You don’t need to spend all day cooped up in an office to run a successful business. In fact, there are many outdoor business ideas that could help you create a successful career while enjoying nature. Here are some options to consider.
Best Ideas for Outdoor Businesses
If you want to start your own business but don’t want to be chained to a desk, there are plenty of profitable business ideas you can run mainly outside. Here are some of the best outdoor business ideas for you to consider.
1. Gardening and Landscaping Business
A landscaping service can be a very lucrative business opportunity that offers various services to potential customers. You may focus mainly on lawn mowing and maintenance, or you could do gardening or complete landscaping overhauls.
Campgrounds offer space for campers to rent alongside various outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and bonfires. This type of business may require significant space but is a mainstay in the outdoor industry.
3. Golf Course
A golf course can be a profitable venture for those who are able to put in some time and investment into designing the course. Earn money through tee times, equipment rentals, and special events.
4. Summer Camp
With some space and fun outdoor activities for kids, you can start the perfect summer camp that campers will return to year after year.
5. Mobile Car Wash
Offer mobile car washing services to local drivers where you travel to their location to provide car wash and detailing.
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6. Tour Guide Business
If you’re based in an area that’s popular with tourists and want to explore travel business ideas, start your own tour guide service where you show visitors around or provide information from a mobile kiosk.
7. Dog Walking
Dog walking is an in-demand service in nearly every market. And you need almost nothing to get started. Just post signs or connect with local pet owners online.
8. Trail Guide
Offer to show locals or visitors around on their hiking trips. Provide walking tours of local trails or provide maps and other resources.
If you have some space on a body of water, offer a marina where boat owners can rent space to store their boats or launch them into the water.
10. Ski Lessons
Those in winter destinations can make money by offering ski lessons in partnership with ski resorts or local organizations that specialize in outdoor recreation.
11. Outdoor Equipment Rentals
Rent out equipment to locals or visitors that they can use for outdoor activities or projects. This may include kayaks and canoes for those on water or specialized landscaping equipment for those in residential communities.
12. Adventure Sports Park
Offer a space where people can come to enjoy various outdoor adventure sports like rock climbing or zip lining.
13. Landscape Photographer
Photographers can make money photographing clients outdoors or simply shoot images of beautiful scenery and sell those photos online.
14. Landscape Designer
Those with a vast knowledge of design can help homeowners and businesses create custom landscape design plans to maximize their outdoor spaces.
15. Ice Cream Stand
If you’re looking for classic small-town business ideas, start an ice cream stand that serves customers from a small cart or window.
16. Farmers Market Vendor
If you grow food or produce small consumer goods, approach local organizations about starting a farmers market where you can sell your products from an outdoor stand.
17. Boat Rentals
Those in the boating industry can either rent vessels to licensed boaters or offer boat hiring, where people can pay for a boat, captain, and crew for a set period. Many people also rent boats for special events.
18. Dog Training Service
If you love working with animals, start a small outdoor training facility where you work with dogs on tricks and obedience.
19. Outdoor Events Venue
Dedicate an outdoor space to use for events like weddings, carnivals, or festivals.
20. Animal Rental Service
Rent animals for events, petting zoos, pony rides, or various occasions.
21. Tree Service
If you’re looking for mostly offline business ideas that require lots of outdoor time, consider starting a tree service. You can help landowners plant trees, care for mature trees, and even remove diseased trees from their properties.
22. Plant Nursery
Grow plants or source them from local providers and then start a small nursery or greenhouse where consumers can purchase them.
23. Produce Farm
If you have significant outdoor space, look into produce that grows well in your climate and start your own farm. Organic produce has been especially in demand over the past decade. And you can sell products to wholesalers or open up your own farm stand to sell directly to consumers.
24. Horse Stable
If you prefer working with animals, start a horse stable where riders can rent space or learn how to interact with horses.
25. Livestock Farm
Farmers may also choose to focus on livestock. There are various animals you can raise for meat, dairy, or other resources.
26. Junk Cleanup Service
Offer hauling and junk removal services to homeowners, businesses, and construction crews. This type of work often requires time both indoors and outdoors.
