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List Of Small Business Ideas

A warm welcome to the list of small business ideas section of the website on this page is a list of ideas for you to consider venturing into. 

When considering starting a small business you should look for something that you are passionate about and something that matches your skills and experience. From that point on, you should do some market research to determine whether there is in fact a market for what you plan on doing and then you should put a detailed business plan together.

Business plans can be effective tools both for gaining funding to start your business and simply as a form of direction to guide you during those early start-up stages.

Small businesses often start with an idea or passion. Scan the list below to see if anything ignites your passion.


Advertise locally in a newsagent or local shop or alternatively use one of the many babysitting sites that are now available, such as find a baby sitter 



Think about whether you intend to be mobile or run from premises. Also think carefully about what type of services you are going to offer and how much you intend to charge for them. Start out with friends and ask the for their feedback. For more details see 10 tips for starting your own beauty business.


Bicycle Repair

If you can repair bikes then offer your services via local ads or even better post useful bike information on Facebook and twitter and get followers and then advertise your services directly to this group.

bike repair


Many small businesses hate doing accounts so get your name out there with a few local ads, do a good job, and with word of mouth you should soon see your business grow.


Cake decorating service

If this is your passion then take photos of all of your creations. Post them on Facebook and Pinterest. Get your friends to like them and then offer your services to your friends and followers.

cake decorating

Car boot or yard sales

Start with your own unwanted items. You’ll soon get a feel for what sells and what doesn’t. With your new knowledge look for bargains yourself at the yard sale that you can sell on for a profit.


If you have a talent with cartoons then get your work out there for others to see. Use social media or a personal web site to advertise your talents. Create and sell greetings cards and or eBooks. If you’re talented with humor or storytelling too then try your hand at creating a web-based comic that monetizes either via subscription or with advertising such as Google Adsense.



Visit local offices and businesses in your area. Ask them if they’re currently happy with their existing catering services. Ask enough and you may find you have a number of customers to start off with – next take some samples of what you intend to offer. You will need a kitchen and you will need to meet the various standards and controls in place. In the UK you can get good information regarding what is required for starting a food business.


Child Day Care Service

It’s no easy way to making lots of money, but if you love working with kids then this may be the perfect business option. Good quality, affordable daycare is in high demand in many cities and suburbs. Remember it won’t be as easy as looking after your own kids!

Appliance Repair

Of course with this one, you already need the skill and experience of being able to repair appliances. If you don’t already have this skill then try and seek out a qualified professional who is willing to give you an apprenticeship or alternatively enroll yourself in a course. Next, you just need your tools and to start promoting yourself. The locally delivered advertising journals are always a good start in terms of promoting your new business.


Bed & Breakfast

These days all you need is a spare bedroom and some pleasantries to get into the business of bed & breakfast. Check out Airbnb for more details. Try it out and if you like it then perhaps think more about buying an established bed & breakfast business.


Blind Sales / Fitting

There are quite a few franchises out there that you can buy into for this kind of business. Check out communion payments and franchise fees carefully before signing up.


This is a difficult one if your intentions are to be independent of Amazon. Plus you also have to compete with supermarkets too, many of which now also offer books for sale, and to make it yet worse there’s a massive increase in people purchasing books on electronic devices such as the Amazon kindle.

So as its an incredibly competitive market you need to think carefully about how you’re going to differentiate yourself. Take a look at The Willoughby Book Club they successfully differentiated themselves from other booksellers by offering subscription packages where the subscriber provides some preference details and then receives a regular new book based on their choices.


Carpet Cleaner

A carpet cleaning business is a business that is relatively easy to learn and one that requires little specialized prior knowledge. Plus it’s a business that has low start-up costs. Possibly less than £5000 as all you really need is some transport and a decent cleaning machine.

Many companies that sell cleaning machine products also provide training on the use of the machine as part of the sales process. Finding customers is often simply a matter of placing an advert in a local journal.

vacuum cleaner

Children’s Event Organizer

Kids parties are a great idea to get into for budding entrepreneurs. Parents spend on average £191 ($279) – Source Guardian Aug 2014.

For this kind of business word of mouth and your reputation as a great event, planning is key.

Create a catalog of themed parties for parents to choose from. Think of superheroes or other popular children’s characters. Possibly do sport-based parties such as soccer, bowling or baseball.

Consider including a kids magician or other kids entertainer as part of the package or as an optional extra.

children's event

Chimney Sweep

Believe it or not, there’s still good money to be made as a chimney sweep. In fact, it’s a growing market with more and more people these days opting for wood-burning stoves or fireplaces. Solid fuels such as wood and coal give off two by-products: soot and creosote. These accumulate in the flue and if not cleaned regularly can become a fire hazard.

Chimney sweeps clean and inspect chimneys to ensure homeowners can safely heat their homes.

