11 Small Business Ideas

Different businesses and ideas bulb

For some budding entrepreneurs, a business idea comes easy; it’s a hit and hope for others. 

If you’re thinking about starting a small business but struggling to identify a good idea, we have 11 that are in high demand today. Whether you want to work online, offline, with your head or hands, we’ve got you covered. 

Our first small business idea suits the bold, independent type. It’s also a growing industry anyone with a free spirit can enter–AKA, the freelancer:

1. Freelancing

The dictionary describes a freelancer as “a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.”

It’s an excellent description, but it misses some vital lifestyle points. You get to work in an industry that interests you, choose projects that excite you, and provide services for clients that appreciate you.

Plus, you get to enjoy geographical freedom, a flexible work schedule, and a better work-life balance.  

11 freelance ideas

5 tips for becoming a freelancer

  1. Define your niche: Your first step is to choose your niche and identify your target audience, discover their need, and create a package that resolves the issues.
    For example, as a content marketer, my niche is business content. My clients need the most helpful business content so they can assist free spirits like you fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.
  2. Find your target audience: Once you have your niche and an idea of your target audience, you must locate them to market your talents. Your target audience might use social platforms like LinkedIn, job sites such as Freelancer, Fiver, or Upwork, or their website to advertise their job vacancies.  
  3. Brand yourself: Personal branding is a must for all freelancers since it’s how we promote our services. You brand yourself by combining your skills, experience, and personality into a package that includes a logo, website, colors, fonts, and style that engage your target audience.
  4. Create your online presence: Your online presence can consist of a website, social media accounts, or a blog to showcase your skills and values to target clients. Things to include are a bio, client testimonials, and portfolio of past projects and accomplishments. 
  5. Develop your pricing structure: Freelancers can price in 5 ways: Hour, day, retainer, commission, or value-based. Which you choose depends on your niche, future clients, and experience. You can determine how much to charge by researching your industry’s average salary on websites like Glassdoor or PayScale.   

2. Blogging

Blogging refers to photography, writing, and any other self-published online media. It began as a way for individuals to record diary-style entries but has evolved into a crucial communication channel for businesses and websites to engage with their target audiences.  

Blogging is also how innovative entrepreneurs build communities around a specific topic (like travel, food, beauty, and fashion) and generate income through sponsored advertising, direct sales, and crowdfunding. 

11 blogging ideas

5 tips for becoming a blogger

  1. Pick a blog niche (topic): You need a niche/subject matter you’ll write about to begin a blog. It can be anything as long as you’re knowledgeable, there’s an interested audience, and it’s profitable. You can check what niches are popular and profitable using Google Trends. Type in whatever your niche is and see the subject’s global or local interest. 
  2. Use your domain: There are free blogging platforms available, but the best blogs use their own domain as it gives you complete control over your blog and branding. A personal domain like www.wanderingearl.com shows professionalism to readers compared to a free platform.
  3. Update your blog: Consistency is crucial when blogging for 2 reasons. Readers know when to log on and catch your latest entry, and Google likes consistency. You don’t have to post every day, but create a schedule so your community knows where and when to look forward to your latest release. 
  4. Creating an about page: An about page is where you tell readers about yourself, your expertise, and your experience. It’s also where you’ll show people your passion for the subject you’re blogging about.
  5. Use social media to promote your blog: Social media is the best way to find, engage, and promote your blog to a global audience. You can create a Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter account to connect with like-minded people and communicate by posting updates and engaging visuals. 

Once your blog generates consistent traffic (visitors), you can monetize it using Google AdSense and affiliate marketing.

3. Handyperson 

A handyperson is anyone skilled in a vast range of repairs, with a broad knowledge of trades and craftsmanship. Handymen and women work at people’s homes doing odd jobs homeowners can’t do themselves or ones too small for a registered tradesperson. 

Tasks could include repairs, trade skills like carpentry, and interior and exterior maintenance work. 

