30+ of the Best Small Business Ideas
Small Business Ideas List
Do you want to start your own business but have this one little problem…you have no idea what to do? Well, that’s okay because I have a list full of small business ideas to help you figure it out!
Not only will I share the most successful small business ideas from home, but I will also show you how to get started and how much you can earn.
Not very long ago, I was trying to figure out how to make money with the new changes happening in my life, expecting my second child and desperate to leave my 9-5 for something that was flexible enough to work around my kid’s schedule, but I didn’t know what to do.
I was looking for some ideas from successful work at home moms (WAHM) but I couldn’t find any, so I decided to reach out to WAHM’s and interview them to see what they did, how they got started, how they were able to do it with kids, and most importantly how much they were able to earn working from home.
I created this website to share their stories in an article I wrote on Stay at Home Mom Jobs.
My site has taken off because people are looking for legitimate ways to make money from home from people who are doing it today.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, you can follow a proven success model, make it your own, and become successful.
I would have NEVER imagined that I’d become a blogger, but when faced with a problem, I was able and willing to solve it and that’s how most businesses get their start.
See the small business ideas list below and start planning for your future today.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
Here are 30 of the Best Creative Small Business Ideas
I started blogging because I couldn’t find what I was looking for online, but there’s no reason you can’t write about what’s already out there. You have your OWN voice and perspective.
I was inspired to start blogging when I discovered how bloggers were making between $2,000-$100,000 per MONTH (And now I’m one of them!).
When you get a nice amount of people reading your articles it brings in a nice income. Here’s a screenshot of my earnings from the other day.
I made $400 in one day just from ads. I also make money by partnering with companies and becoming an “Affiliate”.
However, I didn’t start earning this much in the beginning (I’ve been blogging for about 15 months).
Blogging takes A LOT of work in the beginning but it’s so worth it as I work VERY VERY Part-time now and I’m making more than when I was at my corporate job that I was beginning to hate.
2. Freelance Writer
Do you like to write? You can make a lot of money as a writer, I know because I interviewed Holly Johnson who makes OVER $200,000 a year as a Freelance Writer. I didn’t even know that was possible!
How much can I make? Holly Johnson said that she finds it hard for you NOT to earn AT LEAST $40,000 to $50,000 a year working full-time as a writer.
How do I get started? Holly Johnson found the secret sauce when it comes to writing and charging the right rate for your work. She created a free introductory training on how to build a six-figure writing career. I highly recommend taking her course if you want to work from home writing and follow her path to success. I also have a number of ways to get writing gigs at the end of this article.
3. Virtual Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping is one of the best small business ideas if you think you’d like to help business owners record their financial transactions.
You DO NOT NEED previous experience. There is a course you can take that will teach you all you need to know and how to charge $60 per hour.
I have an AWESOME interview with two women who took the course and are now successful Virtual Bookkeepers.
One of the women has 9 kids, homeschools 6, and runs a successful bookkeeping business so I’m convinced anyone can do this.
Check out the free training to see if this is right for you.
Do you find yourself easily catching errors when reading? Proofreaders are NEEDED, I know because I use one myself.
Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere made $43,000 in her first year proofreading while working part-time and studying abroad. You’ll have to see our interview in my article on How to Become a Proofreader.
She realized there was a huge open market for proofreaders, so she designed a free course to help others get started.
You can learn the skills you need to start your freelance proofreading hustle here.
5. Sell Products Online
If you like shopping and searching for a good deal, you should definitely consider Amazon’s FBA program. You find good deals on products at brick and mortar stores or online and resell them on Amazon for a higher price.
Ship to Amazon and they take care of the rest.
My sister took her course and is doing great selling on Amazon.
6. Flip Items from Flea Markets and Thrift Shops
Rob from the Flea Market Flipper is the MASTER flipper. He made over $130,000 flipping items from Flea Markets and thrift stores PART-TIME.
And, you don’t need to have a lot of money to start either. Rob recommends his students to start with a budget of $20-$50 to find items. Based on that, they should be able to make $100-$300 (mostly reselling on eBay) and then take some of the profit and do it again.
7. Virtual Assistant
Are you task-oriented and have skills in the areas of social media management, editing, graphic design, tutoring, researching, writing, administrative duties or data entry?
You can make $25-$100 per hour as a Virtual Assistant.
