Are you interested in starting a small business but coming up blank on where to begin? Even if you don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to running your own business and making money at home, there are plenty of exciting ways to start your entrepreneurial journey.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a retired corporate employee ready for your second act, or a student looking for part-time work, these ideas require minimal experience and upfront investment to get started. But first, let’s clarify what we mean when we talk about good small business ideas.
If you’ve got a great idea for a small business but you're not sure yet if it's viable, here are some things to consider:
Doesn't require upfront investment. You may have great ideas for the next widget or gizmo that's going to make millions of dollars, but if you don't have $1 million or so lying around to start your business, that's not going to work out so well. Be realistic about how much money you have to invest in your new business.
Can serve a very large market of people willing to pay. The reason you want to start a small business is to make money. If your product or service is only going to appeal to a very small market, then it's probably not going to be the right choice for you. In other words, if your best customer is going to be your mom, then maybe this isn't the best idea after all.
Can be done anywhere at any time. Whether you're planning on working from home or from a remote country, you'll want to be able to work on your business without an office or a lot of fancy equipment. When it comes to entrepreneurship, the more flexibility the better.
Pro Tip: Use our free business tagline generator to create taglines for your business in seconds.
Now, let's dive into some ideas:
In today's world of increasingly automated tasks, there’s still nothing quite like a human touch. That's where you come in. Social media has been thoroughly integrated into people's lives — they use it to get news, keep up with friends, buy things, and so much more. People are constantly on the lookout for new trends and ideas that can help them improve their lives, and social media can be a great place to find these trends.
If your passion lies in discovering the latest trends and finding ways to exploit them, you can make a good living by working from home as a social media analyst or manager. You'll be paid based on several factors, including how well you're able to spot trends, how quickly you find them, and how well you’re able to capitalize on them.
Today, culture is shifting faster than ever because of platforms like TikTok. If you can help companies and individuals grow their views and followers on TikTok, you can create a very valuable business. This idea is particularly good for teens, as younger generations typically set the culture on the Internet.
Many small business owners struggle to find the time to build and maintain a professional presence online. This is where you can step in as a website designer. This job is about more than just making sure your clients have an attractive, functional website; You’ll also be charged with keeping their site up to date, setting up online tools and processes to help them sell products or market their services, and anything else they need help with.
Web design is a fairly easy way to make money, and the Internet is full of businesses looking for someone to build them a website.
These days, it's easier than ever to get into web design. Free online courses (like this one) can help you learn the basics, and you can even get started right away with some basic templates or a site builder tool like Webflow or Squarespace. To really blow away your clients, you can also help them write website copy that leads to more customers and sales!
These tools make it possible for someone with very little technical experience to set up a beautiful website experience.
Remote work is becoming increasingly popular with young workers, and companies like Buffer, Zapier and Automattic are leading the remote revolution. But this doesn't mean these teams don't want to get together in person!
Businesses are willing to pay for travel-planning services that focuses on bringing remote teams together to boost company morale in the digital age.
Do you excel at event planning? Do you have connections in the hospitality world, or just a knack for keeping large groups organized? You could start a business as a travel planner specializing in company on-sites or other work-related events.
If you're able to get good referrals from the people you meet during these site visits, it will be easier for you to sell your travel-planning services to other companies. These types of businesses pay better than most local clients and are great potential repeat customers.
Starting a blog is easy, fun, and you can have yours up and running in just a few hours. Another great thing about having your own blog is the fact that you can make money from it — you just have to play your cards right.
When starting a blog, choose a niche topic that you're passionate or knowledgeable about. Your ultimate goal is to write posts on this topic and build up a readership over time so your blog becomes bigger and more popular. This way, you can start earning income through affiliate links, brand sponsorships, and other money-making strategies. Popular topics for successful blogs include:
Starting a blog is a great way to build an audience and create a source of income. If you do it correctly, you'll be able to create something that brings in money while helping people at the same time!
Pro Tip: Generate blog ideas in seconds with our free blog topic generator.
The internet is a place where people can instantaneously communicate with anyone in the world for free via email or forums or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This means that if you create a community around something you're interested in or passionate about, there are millions of potential members — especially if your community helps solve a common problem or provides an uncommon perspective on something everyone already knows about.
