How to Come Up With a Business Idea


Here are ten questions to ask yourself when trying to come up a business idea that will be realistic, sustainable, and profitable:

  1. Do I have any marketable skills or ideas for marketable products for which a demand exists or can be created?
  2. Do I have the money I need to start and develop a business, and, if not, can I borrow or otherwise raise the capital I need to get started?
  3. Do I possess the self discipline, motivation, organizational skills, temperament, and salesmanship skills needed to set up a business, handle setbacks, and persist until I succeed?
  4. Do I believe in myself and possess the ability to persuade others to believe in me?
  5. Have I proven to myself and others that I can start a project, enlist the help of other people if needed, and follow through on tasks that need to be performed until I’ve achieved my desired outcome?
  6. What am I passionate about and can I channel that passion into a money-making business, an online store, or a consultancy?
  7. Is there a particular group of people or set of needs that I can personally identify with and cater to?
  8. Do I have the ability, training, knowledge, credentials, or background to help people solve problems, achieve goals, discover more satisfaction in life, become safer or more secure, realize their potential, reduce or manage stress, improve their fitness or health, advance in their careers, start their own business, run a business more profitably and efficiently, enjoy life, have more fun, improve their relationships, or increase efficiency in any aspect of their lives?
  9. If I started a new business, would I be committed to providing superior service, quality, and customer satisfaction?
  10. Do I possess the experience and knowledge needed to effectively market and deliver products or services to a local or global marketplace?

In addition to doing a self assessment and determining whether the competitive climate would be conducive to offering a particular product or service, it can also be helpful to peruse lists of business ideas to explore possibilities, clarify your interests, open up your mind, and inspire yourself to learn more about different entrepreneurial options.

Books on Starting a Business

If you’d like to download  step-by-step guides to starting a business, I’ve posted links to several small business startup guides* at my website Marketing Survival Kit. Startup guides are available for the following small businesses: office cleaning, janitorial services, handyman business, pest control services, import/export car business, window tinting, vending machine business, roofing, roof cleaning, lawn care, flea market business, gift basket business, kettle corn business, cupcake business, fruit bouquets, candy bouquets, event planning, party rental services, record label business plan, t-shirt business, bail bond service, freight broker business,  professional organizing, Kindle book publishing,  transcription business, computer repair business, farming, aquaculture, and ranching. These and other books on starting a business are available through my website*. More startup guides will be added in coming weeks.

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post..

Best of luck in coming up with a winning business idea!

Business blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategist
Feel free to post a comment on this blog or  email me if you have any questions.

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, marketing software, digital products, templates, books on starting your own business, marketing services, and informational products features in this blog. With a couple possible exceptions, I am currently not endorsing specific products or services at this time.

Important: Starting a businesses of any kind involves an element of financial risk, so it’s always wise to thoroughly research a business idea before committing a lot of time, money, and other resources. It’s also advisable to consult a CPA, business insurance advisor, and a business attorney when setting up, expanding, or anticipating future needs for a new or existing business.

Deciding What Business To Start


In my most recent blog post, I listed close to 200 ideas for starting a business. Whether you were looking for small town business ideas or online business ideas, there was probably something there to pique your interest and get your creative juices flowing.

It occurred to me, however, that a long, uncategorized list of ideas for starting a business may not be that “user friendly.” Today’s blog post should correct that.

If you’d like step-by-step instructions and tips on starting and running specific small businesses, I invite you to visit my website Marketing Survival Kit for guides on starting and running dozens of potentially profitable businesses.*

NOTE: Ar you thinking about starting a service business? One way to get a competitive edge (and get started on the right foot) is by having the tools to write professional business proposals. Here’s why (and how)*.

What is a Good Business to Start?

Whether one of the following small business ideas is right for you depends on a lot of variables, including your talents, what you’re passionate about, your degree of commitment, the amount of competition, consumer demand, and your financial resources.If you need small business marketing ideas, visit my website Marketing Survival Kit.

