Skip to content

50 Small Businesses You Can Start on Your Own

Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Television repair is not a dying business. Doing photography for groups typically at their location is one way to get going. So, while the failure rate for restaurants is high, many that survive become highly profitable. Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day.

20 Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Parents Soap Making A bar of soap may cost 10 cents to make and can be sold from $1 to $4, and there is a growing market of green buyers in this market.

Really Fun Business Ideas

Eventually, you may want to buy antiques on spec and refurbish them to resell for a profit, but get to know the market before you start laying out cash for antiques. Everyone knows legal proceedings take forever, can be very expensive, and the outcomes can be uncertain. I became involved in litigation with a service vendor and it looked like we had no alternative but to go to court.

However, our opposing attorneys agreed to hire an arbitrator and we ended up with a much better result, with much less time and agony. A great business—and a great service for individuals and businesses. You will need to develop your expertise before you target museums and bigger institutions. On the high end are the museums. For example, in Boston the Museum of Fine Arts performs art restoration services for other institutions. Then there are the serious individual collectors.

The local bank or investment advisory service may decide to add a touch of class and the feel of quiet success to their office by adding art to its walls, but which paintings should they buy? You could offer your services to private art buyers as well. Where do you start? Netting for railings, cabinet door catches, safety coverings for electric outlets, door locks…there are lots of safety elements that need to be changed to make houses safe for babies and toddlers.

Do your research carefully and make sure you are not missing any safety elements. For this business, you can set up service stations or other local business as your agents, giving them a percentage of the rental fees. Vacation areas and being near bike trails are great places for bike rentals. My book publishing business often bought books from packagers.

What is a packager? Typically, a book packager would sell to a publisher a completed manuscript with the pages already laid out, and a book cover all ready to go. For example, we bought a book about chess, boxed with a small chess set, from a book packager. A lot of business people are good at producing their product or delivering their service, but less good about keeping careful accounting records.

You may visit a small business every week or two, pay bills, send out invoices and keep accounting records. Photography can be very competitive and having a specialty, such as boudoir, can help attract customers and justify higher fees. The market for this tends to be brides and young wives buying pictures as a gift for their husband.

My father was a business broker for a number of years. The type of business he most frequently brokered was coin-operated laundromats. When you are dealing with the smaller businesses such as single location laundromats, you will need to achieve a reasonably good volume of transactions to make decent money.

There is solid demand for this business—and no wonder installing carpet including stretching it out to fit just right—is harder than it looks! Demand comes not just from homeowners but also from commercial businesses. You can land installation work from carpet retailers, from online business service directories, or from advertising on places like Craigslist.

A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes. One of my friends sold off his large family business that made industrial goods, and then embarked on a new career as an artisan furniture maker. He studied furniture making in a full-time study program and focused on very high wood furniture.

He would display his furniture at shows and promote open studio nights. Clients were wealthy individuals and some high-end boutique hotels. With never having painted a house, I opened a house painting business during a summer vacation from college.

I hired a few school teachers to do most of the work, and we quickly all figured out what it takes to do a good house painting job. In a word a good house painting job requires: Until it reaches that size a company might contract for an HR person one or two days a week through a human resources service.

One of my friends with experience in HR built up a good business on this model. It helps if you are a good networker or are comfortable approaching small business owners to sell them your service. Like it or not, people tend to judge you instantly on that first impression! If you have a good sense of dress and appearance, this could be a good niche business for you!

An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses. I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house.

The big work comes when you install a new system. With the Internet leading to more and more video production, makeup consulting is becoming more important than ever! I started two different map businesses while in college, both of which I later sold. One was a street map of a local resort area, which I sold to retailers and also sold advertising on the back side of.

The other was a tourist map of the island of Nantucket which I sold at retail. Today with everyone using navigation systems, I would be less excited about putting together a street map. But a fun illustrated map showing local business sponsors still makes for a viable business model.

You would think that in this day and age of electronic communication that messengers were something of the past—but no messenger services are still vibrant. In larger cities bicycle courier services are popular and in smaller cities local messenger services rely exclusively on cars.

