16 Beach Business Ideas

beach business ideas

As we move into the summer season, it’s time to start thinking about business ideas – particularly beach business ideas that you can run as a successful seasonal business. Summer is one of the prime travel times for tourists, and there are plenty of opportunities for people to set up a successful business during the season. We’ll go through some of the best business ideas for beach towns and how to get started.

What Is a Beach Business?

A beach business is essentially a business that operates in a beach town and is generally seasonal. Or it might be a year-round business but sees peak activity during the summer when people are at the beach. A beach business idea is usually related to the beach itself, serving some need or demand from visitors.

The Beach Business Industry in 2023

As travel comes back on the horizon for many, those residing in a beach town will see an influx of tourists. The beach business industry is poised to grow in 2023, with the opportunity to significantly create businesses and earn revenue. Always make sure to check the appropriate licensing requirements that beaches require before starting any venture.

Why You Should Consider Starting a Beach Business

If you’re looking for creative business ideas that you can have fun with, a beach business might be right for you. For small business owners, a beach business works well for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Flexibility: Beach businesses hit their peak during the summer, which means the rest of the year allows for flexibility to pursue other opportunities
  • Stimulate the economy: Beach communities benefit from the business, which means more job creation and valuable business opportunities for the broader market.
  • Tourist-friendly: A beach business is essential to making a beach town hospitable for visitors and tourists and providing facilities and options to enjoy tourist attractions
  • Lifestyle Perks: Starting a business at the beach means you get to work in a serene, scenic environment. The natural beauty of the coast can be a daily source of inspiration and can enhance your work-life balance. There’s also something invigorating about conducting business with the sound of waves in the background and the possibility of a quick refreshing dip during breaks.
  • Seasonal Adaptability: While the peak season is undoubtedly the summer, off-peak seasons present unique business opportunities. These quieter months can be used to strategize, make improvements, introduce off-season services, or even cater to a different demographic, such as locals or those seeking peaceful retreats.

Criteria for Choosing Potential of Beach Business Ideas: Our Methodology

If you’ve ever dreamt of running a business by the water’s edge, you’re not alone. From seaside cafes to water sports rentals, beach businesses offer a unique opportunity to combine your passion for the beach with entrepreneurial spirit. When identifying and recommending top beach business ideas, we apply the following criteria, using a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 signifies the highest importance and 1 the lowest.

  1. Market Demand and Seasonality
    • Importance Scale: 9/10
    • Rationale: We prioritize ideas that cater to strong market demand, considering both peak and off-peak seasons, to ensure year-round viability.
  2. Initial Investment and Operating Costs
    • Importance Scale: 8/10
    • Rationale: We assess the cost-effectiveness of each idea, balancing the initial setup costs against potential returns.
  3. Scalability and Growth Potential
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: Ideas with potential for growth and scalability are favored, allowing entrepreneurs to expand their business over time.
  4. Competition and Market Saturation
    • Importance Scale: 8/10
    • Rationale: We consider the level of competition and saturation in the market to identify opportunities with a unique edge.
  5. Legal and Environmental Regulations
    • Importance Scale: 9/10
    • Rationale: Compliance with local laws and environmental guidelines is crucial, particularly in beach settings.
  6. Innovation and Uniqueness
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: Innovative and unique business ideas stand out, offering something different to beachgoers.
  7. Ease of Management and Operation
    • Importance Scale: 6/10
    • Rationale: We look for business ideas that are relatively easy to manage and operate, especially important for first-time entrepreneurs.
  8. Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: Eco-friendly and sustainable business practices are increasingly important, aligning with environmental conservation efforts.
  9. Customer Satisfaction and Experience
    • Importance Scale: 8/10
    • Rationale: Businesses that prioritize customer experience and satisfaction are likely to see repeat customers and referrals.
  10. Marketing and Visibility
    • Importance Scale: 6/10
    • Rationale: The potential for effective marketing and high visibility, especially in crowded beach areas, is a key factor.

By applying these criteria, we aim to guide entrepreneurs toward selecting beach business ideas that are not only lucrative but also sustainable and enjoyable for their target audience.

