300 Business Ideas to Start Your Own Business

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Looking for businesss ideas? Wondering what kind of business you could start? You're not alone!
According to US Census and SBA statistics, hundreds of thousands of businesses are launched each year. What the statistics don't indicate are all the men and women - just like you - who want to start their own part-time or full-time business, but just don't know what kind of business to start. That's why I put together the list of business startup ideas below along with a few tips to help you focus on what would be the best type of business to start for you, personally.

business ideas
Image source: Photospin

Do you want to start your own business, but aren't sure what kind of business to start? Maybe you've been laid off and haven't been able to find a new job. Or 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. Or, perhaps your family really needs two incomes but you don't want your kids to be latchkey kids.

Whatever your reason for wanting to start your own business, running the show can be personally and financially rewarding--if you come up with the right business idea.

What kind of business idea is the RIGHT idea? The answer is as individual as you are. But in general, to be a good fit, and have a chance to be profitable, the business you select should meet these criteria:

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


If you haven't yet found your entrepreneurial niche, perhaps you'll spot one or more ideas that sound promising (based on the criteria just mentioned) in the list below. Some can be started as 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.

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.



Here are  the main categories. Click on the links to go directly to that section of the list of business startup ideas.

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
Sculptor
Draw caricatures 
Draw original artwork for  presentations
Book illustrator
Paint wall murals
Hand painted furniture
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
Car wash
Junk car removal
Mobile car tune-up and repair service    
Muffler shop


Related articles:

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Business and Consumer Services

Advertising specialty sales
Appliance repair
Audio tape duplication
Bed and Breakfast Inn
Bicycle repair
Business plan writer
Business plan writing
Cabinet maker
Car Detailing
Carpet and upholstery
Catering
Chemical testing
Child Care Service
Chimney sweep
Cleaning Service
Clown
Coin dealer
Collectibles dealer
Collections service
Concrete construction and repair
Cook
Cosmetologist
Crafts instructor
Currency auctions
Dance instructor
Daycare for adults
Dental claims processing
Directory publishing
Dog walking service
Dog obedience training
Dog / yard cleanup
Elderly companion
Electrician
Employment agency
Environmental cleanup service
Errand service
Executive recruiter
Financial planner
Fishing boat rides
Flea market seller
Food delivery service
Formal wear rental service (male or female)
Framing service (picture frames)
Furniture reupholstering
Genealogist
Grant writer
Hair Salon
Handiman service
Home  or office organization services
Home attendant service
Home design service
Home staging service
Home healthcare service
Housekeeper
Outsourced HR services
HVAC installation & service
Information broker

Inventory control service 
Janitorial service
Junk removal services
Landscaping
Laundry service
Lawn cutting
Lawnmower and motor repair
Limousine service
Loan consultant
Locksmith
Magician
Mailing service
Market research
Marketing agency
Medical Claims Billing Service
Medical transcription
Moving company
Novelty T-shirt sales
Nutritional supplement sales
Nutritionist
Painter
Personal fitness trainer
Personal Concierge
Personal chef
Pet Sitting
Pet walking
Pet grooming
Pet waste cleanup
Plumber
Pool cleaning service
Portrait and wedding Photographer
Print Broker
Private investigator
Public relations agency
Public speaker
Publicist
Remodeling service
Reupholster furniture
Seminar producer
Screen printing
Shopping service
Shuttle service
Sightseeing tours
Small business consultant
Swimming pool installation
Swimming pool maintenance
Tax preparation
Telemarketing service
Telephone service reseller
Tool rental
Travel agency
Tree trimming and removal
Tutor
TV installation
Veterinarian
Water taxi service
Window cleaning
Yard cleanup

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Computer & Internet

App developer
Computer consulting
Computer backup service
Computer repair
Computer disk back up services
Computer programming
Computer training
Data recovery service
Digital Forensics Specialist
Email/marketing & newsletter services
Game developer
Internet marketing agency
Internet software developer
IT services provider
Search engine optimization
Search engine marketing
Social media marketing & management
Warehouse automation systems
Web site development
Web site hosting
Website designer
Web database developer
Web content provider
Web content marketing service 

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Consulting Services

Agricultural consultant
Air quality consultant
Business improvement consultant
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
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

RELATED: Starting a Consulting Business

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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 childrens' toys
Handmade candles
Handmade pottery
Handmade soaps
Handmade knitted goods
Leather belts
Quilts
Crafts supply sales
Wood crafts

RELATED: How to Get Started Selling on Etsy

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Editorial, Graphic Arts, Publishing

Advertising agency
Advertising copywriter
Audio editing
Audio transcription
Blogger
Book cover designer
Cartoonist
Columnist
Commercial photographer
Computer animation
Editor
Ebook design & production
Ghost writer / 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
Band leader
Comedian
Dance company
Dancer
DJ
Musician
One-man band
Producer
Singer
Song writer

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Miscellaneous

Environmental restoration
Fund raiser
Import/Export Business
Manufacturer
Plant nursery

Related articles:

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Office Services

Business Support Service
Bookkeeping
Commercial art
Legal transcription
Mailing list management
Medical transcription
Resume writing
Translation service
Virtual assistant

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Planning and Organizing

Business plan writing
Business turnarounds
Professional organizer
Event Planning Service
Meeting planning
Party planning
Show promoting

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Retail and Commercial

Antique dealer
Collectibles shop
Bar/Club
Used book store or online seller
Bakery
Bicycle sales
Bicycle repairs
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

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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

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Copyright 2015 Janet Attard. All rights reserved.

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 at http://www.twitter.com/JanetAttard.

 
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