11 handyperson ideas

5 tips for becoming a handyperson

  1. Pick your services: The more you define your specific services, the easier it’ll be to establish yourself as the go-to person in your community.
  2. Learn about handyperson state laws: States have specific regulations regarding what work a handyperson can do. Contact your secretary of state’s office or research your state’s contractor board website to see what those are. 
  3. Define your ideal client: Your ideal clients are those people that need your service regularly. You find them by researching your area and looking for typical demographics (age and type) and home needs (large yards, pools, lawns, etc.) 
  4. Set your pricing structure: Consider the following 4 price points when you set your price. First, your level of expertise; the better you are, the more you can charge. Second, it depends on your location. A handyperson in Washington State could probably charge more than one in Mississippi. 
    Third, your target audience’s financial position often determines your rates. For instance, professional couples and affluent retirees can often afford to pay more than families with young children. 
    And lastly, a handyperson who focuses on one niche can charge a flat rate often higher than an hourly one. It’s not unheard of for a handyperson to earn $100 per hour, but it takes time, professionalism, and a marketing strategy to get it. 
  5. Develop your marketing strategy: To land clients, you need a marketing strategy that grabs their attention. Research your target audience to discover where they shop, what local publications they read, radio stations they listen to, etc. Then develop your marketing strategy and position your local advertising where they can see it. 

4. E-commerce Store

E-commerce is a business model that enables individuals and businesses to sell and buy products and services online. 

E-commerce has 4 major market areas where you can trade every imaginable item and take payments using electronic gateways like PayPal. Buyers and sellers can create an e-commerce store and run entire brands from smartphones, tablets, computers, and any location with an internet connection. 

The 4 e-commerce markets

  1. Business to business (B2B): Where one company sells to another.
  2. Business to consumer (B2C): You sell to consumers. 
  3. Consumer to consumer: Individuals who sell to each other on third-party websites like Etsy and eBay.
  4. Consumer to business: Individuals selling to businesses, such as consultants and freelance writers. 

6 tips for starting an e-commerce store

  1. Select your e-commerce platform: E-commerce platforms are software systems that enable you to build and host an online store where people can purchase products and services. Popular e-commerce platforms include Shopify, Magento Ecommerce, 3DC, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Squarespace. 
  2. Purchase your domain name: You can purchase a domain name from several domain sites like GoDaddy or Namecheap.com. When choosing your domain name, avoid creative spellings and generic names. Keep it short (between 6-14 characters) and try to get “.com.”
  3. Pick your e-commerce theme: Themes, or templates, are code-free pre-built websites with customizable pages. E-commerce platforms like Shopify or WordPress provide free and paid themes to suit every industry and niche. 
    When choosing a theme, ensure there’s a smooth navigation system, areas for videos and images, and a customizable homepage so you can infuse it with your brand’s style. 
  4. Add your products: Product pages with high-quality imagery are essential as they’re where you’ll make your sales. Your website theme must allow you to display products in easy-to-navigate categories with scroll and magnification capabilities so people can see what they’re buying. 
  5. Set up payment options: Payment gateways are electronic payment software systems that allow consumers to purchase products online and for sellers to receive payment. Popular payment gateways for e-commerce stores include PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, Google Checkout, and Apple Pay.
  6. Choose your shipping agent: Shipping is a vital part of e-commerce as shoppers expect fast, hassle-free service. Some excellent shipping services for small to medium e-commerce stores include ShippingEasy, Shipstation, Ordoro, Shopify Shipping, United States Postal Service, UPS, DHL, and Ship-Bob.

5. Amazon Seller

An Amazon seller is a business or individual that sells their products on the Amazon e-commerce platform.

Selling on Amazon enables thousands of entrepreneurs to reach a global audience who knows and trusts the Amazon platform, increasing the seller’s chances of making regular sales. 

You become an Amazon seller by joining the Amazon Seller Central platform relative to the country where you want to sell. Once you enroll, you can upload your product visuals, write your description page, and use FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) to store, pick, and post your products. 

