Business Ideas and What’s Trending

If you’re looking for good business ideas for creating a full-time income or making extra money on the side, here’s a recent list of what other entrepreneurs are searching for online. Hopefully, it will provide you with the inspiration to clarify your goals, create a proactive marketing plan, and get started in your own business.

  1. Photography business
  2. Consulting
  3. Cleaning business (house cleaning, office cleaning, or janitorial services)
  4. Lawn care business
  5. Landscaping
  6. Construction
  7. T-shirt business
  8. Real estate business
  9. Catering business
  10. Retail business
  11. Jewelry business
  12. Event planning
  13. Pet sitting
  14. Franchise business
  15. Web hosting business
  16. Ebay business
  17. Computer repair
  18. Trucking
  19. Clothing business
  20. Home health care
  21. Tutoring service
  22. Personal training
  23. Web design business
  24. Carpentry business
  25. Interior design
  26. Medical billing
  27. Cupcake business
  28. Vending machine business
  29. Painting
  30. Greeting card business
  31. Marketing services
  32. Party bus business
  33. Carpet cleaning
  34. Child daycare
  35. Craft business
  36. Recycling business
  37. Wholesale business
  38. Cake business (wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cake decorating)
  39. Graphic design
  40. Transportation
  41. Party business
  42. Property preservation services
  43. Online retail business (ecommerce)
  44. Junk removal
  45. Silk screening
  46. Dog walking
  47. Paintball business
  48. Import/export
  49. Baking
  50. Food truck business
  51. Clothing line business
  52. Gym business
  53. Tax preparation
  54. Security guard business
  55. Medical transportation
  56. Bail bonds business
  57. Wedding planning business
  58. Flea market business
  59. Window cleaning
  60. Rental business
  61. Pressure washing
  62. Coaching business
  63. Computer business
  64. Party planning
  65. Delivery services
  66. Fitness business
  67. Art business
  68. Real estate investment
  69. Swimming pool cleaning/maintenance
  70. Taxicab service
  71. Photo booth business
  72. Virtual assistant business
  73. Locksmith services
  74. Cookie business
  75. Roadside assistant services
  76. Restaurant
  77. Wine business
  78. Spa business
  79. Background checking services
  80. Recruiting business
  81. Moving services
  82. Home inspection business
  83. Manufacturing
  84. Social media marketing
  85. Cell phone business
  86. Dog breeding
  87. Personal chef service
  88. Property management
  89. Boat charter business
  90. Furniture business (woodworking, retail, wholesale, buying and selling antiques)
  91. Welding business
  92. HVAC services (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
  93. Massage therapy
  94. Distribution business
  95. Blogging
  96. Shoe business
  97. Plumbing services
  98. Floral business (flower shop, delivery, arranging, consulting)
  99. Home remodeling (kitchens, bathrooms, etc.)
  100. Financial planning services
  101. Answering service
  102. Snow removal
  103. Pest control
  104. Gymnastics business
  105. Resume writing
  106. Makeup artist services
  107. Cell phone repair
  108. Handyman business
  109. Horse training business
  110. Bakery business
  111. Wedding photography
  112. Sewing business
  113. Tour business
  114. Candle business

That’s just a small sampling of the many legitimate business ideas that are available to ambitious entrepreneurs. One thing many people lose sight of, though, when starting their own business is that it’s not easy to create a profitable business, and not everyone can do it. Success takes tenacity, a positive attitude, and a plan. It also requires self discipline, marketing skills, and an unwavering belief in yourself.

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Before plunging into a new business, it’s necessary to do an honest self-assessment and determine whether you possess the motivation, the resourcefulness, the knowledge, and the “people skills” to acquire customers or clients, provide them with outstanding service and product quality, and stay motivated throughout the process — especially when the going gets tough.

 

I sincerely hope that this blog post has provided you with some worthwhile ideas, inspiration, motivation, and resources to start your own profitable small business.

While none of these business ideas, plans, or startup manuals should be viewed as your “guaranteed ticket to success,” they can be used as a starting point on your journey to a profitable business and, hopefully, financial independence.