Gina Horkey, a Six-figure Virtual Assistant, wrote an epic article on Everything You Need to Know about Becoming a Virtual Assistant to help you get started.
Online teaching is growing thanks to the advancements in technology, and it’s an excellent way to make money at home if you have teaching experience or knowledge of a specific subject.
You could make $10.50 – $60 per hour with these recommended companies hiring here. Make your own hours and work anywhere!
Transcriptionists listen to audio files and record (type) what they hear, it’s a great small business idea to work from home.
Enroll in this FREE 7-lesson mini-course to learn more about transcription, the demand for transcriptionists, the skills involved, and decide if it’s a good path for you.
Kim does this while homeschooling her son, you can see how it all works in my article How to Work from Home Transcribing.
10. Get Into Real Estate BUT w/o Selling or Buying Anything
Yes, this really is a thing. I met Boss Mom Danielle Pierce who is doing this earning over $400,000 a year WHILE homeschooling her 3 kids!
It’s called Property Preservation or Repairing Foreclosed Homes. Danielle outsources 100% of the work and only does admin work.
How much can I make? It varies but Danielle says it’s very feasible to gross $100k+ or more in revenue within 18 months
How do I get started? Check out my interview with Danielle to see how it all works
11. Start a Parking Lot Litter Removal Business and Earn Six-Figures
Yes, you can earn six-figures picking up trash part-time. Brian Winch does it and he shared with me the whole process and how you can get started in this article.
Expect to earn $30-$50 per hour. Check out my interview with Brian on how to get started and how he’ll help you grow your local business.
12. Social Media Manager
Are you active on Social Media and would like to post on behalf of other businesses? This is one of my favorite small business ideas from home.
Depending on how many clients you have you could make between $1,000-$10,000 a month.
13. Owning Rental Properties
Have you ever thought about making a monthly passive income from a rental property(s)? My friend Dustin does this and was able to make enough monthly passive income from his properties to quit his 9-5.
He created a FREE Real Estate Investing course to show you how to quit your J.O.B. and live the dream life.
14. Start a Baby Equipment Rental Business
Do you live in a popular tourist area? Did you know you could make a lucrative side hustle renting baby equipment to traveling families? I didn’t either, but I interviewed boss mom Ashley Anderson who made me a believer.
How do I get started? I recommend reading my interview with Ashley on How to Start a Baby Equipment Rental Business
How much can I make? Ashley earns over $3,000 per month
15. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is a method where you can sell third-party products from a Drop Shipping Company without ever seeing or shipping the item. When you make a sale, the product is shipped directly to the customer from the drop shipper.
Your profit is the difference between what you charge your customers and what the drop shipping company charges you.
Theo McArthur has great success with drop shipping and created a course that teaches you how to launch your first profitable Dropship Website in 14 Days or less and grow your Income to $10,000 per month in profits!
16. Life Coach
Do you love personal development and enjoy helping people? Do you want to build a business of your own? If that’s you, you should consider becoming a Life Coach. See how Natalie Bacon became a Life Coach making six-figures on her way to seven-figures!
How much you can make really depends on your market. If you are targeting lower-income you can charge $47 per hour, if you’re targeting higher-income you could charge $297 per hour or much more. It also depends on your model, are you doing 1-to-1 coaching or group coaching?
If you love taking pictures, you should look into Photography as it is one of the best small business ideas that can earn you a great income.
My sister recently purchased the Canon EOS Rebel T6i Body, and she takes AMAZING pictures along with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens which is a KEY component of taking quality photos. It is an investment that can pay off significantly.
How much can I make?
- Wedding Photography -$700 – $3,500+
- Senior Portrait Photography – $100-$300 a session
- Small local businesses – $25 – $200 per image
If you want to get started, I recommend taking pictures of any and everything, take classes and learn photoshop to polish off your photos and add quality finishes. Post your pictures to your social network and check out these two apps to make money from your phone taking pictures.
18. Interior Designer
Do you watch HGTV and think, I can do that, I want to do that?
See how Julie Putzel got started and manages to earn a six-figure salary, How to Become an Interior Designer.
19. Clean Houses
Do you enjoy cleaning or just know it’s something you wouldn’t mind doing to make extra money? If so, you really should consider doing this because you could make a lot of money.
You could earn $1,000 per week working part-time on your own schedule.
Check out my article on How to Start a Cleaning Business and get all the information you need to get started today.