The first thought that comes to mind for mobile hair salon is that you save the overhead of having a storefront location. However, you are also offering a convenience for your customers. Assisted living facilities and senior citizens trying to minimize trips out of the home will especially appreciate mobile hair salon services. Getting ready for a child is a special time and having a nursery all set up is a wonderful way to get ready.

You can really have fun developing striking nursery designs for your clients and make good money by bringing it all together for them. With this business, you could focus on providing PC training to employees at smaller to mid-sized companies that are too small to have their own IT departments. Or you could offer classes to individuals.

How do all the pets get to doggie day care or make their appointments at the vet? Your pet taxi service! As people offer more and more services for their pets the need to transport them will continue to grow for years to come. In my book business, we had up to seven full time publicists on staff, and yet we would still hire outside publicity firms to promote our books.

Most publicity work is promotion work—getting attention for businesses and their products. Most publicity firms specialize, for example one firm may specialize in promoting high tech firms in Boston, another may specialize in promoting restaurants in Providence. Many of the national publicity firms I have used were founded by somebody who had previously had experience working at a media outlet.

Yes, you can learn how to repair smartphones. You can buy parts you should inventory more common ones and you can watch videos on YouTube that show you how to make repairs. I have been to a small shop in Cambridge that specializes just in fixing casing and glass on smartphones.

You can make good money but it will take some patience to get going. A storefront, even a small one on a secondary street or second floor of an office building, will help make your business seem more established.

Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer. Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth. I like the vintage clothing business because you are not competing head to head with all the retailers and online sites selling new goods.

Furthermore, you can have high margins. I would look to at least double my money on any vintage clothing that I buy, and I would try to pay for items with store credit not cash, as much as possible. What is affiliate marketing? You provide links on your website or blog to an affiliate marketing service that sells a third-party product or company that sells their own product. The largest affiliate marketer is Amazon whose commissions are in the It sounds like an easy way to make money and some people have made a lot of money on it…but many more people have been disappointed by their results.

It is very hard to get your website and blog visitors to buy things! You could make a lot of money building and selling apps. However be ready to face a ruthless competition. Today, just a few years later, selling Apps is more competitive. In fact, there are large marketing firms that exclusively focus on marketing apps.

Nonetheless, there is still money to be made in making and selling apps. Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers.

Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise. A dropship business means that you are selling physical goods that you have other companies ship out.

For example, you may create a website selling desk lamps. You would take the order from the customer on your website and then you would have the order shipped out by the supplier. Drop shopping differs from affiliate marketing in that the customer stays on your website to complete the order. Furthermore, you process the order and then ask the drop shipper to fulfil the order. Affiliate marketing on the other hand, is more of a marketing service—providing traffic to the website of the company that provides the product.

Drop shipping may have higher upside but if you are just getting started I would recommend that you keep things simple and start with affiliate marketing. I think providing eBay selling and shipping services is a great, high-demand service business.

This is a very different business than what I would call eBay trading where you buy and sell products on eBay. A trading business can have high potential but it also has higher risks and may take longer to make money at.

Having built one of the largest independent book publishers in the US, I can tell you that book publishing is not the easy road to riches that so many people think it is. Furthermore, I believe getting really rich publishing your own eBook can even be harder. For one the competition is insane…you will be competing with everybody and their mother, including people who are literally giving away their product. Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to get attention for books in the media, and it is hard to convert website visitors into book buyers.

But hard is not impossible, and you could publish that rare book that makes a lot of money. Several of the book authors I published earned over a million dollars, and that was just from their royalties. I would recommend that you hyper specialize if you are starting an e-commerce business. Because many e-commerce websites have very deep pockets and patient investors and are willing to sell products for razor thin margins i.

Amazon or even at a loss to build market share. That being said if you can show some solid revenue in this business, and especially if you have repeat customers, you will have a business that is worth a lot of money even before it is profitable.

Not only is a fashion blog fun to create, but it is the kind of blog that you have one of the best chances of monetizing. Every business needs help with their Internet marketing. And now I see even the smallest businesses hiring specialists for individual aspects of digital marketing. For example, they may hire one expert for pay-for-click search engine advertising, another for Facebook marketing and still another for SEO for their website.