I wish you the best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits, and I invite you to follow this blog for new business ideas, inspiration, and updates.

–Joel
Blogger, Business Writer, Online Marketer
Marketing Survival Kit
Visit my new blog: Mastering Life Takes Time
email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

Small business advisories: All business, including the ones mentioned above, entail an element of risk, both financial and otherwise. To increase the chances of starting your business on the right foot and reduce risks associated with starting your own business, it’s always advisable to consult an experienced CPA, business insurance specialist, and small business attorney.

The concept of a “get rich quick” scheme that works is a pipe dream. Getting rich quickly, legally, and ethically may occasionally happen, but the chances of that actually happening are similar to winning a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot (The chances are infinitesimal, at best).

For more information, guidance, and authoritative advice on starting your own business, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Self Employment Ideas for Entrepreneurs

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The formula for small business success is relatively simple, but applying those steps and having the ability to follow through (over and over again) is the part that trips most people up!

The first step to starting a business or making extra money involves coming up with a viable idea. If you’re stuck at the starting gate when it comes to narrowing down the choices, here’s a list of some of the most popular business ideas to consider. Hopefully, the following list of entrepreneurial ideas will provide you with the inspiration and clarity to become gainfully self employed — either on a part-time or full-time basis.

  1. Photography
  2. Consulting
  3. Cleaning (commercial and/or residential cleaning)
  4. Lawn care
  5. Non-emergency medical transportation
  6. Landscaping
  7. Construction
  8. Graphic design and/or Website deign
  9. Real estate
  10. Property preservation services
  11. T-shirt business
  12. Tutoring
  13. Catering
  14. Retail shop
  15. Event planning
  16. Computer repair
  17. eCommerce business (online retail business*)
  18. eBay business
  19. Jewelry business
  20. Pet-related businesses:  Examples: pet sitting, pet boarding, dog walking, dog training, dog breeding, making and selling dog treats*
  21. Franchise business
  22. Trucking
  23. Food business, which could run the gamut from a food truck to a restaurant
  24. Home health care
  25. Personal training
  26. Carpentry/handyman services/contracting
  27. Interior design
  28. Interior/exterior house painting
  29. Payroll services/bookkeeping/accounting
  30. Tax services
  31. Medical billing and coding
  32. Vending machines
  33. Gym/health club/fitness facility
  34. Greeting cards
  35. Craft business
  36. Party bus business
  37. Carpet cleaning
  38. Daycare center
  39. Recycling
  40. Wholesale business
  41. Manufacturing
  42. Cake business/bakery/cookies/cupcakes
  43. Mobile oil change service
  44. Advertising/marketing services
  45. Junk removal
  46. Plumbing
  47. Silk screening
  48. Import export business
  49. Security guard service
  50. Wedding planning

The good news about starting your own business is that there are countless business ideas from which to choose — many of which can be started for a few hundred dollars or less. The caveat that sometimes prevents would-be entrepreneurs from launching a great business idea is that success is never guaranteed and there’s always an element of risk in any business venture.

The best business ideas are based on a variety of factors, including how competitive the business environment is, the demand for the product or service you’re thinking of offering, your financial resources, business management ability, customer service skills, persistence, positivity, marketing knowledge, and a little bit of luck!

It also helps to get the advice and guidance of a trusted accountant, business insurance advisor, and business attorney.

The Right Marketing Tools* Can Make a Difference

Business Proposal Software – Accurately quote your business proposals, multiply your profitability, brand yourself as a top professional and close the sale. Proposal Kit helps you demonstrate that you are the right professional for your customers. Proposal Kit* has been proven for two decades as the mission-critical, easy, customizable and accurate solution for how to write a proposal.
New to the idea of proposal writing? Learn how it can work in your favor.

To explore additional self employment options and business startup materials, check out my  list of 250 business ideas

Stay tuned for more entrepreneurial insights.

Thanks!

–Joel
Freelance writer, entrepreneur, business blogger
Contact me if you have any questions!