20. Graphic Designer
If you have an eye for design and have experience in Adobe Creative Suite/Adobe Creative Cloud – including InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop, there is a profitable market out there for you.
You can charge $25-$300 per hour, depending on your experience.
Check out this highly recommended course Learn Photoshop, Web Design & Profitable Freelancing to help you build your own small business.
21. Web Designer
You could be a front-end developer like me, which basically means I buy a theme like this (this is the template of the website we’re on right now) and I customize it to my liking. I’m COMPLETELY self-taught aka I Googled everything.
When it comes to building a website people think it’s really hard and they rather pay someone else to do it than do it themselves, and that’s where you come in.
I volunteered to do my church website because I wanted the experience. I knew nothing about starting a website or the complicated backend stuff, which is okay because all premium themes come with backend developer support so you won’t need to learn that AND you get to ask them for help on the front-end stuff.
Doing my church website was a huge learning curve but so valuable, I learned A LOT. After learning how to do my church website and doing the one we’re on right now, I became really good at it.
I charged $800 for doing a friends website, and now any other site I do will be $1,000 or more. I could do a website in a day or two if I know what the client wants on the site.
I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress website that can help you get started.
I was listening to a podcast the other day where this guy charged his FIRST client $500 and then turned around and charged another client $50,000 for the SAME WEBSITE TEMPLATE, amazing! You can listen to the podcast here.
22. Travel Agent
Do you love to travel and enjoy helping people? Consider working from home as a Travel Agent.
According to Glassdoor, the typical salary ranges from $29,000 to $58,000 a year, but it all depends on experience and number of clients.
You can either start your own business or work for an agency, Sarah B. who started her own Travel Agency tells us how to do both here.
23. Etsy Seller
Do you consider yourself as artsy or crafty? Etsy is a great platform to turn your hobby into a thriving business. You can earn $500-$1,000+ per month in passive income with printables.
Printables are so great because you make them ONCE and can make money off of them FOREVER!
I have an awesome interview with two women who do this successfully and they share with us how to get started and how to make money, you can check it out here.
You can also see how my friend earned over $350,000 selling on Etsy.
24. Contractor (Plumbing, Electric, Handyman)
Are you the one they call on for any plumbing, electric, or handyman repairs? I helped a contractor get started with his own business by creating him a website, Facebook page, and Yelp account.
He has done very well by posting pictures of his work to his social media network and don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
If you do a good job and even throw in a couple extra things for free, clients will be sure to give good reviews and tell others.
You can easily make six-figures as a contractor if you do good work. Everyone needs a good go-to guy or girl.
25. Start an In-Home Day Care
If you love children and have a passion to make an impact on a young life, this is a great opportunity to start your own small business.
How much you can make really depends on where you live, but you could charge $30 a day which turns out to $600 a month (assuming it’s for 8 hours a day), while some daycares will charge $900 or more a month.
I recommend taking this neat course on How to Start a Home Daycare Business. Ladonna operated her own profitable home daycare and shows you how you can do the same, along with all the information you’ll need to get started.
You can also check out Care.com for opportunities to grow your own daycare business.
26. Start a Doggy Daycare Business
Do you love pets? Why not start a doggy daycare and walk and sit dogs while their parents are at work?
Dog parents will no longer feel the guilt of being away all day while they’re in your good hands.
27. Start a Mechanic Business
If you love working on cars you should consider starting your own small business.
I would prefer to take my car to a trusted small business mechanic than a dealership because whether it’s true or not, I just feel like my car is getting more personal attention and that I won’t be overcharged.
To increase word of mouth, I always suggest going the extra mile and letting the client know what “extras” you did “on the house”. People love that kind of stuff and will be sure to spread the word.
Average pay is $30-$40,000 a year but could be much more depending on you.
28. Start a Courier Business
Starting a courier business is one of the easiest small business ideas on this list. All you need is a dependable vehicle and cell phone. Couriers pick up and deliver packages and documents for businesses or individuals.
If you like driving, you’ll have to check out my article on the only local delivery driving companies I recommend signing up for.
Your potential customer could be architects who need to transfer blueprints, medical labs, caterers, grocers, lawyers, flower shops and more.
You could make $36 per hour. Order some business cards or be creative with a stress ball, magnet or something creative that business will keep to easily remember and contact you.
29. House Painter
Are you good at painting? Well, I need you at my house 🙂 I really don’t know any good painters and I wish I did.