27. Power Washing Service
Invest in power washing equipment to clean off building exteriors, concrete, and other outdoor surfaces and hard-to-reach spots.
28. Bicycle Repair Service
Offer bicycle repair services out of a garage, or provide mobile services where you travel to customers with the right equipment and parts.
29. Pool Cleaning Service
Offer pool cleaning services throughout the summer. This can be a lucrative business opportunity since it often involves lots of repeat clients.
30. Roofing Company
For those interested in providing home services, roofing is always in-demand. And crews spend the vast majority of their time outdoors.
31. House Painting Service
House painting is another home service that often includes tons of outdoor time, though some painters provide interior services as well. Entrepreneurs who want to maximize time in the great outdoors could focus solely on exterior painting.
32. Window Washing Service
With a window washing service, you can provide both interior and exterior options, but businesses and building owners with lots of stories and hard-to-reach windows often pay a premium for this service.
33. Fence Company
Install fences for local homeowners and businesses. This requires access to various equipment and some basic construction knowledge. This can be its own business plan or be an additional service for a larger contracting business.
34. Outdoor Fitness Classes
Help local fitness enthusiasts get exercise while enjoying some fresh air. Everything from CrossFit to yoga can be offered outdoors.
35. Hunting Guide
If you’re looking for popular rural business ideas, consider providing services as a hunting guide. You can rent space and/or lead people through the area. This is part of small-town business ideas that can bring revenues to areas looking for economic growth.
36. Christmas Tree Farm
Those looking for vacant land business ideas could plant evergreen trees and then make extra money throughout the winter by welcoming visitors who want to cut down their own Christmas trees.
37. Flea Market
Flea markets are popular in many communities. Start your own or offer various goods as a vendor if there are already popular options in your area.
38. Snow Clearing Service
During winter, clear snow for homeowners and businesses in exchange for a small fee.
39. Pet Cleanup Business
You can also charge pet owners a fee for cleaning up their yards on an ongoing basis.
40. Fishing Guide
Those who live near water can earn income by taking fishermen out on boats with them and serving as a guide to the area.
Grow your own grapes and welcome visitors for tours and/or outdoor wine-tasting events.
If you’re looking for backyard business ideas, consider setting up a small woodworking shop where you can create various products, from custom millwork to furniture.
43. Adventure Club
An adventure club can include various activities for the outdoors-loving entrepreneur and others in their area. Guide people on various excursions, from biking tours to adventure trips.
44. Courier Service
Start a courier or delivery service where you take documents or packages to people and businesses. These couriers often travel by foot or bike.
45. Pest Control Service
Offer pest control treatments for homeowners and businesses. This often involves inspecting and treating both the inside and outside of buildings.
46. Mobile Advertising
Offer mobile advertising space on a car, bike, or other surfaces that you can move around town. This may involve connecting with relevant businesses online. But then you simply display your ad wherever you travel outdoors.
47. Sports Coaching
Those interested in sports business ideas can offer individual or small group coaching for specific sports. For example, you may serve as a private tennis instructor or a pitching coach who works with young kids looking to improve between seasons.
48. Driving School
Help teens and adults learn to drive while you travel around town with them and participate in parking and driving tests. States generally regulate these schools and testing bodies, so check with your local government to make sure you meet the relevant requirements.
49. Towing Service
Entrepreneurs with a tow truck can also start a roadside assistance business to help those needing a tow or various other services like a jump start or tire change.
50. Coffee Cart
Start your own coffee cart that you can wheel around town to serve people on the go throughout your community. You’ll likely need a local vendor license. But these companies keep costs low and can travel to various high-traffic areas.
Table: Best Ideas for Outdoor Businesses
This table from our list provides a quick look at various outdoor business ideas. It helps you see important details about each idea, like what the business does and who it serves. Whether it’s hands-on work like landscaping or fun stuff like running a summer camp, this table makes it easy to spot an outdoor business that matches your interests. It’s a handy guide for anyone eager to start working outdoors.
|Gardening and Landscaping Business
|Offers services like lawn mowing, gardening, or complete landscaping makeovers.
|Provides camping space and outdoor activities like hiking and boating. Requires significant space.
|Can be profitable with investment in course design. Earns money through tee times, rentals, and events.
