50 Creative Business Ideas to Start


Creativity is an essential skill for every entrepreneur. But some businesses require even more creative ideas and energy on a daily basis. If you’re interested in starting your own business and love using this skill set, here are some of the best creative business ideas to consider.

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Selecting the Best Creative Small Business Ideas: Our Methodology

For creative business ideas, it’s essential to assess them based on their potential to harness creativity effectively while ensuring practicality and market viability. Here are the key criteria along with their importance ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 indicates the highest importance:

  • Innovation and Creativity
    • Importance: Essential (10/10)
      The business idea must be grounded in unique and innovative creative concepts or methods.
  • Market Demand and Niche Appeal
    • Importance: High (9/10)
      Identifying a specific market or niche that values and seeks creative products or services is critical.
  • Scalability and Growth Potential
    • Importance: Moderate (7/10)
      The idea should have the potential to scale and evolve, reaching wider markets without losing its creative essence.
  • Revenue Model and Financial Viability
    • Importance: High (9/10)
      Establishing a clear and sustainable revenue model is crucial to ensure the business’s financial success.
  • Brand Building and Marketing
    • Importance: High (9/10)
      Developing a strong brand identity that resonates with the creative nature of the business is vital for attracting customers.
  • Quality and Uniqueness of Offerings
    • Importance: High (9/10)
      The quality and uniqueness of the creative output are key to setting the business apart from competitors.
  • Customer Engagement and Loyalty
    • Importance: High (9/10)
      Building a loyal customer base through engagement and excellent service is important for long-term success.
  • Adaptability to Market Trends
    • Importance: Moderate (7/10)
      The ability to adapt creatively to changing market trends can sustain the business’s relevance and appeal.
  • Online Presence and Digital Marketing
    • Importance: High (9/10)
      Leveraging online platforms effectively is crucial for reaching a broader audience and marketing creative products or services.
  • Collaboration and Networking Opportunities
    • Importance: Moderate (7/10)
      Engaging in collaborations and networking can open up new opportunities and ideas for creative growth.

creative business ideas

Top Creative Small Business Ideas

If you’re looking for a creative business idea to start, here are several popular options to consider.

1. Web Design Business

creative business ideas

Web design is an in-demand service that requires creative ideas and an eye for design. Collaborate with clients to create custom designs or offer templates that people can buy and install themselves.

2. App Developer

There are tons of creative apps with high market demand to build a business around. You can offer app design services to other businesses or create your own app and sell it or offer in-app purchases.

3. Photography Business

Photographers can make a living by photographing events, portraits, landscapes, or still-life scenes. Once you have the equipment you need to start a photography business, practice your craft, and start booking clients.

4. Art Gallery

creative business ideas

Open a gallery space and start displaying your own works or those from other respected artists in your area.

5. Interior Designer

If you love interior design, collaborate with clients in your area to create spaces they love. This business idea comes with low startup costs and can even be run from your own home.

6. Landscape Designer

Small business owners who love spending time outside can offer landscape design services to create unique outdoor spaces for local clients.

7. Craft Business

creative business ideas

Create unique handmade products and sell them at local craft fairs or online marketplaces like Etsy. Learn how to start a craft business and how to start an Etsy shop before getting started.

8. Food Truck Business

Food trucks serve unique, quality food items at local events. This can be a lucrative business idea for someone in the food industry who wants to create a unique menu.

9. Art Supply Store

As an art supply store owner, you get to carry various art supplies that you use in your own projects, from paint to craft materials.

10. Secondhand Shop

creative business ideas

Thrift stores have to find creative ways to display and sell used goods. Learn how to open a second-hand shop in your community here.

11. E-commerce Store

There are tons of unique and in-demand niches for an e-commerce business. Successful businesses in this niche often design their own products or develop creative materials to promote and market them.

12. T-Shirt Business

T-shirt design is a popular online niche for anyone with a passion for printing and graphic design. Learn how to start a t-shirt business with just a few steps.

13. Personal Stylist

creative business ideas

Fashionable entrepreneurs can get creative while helping clients maximize their wardrobes and pick out the perfect outfits.

