70 Small Business Ideas for Anyone Who Wants to Run Their Own Business

Meg Prater (she/her)

Published: July 31, 2023

A good business idea may seem hard to come by, but with some planning and preparation, you can easily launch a small business to supplement your income — or become your own full-time boss.

Small business ideas symbolically showing the spirit of a small business

Maybe you already have an idea of the business you’d like to start. But while you might feel ready for a new venture and passionate about your idea, you might be looking for some direction.

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To help get you started, here's a list of small business ideas separated into a few sections:

Best Small Business Ideas

Best businesses to start with little money, home business ideas, easy businesses to start, how to start a small business at home.

The first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur is finding a business idea that works for you. In this article, you’ll find dozens of small business ideas you can start from home and scale up as your clientele grows. Let’s get started.

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Fill out this form to build your business plan today., what makes a good small business idea.

Not all small business ideas are made equal: Some require more effort and funding than others, while some can be launched with few resources — or resources you already have. As a potential small business owner, you’ll want to save as much money as possible on training, rent, supplies, and other necessities.

Let’s go over what makes a good business idea:

  • Requires little to no training . A good small business idea will ideally leverage your existing field of expertise and require little to no training. That will not only shorten your time-to-launch, but also lessen your expenses, since training courses can cost a significant amount of money. Plus, you’ll be more confident offering services that you feel prepared to deliver.
  • Requires low setup costs. Your business should be cheap to start. Maybe you only need to purchase a website domain or buy a desk for your garage.
  • Requires little hands-on inventory or supply management . A great business idea needs few supplies and little inventory management. If you want to sell physical goods, you can either try drop-shipping and manually make goods in small batches.
  • Is based online . The best small business ideas are based online and can be carried out from your personal computer. This will automatically lower your commuting costs and give you greater flexibility over your personal and work life.
  • Can sustainably be managed by few people . As a small business owner, you won’t have the funds to hire other people to help you run your business — at least not at first. A good business idea should give you the ability to run your business on your own.

Airbnb Co-founder, Brian Chesky, said, "If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life."

If you’re like Brian and you’ve already thought about a solution for a problem you encounter in your life — or you’re on the path to doing so — then starting a small business may be in your future. It may also be for you if you dream of clocking out of your nine-to-five job for the last time and becoming your own boss.

Below, we include the absolute best ideas for you to start your small business — with resources and examples to help you get started.

1. Handyman

small business idea example: handyman

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Are you always fixing things around the house? Often on-call when friends need small projects completed? Create a website , conduct a competitive analysis to determine what your time and expertise are worth, and turn to the friends you’ve helped before for referrals.

A handyman business is a good idea if you’ve already built a robust set of skills to help others fix up their homes. Consider specializing in what you feel well-prepared to do — for instance, if you know your way underneath a sink and water system, then you might provide sink fixing services to start, then expand your offerings once you earn more skills.

No certifications are needed to become a handyman, and there are no special education requirements. You might need, however, a license if you’re planning to undertake jobs worth more than a certain dollar amount. Some states might not require this license.

To start your handyman business, we recommend the following resources:

  • Handyman License Requirements by State
  • The Most Requested Handyman Services
  • Association of Certified Handyman Professionals

2. Woodworker

Similarly, if you have a passion for crafting beautiful furniture or other home goods out of wood, that could be a small business niche for you. Get started by listing a few of your pieces on sites like Etsy . Once you build a following, consider starting a website, accepting custom orders, or expanding to refinishing work and upholstery.

A woodworker small business is ideal if you already have a passion for woodworking, as well as the tools to begin fulfilling orders as they begin to come in. Since delivering a well-made product is key to keeping your customers happy, you don’t want to be “training” as you create a custom shelf or a custom storage box. It’s recommended to have at least one year of experience as a woodworking apprentice.

To start a woodworking business, there are no special education requirements, but there are a wide range of woodworking training certifications online, so we suggest starting with a certification. The Woodwork Institute , YesTomorrow , and The School of Fine Woodworking are potential places to start.

3. Online Dating Consultant

Dating consultants usually charge for their time. They help people create successful online dating profiles, source possible matches from outside the typical online channels, and offer a level of personalization that a site like Tinder can’t. Think you’ve got a knack for the match? This might be the business for you.

Online dating consultants need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as heightened levels of empathy. The good news is that there are no special education or licensure requirements, though we recommend getting a certification such as IAP College’s relationship coach certification or Hart Academy’s online dating coach certificate .

To start an online dating consultant business, you’ll need a website that shares all about you and offers free dating resources your customers might benefit from. Once they download a resource, you can loop them in for a free consultation.

4. Sewing and Alteration Specialist

small business idea example: sewing and alterations

People will always need clothing hemmed and buttons mended — and you could be the person to do it. If you love sewing and have a sewing machine at home, start by offering simple services like those mentioned above and expand your repertoire to dressmaking and design as you build a customer base and demand.

You don’t need a special license or degree to begin a sewing and alterations business, but it’s essential to build your skills so you can take on more complicated projects. High-value clients will want to customize complicated items of clothing such as suits, pants, gowns, and dresses. That’s where you’ll see the highest potential for profits.

Altering these items require special skills, however. A few courses you might consider include:

  • International Open Academy's Tailoring Course for Beginners
  • Jackson Sewing Academy’s Basic Alterations Course
  • American Bespoke Tailoring Academy’s Programs

You’ll also need to shop for sewing supplies of all colors to accommodate your clients.

5. Freelance Developer

From building websites for other small businesses to providing technical support for certain projects, quality web development is in high demand right now. As a web developer, you'll naturally have a technical skill set. Distill your knowledge and expertise so customers who don't have your experience are able to understand what it is you'll be helping them achieve.

To help with this, test your messaging on friends and family who don’t have a firm understanding of the work you do. If they’re able to summarize what you do, your messaging is likely effective among people outside of your industry. You can start finding your first freelance contracts by visiting different freelance websites .

Unlike a few other options in this list, a freelance developer does need some training to launch a successful business and start taking on projects, but if you’re a beginner, don’t worry. There are plenty of boot camps to get you up to speed with either full-stack or front-end web development. Some of these boot camps are even offered through accredited tech schools.

Some boot camps you might consider include:

  • Coding Dojo
  • Fullstack Academy
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Coding Boot Camp

These vary in price, so be sure to do extensive research to find one that fits you and your budget.

6. Personal Trainer

Offer in-home consultations, personalized nutrition and exercise regimens, and community boot camps to get the word out. Don’t forget to populate an Instagram feed with inspirational quotes, free exercise videos, and yummy snack ideas as well — it’s a common way for fitness gurus to build their brands in our digital world.

If you choose to go this route, it’s OK to start small at first, then scale up. For instance, MOURfit is a personal training business in Indianapolis that started in a shared gym, then grew to a private gym that offers group fitness, personal training, and nutrition services.

To start a personal training business, you’ll need a certification. If you already earned a degree in an unrelated discipline, we recommend starting with the NASM-CPT certification , which is nationally accredited and only requires a high school diploma or GED. You can also get a Bachelor’s degree in physical and exercise science — here’s one example from Emory & Henry College .

7. Freelance Graphic Designer

Set your own hours, choose your projects, and build a portfolio and business you’re proud of. From website design to blog graphics and more, many companies seek out experienced graphic designers for support on a variety of projects.

