Deciding What Business To Start


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

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

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

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

What is a Good Business to Start?

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

Food Business Ideas

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

Pet Business Ideas

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

Daycare Business Ideas

  • Child daycare
  • Adult daycare
  • Preschool business

Craft Business Ideas

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

Cleaning Business Ideas

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

Online Business Ideas

  • eBay business
  • Blogging
  • Ecommerce store

Wedding Business Ideas

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

Entertainment Business Ideas

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

Consulting Business Ideas

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

Business Services Ideas (B2B)

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

Transportation Business Ideas

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

Computer Business Ideas

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

Clothing Business Ideas

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

Construction/Contractor Business Ideas

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

Property Maintenance and Real Estate Services

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

Farming and Agriculture Business Ideas

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

Fitness Business Ideas

  • Personal training
  • Gym business

Health and Medical Business Ideas

  • Home health care business
  • Medical billing business
  • Pharmacy

Salon Business Ideas

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

Tutoring Business Ideas

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

Green Business Ideas

  • Solar business
  • Recycling business
  • Scrap metal business

Miscellaneous Small Business Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

Marketing strategist, business blogger, freelance writer


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


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:


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.




How to Create Good Business Ideas

At any point in time, thousands of people are actively searching the Internet, brainstorming with their friends and family, and wracking their brains for good business ideas that are unique, innovative, creative, profitable, lucrative, successful, and — if at all possible: inexpensive to start and run.

We’ve all heard inspiring stories about successful businesses that got their start in someone’s garage, basement, on a kitchen table, or from a home office. Why are these success stories the exception rather than the rule, though? I think the answer to that question is relatively simple: Many entrepreneurs are looking for a shortcut to success, and are easily discouraged when they realize that business ideas require the following ingredients to become successful:

  • An existing or latent demand for their product or service
  • A low to moderate level of competition
  • A strong motivation and firm commitment to persist until success is reached
  • A desire and willingness to continually raise the bar on service, product quality, and customer value (perceived and actual)
  • A targeted, integrated, and cost-effective marketing program often combines elements of website marketing, SEO, blogging, public relations, relationship marketing, email marketing, advertising, branding, social media marketing, direct mail marketing, and B2B proposal writing. (By the way, if you need help with proposal writing –and who doesn’t — then visit this website* for all the proposal templates, documents, and contracts you’re likely to need.)

Where Do Great Business Ideas Come From?

Some of the best business ideas are created by entrepreneurs who have either developed a new product or service that struck a chord with the masses  — or they’ve improved upon an existing product, service, or technology. Although some businesses are successful because of their unique identity and the effective way they market themselves, the cornerstones of a successful business are usually superior quality, remarkable service, innovation, and outstanding customer value.


Ideas for Starting a Business

Here’s a list of 60 top small business ideas that many entrepreneurs are currently researching and preparing to start. If you’re looking for the best small business to start, perhaps one or more of these ideas will be a good match to your interests, talents, and business startup budget.

  1. Cleaning business
  2. Catering business
  3. Child daycare
  4. Your own clothing company, store, or clothing line
  5. Photography business
  6. Video production company
  7. Record label
  8. Bookstore
  9. Online boutique
  10. Jewelry business
  11. Cattle farm, chicken farm, ranch
  12. Property management company
  13. Real estate business
  14. Landscaping business
  15. Lawn care service
  16. Pest control business
  17. Bakery
  18. Cupcake and/or cookie business
  19. Coffee shop
  20. Restaurant and/or bar
  21. Liquor store
  22. Juice bar
  23. Beverage company
  24. Grocery store
  25. Bed & Breakfast
  26. Hotel
  27. Gift basket business
  28. Construction business
  29. Nursing agency
  30. Staffing agency
  31. Travel agency
  32. Title company
  33. Tax preparation business
  34. Insurance business
  35. Consulting business
  36. Private security company
  37. Beauty salon
  38. Nail salon
  39. Beauty supply store
  40. Barber shop
  41. Laundry business
  42. Recording studio
  43. Wholesale business
  44. Nursing home
  45. Assisted living facility
  46. Adult daycare
  47. Medical transportation business
  48. Trucking company
  49. Towing company
  50. Car dealership
  51. Gas station
  52. Manufacturing business
  53. Consignment shop
  54. Flower shop
  55. Publishing business
  56. Advertising agency
  57. Marketing agency
  58. Dog kennel
  59. Delivery business or courier service
  60. Cell phone business

Those are among the top small business ideas now being researched on the Internet.

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on ideas for starting a business. I’ll be compiling more lists of ideas to start a business in coming weeks, and will be focusing on other topics of interest to entrepreneurs and business owners, including small business marketing ideas. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to start and succeed in a specific small business, visit my website, Marketing Survival Kit.

Some of the topics I hope to cover over the next few months include home based business ideas, small town business ideas, online business ideas, and much more.

Business blogger, marketing strategist, freelance writer



*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate

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.