Top Beach Business Ideas

Most beach communities have thriving small businesses that are economically sound and offer valuable services to visitors and residents alike. We’ll explore some of the top beach business ideas that you can effectively market to grow into a brilliant business:

1. Jet Ski Rental Business

Jet skiing is a thrilling water sport, and beaches are an ideal place to enjoy this adrenaline-pumping activity. While it appeals primarily to younger demographics and those with a penchant for adventure, it has broader market appeal and tons of demand too.

Investing in high-quality jet skis, ensuring safety measures, and possibly offering guided jet ski tours can help stand out in a competitive market. Offering package deals, loyalty programs, or group booking discounts can further entice customers to choose your service.

2. Surf Shop

beach business ideas, start a surf shop

Surfing is not just a sport; for many, it’s a way of life. A surf shop can cater to both seasoned surfers and newcomers looking to ride their first wave. Besides renting out boards, consider selling surfing gear, accessories, and apparel to diversify revenue streams and scale your business.

Offering surfing lessons, from basic to advanced, can help draw in a crowd eager to learn. Hiring experienced instructors and providing video analysis of surfing sessions can give beginners the confidence and skills they need to enjoy the sport.

3. House Sitting Business

As summer draws vacationers to the beach, many homes are left vacant. This opens up opportunities for house-sitting services. By ensuring security, maintenance, and even pet care, house sitters provide homeowners peace of mind while they are away.

Offering additional services like mail collection, garden maintenance, and regular updates to homeowners can add value and differentiate your business. This is an easy business to start and requires almost no upfront investment.

4. Fishing Tour Services

fishing tour service, beach business ideas

Coastal areas often boast a rich marine ecosystem. For many visitors, fishing is both a relaxing pastime and an exciting challenge. Providing guided fishing tours, complete with equipment and local expertise, can be a hit.

Offering themed tours, like deep-sea fishing or night fishing, can cater to different interests and set your business apart from competitors. Additionally, collaborating with local restaurants where tourists can cook or serve their catch can offer a unique “catch-to-table” experience.

5. Boat Cleaning Service

Cleaning services, particularly for boats, are always in demand and can be a great way to earn money. If you can properly market your services to boat owners, you can create a consistent client base.

6. Rental Business

If you have the required capital, there are many other types of rental businesses you can start. Think about the local market and what’s missing for target populations that you can offer. This could include event tools such as great lighting systems, tents, and tables for weddings and other occasions. This can be a profitable opportunity with chances for growth over time.

7. Photography Business

photography business, beach business ideas

The beach provides a naturally stunning backdrop, making it a sought-after location for various photoshoots. By offering photography services, you can capture precious memories for visitors, be it candid shots, engagement photos, or family portraits. Hosting photography workshops or tours, where you guide participants to scenic spots and teach them photography techniques, can also be explored. So there are unique opportunities to set your business apart from competitors and increase profitability.

8. Lodging Business

Most businesses see an uptick in lodging during the summer, such as bed and breakfast establishments, AirBnBs, and more – as long you offer allied facilities such as wifi and food. This is especially useful if you have a beachside property or live close to touristy places.

9. Home Inventory Business

Many businesses set up home inventory services for customers, including cataloging local items and possessions. This is especially useful for beachside communities where residents may have more of a luxurious lifestyle and want to create an inventory of their prized possessions. This can be an easy business to start, with little upfront investment.

More Great Business Ideas to Start on the Beach

Looking for even more inspiration for your beach business idea? We’ve put together some other options that could work as a seasonal business.

10. Laundry Business

beach business ideas, laundry service

In popular tourist destinations, hotels and lodging facilities quickly reach capacity, especially during peak seasons.

As a result, there is an amplified demand for laundry services. With visitors coming and going, establishments and even individual tourists require quick and efficient laundry turnaround.

Establishing a laundry business in such locations can prove to be a lucrative venture.

By offering specialized services like express laundry, eco-friendly washing, or even delivery and pickup, you can set your business apart from competitors.

11. Ferry Business

Beach towns and islands often have limited infrastructure which might make transportation a challenge. Ferries can serve as an essential link, providing both residents and tourists with reliable transportation between points of interest.

Ferry rides can be turned into scenic journeys, giving passengers a unique perspective of the coastline and possibly even some marine life sightings.

