Sites like VRBO and AirBnB have made it easier than ever to market your home to travelers in need, and you may even make new friends along the way. But, compared to opening your own restaurant, the overhead costs of starting and running a catering company are much more manageable. Unlike caterers, bakers are often allowed to work out of a non-commercial home kitchen as long as they meet health department requirements.
Keep in mind that food trucks usually have to meet a special set of ordinances and safety compliance standards, so contact your local health department to determine what your mobile restaurant will require.
Best Small Business Ideas for Outdoor Enthusiasts For some people, the prospect of spending their lives in a cubicle or behind a desk is a recipe for disaster—or at least serious ennui.
Landscape Services If you have a green thumb, an eye for design, and a love for the sweet sound of lawnmowers to each their own , consider starting up your own landscape service.
This business would pair well with a private swimming lessons service for children. Obviously, this business is best suited for climates that stay warm year-round. That accounts for a lot of boxes, sofas, refrigerators, and dining room tables that need to be hauled from place and place every single day.
Pet Grooming Animal enthusiasts can probably think of nothing better than hanging out with pets all day. It might take some time to build up the funding to open up your own pet-grooming facility. You can also offer dog-walking services to supplement your grooming business. Guide Service If you live near a tourist attraction or in a highly trafficked town, you could start your own walking tour or speciality guide service.
This is the perfect small business idea for those who love to hike, bike, walk, explore the outdoors, and who are deeply knowledgeable about their local areas. Doula Doulas guide expectant mothers through all the non-medical aspects of the labor and delivery process, operating either in a home setting, at a hospital, or both. Massage Therapist There are so many healing modalities in the world, but massage therapy is one of the most tried-and-true and enjoyable practices out there.
As an occupation, massage therapy is in high demand: The U. But before you start prescribing those spinach-and-chia smoothies, do your research about licensing requirements. Working on the weekends or evenings is the perfect way to slowly transition out of a job and build up a loyal client base.
And yet, the process of studying for entrance exams, completing college applications, and navigating the financial process is complex. Daycare Provider Opening up a daycare facility can be a great option for parents who want to work from home, or simply for people who love working with toddlers.
The process to becoming a licensed child care provider is relatively simple, but be aware that requirements vary by state. Cities, towns, and municipalities occasionally have their own regulations, too. Senior Care Provider As the baby boomer population ages, more and more senior citizens are in need of at-home care. These needs range from medically specific requirements to simple companionship or help with cooking, tidying up, or transportation to and from appointments.
This is a great option for anyone with nursing experience who would like to move into working for themselves. Tutor Almost every kid needs access to tutoring at some point in their academic careers. Better yet, grab your equally qualified, eager-to-teach friends and establish a full-service tutoring business. Best Small Business Ideas for Repair Services No matter how much of the world has gone digital, people still wear clothes, drive cars, and live in houses—and all of those physical comforts will inevitably fall apart, break down, or get a little messy from time to time.
Better yet, supplement your basic alterations service by launching a custom clothing company. Financial Aid Consultant Private school and private colleges and universities can cost a bloody fortune! To get going in this field, you will want to do extensive research, and then either help your own kids or perhaps those of friends, to get some experience under your belt, before seeking out the general public.
There are general flea markets to attend, plus more specialized ones. For example, being a model railroad buff, I notice the many model railroad vendors who travel to model railroad shows around the northeast, selling new or used model railroad supplies.
You could make your own items to sell, trade used items, or sell new items that you buy wholesale. The options are endless. Floating Art Gallery This is one of the most-clever businesses I have seen!
Here you get to have your own art gallery with no overhead! You arrange with a restaurant or bar to host your pop up art gallery at no expense to you.
The venue benefits from selling food or drinks and the publicity your event will bring. Then you arrange the promotion. They key to this business is building your email list and social media contacts so that are able to build up a regular clientele without having to own a storefront or spend money for advertising. Like so many other fields, specialization will help get business, and it will allow you to charge much higher fees. And, as you build a track record of successfully securing grants, you will also be able to charge more.
Graphic Designer Yes, graphic design is hyper competitive. But everyone wants a little different style. So, if you get a highly appealing design in front of your prospective audience you can be successful.
Then I would use SEO techniques, social media, and every other marketing tool I could think of to drive traffic to it. Try really hard to geographically concentrate your gutter cleaning each day. This could be a great weekend business. Hat Making Business There are all kinds of directions this business can go! You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties. You could eventually even open a hats-only store!
Often a home owner wants just one room done. And you are not weather dependent—so you know you will be able to get a job done on Saturday for example, come rain or shine. As your experience grows you can charge a lot of money for quality interior painting and wallpapering.
Life Coaching This is a natural for part time work because many people who have the money to pay for it are working full-time jobs themselves. So, evenings and weekends could be your prime working hours. If you want to be a life coach, be ready to work on evenings and weekends.
As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches. You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching. To break into this field, I would start by offering some really attractive package deals. Then I might try to upsell additional services once the parting host became more comfortable working with me, or at least on repeat engagements.