Food Business Ideas

  • Bakery
  • Cupcake, cookie, and/or cake (decorating) business
  • Restaurant
  • Catering business
  • Pizza shop
  • Hot dog business (hot dog cart/stand)
  • Candy business
  • Ice cream business
  • Smoothie business
  • BBQ business, BBQ catering
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Tea business
  • Coffee business (coffee  shop, coffee retailing, cafe, coffee bean roasting)
  • Internet cafe business
  • Wine business
  • Bar business

Pet Business Ideas

  • Dog boarding (dog kennel business)
  • Dog grooming
  • Dog training
  • Dog breeding
  • Dog walking business
  • Pet sitting business (“doggie daycare”)

Daycare Business Ideas

  • Child daycare
  • Adult daycare
  • Preschool business

Craft Business Ideas

  • Woodworking business
  • Jewelry business
  • Greeting card business
  • Flea market business
  • Jewelry business
  • Candle making
  • Embroidery business

Cleaning Business Ideas

  • House cleaning
  • Office cleaning
  • Janitorial Services (commercial cleaning)
  • Laundry business
  • Pressure washing
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Car wash business
  • Window cleaning
  • Swimming pool cleaning business

Online Business Ideas

  • eBay business
  • Blogging
  • Ecommerce store

Wedding Business Ideas

  • Photography business
  • Event planning
  • Wedding planning
  • Party planning business
  • Catering business
  • Limo business
  • Floral business
  • Invitation business

Entertainment Business Ideas

  • Bounce house business
  • DJ service
  • Nightclub business
  • Paintball business

Consulting Business Ideas

  • Tax business  (tax preparation)
  • Financial planning services
  • Software consulting and development business
  • Coaching business
  • Computer consulting
  • Insurance business
  • Security business

Business Services Ideas (B2B)

  • Virtual assistant business
  • Courier business
  • Delivery business
  • Bookkeeping services
  • Medical billing business
  • Recruitment business
  • Staffing business
  • Marketing or advertising agency
  • Sign business
  • Printing services
  • Call center business

Transportation Business Ideas

  • Trucking business
  • Tow truck service
  • Taxi service
  • Car wash business
  • Car rental business
  • Used car business
  • Mobile detailing business
  • Car detailing business
  • Repo business
  • Dump truck business

Computer Business Ideas

  • Computer repair (PC repair)
  • Web design business
  • Graphic design business
  • Software business
  • Computer consulting

Clothing Business Ideas

  • Fashion business
  • T-shirt business
  • Lingerie business
  • Shoe business
  • Sewing business
  • Dry cleaning

Construction/Contractor Business Ideas

  • Painting business
  • Plumbing services
  • Roofing replacement/repair
  • Remodeling business
  • HVAC business
  • Electrical business

Property Maintenance and Real Estate Services

  • Landscaping
  • Lawn care, lawn maintenance, lawn mowing
  • Handyman business
  • Property management business
  • Pest control services
  • Home inspection services
  • Real estate sales
  • Real estate investing
  • Estate sale business
  • Moving business
  • Self storage business (storage unit business)
  • Junk removal business
  • Locksmith business
  • Window cleaning
  • Security business

Farming and Agriculture Business Ideas

  • Greenhouse business
  • Nursery business
  • Gardening business
  • Horse boarding business
  • Raising boer goats
  • Aquaculture: Koi farming, Tilapia Farming, Shrimp farming,

Fitness Business Ideas

  • Personal training
  • Gym business

Health and Medical Business Ideas

  • Home health care business
  • Medical billing business
  • Pharmacy

Salon Business Ideas

  • Spa business
  • Tanning salon
  • Massage business
  • Hair salon
  • Tattoo studio

Tutoring Business Ideas

  • Academic tutoring
  • Music Lessons: offering guitar lessons, piano lessons, etc.
  • Teaching ESL

Green Business Ideas

  • Solar business
  • Recycling business
  • Scrap metal business

Miscellaneous Small Business Ideas

  • Import/export business
  • Welding business
  • Rental business
  • Consignment business
  • Vending machine business
  • Credit repair services
  • Hotel business
  • Franchise business
  • Laundromat business
  • Furniture business
  • Interior design business
  • Retail business
  • Wholesale business
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution business
  • Mail order business
  • Magazine publishing
  • Scrapbooking business
  • Gift baskets
  • Handbag business
  • Bail bonds business
  • Catalog business
  • Small engine repair
  • Cell phone business

Thanks for checking out my latest list of top small business ideas (some of which may be repeated in more than one relevant category).

If you’d like to download a guide to starting a business, I’ve listed a couple dozen of business startup guides at my website Marketing Survival Kit. I’ll be adding more soon.

Feel free to comment on this blog if you’d like to share any successful business ideas, resources, and/or low-cost business startup suggestions.

Note: Since all business ideas entail a degree of financial risk, it’s often wise to proceed cautiously when deciding on, launching, or expanding a new business. It’s always advisable to consult with an experienced CPA, business insurance advisor, and attorney when setting up a new business. Additional business startup advice, educational programs, and mentoring can be found through websites and organizations like SCORE and the U.S.Small Business Administration.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

Marketing strategist, business blogger, freelance writer


*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of digital products, marketing services, e-books, templates, home study courses, software, and guides to starting a business.