So, you could focus on one aspect of digital marketing, or you could be a generalist. Knowing how powerful the reach of the Internet is for research, companies are very willing to outsource their research efforts to independent Internet researchers. Of course, the more specialized and experienced you are the more ability you will have to both land jobs and to charge premium pricing. They would rather have you just do it all for them and deliver leads to their doorstep.

If you go into this business I would suggest that you consider building your expertise for a particular industry, instead of a particular location, as the results for a particular industry are more likely to be repeatable. Great photos and well presented.

Overtime he has built up a good advertising base. Like any blog it takes time, energy, consistency and patience to build a following.

But if you enjoy taking pictures, attending events and meeting people, a local blog can be a lot of fun. Nowadays, it is easier for small gaming studios or individuals to compete with big established firms.

The biggest gaming companies spend millions developing their latest offerings and lots more money promoting them.

A recent college grad we hired had just launched her own game, and was getting hundreds of thousands of downloads. It just seems to me that everyone is doing it and people generally expect podcasts to be free. But if you develop a strong enough following you can sell advertising or sponsorships for your podcast, then you can build a decent business. How do you make money as a product reviewer?

By cashing in on affiliate marketing links from products you review. Even if you give a product a negative review, you could mention a product that you prefer as an alternative and give an affiliate link to that product. I learned a lot about resume writing as my book publishing company became the leading seller of resume books in the US. With the Internet, you can help write resumes and cover letters for anyone in the world. If you can write succinctly, you can write a good resume.

The selling costs are remarkably low on the Etsy website. But you will be competing with some awesome looking crafts, so make sure you create some great stuff that is highly distinctive. Then take perfect photographs and write up snappy descriptions. Try to build a following by developing a related line of goods. With many websites getting the majority of their traffic from search engine results, it is no wonder that the demand is huge for SEO specialists. If your social media postings develop a large enough, or a specialized enough, following you may be able to earn money as a social media influencer.

There are social media influencer platforms you can get listed on, and there are advertising companies hired specifically to promote company brands via social media influencers. A lot of businesses delegate their social media efforts. Companies large and small need to be posting regularly to social media or they will be left behind.

Many companies outsource this work to social media specialists. This is a great business because you will receive ongoing work and a recurring revenue stream. And the work is easy enough that over time you can delegate the day to day posting work and build a social media agency empire! User interface and user experience matters big time on your website! You can earn an advanced degree in this field, you can read books about it or you can learn it on your own.

Two of the biggest problems of operating a retail store are the overhead of having a storefront and the risk and cost of carrying inventory. With a virtual consignment store you eliminate both of these problems! You could take it one step further and have your suppliers drop ship the goods for you.

The market for website developers is huge and highly competitive. If you lack highly specialized coding skills, I would suggest you consider trying to break into this space by offering flat fee rates to develop new or re-launched websites for smaller businesses or organizations and limit your development work to one platform, such as WordPress. With new digital ad options abounding, developing a well thought out advertising program is more complex than ever!

Hence, businesses are even more dependent upon third parties such as ad agencies to solve their marketing riddle and bring customers to their door. To get going as an ad agency you will need some broad marketing acumen. You can finance your plane and contract out most of the work, including getting help to get your company certified to fly. This is a service business and those little touches can make a difference in keeping customers coming back.

You might like the idea of steady income from owning an apartment building but not like the hassles that come with it. Owning an apartment building could be extremely profitable. However, it comes with a few hassles. In that case, you buy the building and hire a management company to handle the day-to-day hassles. I once tried to sell one of my online businesses to a year old real estate billionaire who started out his business with just a couple multi-family homes. There is a huge upside potential rebuilding auto parts, like transmissions.

However, I have friends who have gone into this business and it can take years to nail down your production process, develop your customer base and start to reap the big money. In Boston one of the very best high skyscraper restaurant locations was taken over by a banquet facility company.

The owner of this business grew up in the restaurant business but decided to build his own business exclusively around banquets. A banquet facility is an interesting alternative to the difficult restaurant business.

You get to match your labor and food costs closely to your income. And by having a dedicated space and a tightly focused business you should be able to execute well.