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the entrepreneurial products, services, software, marketing tools, and websites featured in this blog.

FAQ: What Business Should I Start?

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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!

Thanks!

–Joel
Freelance writer, blogger, Internet entrepreneur

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*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.

Entrepreneurial Success Begins in Your Mind

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How powerful are your thoughts? Psychologists, philosophers, and spiritual teachers have been saying that the quality and content of our thoughts has a direct bearing on our potential for happiness, success, and self realization.

Many books, such as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, go into great detail about how this power can be harnessed to achieve success in any endeavor. The title of the book intrigued me, as did the first chapter:”Thoughts Are Things.” Even though that’s an ancient metaphysical concept that’s been around since forever, it may seem like a revolutionary concept when you first stumble upon it. For most people, it’s an unfamiliar premise because society and even pop culture tends to instill beliefs in us that run counter to the entrepreneurial spirit.

When I was growing up, there was a trendy expression which said “What you see is what you get!” It was kind of catchy (and it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously), but it also represents the kind of self-limiting, short-sighted attitude that prevents a lot of people from reaching their true potential.

The title of a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, “You’ll See it When You Believe It,” captures the essence of what it means to be a visionary and design your own future. The sequence of believing something before you see it is counterintuitive — but if it was logical, then everyone would be doing it! (That may explain why so few are willing to put their faith in an outcome that hasn’t materialized, yet.)

Inspiration Is The Starting Point

Since most people in this world are affiliated with religions that are “faith based,” it’s surprising that more of them aren’t able to apply the power of faith to more areas of their personal lives, such as careers and business goals. While I’m not promoting organized religion in any way, I do believe that we can accomplish more when we open our mind to the possibility that we’re part of something much larger than ourselves and that we’re not alone.

I subscribe to a daily inspirational email from Abraham-Hicks Publications. One of their recent messages focused on this affirmation: “By [giving] my attention to things, I am making choices.” I interpret that to mean “Choose your thoughts with care and cultivate only the ones that serve you.”

I’d also like to pass along a meaningful quote from personal development author Debbie Ford. In her book “The Right Questions; Ten Essential Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life,” she writes about a vision she experienced while participating in a spiritual retreat. While meditating, she came to the following profound realization :

“Each of us has an internal flame that is the keeper of our life force. Each choice we make either adds to this force, making it stronger, igniting and feeding our flame, or diminishes the force, dampening our internal flame, reducing its power.”

Here’s my take on that concept: Since it requires a lot of motivation, mental fortitude, and inspiration to succeed in a small business, it’s necessary to continually feed your inner flame with uplifting thoughts, positive imagery, and self-affirming words. Once you’ve identified a potential opportunity and created a realistic marketing plan to build your client base, then self belief and persistence play a key role in creating momentum and setting a positive course for your business.

Note: 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!

131 Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

If you’re still looking for a business idea that inspires you, here are some possibilities to consider…