|Offers outdoor activities for kids, with space for various fun events.
|Mobile Car Wash
|Travels to clients to provide car wash and detailing services.
|Tour Guide Business
|Shows tourists around or provides information from a mobile kiosk, especially in popular areas.
|In-demand in many markets; requires minimal startup resources.
|Provides guided tours of local hiking trails or offers maps and resources.
|Offers space for boat storage and launching, typically located on a body of water.
|Offers ski instruction in winter destinations, often partnering with resorts or outdoor organizations.
|Outdoor Equipment Rentals
|Rents equipment for outdoor activities or projects, like kayaks or landscaping gear.
|Adventure Sports Park
|Provides space for outdoor sports like rock climbing or zip lining.
|Takes photos of scenery or clients outdoors; sells images online.
|Helps design outdoor spaces for homes or businesses.
|Ice Cream Stand
|Serves customers from a cart or small stand, a classic small-town business.
|Farmers Market Vendor
|Sells home-grown food or homemade goods at outdoor markets.
|Rents boats to licensed individuals or offers chartered trips with a crew.
|Dog Training Service
|Provides outdoor dog training for tricks and obedience.
|Outdoor Events Venue
|Hosts events like weddings or festivals in an outdoor setting.
|Animal Rental Service
|Rents animals for various events or occasions.
|Offers planting, care, and removal of trees for landowners.
|Sells plants and gardening supplies, possibly grown on-site.
|Grows and sells produce, especially organic, directly to consumers or wholesalers.
|Provides space for horse riding and learning.
|Raises animals for various products like meat or dairy.
|Junk Cleanup Service
|Offers hauling and removal services for different clients.
|Power Washing Service
|Cleans exterior surfaces and hard-to-reach outdoor areas.
|Bicycle Repair Service
|Fixes bikes either from a shop or via a mobile service.
|Pool Cleaning Service
|Cleans pools, often with many repeat customers in the summer.
|Provides roofing services, mostly working outdoors.
|House Painting Service
|Paints houses, focusing on exterior work to spend more time outside.
|Window Washing Service
|Cleans windows for homes and businesses, both inside and out.
|Installs fences, requiring equipment and basic construction knowledge.
|Outdoor Fitness Classes
|Conducts various fitness classes like yoga or CrossFit outdoors.
|Leads hunting trips in rural areas, often renting space for the activity.
|Christmas Tree Farm
|Grows evergreen trees and sells them during the winter season.
|Organizes or participates in selling goods at outdoor markets.
|Snow Clearing Service
|Clears snow for homes and businesses during winter.
|Pet Cleanup Business
|Charges for regular yard cleanup for pet owners.
|Takes fishermen on guided boat trips.
|Grows grapes and offers wine tastings and tours.
|Creates wood products in a backyard shop.
|Organizes various outdoor excursions like biking tours.
|Delivers packages around town, often by foot or bike.
|Pest Control Service
|Provides pest control for indoor and outdoor spaces.
|Displays ads on a vehicle or other mobile surfaces.
|Offers private coaching in various sports.
|Teaches driving, traveling around town with students.
|Provides roadside assistance and towing.
|Serves coffee on the go from a mobile cart, traveling to busy areas.
How We Chose the Best Outdoor Business Ideas
When we looked for the top outdoor business ideas to recommend to you, we didn’t just pick at random. Here’s how we make sure each idea is a winner:
- Market Demand (Scale: Very Important): We check if there’s a real need or desire for the business in the market. High demand means more potential customers.
- Initial Investment (Scale: Important): Some ideas need more money to start than others. We consider how much you’ll need to invest upfront.
- Profitability Potential (Scale: Very Important): We look at how much money the business could make. A great idea should have the potential for good profits.
- Skills and Expertise Required (Scale: Important): Some businesses need special skills or knowledge. We think about what you’ll need to know to succeed.
- Seasonality (Scale: Moderately Important): Many outdoor businesses are seasonal. We consider how the business will do year-round.
- Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness (Scale: Moderately Important): We value businesses that are good for the planet. Eco-friendly ideas can also attract more customers.
- Location Dependency (Scale: Important): Some outdoor businesses work better in certain places. We look at how location affects success.