I find this to be a tough business. First you need a brew master with deep expertise. Then you have to get your beer taste to be very distinctive and very pleasing. You need consistent quality. You need to stand out versus the many other small brewers, build a clientele, and arrange for transportation.

Nonetheless the market is huge and because of the success of micro-breweries, established beer distributors are increasingly willing to take on smaller labels.

I find the car wash business highly attractive and even considered opening one at one point. If I was going to go into this business, I might consider starting with a smaller facility in a smaller market, and really learning the business before going for a larger facility, in a more competitive marketplace.

This is a boom or bust business. Whereas a friend of mine who had sold his retail store business has quickly become hugely successful at commercial real estate. My friend is highly charismatic, he could carry on a conversation with a tree, and he is always meeting new people. He also worked for an established broker for a year or so before going on his own, which is a typical path in this business.

While it can be difficult to build momentum initially, the potential upside is much higher than selling residential real estate. One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it.

He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston. He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars! Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day. To succeed in this business, you need to be outgoing and network well. But you also need to come across with a smart, consultative sell, not a hard-core pitch.

It will take some time to build a corporate insurance brokerage, but this kind of business offers both high income potential and the possibility of someday selling it for a high multiple of earnings. That means it can be a high margin business. I would start this business by taking on very small jobs and working my way up. The day spa business is hot as more and more overworked people seek rejuvenation for their tired bodies. I would pull first time customers in with very sweet deals, then try to tie them in with a membership model, such as so many day spa visits per month for one flat rate.

Instead make the spa nice, but not lavish, and then offer great service. One of my friends with a background in manufacturing started a business removing waste from building sites and then he progressed into the demolition of industrial buildings.

Like other construction related services, one of the keys to success is very carefully bidding for your work. You also need to make sure you get paid—general contractors can be highly successful one minute and then short on money to pay bills the next. If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding.

One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls—but at the higher end firms networking is much more important.

I see this as an arbitrage opportunity. You finance your fitness rental equipment as one package at a low rate, and then you rent it out to your clientele at a much higher rate, providing them a service they can afford. My experience in the rental business is you need to pay careful attention to what happens at the end of the rental period—is the equipment still rentable?

And what happens when the equipment breaks down? Work out these details and this could be a solid and very scalable business. Yes, you could put together a phone solicitation service for non-profits, but fundraising is increasingly turning to inbound marketing.

In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear. I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away.

And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field. This is a good solid service business. But it is competitive, you need to have fully qualified service providers, and you need to look into licensing. No matter how good a service you run, when you deal with the elderly especially there is always legal risk.

You can mitigate the risk by incorporating, by getting insurance and by being sure your staff follows accepted medical protocols. It is absurd how much money you can make in liquidation! One of my friends made hundreds of millions of dollars as a partner in a firm primarily specializing in liquidating retailers. Typically, a liquidator comes into a business and buys everything that is unsecured.

You could specialize in liquidating certain types of businesses or personal estates. For this business idea, getting regular clients is key. Meal preparation services are booming and the Internet is facilitating this, making it easier to attract and service customers.

Typically, these services offer just a few meal choices each day, but they vary the selection constantly. Especially if you can build up regular subscribers to your service, you can determine in advance exactly what your food needs will be, minimizing both food and labor waste. You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer.

This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend.

How big can this business go? A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states.

This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle. The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services.

Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively. One of my friends and his wife liked having a nanny so much that they kept her to help out around the house even after the kids went off to boarding school.

This same friend told me they went through 23 nannies in 22 years! No wonder there is a demand for nanny services! This business is all about trust. Show off your background, describe your thorough vetting process, and have a very professional looking website and marketing materials. The bigger market for this is companies hiring outplacement services for employees they have laid off or fired.

Companies hire outplacement services to help out their ex-employees, to show current employees that they are compassionate and to decrease the chances of wrongful termination lawsuits.

It will be a lot easier to land your first assignments if you have some related experience, such as having worked in HR or at an employment agency. The real reward in this business comes when you win an assignment to outplace hundreds or thousands of employees that are laid off in a large corporate business re-organization. Not everyone wants to tell people that their business is porta potties!