14. Tattoo Artist

Tattoo shops can be the perfect business idea for creatives. You’ll just need to learn how to start a tattoo business and get all the necessary materials and permits first.

15. Social Media Marketing Business

If you want to start an online creative business, help other companies manage their social media accounts with unique campaigns, visuals, and content. There’s tons of market demand for this service, and it’s ideal for those who want to collaborate with other business owners.

16. Logo Designer

creative business ideas

Work with clients to spruce up their existing business or successfully launch a new business with the right logo.

17. Event Planning Business

Event planners help clients design and execute weddings, corporate events, and fundraisers. Use your creativity for everything from budgeting to balloon art.

18. Music Teacher

Use your creativity to share music with students. Offer private lessons or post educational content online.

19. Author

creative business ideas

Writing a book requires tons of creativity, no matter what genre or writing style. If you’re interested in this option, first learn how to become a better writer. Then look for a publisher or consider self-publishing. There are tons of places to publish your business ebook online and off.

20. Dance Studio

Teach others in your area how to move and express themselves with classes and private lessons.

21. Event Entertainer

If you play an instrument, make art, or even create balloon art, offer your services as an event entertainer in your area.

22. Subscription Box Service

creative business ideas

Subscription boxes require creativity to curate each month. Learn how to start a subscription business here.

23. Makeup Artist

Makeup artistry is one of the best small business ideas for creatives in the beauty industry.

24. Hair Stylist

You can also offer hair styling services, or even combine this with a makeup or spa business.

25. Jewelry Business

creative business ideas

Make or design your own jewelry and sell it online or in retail stores. Once you learn how to start a jewelry business, there are nearly endless options.

26. Cake Decorator

Decorate cakes for special events or photo shoots to express creativity through food.

27. Digital Marketing Service

Start a consulting business where you collaborate with businesses to help them come up with creative marketing and advertising campaign.

28. Social Media Influencer

creative business ideas

Create your own social media presence, build a following, and then partner with brands you love to bring sponsored content to your audience.

29. Video Producer

Help brands produce video content, or create your own videos and post them online.

30. Food Blogger

Create unique recipes and post them on your blog, or write cookbooks that people can purchase.

31. Clothing Designer

creative business ideas

Start your own fashion line full of unique clothing you’d wear in your own life.

32. Greeting Card Designer

Use your art skills to design greeting cards and sell them online or at local markets and gift stores.

33. Woodworking Business

If you love making things by hand, start a woodworking business to craft unique, high-quality furniture and decor.

34. Embroidery Business

creative business ideas

If you can embroider, either create a line of embroidered products or offer custom embroidery to potential clients.

35. Quilt Business

Quilting requires lots of skill and patience, but you can create beautiful products to sell.

36. Gift Shop

Open a local gift shop where you curate unique products for local customers. This requires a larger initial investment than many online and service businesses, but it can be a great business idea for those interested in retail.

37. Gift Wrapping Service

creative business ideas

Help shoppers wrap gifts around the holidays or for special occasions. You can either learn how to start a gift wrapping service on its own or add it to another business like a gift shop.

38. Sticker Business

Once you learn how to start a sticker business, you can either sell your own designs or offer custom printing for other businesses.

39. Pottery Business

Make your own ceramics to sell, like mugs, bowls, and custom sculptures. Ceramics are in high demand now, but this business is also adaptable to trends, since you can easily integrate new products and styles once you have the skills.

40. Calligraphy Service

creative business ideas

Hone your calligraphy skills and create custom lettering for signs and invitations.

41. Affiliate Marketer

Start a blog, newsletter, or social media accounts and build a following. Then you can partner with related brands that offer affiliate programs to earn a commission whenever someone buys something through one of the links in your content.

42. Travel Blogger

If you love to write and travel, learn how to start a travel blog and start creating content about your trips that may benefit others.

43. Custom Illustrator

creative business ideas

Those who love to draw can offer custom portraits or artwork for customers. For example, you may provide pet owners with drawings of their dogs and cats.

