Last Updated on May 30, 2022

Having your own business can be the dream of many professionals. Further, the increasing trends in being the “self-boss” have made many working professionals start with small business ideas.

Do you know that there are 32.5 million small businesses in the US only that accounts for 99.9% of all the US businesses in 2021? 

The entrepreneurship spirit, earning business revenue, and getting out of the line of regular jobs are the driving factors for the success of small business ideas. The best part of small businesses is that there are only multiple ideas around your daily life. Let us have a deep dive into the world of small businesses, starting with its definition.

What is a Small Business?

A small business can be any sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation having fewer employees. The term “small business” stands for the ability to apply for government support and qualification for the tax policy of a specific region or country. A quick look at the details reveals that:

  • According to the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, small businesses have less than fifteen employees.
  • According to the European Union, a small business has less than fifty employees.
  • According to the US Small Business Administration program, a small business has less than five hundred employees.
  • In India, any manufacturing or service business with an investment of less than 10 Crore INR and an annual turnover of less than 50 Crore INR is considered a small business.
  • The National Small Business Amendment Act, 2003 of South Africa defines several ways for defining small businesses. These include turnover & asset value excluding the fixed property, the equivalent of paid employees, class size, subsector classification, standard industrial sector, etc.

Small businesses are quite different from their synonyms terms like self-employment, entrepreneurship, startups, etc. This is as:

  • A small business is a small organization with sufficient employees and revenue with no immediate intention to grow.
  • A startup is a new business that tends to grow in the future.
  • Entrepreneurship is a new business idea.
  • Self-employment is the organization that offers income to the sole proprietors only.

Best Small Business Ideas

1. Handyman

Handyman

Also known as a handyperson, fixer, or handywork, a handyman is a person who’s an expert at a broader range of repairs generally around the home. Such tasks include repair work, trade skills, maintenance work, exterior and interior, and are usually described as odd jobs, side work, or fix-up tasks. 

2. Woodworker

A person who’s best at making wood artifacts and other items, like furniture and cabinetry, joinery, wood carving, carpentry, and woodturning is known as a woodworker. 

3. Dating Consultant

He assists its clients in navigating the complex online dating world. Such consultants meet various requirements from serious to casual and crafts unions that build up neighborhoods with positive links. 

4. Sewing And Alteration Specialist

sewing and alteration specialist

A person who uses various tailoring and sewing skills to customize the fitting of any readymade clothing items or craft a new attire is a sewing and alteration specialist. These experts can make, repair, and restore garments. 

5. Freelance Developer

A freelancer is a self-employed professional coder who builds websites for many clients and gets paid. 

6. Personal Trainer

He helps the clients attain specific fitness goals, like weight loss, toning, strength training, and complete health management. He holds the required knowledge, abilities, and skills to craft safe and effective fitness programs. 

7. Freelance Graphic Designer

It’s an individual who is a creative professional and produces designs using visuals. These experts assemble images, typography, and graphics creatively, using tools, technology, and computer software. 

8. Life/Career Coach

He’s a sort of wellness professional who assists people in progressing in their lives to catch up with greater fulfillment. He helps the clients enhance their careers, relationships, and routine lives. 

9. Resume Writer

Resume writers help clients with their perfect job search by building an impactful and informative resume crafted to help them stand uniquely from other candidates. 

10. Freelance Writer 

Freelance Writer 

Professional writer, the freelance writer works as a contractor, not a full-time staff. They offer writing services to different clients and usually work across various genres and topics as their clients assign. 

11. Translator

An individual who interprets a language and translates it into another he’s a translator. Such specialists are fluent in at least two languages, so they interact with people who speak different languages. 

12. Garden Designer

He designs and creates plans for layout and planting gardens and landscapes. Nowadays, people hire professionals who hold experience in garden design.

13. eCommerce Store Owners

Unlike brick-and-mortar business persons, eCommerce store owners can’t directly interact with their consumers. Even they can now guide them and help as they are shopping, not physically. 

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14. Landscaper

A landscaper elevates outdoor spaces, and this way earns his living. He plants attractive plants and flowers, lawns, and trim hedges to make commercial, residential, and public areas more pleasing. 

15. Videographer

An individual who records live events and small-scale production, he’s a videographer. He targets smaller productions, like live events, documentaries, weddings, legal depositions, short films, sports events, birthday parties, etc. 

16. Photographer

Photographer

One who is skilled at clicking photographs and pictures with a camera is a photographer. A professional photographer captures photos as a part of his job. 