Amazon retail ideas

Amazon sells 12 million products and Amazon sellers a further 350 million, so there’s no shortage of product options. Some categories include:

5 tips to becoming an Amazon seller

  1. Find your niche: Discovering your niche is an essential part of the Amazon seller process. You need to conduct intensive market research to find a profitable one with high demand and low competition. You can find the perfect product niche using tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, AMZScout, IO Scout, and ZonGuru. 
  2. Identify product suppliers: You can source products locally (better for the environment), but most Amazon sellers use sites like Alibaba and AliExpress because of the lower price points. Before working with a supplier, ensure Alibaba verifies them; they have at least 3 years’ worth of positive testimonials and agree to 3rd party product testing.  
  3. Register an Amazon account: You have 2 Amazon seller accounts to choose from: Individual and pro seller. Anyone intending to sell large quantities of products needs the pro seller account at $39.99 per month. You’ll also pay Amazon a percentage on every sale, and if using their FBA system, additional storage, packing, and delivery costs. 
  4. Create product listing: Your product listing is where you display your product and tell people its features and how it’ll benefit them. You must use high-resolution product images and optimized descriptions to gain people’s attention. You can check out the top sellers in your niche to see how they use their product description page. 
  5. Manage your inventory: As an Amazon seller, you must pay attention to inventory levels because if you run out, your listing will drop down the rankings, undoing your hard work and losing sales. 

6. Etsy Seller

Etsy, like Amazon, is a 3rd party online marketplace platform that enables people to sell and buy handmade, bespoke, vintage, and art and craft items. 

To sell your products on Etsy, you create an account and open an Etsy storefront. Etsy charges you $0.20 per product listing, plus a 5% fee on every product you sell.

Etsy product ideas

There are over 50 product type categories on Etsy; here are the top 6:

5 tips to sell on Etsy

  1. Set up your Etsy store: To open your shop, visit its homepage, click sell on Etsy, and click open your Etsy shop. Etsy will then guide you in creating your store’s settings. 
  2. Select your payment method: Etsy requires you to submit your billing information for identification. Once verified, you can set up your payment preferences. Many sellers use the Etsy Payments solution, but you can choose to receive payments in other ways, such as PayPal, Worldpay, Adyen, and other licensed card payments. 
  3. Set your shipping fees: Etsy sellers must arrange product delivery themselves and fix shipping fees and times when creating their shop.
  4. Optimize your profile: Etsy allows you to design your shop to suit your brand’s style and personality. Use it to tell your story and grab shoppers’ attention. Include high-quality images, photos of yourself, and your bio to connect with like-minded people and build credibility. 
  5. Inventory quantity and price: You need to list your stock accurately, including sizes, colors, and product specifications, to ensure customers are happy with their purchase. With pricing, ensure you include all associated selling costs, such as product manufacturing, advertising, and shipping fees, to set a price that turns a profit.  

7. Consulting

A consultant provides expert analysis, recommendations, and strategies for individuals and businesses drawn from their experience and expertise within a specific industry. Organizations with complex problems that in-house staff can’t solve employ consultants on a project basis to train staff, improve workflow, and provide insights on how to move forward. 

11 consultant ideas

5 tips for becoming a consultant

  1. Know what your market needs: Consultants need industry problems to solve. You find them by researching blogs relative to your niche, joining groups/forums and asking what problems they’re having, reading what thought leaders are writing, and looking for relevant topics with heated debates. 
  2. Get the right skill sets: You need the right skills to be of service to your industry. 
    Begin by assessing your current strengths to see how you can provide help now, then look for areas you can improve upon and get the training, licenses, and certificates to expand your consultancy business as it grows.  
  3. Develop your brand identity: Independent consultants need strong branding to connect and engage with their target audience. You create your branding by answering the following questions:
    – Who are my ideal clients
    – What’s their job description, location, average age, and style
    – What image do they have of consultants serving this market
    – What personality would they identify with and connect to most
    Build your branding around your clients, and ensure it suits your niche and mirrors what people look for in consultants serving your marketplace.
  4. Register your business structure: You can consult immediately as a sole proprietorship, either using your name or registering a doing business as (DBA). The only problem is a sole proprietorship isn’t a registered entity and can undermine your professionalism, reduce trust, and lose prospective clients.
    An alternative option is to register a single-member LLC that provides a professional touch and protects your assets while retaining the simplified tax structure of a sole proprietorship.
  5. Practice your elevator pitch: Your elevator pitch is how you’ll sell your service and convince your client that you can help them. Keep it short and describe your experience. 

8. Tutoring

Traditionally, tutors provided additional academic instructions on specific subjects to students outside the classroom at school and college levels of education. Today, however, tutors teach a vast range of academic and non-academic subjects to people of all ages with online learning.  