44. Painter

Those who love to paint can sell original works or prints online. Or you may work with an art dealer in your area to sell directly to galleries or collectors.

45. Inventor

Coming up with new product ideas requires tons of creativity. You can either launch and sell products with your own small business or license them to other brands.

46. Candle Business

creative business ideas

Create candles from raw materials and sell them online or through local gift shops. Learn how to start a candle business here.

47. Soap Maker

Or you could learn how to start a soap business and offer personal care products instead. Handmade personal care products and those made with natural materials are in high market demand.

48. YouTube Creator

Upload creative videos to YouTube and earn money through ad revenue, brand partnerships, or by offering your own merchandise.

49. Upcycling Business

creative business ideas

Determine how to start an upcycling business using items you already have or find at secondhand shops. Then turn them into something unique and sell them.

50. Florist

Create beautiful bouquets or floral designs to sell in a local shop or install at special events.

#Business IdeaDescription
1Web Design BusinessCreate custom designs or offer templates for websites.
2App DeveloperOffer app design services or create and sell your own apps.
3Photography BusinessOffer various photography services such as events, portraits, landscapes.
4Art GalleryOpen a space for displaying your own or others' artwork.
5Interior DesignerWork with clients to create beautiful interior spaces.
6Landscape DesignerDesign unique outdoor spaces for local clients.
7Craft BusinessSell handmade products online or at local craft fairs.
8Food Truck BusinessServe unique food items at local events.
9Art Supply StoreCarry various art supplies for personal or public use.
10Secondhand ShopDisplay and sell used goods creatively.
11E-commerce StoreDesign and sell unique products or creative materials online.
12T-Shirt BusinessDesign and sell T-shirts online.
13Personal StylistHelp clients maximize their wardrobes and pick outfits.
14Tattoo ArtistStart a tattoo business with the required materials and permits.
15Social Media MarketingManage social media accounts with creative campaigns and visuals.
16Logo DesignerDesign logos for new or existing businesses.
17Event Planning BusinessDesign and execute various events, from weddings to corporate gatherings.
18Music TeacherShare music with students through private lessons or online content.
19AuthorWrite books and publish them online or offline.
20Dance StudioTeach dance classes and private lessons.
21Event EntertainerOffer art or music services at events.
22Subscription Box ServiceCurate creative subscription boxes monthly.
23Makeup ArtistProvide makeup services in the beauty industry.
24Hair StylistOffer hair styling or combine with other beauty services.
25Jewelry BusinessDesign and sell jewelry online or in stores.
26Cake DecoratorDecorate cakes for special occasions or photo shoots.
27Digital Marketing ServiceConsult on creative marketing and advertising campaigns.
28Social Media InfluencerBuild a social media presence and partner with brands for sponsored content.
29Video ProducerProduce video content for brands or create your own videos.
30Food BloggerCreate and post unique recipes or write cookbooks.
31Clothing DesignerDesign a fashion line with unique clothing.
32Greeting Card DesignerDesign and sell greeting cards online or locally.
33Woodworking BusinessCraft unique wooden furniture and decor.
34Embroidery BusinessCreate embroidered products or offer custom embroidery services.
35Quilt BusinessCreate and sell beautiful quilts.
36Gift ShopCurate unique products for a local gift shop.
37Gift Wrapping ServiceOffer gift wrapping services during holidays or special occasions.
38Sticker BusinessDesign or print custom stickers for sale.
39Pottery BusinessCraft ceramics like mugs, bowls, and sculptures.
40Calligraphy ServiceOffer custom calligraphy for signs and invitations.
41Affiliate MarketerPartner with brands to earn commission through affiliate links.
42Travel BloggerWrite and create content about your travel experiences.
43Custom IllustratorDraw custom portraits or artwork for customers.
44PainterSell original paintings or prints online or through galleries.
45InventorDevelop and sell or license new product ideas.
46Candle BusinessCreate and sell candles online or in local shops.
47Soap MakerProduce and sell personal care soap products.
48YouTube CreatorCreate videos on YouTube and monetize through various channels.
49Upcycling BusinessTransform secondhand items into unique products for sale.
50FloristDesign and sell bouquets or floral arrangements in a shop or at events.