  1. Photography business
  2. Consulting
  3. Lawn care business
  4. Cleaning business
  5. Non-emergency medical transportation
  6. Landscaping
  7. Construction
  8. Graphic design
  9. Real estate
  10. T-shirt business
  11. Tutoring
  12. Catering business
  13. Retail
  14. Event planning
  15. Computer repair
  16. ecommerce (online retail business)
  17. ebay business
  18. Pet sitting
  19. Franchise business
  20. Clothing business/ Clothing line
  21. Trucking
  22. Food business
  23. Home health care business
  24. Personal training
  25. Web design
  26. Carpentry
  27. Wedding planning business
  28. Interior design
  29. Handyman business
  30. Medical billing and coding
  31. Cupcake business, bakery, cakes, cookies, etc.)
  32. Vending machine business
  33. Gym/Fitness center/Health club
  34. Painting business
  35. Greeting card business
  36. Marketing or advertising agency
  37. Party bus business
  38. Carpet cleaning
  39. Daycare
  40. Jewelry business
  41. Bookkeeping
  42. Craft business
  43. Recycling business
  44. Wholesale business
  45. Web hosting
  46. Mobile oil change service
  47. Property preservation
  48. Junk removal/ Trash removal
  49. Silk screening/ screenprinting
  50. Dog walking
  51. Paintball business
  52. Import/export
  53. Food truck
  54. Tax preparation
  55. Security guard services
  56. Bail bonds business
  57. Flea market business
  58. Window cleaning
  59. Pressure washing
  60. Rental business
  61. Coaching
  62. Delivery services
  63. Real estate investment
  64. Swimming pool maintenance/cleaning
  65. Taxi service
  66. Photo booth business
  67. Lead generation business
  68. Virtual assistant services
  69. Locksmith services
  70. Printing business
  71. Roadside assistant business
  72. Restaurant
  73. Wine business
  74. Spa business
  75. Welding services
  76. Background check business
  77. Recruiting business
  78. Cell phone business
  79. Moving business
  80. Furniture business
  81. Janitorial services (commercial cleaning)
  82. Cell phone business
  83. Manufacturing business
  84. Social media services
  85. Balloon business
  86. Dog breeding business
  87. Hair salon
  88. Home inspection business
  89. Financial planning
  90. Personal chef services
  91. Property management
  92. Crime scene cleanup business
  93. Boat charter business
  94. Senior care services
  95. Candle business
  96. Dropship business
  97. HVAC business (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
  98. Distribution business
  99. Candy business
  100. Shoe business
  101. Plumbing
  102. Courier service
  103. Floral business/ flower shop
  104. House flipping
  105. Gift basket business
  106. Remodeling
  107. Sign business
  108. Answering service
  109. Snow removal
  110. Pest control
  111. Roofing
  112. Gymnastics business
  113. Resume writing services
  114. Cell phone repair
  115. Horse training
  116. Solar panel business
  117. Car rental business
  118. Rental property
  119. Sewing business
  120. Tour business
  121. Pizza shop
  122. Electrician business
  123. Hotel business
  124. Tax preparation / accounting business
  125. Limo business
  126. Soap business
  127. Home staging service
  128. Linen rental business
  129. Used car sales
  130. Lingerie business
  131. Dog grooming

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on small business ideas. I hope it’s sparked ideas and motivation for getting started on a path of entrepreneurial success!

Feel free to bookmark this site, follow this blog, pass it along to others, or add business ideas to the comments section.

Contact me if you have any questions, inquiries, or feedback!

Best of luck in all your marketing and small business pursuits!

–Joel
Freelance writer, blogger, Internet entrepreneur
Visit my website Marketing Survival Kit

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, software, digital products, and services featured (and/or linked to) in this blog.

Note: Starting and owning your own business entails a degree of risk that can be affected by a number of things, including competitive factors, timing, your financial resources, relevant skills, business management ability, the local economy, and other conditions. To properly set up and run a small business, it’s often necessary to consult with a qualified accountant, an insurance professional, and a business attorney.

Mentoring programs and free small business advice is available from SCORE. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers online training modules, articles on starting and managing a small business, and information on loan programs, government contracting opportunities, and getting local assistance.

250 Ideas For Self Employment

 

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If you’re out of work, not meeting your financial goals, or frustrated with your present job, self employment is an option that may be worth considering. Self employment can either serve as an income supplement or an income replacement — depending on your objectives, your skills, and the demand for your products or services.

NOTE: One alternative to starting your own business from scratch is buying an established business that already has a customer base and a cash flow. According to one entrepreneur, it’s easier, less risky, and “the shortest route to realizing the dream of owning your own successful business.” While it’s not for everyone, here are four vital factors* which make this business strategy* an option worth seriously considering.

Information on Starting Your Own Business

Below are several articles,  free Internet tools, and useful resources which offer ideas and methods for launching and succeeding in your own business*:

Starting an Online Business

I started making extra money as a freelance writer and entrepreneur back in 1993, when the Internet was in its infancy. It took me a few years before I began to grasp its immense potential as a communication tool, a marketing vehicle, and a business platform.

