Do you want to start a profitable business online as a first time entrepreneur? If YES, here is a list of 1000+ best small business ideas for beginners in 2020.
Starting a business is one of the best decisions that you can take, but on the other hand, if you don’t start the right business for you, then you are likely going to get frustrated and lose your investment. So, it is very important to ensure that you are certain of the business you intend starting before committing your finance and time.
With the economy of the world shifting towards entrepreneurship, a lot of people now want to jettison their 9 to 5 jobs for a chance to become their own boss. If you want to become an entrepreneur but you are not sure of what business idea to start with, we have listed an impressive number of business ideas that you can choose from.
As a new entrepreneur, you may not have all the capital to bury into a new business structure, that is why the business ideas listed below are easy to start and they do not require much overhead. While these businesses may not make you a millionaire in a short time, but most of them have the potentials of expanding to become profit spinners in the future.
Best Small Business ideas for:
Table of Content
Career Related Business ideas for First Time Entrepreneurs
Location Based Business ideas for Starters
- Small Towns
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Beach Communities
Seasonal Business ideas for Dummies
List of Small Business ideas for Beginners in 2020
With the number of American families that own pets increasing by the day, a dog walking business is almost the next big thing in the pet niche. With pet owners not always having the time to walk them, you can start a dog walking service, but that is if you love canines.
This business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. Some areas do have a workable app that links dog owners with dog walkers, if such exists in your locality, you can take advantage of it.
- Become a translator
Operators in this industry translate written materials and also interpret speech from the original language to another, taking into account unique cultural and linguistic traits. Aside from translation of written and spoken words, businesses in this industry also provide sign language services.
If you are proficient in some major languages, you can start a translation business. The rate of globalization has opened up a whole new market in this industry as companies look to use the internet to cash in. Your business can service immigrants and companies that are still grappling with the language.
- Start online photo selling
If you are a professional photographer or just have a deep-rooted passion for it, you can make money from your posting your pictures on photo selling websites. All you need to get started is a good camera, and a computer. Once you have established yourself on websites such as GettyImages.com and Flickr.com, you can setup your own website with a list of your watermarked images and their price per unit. You can take the pictures at your free time and prep them to sell online.
A personal chef is a chef who is hired by different clients and prepares meals in the clients’ home kitchens, based on their needs and preferences. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative business idea can launch you into the world of entrepreneurship by helping to feed busy homes.
This business does not need any startup capital, and you can fix your timings to suit your schedules. As time go on and you get other contracts you cannot handle, you can recruit one or two other personal chefs into your service.
A personal shopper is a person who helps others shop by giving advice and making suggestions. They are often employed by department stores and boutiques, but some prefer to freelance or work exclusively online. In your own case as a new entrepreneur, you would have to work freelance.
So, if you like shopping, there are plenty of people (typically busy business executives and the likes) who would love to hire you to do their shopping for them. To succeed in this business, you need to reach out to all possible contacts and don’t be shy to push them to pass the word on to everyone they know. Note that starting this business would not cost you much.
- Become a tester or reviewer
Individuals or startups often look for people to review their products to encourage others to buy them. You can either get started with a profile on freelancing websites or approach companies directly, offering them a review in exchange for a monetary reward by becoming an influencer.
Even better, if you have your own website or blog, you could write entire posts about their products, thus allowing you to charge more money in the long run and build a portfolio with tangible results to show future clients. This would cost you nothing to start and it can make you quite popular in the future.
This business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then this side business would suit you well. You can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties, especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. You can contact property management companies and intimate them your services and request to be hired.
This service can be carried out on foot using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. You can charge between $35 and $50 per hour for your services. Since industrial cleaning services are typically done after working hours, so you can merge it with another business, and this business does not need much startup capital.
Private Labeling entails buying products directly from the manufacturers and then placing your own logo and/or branding on the package. In the world of internet marketing today, Amazon is also a massive global market where virtually anyone can cash in on the rising tide of eCommerce if you have the right business idea.
To effectively carry out this business, you need to do tons of research in order to find generic products such as clocks, key chains and mugs to attach your brand to; as well as develop a sensible inside sales strategy that’ll help you generate profits from your private label side business idea. The best part is that this business can comfortably be done alongside with a day job and with little capital investment.
