As of 2016, there were 5,64 million small business owners in the U.S. Entrepreneurship can be intimidating but it can also be a fulfilling experience. Launching your own business could be an opportunity to do something you truly enjoy. Here are some ideas to consider if you have been thinking about starting your own small business.
Which Small Business Idea Is Right For You?
The best business to start depends on what your skills and interests are. You should take some time to do some soul searching and go over your finances before picking a business idea.
Taking an inventory of your skills, experiences, and talents would be a good place to start. Ask yourself what you are passionate about and what your dream job would be. Your dream job might not translate into a viable business idea but this could help you figure out which industry would be right for you.
Take your location into consideration. If you are thinking about offering a product or service locally, your location will determine the size of the market you have access to.
A business is time-consuming. Will you be able to work on this project while handling other obligations?
It is possible to find a balance between being a parent and owning a business. In fact, small business owners are 25 percent more likely to have children compared to traditional households. You need to carefully assess how many hours you will be able to spend working on your business venture each week.
Funding is another important thing to consider. Some business opportunities require a significant initial investment because of inventory and specialized equipment.
You can look for a business idea with a low initial capital or look for funding, for instance, by applying for a business loan, using your savings, or borrowing from family and friends. Keep in mind that applying for a loan or borrowing money means taking a higher risk.
Top Ten Business Ideas
One of these business ideas could be the best business to start in your situation. These are industries with high demand and you should be able to find a decent market for these products and services regardless of where you are located.
Start An Online Store
If you have strong online marketing skills and some experience with customer service, launching an online store could be an interesting business venture for you.
There are different options to explore:
- Creating your online store with a site-building tool.
- Listing your products on third-party platforms that charge a small fee.
- Making your products and selling them online.
- Buying products in bulk to sell them for a profit.
- Importing products from overseas.
- Handling inventory and shipping yourself from home.
- Using a third party fulfillment service to store your inventory and handle your orders.
Working As A Virtual Assistant
Starting a virtual assistant business is a great way to gain experience that will make you more employable in the future. This activity could help you figure out what kind of career you want or become a way to earn some extra cash.
You can start with some basic tasks such as contacting leads, scheduling appointments, working on database entries, providing customer service, or even bookkeeping.
If you have additional skills, this is your chance to market them. You could offer your services as a graphic designer, website developer, app developer, writer, editor, or translator.
This is a business you can run from home without any initial capital required.
There is a strong demand for professionals like CPAs, financial planners, or tax preparers. Other examples of professional services include lawyers, architects, engineers, or business consultants.
This might not be the best business to start if you don’t want to go through acquiring a certification. However, some of the certifications needed to start a professional service business are very easy to get.
Here are a few examples:
- Notary Public. A lot of states don’t require any specific qualifications. You could become a notary public by simply filling out an application.
- Tax Preparer. You can offer your services as a tax preparer once you pass an IRS exam.
- CPA. If you already have an undergraduate degree, you can register to pass the CPA exam.
- Expert witness. You can offer your services as an expert witness in legal cases if you have a background in a specific field. You can become an expert witness in a wide range of fields, including real estate, accounting, the hotel and food industries, insurance, intellectual property, and the medical field just to name a few.
Requirements vary from state to state, but you can typically become a real estate agent by taking a class and passing an exam.
Working as an independent real estate agent is a viable business venture since you won’t need much capital to get started and can work as much or as little as you want. Possessing strong communication and negotiation skills would be ideal.
There are other business ideas to explore in the real estate field, such as offering your services as an inspector or appraiser.
There are many small business ideas to explore if you would like to offer your services as a contractor. Homeowners need to maintain their homes and often hire professionals for cleaning, repairs, or construction.
These are some of the services you could offer:
- Pressure washing.
- Lawn care.
- Appliance repairs.
- Plumbing repairs.
- Driveway resurfacing.
You will need to obtain licenses for some of these activities and equipment will be needed. However, it is possible to get started with a few simple services that only require tools you already own.
The Health And Fitness Industry
If you are passionate about fitness, nutrition, or health, there are plenty of business opportunities to consider. This is something you can do from home or visit your clients in their home.
You can become a personal trainer, a coach, and even a yoga instructor without a professional certification. You should strongly consider signing up for a training course so you can deliver quality service to your clients.
Starting a nutritionist business could also be interesting. You will need to pass an exam and become licensed by your state.
You might also want to look into becoming a massage therapist. You will need to complete an education program and pass an exam.
With 87 percent of Americans saying that paying for a gym membership or fitness class is a high priority, there is a real market for these services.
Become A Planner
If you are good at planning and budgeting, working as an event or wedding planner could be the perfect business idea for you. You should also have strong communication skills and a creative side.
You won’t need an important initial investment other than what you will spend on advertising your services. You can offer your services as an event or wedding planner without any credentials but it is best to gain some experience by working as an event planner’s assistant for a while.
Start A Food Business
There are a few obstacles to starting a food business, but this is one of the industries with the lowest risks. You will need enough funding to start a business that can store, prepare, and serve food while complying with FDA guidelines. Your state might have additional requirements that food businesses have to meet.
Having a background in the food industry is a plus, but a lot of successful small businesses were started by people who simply had experience cooking for their family. Here are a few examples of food businesses:
- Catering services.
- At home chef.
- Food Truck.
- Selling food at farmer’s markets.
Launch A Beauty Salon
If you have a spare room in your home, you could turn it into a small beauty salon and offer your services as a hairstylist, cosmetologist, manicurist, pedicurist or even stylist. You can also offer these services by visiting your clients in their home.
Most states will require that you obtain a license to offer these services. You should think about signing up for a training course to learn about hairstyling or cosmetology methods, but working at a local beauty salon for a while would prepare for launching your beauty salon just as well as a training course.
Turn Your Home Into A Daycare
If you enjoy working with children, turning your home into a daycare could be the right business venture for you. Your home needs to pass an inspection, and you might have to spend money on a few upgrades to make your home safer.
Your state might also require that you meet certain education requirements. You will need to apply for a child care home license before you can open your daycare.
There are a lot of additional business ideas to explore. Take some time to think about these ten small business ideas and ask yourself if they would be a good fit for you. Explore other possibilities and assess what your skills and strengths are before deciding on an industry.