The entrepreneurial landscape brims with potential and vibrancy. No longer do you need massive capital or a brick-and-mortar store to kick off a business. Today, with just a sprinkle of creativity and a dose of determination, you can launch a new venture.
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably searching for a good business idea. An idea that’s light on the pocket but heavy on returns, promising both a fulfilling journey and potential profit. Let’s dive in as we unravel 33 small business ideas tailored just for the budding entrepreneur of today.
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33 small business ideas to pursue in 2024
Are you looking to sell products online but lack the funds for inventory and storage? Consider dropshipping! Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model where you don’t manage any physical products.
All you need to do is establish an online store and partner with suppliers. These suppliers will handle the storage, packaging, and shipping of orders to your customers. There’s no need to do a lot of product research either.
There are both niche and general products you can add to your store, as long as they come from a reliable source—low quality or delayed shipping will reflect poorly on your business.
Plus, you can curate products under a theme that resonates with your audience, like sapphire rings for jewelry enthusiasts or mats for car owners.
For a deeper understanding, check out the dropshipping course from Shopify. It sheds light on the tools and resources you need to pursue this small business idea.
2. Print on demand
If you’re on the hunt for promising online business ideas, print on demand (POD) is certainly worth your attention.
In the POD model, you craft designs for items like phone cases, mugs, or t-shirts. But here’s the twist: you’re not doing the printing. That’s where your suppliers come in. They print, package, and ship, and you pay only after a sale—meaning no initial costs.
POD isl about customization. Everyday items become blank canvases. Your designs breathe life into them. Designing t-shirts for tech enthusiasts? Craft designs with clever coding jokes. Creating mugs for cat lovers? Think playful illustrations.
Ready to kickstart your POD journey? Get started by creating a Shopify store and integrating a POD app, such as Printify. For a marketing boost, consider partnering with Instagram influencers—they can spotlight your POD items to their vast audiences.
Multilingual individuals are always in demand. If you’re proficient in two or more languages, consider launching a small business to capitalize on these skills.
Begin by seeking clients on platforms like Upwork and Flexjobs to establish your portfolio. As your client base grows and you collaborate with more companies, consider expanding by hiring other translators with expertise in different languages. To further your reach, actively promote your services on social media platforms.
Only have a limited window of free time daily? No worries. Translation stands out as an optimal side business. It offers the flexibility to tailor client work around your available hours.
4. Website flipping
Website flipping is gaining traction, especially among recent graduates and those working from home. The concept is straightforward: buy an existing website, refine its design and content, and then sell it at a markup.
Platforms like Flippa pave the way, offering a variety of ecommerce sites ripe for improvement. By investing in enhanced content and smart SEO strategies, you can significantly increase the site’s value.
And the best part? Once the revenue ticks up beyond your initial investment, you can relist the site. This cycle of buying, enhancing, and selling presents a great business idea with rewarding potential.
5. Home-based catering
If you have a knack for cooking and view it as a creative outlet, launching your own business in home-based catering could be a fulfilling venture.
Your initial investment will vary. For instance, if you focus on smaller events you can manage yourself, costs may be more modest.
To kick things off, most home-based caterers set up a website, get involved in local food markets, or join platforms that let culinary experts earn from their skills..
6. Dog walking
It can be difficult to keep up with a furry friend, particularly high-energy breeds with limited outdoor access. As a professional dog walker, you’ll be helping pet owners in the community keep their dogs happy, healthy, and well exercised.
Dog walking requires no initial investments other than marketing and business liability insurance. This will protect you in case of accidents, bites, or unexpected lawsuits. It’s a good idea to charge prices that reflect your insurance costs, with the average range between $30 to $60 an hour.
You can establish a presence for your dog walking business on a number of platforms, including Wag!, Rover, and Care.com. Offer promotions for new clients and build a positive reputation by requesting reviews from those you’ve worked with in the past.
7. Virtual assistant
One of the most successful business ideas is to offer virtual assistant services. Everyone from large enterprises to solopreneurs requires help with the day-to-day management of their business. You can use your excellent organizational skills to take some weight off their shoulders.
Of course, you’ll get paid for the time and effort you put into answering emails, scheduling meetings, and performing other administrative duties.
You can land your first few clients by responding to listings on platforms like FreeUp, PeoplePerHour, or Virtual Assistant Jobs. This is a proven business model, as people are always looking for efficient virtual assistants.