In many countries, you will be required to take a professional certification as a chimney sweep. For example, in the USA there is the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

chimney sweep

Christmas Tree Seller

Christmas tree selling by its very nature is a very seasonal business however there is still big money that can be made, with approximately 8.25 million Christmas trees sold annually in the UK alone! That number rises to over 27 million in the United States!!

Selling Christmas trees involves a lot of intensive activity but only for one or two months in the year.

You might be asking how to start. Well, there are a number of franchise operations/wholesalers you can sign up with, for UK residents take a look at the Trees For Christmas for starters.


Are you in love with performing and making people laugh? If so working as a clown might be just the thing for you!

A number of workshops and training courses exist for wannabe clowns. There are even online clown courses available on Udemy for a small fee.


Coffee Shop

I like the idea of this one for myself because I love coffee and people appear to want to pay a lot for it these days! However, that said, it can also be quite a competitive market.

If you do decide to set up a coffee shop do some careful analysis on your intended location. Get some quality suppliers and make sure you have all your legal work completed before commencing.

coffee shop


Coin Dealer

Perhaps you have a hobby collecting coins? Could this hobby be turned into a business selling them to other collectors?

Perhaps start using auctions such as eBay and then grow your business from there. You may also want to rent tables at specialist weekend coin show events. You may need to invest in some display cases to properly show your coin inventory.

Set up your own website and get your name out there using social media and coin collecting forums.

coin dealer



Computer Assistance – Repairs/Upgrades

Maybe you’re good with computer hardware. Building PC’s from scratch or replacing/repairing broken parts.

If this is your current hobby/passion do you think you could make a career out of it? Perhaps start part-time. Place an advert offering your services in a local flyer.

Make sure to get yourself some business insurance to protect yourself just in case things go wrong.

computer repairs



  • Computer programmer
  • Computer trainer
  • Consultant – Kind of a broad term I know however, if you’re an expert an a particular subject or business domain then you might be able to charge others who would be grateful for your guidance.
  • Content writer
  • Custom tailoring
  • Dance instructor
  • Designer greeting card maker
  • Desktop publisher
  • Disc jockey
  • Dog breeder
  • Dog groomer
  • Dog trainer
  • Dog walker
  • Dollmaker
  • eBay sales
  • Entertainer
  • Event planner
  • Financial planner
  • Flea market
  • Flower arranger
  • Franchise owner
  • Freelance artist
  • Freelance photographer
  • Gardener
  • Gift basket maker
  • Give Aerobics or Yoga classes
  • Graphic designer
  • Gym – Either go it alone with a rented or purchased property and a set of gym equipment which you can often purchase refurbished or sign up for a gym/fitness franchise. Statistically franchises have more chance of succeeding.
  • Handmade soaps
  • Home inspection
  • Home / Office organizer
  • Housecleaning
  • Household organizer
  • Import / Export specialist
  • Interior decorator 
  • Jewelry making
  • Landscaper 
  • Lawn mowing service
  • Magician
  • Make-up artist
  • Martial arts instructor
  • Massage therapist
  • Microbrewery
  • Mobile car mechanic
  • Mobile hairstylist
  • Music lessons
  • Online Flower Shop – Submitted by Muhammad Kamran
  • Organize company team building events
  • Outdoor adventure guide
  • Painter
  • Party planner
  • Personal assistant or concierge
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Personal shopper
  • Pet sitting
  • Photographer
  • Plant nursery
  • Pottery – All you need is a shed, a pottery wheel, and quite a lot of ability!
  • Property management
  • Public speaker
  • Removal service
  • Rent out kids inflatable toys such as bouncy castles
  • Resume creation assistance
  • SAAS – Software As A Service
  • Self-defense instructor
  • Sharpening service
  • Sign design
  • Snow removal
  • Sports coach
  • Stag / Hen party planner
  • Stamp dealer
  • Tarot reader
  • Taxidermist 
  • Technical manual writer
  • Tool rental service
  • Tour guide
  • Translation service
  • Tutor
  • TV repair
  • Typing service
  • Upholsterer 
  • Used book reseller
  • Video to other digital media copying service
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Webmaster
  • Wedding planner
  • Wedding video / photographer
  • Window cleaning
  • Yard/garden clean up

Submit Your Small Business Idea

Do you have your own small business or an idea for a small business that is not listed above?

If so please submit it below and I will add it to the list. I’d like to try and get this list to more than 100 ideas.

Many thanks – Martin.

Financials and Legal

Keeping a detailed record of your financial transactions is important with any business so either seek some advice from an accountant or at a minimum purchase some form of accounting system either a paper-based system or some accounting software in order to record your business transactions.

You may also want to check with a legal advisor to determine if you need any permits or licenses in order to conduct your small business and check whether you need some form of liability insurance.

I hope something in this list of small business ideas has inspired you to start a small business. If not you may also want to view this excellent list of creative business ideas… Seth Godin’s 999 Business Ideas

Good luck with your small business efforts. 

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You may also be interested in my other website covering topics on leadership and personal development.