30 Popular Ideas For Starting a Small Business

Starting your own business is an intriguing and enticing idea because it represents freedom, unlimited potential, and the chance to achieve success on your own terms. It also renders the threat of unemployment less imposing. After all, when you’re your own boss, you can’t be fired, laid off, downsized, scaled back, or otherwise told your services are no longer needed.

However, starting your own business is no guarantee that you’ll have a consistent cash flow or that you’ll even be able to make ends meet. The reality of starting your own business is that there are a lot challenges to deal with and obstacles to overcome before you’re actually realizing a profit and generating a steady income.

On a more positive note, entrepreneurs who start a business with the intention to succeed, often do. The probability of succeeding in business increases in direct proportion to the amount of attention paid to smart planning, marketing, budgeting, and value (actual or perceived).

One reason a high percentage of small business owners fail is because their goals are vague, tentative, or unrealistic.There are a lot of potential pitfalls involved in starting and growing a small business, including choosing the right kind of business that’s a good match to your skills, your temperament, and ability to produce results and service.

Other key factors to carefully consider before embarking on your own business include the amount of competition you’d be up against and  whether there’s a sufficient demand for your services or products. It’s also vital to take stock of your financial resources and determine whether you’re going to have funds to meet your personal needs, pay for operating expenses, and stay afloat until you’re established and consistently profitable.


The first question on the minds of many entrepreneurs is “What is a good business to start?” The list is virtually unlimited, so your first priority would be to narrow down the possibilities. One way to generate new business ideas is to research the types of businesses other people are considering. Here’s a list of some of the more popular business startup ideas that people are researching on the Internet:

  1. Cleaning businesses, such as house cleaning, office cleaning, janitorial services, commercial cleaning, and/or carpet cleaning businesses
  2. Photography
  3. Catering
  4. Consulting
  5. Landscaping, lawn care, or lawn mowing
  6. Real estate business
  7. Jewelry business
  8. Vending machine business
  9. Website business, which could include e-commerce
  10. Construction business, which can run the gamut from building houses to erecting office buildings
  11. Cupcake or bakery business
  12. Tutoring services
  13. Painting business
  14. Retail store
  15. Party planning business
  16. Recycling business
  17. Restaurant and other food businesses
  18. Trucking business
  19. Clothing business
  20. Bookkeeping business
  21. Home healthcare business
  22. Daycare business
  23. Courier services
  24. Computer repair
  25. Wedding planning services
  26. Handyman business
  27. Pressure washing
  28. Greeting card business
  29. Web design business
  30. Craft business

A lower risk approach to starting your own business is to begin “testing the waters,” preparing and implementing your marketing strategy, and working with clients in your spare time — maybe evenings and weekends — while continuing to be employed at your regular job. (While still at your job, you would definitely want to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest and resist the temptation to work on your business while on company time.)  Then, when the business begins to take off, you can decide — based on realistic income projections and your financial readiness — if the time is right to take the plunge to full-time self employment. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and, ideally, should be done with the support of your spouse and immediate family.

Whether you’re interested in side business ideas, service business ideas, or home based business ideas, stay tuned to this blog for more helpful strategies, marketing tips, and business startup ideas. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to start and succeed in a specific business, visit my website, Marketing Survival Kit.

Thanks for checking out my latest thoughts, opinions, and observations about how to start a successful business from your home, office, or other commercial space.

Freelance business writer, blogger, marketing strategist

Email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

Note: This blog was created to be a source of business startup ideas, inspiration for entrepreneurs, helpful tips on small business marketing, and self employment ideas. It is not intended to be a source of financial, legal, or compliance advice. Starting a business is intrinsically a risky endeavor, and should be undertaken cautiously and with the advice of qualified experts in the legal, accounting, and insurance professions. Additional business startup advice, educational programs, and mentoring can be found through authoritative websites and organizations like SCORE and the U.S.Small Business Administration.