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The UPS Store Small Business Blog
  • 11 December 2023
  • Public Relations

15 Small Business Ideas to Start Your Entrepreneurial Journey

If you've been daydreaming about starting your own business but haven't found that perfect idea yet, don't worry – you're not alone. Many aspiring entrepreneurs go through the brainstorming phase without landing on a business idea that truly excites them.


Starting a small business can be an incredibly rewarding venture, both personally and financially. Being a small business owner allows you the opportunity to pursue your passions, make your own decisions and shape your success. This blog aims to provide you with a diverse range of profitable business ideas that are not only unique but also in high demand.

Whether you're looking for good business ideas for a side hustle or are ready to fully commit yourself to entrepreneurship, this article will inspire and guide you toward finding the perfect small business idea for your journey. Let's dive in together and explore the exciting world of entrepreneurship!

What makes a small business successful?

In today's competitive market, small business owners have a significant opportunity to thrive when they focus on creating good value for their customers. By providing quality products and services, investing in exceptional customer service and forging lasting relationships with their customers, businesses can cultivate a loyal customer base and increase their chances of success.

For online stores, ensuring the website is user-friendly, visually appealing and provides seamless navigation is crucial. It's important for small business owners to understand their target market and their needs and preferences to create a tailored online experience that resonates with potential customers.

Similarly, in-store businesses can benefit from adopting digital tools to enhance the customer experience. This may involve implementing point-of-sale systems or utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) software to streamline operations and better understand customer behavior.

Furthermore, staying aware of market trends is essential for any business owner looking to stay ahead of the curve. By monitoring industry developments and consumer demands, small business owners can adapt their strategies accordingly and seize new opportunities before competitors do.

15 Small Business Ideas to Start Today

Now that you know what makes a successful business, it's time to share some ideas on what business you can launch!

Low Maintenance Small Business Ideas

The following businesses require little in the way of start-up money, certifications or time and allow you to set your own schedule.

Blogging and Content Creation

Blogging and content creation have become increasingly popular avenues for individuals looking to start a small business or freelance writing career. With relatively low startup costs, these industries provide an opportunity for creative minds to showcase their skills and build a brand.

However, it's important to recognize that simply launching a blog or creating content isn't enough to guarantee success. In order to make a big enough splash in the digital landscape, aspiring bloggers and content creators should familiarize themselves with the world of content marketing and digital marketing.

In addition to traditional blogging, there are numerous avenues for content creation that can complement your blog and reach a wider audience. Consider exploring other mediums such as email newsletters, podcasts or even creating video content on YouTube channels. These platforms provide alternative ways for you to showcase your expertise and engage with your target audience.

Personal Fitness Trainer

Becoming a personal fitness trainer can be an incredibly rewarding and worthwhile business idea. Not only does it allow you to pursue your passion for fitness and help others achieve their health goals, but it also offers you the opportunity to be your own boss and build a small business around your expertise.

One of the great advantages of entering this field is that while some states require you to have a personal training certification, others do not. This means that even without formal education or certification, you can start your journey as a personal trainer.

Another significant shift in the industry is the rise of online personal trainers. With advanced technology and increased reliance on virtual platforms, individuals can now offer personalized training sessions without needing access to a physical gym or training facility. This allows for greater convenience for both trainers and clients, eliminating geographical barriers and providing an opportunity to tap into a larger client base.

Pet Sitting

Pet sitting can be a fulfilling and lucrative business idea, especially for those who have a deep love and passion for animals. Many pet owners find themselves in need of reliable and trustworthy individuals to care for their beloved pets while they are away. This creates a great opportunity for individuals looking to start a service-based business.

Apps and services like Rover and Wag have revolutionized the way pet owners connect with pet sitters. These platforms allow aspiring entrepreneurs to sign up and offer their services as dog walkers, pet sitters, or even home boarders. By joining these platforms, individuals can tap into a vast network of potential clients who are actively seeking reliable pet care.