Learn how to make money as a freelance writer*

Twenty-four years later, the Internet has taken on a life of its own and is a driving force in the business world, the media, and people’s personal lives. The existence and growth of the Internet has also spawned a new realm of business opportunities — many of which can be launched and operated from your own home.

This is extremely encouraging for entrepreneurs looking for ways to generate income online, expand the marketing reach of an existing business, and/or make money online as an e-commerce merchant (more details on that, below.)

However… The idea of starting an Internet business (or any other business, for that matter) can also be very daunting.

Not knowing where to begin or how to create an Internet presence are among the obstacles preventing many people from taking that all-important first step. The good news is that you do not have to waste time, energy, and money “reinventing the wheel.” It’s already been invented, refined, and successfully implemented.

For example: If you’ve been looking for ways to start your own online store, Shopify* can provide you with the tools, the software, and the marketing strategies to make it happen. In addition to helping you create your own e-commerce website, Shopify enables you to sell your products on Amazon and  social media sales channels, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

FAQ: What is Shopify? It’s an integrated e-commerce platform for managing products, orders, customers, sales channels, and analytics. It can help you streamline, centralize, and effectively manage everything (in an online business) from product marketing and customer payments to secure online checkout and shipping.

Find out how you can accept credit card payments online, fulfill orders in a single step, monitor sales (and sales growth), keep track of your inventory, and create your own customized business website and blog. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’re off and running!

Learn more about this versatile e-commerce tool and start your 14-day free trial today! *[adv]

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The Big Question is “What Business Should I Start?”

For many entrepreneurs, the first hurdle to being self employed and building their client list is not a lack of a marketing strategy, but something much more fundamental: deciding what business to start.

The following list of business ideas is intended to help you come up with viable ideas for starting your own part-time or full-time business. (The list consists mostly of service-oriented business ideas, but also includes product-based self employment ideas.)

Your decision of what business to start (or whether to start a business at all) depends on a lot of variables, such as your professional skills, your level of motivation, experience, talents, personal contacts, existing reputation, market conditions, competitive factors, your financial resources, tolerance for risk, salesmanship abilities, people skills, willingness to persist and continually improve, and work ethic.

Luck” can also be a factor in business and personal success, but you’ve probably heard the often-repeated quote about the relationship between work and luck. The quote has been attributed to everyone from movie producer Samuel Goldwyn to former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson: “The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” (…or some variation of that)

Resources for Starting a Business:

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List of 250+ Self Employment Ideas

Some of the more popular business ideas that people are now pursuing or researching include the following self employment options:

