Do you want to start a business in Illinois, USA? If YES, here are 50 best profitable small business ideas & investment opportunities in Illinois. Illinois is one of the most popular states in the United States of America and as such, it presents a plethora of opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to take a step and start a business of their own.
With a population of about 12.8 million people, Illinois is the 5th most populous state in the united states and as thus, the state holds a wide variety of opportunities which people can key into or take advantage of.
Small businesses in Illinois employ over 2.4 million people; that is to say that about 46.4 percent of the private workforce of the Illinois population is working in a small business. If you are already based in Illinois or you have intentions of moving there in the near future, here are 50 viable small business opportunities that you can take advantage of:
50 Best Business Investment Opportunities in Illinois
1. Hostel business
A lot of cities in Illinois like Chicago have a lot of tourist attractions. In addition, they also receive plenty foreigners in search of jobs and better education.
If you are chanced to have a building in the heart of the city or near educational institutes or other offices, you can turn it into a hostel where you can offer relatively cheap accommodation. This business involves medium investment, but it has the tendency to yield a great deal of profit.
2. Tour guide agency
These days, when people travel, they just want to have a good time without being bugged down with chores like booking tickets and hotel reservations. If you are a person who loves to travel and is skilled at managing trips, then this is a business that may just be suitable for you.
Tourists visiting Illinois help the state to generate about $30.7 billion yearly. Tourism also employs over 303,500 people in the state and as such, it presents a good opportunity that can be taken advantage of to generate income.
3. Paying guests
This business simply involves taking advantage of the extra space in your house to make extra income. If you have a spare room in your house, you can offer it up for rent. You can increase the profitability of this business by adding breakfast to the package.
4. Power cleaning
Entrepreneurs who have power washing equipment are usually consulted for cleaning out tough dirt such as barnacle ridden canoes and boats, muddy trucks or oily driveways. Thus, if you can afford to invest in these power washing equipment then you can delve into this business. To start this business, you will need medium to high capital investment which will go mainly towards purchasing the power cleaning equipment.
5. Sports coaching center
Illinois is a state with energetic youths who are filled with raw energy that needs to be properly harnessed. If you are skilled at a particular sport, with concrete understanding of the skills and technicalities involved in it, then you can offer to coach amateurs.
6. Yacht renting
The state of Illinois is home to many navigable waterways like the Michigan River and the Chicago River. If you have yacht or a collection of them, you can start a business of renting them out to individuals for a fee.
Illinois is home to a lot of businesses, industries and multinational companies. When you open a placement or recruitment agency, you will help people to source for jobs that are best suited for them for a fee. You will also help businesses or companies in their recruitment process. There will always be people in need of a new job or who want to change their current job that will patronize your business.
8. Elder care
About 10 percent of the entire population of Illinois is over the age of 65 and as such may need special care and attention. You can start a senior care business to look after and take care of senior citizens.
If you are skilled in the art of event management, then you can take advantage of the many events that are happening in the state and offer you service as an event manager. You can do this business as just one individual or you can hire dedicated and experienced people to help you out in your endeavors.
10. Crafts business
If you are skilled at crafts and producing such other things, you can monetize this skill and earn income from it. You can exhibit these crafts at exhibitions happening all over the state.
If you are skilled in a particular handcrafts like say pottery, basket making, weaving fabrics, tatting, macramé among others, you can make money not just by selling your handcraft but by also teaching it to others for a fee. You can take up individual classes or opt to take on all your students at once.
11. Food truck
Food truck is one of the various types of mobile vending businesses. This type of food business is quite advantageous because you can easily move your truck to another location that has more potential customers than your present location.
A lot of citizens of the state have a busy routine and as such they may prefer to grab a bite on the go. Starting a food truck business requires little investment, yet with proper management, it can really yield a lot of turn over.
If you have an eye for tidiness and keeping things in good order, then this business is for you. As a professional organizer, you can offer your service of cleaning and organizing items, files, cabinets, closets in commercial offices, homes, stores et al to people. By keying into this profession, you will be able to earn a side income while still maintaining your main job.
To start up this business, you do not need any form of special training. Furthermore, the business does not require any startup capital. In addition, this business is not energy sapping and as such you do not need to be physically fit to venture into it.
Consulting service presents a multifaceted opportunity for entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of it. You can decide to specialize as a business, social work, medical or project consultant in the state of Illinois. This field is quite profitable when harnessed and properly exploited. It is advisable to focus on an area in which you are very knowledgeable in for maximum impact. This business can also be easily started from home.