Investing in comfortable seating, informative tour guides, or onboard amenities can further enhance the experience and make your ferry service the preferred choice.

12. Delivery Service

With the rise of digital platforms and apps, delivery services have gained immense popularity. In beach towns, there’s a heightened demand for local delicacies, fresh produce, and even beach essentials.

Establishing a delivery service that guarantees prompt delivery times can be a game-changer.

Collaborating with local restaurants, markets, or shops can further streamline operations. Given the relaxed nature of beach vacations, tourists would appreciate the convenience of having their desires delivered right to their doorstep.

13. Dinner Cruises

A dinner cruise is a delightful blend of dining and sightseeing. With beach destinations offering picturesque sunsets and serene waters, tourists often look for unique experiences.

A dinner cruise can provide an enchanting evening filled with good food, live music, and the gentle sway of the sea. To distinguish your dinner cruise, consider themed nights, gourmet food options, or even onboard entertainment like live bands or dance performances.

14. Beach Bar

beach business ideas, beach bar

Beaches and a chilled drink go hand in hand. While a beach bar might appear as a typical setup, its success largely depends on the ambiance, music, and beverages offered.

Offering unique cocktails, hosting live music nights, or even organizing beach games can make your beach bar the talk of the town and provide unique marketing opportunities. It becomes a relaxation spot, not just for tourists but also for residents seeking a laid-back evening by the shore.

15. Gift Shop

Every traveler loves to take back a piece of their journey, and what better than souvenirs from a beach town? From handcrafted jewelry, beachwear, to local art and crafts, the potential inventory for a gift shop in a beach destination is vast.

Collaborating with local artisans can also provide authenticity and uniqueness to your merchandise. Incorporating storytelling in your product lineup — explaining the history or significance of items — can further intrigue customers and make their purchase feel special.

16. Restaurants

Locals and tourists are always looking for affordable options for food without compromising the food experience. There are even unique opportunities for niche restaurants that set your business apart from local competitors. For example, you can open a pop-up or delivery-only restaurant that offers local cuisines and international dishes to hungry diners.

Beach Business Ideas Summary Table

Beach Business IdeasAn Overview
Jet Ski Rental BusinessA rental shop for beach activities like jet skis, attracting adventure seekers.
Surf ShopRental of surfing equipment and offering surfing or swimming lessons.
House Sitting BusinessA service to take care of homes during the summer when many people travel.
Fishing Tour ServicesTours to various fishing locations, providing equipment and group incentives.
Boat Cleaning ServiceOffer cleaning services specifically targeting boat owners.
Rental BusinessRent out event tools like lighting systems, tents, and tables for special occasions.
Photography BusinessCater to summer celebrations, offering photography services for weddings, graduations, and more.
Lodging BusinessBed and breakfasts, AirBnBs, especially targeting beachside properties or those near tourist areas.
Home Inventory BusinessCataloging local items and possessions, catering to luxurious beachside communities.
Laundry BusinessAddress the increased demand for laundry services from hotels and lodges.
Ferry BusinessProvide a mode of transport, especially if it's challenging for people to get around.
Delivery ServiceCater to the increased demand for local food and items, offering quick deliveries.
Dinner CruisesOffer cruises for tourists and residents, providing a unique experience with music and food options.
Beach BarEstablish a hotspot for tourists and locals to hang out and enjoy.
Gift ShopStock souvenirs and local merchandise to offer tourists a memento of their trip.
RestaurantsOffer affordable and diverse food options, considering pop-up or delivery-only models, emphasizing local cuisines and international dishes.

What Is the Best Business Idea to Open on a Beach?

The best business beach ideas are socially relevant and offer something new and unique for locals and tourists. The best business idea to open on a beach is a rental business for beach items and equipment to ensure everyone can fully enjoy the beach itself.

Can You Make Money While Living on the Beach?

Although there is worry about the seasonal crisis with beach businesses, people can make money living in a beach community. Many ideas don’t require a lot of investment to operate on the beach and can be a good source of income.

Image: Envato Elements

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Myra Nizami Myra Nizami is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and researcher with a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Master's from Kings College London.