One of the key advantages of starting a pet-sitting business is that it can be operated from the comfort of one's own home. This eliminates the need for expensive overhead costs associated with renting commercial spaces or offices. Pet owners often prefer leaving their furry companions in a warm and loving home environment rather than boarding them in traditional kennels, making it an ideal solution for both parties involved.

Social Media Consultant

Being a social media management consultant can be a worthwhile business idea, offering flexibility and the opportunity to work remotely from anywhere in the world. With the rise of social media platforms and their increasing importance for businesses, there is a growing demand for experts who can effectively manage social media accounts.

One of the appealing aspects of being a social media consultant is that it requires minimal initial investment. All you need is a computer, internet connection and your expertise. Unlike many other business ventures, there is no need to rent physical office space or purchase expensive equipment.

To enhance your credibility as a social media consultant, consider getting certified through online courses or programs. These certifications not only provide you with valuable knowledge on effective strategies but also demonstrate your commitment to staying current with the latest industry trends.

Handmade Crafts Seller

Are you a creative soul with a passion for knitting, painting, pottery, or any other type of unique crafting? If so, turning your passion into a business can be a worthwhile idea. Not only will you have the opportunity to pursue your artistic endeavors full-time, but you'll also have the satisfaction of sharing your creations with others.

One of the first steps toward starting your handmade crafts business is establishing an online presence. With the convenience and accessibility of online platforms, setting up an online store has never been easier. You can showcase your products and reach customers from all over the world, expanding your market beyond local retail limitations.

To ensure smooth operations for your online business, shipping plays a crucial role. Thankfully, our services help make shipping your crafts hassle-free.

Virtual Assistant Services

Becoming a virtual assistant can be an excellent business idea, offering a unique opportunity to provide valuable services while enjoying the benefits of remote work. One of the most appealing aspects is that you don't need any certifications or formal qualifications to get started in this line of work. As long as you possess certain skills and are eager to help others, you can embark on this exciting journey.

The demand for virtual assistant services is steadily growing as more businesses recognize the advantages of outsourcing administrative tasks. Small businesses in particular often seek cost-effective solutions that allow them to focus on their core competencies while someone else handles essential administrative functions.

Personal Shopper

If you have a passion for shopping, turning it into a personal shopper business can be a worthwhile and fulfilling career choice. As a personal shopper, you have the opportunity to help others who may not have the time, energy or expertise to shop for themselves. This profession allows you to use your keen eye for fashion trends and/or food knowledge, as well as mindfulness of different stores and brands to curate personalized shopping experiences for your clients.

One of the benefits of being a personal shopper is the flexibility it offers. Whether you prefer in-person shopping or providing online services, there is room for both options in this field. In-person personal shoppers can accompany clients on their shopping trips, assisting them in finding the items they need. On the other hand, online personal shoppers can provide virtual consultations, create tailored recommendations and make online purchases on behalf of their clients.

Gardening and Landscape Services

Owning a landscaping business can be a fulfilling and worthwhile venture that provides a valuable service to people who may not have the time or resources to beautify their outdoor spaces themselves. With the right equipment and expertise, starting a landscape business can be relatively straightforward.

One of the main advantages of starting a landscaping business is the low startup costs involved compared to many other industries. With basic equipment like lawnmowers, trimmers and gardening tools, you can get started without significant financial investments or overhead expenses.

Moreover, as a landscaper, you have the freedom to work on your own terms. You can choose your clients, set your schedule and take control of your earning potential. By building strong relationships with satisfied customers and delivering exceptional service, word-of-mouth referrals can become an invaluable asset in growing your business.

Cleaning Services

When contemplating the best business ideas to pursue, offering professional cleaning services stands out due to its practicality and demand.

With approximately 27% of the workforce working remotely, the need for maintaining a clean and productive environment has become crucial. As many business owners and property managers are focused on ensuring sanitary and organized spaces for their employees or tenants, starting a cleaning service can position you as a reliable resource they can rely on.

Moreover, starting a cleaning service allows you to tap into a market with consistent demand. Businesses, regardless of their size or industry, recognize the importance of cleanliness for attracting customers and ensuring employee well-being. This ongoing need provides you with stability in terms of revenue.