14. Sales lead
The main aim and purpose of this business opportunity is to identify business prospects. To be able to do this business proficiently, you will need to have a good knowledge of consumer wants and needs based on the demographics of the population.
To aid you in doing this, you will need to conduct market research in different parts of the Illinois in order to identify who your potential customers will be. Depending on the level of agreement with your clients, a sales lead personnel can carry out his work online or as a field work.
15. Meal planning service
If you love working with food by planning and drawing food time-tables for people, then this business may just be for you. The business of meal planning service is really booming and you can focus this service towards people who like paleo or vegetarian menus. It can also be focused on individuals who due to their health challenges are constrained on things that they can and cannot eat.
For instance, this service can be of a great help to someone who is diabetic, obese or suffering from ulcers. To be able to handle this business properly, you will need to have a concrete knowledge of food components and benefits. This is another key business that can be done right from the comfort of one’s home.
16. Proofreading services
This business is best suited for people who pay attention to the smallest details in written documents and are able to spot and correct grammatical blunders. To get started, you should register in any online freelance platform such as Fiverr or Upwork and wait till you get contacted by any client.
It goes without saying that due to the online nature of this business, you will need an internet enabled laptop or device in order to carry out this duty. This is also yet another job that can carried out right from home.
17. Green cleaning
This is a business that is gaining recognition in recent times. A lot of Illinoisans are health-conscious and as such they are averse to products that can pose a risk to themselves or to their environment. Hence, the advent of green cleaning services which has an edge over their synthetic counterparts.
You can make use of substances like lemon and baking soda for cleaning of home surfaces. Alternatively, you can also delve into the production of green cleaning products. It is of utmost importance that you should endure that your products meet all environmental or health standards. To being this type of business, you do not need a lot of capital.
18. Chinese restaurant
Due to the love that Americans have for Chinese food, preparing Chinese cuisines for sale in the state of Illinois is a very profitable business. To get a good share of the market, you can offer a wide variety of Chinese cuisines, maintain good hygiene practice, have courteous staff et al.
A lot of people in the world today are registered on one social media platform or another. As an entrepreneur in Illinois, you can take advantage of this by helping organizations and brands to manage their social media pages.
To start this type of business, it goes without saying that you will need a computer system or a laptop that has internet connection. No startup capital is required for this type of work and you can do this right from your own house.
20. Bakery business
Baked food, cookies, bread and pastries are some of the most loved and sought after foods by Americans with Illinoisan not being an exemption. To start a bakery, you will need to have formal or informal training in other to have the prerequisite knowledge that is needed before you can start operating the business.
To maximize your sales, you can embark on some marketing campaign so as to spread the word about your bakery to as much people as possible. You can also charge extra to make customized cakes and cookies for your clients.
21. Errand service
This is one business which people who have no skill can easily key into. It simply involves helping individuals who are busy or are under any form of restriction perform some certain tasks. For example, under this service, you can offer to run local errands for nursing mothers, sick people or senior citizens for a fee. To be able to get constant work in this field, you should be trustworthy and have a good knowledge of the road network.
22. Online research
This is yet another online avenue by which people can make money through the internet in Illinois. It involves helping organizations to get certain specialized information on the internet with the aid of search engines. To startup up this business you do not need any capital and just like most online businesses, you can do it from the comfort of your home.
23. Building inspection
This business is suitable for people who have keen interest in properties, building and construction. Building inspectors help their clients to conduct a thorough check-up on an office or a residential building before he or she (the client) pays for it.
To be an effective building inspector you will need to be knowledgeable about construction and buildings in general. Due to the booming real estate business in Illinois, building inspection is quite a viable business that can be carried out in the state.
24. Waste recycling pick-up
Most homes in Illinois have pick-up bins designated solely for recyclable items like plastic, cans, glass et al.
However, there is also a business opportunity that exists for entrepreneurs who are interested in the recycling of electronics which can be a real environmental hazard especially if they are not properly disposed of. You can make money in Illinois by recycling old or discarded television sets, laptops, car batteries, radios, et al.
Due to the tremendous amount of people who use and rely on the internet on a daily basis, blogging has become a very profitable business to start. For sustainability, it is best to specialize your blog on your area of interest. Blogging presents a plethora on niches which an entrepreneur can focus in such as fashion, lifestyle, gossip, health, relationship, food, politics, entertainment et al.
To monetize your blog, you can either sell an advert space, make use of affiliate marketing, sale eBooks or webinars or just simply use Google AdSense. Blogging can always be done as a side job in conjunction with your regular work. To startup and run this business, you will need to have an internet enabled computer or laptop.