- Become a Task Rabbit
TaskRabbit is an online and mobile marketplace that matches freelance labor with local demand, allowing consumers to find immediate help with everyday tasks, including cleaning, moving, delivery and handyman work. If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit may be the right side business idea for you.
You can earn some side money here doing odd jobs like walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing their lawn. If you are serious with this business, you can earn as much as $7000 a month.
Uber is a technology platform that provides peer to peer ridesharing. Driving for this globally expanding app-centric taxi service can be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends. This business is so good because you can work only when it is convenient for you and you can as well do it full time.
But before you dive head first into this business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle. This business may not turn a huge profit for you but it would pay your bills.
Offering to carry out market research for businesses is also a good business idea. All you need to do is share your opinion of products or services, or to be the one who is asking the questions. The idea is to simulate an environment where the mindset of clients is better understood.
- Start a bridal concierge service
A bridal concierge service handles wedding day schedules to ensure that plans are executed to perfection. Because it is nearly impossible for brides and grooms to be able to enjoy the planning of their wedding, they often pay professionals to do it for them.
If you have strong organizational skills, are communicative, pay attention to the little details, and love weddings, then you could set up shop from the comforts of your home. To get started and build a portfolio, offer your services to a friend or family member.
From there, you can start charging other clients. You can definitely run this service alongside your day job as you would need to make most of your contacts and arrangements via phone and email. You can use your evenings to move around with the bride, and since weddings usually hold on weekends, you would have the free time to give all your attention to the bride and to last minute preparations.
- Run a traveling Salon
Traveling salons or pop-up salons do not wait for customers to come to them, but they instead go the distance to bring their services to customers at their doorsteps. In an era of convenience where people will pay for everything they want to come to them, a traveling salon caters to those expectations and busy lifestyles.
If you already own a car, then that is good. You only need to pack up your supplies in your car and visit your clients in their houses to make their hair. Note that you must be good in your craft and equally be trustworthy if you expect to get clients.
- Start a box subscription service
You can find any product or cuisine that you want, as long as you are willing to spend the time to look for it. With a box subscription, seeking is made easy as customer’s desired items or special menus are sent directly to their doorsteps.
The varieties of box subscription services is growing and it includes everything from pet food to makeup to coffee beans, so identifying an untapped market for a subscription service in the particular town you are residing in is the first step. You can grow from there and create a decent business out of this service.
Are you technically inclined? If you are, you can set up a small shop where you can repair electronics for people. To make the most out of this business, you can make your business mobile. Because new electronic gadgets keep coming up every day, you need to constantly update your knowledge by taking training courses.
People, especially those that spend a better art of their lives in an office environment, find it quite tedious to do laundry. You can start a laundry business to offer this service. If you are considering a laundry business plan, then do consider adding mobile laundry pickup and delivery services.
Women would always need to look good, that’s almost like a basic need. The good thing about selling hair and beauty products online is that the business can be started in any part of the state and it would still get enough customers. Just ensure that you have enough marketing skills and you would make profit in your small business.
Businesses always need people to conduct background checks on employees; and individuals, for one reason or the other always need the services of private eyes. If you have a background in security or investigation, you can open a business and successfully offer this service.
- Become a tour driver
If you live in an area that is a tourist destination, you can decide to become a tour guide to take people around these spectacular areas. You can equally double as a tour guide to maximize your income during the tour season. Note that you have to be very familiar with the local and you should be able to make recommendations to the tourists you carry around. This will increase your marketability.
People these days are getting so busy with their professional lives that there is hardly any time to look after the home. One can take advantage of such opportunity to set up a cleaning service, and you can make it quite affordable in order to increase your customer base. Establishing such a company is easy and can prove quite successful within a short time frame.
Car wash business is very lucrative everywhere, and it requires little investment and skills for you to start the business. Majority of people are lazy to clean their cars themselves, target them by providing the best services and making them your regular customers. You can add sidelines of tyre changing, pressure check and etc.
- Become a medical transcriptionist
A medical transcriptionist listens to recorded medical reports and transcribes voice recordings into written reports. This is one ideal job someone can start from home. There are lots of opportunities for a medical transcriptionist but you will have to become certified in order to be qualified for the job.
It is easy to become certified as there are courses available online. Once you become a medical transcriptionist, you can work part-time and do the job from anywhere as long as you have a computer and reliable internet access.