The key is being willing to go out and sell your services to prospective organizations. Once you line up a customer your chance of landing repeat business is huge. Nonetheless this is a powerful business concept. By doing much of the house construction process in a fully equipped, controllable environment, the building process can be much more efficient.

Furthermore, by using prebuilt modules, a builder can still construct a gorgeous customized house. You can get involved in this business by building the prefab homes or modules yourself, or as a housing contractor using prefab modules. One of my business school classmates caught the trend just right in the Houston commercial real estate market, and then did the same in Boston.

Another business school classmate took advantage of the huge real estate sell-off by scooping up thousands of homes in particularly hard-hit areas like Las Vegas with his hedge fund.

The safest way to buy real estate is to make sure that your cash flows from current rents will justify the minimum return you need, then you can look at any appreciation as pure gravy! Several of my friends have done this both as a side business and a main business.

The ones doing it as a side business have actually done better. I think that is partly because they have waited patiently for better deals to buy. This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.

I have seen people do very well building and renting residences for the elderly. This is a highly-regulated field and you do need to manage it carefully. Let me be clear. This is not my first choice of businesses to go into, even if you are experienced in the food business.

Restaurants are very risky. You need a great location, good build-out which can cost a lot of money, great food and a talented and dependable staff. Furthermore, customers can be fickle-they may love your restaurant one day and then tire of it the next. Restaurant staffing is notoriously difficult. So, while the failure rate for restaurants is high, many that survive become highly profitable. But companies that need security need it on an on-going basis and typically they need more than one person.

That means every assignment you get can be an annuity stream as long as you service the customer well. There are basically two businesses here and I would tend to focus on one or the other. One is providing medical help such as skilled nurses. The other is providing senior companions. Both can be great businesses with long term revenue streams and high demand. Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments.

A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele. These businesses have been around forever, and I have hired temp workers through them from time to time, typically for simple packing or assembly type work. Historically your success would be largely dependent upon how successful you were at making sales calls on companies that hire temporary help.

But today you can also bring sales leads to you through online marketing. Tree services charge a lot of money for their services and one reason is that this can be dangerous work.

A tenant of mine was injured working for his own tree service. So, think safety first. You can also rent lift trucks and other specialized equipment when you need it. To jumpstart a used car leasing service, I would approach used car dealers and get them to offer leasing instead of just car financing.

This way the used car dealer can increase their chances of closing a sale and you can even offer to sell the car back to the used car dealer for a fixed attractive price at the end of the lease term. When my book publishing business grew to the point when we needed forklifts, I was shocked by how expensive they were. So, we went to a used industrial equipment dealer and bought all of our forklifts there.

Selling industrial equipment allows for specialization and it also allows for you to build up long-term relationships with customers.

Furthermore, you can have add-on sales such as maintenance, supplies and repairs. If you think you have a reasonably good ability to judge which early stage businesses have the best chances to succeed then this is the business for you!

However, the odds against any particular venture backed business succeeding are low, so you need to spread your bets widely, especially if you are betting on very early stage companies. To take this business to the next level, partner with caterers and wedding photographers.

People will pay a lot of money for a wedding venue that excites them! You could provide the catering and related services yourself, allow customers to bring their own caterers or require your customers work with a particular caterer that you chose.

Even in the Internet age, there is something about physically going to a weight loss center that helps bring commitment and seriousness to the weight loss process.

The business models vary from a mixture of fees to just making money from selling prepackaged food. You want to make sure your customers not just lose some weight but also feel great about themselves, because then they will also feel great about you and your business, and become raving fans.

But now I understand, they add a lot to the appearance of a house, and to the utility of particular room. There are lots of reasons why this is a great business. It is a combination of sales and service, especially if you are doing the installation. And people like to see the textures and colors you have to offer in person.

You can start this business on a mobile basis with low overhead, calling on customers at their homes and eventually open up your own storefront. Alterations is a great steady income business, easy to start on the side.

Begin by promoting to friends and friends of friends on social media. I would charge by the job, but carefully estimate how long each job will take you and base your job rates on your time estimates. The big money in aquarium maintenance is commercial accounts, but some individuals will want their aquariums cleaned too! Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done.

