51 Great Small Business Ideas

51 Great Small Business Ideas

Looking for inspiration to identify the best small business ideas? With so many business ideas, finding the right one is easier said than done.

It may seem like all of the good business ideas or the best small business ideas have been taken, but they are not. Most successful small business ideas come from individuals who work for someone else but they believe they can do better. Some might start out as employees or apprentices for other businesses and then gradually build up the skills and experience before they set out on their own.

With the right idea and determination, anyone can make their dreams of having their own small business come true. We show you how by walking you through:

Best Business Ideas
Checklist to Evaluate Business Ideas
Next Steps

Best Small Business Ideas

Here is a list of 51 of the best small business ideas for beginners with the right skill sets.

1. Home Contractor

If you have the experience working for a company that does home repairs or contracting work, then you can fairly easily start your own contracting business where you offer various services to homeowners.

2. Landscaping Business

Starting a landscaping business or lawn care business mainly just requires some equipment, transportation and a steady base of clients. So you don’t need to have business experience to get started.

3. Freelance Writer

If you have writing skills, you can get started with your own writing business fairly easily by offering your services to businesses on a freelance basis.

4. Blogger

You can also fairly easily start your own blog where you post about topics that match up with your own experience and expertise.

5. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants can offer a variety of different online services to businesses and professionals. A virtual assistant handles email organization and communication, social media scheduling and bookkeeping. You can start a virtual assistant business even if your experience in those areas comes from working for other companies.

6. Home Cleaning Service

For those who enjoy cleaning, or at least don’t mind it, starting a house cleaning business can provide a pretty straightforward path to business ownership.

7. Child Care Service

If you’re a kid person, you can start a child care business out of your home or even offer babysitting services where you go to the family’s home.

8. Courier

A courier is one of the small business ideas that simply provides a service that delivers messages from one person to another. So you don’t need much in the way of supplies or experience in order to get started.

9. Accountant

Small Business Ideas - Accountant

If you’re trained as an accountant, you can build up your own base of business or individual customers and build your own accounting business.

10. Errand Service

You can also start a business that offers various errand services like picking up dry cleaning or groceries.

11. Social Media Consultant

If you’re knowledgeable about social media, you can potentially offer your services to various businesses managing their social media accounts.

12. Social Media Influencer

Or you could focus more on building up your own social media accounts and eventually build your business as a social media influencer.  Influencers is one of the small business ideas that can earn an income from posting about various brands and promotions.

13. Etsy Seller

If you have any crafty skills, you can put them to good use by making various items by hand and then selling them on sites like Etsy, which make it fairly easy for beginner business owners.

14. Flea Market Vendor

You can also focus more on selling your goods in person. Flea markets and similar events provide a pretty simple way for new business owners to get started selling various items.

15. Ecommerce Reseller

Small Business Ideas - Ecommerce Reseller

Even if you don’t necessarily make your own items, you can purchase and resell goods on sites like eBay or Amazon without any prior business experience.

16. Web Designer

If you have knowledge or experience in web design, you can offer your services to clients and build your own business as a web designer.

17. House Painter

You can also take a more low-tech approach and offer services as a house painter for local homeowners or even businesses.

18. Dog Walker

If you enjoy spending time with four-legged friends, you can start a business as a dog walker. Offer services to pet owners who don’t have enough time to walk their dogs regularly.

19. Baker

Starting a food service business is one of the small business ideas that can be pretty involved for a beginner. But if you enjoy making food and want to build your first business around it, you can start a baking business. As a baker, you can sell products or custom creations for events out of your home kitchen.

20. Event Planner

For those who have some strong organizational and communication skills, you can build up a client base and start a business planning weddings or various other events.

21. Hairdresser

If you’re trained in cosmetology, you can start your own business as a hairdresser or hair stylist that travels to clients for events or other occasions.

22. Makeup Artist

Likewise, you can build up a client base and offer makeup services for events, photo shoots or special occasions.

