What Makes a Business Idea Successful?


As I began to reflect on the topic of this blog post, the first thing that came to mind was the old expression “Necessity is the mother of Invention.” Before I looked it up online, I assumed it was a saying coined by Benjamin Franklin. (Either him or Frank Zappa).

Although Ben Franklin has been quoted as saying “Diligence is the mother of good luck,” it was the Greek philosopher Plato who came up with the quote about necessity. What I’d like to take a look at, though, is how that concept relates to the goal of creating a successful small business.

In many cases businesses become successful for the following reason: The owner(s) identified a need in the marketplace that was either unmet or inadequately served.

That brings to mind another well-known cliche: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”  Apparently that saying was inspired by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, although in the original quote, no mention was actually made about mousetraps.

The essence of that quote boils down to a timeless truth about business success: If you can identify a widespread problem (or need) and solve it better than anyone else, then you’re in a strong position to achieve massive business success.

There’s more to it than just having a great business idea, though. Other parts of a success formula include factors like effective marketing, efficient manufacturing and distribution channels (if it’s a product), and strong company leadership.

Business success is elusive or short lived for many entrepreneurs because they’re more focused on making the most money in the shortest possible time, rather then channeling their energy and resources into producing superior quality products and providing outstanding service.

Small businesses that prioritize customer satisfaction often find themselves growing organically — by leaps and bounds — within a relatively short period of time. By delivering exceptional  value to customers on a consistent basis, quality-conscious entrepreneurs generate valuable repeat business, word of mouth advertising, a continuous stream of customer referrals, positive online reviews, and a reputation for being the best in the business or a preferred provider of services.

So contrary to the title of the 1961 Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, small business success usually hinges on meticulous planning, unwavering persistence, hard work, and a drive for continual improvement and innovation.

What Kind of Business Should I Start?

Many people are asking themselves that question, right now. Perhaps you’re one of them. A more detailed and revealing question to ponder is “What business would be a good match for my talents, skills, experience, interests, passions, temperament, and budget?”

50 business startup ideas: Here’s an assortment of 50+ possibilities to consider — some of which are low-cost business ideas and can be started on a part-time basis. Others, such as opening a restaurant, retail store, or franchise business, may require a large investment.

  1. Cleaning services
  2. Catering business
  3. Photography business
  4. Consulting
  5. Landscaping
  6. Real estate
  7. Construction
  8. Handyman business
  9. Vending machine business
  10. Event planning
  11. Party planning
  12. Wedding planning
  13. Retailing (physical location)
  14. Online retailing
  15. eBay business
  16. Painting business
  17. Carpet cleaning
  18. Food businesses: food truck, cafe, bakery, or restaurant (not a low-cost startup!)
  19. Computer repair business
  20. Courier services
  21. Grocery delivery service
  22. Daycare business for children, seniors, or pets
  23. Home health care business
  24. Salon
  25. Dog kennel
  26. Import/export business
  27. Freight brokerage business
  28. Janitorial business
  29. Pressure washing business
  30. Window washing service
  31. Website design business
  32. Rental car business
  33. Self storage business
  34. Moving business
  35. Locksmith service
  36. HVAC services
  37. Matchmaking service
  38. House flipping business
  39. Franchise business
  40. Call center
  41. Coaching, training, or tutoring services
  42. Junk removal and/or dumpster rental
  43. Electrician services
  44. Roofing
  45. Plumbing
  46. Farming, aquaculture, ranching
  47. Property management
  48. Security services (residential, commercial, personal)
  49. Limousine service
  50. Laundromat business

I’ll be listing more good small business ideas in coming weeks. Check out some of my earlier blog posts for other business startup options. Stay tuned for more entrepreneur business ideas, marketing strategies, and business success principles.

If you’d like to download a guide to starting a specific business, I’ve posted links to several small business startup guides* at my website Marketing Survival Kit.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

Marketing strategist, business blogger, freelance writer
Email: prowriter30years@yahoo.com

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!


Online Resources for Entrepreneurs

  • If you’re looking for advice on starting and running a business, the U.S. Small Business Administration is a good resource for guidance and information.
  • The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also provides a checklist for starting a business.
  • Additional business startup advice, educational programs, and mentoring programs can be found through SCORE.

One final note: Since all startup businesses entail an element of financial risk, it’s wise to develop a marketing plan, a detailed budget, and enlist the help of qualified business advisors, such as a CPA, a business insurance specialist, and a business attorney.


*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate for digital products featured in this blog, including  business guides, proposal software, email marketing services, entrepreneurial training courses, marketing templates, and other small business success tools. Unless otherwise stated, I am currently not endorsing specific products or services.


