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23 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

THE STAFF OF ENTREPRENEUR MEDIA, INC.

Feb 4, 2024

Many Americans dream of starting their own businesses. Indeed, running your own enterprise from your home, your garage, or from an office means you've achieved total control over your professional destiny. It's no wonder lots of people save up cash and spend their days dreaming about new businesses to build.


But what if you have the ambition to start a lucrative business but don't know what type of business to run? If you need profitable business ideas, you've come to the right place. Below, you'll find a detailed breakdown of 55 small business ideas you can start right now.


Some of these business opportunities take more experience or credentials than others, of course. For instance, it takes less money to be an influencer than it does to become a pro pet grooming expert.


How to determine the best small business idea for you

Considering your current skill set and credentials.

For instance, if you already have an accounting degree or your CPA license, venturing out as a freelance accountant or starting your own accounting business (as detailed below) could be just the ticket!


If you don't have a degree, you can get one, or you can pursue a different business idea that doesn't require a college degree in the first place. If you have an education in healthcare or a background in dropshipping, consider leaning into these strengths when you begin.


Deciding what you want to spend your professional life doing.

Some business ideas require you to love the work to do a gr

eat job. If you love seeing houses sparkling clean, for instance, starting a new small business cleaning service could be right up your alley.


Determining how many people you want to work with.

Some successful small business ideas can be pursued and fulfilled with just one person: you! Others require you to immediately or eventually hire a small workforce, whether it's just a few employees or dozens.


If you don't want to focus so much on management, take a small business idea that doesn't require hiring a lot of extra labor. Since the pandemic, online work has grown more popular. If you're a people person but not an in-person person, consider starting a business as a virtual assistant or life coach that you can run online.


Considering finances.

Indeed, some small business ideas are more likely to turn a big profit than others. If you're looking to get rich from your small business, you need to pick a small business idea that has great profit potential rather than something more suitable as a side hustle or as a business to keep you occupied in your retirement years.


Now that you know what to consider, let's take a look at 55 great business ideas you can pursue starting today.


1. ACCOUNTANT

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Create a flier outlining your services. Before you do that, you need to know what those services will be. Do you want to simply do bookkeeping for a small business? A more involved level of accounting would be to work up balance sheets, income statements, and other financial reports on a monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis, depending on the needs of the business. Other specializations can include tax accounting, a huge area of potential work.


2. BICYCLE REPAIR

Some experience needed

n many parts of the country, this business tends to be seasonal, but you can find ways around that. Rent a storage unit and offer to store people's bicycles over the winter after you do a tune-up and any needed repairs on them. If you want to cater to the Lance Armstrong wannabes, you can have business all year round. These road race riders are training through snow, sleet and dark of night. Some of them work on their own bicycles, but many of them don't, so you can get their business all year. And if you keep Saturday shop hours, you can be sure you will have a group of enthusiasts coming by to talk all things cycling.


3. BOAT CLEANING

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Boats that are hauled out of the water for the winter or even just for mid-season repairs will need the hull cleaned. And depending on the type of boat, it is a good time to give a major cleaning everything else too--the decks, the sleeping quarters, the head, and the holds. Start by approaching homes that have a boat sitting in the yard. Or you could market your services to the marina to contract you to do the boat cleaning it offers to customers.


4. BUSINESS PLAN SERVICE

Has expansion possibilities

Offer a soup-to-nuts business plan, including market research, the business plan narrative and the financial statements. Plan your fee around the main one that the client will want and offer the others as add-on services. You can give clients an electronic file and allow them to take it from there, or you can keep the business plan on file and offer the service of tweaking it whenever necessary. Have business plan samples to show clients--and make sure to include your own!


5. RIDE-SHARING DRIVER

Driving experience needed

Getting paid to drive during your free time is a great way to make extra money. It won't likely replace a full-time paycheck but can be a lucrative extra revenue stream or side hustle. According toNerd Wallet , here is a break down of the income you can expect: "To make an annual income of $50,000, the averageUber driver needs to provide 60.21 rides each week, while those working for Lyft need to give 83.76 rides a week, and Sidecar drivers would have had to provide 72.03 rides in a week."