23. Musician

If you’re skilled as a musician, you can build a business where you play at events or venues and earn a portion of the ticket sales or merchandising.

24. Photographer

You can also fairly easily start a business offering photography services for events or local clients who want to schedule portrait photoshoots.

25. Car Washing Service or Care Detailer

Car washing or detailing services don’t always need to involve lots of complicated equipment or business acumen. You can set up a location where you provide services to customers. Or as a car detailer you can travel to clients with your detailing supplies.

26. T-shirt Designer

Online services like Redbubble and CafePress make selling custom t-shirts fairly simple. So you can create your own designs and sell them online or even order a supply of them to sell on your own.

27. Coffee Cart Operator

Coffee shops and cafes are one of the small business ideas that can be complicated operations. But you can simplify the process and make it more attainable for a first-time business owner by opting for a coffee cart business instead.

28. Meal Preparation Service

You can also prepare single-serve meals and sell them to consumers out of your home or a simple commercial kitchen as long as you have the supplies and necessary licenses.

29. Antique Refurbisher

For those who enjoy working with antiques, you can start a business where customers can bring you their items for repair or refurbishing.

30. Public Speaker

If you have expertise in a given topic, even if you’ve never had your own business in that niche, you can start a business by offering public speaking services at events or conferences.

31. Personal Trainer

For those who have a lot of experience in physical fitness, you can build up a client base and start working as a personal trainer out of a home gym. Or connect with a commercial gym.

32. Yoga Teacher

Or you could get certified as a yoga instructor and build a business teaching yoga classes. Some of the best business ideas are the simplest.

33. Dance Instructor

If you want to teach more of a variety of movements, you can start your own dance classes out of your home or a local studio.

34. Music Teacher

You can also work one-on-one or in small groups to offer music lessons or classes in various instruments or styles.

35. Tutor

Or you could opt to teach in a one-on-one setting in a variety of different subjects. Providing tutoring services to students can be a straightforward way to start your first business.

36. Graphic Designer

If you have any design experience, you can work on attracting your own clients who need things like logo or branding design elements.

37. Tech Support Business

You can also start your own tech support company where you provide assistance to people over the phone or online when they experience tech issues.

38. Housekeeper

Small Business Ideas - Housekeeper

Or if you prefer working out of a home instead, you can start a business as a housekeeper that provides various homemaking services for families.

39. Affiliate Marketer

If you’re able to build up your own online network or audience related to a specific topic, you can start working with different brands as an affiliate marketer. Earn a portion of each sale you send their way.

40. YouTube Personality

YouTube also offers a popular platform for people to share information related to a number of different topics. And you can earn a share of ad revenue by posting and promoting your own videos.

41. Podcaster

You can also start your own podcast and sell advertising space or work with brands to earn an income from your show.

42. eBook Author

Writing a book isn’t exactly an easy undertaking. But it doesn’t require any official business experience to get started publishing and selling your own ebook online.

43. Interior Decorator

You can also start a business as an interior decorator without a lot of expensive equipment or complicated business knowledge.

44. Pool Cleaner

If you want to spend time outside and provide services for local homeowners, pool cleaning is another pretty straightforward service around which you can build a business.

45. Furniture Maker

You can also build or re-purpose your own furniture and then sell it to local boutiques or even at art fairs or similar events.

46. Proofreader

If you want to work from home or even just build a small side business, you can offer proofreading services to businesses, authors or individuals who want to pay someone to look over their work. The cost for this idea is very low.

47. Resume Service

You can also focus on helping local job seekers who need some help putting together their resumes or cover letters.

48. Scrapbook Maker

If you enjoy scrapbooking, you can actually build a business doing that for customers who want to preserve their memories in a creative way but don’t want to do the work themselves.

49. Clothing Alterations Service

For those who are skilled with a needle and thread, clothing alterations offers a potential business opportunity. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment or prior business knowledge.

50. Translator

As long as you know multiple languages, you can build a business by offering translator services to individuals or businesses in need of assistance converting conversations or documents from one language to another.