- Scalability (Scale: Moderately Important): We consider if the business can grow over time. Being able to expand is key for long-term success.
- Work-Life Balance (Scale: Moderately Important): We think about how the business will fit into your life. A good idea shouldn’t mean working all the time.
- Legal and Regulatory Requirements (Scale: Important): We check what laws or rules might affect the business. It’s important to know what you’re getting into.
The Benefits of Starting an Outdoor Business
Connection with Nature
One of the primary benefits of an outdoor business is the opportunity it provides to work in and enjoy the natural environment. This connection with nature can enhance mental and physical well-being, offering a healthy work-life balance that many entrepreneurs seek.
Reduced Overhead Costs
Many outdoor businesses require minimal investment in physical infrastructure. Without the need for an office or storefront, you can significantly reduce overhead costs such as rent, utilities, and maintenance.
Flexibility and Mobility
Outdoor businesses often offer a high degree of flexibility and mobility. You can choose to operate in different locations based on seasonality, demand, or personal preference, providing a dynamic and adaptable business model.
Growing Demand for Outdoor Experiences
There’s an increasing consumer trend towards outdoor and nature-based experiences. Whether it’s for health, leisure, or environmental reasons, more people are seeking services that allow them to engage with the outdoors, creating a growing market for these types of businesses.
Current Trends in Outdoor Businesses
Health and Wellness Focus
The rising interest in health and wellness has boosted the popularity of outdoor fitness classes, yoga retreats, and adventure sports. These businesses cater to a growing demographic that values physical health and mental well-being.
Eco-Conscious and Sustainable Practices
Today’s consumers are more environmentally aware and are often drawn to businesses that demonstrate sustainable practices. Outdoor businesses that emphasize eco-friendliness, such as organic farming or eco-tours, are particularly appealing.
There is a shift towards valuing experiences over material goods. Outdoor businesses that provide unique experiences, like guided hikes, wildlife tours, or outdoor workshops, tap into this trend and attract customers seeking memorable activities.
Even outdoor businesses can benefit from technological advancements. From using social media for marketing to employing GPS technology for adventure tours, integrating technology can enhance operational efficiency and customer experience.
What is an outdoor business?
An outdoor business includes a variety of operations that primarily or partially take place in outdoor settings. The nature of these businesses often capitalizes on the appeal of the outdoors, whether for leisure, adventure, or practical purposes. Here are some key aspects:
- Primary Outdoor Operations: These businesses are predominantly conducted in open-air environments. Examples include adventure sports services, outdoor event planning, landscaping, and farming. These ventures leverage the natural environment as a fundamental resource for their operations.
- Indoor-Outdoor Combination: Some outdoor businesses require a blend of outdoor activity and indoor work. For instance, a tour company might conduct tours outdoors but handle bookings and marketing from an office. Similarly, a gardening service might perform the physical work in gardens but do planning and client communication indoors.
- Seasonal Adaptability: Many outdoor businesses are seasonal, thriving in specific weather conditions. For example, a ski rental service would be in demand during winter, while a beach equipment rental service would see more business in summer.
- Nature-Based Services: These businesses focus on offering services that are directly related to nature and outdoor experiences, such as wildlife photography courses, bird-watching tours, or outdoor yoga classes.
- Product Sales and Rentals: Outdoor businesses often include the sale or rental of equipment related to outdoor activities, like camping gear, hiking equipment, or water sports gear.
- Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Focus: There’s a growing trend of outdoor businesses that not only operate in nature but also promote environmental sustainability. These might include eco-tours, conservation-focused workshops, or organic farming.
- Health and Wellness Oriented: Many outdoor businesses are aligned with health and wellness, offering activities like fitness boot camps, outdoor meditation sessions, or therapeutic nature walks.
- Event-Based Operations: This includes businesses that operate around outdoor events, such as wedding venues in natural settings, outdoor concert organizing, or food vendors for festivals and fairs.
Relatedly, here’s a word from UpFlip about a lucrative business that blends a little bit of indoor business with a lotta the outdoors:
Why should you start your own business outdoors?
If you’re thinking of starting a business in 2023, here are some reasons to consider the outdoor business ideas below:
- Enjoy time in nature: Many people enjoy spending time outdoors. And nature can benefit both your physical and mental health.