Do you have a creative small business idea?

Successful creative business ideas are those that highlight your skills while also serving an important need for customers. Here are some top qualities that lead to a successful business in a creative field:

  • Passion: You’re more likely to feel inspired by topics that interest you. So focus on business ideas you feel passionate about.
  • A strong need: Others also have to be interested in your products or service. Research your target market to make sure your offering appeals to people other than you.
  • Consistency: Creatives often get really excited about new ideas, but may struggle with day-to-day tasks. Successful small businesses need consistent upkeep.
  • A unique niche: What makes your business idea stand out? A unique product or marketing materials that speak to a new audience can grab people’s attention.
  • Adaptability: Business owners need to be able to try new things to evolve over time. Be open to new ideas and expansion opportunities.

Legal and Administrative Guidance for Creative Business Ideas

When starting any business, understanding and navigating the legal and administrative landscape is crucial. Here are key points to consider for each creative business idea:

  • Business Registration and Structure: Determine the appropriate structure for your business, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Register your business name and obtain any necessary licenses or permits.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: For creative businesses, protecting your intellectual property is vital. Consider copyrights, trademarks, or patents where applicable. This is especially important for businesses like photography, graphic design, app development, and content creation.
  • Tax Obligations: Understand your tax responsibilities, including income tax, sales tax, and self-employment tax. Keep accurate records of your income and expenses for tax purposes.
  • Contracts and Agreements: Draft clear contracts or agreements for services or products. This is crucial for businesses like event planning, consulting, and freelance services. Make sure to outline the scope of work, payment terms, and any other important details.
  • Insurance Needs: Assess the need for business insurance, which can vary depending on the type of business. For example, liability insurance for a fitness trainer or property insurance for a brick-and-mortar store.
  • Compliance with Local Regulations: Check local regulations and zoning laws, especially if you’re operating from home or a physical location. This includes adherence to health and safety standards for businesses like food trucks or beauty services.
  • Online Business Considerations: For online businesses, ensure compliance with digital laws, including privacy policies, data protection, and e-commerce regulations. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce stores, digital marketing services, and online education platforms.
  • Employment Laws: If you plan to hire employees, familiarize yourself with employment laws, including minimum wage requirements, workers’ compensation, and non-discrimination policies.

By addressing these legal and administrative areas, you can establish a strong foundation for your creative business, ensuring it operates smoothly and remains compliant with legal requirements.

What is the most profitable small business for creative entrepreneurs?

Profitability greatly depends on the skills and interests of the business owner, along with other factors like location and competitors. However, many online and mobile businesses come with low startup costs and high profitability potential. For example, a mobile app designer can earn high profits quickly.

What creative business can you start from nothing?

Starting a business from scratch without significant capital is feasible, especially in the digital space. With just a computer or phone, aspiring entrepreneurs can tap into various creative and often low-cost business opportunities. Here’s an expanded look at some of those opportunities:

Writing and Content Creation

  • Blogging:
    • Write about subjects you’re passionate about.
    • Monetize through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, or ad revenue.
  • Freelance Writing:
    • Offer writing services for websites, magazines, or businesses.
    • Specialize in areas like copywriting, technical writing, or creative storytelling.
  • E-Book Publishing:
    • Write and self-publish e-books through platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
    • Explore fiction, non-fiction, or educational materials.

Social Media and Online Influence

  • Social Media Influencer:
    • Build a following on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok.
    • Partner with brands for sponsored content or promote affiliate products.
  • Social Media Management Services:
    • Manage the social media profiles of businesses or individuals.
    • Services include content creation, engagement, and analytics reporting.
  • YouTube Content Creator:
    • Create engaging video content in niches like education, entertainment, or tutorials.
    • Monetize through ad revenue, sponsorships, or selling products.

Design and Artistic Ventures

  • Graphic Design Services:
    • Offer design services for logos, websites, or marketing materials.
    • Platforms like Fiverr or Upwork can help find clients.
  • Digital Art Sales:
    • Create and sell digital artwork or prints online.
    • Utilize platforms like Etsy or personal websites.

