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  • 343 Business Ideas to Start
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    by Janet Attard

    Last Updated Wednesday, November 18, 2020

    Looking for business ideas? This list of business ideas has 343 startup suggestions to consider. Read the tips on how to choose the right type of business for you first, then browse through these startup ideas.

    Are you looking for small business startup ideas? Do you want to start your own business , but wonder what's a good business to start? Maybe you're tired of working for a boss who makes every workday stressful. Perhaps you are convinced you can make more on your own than you can working for someone else -- or you just want to bring in a little extra money to pay for a few luxuries in life. Perhaps you've been laid off and haven't been able to find a new job. Or it could be that your family really needs two incomes but you don't want your kids to be latchkey kids.

    Those are just a few of the possible reasons for starting a business. No matter what your reason is, what's important is that starting a business can be personally and financially rewarding--if you come up with the right business idea.

    What's the Best Business To Start?

    That's one of the first questions most people ask. Others are "What's an easy business to start?" and "What's the best business to start at home?"

    But the question you should be asking yourself is, "What's the best business for me to start."

    Different businesses require different skills, abilities, and cash to get going. A great business for a programmer to start, might not be a good idea for physical therapist or waiter. Your own likes and dislikes also need to be considered. Some businesses might be lucrative, but involve doing work you dislike doing. Others can be highly enjoyable, but not produce enough income for your needs.

    So, how do you find real business opportunities and avoid scams? Or if you're looking to add new product lines to an existing business how do you evaluate business ideas that come to your attention? The answer is as individual as you are. Here are some of the criteria you should consider when you are deciding what type of business to start:

    It is something you know how to do and can do well.

    It is something you LIKE to do and wouldn't mind doing day after day.

    It is something with a broad enough appeal to sell on a steady basis.

    It can be sold at a price that will cover all of your expenses and overhead plus return a healthy profit.

    The market (your potential customers) is one you will be able to reach

    You have or can raise sufficient funds to get the business started and keep it running until it becomes a profitable venture.

    RELATED: Where to find a business idea that's right for you

    If you haven't yet found your entrepreneurial niche, perhaps you'll spot a business that sounds promising (based on the criteria just mentioned) in the list of business ideas below. Some can be started as a home-based business, others really can't. Some require you to be an expert in a particular task or industry. Others are in fields that can more easily be learned.

    Many can be turned into full-time businesses, but some are ideal primarily for moonlighting or as add-on income streams in an existing business. All are viable ways to make money, if you know the business and become good at marketing .

    Free Business Startup Checklist

    Starting a business can be overwhelming! Use this free

    Business Startup Checklist to make sure you don't miss any important steps. This downloadable Word document lists the steps you need to take to get your business up and running, and includes space for you to note your own comments and deadlines. You can get the checklist free when you subscribe to the free Business Know-How Newsletter.

    The list below is not all-inclusive. There are many, many other ways to start a business. (If you know of anything you think we should add to our list use our site feedback form to let us know.)

    To help you find ideas that match your skills and interests, we've grouped the business ideas into a number of categories. Under some of the types of businesses (Artist, for instance) we've mentioned particular products or services that might be offered either as the main business or as one of the business' offerings. Once you find a business idea you think you'd like to start, check out our how to start a business guide to find out how to get ready to launch the business.

    List of Business Ideas

    Here are 343 small business ideas. To get to the businesses in any category, just click on the category name below. Alternately, you can just scroll through the entire list of business ideas to find one that stirs your interest.

    Art

    Automotive

    Business and Consumer Services

    Crafts

    Computer & Internet

    Consulting Services

    Editorial, Graphic Arts, Publishing

    Entertainment

    Miscellaneous

    Planning and Organizing

    Retail and Commercial

    Sales

    Art

    Paint and sell original works of art

    From landscapes to abstracts, decorative art (tole painting), and even children’s books, there is a market for good art.

    Sculptor

    Artists carve and sell everything from granite statues to ice sculptures and even pumpkins at Halloween.

    Draw caricatures

    Graphic designer

    Big and small businesses alike need graphic designers to create brochures, posters, logos, packaging, signage and so much more.

    Draw original artwork for presentations

    Book illustrator

    Paint wall murals

    Hand paint designs on furniture, and decorative items

    Create animated videos for businesses

    Sell hand-painted or handmade holiday ornaments

    Art instructor

    Art broker

    Back to Category Listing

    Automotive

    Automobile Detailing

    Auto parts sales

    Auto repair garage

    Brake replacement & repair

    Body shop

    Car wash

    Car rental

    Car accessories business

    Junk car removal

    Limo service

    Mobile car tune-up and repair service

    Motorcycle Repair

    Muffler shop

    Tow truck service

    Back to Category Listing

    Related articles:

    10 Businesses You Can Start for $500 or Less

    How to Transform Your Hobby Into a Career

    Business Start-up Checklist

    More Business Ideas

    Business and Consumer Services

    Advertising specialty sales

    Administrative support services

    Appliance repair

    Bakery

    Bed and Breakfast Inn

    Bicycle repair

    Balloon decorating service

    Boat excursions and tours

    Business plan writer

    Cabinet maker

    Car Detailing

    Carpet and upholstery cleaning

    Catering

    Chemical testing

    Child Care Service

    Chimney sweep

    Cleaning Service

    Repeat business from private homes and commercial establishments make this a good business to establish

    Clown

    Coin dealer

    Collectibles dealer

    Collections service

    Commercial disinfecting service

    Take your cleaning service a step beyond by providing professional disinfecting services for offices and other businesses.

