Whether you want to leave the daily grind behind or start a side venture while you work your usual 9-to-5 job, the thought of becoming an entrepreneur is an attractive one to many people. You just need to have the determination, time and passion to invest in your project, as well as have a basic understanding of how to start a business.
That said, the basis of a profitable business relies on one thing: a good idea – a unique, in-demand and, of course, legal one! But if you’re stuck on a concept, don’t worry – we’ve compiled a list of the 45 best and most successful startup ideas.
So, go ahead and take your pick!
1. Tour Guiding
Do you know every little thing about your city or country? Why not share that knowledge of yours with the world by selling guided tours to tourists and visitors?
2. App Development
In today’s digital age, developers are in constant high demand. All you need is an ability to market yourself effectively and to create a personal brand – and you’ll be on your way to success in no time.
Although there are many well-known recruitment agencies around, you too can find your niche in the pool of big fish. All you need is a network of contact, the skill and a unique idea – and the best part is that you can begin this low-budget startup with just a phone and good salesmanship.
Many businesses fall behind on their bookkeeping and need help from an outside source – and this is exactly where you come in: you’ll help small businesses get their accounts in order, as well as create invoices and settle payments on their behalf.
It can be difficult to start pitching your marketing services when you’re competing with big companies, but if you’re a skilled marketer with a creative flair, there’s nothing stopping you from helping small businesses build their marketing strategies.
6. Travel Agency
It’s a well-known fact that tourism will never die; people will always want to take holidays – and you can be the person who makes all the necessary travel arrangements for them.
If you’re an expert in a particular subject like maths, English or history, you could consider setting up a private tutoring business online or in person.
8. Building Maintenance
If you’re skilled in plumbing or electrical engineering, for example, you could consider setting up your own building maintenance business. You could even have other tradesmen work with you on an on-call basis.
9. Electronic Repairs
If family and friends always turn to you to fix their broken phones and laptops, the next obvious step would be to set up a small electronic repairs business.
Photographers are always in high demand, no matter what season. You could start by covering local events or specialising in one type of photography, like portraits, for example.
If you’re passionate and knowledgeable in a certain area, you might want to consider starting a blog or YouTube vlog and making a fine penny or two in the process. That said, it’s not guaranteed you’ll become an overnight sensation, and it may take some time before you start racking up views, so don’t give up your day job just yet!
12. Airbnb Hosting
If you have a room or an entire property that you hardly use, why not list it on sites like Airbnb? You’ll need to make a sizeable investment for any required repairs, but it’s a great business to get up and running.
13. Social Media
Are you a social media whizz who knows how to monetise Instagram posts, tweets and Facebook likes? Then great! Different clients – from small businesses to large corporations – will pay you to handle their social media channels.
14. Résumé Writing
If you’re skilled at writing résumés and cover letters, you can set up your own résumé writing service and help professionals articulate their experience and skills to match the position they’re applying for.
Becoming a professional writer and writing a book isn’t the easiest of businesses, but if your lifelong dream is to write a compelling piece of literature, there are affordable solutions. For examples, you could self-publish an eBook on Amazon – this will effectively cut out all the publishing and printing fees that usually come with writing a book.
16. Domain Flipping
If you have a creative mind, you can buy domain names (containing specific keywords, for example) and then resell them to companies for a large profit.
17. Ticket Reselling
Similar to buying and selling domain names, you can create a business that buys concert and show tickets, and then resell them for a higher price.
18. Dog Walking
If you’re a big dog lover, perhaps you should consider setting up our own dog walking business. All you’ll need is a few regular clients!
19. Car Washing
Most people have cars that need washing but never have the time or energy to do it themselves. This is where you come in! You can start your own car washing business with just a bucket, sponge and cleaning spray.
20. Wedding Planning
The wedding industry is always thriving, and bridezillas everywhere need someone to hold their hand and help them navigate the process of planning a wedding. If you’re highly organised and you like to throw a great party, this business idea is right up your alley!
If you have a love for flowers and enjoy creating floral masterpieces for weddings and all sorts of special occasions, you could start your own home-based business in next to no time. And once you’ve made a name for yourself and you start making a decent profit, you could move your business to a brick-and-mortar location.