People love their pets, and with the increase in disposable income, they are more likely to splurge to get their pets expensive products. If you cannot afford a brick and mortar store, you can start an online store were you get to sell your pet supplies. Know that publicity is the key you need to make a success out of this business.
Granted, there are many gift shops already in the country, but there is still room for new players in the trade. Though the business might be somewhat seasonal, with profits spiking during the Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine, and other festive periods, an encouraging volume of sales can be made all year round.
- Cabinet and closet manufacturing
Are you a seasoned carpenter? If yes, then you can make a good living manufacturing cabinets and closets for people. Ensure you put your works in catalogues so that people can choose what they like from there.
- Start a gardening service
Gardening is a fast-growing business idea that can save customers’ money and beautify the landscape while also helping the environment. With people generally being too busy or lazy to take care of their gardens, you can offer this service for a fee.
- Become a language instructor
A language instructor is someone that teaches people a foreign language. If you are proficient in more that one major languages, you can start teaching these languages to other people to help them enhance their conversational or written skills.
Activities in this industry include the teaching of foreign languages, sign language and English as a second language. You can start off with teaching online. You can prepare your lessons and teach your students through video conferencing or you can just send them your notes. You can equally sell these lessons to outsiders.
- Start a fruit mart
The new wave of healthy eating and living has ensured that people now include lots of fruits and vegetables in their daily offerings. You can take advantage of this to start a fresh fruit and vegetable mart. Your fruit store should contain varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found around.
You can also stock exotic fruits if you can afford to import them. To become well-known and profitable in this niche, you need to ensure that you give great service and your products are always fresh. You can as well provide local deliveries so as to take full advantage of the market.
This business involves renting out tools and equipment related to a certain industry for profits. This business may be capital intensive because work tools and equipment come at a high price. But if you have worked in a certain industry and you have accumulated a couple of related tools, you can start renting out your tools. You may have to know who you rent out your tools to and you may also need to collect a deposit in case the tool is manhandled.
Home care providers majorly provide medical (skilled nursing care, physical therapy, home hospice care and medical social services) or non-medical services (personal care, homemaker and companion services) in the home of their clients. The industry is highly dependent on the skills of the home care providers. It is equally labor intensive but it is quite lucrative.
This industry is regarded as one of the fastest growing sectors in the healthcare industry. It is also has high revenue generation as a number of factors such as the aging population, prevalence of chronic disease, and medical advancements has resulted into the growth of the industry.
An appliance repair business repairs and helps maintain equipment that are used for home and garden as well as other household appliances. The barrier entry into this industry is quite low and a majority of establishments in this industry are by those who are running the business on their own.
This business is highly technical and it is largely dependent on a poor economy as a stable economy will cause per capita disposable income to increase with consumers looking to buy new appliances instead of repairing them.
- Produce and sell ice cream
If you have to really good ice cream recipes and you do not mind spending time whipping them up, you can start an ice cream making business. Entrepreneurs in this industry not only make ice cream in bulk and retail packaging but also produce other products such as frozen yogurt, frozen tofu, frozen desserts and sherbets.
The industry works hand in hand with the dairy farms industry as most of its raw materials are sourced from there. When starting this business, you can reduce your costs by starting just on a street corner, or you can produce and carry your products to farmers markets and other related events.
- Start a home appraisal business
A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of what a home is worth. Though you would need credentials to back up this business, but it is a great side job to use to back up your main job.
You won’t need a college degree to start in on this business idea, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that’ll want to utilize your services.
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding business idea. To break into the industry, you have to link up with a local yoga studio to teach classes or offer personalized yoga in-home instruction to busy clients at a higher rate.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative business idea.
Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you.
- Start a Blog
Some people do think blogging has been saturated as a business niche, but that’s not true as blogging is still a viable source of income. Additionally, blogging also make for a great side business that you can combine with almost anything as long as you have the passion for it. You can start blogging on any niche that you love so much, from scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle to health and more.
You can make money from a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step is sharpening your writing abilities, understanding what your audience craves and learning how to write a blog post that drives traffic and brings you readers on a regular basis.
Wedding photographers command premium rates because of the professionalism needed for the business. To start this business, you need to be a professional, after all you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments.
Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this business idea could quickly blossom into a full-time endeavor with a happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Since weddings are usually carried out on weekends, you can easily combine it with your regular job.