8. Personal shopping
Do you have a knack for identifying fashion trends? If friends and family often seek your clothing advice, consider turning that talent into a personal shopping business.
Personal shoppers select clothing for clients who lack the time or inclination to shop. This involves assessing the client’s current wardrobe, browsing various online boutiques, and choosing items that fit their style. The variety of products in online stores means you don’t always have to shop in-person.
What’s more, there’s no specific certification or degree required to become a personal shopper. If you’re drawn to low-investment business ideas, personal shopping could be your ideal choice.
9. Car detailing
Contrary to popular belief, you can turn car detailing from a hobby into a thriving small business. Clients typically pay anywhere from $50 to $400 per vehicle, so with a consistent client base, you stand to earn a substantial profit.
Your marketing strategy holds the key to your success in the car detailing business. Create a website or utilize social media platforms to promote your services, and always encourage happy clients to leave reviews. Consider offering introductory discounts or package deals to entice new customers.
10. Online tutoring
If you’re an expert in art, math, or another subject, consider starting your own small business in online tutoring. A bachelor’s degree in the subject you plan to teach is usually a must.
And with tools like Zoom, conducting online sessions is a breeze. Online tutoring not only taps into your expertise but also stands out as one of the more accessible small businesses to kick off.
11. Greeting cards
Greeting cards are always in style. So, if you have a good eye for design or just love showcasing your artwork on physical items, consider making greeting cards to sell online.
Before you start looking for clients, you need to have a handful of designs ready to go. Tools like Photoshop and Canva make it easy to create custom card designs. Additionally, you’ll need to stock up on supplies required to create greeting cards (ink, paper, etc.).
Pro tip: If you want to keep costs low, consider buying your supplies wholesale. Once you have the inventory, you can start generating revenue by marketing your business on Facebook, Etsy, and other similar platforms.
12. Content writing
Almost every company with a web presence needs help creating content for product pages, blogs, etc.
As such, starting a content writing or copywriting company could be one of the most profitable business ideas for you. Popular websites for finding those first few customers include Remote.co, Problogger, and BloggingPro.
You can also join content writing groups on Facebook to get more exposure for your business. To make a good impression on clients, consider offering keyword optimization or custom graphics as part of your services.
13. Homemade products
If you excel at molding soap bars, brewing drinks, or baking specialty products, think about starting a homemade crafts business. It’s more than just a creative outlet. As word spreads, the potential to scale is significant.
Agricultural products, beauty solutions like cosmetics and soaps, and jewelry are among the most profitable homemade items. As most business owners in this niche will tell you, combining raw materials with effort can offer a good return.
Starting out? Consider selling your unique products at local farmers market. Platforms like Etsy or iCraft also provide great storefront opportunities. To give your products an edge, infuse them with a twist. Think along the lines of dessert-themed bath bombs or pop-culture influenced clothing items.
14. WordPress support
A lot of websites out there are hosted on WordPress, and almost every WordPress website owner requires support in some form. So, if you’re familiar with the ins and outs of this platform, you’ll have several opportunities to make money.
Clients may contact you to fix their CSS, find and address security holes, and more. While you can use platforms like PeoplePerHour and Upwork to get your first clients, we recommend creating a custom website and listing your services there. That way, you’ll be able to avoid high commissions and build high-quality relationships with your clients.
Hands down, offering WordPress support is one of the best business ideas to try in 2024.
15. Career coaching
With rising unemployment and a saturated job market, there’s no shortage of people needing help finding jobs. If you have a talent for helping your friends and family find suitable employment, you can probably help others too.
Consider starting a career coaching business where you help others figure out what the best career for them is, how to nail an interview, what traits define a good candidate, and more. You can look for clients in Facebook groups or on platforms like Coach.me.
The best thing about this business is that you can make money by conducting four to five hourly sessions a month. Plus, you can coach multiple clients in a single session. If you’re looking for good business ideas that won’t occupy too much of your time, career coaching may be the right option for you.
16. Email marketing
Are you good at writing emails? Have you cracked the code for crafting subject lines that people can’t help but click? If so, you can step into entrepreneurship and make money by launching an email marketing business.
You can find companies that need help with their email strategy on platforms like PeoplePerHour and Upwork, as well as via cold outreach. Once you show your expertise in engaging recipients, clients will see the value in your services and many may agree to the price you quote them. Major brownie points if you can help grow their email list.
Startup costs include investing in email marketing tools, which will automate many of your tasks.