51. Uber Driver

The final entry on our list of business ideas is that of becoming an Uber driver.  This is one of the top ways entrepreneurs and individuals who want to get into business fast get started today. You can be in business next week! When we travel we always strike up a conversation with Uber drivers and ask how they like it. Most of the time they are very positive. A valid driver’s license, a good driving history, and a reliable vehicle are all musts for this business.

Small Business Ideas Checklist

Now that you’ve seen the list of business ideas, it’s time to evaluate which ones are a good fit.  While every business idea on our list is suitable for first-time owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, increase your success chances by doing your homework. When evaluating any small business ideas, here is a checklist of points to consider.

Does the business idea match your skills?

We all have at least one thing we do well. Take stock of your skills and identify what YOU know how to do well. Find business ideas where you can leverage your skills. Example: if you are good at writing and communicating, congratulations. You have a basic skill needed to be a freelance writer. To assess your skills, look at your accomplishments as an employee. Look at experience with school and community projects.  Look at your hobbies, too.

Is the business a good fit for your personality?

Pick a business where you will feel comfortable because your personality is a natural fit. If you are an introvert who prefers to work at a computer, then business ideas involving online work may be perfect. If you love interacting with people, then find business ideas that put you face to face with other people. You are more likely to be successful if the role feels comfortable.

Are startup costs within your budget?

Keep your investment in your first business low. Run quick numbers to estimate what it will cost to launch your favorite business idea. Most of the business ideas above cost little to start. But a few may require a bit more investment in marketing, equipment, inventory or supplies. Make sure you can cover the cost.

Is licensing required? 

Most of the above business ideas do not require licensing but a few do. For example, certain professions such as home contractors may require licensing. As a condition of that license you may also have to meet other requirements, such as carrying liability insurance. As you research ideas, check with your state, municipality, county or other local authority to identify all requirements.

What do people in similar businesses say?

Strike up a conversation with individuals who currently operate the business types on your short list. See how they feel about their businesses. You can also do research online. Search in Google to find forums and discussion boards for particular occupations, and read what members have to say. Similarly, search for Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups — there are groups for writers, marketers, social media consultants and other entrepreneurs who speak frankly.

Next Step on Your Small Business Ideas

As you evaluate your short list of business ideas using the checklist above, narrow the list down.

Look at these side businesses if possible. A side business keeps your risk low because you can continue to bring in a steady income at the same time you are building a business.

The goal is to identify the one best business idea — for you.

When you have isolated one business you are excited to try, outline a business plan. Address what it will take to launch and operate. Ask for help from friends and family whose opinions you value. Treat these people as your brain trust — your own informal board of directors for your future business.

Whatever business idea you chose – have confidence in yourself. Take action. Success awaits those who try!

Photos via Shutterstock  

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

72 Reactions
  1. I like the ideas that have few hurdles, primarily needing high levels of education or certifications. These let entrepreneurs get started and learn the ropes while the stakes are relatively low.

  2. This article was shared on the Serious Small Business group on LinkedIn by one of our members. The LinkedIn group is sponsored by Serious Small Business Magazine and is a perfect fit to a current topic the group is exploring.

    The members have been asked to share how they originally got involved in their current business. The goal is to provide ideas to other members around the world who want to own their own businesses or who are involved in businesses that aren’t taking them where they want to go and are looking to make a change.

    Thank you, Annie, for providing such a beautifully compiled list of small business ideas.

  3. Thankyou For this great article and tips to help online business owners. I myself work at home online and set my own hours. It a great feeling to be your own boss and make money and a living online 🙂

  4. Owning a business whether it’s small or big, is hundred times better than working as a block headed for other. Take challenge, get results.

    Thank you Annie!

    I think it will encourages more awesome people to be entrepreneurs.

    • This is powerful more especially to us who are interested in entrepreneurship. How can I become an entrepreneur? I need more ideas on entrepreneurship more less money(capital).