You may need to spend a little money to get yourself a trusty camera, but this is a long term investment that’s worth every penny you spend on it. You also need to get yourself some cool editing software and you are good to start marketing your business.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple of decades, and while most good names have long been sold off, there are still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. This business is best to be done in combination with a day job because you may not be able to make regular sales, and again, some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business.
A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author. Ghostwriting pays pretty well, and if you’re talented at researching and creating great content within a certain subject domain, you can quickly build a roster of high-paying clientele with this business idea.
Starting this business would not cost you anything, you only need to know how to get clients to notice your service. One way to do this is to make use of your social media.
A coffee shop offers a variety of coffee and other beverages to customers. If you have great coffee making skills, you can set up a small shop where you get to make and sell coffee to people. As your business progresses, you can add some snack offerings to it. Some of the products that can be served in a coffee and snack shop include; ice cream, frozen yogurt, bagel, donut, coffee, juice and smoothie, cookie, cupcake and pretzels.
The industry is a lucrative one irrespective of some major players having a huge share of the market. As a small scale operator, you can offer niche coffee and snack products especially those that relate to health and dietary needs because consumers are now more conscious of what they consume. Barriers to entry are quite low in this industry.
- Start an online subcontracting business
Subcontracting is the process of giving some of your contract jobs to other people to free up your time. If you have established yourself in any number of freelance sites online, you may now discover that you cannot handle all your jobs because of your other commitments.
You can start subcontracting your work out to other freelancers whom you get to pay a fraction of what you originally got from the business. In fact, you can just get the jobs and outsource them without bothering to do any of them by yourself. The small fee you get from each completed job would start adding up in the long run.
- Start a referral service
If you are just that person that gets called by friends and family to help them find a good restaurant, lawyer, carpet fitter, or gardener, then know that you can leverage on this natural ability to start a referral service. You can specialize in one area or several, depending on your preferences and the size of your town.
You might run an attorney referral service, matching callers to specialists in family, real estate or criminal law; a physicians’ service matching up potential patients with pediatricians, cardiologists and other health-care specialists; or a homeowners’ network, referring consumers to plumbers, painters, and cleaning and lawn care services.
You can also specialize in travel and tours, entertainment, apartment rentals, baby-sitters, real estate agents, bridal services, and just about any service that people need help with. You can also run your referral service online or over the phone, and it can work well as a side business.
Pet grooming is used to refer to the hygienic care and cleaning of a pet in order to enhance its physical appearance. If you love pets and you know a thing or two about grooming, you can set up a pet grooming service to earn an income.
To do that, you’ll need to have relevant training, an operating license depending on your location, and pet grooming equipment. Pet groomers have an average salary range of $17,600 to $48,500. Not bad for a new business idea that has minimal startup capital needs.
- Become an affiliate marketer
Affiliate marketing is extremely easy to get into and involves you earning a commission by promoting other companies’ products and services. Basically, you choose a product you like, promote it, and make a profit on each sale that stems from your marketing efforts.
An affiliate marketing business is especially easy to start if you have a blog or website of your own, if your blog has a good number of visitors, and if you have successfully undertaken affiliate marketing.
- Start a business plan writing service
Most small businesses seek the expertise of a business plan writing service to help get their proposal ready for a bank or investor, or to get their ideas and financials organized in preparation for starting their business. If you have earned a business degree, why not help fledgling entrepreneurs start something they love.
You can plan your fee around the various packages you are prepared to offer your clients. This is another business a new entrepreneur can run comfortably from the comforts of his or her home with little or no capital. To make things easier for you, you can either create an electronic copy that your clients can customize or you can keep a copy at hand and continue customizing it according to their needs.
- Become a travel planner
A travel plan is a package of actions designed to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options. With all the booking platforms available online today, anyone can book a holiday from the comforts of their home. As a travel planner, you get to help travellers arrange for cheap or very comfortable flights, car rentals, hotels, restaurants, tours etc. all for a small surcharge fee.
If you have strong organizational skills and the knack for finding a good bargain, you could offer these services to others who have less time on their hands. This business can be done exclusively online, so it has minimal startup needs.
If you have any artistic skills or crafty hobbies, you might just have one of the essential building blocks of a successful business. Handmade crafts business isn’t limited to paper crafts; you could quilt, knit, crochet, work with glass, sew, make pottery, weave baskets, or any other kind of craft that is marketable and salable.
All those hours you spent indulging in your hobby would finally turn to income for you. Today, the Internet has provided the opportunity and ease with which one can break into the craft business. With websites like Etsy.com, you can find a comfortable place to sell your goods in your free time.