Tutors no longer require degrees or specialized training to teach, but you’ll need a keen knowledge of your subject and the ability to explain it clearly. 

11 tutoring ideas 

5 tips for starting a tutoring business 

You can tutor by joining one of the many established online tutoring businesses that provide different levels of education in various subjects. These include Brainfuse, Chegg, Brainfuse, PrepNow Tutoring, TutorMe, Skooli, VIPKid, or Tutor.com. 

Or you could start your own tutoring business locally or online by taking the following steps:  

  1. Choose your subject and educational level: Your subject and education level must reflect your level of expertise to provide students with valuable experience.
  2. Profile your potential students: Using your subject and education level, you can determine who your ideal student is and create a profile that includes their demographics, such as location, age, level of education, gender, interests, and needs. 
  3. Decide how you’ll provide your tutoring services: Once you know who your ideal students are, you can determine how and where you’ll provide your tutoring service. Will it be offline or online? Local or international? When tutoring from home, check with your state’s local city/county zoning department and get liability insurance. 
  4. Get your tutoring tools: Different subjects and education levels require different equipment. For example, language teachers should use recognized materials, such as student and teacher Headway books. In contrast, a chef would need a fully functional and fitted kitchen. A fast internet connection, a high-quality webcam, and a microphone are essential for tutors teaching online.  
  5. Decide on your pricing: Your rate depends on the subject and the education level you’re teaching. Naturally, the more advanced you are, the more you can charge. Average U.S. tutoring rates in 2022 range from $17 to $30 per hour. 

9. Airbnb

Airbnb is an online platform that enables property owners to rent short and long-term spaces to private and business individuals.  

You can rent anything from a single room with a shared bathroom, a beachfront condo, a luxury city apartment, or a country mansion. To rent a room/property, you list it on Airbnb, write an engaging property description, add high-quality images, set your rates, and include contact information. 

The average Airbnb business earns $924 per month, but that can rise depending on your property and location. 

Airbnb ideas

Spaces of all shapes and sizes work as Airbnb rental properties, and often, the quirkier, the better. Here are some examples of what you can rent:

5 tips for starting your Airbnb business

  1. Choose your rental market: Your property and location will determine who your rental market is. Do some research to establish who visits your area; for example, families on holiday adventures or business professionals? Once you know your market, you can design your listing and property to suit. 
  2. Study local Airbnb laws and regulations: Before you open your doors, research your local rental rules and regulations to ensure you don’t break any laws.
    Regulations to look out for include city zoning laws, multi-family building rental restrictions, subletting legalities, and licenses and permit requirements.
  3. Research your competitors: Those new to renting have a lot to learn to ensure clients enjoy their stay. One trick is to find the top listing properties similar to yours on Airbnb, then book at off-peak times to discover the secret to their success. 
  4. Promote your location: Use your location’s key attractions, such as national parks, historical buildings, or crazy nightlife, and convenient public services like airports, train stations, or bus terminals to promote your Airbnb listing and attract visitors.
  5. Get insurance cover: Airbnb provides property owners with 2 types of insurance coverage at no extra cost: Host Protection Insurance and Host Guarantee Program. However, as they’re free, they have their limitations. It’s advisable to purchase separate insurance to protect you and your property from damage or lawsuits because of injury. 

10. Landscaping Business

Landscaping businesses provide residential and commercial clients with plant care, garden maintenance, and construction services. Starting a landscaping business might be a good fit for anyone who enjoys physical work and also enjoys working outdoors. And if you live in a warmer climate, you could work all year round. 

Landscaping covers several services from indoor plant care and weeding to complete installations, including trees, plants, decking, water features, lighting, and stone terracing. 