    Concrete construction and repair

    Cook

    Cosmetologist

    Crafts instructor

    Teach other people how to make decorative accessories, sew, paint, or do other crafts. Bring in extra money by selling supplies and patterns.

    Currency auctions

    Dance instructor

    Daycare for adults

    Dental claims processing

    Dog walking service

    Start a dog walking business in your neighborhood or town. Simple to start and with people busier than ever, there is a lot of demand .

    Dog obedience training

    Have experience training your own dog? Turn it into a business with almost no investment.

    Dog/yard cleanup

    Help to clean up the home and pets and get paid. Here’s how one person made money two ways from this idea.

    Drive for ride-hailing service

    Make your own hours and work for Uber, Lyft or even start your own local airport shuttle business.

    Drive for local businesses

    Create your own business delivering food or packages to customers of local restaurants and shops. Or, sign up to be a driver with a service like DoorDash *

    Elderly companion

    Adult children of the elderly are often looking for someone to spend time with their parents. You can get paid to visit and do interesting things

    Electrician

    Always loved electrical work? Get licensed and become an electrician - tons of demand in most areas. Already licensed? Look for local electricians who may be retiring and ask about buying their business.

    Environmental cleanup service

    Cleaning up after environmental disasters can be a lucrative business if you have the knowledge and skills to handle the problem.

    Environmental contamination detection and analysis

    Manufacturers and other companies have a need to monitor and analyze groundwater and other pollutants.

    Errand service

    Run different types of errands for busy people in your area. A business you can start in minutes with no investment and can spread by word of mouth .

    Executive recruiter

    Financial planner

    Fishing boat rides

    Flea market seller

    Food delivery service

    Formal wear rental service (male or female)

    Food truck

    Framing service (picture frames)

    Furniture reupholstering

    Genealogist

    Grant writer

    Nonprofits need money to do the work they do. If you have experience with grant writing, you can get paid as a freelancer for helping them get access to the funding they need.

    Hair Salon

    Enjoy making people feel beautiful? Start a business where people pay you to help them look and feel confident. Keep startup and overhead costs down by starting out in a coworking salon facility that divides up a large space into small, private salons individual stylists can rent.

    Handyman service

    Get paid to help people repair broken furniture, fix loose cabinet doors, install shelves, and do a variety of needed fixit services in their homes.

    Home or office organization services

    Help people organize their homes or businesses and get paid to do it

    Home attendant service

    The aging population makes this a business that will be needed for years to come. Check state licensing requirements as you research this idea.

    Home design service

    Help people bring harmony to their home with Feng Shui, or simply help them design their homes for efficiency, comfort, and beauty.

    Home staging service

    Help home sellers get the best price by making minor changes that maximize the home’s eye appeal to potential buyers.

    Home healthcare service

    Hire and send trained medical professionals to the homes of people who have healthcare and rehabilitation needs. Licensing is likely to be required .

    Home inspector

    Inspect homes for real estate buyers ahead of their purchase so they are forewarned of possible structural damage, potential for flooding basements, and other issues they’d want to avoid.

    Housekeeper

    As a housekeeper, you’ll take care of light cleaning and other household chores such as ironing clothes, washing dishes, preparing meals, running errands, and other chores needed on a regular basis.

    Outsourced HR services

    HVAC installation & service

    Inventory control service

    Janitorial service

    Junk removal services

    Landscaping

    Laundry service

    Lawn cutting

    Lawnmower and motor repair

    Lead generation service

    Limousine service

    Loan consultant

    Locksmith

    Magician

    Mailing service

    Market research

    Marketing agency

    Masonry & Paving for homeowners

    Medical Claims Billing Service

    Medical transcription

    Moving company

    Music teacher - private lessons

    Nail salon

    Novelty T-shirt sales

    Nutritional supplement sales

    Nutritionist

    Paddleboard lessons

    Painter

    Personal fitness trainer

    Personal concierge

    Personal chef

    Pet sitting

    Pet walking

    Pet grooming

    Pet waste cleanup

    Pest control service

    Plumber

    Pool cleaning service

    Portrait and wedding photographer

    Private investigator

    Property Management

    Power washing service

    Public relations agency

    Public speaker

    Remodeling service

    Reupholster furniture

    Seminar producer

    Senior services

    Screen printing

    Shopping service

    Shuttle service

    Sightseeing tours

    Small business consultant

    Swimming pool installation

    Swimming pool maintenance

    Researcher

    Tailor

    Tax preparation

    Telemarketing service

    Telephone service reseller

    Tool rental

    Travel agency

    Tree trimming and removal

    Tutor

    TV installation

    Veterinarian

    Water taxi service

    Wig store

    Window cleaning

    Yard cleanup

    Back to Category Listing

    Computer & Internet

    App developer

    Affiliate marketer

    Blogger

    Computer consulting

    Computer backup service

    Computer repair

    Do you enjoy tinkering with computers and solving problems when they don’t work? Get paid for fixing and troubleshooting computer issues.