Painters can make $50 an hour and getting started is easy. Social Media has never been so powerful. Take pictures of before and after and keep posting your work to your social network.
Let it stay fresh in the minds of your friends and when something comes up, you’ll be the first person they’ll think of when they need a job done.
Making business cards on magnets are some of my best recommendations because these are things people don’t typically throw away and keep on their fridge.
Do you like to bake? As much as this health movement is spreading I don’t know if it will ever outdo the love people have for sweets.
I have a couple of friends who are bakers and they do quite well by showing their work on social media. Just looking at all the tasty things forces my hands to type, ‘I want one’ and next thing you know, I’m out of $10-$20.
If you want to become a baker just start baking, it will need to be good of course. Try giving out free samples ONCE to a crowd and then hopefully that will be enough to draw in the paying customers and then rinse and repeat to a different crowd.
Post your orders frequently to remind your social network of what you do, you want to stay at the forefront of their mind when they think of something sweet they should think of you.
According to Glassdoor Full-time Bakers average pay a year is $28,412 but this all depends on you.
31. Event Planner
Are you a planner by nature? To some, planning an event might seem easy while others find it impossible to do so they outsource for help.
Becoming an event planner can start by working under other event planners and helping out, or just putting yourself out there and doing one for free to show off your work and get referrals.
Either way, the best experience is by doing. According to Glassdoor Event Planners average $55,169 a year. Post what you’re doing to your social network and let the good you’re doing spread!
32. Car Detailing Service/Specialist
I’m a true believer in this business because people pay anywhere from $50 to $125 for their cars to be detailed. If you charged a little less to be price competitive you would still make good money.
Basic car detailing entails a car wash, vacuuming, polishing inside/out, and window washing.
I recommend doing a really dirty car and take pictures of before and after (make sure the before looks terrible) to show off the good work you do when trying to get clients. Here’s a great article on How to Start a Car Detailing Service.
33. Massage Therapist
My massage therapist works out of her home and she is AMAZING. She only charges $50 an hour for a full body massage and that’s a great deal. I give her a $10 tip which I’m sure many of her other clients do or they may give much more.
Because she works out of her home she only accepts clients by trusted referrals so that she can maintain and ensure a safe and friendly environment. Safety should always be first. If you decide that you want to do this job out of your home be mindful of this while promoting to new clientele.
According to Glassdoor Licensed massage therapists make an average $45,408 a year. Most states in the U.S. require certification and licensing in order to register as a certified massage therapist.
34. Laundry Services
You can make up to $500 a WEEK doing laundry. It’s an ongoing chore that we all do, BUT for some, who don’t have the time but do have the money, outsourcing is the new normal.
See how you can start your own small business doing laundry here.
35. Landscaping Business
Start your own lawn care service and include cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, edging, raking leaves a part of your package. Add shoveling snow depending on where you live.
I’m a big believer in free trials, who would say no to a free trial to getting their lawn work done? I understand you’re doing a lot of work to prove yourself, but it could be worth it depending on how bad you want to increase your clientele.
The landscaping business can be competitive, and that’s why you have to differentiate yourself and price accordingly. You’ll want to work in a middle to upper-class area because they are more likely to pay for this service.
You can make $70,000-$100,000 a year depending on your work ethic.
36. Personal Trainer
You’ll want to be “fit” first if you want to tell someone else how they can be fit :-). If you love health and fitness and have a passion to see others meet their goals, you should consider becoming a Personal Trainer
To become a certified personal trainer this is the program you should go through to jumpstart your journey from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary is $35,130. Again, this all depends on you.
37. Sewing and Alterations Business
Having the skill to sew is a gift. I’ve tried it and I’ve failed miserably, my mom is actually a fashion designer and it’s amazing what she can do with a needle and thread.
If you like to sew and already know how you can easily start your own sewing and alteration business. Offer friends, family, or local businesses an introductory rate to win them over and build a good rapport.
Post often to your social media network keeping them updating of the work you are doing even if it was just hemming someone’s pants. Post “Another happy client” with a picture, remember you want to stay top of mind for when they’ll need you.
According to PayScale average salary ranges from $20,031 – $42,292 a year
I know I just gave you a lot of small business ideas to think about and hopefully, you found one that will work for you. I have some additional ways to make money from home if you need more ideas.
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Are there any small business ideas I missed? Let me know in the comments.
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