More Specialized Small Businesses Ideas

These next six small business ideas are great for people looking to make a huge impact with their expertise. Oftentimes, they require special certification, space and money to make them a reality.

Boutique Coffee Shop

Starting a coffee shop can be a great business idea for those who are passionate about coffee and enjoy providing a communal space for people to gather. However, it's important to consider the various factors that come with running a coffee shop.

Firstly, opening a coffee shop requires finding and securing a physical space. This means considering factors such as location, size and accessibility. Additionally, maintaining cleanliness and ensuring the business is up to code are crucial aspects of running a successful coffee shop.

Another point to consider is the early hours of operation. Coffee shops typically open early in the morning to cater to customers who need their daily caffeine fix before starting their day. This means that as an owner or operator, you need to be comfortable waking up early and having your business operational during these hours.

Furthermore, one must think about sourcing beans for their coffee shop. This involves establishing relationships with suppliers and ensuring consistent quality in the beans being used.

Home Chef and Catering Services

Being a home chef and caterer can be another good small business idea if you enjoy cooking and serving others. However, there are several important considerations to keep in mind when venturing into this field.

One key aspect to consider is allergies. As a personal chef or caterer, it is crucial to be well-versed in common food allergies and dietary restrictions. This will ensure that you can accommodate your clients' needs and provide them with safe and enjoyable culinary experiences.

Another important factor is establishing reliable suppliers. Building relationships with local farmers, markets and distributors will not only help guarantee the freshness and quality of your ingredients but also contribute to supporting the local economy.

Understanding the seasonality of food is also vital for any home chef or caterer. Incorporating locally sourced, seasonal produce into your menu not only enhances flavors but also promotes sustainability. It allows you to create dishes that are at their peak in terms of taste and nutritional value.

Personal preferences play a significant role as well—knowing your clients' tastes, preferences and dietary requirements will enable you to tailor your menu accordingly. This level of customization will help set you apart from competitors and create memorable dining experiences for your customers.

Investing in the right equipment is essential when running a successful home-based catering business. Depending on the scale of operations, ensuring you have high-quality kitchen tools and appliances that meet safety standards can make all the difference in delivering consistent results.

It's worth noting that starting a successful catering or personal chef business doesn't necessarily require a bachelor's degree. While formal culinary education can undoubtedly be beneficial, aspiring home chefs should focus on gaining practical experience through apprenticeships or working under established chefs.

Mobile App Development

In today's digital age, the demand for mobile applications continues to grow exponentially. As more people rely on smartphones and tablets to accomplish various tasks, the need for innovative and user-friendly apps becomes increasingly important. This presents a golden opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to establish their own profitable small businesses.

However, it is important to note that being a mobile app developer may require certain certifications or a greater level of technical knowledge and experience. This field is constantly evolving, with new technologies and programming languages emerging regularly.

Custom Clothing and Alterations

Custom clothing making can be a truly rewarding and worthwhile business endeavor for those with a passion for craftsmanship and personalized service. Unlike many other businesses, the art of sewing is highly personal and often subjective, making it even more enticing for those seeking a creative and fulfilling career.

One of the key advantages of being a seamstress is the opportunity to work closely with clients on an individual basis. By offering custom-made garments or alterations, you have the ability to create unique pieces that reflect your clients' personal style and preferences. This level of customization allows you to establish strong relationships with your customers, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Furthermore, as people's measurements may change over time, there is also potential for multiple iterations when it comes to tailoring or altering clothing. This means that there is a continuous demand for your services as customers seek adjustments or updates to their favorite garments.

Freelance Graphic Design Services

The field of graphic design offers a wealth of opportunities for individuals seeking a fulfilling and potentially profitable venture. As a freelance graphic designer, you have the advantage of flexibility and control over your work, making it another good business idea.

To be successful in this industry, you will need the necessary tools to bring your creative vision to life. A reliable computer, design software and access to high-quality resources are essential. Additionally, having a sharp design eye will enable you to craft visually appealing and impactful designs that resonate with clients and their target audience.