11 landscaping business ideas

5 tips for starting a landscaping business

  1. Know your target market: Those are the people within your vicinity who need your landscaping service. You can approach your target market in one of 2 ways: Either pick an area of landscaping that suits your skills and then research the target audience. Or identify a landscaping service in high demand in your area, get the skills required, and then find your ideal clients.
  2. Decide which services you’ll offer: When you know what area of landscaping you want to enter, you can choose a specific service. Landscapers that offer a niche service can find start-up costs cheaper and build a client base quicker because you need less equipment. Plus, people get to know you as the go-to person for that specific job.  
  3. Establish your business structure: Your landscaping business will need a business structure to get a business license, permits, a business bank account, and pay taxes. A sole proprietorship could suffice if you provide lawn care or garden maintenance service. But for larger landscaping companies using power tools and equipment, an LLC with limited liability protection could be the wiser choice. 
  4. Rent or buy your equipment: The good news is that essential landscaping tools like rakes, shovels, pickaxes, buckets, wheelbarrows, and personal protection equipment (PPE) aren’t too expensive. But costs rise when you include lawnmowers, strimmers, power tools, trailers, and trucks. 
    Many new landscapers solve this problem by renting the more expensive equipment on a job-by-job basis or purchasing 2nd hand gear from other local landscapers. 
  5. Get business insurance: Landscaping can be a dangerous job, so you’ll need adequate insurance to cover your equipment and any accidents involving clients. General liability insurance protects against client injury and property damage. And equipment insurance will cover any damage or loss to your gear while doing business.

11. Cleaning Business

Cleaners are in high demand, which means starting a cleaning business can be lucrative and rewarding. 

The cleaning industry also has low entry fees and set-up costs, enabling people from all backgrounds and locations to start and run a successful enterprise. 

There are 2 types of cleaning businesses: Residential and commercial, each with several niche services.

Residential cleaning involves working in a client’s home cleaning kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Residential cleaners provide all equipment and products and require fewer licenses and permits than commercial cleaners.

Commercial cleaners often require specific training and licenses to enter the sector, using specialized equipment to clean commercial buildings like offices, schools, banks, factories, and hospitals. 

11 cleaning business ideas

5 tips for starting a cleaning business

  1. Choose your market: When starting out, a residential cleaning business is easier to establish than a commercial (there are more houses than businesses)! However, if commercial cleaning suits your location, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go for it. 
    When choosing your market, consider set-up costs (commercial is more expensive) and your competition. You want to enter a cleaning service niche that isn’t overly competitive but with enough demand to support your new venture. 
  2. Find your specialty: Many new residential cleaning businesses provide a complete service, cleaning houses from top to bottom, and that’s a solid approach.
    However, specializing in a specific sector (such as cleaning chandeliers, high-end sports cars, or commercial ovens) often brings higher rewards and enables you to build a reputable business faster.
  3. Buy the correct equipment: As start-up costs are affordable, most people don’t need external funding to start a residential cleaning business. However, specialized and commercial cleaning equipment can be costly. Either way, you’ll need the basic tools of the trade to do the job; here are some to consider:
    Commercial-grade vacuum cleaner or cordless backpack vacuum cleaner with high HEPA ratings to reduce dust particles
    – Commercial carts, trolleys, and residential cleaning trays
    – Carpet steamers
    And supplies such as a mop and bucket, brush and dustpan, dusters, rags, cloths, spray bottles, disinfectant, all-purpose cleaners, window cleaner, squeegee, gloves, and garbage bags.
  4. Choose a business name: Your cleaning business name must be catchy to grab people’s attention and set the right impression. When choosing a name, include an industry-related word like clean or maid, then add an adjective or location. For example, Gloucester commercial cleaning company, Maid in LA, and Busy Bee Cleaning Service sound great.  
  5. Get your licenses and permits: Most states require a cleaning business to have specific business licenses and permits. You can find your state requirements by visiting the U.S. small business administration website and following the relative links.

Conclusion

Now you have 11 in-demand, profitable, and accessible small business ideas to choose from. When you’ve picked yours, buy some insurance, form your business entity, create a target audience-focused marketing campaign, and up-skill yourself at every opportunity.

Then take it one step at a time, be patient, and never give up. I know you can do it. Good luck. 

This portion of our website is for informational purposes only. Tailor Brands is not a law firm, and none of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to convey legal advice. All statements, opinions, recommendations, and conclusions are solely the expression of the author and provided on an as-is basis. Accordingly, Tailor Brands is not responsible for the information and/or its accuracy or completeness.

Terry is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience building businesses across multiple industries – construction, real estate, e-commerce, hotelier, and now digital media. When not working, Terry likes to kick back and relax with family, explore Taoism’s mysteries, or savor the taste of fine Italian red wine.