How to Find Good Small Business Ideas


There’s no magic formula to finding a good small business idea. Whether a small business idea has the potential to be lucrative or even profitable depends on the answer to these questions:

  1. Is there a sufficient demand for your product or service? In other words, do you have reason to believe that there’s an abundant supply of available customers or clients  for your products or services? One of the first steps to evaluating a potentially great business idea would be to clearly identify your target market and create a list of reasons that your prospective customers would want to do business with you instead of the competition. (And speaking of competition…)
  2. Is the marketplace already saturated with other businesses and entrepreneurs offering the same or similar services that you’re considering marketing? If the competition is too imposing or well-entrenched, then it may prove to be an uphill battle (or a losing battle) to try to penetrate that market or carve out a profitable niche. On the other hand… If your research and first-hand experience indicates that needs in the local (or global) marketplace are not being adequately met, then that might represent an untapped business opportunity for you. Even if there are other existing businesses that are already offering what you want to offer, there still may be the opportunity to effectively compete — based on factors like lower prices, more attractive payment terms, delivery options, wider selection, superior quality, better customer support and service, convenient locations, flexible business hours, or other features that can get you noticed and give you a competitive advantage. If the competition is coming up short in the all-important areas of customer satisfaction, convenience, quality, and value, then that might present an opportunity for you to step in and meet or exceed those unfulfilled expectations.
  3. Do you have the expertise, experience, and “people skills” to set up a business, market it, and consistently deliver a high-quality level of service? Evaluating your readiness to be your own boss hinges on a variety of factors, including your motivational intensity, your work ethic, your financial resources, and your organizational skills. Note: It’s always a good idea to consult with a CPA, an insurance advisor, and a business lawyer when setting up a startup business and anticipating future needs.


What Business To Start

Choosing the best business to start for your particular situation depends on your own personal strengths, skills, passions, and available opportunities. Taking the time to sit down and do a thorough self assessment can often clarity where you’re strengths lie and what products, services, or self-employment situation you’d be best suited for.

Here’s a list of 25 service business ideas and categories which may help you zero in on the startup business ideas that would best suited to your interests, qualifications, and competitive environment:

  1. Information technology
  2. Web development or graphic design
  3. Photography or video production
  4. Advertising and marketing
  5. Event planning
  6. Wedding planning
  7. Hospitality business
  8. Travel and tourism
  9. Catering business, restaurant, or food truck operation
  10. Farming, agriculture, and ranching
  11. Fashion-related or clothing business
  12. Vending business
  13. Janitorial or residential cleaning service
  14. Home care service
  15. Security business
  16. Building construction and contracting
  17. Real estate sales, investing, development, property management
  18. Business training services
  19. Employment or staffing services
  20. Financial services
  21. Legal services
  22. Transportation and logistics business
  23. Medical or healthcare practice
  24. Insurance sales
  25. Personal care services

If you’re considering starting any of the above service business ideas, one key to success (besides having relevant experience and personal contacts) is to have the ability to prepare a business proposal — one that highlights your professionalism, credibility, and qualifications.

To learn more winning competitive bids and presenting a convincing case for choosing you over the competition, read the article “It’s All About Trust”.*

Thanks for checking out my latest blog posts on startup business ideas and potentially good businesses to start.


Stay tuned to this blog for more tips, ideas, and resources on how to start a business.

Business blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategist
*compensated affiliate




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


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.













Ten Ideas For Starting a Low-Cost Home-Based Business

I’m an Internet marketer, blogger, and freelance writer, so I tend to think in terms of business ideas that can be run from a home office with a minimal investment. For many people, this is an appealing business model — especially, if one happens to be a work-at-home parent, an introvert, or an aspiring entrepreneur on a tight budget. There are hundreds of people searching online, every day, for home business ideas, cheap business ideas, low-cost business ideas, and how to start a business with no money. If you’re among them, I offer the following ideas to help you discover the home business strategy that’s best for you.

Brainstorming for Business Ideas

First of all, I’m a big believer in the power of writing things down, creating lists, and developing written plans.When you create a list of possible business ideas to pursue, you’re sparking the creative process and making your mind more receptive to good business ideas.