    Computer programming

    Are you a coder? Make money writing software for games, cell phone apps, websites, online storefronts, and so much more.

    Computer training

    Are you an expert on using computers or software? Teach those skills to people who need them. Sell training by the hour, or create training course once and sell it over and over on online teaching platforms.

    Data recovery service

    Know your way around computers and hardware? Get paid to help people recover lost data. Jobs can be lucrative.

    Back to Category Listing

    Consulting Services

    Agricultural consultant

    Air quality consultant

    Business improvement consultant

    Make money helping businesses identify problems and find solutions

    Coach (personal or business) or mentor

    Computer Consultant

    Construction management consultant

    Diversity consultant

    Engineering consultant

    Environmental consultant

    Expert witness

    Failure analysis/evaluation

    Fitness consultant

    Franchise consultant

    Franchise consultant help prospective franchisees evaluate their skills and interests and determine the best franchise for the individual to purchase

    Health & wellness consultant

    Healthcare consultant

    Human resources consultant

    Image consultant

    International consultant

    Internet marketing consultant

    Labor relations consultant

    Social media consultant

    IT consultant

    Marketing consultant

    Medical office consultant

    Product development consultant

    Proposal consultant (government contracts)

    Proposal consultant (grants)

    Retail consultant

    Risk management consultant

    Safety consultant

    Sales consultant

    Security consultant

    Skincare consultant

    Total quality management consultant

    Training consultant

    Utility auditing consultant

    Wedding consultant

    Yoga instructor

    RELATED: Starting a Consulting Business

    Back to Category Listing

    Crafts

    Arts and crafts instructor

    Calligrapher

    Custom designed T-shirts

    Custom designed jewelry

    Custom-designed dried or silk flower arrangements

    Decorative pillows

    Design and sell craft patterns

    Design and sell handmade jewelry

    Handmade dolls and children’s' toys

    Handmade candles

    Handmade pottery

    Handmade soaps

    Handmade knitted goods

    Leather belts

    Quilts

    Crafts supply sales

    Woodcrafts

    RELATED: How to Get Started Selling on Etsy

    Back to Category Listing

    Editorial, Graphic Arts, Publishing

    Advertising agency

    Advertising copywriter

    Audio editing

    Audio transcription

    Audiobook narrator

    Blogger

    Book cover designer

    Cartoonist

    Columnist

    Commercial photographer

    Computer animation

    Editor

    Ebook design & production

    Ghostwriter/ghost blogger

    Graphic artist

    Book indexer

    Internet Publisher

    Literary agent

    Multimedia presentation creation

    Newsletter production for clients

    Nonfiction writer

    Novelist

    Proofreader

    Publicist

    Subscription newsletter

    Translator

    Video animator

    Video editing

    Videographer

    Write book jacket blurbs

    Write publicity releases

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    Entertainment

    Agent

    Ballet studio

    Bandleader

    Comedian

    Dance company

    Dancer

    DJ

    Escape Rooms Musician

    One-man band

    Producer

    Singer

    Songwriter

    Voiceover actor

    Make money by being the voice in commercials, animated movies, videos, documentaries, audiobooks, and more

    Back to Category Listing

    Miscellaneous

    Environmental restoration

    Fundraiser

    Import/Export Business

    Manufacturer

    Plant nursery

    Back to Category Listing

    Related articles:

    13 Tips for Starting a Successful Business

    Start-up Cost Calculator

    Where to find money to start a business

    Office Services

    Business Support Service

    Bookkeeping

    Commercial art

    Legal transcription

    Mailing list management

    Medical transcription

    Resume writing

    Translation service

    Virtual assistant

    Back to Category Listing

    Planning and Organizing

    Business plan writing

    Business turnarounds

    Professional organizer

    Event Planning Service

    Meeting planning

    Party planning

    Show promoting

    Back to Category Listing

    Retail and Commercial

    Antique dealer

    Collectibles shop

    Bar/Club

    Used book store or online seller

    Bakery

    Bicycle sales

    Bicycle repairs

    Bodega

    Boutique owner

    Chemicals

    Chinese food take-out service

    Clothing Store

    Coffee shop owner

    College food delivery service

    Delicatessen

    eBay Business

    Fishing supplies

    Gift basket Service

    Gift shop

    Homemade foods

    Janitorial supplies

    Jewelry store

    Pizza parlor

    Posters

    Restaurant

    Back to Category Listing

    Sales

    Business broker

    Manufacturer’s sales representative

    Network marketing business

    Real estate sales & rentals

    Telemarketing service

    Sales coach or trainer

    Direct selling

    Printer toner recharging

    Sales training

    Back to Category Listing

    © 2020 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

    About the author:

    Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets. Follow Janet on Twitter and on

    LinkedIn

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