For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis. And yet boats tend to get dirty easily! Which leads to a great demand for boat maintenance and cleaning. To make a go of this, you want to have a good concentration of boats in one town, at one harbor or ideally on one dock.

I would also do as much work as possible wearing my company T-shirt, when boat owners are around cleaning their own boats…such as on Saturday mornings. You could provide that service for commercial, industrial or multi-family housing units. You could also have highly skilled people such as plumbers and electricians on call too. People get into this business thinking it is a totally passive way to make money and then they find out—they actually have to do some work!

Heavily used washing machines and dryers can break down, and the laundromat will need to be cleaned constantly. That being said people need clean clothes so this is a classic steady income business! Every day or two, the commercial watering service person comes by and pours a little water on the plant.

Once a week or so, the service person may take out his plant clippers, and trim a leaf or two. I think I could master this work! And I bet you could too! To succeed at this business, you need a strong ability to sell your services and place employees. However, the upside is unlimited, some employee leasing firms have grown into mammoth enterprises! Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process.

Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services. When my Rolex needed repair, I was determined to save some money so I went to an independent repair service.

I visited his shop in Ft. Lauderdale and it was a relatively large operation with half a dozen technicians or so serving not just the local community, but shipping watches back and forth all over.

Just to have it shipped, I needed an expert clock service to take it apart, and then on the receiving end I needed another expert service to put it back together. If you tell people you run a lawn-cutting service they might laugh at you, but so what!

You can make a lot of money cutting lawns! You can start with one lawn and a second-hand lawn mower, and grow your business into riding mowers, full landscaping services, fancy trucks and trailers, and lots of happy customers!

Click here to see the sample marketing plan I wrote for a lawn service business. Have you ever had to call a locksmith? If yes, you already know that this business could be very profitable. I hate being locked out! And I hate how much money I have to pay a locksmith! Let alone how much I have to pay to have locks changed or a better lock system installed! Not only does it eliminate the cost of owning a service bay, but it saves your customer the time to drive and wait at a service station.

I met a fellow who earned an excellent living cleaning offices, and he only worked hours a night, and had no employees. The rates vary hugely from one locale to the next, so carefully survey nearby markets to determine which market may be the best opportunity for you. You can provide full service grooming without any overhead by visiting pets at their homes.

Or you can have a store front with full service grooming. Or you can provide a do-it-yourself pet grooming facility. One do-it-yourself pet grooming facility was highly successful with a location on a busy road, but another location they had on a secondary road, just off the center of town, did not work out. Pools being outside, require endless cleaning. But the people who can afford pools tend to be willing to pay for full service to keep them sparkling clean! You also may come across multi-family properties that are for sale before they get advertised.

Sure, there are national chains, but if you really focus on it, you can come up with a few sandwiches that are totally delicious!

For this business, I would want a location that services office or industrial workers. That way you can get their business every single work day of the year! And forget a fancy buildout, I would focus instead on fancy sandwiches! I had a beautiful wooden hot tub once. It was a massive job to clean, and it was hard to find supplies and get the equipment repaired.

This is a great niche business! What a great business. In other words, money flowing in without the headaches! Putting on a little weight, let the suit out.

Losing a little weight, pull it back in. Then those new pants never seem to come in my short size, so they need to go to the tailor too! You might not be able to live at Trump Tower, but you should have a good steady income as a tailor. Television repair is not a dying business. Furthermore, if you start this business you may want to expand into related businesses such as servicing computer monitors. Companies that provide employees with uniforms often also arrange for them to be cleaned and pressed every single day.

For example, you could rent uniforms to companies and handle all of their cleaning and pressing needs. You could lease or sell uniforms to companies and then either provide cleaning and pressing services or not. You can make good money at this business but you need great locations that provide enough volume to make it worthwhile to service provide a decent return on your investment. I have even seen some entrepreneurs try selling snacks at companies without any machine at all…totally on the honor system.

Still another variant you could do is provide coffee, soft drinks or basic snack food for a company location and try to get the company to pick up the cost as a benefit for its employees. Every time an apartment turns over there is some work to be done: If you can provide these services, this could be a good business for you! Not everyone wants to find a babysitter by responding to a hand-scribbled note on the bulletin board at the local coffee shop.