The good news? There are no special education requirements for becoming a freelance graphic designer, though we recommend seeking a credential (like SAIC’s graphic design certificate or RISD’s graphic design certificate ) or an Associate’s degree in design so you can confidently present your portfolio and complete your first few projects.

If you’re just starting out with graphic design, try these tips and tricks that are ideal for beginners. If you’re more experienced but need to build your portfolio to attract clients, these prompts will get your creativity flowing in no time. We also recommend reviewing other people’s work on portfolio websites to get a feel for what is “trendy” and receive feedback as you grow your small business.

Free Download: How to Hire and Work with Freelancers

8. Life/ Career Coach

If you have experience navigating career, personal, and social transitions successfully, put it to good use as a life or career coach. Many of us are looking for guidance in our careers — and finding someone with the time to mentor us can be tough.

Life/career coaches don’t come cheap, but they are able to offer clients the intense and hands-on training and advice they need to make serious moves in their personal and professional lives. After all, everyone needs some uplifting advice from time to time.

To start your life/career coaching business with confidence, you can look for a certification program (like the Life Coach School’s or Diane Hudson’s ), then apply your skills as you acquire new clients.

small business idea example: Career Coach Nariah Broadus

A resume writing business is economical, has few overhead costs, and has few educational requirements. We still recommend having an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and a few resume samples on hand. If you still feel that you need to brush up on your resume writing skills, you can take a course like Coursera’s or LinkedIn Learning’s .

Once you’ve gotten resume writing down, you can expand your business to include cover letter writing, and even offer career coaching services in conjunction with these services.

10. Freelance Writer

If you have writing skills , there’s someone out there willing to pay you for them. Write blog posts, magazine articles, and website copy galore — just make sure you have a body of work built up to share with potential clients. Even if you create a few sample pieces to have on hand, they’ll help exhibit your work and attract new business.

To become a freelance writer, it’s essential to choose a specialty. For instance, you might choose to only write for publications in the healthcare industry (maybe because you were previously a healthcare worker), or focus on lifestyle publications. Whatever the case, specializing will help you find your niche market and gain confidence as a new freelancer writer.

There are no educational requirements to freelance writing, but you do need strong writing skills. It also helps to enjoy writing. While a certification may beneficial, getting practice and writing every day is more important. Try these writing prompts to start.

11. Landscaper

Mowing, tree-trimming, and seasonal decor are all neighborhood needs. If you have or can acquire the equipment, a landscaping business can be a lucrative affair. It’s also a great choice if you enjoy doing it for your own home and have a good eye for landscape design.

The good news is that you can start small. For instance, you could offer your neighbors seasonal planting services and start with a few perennial plants, or simply offer mulching services.

To grow your landscaping business, you should consider taking some formal training. The following organizations offer courses:

  • New York Botanical Gardens

After completing a course and getting enough experience, you can apply for a certificate from a landscaping organization. While a certificate isn’t necessary to work in the field, it can build your credentials and help you make industry connections to take your landscaping business to the next level. The Association of Professional Landscape Designers offers one potential certificate you could pursue.

Some states require licensure, especially if you’ll be using pesticides and fertilizers. Be sure to review the requirements for your state.

Learn some of the basics now with this video on landscape design from Lowe’s:

12. Videographer

Video production requires you to have invested in the equipment up front, which can be quite expensive. But that’s also what makes your services so valuable. Make sure you have a reel of your work to share or create a website with several selections of your work available for interested viewers.

There are no educational or licensure requirements for starting a video production business. As with writing and other creative arts, though, it pays to specialize. Real estate videos differ radically from wedding videos, and wedding videos differ radically from in-studio interviews and testimonials. By specializing, you target a highly specific customer who’ll benefit the most from your services, and you can also skill-up more effectively in one shooting style.

While you can find general classes on videography, you should consider taking a class in the type of videography you’d like to do. For instance, you could take The Complete Wedding Videography Course , if that’s the route you’d like to take.

Hot tip: If you’re interested in specializing in video marketing, check out The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing and download our starter pack below.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

13. Photographer

Start by conducting photo shoots for your family and friends. As you build a body of work, ask for referrals and reviews. Photography businesses often grow by word of mouth, so create a Facebook page where you can tag recent clients. Photos where you tag those clients will show up in their friends’ newsfeeds, where they can view your work. You can also ask them to leave reviews on your Facebook business page.

Like with a video production small business, you’ll want to specialize. Will you do product shoots or portraits? How about wedding or fashion photo shoots? Once you specialize, you’ll be able to create a body of work that most accurately represents your strengths.

There are no educational or licensure requirements for starting a small photography business, but we recommend investing in a few photography courses, especially if you haven’t used your camera in a while. Some courses you might start with include:

  • Cornell’s Digital Photography Certificate Program
  • New York Institute of Photography’s Course

From there, seek courses that help you build skills in your chosen specialty.

If you’re not sure where to start with freelance photography, take a look at Erica Clayton’s journey into the business below. Her advice? Give yourself a firm deadline to turn a profit.

14. Bed and Breakfast Owner

small business idea example: bed and breakfast

This is another business venture that will require you to research the correct licensure from your state, but it will be well worth it to see your dreams come true. Consider what guests will be traveling to your area and create special packages and themed stays that coincide with their interests in your locale.

To start a bed and breakfast business, you’ll need a physical business location and a small staff for maintenance, customer service, and upkeep. For that reason, we recommend it if you have startup funds to start your business. (Don’t have any? Here’s how to start crowdfunding to launch your new business .)

A successful bed and breakfast business will also need an SEO-optimized website with a hotel booking system. If you create your website on the WordPress platform, you can easily create a B&B website using a hotel booking plugin — so there’s no need to code the booking form from scratch.

With Airbnb and hotels stealing market share, the competition is tough in the bed and breakfast space, so we recommend providing a unique angle to the stay. As mentioned, the stays can be themed — maybe your B&B is a vintage home with all original furniture, or maybe you offer traditional fare from your homeland.

15. Clothing Boutique Owner

If you dream of building your own fashion empire, why not start with a local boutique? Build buzz with impressive clothing styles, inspiring social media accounts, and heavy community involvement. While you can open a physical store, you can easily start online — and if that proves profitable, you can open up a local shop.

There are a few ways you can start a clothing boutique. First, you can make the clothes yourself if you already have experience in fashion design or know how to sew, knit, and curate colors and patterns.

Alternatively, you can design certain aspects of the clothing — such as a graphic or a logo — then send it to be printed on-demand at a local print shop when orders come in.

Lastly, you can dropship the items from a warehouse you’ve partnered with. This method is less reliable because there’s less quality assurance for each item, especially if you never visit the warehouses yourself. Regardless of the method you choose, starting a clothing boutique is highly doable, and you don’t need to have a fashion degree (though it certainly helps).

Take some inspiration from Sleep Ova , a luxury loungewear boutique based in Los Angeles, CA.

small business idea example: sleep ova

16. Specialty Food Store Owner

small business idea example: specialty food store

Gourmet foods, cheeses, sake, wine — you name a food, there’s a specialty food store out there for it. Put your passion for exotic olive oils to good use and open a store like American Provisions where you offer the kind of expertise and selection your audience couldn’t dream of getting from their local grocer.