Small Business Ideas for Men

blogger-336371_640Successful business ideas are based on a handful of key factors, including the amount of competition that exists, the demand for your product or service, and your ability to manage the many details of launching and building a small business. Sufficient startup and operating capitol is also vital for new business, as is the ability to meet your personal needs and obligations — especially until your positive cash flow comfortably exceeds your expenses.

Starting your own business can bring with it a lot of opportunity and independence, but it also entails a degree of risk and uncertainty. In addition to doing a preliminary self-assessment of your financial resources and readiness to be your own boss, it’s also advisable to consult with an experienced accountant (preferably a CPA), a business insurance advisor, and possibly an attorney — depending on the legal complexities of your business.

BTW. . . Additional business startup advice, educational programs, and mentoring can be found through websites and organizations like SCORE and the U.S.Small Business Administration.

50 Business Ideas For Men

Whether you’re looking for low-cost business ideas, side business ideas, or home based business ideas, here’s a list of potentially profitable ideas for starting a business.

  1. Consulting business
  2. Franchise business
  3. Tax preparation or business accounting
  4. Insurance business
  5. Security business
  6. Recruitment or staffing services
  7. Marketing and advertising services
  8. Printing services
  9. Website design business
  10. Internet business, such as an online retail store or eBay business
  11. Woodworking
  12. Personal training, fitness, or gym business
  13. Real estate
  14. Home Inspection services
  15. Moving business
  16. Estate sales
  17. Painting business
  18. Carpet cleaning service (commercial and residential)
  19. Janitorial service
  20. Window cleaning
  21. Pressure washing business
  22. Recycling business
  23. Catering business
  24. BBQ business
  25. Food truck business
  26. Pizza shop
  27. Bakery
  28. Rental business
  29. Car wash business
  30. Car detailing busines
  31. Tow truck services
  32. Courier or delivery services
  33. Farming, ranching, or aquaculture
  34. Nursery business
  35. Landscaping services
  36. Lawn care (lawn maintenance) and lawn mowing
  37. Limo services for weddings, proms, and VIPs
  38. DJ business for weddings and other special occasions
  39. Photography business
  40. Nightclub business
  41. Bounce house business for kids’ parties
  42. Construction, home improvement, and remodeling services
  43. Handyman services
  44. Roofing
  45. Plumbing
  46. Electrical services
  47. HVAC services
  48. Retail store
  49. Dry cleaning business
  50. Junk removal and/or dumpster rental business

Although I didn’t categorize this list of small business ideas for men, I did attempt to group related business ideas together and create somewhat of a logical flow from one idea to the next.

To take a look at more small business ideas for entrepreneurs, visit my blog post on generating ideas for starting your own business.

If you’d like to download a guide to starting a business, I’ve posted links to a couple dozen business startup guides* at my website Marketing Survival Kit.

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post. I wish you the best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits — although the best strategy for starting your own business usually involves making your own luck!

Marketing strategist, business blogger, freelance writer
My email address: prowriter30years@yahoo.com


*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of books on starting your own business and other digital products, marketing services, and software.

Top Small Business Ideas For Entrepreneurs

One of my favorite methods of discovering popular small business ideas and trends is to use a keyword research tool. Within seconds of entering a couple keywords, you can generate a recent list of what Internet users are searching for on virtually any topic.

If you’re looking for top small business ideas, for example, this technique can provide some interesting insights into emerging trends and potential opportunities for starting a business. I’ve already done a lot of the leg work for you, though, in compiling a lengthy list of great business ideas. Some are better than others, of course, but your potential for success in any given business depends on your skills, knowledge, experience, startup budget, level of commitment, customer demand, competitive factors, service orientation, and other variables.


Whether you’re in the process of trying to generate business ideas for extra income on weekends or a full-time, lucrative enterprise that you hope to build up over time, this list should be helpful in identifying and refining your ideas and small business goals.

