FAQ: What Business Should I Start?


I’d make an educated guess that there are millions of people, right now, who would love to start their own business, but they’re hindered by a lack of focus and resolve. In my opinion, a lack of clarity is one of the top reasons aspiring entrepreneurs do not follow through and take the first step to starting their own business.

The second reason is fear. They’re afraid to fail. They’re afraid of being criticized. They’re afraid of losing money. And that’s the short list!

Are those fears realistic? To a certain extent they are realistic, although people often magnify the risks in their minds and blow them out of proportion. Small business failure is a common occurrence, but there are many ways to reduce risks, capitalize on opportunities,  make the most of your resources, and tip the scales in your direction.

One thing’s for sure, though: Starting your own business definitely requires courage, careful planning, and a willingness to take calculated risks.

Why Do Businesses Fail?

There are dozens of reasons businesses fail, but I believe that the undercurrent of fear that I mentioned is one of the primary causes. Here’s why: When you go into any endeavor in a fearful or tentative way, that state of mind saps your energy, diminishes your creativity, reduces your drive, and clouds your resourcefulness.

The harsh reality of business is that not everyone is cut out to deal with the challenges of setting up, marketing, and managing a small business. Establishing a business is often an uphill battle — at least in the beginning — and it takes a tenacious, goal-oriented, self-confident person to surmount obstacles, overcome setbacks, and persist until they succeed.

So whether you want to start a home business, an online business, or a bricks-and-mortar establishment, you need to first assess whether you possess the motivation, self belief, and mental fortitude to make a go of it. If you possess those qualities, then you already have an edge over much of the competition. It might take some time to realize that advantage, but — to quote one of my favorite sayings — “persistence breaks down resistance!”

How Do You Choose a Business to Start?

There is no simple answer to that question, but here are a two guiding principles and ideas which may help point you in the right direction.

  • Experience and marketable skills: If you have specialized skills, professional training, practical experience, or college degrees, then you may have the basis for a potentially profitable business. There are countless possibilities to consider, including service businessess, distributorships, consultancies, website businesses, retail stores, product lines, inventions to market, or other entrepreneurial pursuits. Note: Although skills, knowledge, and experience can be strong starting points, a stumbling block for many entrepreneurs and business owners is marketing and how to do it effectively. Without effective marketing tools and strategies, such as well-written business proposals, your chances for business survival and success are small. (For more insights into marketing techniques and tools, visit my website Marketing Survival Kit.) By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about the value and purpose of business proposals, then check out this article: “It’s All About Trust.”*
  • A passion for a product, service, or worthy cause: You’re probably familiar with the old expression (and book title) “Do what you love and the money will follow.” While that concept doesn’t necessarily hold water 100% of the time, it does contain more than a grain of truth. If you love what you’re doing and find it personally rewarding, then that enthusiasm will help win over customers and clients. A feeling of passion for a career or business also fuels your own motivation, resourcefulness, perseverance, and sense of purpose.


100+ Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

So getting back to the question of “What business should I start?”, here’s a variety of business ideas that will hopefully help you clarify your goals, narrow your focus, and trigger some actionable ideas for becoming your own boss.

  1. Photography business
  2. Consulting
  3. Residential or commercial cleaning business
  4. Lawn care, lawn mowing, or landscaping
  5. Construction
  6. Graphic design and/or website design
  7. T-shirt business
  8. Real estate sales or investing
  9. Tutoring business
  10. Catering
  11. Retail
  12. Computer repair
  13. eCommerce*
  14. Jewelry business
  15. Pet-related business: grooming, dog walking, pet sitting, boarding, breeding, dog training, or making dog treats*
  16. Clothing business
  17. Trucking
  18. Food business: restaurant, food truck business
  19. Home health care
  20. Personal training/coaching
  21. Carpentry
  22. Wedding planning
  23. Event planning services
  24. Payroll service
  25. Tax preparation
  26. Handyman services
  27. Medical billing and coding
  28. Vending machine business
  29. Gym/ fitness center/ health club
  30. Painting business
  31. Greeting cards
  32. Marketing and advertising agency
  33. Party bus business
  34. Carpet cleaning
  35. Daycare business
  36. Craft business
  37. Wholesale business
  38. Cake business
  39. Non-emergency medical transportation
  40. Mobile oil change service
  41. Property preservation or management services
  42. Junk removal
  43. Plumbing
  44. Silk screening
  45. Paintball business
  46. Bookkeeping
  47. Tax preparation
  48. Security guard business
  49. Bail bonds business
  50. Contracting business
  51. eBay business
  52. Flea market business
  53. Window cleaning
  54. Pressure washing
  55. Rental business
  56. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  57. Taxicab service
  58. Photo booth rental
  59. Lead generation service
  60. Virtual assistant business
  61. Mobile locksmith services
  62. Print shop
  63. Roadside assistance services
  64. Wine business
  65. Spa
  66. Welding services
  67. Background check services
  68. Staffing and employee recruiting
  69. Moving company
  70. Home inspection services
  71. Furniture business (retailing, woodworking, being an antique dealer, etc.)
  72. Manufacturing
  73. Social media marketing
  74. Balloon business
  75. Hair salon
  76. Food delivery
  77. Financial planning services
  78. Personal chef services
  79. Fashion business
  80. Boat charter business
  81. Senior care services
  82. Decorating business/ interior design
  83. Massage business
  84. Candy business
  85. Trash removal
  86. Shoe store
  87. Floral business/ flower shop
  88. Courier services
  89. House flipping
  90. Gift baskets
  91. Sign business
  92. Counseling practice
  93. Snow removal
  94. Recycling
  95. Pest control
  96. Gymnastics business
  97. Contracting: Home remodeling, roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical services, HVAC services (heating/ventilation/air conditioning)
  98. Resume writing
  99. Makeup artist services
  100. Solar panel installation

Is There a Market for Your Business Idea?

If you have reason to believe there’s a market for a particular product or service you’re considering, then you may have the basis for a viable small business. Keep in mind, however, that a viable business idea is only the “raw material” for a successful small business.

To succeed, you may also need resources like marketing skills, specialized knowledge, funding, permits and licenses, salesmanship ability, customer service skills, equipment, machinery, supplies, vendor relationships, a physical place to do business, insurance coverage, employees, additional training and education, and the advice of a qualified accountant, attorney, and business insurance advisor.

For more entrepreneurial and small business startup ideas, I invite you to check out other posts on this blog, such as 250 Ideas For Self Employment.

Feel free to link to this post or pass it along to other entrepreneurs you know.

Contact me if you have any questions!


Freelance writer, blogger, Internet entrepreneur


*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, training materials, software, and marketing tools mentioned (linked to) in this blog. Unless otherwise noted, I am not currently endorsing specific products, services, or websites.

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
Email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com


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