6. CLEANING SERVICE

No experience needed

Has expansion possibilities

There are many directions you can take this small business idea. If you want to work during hours when no one else does, you can focus your cleaning business on office clients. You can focus on retail businesses and keep your customers clumped into one or two blocks. Restaurants are in great need of daily thorough cleaning and can be a great source of steady clients. Perhaps you would be more interested in house cleaning. Many times with cleaning services you don't have to spend lots of money on advertising or marketing because your customers will come by word of mouth.


7. CHILDREN'S PARTY PLANNER

No experience needed

The children's birthday party business is a multiple-million dollar industry, with the average American spending $500 per party. The book Start Your Own Kid-Focused Business tells you everything you need to know to get your own kid biz off the ground: from insurance costs to food and beverage selection to arranging unforgettable entertainment that gets lots of smiles and lots of referrals from happy customers.


8. CONSULTANT

Has expansion possibilities

To be a consultant, you need to have expertise in something so you can market yourself as an advisor to others looking to work in that area. Perhaps you managed several large warehouses in your career with a drugstore company, you did all the marketing for many years for a large shoe manufacturer or you set up a chain of beauty supply shops or take-out restaurants. You can use this experience to help others do similar things without making the same mistakes that you made along the way. A good calendar app will likely come in handy as time tracking is crucial to accurate billing.


9. DOG WALKING

Experience, training, or licensing may be needed

Dog walkers take pooches out for their daily constitutional one or more times a day, either individually or in small groups. In some cities across the United States, like New York, dog walking alone can be a booming business. But it's actually more common for dog walkers to offer additional services, including playing with and feeding pets, bringing in newspapers and mail, and turning lights on and off. You could even have fun with the marketing of your business on social media.


10. EBAY ASSISTANT

No experience needed

Do you have items lurking around your household that you could sell on eBay? Here's a relatively straightforward online business idea: figure out your asking price and decide whether toauction it or put it in your eBay store. Then decide if you want a minimum bid and how long you want the auction to last. You will want to establish a PayPal account to use for transactions. The eBay website provides all the information you need to know to get up and running with an eBay eCommerce business. Chatbots are offering creative new ways to help businesses with these functions. Another option worth considering is Etsy, or other online stores and marketplaces to host your merchandise, whether you're selling t-shirts or matcha bowls.


From Editorial Services to Household Organizer


11. EDITORIAL SERVICES

Has expansion possibilities

Here are some of the freelance writing and editorial services you can provide from the quiet of your own home:

  • Copyediting. This is where fact checking takes place, and where grammatical, stylistic and typographical errors are caught.

  • Proofreading. This is the last stop for a "finished" piece. The proofreader makes sure the copyediting changes have been properly made and no new errors are created in the process. For digital marketing strategies, SEO (search engine optimization), app development, social media management, and more, proofreading copy is a vital service.

  • Indexing. There are indexing courses available and you can get indexing software.

  • Developmental editing. A developmental editor works with a manuscript on big-picture things like organization and content issues.

  • Book doctoring. This is an editorial service provided for manuscripts written by experts. They create a manuscript as best they can and then a book doctor puts it into publishable shape.

  • Ghostwriting. As a ghost writer, you actually do the research and write the book and someone else's name is attached as the author.

  • Copywriting. Also known as business writing, this is writing that promotes a product or a service.

  • Book writing. Do you have expertise in something professional, such as accounting or interior decorating? Or personally, like knitting? Why not write a book about it?

  • Magazine article writing. Magazines and newspapers are a great way to get your writing published before tackling the daunting task of writing a whole book.

  • Web page content provider. Providing content for a web site is a good way to make some money writing.


12. ELECTRONICS REPAIR

Has expansion possibilities

This business is similar to the computer repair business, but you will take on all sorts of electronic equipment besides just computers. With smaller electronics, you will need to be prepared to have customers bring their repair projects to you, as you would have difficulty recovering the cost of driving around picking up broken equipment and returning it. You may also want to encourage people to give you their old electronics so you can use them for parts.


13. EVENT PLANNING

Has expansion possibilities

One of the first things you need to do is visit every potential event location with which you plan to work. Work with the marketing manager to tour each site and learn what is available at each location. Start a database that will allow you to sort venues by varying features, such as the number of people each site holds, AV equipment available on site, if you will need to arrange for rental chairs, etc. Then when you are beginning to plan an event with a client, you can find out what the key parameters are for the event and easily pull up the three or four sites that meet the basic criteria. and engagement parties, etc.