17. Contract cleaning
Not everyone has the time or skills to clean on a regular basis. By becoming a professional cleaner, you can assist home and business owners with scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, and more, all while enjoying flexibility in your working hours due to the ongoing demand for cleaning services.
Startup costs for household cleaning businesses are extremely low. Cleaning supplies and materials usually cost less than $100, though you might also consider investing in specialty equipment like steam vacuums or carpet cleaners. Setting up a website or social media page can be an effective and low-cost way to promote your services.
The fees you charge will depend on the needs of your clients. While most cleaners charge by the hour, some may have additional expenses associated with certain tasks (organization, deep cleaning, etc.). Don’t forget to register as an LLC and complete all necessary paperwork.
18. Meals to go
There’s a growing demand from those who struggle to find the time to cook nutritious and healthy meals. This trend offers a perfect opportunity to start your own meals-to-go business in your locality.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest heavily in a large commercial kitchen. A shared rental kitchen can efficiently cater to a meals-to-go business. These spaces come equipped with essential supplies and can be rented by month, day, or hour. You can find shared-use, licensed commissary kitchens on websites like The Kitchen Door.
19. Landscaping services
Are you passionate about gardening and yard work? Starting a landscaping business could be the perfect avenue to transform your hobby into a profitable venture. Landscaping services encompass a wide range of jobs, from mowing lawns to planting flowers and shrubs. Depending on your local climate, the demand for these services may vary seasonally.
Identify what you excel at and tailor your business to cater to a specific audience. Maintain an updated portfolio of your most exceptional work. If you specialize in unique services like fertilizing or pest control, make sure to prominently display these on your social media platforms.
To secure your initial clients, you might consider going door to door in your community or utilizing platforms like TaskEasy. Websites such as HomeAdvisor can also connect you with potential clients in your area.
20. Website testing
Did you know many digital brands hire real individuals to provide feedback on their websites? These external insights help them pinpoint and rectify problems that internal developers might have overlooked. You can leverage this demand by assembling a team of freelancers and establishing your own website testing company.
For each project you undertake, your team would be provided with a set of questions to guide them as they navigate a client’s website. They’d then share their impressions on the site’s user experience and potential improvements through video feedback.
Do you have experience in generating backlinks and improving the search engine visibility of a website? If yes, then there’s an opportunity for you to cash in on your skill set.
Site owners worldwide require the services of SEO experts, so opening a business in this field could turn out to be one of your best decisions. To attract clients, target a niche audience, leverage past experiences, and highlight your success stories.
With monthly retainers of $500 to $1,000, selling SEO services is one of the best business ideas to make money in 2024.
22. App development
App development is one of the best profitable small business ideas, since so many companies require an app. Not to mention, the cost of starting this venture has drastically gone down due to the growth of tools and affordable developers.
There’s also the opportunity to earn passive income by creating apps for the general audience. Of course, that requires you to develop a monetization strategy that generates recurring revenue. Profitable strategies include offering in-app purchases and charging for a premium version of your app.
23. Virtual dance studio
The upsides to a virtual dance studio are pretty obvious: You don’t need to rent a big space, and it’s convenient to record, publish, and share the choreography at your own discretion. It’s even possible to give dance classes from home, making it one of the best home-based business ideas.
To start a virtual dance studio, you’ll need to invest in video conferencing software, such as Zoom. You’ll also need high-speed internet to ensure there are no lags or buffering during the livestream. Make sure to arrange enough classes per month so that your students learn their routines fast.
If you have a passion for creating your own unique choreography, you may also find opportunities to partner with dance schools to give their students access to your content on a membership basis.
24. Stock photography
If you have the ability to capture great candid moments or recently did a portrait shoot of a relative, you can become a stock photographer by registering a sole proprietorship under your name.
Companies like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and the like are always open for image submissions. You can start by listing a few of your existing photos on these platforms. Once you’ve submitted your photographs, wait for people to download them.
Most stock photography websites pay you a royalty for every download on their platform. Another option is to launch your own photography website and sell images directly to people, which is only viable if you have the resources to invest in marketing.
25. Instagram consulting
If you know the secrets to Instagram engagement, consider starting an Instagram consulting business. Clients will pay you for crafting engaging captions, responding to comments, creating attractive bios, and more.
You can monetize these services by charging a specific rate per hour or by project. This is the ideal business model for digital nomads, as all tasks can be managed from a laptop or smartphone.
To become a sought-after Instagram consultant, master the skill of creating killer Instagram ads that encourage engagement and drive purchases. You can launch your consulting business by marketing your services on platforms like Upwork and other social media channels.