- Start a menu planning business
A lot of restaurants often find themselves confused when it comes to what meals to serve each day, most especially as seasons change. A menu planning business is a very low-cost idea but it is perfect for those who love to work with food without any direct involvement in preparing or serving it.
Many places are willing to hire a consultant to design their seasonal menus, so visit local restaurants and make them aware of your skill set. This business can very much be done on a part time basis and it would not cost you much to start. In fact, it would not cost you anything to start this business.
- Start a floating art gallery
To start a floating art gallery, you simply need to make arrangements with different restaurants, bars, or coffee shops to host your art shows for free in exchange for all the promotion and traffic you will bring to their respective businesses.
This business is apt for an artist who lacks the funds to rent an art gallery. You can assemble your art works and display them in floating galleries. You can organize your shows on the weekends when you are free. Similarly, you can contact your fellow artists and offer to display their works in your gallery. You can charge commission for each art you sell.
- Become a mobile masseuse
A massage therapist is someone who treats clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body in order to relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of their clients. Most people tend to overwork themselves especially those that run private businesses. You can set up this business to help them relieve their stress. You only need aggressive marketing to set this business on track.
Now let us quickly consider 7 surefire tips that will help you know the right business to start if you truly don’t want to make any mistake in investing your money in the wrong business;
How to Know the Right Business to Start
Although it might be a bit difficult to know the right business to start especially when you are confronted with numerous business ideas and opportunities, but if you consider certain key factors before making your choice, then you would have succeeded in choosing the right business.
It is important to state that the right business for Mr. A might not be the right business for Mr. B. The right business is dependent on loads of factors unique to the individual who wants to start a business.
If you don’t want to make mistake when it comes to starting a business, then you need to carefully access the business opportunities around you and then match it with your skills or in some cases the finance available to you. One good thing about starting the right business is that you will struggle less to achieve results and meet your goals and targets.
1. List the Business Opportunities around You
One of the steps that you are expected to take if you want to know the right business to start is first to list all the business opportunities within your reach. Once you are able to list all the business opportunities around you, it will be easier for you to critically examine them one after the other and then prune it to a minimum number that will make it easier for you to make a choice.
2. Do a Self Skill Audit
Another means that will aid you to know the right business to start is to conduct a self skill audit. It is easier to start a business around your skill sets because people perform pretty great when they perform tasks that are in the area of their skill strength. A good skill audit will not only help you discover your skill set, but also help you rate your skills.
3. Conduct Feasibility Studies
Once you have been able to stream line the business opportunities or ideas within your disposal, the next step that you should take is to conduct feasibility studies to know what it truly takes to start the business. The truth is that, when you conduct feasibility studies you will be able to discover details about the business you intend starting. The information you will get from your feasibility studies will guide you in choosing the right business.
4. Ask Loads of Questions
Another method of knowing the right business to start is to ask loads of questions when you have the opportunities to ask. It is a popular saying that ‘a man who asks questions never misses his way’. As such, ensure that you ask entrepreneurs who are already in the line of the business t loads of questions about the business. You can as well ask people around to know the type of business that they will be willing to patronize.
5. Enroll in an Entrepreneurial College
If you are confused and you don’t know the right business to start, then it will pay you to enroll in any entrepreneurial college around you to learn the rudiments of starting and sustaining a business. There are several entrepreneurial schools that an entrepreneur can acquire the right skills to be able to start their own business. You can search online to locate the closest entrepreneurial college in your location.
6. Understudy Someone Who is Running Same Business That You Intend Starting
Before making your final decisions on the business to start, it is advisable to understudy someone who is already running the type of business that you intend starting. It will give you a clearer perspective on the business and also you will be able to know the financial commitment required in starting and running such business.
7. Take a Personality Test
Starting a business should not based on the viability of the business or the profits you stand to gain in the business, but to know if you are compatible with the business. For example, if you know that you are extremely quiet and you are a core phlegmatic, then starting a sales and marking business might not be the right business for you.
It is important to take a personality test to discover your temperament before making your choice on the business to start. You can search online for free personality test or for paid personality test.
People should not just start a business simply because it is trending and it is also profitable. Loads of people join the bandwagon when it comes to starting a business and they ended up regretting such moves because they ended up getting their fingers burnt.
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