17. Travel Planner

His job is to plan a perfect trip for his clients. He has no association with travel websites and reviews, and they help you maximize and prioritize your experiences. As per your destination, you can have a lot of attractions or just a few. 

18. Car-Detailing Specialist

A car detailer takes care of the vehicles’ cleanliness. They work for dealerships, car washes, and other companies. He may perform various tasks during their shift, like washing, vacuuming, polishing, and more. 

19. Home Inspection

A home inspector conducts an expert, certified, and trained home inspection. He prepares and delivers a well-written report of findings to his clients. Then the client uses that information to make informed decisions relevant to pending real estate purchases. 

20. House Cleaner

Also known as the residential cleaner, a house cleaner cleans and maintains the household and nearby areas. He sweeps, washes, dust-out, mops, scrubs, vacuums, and sanitizes all the surfaces and areas. 

21. Personal Chef

Personal Chef

He’s self-employed and runs his professional culinary business. Moreover, they pick clients themselves and pre-prepared their homes’ meals weekly or monthly, making them ready for the day’s consumption, while remains are reheated and refrigerated for the rest of the days.

22. Property Manager

Also known as an estate manager, a property manager is an individual or company who charges an amount for operating a real estate property for a fee in the absence of the owner when he asks the property manager to attend such meetings.  

23. Packing Services Facilitator

A person who offers domestic packing and shifting/moving services includes office goods, household goods, and car transportation services. He ensures the safe movement of all the goods before clients reach their final destination.

24. Crafter

A creator with excellent skills in the manual arts is a crafter. Also known as the creator, he grows, invents, or makes things. Also, he participates in a specific handicraft, either as a small business or a hobby. 

25. Bed And Breakfast Owner

He’s an individual who is either single-handle or with your family and offers the guests a comfortable, home-like ambiance. Such workers are also known as innkeepers or abbreviated to B&B owners, clean the rooms, assign rooms to the guests, offer some meals, and keep records and books.

26. Interior Designer

Interior Designer

An individual responsible for the structure of the internal space of a building or the layout is an interior designer. The design influence the safety, well-being, and function of the space’s interior space. An interior space needs to be a fixed building or a moving one.

27. Nonprofit Owner

There’s no owner of a nonprofit corporation, and they don’t even declare shares of stock when developed. Some states name nonprofit corporations as non-stock corporations. 

28. Tour Guide

Also known as tourist guides, tour guides are hospitality and travel industry member who help visitors explore places of interest. Moreover, these people may guide individuals or groups through museums, historical sites, geographic destinations, etc. 

29. Tutor

A tutor works with students and allows them to give their top-level performance in academics. They specialize in education and post-school tutoring. A tutor may take private tuitions or teaches the groups. 

30. Consultant

A professional who offers advice and purposeful activities ahead in his area of specialization is a consultant. They conduct analysis offer expert opinions and recommendations to individuals or organizations based on their expertise. 

31. Clothing Boutique Owner

Clothing Boutique Owner

A boutique owner operates retail stores that usually sell clothing, accessories, and sundries. They generally have retail industry experience and always hold a passion for fashion. Bring a business owner; they are entrepreneurs and are responsible for all the aspects relevant to running a small business. 

32. Event Planner

Also known as a convention planner or a meeting planner, an event planner coordinates every aspect of events and professional meetings. Usually, they choose the meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate various other details. 

33. Specialty Food Store Owner

This food is generally known as a “unique and high-priced food item,” and made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients. A store owner who sells specialty food items with limited distribution is a specialty food owner. Also, the food quality is higher than a grocery store offers. 

34. Personal Assistant

He performs secretarial work and offers senior managers with routine administrative support. He’s responsible for answering phone calls, managing correspondence, making travel arrangements, and scheduling appointments. Moreover, they may also organize events. 

35. Food Truck Owner

A food truck owner oversees routine food truck and commercial kitchen operations. He plans for and purchases the food for day-to-day operations. Besides, he sets prices for every menu product, maintains equipment, and is responsible for more.

36. Consignment Shop Owner

It’s a retail business type that legally sells goods someone else owns. Also termed as the consignor, he sells on the goods owners’ behalf. When a sale is attained, the consignment shop owner loses ownership of that item, while the consignee and consignor earn profit. 

37. Gym Owner

Gym Owner

Akin to any fitness business owner, a gym owner maintains and finally grows a gym or fitness studio. Besides, they are responsible for more tasks.