Personal Shopping Service Go on a shopping spree and get paid for it! Now that could be fun! However, if your clients like your work, they could retain you forever…and talk up your services with their friends! Scrapbooking This is a big business with lots of opportunities. It is largely a do-it-yourself hobby, so you make money by selling supplies, expertise or services to scrap bookers. You could give courses or hold events on scrap booking.
You invite friends and acquaintances to your house, tell them all about scrapbooking, and try to sell the supplies they will need to get started. Speaking and Presentation Coaching I like this idea! Instead of making the speeches and presentations yourself, you are coaching the presenters. I see this market as largely three-fold. First you have professional speakers who are making or trying to make a living giving paid presentations. Then you have people who are regularly called upon to make speeches or presentations in connection with their business.
Then you have the person who occasionally is called upon to make a speech or presentation without being paid for it, but nonetheless wants to improve their presenting skills.
This third market is the one I would suggest focusing on, to get started in this business. Test Prep Coach This is a great part time business that can pay very good money. For my kids, I hired coaches who were usually still students themselves, and had very little paid test prep experience. But I did make sure to hire test prep coaches who had scored exceedingly well themselves on the exams being targeted.
Used Boat Sales This might have been one of the most fun businesses I ever had: buying and selling used boats, which I did on a couple summer vacations from college.
Know what sells well and study the prices! Like any trading business, you need to find out what sells easily and at what price, and what you want to stay away from.
Brand name outboards, specifically Boston Whalers, sold well for me. Sailboats, on the other hand, took forever to move. Yard Sales People have discovered that they can make so much money at yard sales that they turn it into a regular business, including buying additional merchandise such as at flea markets or online specifically to sell at their yard sales. One town that I vacation in decided that too many people were turning yard sales into a business, and passed an ordinance limiting how many yard sales you were legally allowed to conduct.
This is of course another indicator that yard sales can be highly lucrative! Best Low Cost Business Ideas Antique Refurbishment You will need some expertise to get going in antique refurbishment, but some skills can be learned fairly easily, such as stripping off old paint or varnish, and refinishing. I would suggest you get started refurbishing antiques for others.
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.
Arbitration Service 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. Art Restoration Services 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.
Art-Buying Consultant 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.
Book Packager 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. Bookkeeping 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. Boudoir Photography 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. Business Broker 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. Carpet Installation 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. Furniture Making 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. House Painting 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: preparation—sanding and cleaning the surface carefully so the paint will adhere well and look good. 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. Image Consultant 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! Irrigation Services 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!
Start a landscaping business If, on the other hand, you do love the idea of working hands-on, you might consider a landscaping or lawn care business. For more information: Download and read our landscaping sample business plans If you love to be creative: While the competition is pretty stiff, specializing in a specific area, such as pet photography, weddings, or portraits can help set you apart.
Networking and building positive relationships with your local real estate agents will give you the best chance of success, as they will recommend your services to others in your area. Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. Despite this, your overall collective cost will possibly be covered in within Rs Who is your ideal client?
Maybe even franchise it and go global!
Telemarketing Services More and more companies are outsourcing their marketing efforts, and telemarketing is one of them. Start an editing and proofreading business Similarly, editing and proofreading services are always needed and would make a great small business idea. Jewelry Designer So, you start out with some stunning jewelry designs but how do you turn it into a business? Baker Starting a food service business can be pretty involved for a beginner. Etsy Seller If you have any crafty skills, you can put them to good use by making various items by hand and then selling them on sites like Etsy , which make it fairly easy for beginner business owners.
Become known for being a meticulous home inspector. Pet Sitting If you love animals, pet sitting is the perfect business idea for you. It might take some time to build up the funding to open up your own pet-grooming facility. The process to becoming a licensed child care provider is relatively simple, but be aware that requirements vary by state. Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. This is because weddings are taken very seriously by almost all cultures making up our diversified society.
Remodel your own basement, put together a website with the before and after photos, and hang out your shingle!
While the tea-industry as a whole has done exceptionally well over the decades, the smaller tea stall owners have definitely been reaping the benefits of their overall success. Yet in the age of the Internet, a good-looking logo is more important than ever! Graphic Designer Yes, graphic design is hyper competitive. That said, if you've have cared for a parent, sibling, or friend in the past and feel this is something you want to pursue, it is a business you can set up cheaply. The best way to reach out to potential clients in this field is online. Etsy Seller If you have any crafty skills, you can put them to good use by making various items by hand and then selling them on sites like Etsy , which make it fairly easy for beginner business owners.
You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties.
Outdoor Adventures Choose an adventure really carefully. You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Photographer You can also fairly easily start a business offering photography services for events or local clients who want to schedule portrait photoshoots. While each of these businesses do contain its fair share of risks and surmountable barriers, they also hold the potential to become great success stories. While it is important that those heading these services have a background in the field they are adhering to, the minimum cost to start this home-based business is till considerably low. Virtual Assistant Being a virtual assistant not only gives you the flexibility of working from home, but often you get to set your own hours.
For example, in Boston the Museum of Fine Arts performs art restoration services for other institutions.