How many times have you heard someone say, “I really wish that I could quit my job and start my own business?” Chances are that you have heard quite a few people make that remark. In fact, maybe you say that to yourself all the time! It’s quite common to get fed up with being a “cubicle dweller” and working long hard hours in corporate America for “the man.” If the one thing that is holding you back from launching out on your own is the simple question, “What kind of business should I start?” then here are 12 different small business startup ideas that should get your creative juices flowing (in no particular order).
#1 CPA Firm
You may not think that becoming a Certified Public Accountant is a small business startup idea, but the fact is there are many advantages to getting a professional license like the CPA. One of the biggest advantages being that your skill set is easily transferable to going back to work for “the man” if your start up accounting firm doesn’t pan out as you had planned. If you love working with numbers, then working as a CPA can be both a rewarding and lucrative profession. If you can work out of your own home office to begin your firm, then the startup costs for a solo practitioner CPA are relatively low. There are literally hundreds of different CPA career options, so as the owner of your own CPA firm, you could choose to specialize in one of many niches.
#2 Web Design Firm
Anything Internet related is firmly positioned right smack dab in the middle of a large and growing market. If you are a very creative person with a knack for software like Photoshop, then starting a web design company might be a great option. The great thing about starting a web design company is that you need next to nothing to get started (just a computer and the right software) and you can work from anywhere.
#3 Dog Training School
Go to any dog training school and you will likely be surprised at the rates that they are able to charge. If you love dogs and maybe have always dreamed about being a veterinarian, then this could be an option that you might enjoy just as much without having to spend the time and money for veterinary school. Starting your dog training school could be something that you could start this month!
#4 Professional Writing Service
Maybe you have always loved to write but have never really given any serious thought to turning your writing skill into a money making business. It’s typical for people to assume that the only way a writer will ever make any money is if they write a best selling book that gets published or they work for a newspaper or magazine. However, that is just not the case. You could start a writing service that caters specifically to different webmasters and online publishers that need high quality content written for their websites. This gives you the freedom to work from home or wherever you like as you get paid to do what you love: write. I can certainly see the value of this kind of service first hand as I work closely with a top notch professional writing service to assist me with my credit card website. If you love to write but have always wondered how to actually make money writing, then this could be a great business for you to consider starting.
#5 Home Security Consultancy
If you have a background in the military, police force, or the martial arts, then starting your own business as a home security consultant might be right up your alley. You could offer everything from home security system reviews to alarm installation to body guarding detail.
#6 Catering Business
Love to cook? Hate working for someone else? Don’t have the capital to start your own restaurant? If some or all of these things apply to you then you may find that starting a catering company is perfectly suited for you. Yes, there will be long hard hours slaving away in a kitchen, but if cooking is what you love, then catering will allow you to control your own destiny without having to come up with the large amount of capital that opening your own restaurant would require.
#7 Home Inspection Service
Home inspection professionals get to travel around and snoop through peoples homes, charge prices in excess of $150/hour, and wear jeans to work every day all while having the power to point out what looks good and what looks bad about the home they are inspecting. It takes a skill set similar to a handyman or construction worker to be a successful home inspector, but while starting a handyman service or a construction firm are fairly commonplace, it seems that many people overlook the strong benefits to starting a home inspection service.
#8 Internet Marketing Company
Whether you decide to build your own websites and do Internet marketing in house, or whether you decide to take on small business clients and help them with their Internet marketing, one thing is for sure: Internet marketing is potentially very profitable. If you consider yourself an expert on SEO or PPC or social media or all of the above, then starting your own Internet marketing company could be a great choice for you to consider. Many small businesses are beginning to realize the importance of a strong small business Internet marketing plan so now could be an ideal time to take advantage of this growing opportunity.
#9 Limousine Service
Lease a couple of Town Cars and a limousine or two and you are ready to hit the road! Schmooze your way into a few corporate contracts picking up business people from the airport and then throw in some weekend work chauffeuring around party goers and you have yourself a client list!
#10 Outdoor Adventure Company
Families, church groups, and companies are all prime candidates to be interested in going on a wilderness adventure trip – with you as their guide! You can have the time of your life hiking, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, snorkeling, camping, and hunting all while at work!
#11 Web Publishing Company
You could choose a topic you love and start a blog to talk about that topic. You could scale your company up to include multiple websites and multiple blogs in different niches. Selling advertisements, creating a unique product or service to sell, and using affiliate programs are all different ways that your web publishing company could make money with your various web properties.
#12 In-Home Personal Training Service
Starting a company that offers in-home personal fitness training is a way to be a personal trainer and not have to rely on working for a gym or fitness club. You can keep all of your personal training fees without having to give a cut to a gym for using their facility and you can offer a desired service to people who prefer to train in the privacy of their own homes.
What other small business startup ideas do YOU have?
Author Bio: Joel is a CFP® and the owner of 4 small businesses. He runs an insurance agency that sells Florida individual health insurance as well as a number of different websites including a credit card website and a website for comparing auto insurance.
Published or updated May 10, 2011.