- Save money: Without a dedicated building, it may be less expensive to start your business.
- Gain location flexibility: Many outdoor business ideas can also be run from various locations. So you could travel or choose where to run your operations.
- Latch onto popular industries: There are many outdoor business ideas that are part of increasingly popular industries like wellness and travel.
- Choose from various business types: There are many types of businesses that can be run mainly in outdoor spaces. So you can choose those that are most relevant to your interests and those you have good knowledge about.
What is the best outdoor business to start?
There are many outdoor business ideas that suit various interests and skill sets. If you’re looking to start a lucrative business that can work in nearly any market, consider options like landscaping or outdoor cleaning services.
What outdoor businesses are in high demand?
The outdoor business landscape continues to evolve with emerging trends and shifting consumer demands. Meanwhile, certain outdoor businesses have proven to be in high demand in this dynamic environment due to their essential nature and growing popularity.
Among these, landscaping and home service businesses remain steady contenders – as they cater to recurring needs and maintenance requirements. This evolution also gives rise to innovative outdoor business ideas that align with the growing emphasis on wellness and sustainable living.
Here are some outdoor businesses that are currently in high demand and are expected to thrive in the coming year:
- Landscaping Services: Providing landscaping solutions, lawn care, and garden design services to enhance outdoor spaces.
- Roofing Services: Meeting the demand for roofing repairs and replacements to ensure homes’ structural integrity.
- Outdoor Workout Classes: Capitalizing on the rising interest in outdoor fitness activities and offering group workout sessions in natural settings.
- Organic Farming Businesses: Catering to the increasing demand for organic produce and sustainable farming practices.
- Outdoor Adventure Tours: Offering guided outdoor excursions, such as hiking, biking, and wildlife tours, to nature enthusiasts.
- Eco-Friendly Cleaning Services: Providing environmentally conscious cleaning solutions for outdoor spaces, such as patios and decks.
- Garden Center and Nursery: Supplying a diverse range of plants, flowers, and gardening essentials to gardening enthusiasts.
- Outdoor Event Planning: Organizing and coordinating outdoor events like weddings, parties, and corporate gatherings in scenic locations.
- Pet Exercise Services: Meeting the demand for pet owners seeking professional dog walking and exercise services in outdoor settings.
- Mobile Car Wash: Offering convenient and eco-friendly car wash services directly to customers’ locations, reducing water waste.
These outdoor businesses not only cater to existing needs but also align with the current trends of wellness, eco-consciousness, and a desire to connect with nature. By tapping into these high-demand areas and delivering exceptional services, entrepreneurs can position themselves for success in the ever-evolving outdoor business landscape.
What business can you start in your backyard?
You can start a small garden or workshop business from your backyard. For example, you may grow herbs and vegetables to sell at a local farmer’s market. Or start a wood shop where you create furniture and decor to sell.
What is the easiest small business to start outdoors?
Starting a service-based small business outdoors is often the easiest and most accessible option for aspiring entrepreneurs. These ventures require minimal equipment and can quickly turn a profit.
For instance, offering dog walking services to pet owners in your neighborhood is a simple and straightforward way to start. You only need a leash and a love for animals to get going. Additionally, busy pet owners are often willing to pay for this convenience.
Similarly, providing pet cleanup services is another easy outdoor business idea that demands little investment. With just basic cleaning supplies, you can offer to tidy up yards for pet owners, catering to their busy schedules.
By focusing on outdoor service-oriented businesses, entrepreneurs can launch their ventures with minimal resources while enjoying the flexibility and freedom of working in the great outdoors.
|Outdoor Service-Based Business Ideas
|Dog Walking Services
|Offer dog walking services to pet owners in the neighborhood. Requires a leash and a love for animals. Busy pet owners often seek this convenient service.
|Pet Cleanup Services
|Provide yard cleanup for pet owners using basic cleaning supplies. Cater to the needs of busy pet lovers who value a tidy outdoor space.
What outdoor business can you start with little money?
There are several outdoor small businesses that require little to no upfront investment, including dog walking, hiking guides, and mobile car washing.
Image: Envato Elements
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