14. EXPERT WITNESS SERVICE

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

One way to make money in this field is by being an expert witness yourself. If you have expertise that could be useful in legal cases, you can market yourself to attorneys to act as an expert witness. Another way to be active in the expert witness field is to play a sort of matchmaker, matching attorneys up with expert witnesses for their cases--either for the defense or for the prosecution. Expert witnesses for big money cases can be expected to fly anywhere to testify. There's no reason your database of witnesses can't be from all parts of the country.


15. FINANCIAL PLANNER

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

To start, you should go through the certification process so that you can label yourself a CFP (Certified Financial Planner). Your certificate shows that you have expertise and credibility, and this differentiation will help people choose you as their financial planner.


16. FLEA MARKET

Has expansion possibilities

People love to spend weekends rummaging through tables full of other people's unwanted items, looking for treasures. Make sure to change your layout and put new stuff out for sale often. You want people to come back time and again to see what's new. You don't even have to have that much new stuff to make things look new. Just moving an item from a table to the top of a bookshelf might get it noticed, even though the item has been in your inventory since you first started having sales.


17. GOLF COACH

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Let the local public courses know about your coaching business. Cultivate relationships with the staff and encourage them to recommend you as a coach. Another place to look for potential customers is in the corporate world. Golfing is a game that business people use to develop relationships outside the office. You do need to be a better than average golfer to develop a reputation as a golf coach. You also need to be a good teacher, know how to be motivational and be willing to work with many different types of people.


18. HOME ENERGY AUDITOR

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

All homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to save on their utility bills. You can come to their aid by providing them with an audit of their house and giving them a breakdown of how they could accomplish real savings in heating, cooling and electrical use. You can go one step further and do the implementation and installation of some of your suggestions in their home yourself. Do a complete appliance audit, with efficiency ratings and calculations based on the age of the appliance. And don't forget the water heater!


19. HOME INSPECTION

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

In order to be a successful business owner in this field, you will want to establish contacts with real estate agents who can recommend your services to customers. The home inspection field is one where you will need to do constant updating of your education and knowledge. New products are constantly coming out on the market--if you only know about decks made of wood, you will not know how to inspect and assess the new materials on the market, such as composites that are made to look like real wood. Also keep apprised of all safety updates of materials and issues with things like off-gassing, carbon monoxide production, and other chemical precautions.


20. HOUSEHOLD ORGANIZER

Has expansion possibilities

You can choose either to do the organizing work or consult on the things that the homeowner could do to better organize themselves. Have a portfolio of different organizational scenarios in different rooms in the home and talk with the homeowner about the style he or she likes. Create checklists and questionnaires to understand how the family uses the home. Are the kids wildly busy with after-school activities? Or are they usually home after school and want access to their toys? Do they share rooms? All of these things will help you tailor an organizing plan and become a hero to potential customers and families.


From Import/Export to Solar Energy


21. IMPORT/EXPORT SPECIALIST

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

If you don't already havework experience with importing and/or exporting, you will have a longer learning curve. You can start by learning the basics and hosting educational sessions to teach others what they need to know to get started in import/export. That alone would probably gain you your first couple of clients. If you keep going with educational seminars and expand your reach to outside your immediate region, you could probably develop a sufficient and ongoing customer base very quickly, but be careful not to outpace your learning curve.


22. INTERIOR DECORATOR

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Market your talents to building contractors. People purchasing new homes can often be overwhelmed with the choices and possibilities in home decorating. Design some questionnaires for each major element and each major room in the house. Find out how the homeowner will use the home--are there children? Pets? Does the woman of the house wear high heels? Do the home's residents neglect to remove shoes? How will each room be used? Where might task lighting and ambient lighting be most appropriate?


23. JEWELRY MAKING

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

There are many different ways of getting into the jewelry business and different types of materials with which you can work. Working in metal will probably require the most in the way of specific tools. You need to be able to heat the metal to manipulate it, and you need metalworking tools to cut and engrave it. But there are many other materials that you can work with to make jewelry--glass, plastic, beads, feathers, even wood, to name just a few.

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