Set up a babysitting service that includes vetting your sitters and giving your customers confidence that they are dealing with safe and dependable service providers! This is like a simplified version of a flower delivery service, but without an inventory that is constantly becoming obsolete!

Plus, balloons suggest fun and light-hearted cheerfulness, perfect for many occasions! Now taking a boat for a spin and introducing someone to the pleasures of boating…how fun!

Nonetheless an established bridal consultant can earn very good money. When I was promoting my job search books I started to put up advertisements on bulletin boards around local colleges. Then, seeing my advertisements people who were running bulletin board services called me, and I hired them to do the work for me instead.

You can either offer your services putting up notices for clients on public bulletin boards, or you can get more sophisticated and develop proprietary bulletin boards that you get local businesses or organizations to agree to display for you. For example, you could list tourist attractions and post the bulletin board at local hotels.

I believe that every business, even a lemonade stand, should have a business plan. But remember your big value added is to help your clients learn how to develop a framework for making critical strategic decisions for their business, not just to create a nice-looking document.

You just do the cooking. Maybe have a party-sales event. Give it a shot and see if you can develop traction! I really like the idea of the outdoor deck business. I envision beautiful wood, wonderfully stained and maybe an attractive awning or roof. Outdoor furniture could be beautifully made out of wood too!

And at the same time, I have seen people build this into a big business, including to the point where they have to hire additional dog walkers. Dogs need to be walked regularly—just ask them!

People with wood burning stoves and fireplaces need wood to burn and they love to have it delivered, all cut up into bite-sized pieces! Everyone puts off cleaning up their messy garage! They need your help! And lots of people, especially guys would jump at the chance to have a beautifully finished garage to proudly house their favorite automobile! Then you can go back and provide service as needed as well. You can show them how! To be a good tutor, you need to specialize in a subject. You just have to be good enough at one subject at a basic level to be qualified as a tutor.

If you can add 2 plus 2 and get 4 most of the time, then you could tutor first-grade math! This is one of the most popular small businesses in the world! It is also a business that can be challenging to get your employees to consistently do a fantastic job.

I suppose I can say I did this business once too! Or more specifically my father paid me to deliver promotional flyers for his candidacy for town meeting member. The flyers worked and he won! The cool thing about leaflets is you can truly pinpoint marketing for your clients not just in a particular town, but to houses in a particular neighborhood, or on cars in a particular parking lot!

Put up some flyers at apartment complexes and wait for the phone to ring. Get an advance deposit and then go rent the van, truck or trailer that you will need to get the job done. Some people have no time.

They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services! People love to be organized but often they never find the time to make it happen. You can help people organize their house. And in the process, you can make them feel more organized about their life! What a great service!

You just have to find the right audience. On the other hand, if you want to market your own t-shirts you might have more upside potential but the downside is greater too! This is a business you could start in a couple hours with literally zero investment.

In the public library on the resort island of Nantucket, I watched a man create a flyer for his walking tour business on a free public access computer. Then he went outside and posted the newly created flyer on the public bulletin board.

A few hours later he greeted his customers as they gathered on the advertised street corner, collected their money, and then took them on the walking tour. Not sure how to set up your walking tour? Get a history or even a self-walking tour guide at the public library. Washing windows for retail stores is about as simple as it gets. Just get your cleaning supplies and knock on the doors of retail stores, asking if they want their windows cleaned. If you get some takers you could arrange to make it into a regular service.

And stay in shape! You can set up a room in your house for yoga classes, sublet a studio for a few hours, or lease or buy your own studio. You could dream up your own product to make with your 3D printer. But instead I would tend to create products for other people, and not even finished products, but prototypes. I would develop a specialty within prototypes, such as for a particular industry. But the all-day breakfast restaurant is a niche that I do find appealing.

Also, breakfast foods cost little money, allowing for higher markups. And breakfasts are easier to prepare than gourmet dinners. Also, this kind of restaurant would potentially be busy for many hours during the day.