  5. Please what are the major pitfalls beginners in business must watch out for? Thanks for sharing these opportunities

  6. Business plans are important for all businesses. Thank you for this blog. There are thousands of articles about small business ideas I enjoyed reading your article. May I request please write about Small Business Problems.

  7. I just want to start a business according to the culture and environment ..what kind of business suitable for me ..?

  8. If you’re looking to start your own phone case business and bring production in-house, check out Case Escape (www.caseescape.com). They sell start up kits which include everything you need to get started and grow your business including dye sublimation equipment, blank cases, software, and training.

  9. My dream is to establish sawmill but no enough capital.

  10. Nice post Annie. I have another to consider – Offer a litter cleanup service outside commercial properties. This service is provided on foot using simple hand tools. You contract with real estate management companies to maintain their properties litter free. I started this a a side gig in 1981 and grew it into a successful business that I still operate. I share my success in my book, Cleanlots – America’s Simplest Business, as well as provide free support. Would you be interested in learning more?

  11. Really a great article covering almost all the possible way of starting a new business of your own. Blogging & affiliate marketing are the most common and popular names nowadays. Thanks, annie for sharing such great business ideas. Definitely gonna help a lot of people out there who are still in search of a business idea to start at their own.

    Keep sharing.

  12. Good work, please how do I promote my new event management company?

  13. Thanks for sharing,please what is the best way to advertise for my new cleaning business?

    • I would say to advertise on all social media accounts. Make a lot of friends on social media talk to everyone and anyone
      Make specific business accounts instead of using your personal ones but ask friemds to support you their as well. Also there’s many free newspapers that allow advertising. You can advertise with a big beautiful creative sign outside of your home. If you don’t mind spending a small amount you can buy several hundred business cards online for 10-20 dollars. Hand those out at 3vents and gatherings. Just get creative word of mouth is what will get you the most buisness. Be patient and do your best and be super friendly people will talk about how good you are and calls will come in from that.
      Good Luck!

  14. Another scalable business that can deliver exponential growth is the advertising business. Learn how to run ads on Facebook and Google, which are both free with ample opportunities to learn, also for free. Then go to local companies, like the ones on this list, and offer to to run ads for them. Here are five ways to market these businesses on Facebook and Google:

    1. Run ads 2-5 miles around the address to get local people to come into your store, or inquire about your service. This is hyperlocal advertising.

    2. Serve ads to people who are searching for a service or product. These ads will be banners after the user finished the search query.

    3. Post content to social media in places where there is a lot of free attention. In December 2019 that’s LinkedIn and Tik Tok.

    4. This requires a little more help, and happy to share more on this, but run ads in the local area on Roku, Pluto TV, and Hulu. This lets you reach people who are disconnected from traditional TV.

    5. Serve up banners to people who have recently bought complimentary products. These ads appear on top sites and apps like Yahoo, AOL, Flixster, CNN, and Zynga game apps.

  15. Please send me some info

  16. Nice post about small business but some people interested about Small business in Bangladesh they can check out it

  17. Really an awesome post, almost all field is covered in this post. So any that have interest in any field can start their business easily.

  18. very beautiful your contant for business ideas. you are great,Thanks.

  19. I loved your post. After retirement from teaching profession, I wanted to do something new from which I could generate employment for the the marginalized people.
    I want to become a Social Entrepreneur and the ideas given in this post show me a path. thanks.

  20. nice post.. impressed.. best business ideas shared by you

  21. Hello, A great post I would say for every segment. Will also like to hear some more tech-savvy biz ideas for engineering professionals, also any start-ups related to agriculture field

  22. Hello Annie,

    You’ve got an interesting article here.

    I have tried a couple of these small businesses as a student and I can tell you that they are profitable.

    This is a good way for one to start their entrepreneurial journey.

    Keep it up with the good work you are doing here.

    – Emenike

  23. Thank you for this informative post. In my opinion, this info is actual even now, in 2020. Many people around the world would like to change the office work and looking for some alternative options due to the pandemic situation. So, your list of jobs is very relevant nowadays.