38. Daycare Owner

The childcare workers, also known as daycare owners, offer care for preschool-aged children, toddlers, and infants. While the guardians and parents are at work or out for some reason, the child care providers take care of their children and assist them in developing their skills through activities and games. 

39. Boutique Agency Owner

He’s an owner of a smaller advertising agency that offers customized and client-focused niche and industry services. The boutique agencies focus on higher quality branding strategic and creative projects.

40. Coffee Shop Owner

He spends considerable time tweaking and crafting menus with the items that attract customers. His sole responsibility is to decide carefully what type of coffee his shop offer. 

41. Moving Company

Also named a relocation company, a moving company or van line is an organization for-hire that offers services to businesses and residents. Such companies provide labor to move tangible inventory physically for clients from one spot to another. 

42. Home Staging

The real estate marketplace practice includes building a private residence for sale. The staging target is to craft an appealing home to magnetize the highest number of potential buyers—this way, they sell a property faster and make more money. 

43. Dog Walker, Groomer, or Trainer

Dog Walker

He’s an individual who is trained and certified to take care of pets being a pet sitter, dog walker, groomer, and trainer. Such people hold the caliber to recognize pets’ behavioral signals, know perfect grooming techniques, identify common health issues, communicate with animal owners and professionals, and more. 

44. Sell Home Baked Goods

One can sell home-baked items in the market, such as cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bread, muffins, pastries, and more. Also, they make custom-baked items specific to customers’ demands considering their taste, design, etc. 

45. Makeup Artist

He applies makeup and prosthetics on others for television, theater, fashion, film, magazines, and other akin productions, including every aspect of the modeling industry.

46. Professional Organizer

A person who can assist people in organizing any digital and physical spaces in their kitchen, closet, or home office is a professional organizer. 

47. Caterer

Caterer

A person whose business is to offer supplies, food, and sometimes the services at social gatherings is a caterer. He’s responsible for cooking and even serving meals at various events. 

How to Start a Small Business at Home?

You can start any small business from your home only and hence can successfully eliminate the costs of commuting to the office, managing employees, or renting commercial real estate. Here are some of the quick but effective ways to start a small business at home only:

  • Use the available time: The first step towards the small business starting at home only is managing the available time. It helps strike a balance between the ambition and realism of starting a business.
  • Identify a new business idea: The second step is to identify a strong business idea that is the source of earning. These ideas can be from personal interests, experiences, or budding market opportunities.
  • Validate your business idea: It is important to validate the business idea based on the surveys if people are ready to spend on it or not.
  • Find a business name: They may say what’s in the name? But for small businesses, everything is in the name. The small business name should be original, memorable, simple, and short.
  • Make a plan: The business plan for making a small idea a success include keeping the business on track, securing lenders, investors, partners, etc.
  • Understand business finances: The next step is to look for the small business’s finances. It includes setting up accounting, bookkeeping, securing funding, opening business bank accounts, etc.
  • Develop your product or service: It is the main step where your small business’s product or service idea comes into existence. 
  • Pick a business structure: It is important to define a business structure for balancing the financial and legal projections while keeping the flexibility open to adding multiple business models. This business structure helps define personal liability, operations, taxes, etc.
  • Research licenses and regulations: Since you’re operating a business from home only, it is important to know the local rules and regulations. Hence, the next step is to research the different licenses and regulations required for operating the specific business in the area.
  • Select your software systems: No business can run without technology, and hence it is important to select a perfect technological partner for your business from home. The key needs of the business, like project management, advertisements, emails, accounting, etc., should be managed.
  • Find a business location: Does your business have some fulfillment needs, retail needs, or space needs? It is time to look for the business location for the same.
  • Plan workload and team size: Planning the workload according to the available timings is important. The initial team size should be designed to manage the costs while eliminating the workload on a specific person, including you. The ideal scenario is to hire freelancers, part-time employees, etc.
  • Launch your business: It is the time to launch your business by leveraging your business, testing paid advertisements, building buzz with business promotions, etc. 

Three Tips for Choosing the Best Business Idea

As said, your small business idea can be anything, and with detailed planning, it is easy to make your dream come true. However, while bringing these ideas on board, multiple challenges remain specific to specific businesses. So, what to do then? Here are the top three tips for choosing the best business idea out of all the available options:

  • Focusing on a niche makes marketing easier: Marketing a new business in the mid of the large and established businesses can be the toughest nut to crack for any small business. It is all about getting into the eyes of the persons that can be your faithful buyers and attracting multiple visitors to your website. Small businesses can zero in on a specific niche. 