To start your specialty food store, you’ll want to curate and source the items from makers that you love and trust. Ask around your community to find local makers of the food you want to sell, and the makers will likely be open to a partnership, especially if they get a cut of the profits.

When it’s time to sell, you’ll want to find a physical location, but if that investment is too high, you can start by setting up stalls at food festivals and local markets. Or you can go the ecommerce route and sell the products through your website, taking care to carefully pack perishable items.

17. Food Truck Owner

Always dreamt of owning a restaurant but not quite ready to take the plunge? Test out your concepts with a food truck. It’s a great way to become familiar with food and restaurant licensing in your state, see what people like and don’t like, and build a ravenous following before ever opening or investing in a brick-and-mortar location.

Food trucks will require a larger investment, but thankfully, you can rent the truck itself — the Food Truck Group and Roaming Hunger are two potential leasers you could look at. The cost will be high, so we recommend renting one in preparation for an event such as a food festival or concert. There, you’ll get to test out the popularity of your cuisine and see if the food truck business is right for you.

Taco Nganas , a taco truck in Memphis, TN, started with one food truck and expanded to three, building a loyal customer base along the way.

18. Car-detailing Specialist

small business idea example: car detailing

The devil is in the details, and you can be too. Car-detailing services that travel to the client are convenient for busy people who can’t find the time to run through the car wash. With this business, your clients only have to pay and the service will be done for them before they know it. Just make sure you have the flexibility, transportation, and equipment to take your business on the road.

There are no educational requirements for car detailing, but you should still take a course such as Auto Finesse’s detailing training to learn core concepts and brush up on your skills.

To get your car detailing business off the ground, you’ll need an SEO-optimized website and a way for customers to book online with you. Before you take that step, however, consider listing your services on websites like Angi , Thumbtack , and even Nextdoor.com so you can get your first local clients.

Don’t have a lot of money to start your business? Check out the ideas below.

1. Translator

Speak a foreign language? Start a translation service. Consider specializing in a specific genre of translation, like medical or financial translation, as you might be able to fill a niche need in your community.

small business ideas: translator

To become a translator, you should have a rock-solid grasp of two languages — ideally, you’ll be near native level for both. You don’t need special credentials to become a translator, but a certification (such as from the American Translators Association ) will legitimize your business and help you get clients.

Prior to gaining a certification, you can also pursue an online certificate, which will teach you the basics of translation. Some providers include:

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • The University of Arizona
  • University of Georgia

2. Garden Designer

Many people have the willingness to do the dirty work in their backyards, but few have the know-how to complete the first part of this process — designing and planning the backyard space. Draw up the designs for your clients’ outdoor spaces and let them do the actual digging.

But you can also offer installation services, or hire your own contractors to fulfill the design.

small business ideas: garden designer

To become a garden designer, you should seek at least one credential so you’re well-versed in the basics and prevent damage to a client’s landscape. The American Academy of Garden Design offers courses and certificates that start at $450. A cheaper option is New Skills Academy’s Garden Design Certification ($120).

Remember, the goal is to start a business for cheap, and a certification can have a high ROI after you book your first few clients for garden design.

3. Travel Planner

The time of the travel agent might be passing, but people are still looking for those with a knack for more nontraditional travel coordination. If you always plan the perfect vacations complete with beautiful hotels, the ideal location, and a bevy of delicious restaurants lined up for every evening, consider advertising your services as a more modern approach to travel planning.

You don’t have to only plan trips for individuals, either. If you’re experienced enough, you can even start a group travel company, like Art N Soul Escapes .

You can become a travel planner by first volunteering to plan a few trips for your family and friends. Try it and see if you like it. Once you feel like you’ve gotten a good taste, attend a travel planner program and get certified. Some options include:

  • The Travel Institute Training & Certification Program
  • Penn Foster Travel and Tourism Specialist Diploma

You can also seek employment at a travel agency first, then strike out on your own once you’ve learned the basics.

4. Home Inspector

A home inspector examines a house’s drywall, electrical wiring, energy efficiency, and structural integrity to find potential issues on behalf of a home buyer. Home inspectors work in the field. They visit homes in person and provide a written inspection report. Alternatively, some home inspectors offer virtual inspections, which may be a good fit if you’d prefer to work from home.

small business ideas: home inspector

Working as a home inspector requires certification and a great deal of expertise, but it can offer a flexible work schedule and stable income. Confirm the licensing requirements in your state before getting started with this type of small business. You’ll want to make sure you’re providing the best service to your clients by having all of your credentials in order.

To become a home inspector, you should invest in a certification program, such as:

  • International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
  • ATI Home Inspector Academy

Be sure to check local authorities and universities for a course.

5. Personal Chef

We all love to eat, but few of us have the time or energy to cook healthy, delicious meals. Advertise your services to local families and businesses alike. To save on start-up costs, consider scheduling certain groups of clients together — say, vegetarians — so you can cook larger quantities of the same dish.

You can also begin by selling food in batches at local farmer’s markets or via a food truck. Once you’ve generated some awareness, you can begin taking on clients. Alternatively, you can start a delivery meal prep service by cooking 5-7 days’ worth of meals for clients.

small business idea example: personal chef

Chef Paul’s mouth-watering dishes are available to clients across the country. His clientele niche consists of athletes, corporate businesses, and local gyms.

6. Property Manager

Many people maintain properties they don’t live in — often based in different cities or states. As a property manager, you can help a property owner ensure their home is well taken care of, handle small fixes as they arise, and serve as a liaison to renters. It’s helpful if you have a background in real estate.

This option is a great fit if you have stupendous organizational, administrative, and customer service skills. As a property manager, you’ll be handling everything from screening potential tenants to collecting rent.

To become a property manager, you must first complete coursework in your desired state. We recommend working at an existing property management company to get your foot in the door. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can then start your own property management business.

7. Massage Therapist

Soothe aching muscles and promote peace for your clients as a massage therapist. As a massage therapist, you’ll offer targeted, personalized care that’s an edge above in-shop or mall massage services. To start this small business, you should invest in customer service courses, as well as a massage therapy certification.

small business idea example: massage therapist

Be sure to look into training and certification courses in your city and state, and to invest in a portable bed to take on client visits.

8. Interior Designer

Similar to landscape design — there are many people who have the ability to buy the furniture and home decor they need to fill their rooms, but few who know where to start. It might take some time to build a portfolio, but documenting your projects and sharing them online can build a fanbase beyond your wildest dreams.

To start an interior design business, we first recommend trying your hand at decorating your friends’ homes and working with their vision and specifications. One big aspect of interior design is providing fantastic customer service and knowing how to fulfill a client’s design vision while employing your interior design expertise.

You can then take an interior design course to round out your knowledge, such as the one offered by The New York Institute of Art and Design .

Need inspiration? Check out Sandra Cavallo’s interior design Instagram account.

small business idea example: interior designer

9. Nonprofit Owner

If you dream of devoting your life to a cause you believe in, it might be time to start a nonprofit. You’ll need to incorporate your business and file for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status — and then you’ll be required to meet ongoing standards of compliance, but the payoff is making a meaningful impact on a cause you believe in.