Whether you’re developing a small business marketing plan, trying to clarify your self employment goals, or identifying priorities that need to be acted on, when you commit something to writing, it helps generate ideas and trigger constructive action.

With that in mind, here’s a list of home based business ideas and low cost business ideas that will hopefully put you on the path to discovering the income-producing idea that will be successful for you.

  1. Freelance article writing, blog creation, ghost writing, web content development, Internet marketing services, writing newsletters, affiliate marketing
  2. Freelance graphic design services, website creation, designing print ads, promotional flyers, logos, business cards, brochures
  3. Social media marketing services for businesses, organizations, individuals
  4. Consultant: If you have expertise, certification, natural abilities, or specialized training, there’s the potential to use those skills, experience, and knowledge to start a consulting business.
  5. Business support services: Many business, both small and large, are often looking to outsource necessary services, such as bookkeeping, transcribing, proofreading, customer service help, research, and other important functions to reliable, qualified freelancers or small business services.
  6. Ebook writers, publishers, marketers: There a growing number of creative, motivated Internet entrepreneurs writing, promoting, and selling digital products on websites like Amazon and Clickbank.
  7. Selling stuff online: Making and/or selling physical products on eBay, Etsy, or your own e-commerce website has proven to be a lucrative business idea for a select group of online entrepreneurs. I say “select” because success depends on a lot of factors, including a commitment to gaining knowledge, persisting in the face of setbacks, and taking calculated risks. (That’s actually an abbreviated formula for success in almost any business endeavor.)
  8. Photography: There’s a potentially huge market for being a professional photographer, but to succeed, you need to know how to take great pictures and effectively market yourself.
  9. Tutoring, training, or coaching business: This business idea can run the gamut from tutoring students and giving music lessons to being a life coach or fitness trainer. If you have specialized skills and knowledge, you might be a good candidate for offering training, teaching, or coaching services.
  10. Event organizer: If you have a background in public relations, party planning, or conference coordination, then being an event organizer may be a good match for your skills and capabilities. Qualifications include the ability to handle and follow up on dozens of details and be an exceptional problem solver.

Those are a handful  of good, low cost business ideas, which I compiled by sitting in front of my computer and generating a list of self employment possibilities.

Some of the best small business ideas originated from tapping into this creative process or collaborating with other entrepreneurs to form a brainstorming or “mastermind group.”

Visit my website Marketing Survival Kit for more entrepreneurial ideas, tools, and training resources.

Thanks for checking out my latest thoughts on business startup ideas and strategies for starting your own business.

Contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Freelance writer, blogger, marketing strategist





How to Start a Business and Succeed

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, one of the most important attributes you need to have is an “abundance mentality.” In other words, if you believe that there’s an untapped demand for your products and services — and that you’re surrounded by economic opportunities — then you’ll tend to make that a self-fulfilling prophesy. The expectations and beliefs that you cultivate will help motivate and guide you to being productive, resourceful, and action oriented. When you take inspired action on a daily basis, you will attract the people, and opportunities you need to build a profitable business. On the other hand, if you allow negativity and “scarcity thinking” to infect your mind, then you’ll end up building your business on a foundation of sand. Negative expectations and defeatist attitudes will undermine your potential success and sabotage your hopes and dreams.

Update: I’ve recently begun devoting more attention to the topics of personal development, human potential, and spirituality in a new blog (about life) called Mastering Life Takes Time!

The first step to starting a successful business is to do an honest self assessment to make sure you’re a good candidate for self employment and being your own boss. There are a lot of great business ideas to consider, but if you lack the initiative, leadership qualities, and determination to make a good idea fly, then starting your own business might prove to be an uphill battle. Making sure you have other key elements in place, such as a business license, startup capital, a suitable place to conduct the business, necessary supplies and equipment, and the support of your family and/or significant other can also make a difference in your prospects for small business success.

What is a Good Business to Start?

That’s a question on the minds of many aspiring entrepreneurs, who are either unemployed or dissatisfied with their current job. That question, in and of itself, will probably not produce the answer you’re looking for. It’s too vague and it doesn’t help inspire meaningful ideas. Rather than spending too much time and energy dwelling on the question “What is a good business to start?”, here are some better questions that may help you begin formulating some ideas and plans for starting your own business.