26. Video production
According to video marketing statistics, the number of digital video viewers in the US alone has reached 244.4 million. With more and more videos being watched than ever before, there’s certainly a need for people who can record, edit, cut, and publish videos. Therefore, starting a video production company might turn out to be a lucrative business idea for you.
The initial investment for this venture includes a basic lighting set, wireless microphones, one to two cameras (and lenses), and editing software such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro. Consider sourcing second-hand equipment to cut down on startup costs.
You can offer to produce video content for companies’ YouTube channels, manage graduation and wedding videography, and more. While there’s no restriction to the types of projects you can do, specializing in a niche makes it easy to stand out in a busy marketplace.
27. Software education
Are there people in your circle struggling with computer software? If so, starting a software education venture could be lucrative.
Your students might range from entrepreneurs enhancing their IT capabilities to small business owners mastering tools like Excel and PowerPoint. As the primary expert, you can spearhead most of the training sessions.
As enrollment grows, consider bringing onboard freelance software experts to cover specialized topics. While renting a space for physical classes is an option, virtual classes could reduce costs and broaden your reach.
28. College preparation
The business of assisting high school students in securing college admissions is thriving. As IBISWorld notes, the testing and educational support industry’s market size was a staggering $17.9 billion last year.
Initiate your venture by choosing a specific aspect of college prep, like ACT tutoring or admission essay coaching. Once your niche is clear, register your business and start reaching out to students.
29. Niche staffing agency
Nearly every industry has open jobs, and employers are keen to hire the best people for their companies. Your task as a niche staffing agency is to match employees to employers in your sector of choice.
Figure out what type of roles you’ll be staffing (Junior? Mid-level? C-level?) so you can identify the right candidates for the position. Additionally, consider the employment terms that your agency will share with potential candidates.
You can be a temporary, temporary-to-permanent, or long-term staffing agency based on the needs of the market.
30. Digital event planning
One of the best small business ideas is to open up a digital event planning company. In this business, you’ll plan, organize, and report on digital events like webinars and online summits for different companies.
Money can be made by charging an hourly fee for your service, selling sponsorships, etc. If you ever dreamed of planning a wedding or exhibition, but never quite had the time to organize anything, you can still channel your inner facilitator by planning digital events for people and businesses.
Want to work at a beach or your grandma’s house? Go ahead, no one is going to stop or question you. This is the dream life many people hope to live one day, and thanks to some great business ideas, achieving that lifestyle is well within your reach.
31. Personal training
The rise in fitness enthusiasm is undeniable. Everywhere we turn, conversations about health, weight loss, and muscle toning dominate. This evolving landscape presents a golden opportunity for personal trainers.
Being a personal trainer transcends simple exercise instruction. They craft tailored plans, providing both motivation and consistent accountability. Clients invest not just in workouts, but in the comprehensive expertise a personal trainer offers.
This expertise isn’t confined to gym walls. The surge of virtual training sessions allows personal trainers to tap into a global clientele. For those deeply passionate about fitness, establishing a personal training business stands at the intersection of profit and passion.
32. Child care
The child care landscape is experiencing a dramatic transformation. Parents grappling with mounting costs are seeking reliable child care alternatives more than ever.
The current imbalance between soaring demand and limited availability spells opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. Bolstered by President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, which earmarks federal funds for child care enhancements, the industry is ripe for new entrants.
For those who have a knack for nurturing children and can navigate the licensing process, establishing a child care business might just be a golden ticket.
33. Home enhancement
Got an eye for aesthetics and space management? Consider getting into home enhancement, where you transform everyday spaces into showpiece properties.
Initially, you can magnify the appeal of homes using the owner’s existing items, keeping startup costs low. As you gain momentum, many professionals in this field curate their own collection of versatile furnishings.
To dive into this venture, networking is paramount. Engage with your local real estate community, attending their events armed with your business cards. As you curate a portfolio, your accomplished projects can find a spotlight on your dedicated website.
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Start a small business today
There you have it—a list of 33 small business ideas that will make you money in 2024. To give yourself the best chance of success, focus on one idea at a time until you find one that aligns with your abilities.
Thousands of entrepreneurs have implemented these business ideas to make money, so you can be sure that you’re putting your time and effort into something viable and proven. Whether you’re a college student, a work-at-home parent, or anyone else looking to start a business, remember there are plenty of opportunities to earn a sizable income.