The best thing is that you can begin a nonprofit easily from your home, even before filing for 501(c)(3) status. First, create a non-profit website (ideally with a .org top-level-domain). Define your mission and goals, and figure out how you’ll execute your non-profit activities. For instance, if you’re raising money to buy books for local schools, who will deliver them? Which retailer will you use? Start small, then expand.

Thereafter, apply for exempt status so that you’re not taxed like a regular business. The profit margins may be smaller, but the job is endlessly rewarding.

Whether you’re a math whiz, piano master, or Shakespeare aficionado, there’s someone out there who needs a little help in your area of expertise and is willing to pay for it. Advertise your services through local schools, community colleges, community centers, and even social media to get the word out and build a customer base.

To start a tutoring business, you should first gain experience educating others by either volunteering or even teaching friends and family. But you can begin straight away by listing your services locally and online and launching a tutoring website.

Be sure to define your niche. Will you be tutoring students in their homes? Or opening a local tutoring location? Which subject will you teach? Create handouts, use textbooks, and know which online resources will be best for your tutee’s learning style.

11. Consultant

If you have significant experience in or knowledge of a specific subject, consider becoming a consultant. Perhaps you’re an expert at hiring practices, have a knack for SEO , or have led multiple sales teams to six-figure success. Identify your expertise and market yourself as a consultant and charge the going rate.

Download Now: Free Consultant's Success Kit

Some consulting industries are more competitive than others, so be sure to complete your research prior to starting a small consulting business. One way to find out how competitive a consulting niche is by doing keyword search . If your target niche is highly searched or already is dominated by big companies, you may have a harder time breaking in. You can use keyword research tools to uncover keyword volume and local demand.

12. Event Planner

An event planning business is an excellent choice if you have great organizational and interpersonal skills, and it’s relatively cheap to start. You might choose to specialize in a specific type of event — like weddings or company meetings — or set yourself up as an event planner of all trades.

The good news is that event planners are always in demand. It’s not a job that can be easily automated, so this small business idea is set to thrive regardless of the digital landscape. To start, you’ll want to look for a platform that will easily allow you to advertise your availability, such as event planner directories like Eventective and WeddingWire .

If you’re highly organized, are detail-oriented, and have experience planning large events, it might be time for others to benefit from your skills.

13. Personal Assistant

Personal assistants help business owners and executives take care of administrative tasks. To launch a freelance personal assistant business, you should leverage networking opportunities on LinkedIn and attend small business events at local chambers of commerce. Most local business owners might not even know they need a personal assistant until you market your services to them.

If you’re an organized, highly-detailed person, the life of a personal assistant might be for you. Don’t want to be tied to one office or person all day, every day? Consider becoming a virtual assistant, which allows you a more flexible work environment.

To become an assistant, choose a niche — will you be helping women business owners specifically? Do you have a specific field of expertise, like bookkeeping? A website can also go a long way, and be sure to print business cards for you to hand out during networking events.

14. Consignment Shop Owner

If you have an eye for style but don’t want to invest in the inventory of a brand-new boutique, consider starting a consignment shop. It will allow you to curate a collection of clothing that matches your goals and aesthetic, without the overhead of a boutique selling entirely new garments.

The beauty of a small consignment business is that you can now start one online. You can sign up on a platform such as Poshmark , Depop , and even Etsy , then easily start selling your own used fashion from home.

Once you’ve defined your niche — such as vintage clothing, unique locally made art, or colorful shoes — you can begin sourcing new products from your local stores and thrift shops.

15. Caterer

If the personal chef gig is too restrictive for your schedule, consider catering instead. Pick your projects, work on fewer but larger events, and hone in on your time management skills.

Becoming a caterer is a natural step for those who are used to cooking for large events — for instance, you may have already catered your friend’s wedding, or brought a 20-person meal to a potluck (that counts, too!).

It’s essential that you have enough temperature-regulated storage for the meals prior to each event, and that you arrange for reliable, temperature-controlled transportation to and from your home kitchen. Alternatively, you can lower your costs by inviting customers to pick up their order at your home.

16. Gym Owner

Kickboxing gyms, yoga studios, CrossFit, oh my! Turn your passion for fitness into a community for others by creating your own gym — start one from the ground up, become an affiliate, or open a franchise location.

Available franchise opportunities include Anytime Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, Pure Barre, Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and more. Be prepared to take out a loan to finance your franchise — most agreements start with fees upward of $20,000. But the payoff can be tremendous due to brand recognition. You’ll have no trouble recruiting new members as long as you use local marketing strategies .

Alternatively, you can create a local studio, but ideally, it should be for a specific activity instead of general fitness. Yoga, pilates, bootcamp-style gyms, and martial arts perform well as independent fitness studios.

17. Boutique Agency Owner

What’s your specialty? Whether it’s marketing, social media, or PR, it might be time to start your own agency. Many other small businesses need this type of help but don’t have the resources or volume to necessitate a full-time position.

To start an agency, you would ideally have worked in your specialty for a number of years. You should also be prepared to interface directly with clients, fulfill their requirements, and temper their expectations (if they want results in an unreasonably short amount of time).

Consider building a small team and learn from other entrepreneurs who’ve successfully started their own agencies, like Duane Brown of Take Some Risk .

18. Coffee Shop Owner

Turn your caffeine addiction into something a little more lucrative. Opening a franchise or buying an existing shop are lower-risk entry points to the coffee game, but they usually require a little more cash upfront. Starting a shop from scratch requires more planning and work — but it also maximizes your earning potential in the future.

A coffee shop is an excellent fit if you already have a full-time remote job and wish to supplement your income with a small business. You can manage the coffee shop as you work at one of the tables, but be sure to have the budget to hire an experienced barista who can pick up the slack.

If you would like to open a coffee shop and run it full-time on your own, you’ll need to undertake barista training, understand worldwide coffee sources, and have excellent customer service skills.

19. Moving Company

A truck, moving equipment, manpower, and the correct permits and insurance are the building blocks of starting your own moving company . Before you buy your first fleet of trucks, however, start small with a moving van and keep your costs low.

Still sound like too much of an initial investment? Consider offering packing services only, which have a much lower financial barrier to entry. You can partner with moving companies and offer to do their packing, or have them refer clients to you.

You could even take a niche approach to the industry as Astro International has by offering international moving services.

small business idea example: moving company

20. Home Staging

If you have a flair for interior design, a staging service might serve as your creative outlet and professional calling. You can build a portfolio with little initial investment by staging homes using the owner’s existing furnishings and decor. Most stagers eventually build up an inventory of furniture as they become more established and network with area realtors.

To get your first home staging clients, you should first rely exclusively on networking. Find your local realtors’ association and attend their events with business cards handy. Once you’ve gotten your first clients and built your portfolio, you can begin posting your designs on your home staging website.

small business ideas: home staging

If you don’t yet have enough experience, be sure to pursue an interior design course before opening this small business.

These home business ideas give you a few more business options that are either based at home or online.

Frontend, backend, and every type of code in between, this skill requires no in-person interaction with your clients. But one skill you’ll want to carry over from the in-person world for this type of business is active listening. It can be easy to zone out while building a product, but developing a connection with the client is just as important as developing the code for their website.

If you keep the client top of mind when you can’t be around physically, you can ensure that you’re meeting their development needs with your coding work.