26. Candy store
Owning a candy store is yet another viable business opportunity that entrepreneurs in Illinois can venture into. A large market exists for this type of business in the state due to the fact that children love candies and some adults also enjoy it too. You should stock your store with several varieties of candies such as gluten free, organic, sugar free et al. Anyone can easily start and run this business.
Illinois is filled with a lot of working class people who do not have the time to do their own laundries themselves and yet they still have to appear to work neat and smartly dressed. This creates an opportunity which entrepreneurs in Illinois can take advantage of. To optimize this business and earn more from it, you can offer additional services such as pick-up and delivery at the home of the client.
28. Fitness trainer
Do you have a passion for being in fit and in shape? Then you can help to share your knowledge and passion with others for a fee. As a personal trainer, you can work hand in hand with your clients to help them fulfill their fitness goals and still get paid for it.
To become an elite fitness trainer, you will need to be certified from a recognized body. A good fitness trainer is expected to have a good knowledge of how the body works and should also have extensive knowledge on personal fitness and how to motivate individuals to work out.
29. Selling merchandise
This simply involves buying goods at a particular price and then seller them for a higher price. The difference between the purchasing cost and selling price will now determine the amount of profit you will make from that particular good.
For instance, you can go a cheap market and purchase a ladies purse for $20 and then sell it for $30 or more and thus keep the resultant difference as your profit. It goes without saying that the more items you buy and sell the more profit you will be able to make.
Freelance writing is yet another easy to launch business that anybody can successfully run in Illinois. If you are a skilled and creative writer and you have enough time at your disposal, then you can earn good income from freelance writing business.
There are loads of websites you can secure high paying writing jobs from. Some of the sites where you can bid for freelance writing jobs are freelancer.com, upwork.com, guru.com and elance.com et al. From these sites you can get writing jobs that can comfortable pay your bills.
Also, this service is also needed by online entrepreneurs, digital marketing agencies, online magazines et al. You do not need certification in order to become a freelance writer. All you will need is just a laptop or computer with good internet connection for making research.
31. Dog sitting
Due to the fact that Americans are pet-lovers, this is one business that is guaranteed to thrive in Illinois. In the list of the best animals to start a siting business for, man’s best friend sits atop the list. There is serious money to be made in the business especially if you are a lover of dogs.
You can start this business by making fliers and distributing it around your neighborhood. You will be surprised by the amount of response you will get. You can also add other additional services such as grooming, simple teeth cleaning and nail cutting so as to set your business apart from other dog sitting businesses.
Chickens, quails, guinea fowls, ducks et al are all birds that can be comfortably reared in a poultry. Chicken and birds are widely consumed in all parts of the United States hence there is a large market for poultry farmers.
If you are looking towards starting a business in Illinois, then one of your options is to settle for poultry farming. Poultry farming is a highly thriving and profitable business venture because households, restaurants, certain industries and hotel owners are always in need or poultry and its products. Aside from the fact that people consume birds and chickens, supply of eggs is also a major source of revenue generation for poultry farmers.
33. Online retail consultant
With little or no stress, you can easily start this viable Online business. This business opportunity provides you with an opportunity to set up and ultimately improve your stores.
As an online retail consultant, you will be tasked with writing good product description for goods, relate with your clients on the use of social media in promotion online store and try and ensure that their major products are seen in different publications in order to boost sales.
If you have a flair for decoration and matching colors, then you can venture into this business. To complete your business contracts, you may need to partner with paint and furniture stores.
35. Court paper serving
There are many attorneys of law who due to their busy schedule are not able to deliver court papers themselves. This is when the service of a court paper server comes in. He or she is needed to help deliver court papers to people.
Usually, they are registered under appropriate bodies. Being discreet and professional are some of the key skills that are required to be able to effectively carry out this business. With virtually no startup, anyone can start a court paper serving business.
36. Computer repairs
In today’s world, almost everyone in Illinois has a laptop or a desktop. With continual use, it is unavoidable that these gadgets will eventually breakdown and will thus require repair. This is where the services of a computer repair technician come in. To be able to carry out the task of a computer repairer, it is expedient that you will have to be technologically inclined. It is really important to invest in computer diagnostic tools so as to make the work easier.
37. Garage cleaner
Cleaning a garage can be quite a difficult task due to the tendency of the garage being clustered, or thick with dust or grease. Thus, it is not unusual for people to request for the services of a garage cleaner.