    However, there are many new professions, the essence of which is to serve online businesses or social media influencers. If you do not want to be an Instagram blogger, you can be his assistant, his project manager, graphic designer, or just edit photos in Photoshop. So, you can easily convert your current office work into the online one.

  24. Nice suggestions & awesome web design

  25. There are two wonderful sayings that I would like to quote here.”An idle mind is devil’s workshop” and “Where there is a will there is a way”. So, great ideas like this will help the willing people. Thank you for the great ideas. They truly help.

  26. You’r business Ideas are going to save a lot of people who are literally confused and cannot decide what to do, All the 51 small business ideas are amazing and I appreciate your efforts you have put to make this blog. Thank you for sharing this important piece of information with us!!

  27. Really interesting ideas here! Great post and very useful to my research!

  28. Thank you so much for this important information, it was helpful to me because I was actually confused on what to do but you redeem me from my confuse state, once thank you and God bless you

  29. Such an interesting list, Annie.

    I have tried some of the businesses but two things came strong.

    The willingness to make it work and my deep interest in any of the businesses.

    So much work is needed to grow any business.

    I would refer people to this list ASAP. i have people asking me what they should do as they leave college.

    Thanks for this.

  30. Hey there thank you for this blog post.
    Loved your post and it helped me a lot.
    thanks again.

  31. Hey man you really cover the very interesting business ideas here, amazing post with valid ideas it’s help me a lot to my research.

  32. Hey,

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful small business ideas.

    And do you know that?

    The rental marketplace business model likes car rental, vacation rental, space rental, equipment rental, and boat rental. It can expect to reach 10 Billion in 2025.

    If you are interested in building a business for any type of ideas.

    Visit: https://www.rentallscript.com/airbnb-clone/

  33. I have Started a Swimming pool Service blog. Please Pray for me

  34. I have never been so much inspired. These ideas are just simply amazing. Do you have business ideas related to mushroom farming? I want to start this business and don’t have any idea how to. Please let me know.

  35. You may offer tuition to students in schools , colleges and university and charge tuition fee.

  36. Thanks for this post for more information.

  37. I think this article needs to be updated due to COVID 19. After the pandemic, the business environment of these small businesses will change dramatically. They all will need to increase their web presence. Building a website for a business has now become essential.

  38. I want to do new product retail business. Kindly advise with low investment?

  39. Great Ideas.Thanks man. thanks a lot

  40. Thank you for sharing this post. It is very useful for me to set up a business.

  41. very nice… i really like your blog…

  42. Excellent Post, Thanks for sharing this one

  43. Thanks for wonderful list. I start a blog. Pray for me Everyone

  44. Nice post Even nowadays cryptocurrency exchange platform also getting its peak .

  45. Hii,
    This is Great Post!!
    Thanks for sharing with us!! this is Really useful for me.. Please Keep here some updates.
    Regard !!!
    Anushka Singh

  46. Really VEry interesting and useful post. this blog gives more insights for small-scale startup business entrepreneurs.

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  48. Yeah it really very helpful for a business starter, Thanks for giving this knowledge

  49. I used the idea of writing a eBook and that worked very well. I am pleased to say I have sold a few copies.

  50. Pancakeswap Clone Script

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  51. This list is quite impressive but due to the current situation that the whole world is suffering other than a disease, online businesses like Web Designer, Blogging, YouTube, etc.
    These ideas will shine right now as per my opinion.

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  53. Impressive and useful blog. Thanks for sharing and posting this kind of article.

  54. This Article helps me to start a good career!
    Thank You

  55. Thanks for giving this information about business starter
    am going to apply it to me

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  56. thanks for sharing this amazing articles , as am a starter it will help me to , following you up

  57. Heyy.. Its an wonderful article.. I found it more useful and it will definitely help me.. Thanks for sharing..

  58. Great post. informative article for small business people. Thanks for sharing it.

  59. This article helps me to learn various aspects. Thank you for sharing such an article.

  60. Really helpful for startups

No, Thank You