If you want to start an online community, make sure it has a specific purpose and set of rules — much in the same way your physical communities (like your neighborhood) have a plan and goals for how they function. The more defined your community is, the easier it will be for you to interact with it and engage others in its activities.
It's easy to imagine how you could turn this kind of activity into a business opportunity. You could offer:
Paid monthly memberships. This option is great for vlogs or podcasts because you can tie your membership fee to access to exclusive content, such as a premium feed or live chats with the hosts.
Paid one-time event registration. This is great if you're hosting an event like a conference or a meetup that has limited seating or tickets available for purchase. It's also ideal for covering the costs associated with travel and hotel expenses for attendees traveling in from out of town.
Sponsorships. This is a fantastic way to make money by connecting yourself and others with sponsors.
The virtual assistant sector is huge — it's a $5 billion industry! There are countless internet entrepreneurs out there, many of whom would love an extra pair of hands to help them run their business and keep their life in order. If you're an organized stay-at-home parent looking for some work-from-home hours, becoming a virtual assistant could be the perfect opportunity to make some extra cash. Generally speaking, the work involves writing emails, scheduling appointments, taking notes during meetings, and attending events on behalf of the client.
The benefits of becoming a virtual assistant are certainly plentiful — you can set your own hours and work however much or little you want. It’s also a great side gig if you want to make some extra money while you go back to school yourself. While it isn’t necessarily a long-term career solution, it can certainly fill up some of the gaps in your resume when you’re just starting out in the job market.
Digital products can be a great way to market your talents. They are often easier to create than physical products, and they allow you to share your knowledge or expertise with customers in a format that is low-overhead and easy to access.
The competition is fierce, but if you have a unique and useful idea to present, it can be well worth it. The best part about selling digital templates is the low upfront investment — just create something original, and people will buy. For example:
Selling Notion templates is a new and growing market for sharing your expertise with others who may be interested in the same thing. Depending on your niche, these products can convert well and enable you to create a passive income stream at minimal cost. If you are creative, there is plenty of room in the template niche for you.
As more and more people play video games competitively, demand is increasing for professionals who can coach others to improve their skills.
If you have the right mix of experience and skill, you can absolutely make money playing video games.
That said, being a coach is no easy task, and you’ll have to put in the time it takes to hone your own abilities as well. Competitive gaming and coaching require practice, patience, dedication, and a positive attitude. If you’re truly passionate about gaming and ready to take on your own coaching business, start marketing your skills and taking on students to get started.
If you have a writing background, freelance proofreading and editing could be the perfect side gig for you. Writing and editing work provide flexibility and diversity of work, allowing you to work on all sorts of different projects with many different clients. Who knows? It might even lead to more permanent, full-time employment as you build up your portfolio.
Almost every company needs website copy, email campaigns, and content to drive traffic to their website. Particularly in industries like tech and healthcare, businesses will pay freelancers good money to hone their copy for them or create it from scratch.
You can either focus on longer-form blogging or become a copywriter that helps businesses sell their products or services. The internet is full of opportunities to apply your writing abilities. Whether you’re writing white papers or proofreading website copy, talented writers and proofreaders can always find work by putting their services on the market.
There is significant money to be made in creating thumbnails, headers, and social media pins — these assets are very important to most businesses, and with the tools that are available today, anyone with some basic knowledge of design can help create them.
While designing one-off thumbnails is a great way to get started, the competition can be tough for micro-gigs. You’ll want to build long-lasting relationships for consistent business.
There are thousands of small businesses getting online now that need help with this kind of work. If you can create a catchy and eye-catching graphic, you can charge big bucks for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert at design; anyone can learn how to make engaging graphics with a little research and practice.
The best thing about these small business ideas is that you can start any one of them right now. You don’t have to take out a big loan or spend months saving up your income — starting a small business from home can be inexpensive and even profitable from day one. You don’t need to invest much money to make these business ideas a reality; just a little time and creativity is enough. Just follow your heart, give it a shot, and see where your new business takes you!