The cleaner may also charge his clients extra costs in the event that they would want him or her to help them sell off some discarded items. Also, you can offer this service to various manufacturing plants who will need it on a regular basis.
38. Flower sale and delivery services
Flowers are not for valentine alone, there are also many other occasions where you can give someone a bouquet of flowers like birthdays, funerals and weddings. Providing residents of Illinois with home or door step delivery of flowers is also another way by which an entrepreneur can make money.
39. Mystery shopping
This business opportunity simply involves helping organizations and employer’s track and measure the service delivery level of their employees. As a mystery shopper, you will be tasked with the duty of being knowledgeable about the best practices that are applicable for each industry to which you will render this service to. Also, you will need to be trained as a professional mystery shopper before you even start this business.
In the United States, there is a very large demand for car rental services. This just goes to show that a car rental service will thrive in this state. Most people involved in car rental services always charge per hour. This business can be done alongside other businesses. Apart from having a car or cars for this business, you do not need any startup capital for the business.
Due to the fact that potential buyers of real estate properties may not have the experience that is needed to structurally appraise a house before buying, they employ the service of a home inspector to help them out with this task. The home inspector will have to hire handymen or contractors to fix the various structural issues that he or she may have found out about the house.
Alternatively, the home inspector may just point out the structural issues that he noticed about the building and then point the owner towards the direction of repairers without having to oversee the repair process. To be able to start, sustain and run this business properly, you will need to have a good knowledge of construction and local building codes.
42. Yoga instructor
In today’s world, a lot of people are faced with the challenge of a very tight schedule, which leaves them with little or no time to relax and unwind. You can start a yoga class to take care of this issue.
Here, you will instruct people on deep breathing and relaxation techniques and other various techniques that are aimed at exercising the body and reducing stress. To accommodate people with different work schedules, you will need to be flexible with the hours of your session.
43. Software training
If you are skilled and proficient in the use of certain specialized software packages such as Adobe Photoshop, Auto CAD, coral draw among others, then you can monetize this skill by teaching what you know to others in need of the skill.
Granted, in recent time, this type of knowledge can be gotten for free on the internet, but the truth still remains that it is easier to fully grasp the concepts in a one on one training with a specialist. With the increasing demand of IT knowledge, and people in need of such knowledge, this will be a quite profitable business to delve into.
44. Mobile salon
There are a lot of people that if they had the chance of looking good without the stress of leaving their house, they will quickly jump on that train. Senior citizens, nursing mothers and even stay at home mums will always like the idea of their salon coming to their door step. Staring up a mobile salon business is not a capital intensive ordeal and you will also get to charge premium price for the home service.
45. Security agency
An adequate security arrangement is a must have for all businesses. In fact the need to feel safe and secure is what everyone seeks. Businesses hire security outfits to help them secure and protect their assets and staff. Due to the fact that a lot of businesses have been sprouting up in Illinois, it has created a need for security services. To start a security service, you will need to register your business and subsequently get a license to be able to operate.
46. Organic food service
This service is a relatively new business but it is gaining traction in Illinois. In recent times, people have become more aware of what the put in their mouth and organic foods have been fingered as one of the biggest things in healthy eating right now even though they do not come cheap.
f you can spare a few hours from your routine, then a baby-sitting service can be another way to make quick cash. If you know some working or busy parents in need of a babysitter, you can avail your service to them for a fee. This is a great opportunity for students who are in need of extra cash.
Vending machine business is one business that not only requires no special skills, but can also be done on a part time basis and also as a home based business. Illinoisans have become quite health conscious and as such you can advantage of this by stocking healthy snacks and treats.
In fact, statistics has shown that healthier snacks outsell traditional snack food by over 300 percent. This creates a very lucrative and viable business opportunity for entrepreneurs who own, service and stock vending machines.
49. Real estate
The business field of real estate is quite diversified yet it is also profitable. Real estate personnel help to facilitate the buying and selling of properties to which they will earn a percentage of the cost of the property. If you have the knowledge about how the real estate industry works, you can delve into it and make money from it.
Another easy to establish but highly thriving and profitable business an entrepreneur who is all out to make money should consider starting in Illinois is to open a car wash.
The market for car wash is driven by the purchase of cars and the increase in consumer spending – in essence, as the general economy of a country grows, more people will buy cars and more people will patronize the services of car wash on a regular basis especially if their driving habits encourage them to do so.
So what are you waiting for? Pick one business opportunity off the list, get registered (if necessary) and start up the business in Illinois and make your money.