Hence, you need to start marketing your specific identity to a specific audience. Creating dedicated social media content that goes well with this niche marketing strategy and attracts online business becomes easy. It can help create a consistent approach for the brand and work in the same direction for making it a top brand in the specific niche. This zeroing-in concept can help the small business owners to the business base using existing audience and eliminating the clutter from the business.

  • Pricing is about more than profit: When it comes to offering to price to the products or services of your small business, it should never become too low or too high. The too-low pricing will hint that your products or services are of low quality, while the too-high pricing will scare off your audience. Further, the pricing of products or services must cover the shipping costs even if you’re not currently shipping to international locations. 

This will help cover the future shipping costs. Many businesses prefer to hide the possible shipping costs in the retail price only to attract customers with free shipping. Many times it becomes easy to add conditional free shipping to promote shopping. Hence, pricing is more about profit and must be a sweet point that can be estimated with the different experiments of pricing plans.

  • Test, learn, and grow as you go: It is all about testing the existing small business idea. Perfection can be one of the biggest issues for small businesses, especially when it is your first venture only. The observations gained through consistent learning can be used to bring change. These include swapping the products or services, redesigning the store, adjusting the current prices, switching to better vendors, etc., and validating these changes. 

The key factors for validating the changes include abandoned carts, reviews, time spent on the website, etc. The other assets for defining the small business’s testing, learning, and growth include email lists, social media followers, creating the brand, etc.

Choosing a Business Idea? Avoid These 10 Mistakes

It is always great to have a small business idea, but the key mistakes done by other business professionals can be a guiding light for others. So, here is a quick list of the top ten mistakes to avoid while selecting a small business idea:

  • Choosing a business idea that is not required in the industry or audience.
  • Choosing a business idea that you and your team cannot pull off to reality.
  • Selecting the business idea that doesn’t stand out from the list of the other small businesses.
  • Choosing a business idea that is not aimed at the niche audience fails to understand the audience.
  • Selecting the business idea that lacks your involvement for experience, background, or personal skills.
  • Choosing a business idea that the owners are not enjoying running.
  • Selecting the business idea that looks like the easiest business option.
  • Choosing a business idea that customers may not be able to pay for.
  • Select the business idea that the owners are least interested in.
  • Choosing a business idea that you cannot explain to the team and investors.

Coming up with great business ideas

Finding great business ideas can be one of the difficult tasks for any business professional. These ideas can come from everyday events, demand for a specific product in the market, filling the gap between the demands of customers and existing products, etc. Often, the small business ideas are from people’s bad personal experiences only.

Brainstorming business ideas

Brainstorming is when a person or people start working on the current problems and contribute to finding the solution spontaneously. It can be done physically or digitally based on the specific business. Hence, when it comes to opening a small business, the different brainstorming sessions can be conducted in the following ways:

  • Finding the purpose of your small business idea.
  • Let the creative mindset take control of the ideas.
  • Researching small business ideas.
  • Filtering the ideas based on the feasibility and other parameters.
  • Naming your small business.
  • Developing the roadmap of the small business idea before sharing it.

Protecting unique business ideas

Any small business owner needs to protect their unique business ideas. Multiple protection ways are available for business owners that can be used based on the type of business. Some of the unique ideas to protect your small business are:

1. Copyright: It applies to graphic designs, music, photography, art, text, etc. It protects all intellectual property and ensures that all the sources can’t be used without the business’ permission.

2. Trademark: It stands for “owning” a word or design, symbol, logo, phrase, etc. It is another form of intellectual property protection.

3. Patent: It applies to prohibiting the making, selling, or using of a specific invention belonging to a business. It applies to multiple inventions.

4. Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs): These prohibit information sharing and is the legal document for sensitive information.

5. Non-compete agreement: It prohibits the associated contractors or employees from working with the direct competitors based on this agreement.

6. Work-for-hire agreement: It is a dedicated agreement for the employees. It means that all the work done during the employment with the business belongs to the business only.

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Getting funding for a business idea

You have worked hard for your small business up to now, but the actual hard work comes when getting the funding for a specific business idea. There is no need to worry as the following are the quick but effective ways to get funding for business ideas:

1. Small business loan: Multiple organizations offer small business loans that vary from as low as 200USD and go up to 2million USD based on the business idea.