You could find some space on a busy street, perhaps in a resort area, and equip it with arcade games. But I would try instead renting a cool collection of arcade games for parties. The overhead is less, you could start out with just a few games, and you know how much money you will be making before you go to work! With all my experience in book publishing I am not going to tell you that this is an easy business, especially with the domination of players like Amazon.

But if you pick a defensible niche, keep your overhead low, you could develop a decent business. You need to start out with a good location and you need to do some marketing to get going. This business may also end up being more work than you envision. Something will often need repair, every guest will seem to have a special request, and there will frequently be some renovation or upgrade project you will want to work on.

But if you like meeting and entertaining new people, and have lots of energy, this can be good solid business. Auto detailing is probably a perfect side business for you. In essence, your job is to make cars sparkle inside and out — and many people are quite happy to pay well for this service. Got lots of evenings free? Babysitting may be a great side business for you.

Keep an eye on multiple children on Friday and Saturday nights and you can earn some easy cash over time. Have some extra space in your home? If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.

You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.

All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. Thanks to technology, there are more opportunities than ever to buy and resell products for extra money.

Plenty of people buy local and in-demand products at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit. Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.

Live in an area with plenty of snowfall during the winter? If so, you could easily start a snowplow business by investing in a plow attachment for your pickup truck or Jeep. If you want to start smaller, you could even build your business by clearing driveways and walkways with a shovel or a snowblower. Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day.

Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.

A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started. The Internet has created opportunities for people who can sew and design custom clothing for special events.

Many people have found success creating custom birthday outfits for babies and selling them on sites like Etsy or eBay, for example. In addition to selling online, you could also market this service to people in your local community. This is a great way to earn extra money in a flexible way, particularly if you have time off during the workweek.

And since you will be working for yourself, you can often choose your own hours, terms, and pay. In many cases, people are more than willing to pay a qualified pet sitter in order to avoid sending their pet to a professional kennel. Many states allow people to start an in-home daycare with minimal licensing and paperwork. If you love children and have plenty of time and space at home, this is a perfect business to get into.

All you need is a safe room or two for children to play in, some toys and activities, and a whole lot of patience. Many businesses and civic institutions need individuals who can clean their offices and common areas outside of normal business hours. Almost everyone uses Facebook , Twitter , and Pinterest these days, but did you know that many companies will pay people to help them manage their social media accounts — sometimes even part-time from home?

To find social media jobs, you can start by contacting businesses with a social media presence and scanning sites like Upwork. If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential.

Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community. This is a perfect side business for people who love antiquing. Take worn-out antiques home with you, invest the time and care needed to transform those old items into something amazing, then resell them at a profit.

I recently met a woman who earned quite a bit of money as a very part-time chef. If you love to cook, this can be a great opportunity, but you may have to put a lot of effort into searching for clients. That can be the perfect place for you to step in and take charge of the planning and coordination.

And thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to market your event planning services. Are you an audiophile? This is a great way to fill an afternoon or evening while also earning some cash in the process. Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class.

To put it simply, some people are willing to pay others to get a vegetable or flower garden started for them in their yard so they can have access to ultra-fresh produce without all the legwork. If you have a green thumb and some knowledge about the vegetables that grow well in your area, this would be an easy business to start. Skilled at basic home repair?

Let people know that they can call you for small repair jobs like basic plumbing, fixing a broken stair, and other things. Fascinated by interior design? Have a huge collection of interior design materials around? Instead of cleaning it up themselves, they might hire someone to do it regularly, two to three times a week.

There are several such services in our area, actually. Skilled at creating blankets and sweaters?

Working from home - Whose business is it?

Here are the + best side business ideas you can start while working a full-time job. If you're an entrepreneur wanting business ideas, start here. Best Side Business Ideas You Can Start While Working a Full-Time Job. See this quick checklist for starting an . 31 Legitimate & Profitable Home Based Business Ideas (for ) Homepage, Make Money / February 7, by Bob / 61 Comments With an increasing desire for many to escape the rat race and work from home, many people are trying to start a home-based business. Low-Cost Business Ideas Need a Business Idea? organizing work or to come in to a home and consult on the things the homeowner could do to better organize. a perfect business for you. One.