  1. Cleaning business: house cleaning, housekeeping, office cleaning, janitorial
  2. Photography business
  3. Catering business
  4. Consulting business
  5. Landscaping business
  6. Lawn care business (lawn mowing, etc.)
  7. Dog walking business
  8. Online business (Create your own ecommerce website with Shopify*)
  9. Real estate business
  10. Academic tutoring services or music lessons
  11. Foreign language translation services
  12. Construction business/contracting
  13. Jewelry sales/jewelry making business: Learn how to get started!
  14. Vending machine business
  15. Cupcake business
  16. Painting business (house painting)
  17. Retail sales
  18. Food businesses, such as restaurants, food trucks, cafes, hot dog carts
  19. Recycling business
  20. Clothing business: [How and why to start your own clothing line*]
  21. Transportation
  22. Carpet cleaning
  23. Trucking
  24. Party planning business
  25. Pet sitting business
  26. Home health care business
  27. Courier business
  28. Bookkeeping services
  29. Daycare/childcare services
  30. Wedding planning
  31. Computer repair
  32. IT consulting
  33. Web design and/or graphic design business
  34. Handyman business [Book and video outline steps]*
  35. Greeting card business
  36. Craft business: [Tips on making money at craft markets]*
  37. Pressure washing
  38. Baking, bakery or cake business
  39. Repo business
  40. Credit repair business
  41. Fashion business [How to get your business up and running]*
  42. Limo business (limousine service)
  43. Marketing/advertising agency
  44. Social media marketing services
  45. Pizza shop
  46. Gym/fitness business
  47. Shoe business
  48. Bar business
  49. Pool hall business
  50. Wholesale business
  51. eBay business
  52. Pest control business
  53. Bail bonds business
  54. Medical transportation
  55. Tax preparation
  56. Cell phone business
  57. Gift basket business
  58. Cookie business
  59. Manufacturing
  60. Laundry business
  61. Delivery service
  62. Car rental business
  63. Car detailing
  64. DJ business
  65. Scrap metal business
  66. Junk removal business
  67. Concierge services
  68. Boutique business
  69. Party rental
  70. Dog boarding/kennel
  71. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  72. Plumbing services
  73. Magazine publishing
  74. Medical supply business
  75. Medical billing business
  76. Lingerie business
  77. Life coaching
  78. Career counseling
  79. Background check business
  80. Agriculture: farming, ranching, raising poultry, aquaculture, growing crops,  growing organic mushrooms*
  81. Greenhouse business
  82. Coffee shop and/or coffee roasting business
  83. Check cashing service
  84. Hotel business
  85. Hot dog cart business
  86. Printing business
  87. Candle sales/candle making
  88. Travel agency [Pros and cons of being a travel agent]*
  89. Storage business (storage unit rental/self storage)
  90. Event planning [Complete business package available online*]
  91. Mail order business
  92. Dropship business [Tools and tips for getting started cheaply]*
  93. Security services or consulting (residential, commercial, personal security, etc)
  94. Dog training
  95. Dog grooming
  96. Laundromat business (coin laundry business)
  97. Senior care business
  98. Real estate investment business
  99. Property management business
  100. Fast food business
  101. Furniture business
  102. Massage business/massage therapy
  103. Fundraising business
  104. Resale business [Tips on selling thrift store finds]*
  105. Sewing business
  106. Consignment business
  107. Spa business
  108. Web hosting business
  109. Home staging business
  110. Home party business
  111. Locksmith business
  112. Website design
  113. Import export business
  114. Bottled water business
  115. Hair salon
  116. Call center
  117. Dump truck business
  118. House flipping
  119. Grocery delivery
  120. Ice cream business
  121. HVAC business
  122. Lead generation business
  123. Window washing
  124. Dog kennel
  125. Non medical home care business
  126. Stationery business
  127. Soap making business
  128. Paintball business
  129. Rental car business
  130. Coaching business
  131. Chocolate business
  132. Popcorn business
  133. Smoothie business
  134. Matchmaking business
  135. Flea market business
  136. BBQ business (barbecue food catering)
  137. eCommerce business [Create an online store with Shopify*]
  138. Franchise business
  139. Moving business
  140. Freight brokerage business
  141. Logging business
  142. Remodeling business
  143. Personal chef business
  144. Bed and breakfast
  145. Beauty supply business
  146. Nursing home business
  147. Nail salon
  148. Hauling business
  149. Handbag business
  150. Hair bow business
  151. Gas station
  152. Video game business
  153. Frozen food business
  154. Financial planning business
  155. Horse boarding
  156. Telemarketing
  157. Laser tag business
  158. Floral business (flower shop)
  159. Clothing business online
  160. Multi level marketing/network marketing business
  161. Referral business
  162. Decorating business
  163. Nursery business
  164. Concrete business
  165. Car wash and/or hand card wash business
  166. Staffing/recruiting business
  167. Perfume business and/or cosmetic business
  168. Powder coating business
  169. Go kart business
  170. Sign business
  171. Interior design business
  172. Bowling alley
  173. Rain gutter cleaning business
  174. PC repair business
  175. Computer consulting
  176. Beverage business
  177. Car audio business
  178. Insurance agency
  179. Tanning salon
  180. Professional organizing service [Startup guide]*
  181. Catalog business
  182. Pet store
  183. Group home business
  184. Paralegal business
  185. Dollar store
  186. Nanny business
  187. Dry cleaning
  188. Mystery shopping business
  189. Gardening business
  190. Export business
  191. Senior home care business
  192. Mobile oil change business
  193. Fashion design business [Helpful ideas for getting started]*
  194. Home healthcare business
  195. Liquor store
  196. Balloon business
  197. Horse business
  198. Voip business
  199. Direct sales
  200. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: (Growing demand for this service)*
  201. T-shirt business [Free Course: How to Build an Online T-Shirt Store*]
  202. Wedding chapel business
  203. Retail clothing business
  204. Silk screen business
  205. Sporting goods business
  206. Security consulting
  207. Day spa business
  208. Feed store business
  209. Fishing business
  210. Home inventory business
  211. Honey business
  212. Hunting business
  213. Coffee cart business
  214. Boat charter business
  215. Bookstore business
  216. Beauty salon business
  217. Taxi cab business
  218. Cabinet making business
  219. Car transport business
  220. Chair massage business
  221. Knife sharpening business
  222. Psychic business
  223. Pet cremation business
  224. Pottery business [Sell your artwork]*
  225. Pet boarding business
  226. Pet photography business
  227. Motorcycle business
  228. Mobile dog grooming business
  229. Personal fitness training
  230. Dog bakery — [Check out this unique step-by-step business system*]
  231. Recruitment business
  232. Animal rescue business
  233. Answering service
  234. Barber shop
  235. BPO business
  236. Business card printing
  237. Pet shop
  238. Mailing service
  239. Loan broker
  240. Skateboard business
  241. Gift shop
  242. Newspaper publishing
  243. Stained glass business
  244. Woodworking
  245. Electronic dog fence installation
  246. Shoe repair
  247. Appliance repair
  248. Window tinting
  249. Foreclosure cleanups
  250. Dumpster rentals
  251. Concert promoter
  252. Talent agent
  253. Get paid to write online* (Write articles, blog posts, e-books, ghost writing assignments, grant writing, resumes, website content, online reviews, essays, documentation, entertainment writing, travel writing, medical writing, legal writing, financial writing, technical writing, sports, news writing, translation, transcription, research, press releases, business plans, scripts, interviews, and marketing material.)