Download Now: 25 Free HTML & CSS Hacks

2. Vending Machine Owner

Since 2015, the growth rate for vending machine businesses has increased 1.4%. Even as social distancing restrictions are still in place, this business can still be lucrative if you choose the right locations. High-traffic is key — places like hospitals, schools, and community centers are smart places to start placing your machines to generate enough revenue to cover cost and turn a profit.

small business idea example: vending machine owner

3. Social Media Manager

Do you have a knack for social media? As a social media manager, you can use your skills to manage the social media accounts for companies and even individual people. Influencer marketing has become more common and many influencers rely on marketing agencies or employees to help them run their social channels.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

4. Data Entry Clerk

Many businesses seek data entry clerks to help them enter information into their computer systems and spreadsheets. If you have strong computer and typing skills, this might be the business for you.

5. Audio or Video Editor

As of March 2021, there are 1.75 million podcasts available to listeners. For this reason, brands are turning to audio and visual content to connect with consumers. The catch is that many don't have the time to invest in the production of this content, or they don't have the skills to do it. Audio and video editors are in demand when it comes to producing quality content for hungry audiences.

6. Voiceover Artist

Speaking of podcasts and videos, many content creators recognize the value and level of professionalism that great voice talent can bring to a project. There are gigs out there for podcast intros/outros, narration for explainer videos, or even voice work for audiobooks. Learn how to get started with no experience from Kat Theo below:

7. Dog Walker, Groomer, or Trainer

Licensing and insurance will be the two most important factors in opening a dog walking, grooming, or training business, but your canine colleagues will surely make up for the initial red tape. To test the waters before jumping in, consider walking dogs through companies like Rover. Ready to run your own show? Consider a franchise like Dogtopia .

8. Candy Seller

If you grew up in a close-knit, southern neighborhood, you're probably familiar with the " Candy Lady ". This home business can be started by anyone who's trustworthy in the community. Aside from selling the most popular snacks, a candy seller can provide the neighborhood with fresh fruit and produce that may be harder to find if you live in a food desert.

Online Business Ideas

If you want a business idea that you can run entirely online, check out the ones below. These ideas are ideal for those looking for a passive income stream. In other words, you shouldn’t need to do too much manual work to launch these businesses from your home or preferred business location.

1. Become an online reseller.

To become an online reseller, all you need is some business savvy and some funds to invest in product stock from manufacturers — or, of course,the willingness to sell your own used items. Generally, this is a low-touch but high-performance way of creating a passive income online business.

Online resellers usually use a platform, such as Facebook Marketplace or Amazon Sellers, to sell either their own or manufacturers’ stock. The benefit of using Facebook Marketplace is that you can begin today with your own Facebook account, and simply list items that you already own.

Interested buyers typically drive directly to your home for pick-up — but if you’re not interested in human interaction, you can leave it outside and have the buyer pay via an online platform.

online business ideas: amazon seller

Amazon Sellers requires a little more up-front investment, but the yield is usually higher and you can turn your Amazon reselling business into a more passive income stream. Amazon allows you to buy stock from various manufacturers, which they then keep in their warehouses. When an Amazon user buys from you, Amazon will fulfill that order and then give you a substantial cut.

2. Try affiliate marketing.

An affiliate marketing business is a great fit if you already own a website or a blog you wish to monetize. We’ve already shared how blogging is a great business to start — if you’ve already bought a domain name and begun writing content, then using it to start your affiliate marketing business is a great option.

Affiliate marketers create blog posts and content that contain affiliate links. When a user clicks on that link, a cookie is added to their browser that tracks their activity for a specified period of time. If they make a purchase at the affiliate website, then you get a commission — usually recurring, if you’re selling subscription products.

There are countless affiliate marketing programs for you to start your online business. These programs come with many benefits, such as pre-made advertisements and lazy copy for you to use.

To create a viable affiliate marketing online business, you should choose the right blog niche , such as technology, household decor and organization, or fitness, and then find affiliate marketing programs that offer products your readership would be genuinely interested in.

3. Become a content creator or influencer.

Instagrammers, YouTubers, podcasters, and TikTokkers with more than ten thousand followers can eventually turn their accounts into a small online business that generates passive income.

As a content creator or influencer on social media, you can not only earn money from sponsored partnerships, but you can monetize your audience in other ways, such as creating Subscriptions on Instagram , allowing companies to advertise on your YouTube channel, or creating a paid-only newsletter.

online business ideas: content creator

Becoming an influencer or content creator takes hard work, but it can be a fun way to create a small online business, assuming you’re posting content that you enjoy creating. First, you should choose a niche, such as thrifted fashion, work-from-home hacks, or even industry tips. Then, you should learn how to become a social media influencer and digital creator , then create a social media content calendar .

Most importantly, have fun with this online business idea as you give it a try. The good news is that it has little overhead — all you need is a willingness to spend time on social media content creation.

4. Open a dropshipping store.

We’ve mentioned dropshipping a few times already, but this is such a great online business idea that it’s absolutely worth mentioning again. Dropshipping businesses don’t manufacture what they sell, or even buy stock from manufacturers in advance. Instead, wholesalers fulfill the order directly after a buyer places an order through your website.

Opening an ecommerce store can be forbidding for those who don’t want to deal with inventory management or supply chain logistics . Dropshipping is the best alternative.

The only thing you need is the willingness to invest in an ecommerce website builder and the ability to manage relationships with local or international manufacturers. From there, you need to only publish your site and advertise your brand via ecommerce marketing .

Learn how to start a dropshipping business here , with examples.

5. Sell print-on-demand products.

Print-on-demand (POD) is another way to start a dropshipping business, except it’s a little more frictionless because most POD services allow you to create a storefront right on their website, instead of you needing to look for a separate ecommerce site builder.

With a POD online business, you design unique artwork. The print-on-demand provider will allow you to place that design on t-shirts, hats, tote bags, phone cases, and more. You do not keep any inventory; instead, the POD provider will print it only after a buyer makes an order, then ships it directly to them.

online business ideas: print on demand shop

The only thing you need to start this small online business is a penchant for design and the budget to pay for a print-on-demand subscription (although most providers are free, and they simply take a cut of the sale). Get acquainted with design principles and color theory , and you can get started with this business in no time.

6. Become an independent author.

Think becoming an author is only for those who are extremely lucky? Think again. Whether you write historical epics or self-help guides, chances are that there’s a market to read your work, and you can now easily publish it online .

We recommend editing and proofreading your book, or hiring someone to do it, before self-publishing it. Then, it’s as simple as signing up on a self-publishing platform such as Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble Press , uploading your file and cover, and pushing it live. You’ll enjoy benefits such as large royalties (up to 70%) and the ability to unpublish the book at any time, in case you find a typo or another change you’d like to make.

To get this online business idea off to a strong start, invest in an author website , spend some time doing social media marketing , and learn the basics of book marketing .

7. Sell downloadable digital products.

Downloadable journals, templates, art prints, designs… Some people would simply prefer to print these at home, instead of paying for the full price of the paper and the design. Downloadable digital products can be a profitable small business idea for those who are already design-savvy or who are willing to learn how to use an online design tool .

online business ideas: digital products

But if you’re not too crafty, you don’t need to create full-on journals or beautiful art prints, either; you can create templates for marketplaces such as Canva’s . There, people are able to customize a base design to their specifications, so you don’t have to worry too much about creating something specially beautiful — it’s more about functionality and customizability.