  1. Cleaning business (house cleaning, janitorial services, office cleaning)
  2. Photography business
  3. Consulting business
  4. Landscaping
  5. Lawn care, lawn maintenance, lawn mowing
  6. Home health care business
  7. Personal training
  8. Real estate
  9. eBay business
  10. Event planning
  11. Clothing business
  12. Painting business
  13. Retail store
  14. Tutoring business
  15. Vending machine business
  16. Carpet cleaning
  17. Computer repair
  18. Daycare
  19. Dog walking business
  20. Food business
  21. Jewelry business
  22. Web design business
  23. Bookkeeping business
  24. T-shirt business
  25. Greeting card business
  26. Handyman business
  27. Pet sitting business
  28. Pressure washing
  29. Restaurant
  30. Trucking business
  31. Car wash business
  32. Bakery
  33. Craft business
  34. Graphic design business
  35. Recycling business
  36. Wedding planning
  37. Ecommerce
  38. Catering business
  39. Greenhouse business
  40. Party planning business
  41. Rental business
  42. Taxi service
  43. Welding business
  44. Import/export business
  45. Internet cafe business
  46. Cupcake, cookie, and/or cake (decorating) business
  47. Contracting business
  48. Courier business
  49. Farming
  50. Fitness business
  51. Gift baskets
  52. Pest control
  53. Pizza shop
  54. Tax business
  55. Tow truck service
  56. Consulting
  57. Property management
  58. Dog day care
  59. PC repair
  60. Recruitment business
  61. Bar business
  62. Blogging
  63. Car detailing business
  64. Coffee business (coffee  shop, coffee retailing, cafe, coffee bean roasting)
  65. Construction business
  66. Cookie business
  67. Credit repair services
  68. DJ business (mobile disc jockey service for parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc.)
  69. Dog boarding
  70. Fashion business
  71. Home inspection services
  72. Limo business for weddings, proms, etc.
  73. Plumbing services
  74. Printing services
  75. Publishing business
  76. Real estate investing
  77. Roofing
  78. Tax preparation
  79. Transportation
  80. Virtual assistant business
  81. Wholesale business
  82. Window cleaning
  83. Woodworking business
  84. Embroidery business
  85. Ice cream business
  86. Home health care business
  87. Interior design business
  88. Hotel business
  89. Scrapbooking business
  90. Gardening business
  91. BBQ business/BBQ catering
  92. Bounce house business
  93. Candle making business
  94. Car rental business
  95. Consignment business
  96. Delivery business
  97. Financial planning services
  98. Franchise business
  99. Furniture business
  100. Horse boarding business
  101. Laundromat business
  102. Laundry business
  103. Medical billing business
  104. Mobile detailing business
  105. Swimming pool cleaning business
  106. Self storage business (storage unit business)
  107. Spa business
  108. Ebay business
  109. Personal training
  110. Computer consulting
  111. Invitation business
  112. Retail business
  113. Photo business
  114. Nightclub business
  115. Nursery business
  116. Gym business
  117. Massage business
  118. Design business
  119. Solar business
  120. Insurance business
  121. Repo business
  122. Scrap metal business
  123. Sewing business
  124. Baking business
  125. Tattoo studio
  126. Lingerie business
  127. Jewelry business
  128. Handbag business
  129. Video rental business
  130. Staffing business
  131. Manufacturing
  132. Cell phone business
  133. Pet business ideas: dog grooming, dog kennel business, dog training, doggie daycare
  134. Hair salon
  135. Junk removal business
  136. Remodeling business
  137. Security business
  138. Shoe business
  139. Sign business
  140. Small engine repair
  141. Smoothie business
  142. Used car business
  143. Wedding photography business
  144. Wine business
  145. Art business
  146. Estate sale business
  147. HVAC business
  148. Coaching business
  149. Catalog business
  150. Distribution business
  151. Electrical business
  152. Tea business
  153. Moving business
  154. Floral business
  155. Candy business
  156. Marketing business
  157. Bail bonds business
  158. Bed and breakfast
  159. Call center business
  160. Dog breeding
  161. Dry cleaning
  162. Dump truck business
  163. Flea market business
  164. Hot dog business (hot dog cart/stand)
  165. Locksmith business
  166. Magazine publishing
  167. Mail order business
  168. Paintball business
  169. Pharmacy
  170. Food business
  171. Software business
  172. Tanning salon

Although this list is not all inclusive, it does cover quite a few small business ideas and self employment options. Some categories, such as “food business,” are overly general and need to be refined, but they are the actual search terms that people are using. This list of top small business ideas is presented roughly in order of popularity and search volume, but in a few cases, I attempted to consolidate similar business ideas. My apologies for any redundant items that may have slipped past my editorial scrutiny.

If you’re interested in books on starting a business or step by step guides for starting a business, then visit my website: Marketing Survival Kit.*

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on starting a business and top small business ideas. Stay tuned for updates in the near future.

Best of luck in all your business ventures!

Business blogger, freelance writer, marketing strategistEmail: prowriter30years@yahoo.com


BTW…This list of old and new business ideas was current as of September 2016, but may become slightly less relevant, over time.

Note: Since all businesses entail a degree of risk and that it’s advisable to work with a CPA, attorney, and or business insurance advisor to make sure your business is set up properly, protected by the necessary insurance coverage, and in compliance with all applicable laws. Special permits, licenses, and certifications may be required of certain professional practices, services, and businesses. The above list of top small business ideas includes low-cost business ideas as well as those that require substantial startup capital.

*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of many of the digital products, templates, software, and business startup books mentioned in this blog and on my website, Marketing Survival Kit.




Starting a Business Begins With Ideas

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.