NOTE: One alternative to starting your own business from scratch is buying an established business that already has a customer base and a cash flow. According to one entrepreneur, it’s easier, less risky, and “the shortest route to realizing the dream of owning your own successful business.” While it’s not for everyone, here are four vital factors* which make this business strategy* an option worth seriously considering.

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While this list of self employment ideas is far from all inclusive, I think it does cover a lot of possibilities. If you can think of any other unique ideas for starting a small business, feel free to post a comment on this blog or email me your thoughts at prowriter30years@yahoo.com

Stay tuned to this blog for more small business ideas, resources, marketing strategies, and guides to starting and succeeding in your own business.

Small Business Marketing Ideas

One of the biggest challenges that face many entrepreneurs is finding customers. You can be the most talented graphic designer, event planner, consultant, or handyman in town, but if you don’t have any customers, your skills and talents aren’t going to do you much good — at least not financially!

In addition to the freelancing and self employment ideas listed above, I ‘d also like to offer some basic business marketing ideas, which will hopefully help you attract and retain customers and clients (without having to spend a bundle of money).

Advertising, direct sales, and marketing can be a bit of a rocky road if you’re not sure where to begin or how to go about it, but as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

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What is Marketing?

Marketing, which entails everything from advertising and public relations to blogging and SEO (search engine optimization), is one of the cornerstones of any successful business. The ability to generate leads, inquiries, referrals, and customers depends — to a large degree — on your willingness to create and implement a marketing plan for your business.

Marketing plans do not have to be lengthy or complicated to provide you with a practical and useful road map to customer acquisition, but should be well thought out, researched, flexible, and cost effective. A starting point to creating a small business marketing plan would be to think about and write a “SWOT” analysis, which stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.”