Personal Care Product Business

Starting a personal care business can be an exciting and potentially profitable venture. With the rising demand for natural and artisanal products, it presents itself as a perfect business idea for entrepreneurial-minded individuals looking to tap into the growing market of self-care enthusiasts.

One of the key things to consider in starting a personal care business is crafting unique products that stand out in the market. From candles to soaps and lip balms to shampoo bars, there is an array of options available for aspiring entrepreneurs to explore.

It is important to note that starting a personal care business does require dedication, time and upfront investment. Creating high-quality products that are safe for use on the skin necessitates purchasing materials, testing them thoroughly and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

Things to Consider When Starting a Business

Now that you've picked what kind of business to start, it's time to figure out what goes into actually turning this idea into a reality.

Start-Up Capital

Starting a new business requires careful planning and consideration, especially when it comes to securing the necessary start-up capital. While small business ideas can be exciting and full of potential, it's essential to have a clear understanding of the financial resources required to bring your vision to life.

One crucial aspect of starting a business is determining how much money you will need. It goes beyond simply securing space and resources; you must also consider additional expenses such as certifications, registering your business, hiring staff and marketing.

Start-Up Time

Starting a small business is an exciting endeavor, but the reality is that it often takes time to get things off the ground. Aspiring entrepreneurs may be brimming with ideas and enthusiasm, but it's important to recognize that there can be a significant gap between conception and execution.

When considering small business ideas, it's crucial for most business owners to understand the importance of start-up time. Establishing a realistic timeline can help set expectations and keep you accountable throughout the process. By breaking down your goals into actionable steps, you can ensure steady progress toward launching your new venture.

How Much to Charge

Determining the appropriate pricing for your small business is crucial to its success and profitability. The decision on how much to charge requires careful consideration of various factors, such as the time and effort it takes to create your product or deliver your service, the resources needed and the value you offer to your customers.

Setting the right price point is a balance between attracting customers with competitive pricing while ensuring that your business remains financially viable. You need to consider not only covering your costs but also generating enough profit to sustain and grow your business.

How to Start Your New Small Business in 3 Steps

Now that you’ve found an idea and thought it through, here are 3 steps you’ll need to take to get started.

Conduct Market Research

When starting your own business, conducting thorough market research is not only important, but essential. It provides valuable insights that can shape the success of your venture. One of the key reasons for conducting market research is to learn about the competition in your chosen industry. Understanding what other businesses are offering and how they are positioning themselves allows you to identify gaps and opportunities that you can capitalize on.

Equally important is gaining a deeper understanding of your target audience. Market research helps you gather data and insights about their preferences, needs and behaviors. This knowledge enables you to tailor your products or services to meet their specific needs, leading to better customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Craft a Business Plan

When starting a small business, having a well-crafted business plan is crucial for success. It serves as a roadmap that outlines your goals, strategies and financial projections. By taking the time to create a business plan, you can start to pull together timelines and financials that will guide you in the early stages of your venture.

A business plan allows you to articulate your vision for the business and identify the best small business ideas that align with your skills and interests. It provides a framework for decision-making and helps you prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively.

Secure Funding, Space and Materials to Start

Starting a small business requires careful planning and preparation. In order to turn your great business ideas into reality, securing funding, space and materials becomes crucial. These key aspects lay the foundation for a successful launch and sustainable growth.

Securing an appropriate space is important because it allows your small business to have a physical presence in a location that aligns with your target audience and industry requirements. The right space not only gives you a professional setting to meet clients but also provides an opportunity for customers to engage with your products or services.

In today's digital landscape, having an online presence is essential. Setting up a website allows potential customers or clients to discover your offerings and learn more about what makes your small business unique. It also serves as a platform for online sales, communication and brand building.

Moreover, acquiring startup materials specific to your business niche enables you to operate smoothly from day one. Regardless of whether it's inventory for manufacturing goods or tools for service-based businesses, having the necessary resources on hand helps streamline operations and deliver quality products or services.

No matter what small business you start, The UPS Store is here to support you. From shipping products for your new small business to helping with marketing services, our Small Business Services have the assistance you’re looking for.

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