If you plan to create digital products that buyers can print at home, think about printing specifications, such as recommended paper size, paper weight, PPI (pixels per inch; a higher PPI results in better print quality), and so on. It’s essential to create a positive customer experience, even if users are ultimately responsible for what the final result looks like.

8. Publish a subscription-based newsletter.

We’ve already discussed becoming an independent author, but if long-form writing, such as novels, seems out of reach, you can always go for something much shorter and simpler: Newsletters. And the best part about paid newsletters is that you typically don’t need to have a separate website and blog; instead, you can sign up on a platform and begin publishing right away.

A website can, of course, benefit you, but the core of your revenue will come from the newsletter itself.

online business ideas: paid newsletter

With newsletter monetization platforms such as Substack or even Patreon , you can publish shorter content that features your opinion, experience, and expertise. We recommend pairing this small business idea with a robust social media marketing strategy , where your followers can learn more about you and be swayed to subscribe to a gated newsletter.

Choose a niche you’re passionate about, and this online business idea can feel less like work and more like a profitable hobby.

9. Create an online course.

If you want to monetize your expertise a little further for your online business, then creating an online course is the best choice.

To create a course, you’ll need to sign up on an online course platform such as WordPress or Teachable , sketch out a curriculum, film your lectures, and create worksheets and guides. You can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you’d like, but to make this online business as passive as possible, you’d ideally record all your lectures at once and allow users to access them by paying a premium fee.

If you’d like to try your hand at it first, you can try publishing a course on a platform such as Udemy and see if it feels viable to you. To become an online course teacher, you don’t need a specific level of education, but you should have a strong grasp on the material you’re teaching and a strong set of customer service skills to handle inquiries or course refunds.

10. Transcript videos, shows, and podcasts.

A freelance transcription business is an excellent idea for those who speak only one language and are passionate about improving communication. Transcribers listen to speech, write it out — usually verbatim — and deliver it to the original publisher in an organized document.

This small online business is a good fit for those who are looking for a part-time side business. You should be able to type quickly and have a good listening ear. Indeed has listed the top transcription companies where you can get your foot in the door.

Once you understand how the industry works, you can consider opening your own small transcription business and offering services on freelancer marketplaces such as Fiverr or Upwork .

Whether you’re looking to start your venture today or you simply don’t want to jump through the normal hoops of launching a small business, the below ideas are extremely easy to start — so easy, all you’ll need to do is sign up on a website or tell your friends about your services.

1. Vacation Host

Have you ever used a home-sharing service instead of a hotel? You could make a living by hosting visitors in your own home or renting out a room. Consider becoming a host with companies like Airbnb .

To become a vacation host, you don’t need any special skills except friendliness, courteousness, and agility (in case of guest emergencies or language barriers). A customer service course will prepare you to welcome guests and give them a pleasant stay.

You’ll need to invest in supplies and toiletries, such as new bedding and one-time soaps and toothbrushes, but the overhead is relatively small, and you can stop at any time.

2. Pet Sitter

Do you have a passion for pets? Consider becoming a pet sitter. While the pet's owners are away on vacation, either host their pet at your home or make visits to their home. Join a pet sitting service like Wag to get started.

small business idea example: pet sitter

If you start a pet sitting business, be sure to have some experience with dogs, cats, and other household pets. You should also choose a niche based on timing. For instance, do you prefer long-term arrangements? You can market yourself as an excellent vacation pet sitter. Do you only do single afternoons, or only on weekends? You can pull in clients by telling them you’ll take care of their pets during their dates or weekend trips.

3. Daycare Owner

Childcare continues to be in high demand. While nannies and nanny shares are popular right now, a good daycare is hard to find. Fill a need in your neighborhood by opening your own. And, as always, make sure you’re complying with your city and state’s zoning, licensure, insurance, and inspection requirements.

Home daycares are especially a good fit if you’re an experienced parent and have all supplies ready at home. But be warned that you’ll also need to buy more supplies to accommodate the additional children you’ll need to take care of.

We recommend getting a soft start with this business by advertising it first to your friends, families, and close neighbors. That way, you can better gauge whether it’s a good fit for you and whether you want to make the full investment.

If there’s a topic you have a heavy interest in, then there’s an audience out there with a heavy interest in it too. A blog can be used to build an online community whose engagement can be monetized. Affiliate marketing , sponsored content , and co-marketing are some ways to make money once your blog develops a following.

→ Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

Blogging is one of the most accessible small businesses to start, and there are countless niches to choose from. That said, because there are many blogs online, you’ll need to learn blog SEO and keyword research to ensure your audience finds you. That way, you actually make money out of your blogging efforts.

The great news is that a small blogging business has a ridiculously low overhead. All you need is a custom domain and your time for writing blog posts.

5. Home-Baked Goods Seller

Warehouse-made, store-bought chocolate chip cookies will never compare to a batch made with love in someone’s home. Simple desserts can be easily baked and packaged to sell at local events or around your neighborhood. Use custom labels and watch the word spread about your goods!

You can begin a baked goods business easily by opening a Facebook and Instagram profile. Facebook and Instagram are both excellent platforms to market your goods, show pictures of your previous baked products, and even showcase happy clients.

Build a loyal following slowly, and save on costs by asking clients to drive to your home to pick up their order. Choosing a niche can be helpful here, or baking in a specific style that can’t be found at grocery store bakeries. The overhead can be especially low if you already have most essential baking supplies.

6. Ecommerce Store Owner

Do you create, collect, or curate anything special? Consider starting an ecommerce store and turning your hobby into a full-time job. Whether you need somewhere to sell all that pottery you’ve been making, or an excuse to search for the sports memorabilia you love tracking down, an ecommerce store can make it financially viable for you to pursue your passion.

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Starting an ecommerce store is simple and easy. You can set up a shop using an ecommerce website builder , all of which start at a minimal monthly subscription (some even start at free). Be sure to take good photos of your products and write descriptive product pages .

If you don’t have inventory, you can always own an ecommerce store by using dropshipping . Instead of creating and shipping your products yourself, you’ll instead partner with a dropshipping website and have them mail out the orders directly to your client.

7. House Cleaner

With a low barrier to entry, house cleaning can be a great way to start doing what you love — soon. Consider advertising to homes in your neighborhood and get more bang for your buck by earning a few small businesses as clients as well. They’ll usually bring in a higher paycheck for a similar amount of work.

To become a house cleaner, you should be prepared to invest in cleaning supplies and accessories, or be willing to use your own. If you plan to serve small businesses, you should buy industrial janitorial supplies so you can get work done more effectively.

Need some inspiration? This small business cleaning service grew virtually overnight on Instagram after their content went viral during the pandemic.

small business idea example: go clean co

8. Packing Services Facilitator

Moving is always a pain, and many people hire the entire packing process out. As a packing services facilitator, you’ll be going to people’s homes and packing up their smaller items into organized boxes. To start this business, you must be comfortable with face-to-face contact and with manual labor.

small business ideas: packing services facilitator

You can begin this business by advertising in your own neighborhood. Once you’re ready to expand, consider partnering with a local moving service that will refer new clients to you. That way, you’ll have a steady stream of clients, and you won’t have to invest in a moving truck (the moving service will take care of that for you).