Most people like having pretty gardens but don’t actually like gardening. So, if you’re known for your green fingers, you could set up your own consulting firm. You can even specialise in flowers, vegetables, trees, etc.
23. Beauty Therapy
If you’re a trained beautician, why not take the leap and start your own business? You could even build your own app and become a remote beautician who travels to clients’ homes and delivers personal services.
24. Laundry Services
The laundry business has been booming for years, and you could make an investment in a coin-operated launderette – while carrying on with your day job, if you wish!
If you love children, you could open your own day care centre or even start a babysitting service. You won’t need any qualifications as the owner of a nursery, as long as you have certified teachers running the classes.
26. Sewing and Alterations
If you know how to handle a sewing machine, you could set up your own alterations business and make as much as $15–$20 (£10–£15) just for shortening a pair of trousers!
27. Car Dealing
Owning a car dealership is a business that many aspiring entrepreneurs go into. You’ll be responsible for buying second-hand cars and reselling them to new buyers.
If you’re the artistic type, you can set up your own studio or rent a chair in a tattoo parlour and be your own boss. Once you do a few good tattoos, you’ll get a lot more business through word of mouth.
29. Personal Styling/Shopping
If you have a passion for fashion and pairing different fabrics and accessories together, you can set up your own business and become a personal stylist helping clients develop their own style and showing them what will suit their body shape.
30. Product Development
People are always looking for easier ways to do things, and if you’re able to invent something that will solve their problems, you’re potentially sitting on a goldmine.
31. Jewellery Designing
If you enjoy creating beautiful jewellery designs in your spare time, you could potentially turn your hobby into a business. Start by pitching your like to a local jewellery shop or by selling it online on sites like Etsy and eBay.
32. Property Investment
If you have the resources to invest in property, your best bet is to rent it out. The money you earn from rent will help pay your mortgage repayments and, eventually, you’ll have a good source of income for doing minimal work.
33. Portaloo Services
Portaloos are high in demand throughout the year for events like concerts and festivals, and even construction sites. This means that investing in a few portable toilets, and renting them out, can make a high return.
34. Box Subscriptions
Box subscription services are the new trend, from snacks to beauty products and vape liquids. Find your own niche in the market and you’ll be on your way to success in no time.
35. Personal Training
If you’re a qualified personal trainer, consider offering your services to potential clients. It can be quite a successful business venture, and you can even open a gym or start your own merchandising line one day.
Are you the next Great British Baker? If so, why not start making cakes for all types of occasions (like birthdays and weddings)? You could set up an online shop or open a pop-up store!
37. Coffee Shops
If you’re a skilled barista and have a passion for coffee beans, why not consider opening your own coffee shop? They’ll never go out of fashion and are relatively cheap to run.
38. Food and Nutrition Services
If you’re a trained nutritionist, you could set up your own nutrition management business. You can even team up with local gyms and personal trainers to find new clients.
39. Healthy Vending Machines
We’re all used to vending machines, but why not create a healthy version with snacks like carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, and nuts and trail mix?
40. All-Day Breakfast Restaurants
Have you ever rocked up to a café looking forward to a full fry-up only to be told breakfast is over? If so, think about opening your own all-day breakfast restaurant!
41. Food Trucks
Do you enjoy cooking? Do you own a van? Why not combine the two into a food truck and make specialty food like burgers for customers in busy shopping areas or outside sporting and event venues?
42. Life Coaching
43. Motivational Speaking
Do you have a lot of experience under your belt and great advice that you want to share with the world? You could change people’s lives as a motivational speaker, and through word of mouth, you’ll become in demand.
44. Career Counselling
If you like helping others, you could become a qualified career coach. Your duties will involve helping people discover what they want to do and helping them with writing their résumé, finding a job and preparing for an interview.
45. Business Training
If you’re a skilled professional who’s worked in management positions in the past, then you’re very likely to become a great corporate trainer – or even establish your own firm. You’ll typically be hired by large organisations who need training seminars in specific areas, such as customer service, marketing and compliance.
Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to set up your own venture and build a profitable and prosperous business.
Which ideas take your fancy? Have you recently set up your own business? Join the conversation below and let us know!