2. Investors: Many investors are looking forward to the small businesses investing their hard-earned money. Hence, small businesses can prepare a short, crisp, and informative pitch for attracting multiple investors. 

3. Crowdfunding: It is the form of funding that involves small investments from many investors. It is a perfect solution for funding your small business.

4. Fund it yourself: When no other option seems to be working, it is ideal to self-fund your small business. All you need to do is remain aware of the different risks and start with low-investment businesses.

Become your boss, without the financial hassle

Whenever a person thinks of becoming their own boss, the financial hassle is the first thing that comes to the mind of budding business-oriented people. Small businesses can take the leap based on technology, testing ideas, and using third-party suppliers. It is all about starting the sales of products and services while eliminating the initial office costs, renting spaces, or sourcing products.

You need to test the different small business ideas that come to your mind and start earning significant amounts of money. The low-cost small business model can help businesses use the earned profits in sourcing, storing, and shipping inventory. Small businesses don’t have to worry about financial constraints when starting with detailed planning, testing different ideas, and starting the business accordingly. Not to miss the high levels of flexibility when facing tough competition in the same niche businesses.

Wrapping Up

With more than 1.5 million jobs created annually by the small businesses in the US only, no other time than this can be the perfect time to start your own business. All it takes is due diligence, planning, and research over your business idea before jumping to the execution of your small business idea. The quick steps to start a business at home only make it easy to easily plan your small business.

It is important to select the business idea based on our top three tips, followed by a quick list of ten mistakes to eliminate the failure of your small business ideas. It is smooth to develop great business ideas after brainstorming the available ideas. The next line is to protect your unique business ideas using different methods like copyrights, trademarks, patents, etc. Further, getting funding for the small business idea is easy using investors, crowdfunding, or small business loans. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Small Business Ideas

  1. What are the most successful small business ideas? 

    The most successful small business ideas are virtual assistant services, childcare services, social media consultants, Instagram influencers, Etsy seller services, dog walking services, event planning businesses, hairdresser services, yoga teachers, landscaping businesses, etc.

  2. What are the top 10 businesses to start?

    The top ten businesses to start to include:
    * online fashion store
    * pet sitting or pet products
    * affiliate marketing
    * media like YouTube channels or podcasts
    * homemade products to sell online
    * selling freelance services
    * becoming a blogger
    * selling digital products
    * selling on-demand print shirts
    * dropshipping businesses

  3. What is the easiest business to start?

    The easiest businesses to start are online businesses that can be scaled easily and require minimal startup costs. Further, it is easy to earn profits and do less work overtime in online businesses. These businesses can be selling services, fashion stores, tutoring, online courses, dropshipping stores, etc.

  4. What are business services in high demand?

    The top business services in high demand are Uber drivers, pet grooming, house cleaning, search engine marketing consulting, content marketing consulting, accounting, tax services, translation services, freelance writing services, etc.

  5. What business can I start with no money?

    The key businesses that can be started with no money are craft selling, consulting services, music lessons, bartending services, art lessons, tutoring services, freelance writing services, personal trainer services, etc.

  6. What are the best startup ideas?

    The best startup ideas include accountant services, property businesses, classified businesses, food ordering systems, courier services, car washing services, taxi booking services, e-commerce businesses, accounting services, etc.

  7. What are the most successful small businesses?

    Some of the most successful small businesses are e-commerce store owners, bookkeeping, accounting, food trucks, personal wellness, personal trainers, online tutoring, pet businesses, online courses, etc.

  8. What business can I do from home?

    Some businesses that can be started from the home only are marriage bureau services, MLM network marketing, insurance agents, yoga classes, hobby classes, Tiffin services, recruitment services, home chocolate business, etc. 

  9. How can I be my boss?

    You can be your boss by investing in the small business ideas, evaluating the situation, planning the transition, and selecting the business model. It is followed by determining the target market, identifying the key problems, clarifying business plans, and setting up the business.

  10. How can I earn money fast?

    It is easy to earn money fast by opening small businesses, scoring the bonus with a new bank account, renting out a room at home, delivering food to local restaurants, driving people in your car, collecting cash from micro-investing apps, getting paid for shopping, earning quick cash with online surveys, and reducing spending by refinancing debts.

  11. What type of business should I start?

    You can start with freelancer services, home cleaning services, courier services, advertising, online courses, dropship services, subscription services, franchise businesses, etc.

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.