Business Ideas for Students

1. etsy shop owner.

Creating novelties by hand is a fun and unique way to start a small business, and you can easily sell them via Etsy . Whether you make jewelry, knitted comfort items, or even custom wigs , there’s probably a market for your products and an Etsy buyer who’s ready to purchase.

small business ideas: etsy shop owner

This idea is excellent if you’re already an expert in the craft you aim to sell. That way, you don’t need to pursue additional education or certification courses. Once you set up your Etsy store, which is free, tap into your audience with creative marketing on social media and optimize your website using keywords that describe the products you make.

2. Tour Guide

Love the local history of your city or state? Consider becoming a tour guide. Sure, you’ll need to conduct plenty of research to be able to do the job well, but that’s half the fun. Set yourself apart by offering tours that speak to a specific niche of your community’s history.

You can start a tour guide business easily. First, decide what your specialty will be. Some tour guides, like the ones at Freedom Trail in Boston , offer historical walking tours of their town’s most haunted spots while others curate guided foodie tours for guests to get a true taste of the city.

small business idea example: tour guide

Maybe you love the outdoors and are an experienced backpacker — you can then offer hiking tours. To begin, use a platform such as TripAdvisor or Airbnb, where you can sign up as a tour guide provider. Remember to launch a website, and to file for sole proprietorship status .

3. Online Class Instructor

Tutoring is often done in person and with one client at a time. Remotely teaching an online class offers more flexibility because you can teach multiple students from home. English is a common subject for online classes because of how many people want to learn it. But anything that you have a mastery over could be translated to a virtual class.

4. Small-Batch Goods Seller

Using organic, all-natural ingredients is more expensive, but worth it. There are many products you can learn how to make at home without any preservatives, chemicals, or toxins. Candles, soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers are some examples of goods you can create and tailor with custom scents. Try starting out making soap with this complete beginner’s guide to soapmaking:

5. Makeup Artist

Many people prefer to have a professional do their makeup because they may lack the proper products or just the skills. It may be for a special occasion, photoshoot, or video shoot, or another event. Being able to do a variety of different looks will make your business more attractive to more customers.

To run a successful makeup artist business, you’ll need to be social media savvy . Instagram in particular is an excellent platform to advertise your services and get new clients.

You should also consider honing in on a specific niche. For instance, you might do wedding makeup exclusively.

6. Professional Organizer

A lot of people struggle with clutter or disorganization in their homes and offices. It can be a large undertaking to create organized systems and habits. Grab a lot of storage bins and a label maker and get started!

To become an organizer, you’ll first need to have the chops: Is your own home organized? Do you enjoy making order out of chaos? Then, launch a website to market your services locally. Be sure to create local listings to ensure people find your business, including listings on Angi, Houzz, and Thumbtack.

Meg Golightly, founder at Gosimplified , has made this small business idea into a successful career.

Is your head buzzing with small business ideas yet? After all that brainstorming, you’ll need a practical plan to get started with your new small business.

  • Identify your small business idea.
  • Start as a side business or hobby.
  • Decide on your software.
  • Create a business plan.
  • Decide whether you'll be an LLC or sole proprietorship.
  • Create a business bank account.
  • Determine if your business idea works well from home.
  • Set up an office.
  • Get to work!

1. Identify your small business idea.

Whether you choose an option from the list above or have another idea up your sleeve, it’s important to have the experience, training, or skills necessary to be successful. Want to run a daycare but have never even visited a successful daycare center? Spend time conducting research to learn whether this is really the right fit for your experience, interests, and target audience.

2. Start as a side business or hobby.

Can you get your business off the ground as something you do in the evenings or on the weekends (a.k.a. a side job)? This allows you to make some mistakes, test the market, and understand whether your idea has legs before you quit your nine-to-five job and lose your primary income.

3. Decide on your software.

You’ve got a lot of things on your plate when first starting up. But one step that’s critical (and often forgotten by first-time entrepreneurs) is deciding on the software that can help you be more efficient as your business grows.

Every business is different — but almost all companies can use software to help with analytics, project management , accounting, bookkeeping, email marketing, and other basic day-to-day tasks.

One of the most important software tools every small business should utilize is a free all-in-one CRM platform to keep track of important customer information in one central database. It will help align your team and make sure you stay organized as your business grows.

4. Create a business plan.

No business plan? No business. Particularly if your small business idea requires investors, you'll need to draft up a business plan to provide an overview of your market positioning, your financial projections, and your unique competitive advantages. You can download HubSpot's free business plan templates for free to get started.

One-Page Business Plan Template

Download Free Business Plan Templates

Your business plan should include the following elements:

  • Executive summary — A high-level overview of your company and market placement.
  • Business model — Outline what your business does, who your business serves, and how your business is structured. You should include a description of what products and services you offer, and how they meet the needs of your customers.
  • Market condition — A summary of pertinent competitor information. Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your closest competitors.
  • Products and services — Use this section to describe your products and services in detail, and outline what differentiates your product from others in the market.
  • Operations and management — Outline your business’ organizational structure, key roles, and responsibilities.
  • Marketing and sales strategy — This section should describe how you will market and sell your product. Include information on your ideal customer, how you plan to position your offering, and your sales strategy.
  • Financial plan — Create a detailed outline of your business financials. Include your start-up costs, your initial financial productions, and how you anticipate generating funding.
  • Appendix — Once the above pieces are complete, end the document with an appendix summarizing your business plan.

Every business is different — but almost all companies can use software to help with analytics, project management, accounting, bookkeeping, email marketing, and other basic day-to-day tasks.

5. Decide whether you’ll be an LLC or sole proprietorship.

Two common legal structures for small businesses are limited liability corporations (LLCs) and sole proprietorships.

An LLC is a more complex business structure than a sole proprietorship and can include individuals, corporations, and other LLCs as members. Additionally, LLCs are not subject to a separate level of tax and offer the business owner liability protection and tax advantages. LLCs are formed on a state-by-state basis.

Sole proprietorships are businesses owned and operated by one person and are not identified as a separate entity from the owner by the government. While a sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, sole proprietors are personally liable for their business.

Besides an LLC or sole proprietorship, there are a few other options for you to consider.

Sean Flannigan, Sendle's Content Manager, says, "While many small businesses might be best served by choosing an LLC or sole proprietorship, there are a few other options."

"Partnerships are great for businesses operated by several individuals. It hews most closely to a sole proprietorship in that the individuals take on the business liability and pay taxes on a personal level."

He adds, "To completely avoid personal liability, small businesses might choose to incorporate as a corporation, S corporation, or B Corp. S corporations avoid corporate taxation whereas B Corps must meet a threshold for public benefit and accountability."

Additionally, Flannigan says, "There are tons of great reasons to become a B Corp beyond just doing good business. All that said, many small businesses that aren't aimed at super-fast growth choose to go with an LLC to keep things simple while shielding owners from too much liability."

Learn more about choosing the right structure for your business from the Small Business Administration.

6. Create a business bank account.

Once you have a legally formed business and have been issued an Employer Identification Number (EIN), open a bank account specifically for your business. Having a business bank account is essential for keeping your personal and business finances separate which can help you gain an accurate picture of your business’s cash flow and financial health.

