business ideas.

11 Hot Fitness Business Ideas

If you like to stay fit, and help others do so as well, then consider one of these 11 fitness business ideas.

12 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Laptop

It doesn’t take much more than a laptop to get some businesses off the ground. Here’s a list of 12 businesses you can start from your laptop.

10 In-Home Business Opportunities You Can Start From Your Smartphone

Is your laptop too heavy to lug around? Well, with this list of 10 businesses you can start from your smartphone, you can go light and mobile.

4 Blossoming Green Business Opportunities

Green is in and growing more popular every year. Get in on that trend with this list of 4 green business ideas.

5 Business Ideas You Can Start to Combat Hostile Drones

Ok, this one’s a bit edgy, but if the thought of delivery drones crowding your airspace and invading your privacy fills you with dread, here are 5 businesses you can start to combat drones.

Hook, Line, and Sinker: Where to Find Your Next Great Idea

Looking at trends and growing industries is always a good way to come up with new business ideas. We did just that and came up with these business opportunities.

The 18 Weirdest Product Ideas Today

Nothing inspires business ideas more than out-of-the-box products. These 18 weird product ideas are as inspiring as they are unusual.

We highlighted 10 of the craziest product ideas in this video:

Old Can Be New Again

When we dug around in the Small Business Trends archives, we found 9 business ideas posts that, while dated, can still provide inspiration for your new business venture:

Great Business Ideas – Specific Businesses

Similar to our list posts, we’ve also written many articles about specific business ideas, many of which address the how in addition to the what. Check them out:

14 Tips for Using Your Blog to Start a Writing Business

The fact is, if you already blog then you’re likely a writer. Take those skills and start a business with these 14 tips for using your blog to start a writing business.

7 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Daycare Business

Love kids? Want to spend all day with them? If you answered, “Yes” to both questions then read this post to gain some insights into starting a daycare business.

How to Break Into the Beauty Business

Beauty is big business and we offer tips on starting a beauty business of your own.

Ever Wonder How to Build a Business as a Personal Stylist?

It takes style to become a beauty. Here are some tips on starting a personal stylist business.

“I am Chewie” Hoodie: Fan Art, Created Legally

If you sell your goods on sites like CafePress, Zazzle and RedBubble, you’ve probably bemoaned the fact that you can’t use licensed characters in your designs. Well we wrote about one site where you can legally use licensed characters in your product designs.

10 Steps to Become a Self-Employed Consultant

Consulting can be big business but how do you get started? We break down the steps to becoming a consultant in this post.

How to Make a Business Out of Playing Video Games

Earning a living playing video games is the dream of every child and child-at-heart. Here’s how you can turn your video game skills into a business that pays the bills.

How to Open a Coffee Shop of Your Own

If you dig java, then starting a coffee shop business just may be the right idea. Here’s how to open your own coffee shop.

How to Open a Second Hand Shop

You never know what you’ll find in a second hand shop and that makes each one a treasure cave waiting to be explored. If hunting for treasure that you can turn around and sell is your thing then learn how to open a second hand shop.

How to Start a Business as a Chocolatier

Chocolate can heal a broken heart and spark the flame of a new love. If you want to be a healer and matchmaker, then become a chocolatier and open your own business!

How to Start a Food Truck Business

Food trucks are restaurants on wheels and they’re hot right now. Discover how to start your own food truck business.

How to Start a Used Book Store Online or Off

Remember books, those rectangle-shaped things that didn’t have a power switch? Well people still buy and read them and selling used book, whether online or off, can be a great business to start.

How to Start an Artisan Donut Shop

Forget those plain Jane donuts you grew up with, donuts have gone fancy. Cash in on this trend by starting an artisan donut shop.

The Ultimate List of 398 Great Business Ideas - Artisan Donut Shop

If you want some inspiration, check out our list of 13 independent donut shop alternatives to Dunkin’ Donuts.

How to Start an Event Planning Business

The need for event planners will never fade. That’s good news for those of you who want to start your own event planning business.

How to Start Your Own Bubble Tea Business

The bubble tea trend is a weird one — some folks know all about it while others are completely in the dark. It won’t stay that way for long however, so get in while the getting’s good by opening a bubble tea business.

How To Start Your Own Social Media Business

If you’ve gotten good at using social media for yourself, why not use those skills to start a social media business where you help others get social?

Learn How To Start a Campground From Someone Who Did It

Sleeping outside? Yep, tons of people do just that every summer (and some crazy ones in the winter) and they need a place to pitch their tent. Here’s the real-life story of someone who started their own campground business.

Marijuana Businesses Offer Opportunities, But Also Risks

Pot is becoming big business and it’s all above board these days. Explore the opportunities of starting a marijuana business, as well as the risks.

Motorcycle Industry Offers Opportunity for Smaller Enterprises

Motorcycles tend to have a very dedicated market so why not get in on the passion by serving that audience? Here are some ideas for, and inspiring ideas about, starting a business in the motorcycle industry.

Should You Open a Pop-Up Shop?

The Ultimate List of 398 Great Business Ideas - Pop-Up Shop
A pop-up what now? These temporary storefronts can be lucrative and the opportunities are wide open. Find out if you should you open a pop-up shop.

8 Essential Steps to Starting a Non-Profit Organization

Have a cause you’re passionate about? Go beyond donations and volunteering by starting a non-profit organization that supports that cause.

Why Now is the Best Time to Start a Handmade Business

Crafted and DIY products are selling better than ever before. If you’re handy, here’s why you might want to consider starting a handmade business.

Your 10 Point Checklist to Starting an eCommerce Business

With the increase in online and mobile shopping, as well as the rise of easy-to-use tools and platforms, there’s never been a better time to start an eCommerce business.

Great Business Ideas – External Resources

Finally, if you’re looking for more great business ideas, check out the top two links in this article for external sites where people share business ideas and startup resources.

Box of donuts, Adidas Pop-Up Store Photo via Shutterstock, Idea Photo via Shutterstock

2 Comments ▼

Matt Mansfield


Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Specialist at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

2 Reactions

  1. So many business ideas and still people don’t know what to start. In some markets it is very difficult due to high competence but in some others it might be the opposite. I think it depends on detecting what is the market is asking for and how to innovate to make something better or easier.

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