Two other components of a marketing plan would involve identifying your target market (demographics), listing as many feasible marketing tactics as you can think of, and pinpointing your business’s USP, which is often referred to as either a “Unique Selling Proposition,” “Unique Selling Points,” and/or “Unique Value Proposition (UVP).” Obviously, the operative word there is “unique.”

To a large degree, marketing is all about two things:

  • Offering your customers unique advantages and benefits that they can not get elsewhere
  • Being able to effectively communicate those unique advantages to as many targeted and “qualified” prospects as possible

In a nutshell, here is a handful of cost-effective and, in some cases, low-cost business marketing ideas that are worth considering.

  1. Handing out business cards, promotional flyers, brochures, inexpensive advertising specialties, door hangers, post card mailers, and coupons (if applicable and appropriate).
  2. Written business proposals: I’m a big proponent of using business proposals to solicit new clients, respond to RFPs, and to pursue corporate and government accounts. Here’s why: First of all, back in the 1990s, I worked as a proposal writer for a major IT company for five years, so I can appreciate the pivotal role that a well-written business proposal plays in the competitive bidding process. Secondly, I’m an affiliate of a company that sells proposal-writing software, templates, sample proposals, and frequently needed service contracts. They’ve been in business for 20 years and are obsessed with continually improving and fine-tuning their software products. For more information on how and why written business proposals are important (and can help you land more clients, customers, and lucrative accounts), check out their article “It’s All About Trust.”*
  3. Building up an Internet following, either through blogging, developing a social media presence, or inviting your website visitors to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, periodic offers, mailing list, or special announcements.
  4. Face-to-face networking can also be an extremely valuable way to connect with prospective clients and develop mutually beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs, organizations, influencers, potential clients, and mentors. It’s old-fashioned, but it’s not going to go out of style anytime in the foreseeable future!
  5. Sending out newsworthy press releases to local media outlets, reporters, editors, bloggers, and websites. Press releases can often result in a free publicity in the form of a feature article, listing of an event, interview opportunity, or business profile in your local newspaper, regional magazine, miscellaneous websites, business blogs, podcasts, editorial pages, radio stations, and TV news and interview programs. Visibility in the media helps boost your credibility and recognition factor. [BTW… Did I mention that I worked in the public relations field for nine years and have been a journalist and news reporter — mostly on a freelance basis — for 34 years?]

Software for Creating Winning Business Proposals*

This is the proposal-writing kit I mentioned, earlier: “Accurately quote your projects, create winning proposals, negotiate your contracts, multiply your profitability, brand yourself as a top professional and close the sale. Proposal Kit helps you demonstrate to prospects and clients that you are the right professional for the job. It’s the mission-critical tool for writing effective business proposals on a moments notice. Proven for two decades to be fast, easy, and accurate.” [adv]

Order and download Proposal Kit software here.*

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e-Books on Starting a Business*

BTW… If you’d like to download  other step-by-step guides for 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:  import/export car business, roofing, roof cleaning, flea market business, kettle corn business, cupcake business, fruit bouquets, candy bouquets, event planning, party rental services, record label business plan, t-shirt business, freight broker business,  professional organizing, Kindle book publishing,  transcription business, computer repair business, farming, aquaculture, ranching, and more. More startup guides will be added in coming weeks. Contact me if you need more information on a specific kind of business that you don’t see mentioned here.

Thanks for checking out my latest small business marketing tips and self employment ideas.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel

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Business blogger, freelance writer, affiliate marketer

Question: Are you interested in starting your own affiliate marketing business? It’s no get-rich-quick scheme, but it’s an opportunity to start your own potentially profitable Internet business. To learn more, read the inspiring success story of Rosalind Gardner.* It’s a great business model most people are unfamiliar with. (I’ve been doing it for 16 years.)

Important: Starting a businesses of any kind involves an element of financial risk, so it’s always wise 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.

*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, marketing software, digital products, e-commerce software, templates, books on starting your own business, marketing services, courses, tutorials, and informational products features in this blog. With a couple possible exceptions, I am currently not endorsing specific products or services at this time. Contact me if you have any questions.

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

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