Educational and Consulting Services

  • Online Tutoring or Coaching:
    • Provide tutoring in academic subjects or coaching in specialized areas like fitness or career development.
    • Use video conferencing tools for one-on-one or group sessions.
  • Consulting and Strategy Services:
    • Offer expert advice in areas like business strategy, marketing, or personal branding.
    • Engage clients through virtual meetings and tailored action plans.

Technology and Development

  • Web Development:
    • Design and build websites for individuals or businesses.
    • Specialize in responsive design, e-commerce, or content management systems.
  • App Development:
    • Create custom mobile apps for clients or develop your own apps to sell on platforms like the App Store or Google Play.

E-Commerce and Retail

  • Dropshipping Business:
    • Start an online store and sell products without holding inventory.
    • Use platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce to build the store.
  • Handmade Goods Seller:
    • Craft handmade products and sell them on Etsy or social media platforms.
    • Options include jewelry, candles, or custom clothing.

Community and Networking

  • Virtual Networking Event Organizer:
    • Organize and host virtual networking events for professionals, hobbyists, or community members.
    • Leverage platforms like Zoom or Eventbrite for event management.

Starting any of these businesses does require some level of skill, commitment, and possibly minimal investment in tools or software subscriptions. However, the barrier to entry is relatively low, and the potential for growth can be substantial. Building a strong online presence, providing quality services, and continually learning and adapting to the market needs are key to succeeding in these ventures.

What are the top growing small businesses today?

The landscape of small businesses today has seen considerable growth in various sectors, reflecting changes in technology, consumer behavior, and societal needs. Here’s an expansion of some of the top growing small business sectors, including both online and home service businesses:

Online and Mobile Service Businesses

Online and mobile service industries have witnessed a significant surge in demand due to the widespread adoption of technology and an emphasis on digital presence. This category includes:

  • Website Development:
    • High demand for personalized and professional websites.
    • Services range from basic template designs to complex e-commerce platforms.
  • Digital Marketing Services:
    • Increasing need for search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media management.
    • Businesses are focusing on online brand building and reaching target audiences.
  • E-commerce Stores:
    • Growing consumer preference for online shopping.
    • Various niches like handmade goods, sustainable products, or specialty food items.
  • App Development:
    • Mobile apps for both consumer and business solutions are booming.
    • This includes fitness apps, productivity tools, or custom apps for specific industries.
  • Subscription Box Services:
    • Customized subscription boxes catering to different interests and hobbies.
    • Examples include beauty products, book clubs, or gourmet food.
  • Online Education and E-Learning Platforms:
    • Online courses, workshops, and training programs are increasingly popular.
    • Areas include professional development, hobby-related learning, and academic support.

Home Service Businesses

In addition to the digital realm, home service businesses are thriving as people are investing more in their living spaces and seeking convenience. This category includes:

  • Cleaning Services:
    • Both residential and commercial cleaning.
    • Specializations in eco-friendly products or deep cleaning services.
  • Property Management:
    • Managing rental properties for owners, including maintenance, tenant relationships, and financial oversight.
    • Can range from single-family homes to multi-unit apartment buildings.
  • Home Renovation and Improvement:
    • Demand for remodeling and upgrading living spaces.
    • Specializations in energy-efficient upgrades or custom interior designs.
  • Landscaping and Outdoor Design:
    • Creating and maintaining aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor spaces.
    • Services include garden design, lawn care, and hardscape installations.
  • Personal Chef and Meal Delivery Services:
    • Customized meal preparation and delivery for busy households or special dietary needs.
    • Growth in healthy, organic, or specialty cuisine.
  • In-Home Health and Wellness Services:
    • Providing health-related services at home, such as physical therapy or personal training.
    • Rise in demand due to aging population and focus on wellness.

These growing sectors demonstrate a dynamic shift towards personalized and convenient solutions, be it through innovative digital platforms or quality home-based services. Entrepreneurs and small business owners focusing on these areas have an opportunity to tap into emerging trends and meet evolving consumer needs.

Image: Envato Elements


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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.

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