  • What marketable skills do I have that can be offered for a fee to individuals, businesses, groups, governmental agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, medical practices, legal offices, contractors, consultants, parents, homeowners, senior citizens, job seekers, families, non profit organizations, political campaigns, entrepreneurs, investors, fitness enthusiasts, or dozens of other target groups and market segments. Once you’ve identified what services, skills, or products you have to offer and who your customers would most likely be, then you’re in a good position to begin drafting a marketing plan for your business idea.
  • Is there a sufficient market for the products or services I’d like to offer and what would be the best ways to reach out to that target market? Assessing the extent of unmet needs in your community or market, as well as then degree of competition you’d have to contend with, would also be vital steps in determining whether a particular business would be a good one for you to start.
  • What am a passionate about and what type of business would I find the most engaging, satisfying, and rewarding? For many people, the best business would involve doing something they love, such as sharing knowledge, helping people solve problems or achieve goals, creating art, music, or architecture, marketing inventions, making and selling unique food products, designing clothing or jewelry, and countless other possibilities.

Small business success often boils down to identifying basic human needs and doing an exquisite job of satisfying those needs.

Stay tuned to this blog for more ideas, strategies, and prerequisites for starting your own successful business.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!





Starting a Business Begins With Ideas

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

The prospect of starting a new business can be both invigorating and intimidating. Although my objective in creating this blog is to focus primarily on low-cost business ideas, I wouldn’t be doing the topic justice if I ignored business ideas that require larger amounts of startup capital.

As a freelance writer, blogger, and website owner, I have first-hand knowledge of only low-cost business ideas. However, as a business journalist, Internet marketing entrepreneur,  and public relations professional, I’ve gained a lot of insights into the formula for small business success.

The art and science of small business marketing has always fascinated me, which is why you’ll see it as a recurring theme throughout this blog. Let’s face it: No matter how great your business idea is, if you don’t generate a steady stream of sales leads, referrals, customers, and clients, the growth potential and survival of your business will probably be limited.

Popular Ideas For Starting a Business

What kind of business ideas are people looking for right now? Not surprisingly, many aspiring entrepreneurs start out with a vague idea of the type of business they want to create. Here’s a few examples of where people’s heads at are when they decide they want to be their own boss. These popular Internet searches phrases shed some light on the expectations, goals, and preconceived notions people have about starting their own business.

Semi-specific business ideas that entrepreneurs are exploring include things like starting an ebay business, a food-related business, a craft business, or a pet-related business. Thousands of people are also looking into the possibility of starting these types of businesses. Here are two dozen of the most popular Internet searches:

  • Cleaning business
  • Photography business
  • Catering business
  • Consulting business
  • Landscaping business
  • Dog walking business
  • Lawn care business
  • Real estate business
  • Construction business
  • Cupcake business
  • Jewelry business
  • Tutoring business
  • Vending machine business
  • Website business
  • Event planning business
  • Painting business
  • Retail business
  • Carpet cleaning business
  • Clothing business
  • Party planning business
  • Recycling business
  • Restaurant
  • Transportation
  • Trucking

The appeal of more than half of those small business ideas is that they are relatively inexpensive to start and operate, and do not require a physical location, expensive equipment, or a large investment in employees — at least in the beginning.

Understandably, many people are looking for ways to start a business with little or no money. While that requirement may limit the number of choices, there are plenty of service businesses that can be started with little more than a cell phone, an email address, and a box of business cards. As I’ll discuss more in future blog posts, there are many cost-effective small business marketing tools you can use, such as a business web site and blog, to generate inquiries and attract customers.

Regardless of which business idea you decide to pursue, however, I believe that so-called “easy business ideas” are a pipe dream. In other words, small business success is usually the result of careful planning, persistence, hard work, and dedication to quality and customer services. If you’re offering a service or product that your passionate about, though, then the time commitment and hard work you have to put into it will be satisfying and rewarding, rather than physically and emotionally draining.

Thanks for checking out my first blog post on startup business ideas, small business marketing strategies, and the entrepreneurial mindset. Stay tuned for more thoughts and insights on those and other small business topics.