Additionally, keeping your personal and business finances separate makes bookkeeping and tax preparation easier.

Many banks offer business checking and savings accounts. Business checking accounts typically do not have a limit on the number of transactions that can take place, and issue a debit card that can be used for making business purchases. However, these checking accounts do not accrue interest.

Business savings accounts typically earn interest over time but have a limited number of transactions that can occur each month. When you’re just starting out, look for a business bank account that does not have a minimum balance requirement so you are not penalized for having low funds as you work to build your business.

7. Determine if your business idea works well from home.

Ask yourself whether your business idea will work well from home. Some businesses simply aren’t suited to be based from home. If you want to run a dog boarding center but live in an apartment without a backyard, you might want to consider a dog walking business instead.

8. Set up an office.

If your business idea is well-suited for being run from home, it’s still important you have a designated workspace. While a home office might not be possible, consider setting aside a corner in your living room or putting a desk in your bedroom for a space that inspires you and creates the conditions for success.

Need a more professional space? If you conduct client-facing work requiring you to be on video calls, no one wants to see your rumpled sheets in the background. Check out local coworking spaces for memberships that earn you access to conference rooms, desk space, and more.

9. Get to work!

You’ve put in the hard work and I’ve got good news — it’s only going to get harder. But most entrepreneurs will agree that the payoff of being your own boss, making your own hours, and working on projects that you’re passionate about will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

Starting a Small Business: FAQ

What are the types of small businesses.

The types of small business structures are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.

Which business type is best?

The best business type is a limited liability company (LLC). Operating as an LLC means that your personal assets are separate from your business assets. If your business goes bankrupt, your personal holdings won’t be affected. That said, it’s also one of the costlier types, requiring a fee paid to the state.

The easiest business type to start is a sole proprietorship. The main downside is that there’s no differentiation between you and your business.

How do I create a business idea?

To create a business idea, determine your skill set, work preferences, startup budget, and available resources. It’s important to strike the right balance between what you can feasibly offer and what you can feasibly afford in the short and long term.

We recommend starting with your skill set so that you can easily determine the niche in which you can effectively compete. For instance, if you have ample experience as a writer, you might consider starting a freelance writing business. But if you know you’d prefer to work with clients face-to-face, you might choose to start a ghostwriting business instead. That’s why it’s so important to take your work preferences into account, as well.

After that, take a look at your budget and determine the type of business you can start based on the resources at your disposal. For instance, you might not be able to afford a physical office or location, so a location-based business will likely not be a good fit. In that case, starting an online business is your best option.

What are some of the most successful small businesses?

Every small business has the potential to be successful and profitable, provided it’s backed by a strong product-market fit and a robust business plan . These two elements are essential. Maybe post-natal services are one of the most successful small businesses to launch, but if you live in an area with declining population or a large elderly population, then that small business idea won’t yield a high return on investment.

Think carefully about the market where you’re launching your business, and you’ll be more than likely to see lasting success.

What are the top growing small businesses?

top growing small businesses as reported by the bureau of labor statistics

The top growing industries are healthcare support, technology, personal care, food preparation, and community and social service. As such, launching a small business in any of these fields is bound to yield a high return on investment, but remember to take your target market into account.

Here are some small business ideas for each of those industries:

Healthcare Support

  • In-home care assistant
  • In-home elderly care provider
  • Psychological care provider
  • Pre-natal and post-natal support specialist
  • Freelance programmer or web developer
  • Freelance IT support specialist
  • Freelance cybersecurity expert

Personal Care

  • Hair stylist
  • Nail technician

Food Preparation

  • Personal chef
  • Food truck owner
  • Food delivery

Community and Social Services

  • Non-profit owner
  • Education specialist

Brainstorm Your Next Small Business Venture

Selecting a small business idea to work on is a personal decision. Money is important, but you’ll need more motivation than that to keep going. Bounce ideas off your friends and family until you reach the perfect idea that works for your schedule, fulfills your life’s passion, and makes financial sense. Don’t be afraid to ask for help throughout this process — and remember to have a little fun while you’re putting in the work.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Apply for a job, keep track of important information, and prepare for an  interview with the help of this free job seekers kit.

Don't forget to share this post!

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business ideas with plans

The 7 Best Business Plan Examples (2024)

So you want to start a business . Kudos! You’re doing big things.

One of the first steps to building a strong foundation for your new venture is to write a rock-solid business plan . When done right, your business plan can pave your path to success, all while helping you to smoothly cruise through any obstacles that may come up.

Plus, a good business plan can help you secure critical partnerships and funding that you might need in your early stages.

If you’re unsure how to write one, a great place to start is to learn from the pros. In this article, we’ll look at companies that built incredible business plans.

Take notes on the structure, format, and details. Hopefully you’ll leave with plenty of inspiration to write your own.

business ideas with plans

Start selling online now with Shopify

business ideas with plans

7-part template for business plan examples

We’ll look at a business plan that is structured using a seven-part template. Here’s a quick review of those parts:

  • Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan.
  • Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you started it in the first place.
  • Market analysis: Research about the market and industry your business will operate in, including a competitive analysis about the companies you’ll be up against.
  • Products and services: A detailed description of what you’ll be selling to your customers.
  • Marketing plan: A strategic outline of how you plan to market and promote your business before, during, and after your company launches into the market.
  • Logistics and operations plan: An explanation of the systems, processes, and tools that are needed to run your business in the background.
  • Financial plan: A map of your short-term (and even long-term) financial goals and the costs to run the business. If you’re looking for funding, here’s the place to discuss your request and needs.

7 business plan examples (section by section)

In this section, you’ll find hypothetical and real-world examples of each aspect of a business plan to show you how the whole thing comes together. 

  • Executive summary

Your executive summary offers a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. You’ll want to include a brief description of your company, market research, competitor analysis, and financial information.  

In ThoughtCo’s sample business plan for a fictional company called Acme Management Technology, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page:

business plan executive summary

  • Company description

You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections:

  • Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of your products?
  • Background information. Talk about your past experiences and skills, and how you’ve combined them to fill in the market. 
  • Business structure. This section outlines how you registered your company —as a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business type.
  • Industry. Which business sector do you operate in? The answer might be technology, merchandising, or another industry.
  • Team. Whether you’re the sole full-time employee of your business or you have contractors to support your daily workflow, this is your chance to put them under the spotlight.

You can also repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, Instagram page, or other properties that ask for a boilerplate description of your business. Hair extensions brand Luxy Hair has a blurb on its About page that could easily be repurposed as a company description for its business plan. 

company description business plan

  • Market analysis

Market analysis comprises research on product supply and demand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and industry trends. You might do a SWOT analysis to learn where you stand and identify market gaps that you could exploit to establish your footing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis we did for a hypothetical ecommerce business: 

marketing swot example

You’ll also want to run a competitive analysis as part of the market analysis component for your business plan. This will show you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to gain an edge over the competition. 

  • Products and services

This part of your business plan describes your product or service, how it will be priced, and the ways it will compete against similar offerings in the market. Don’t go into too much detail here —a few lines are enough to introduce your item to the reader.

business ideas with plans

  • Marketing plan

Potential investors will want to know how you’ll get the word out about your business. As such, it’s essential to build a marketing plan that highlights the promotion and customer acquisition strategies you’re planning to adopt. 

Most marketing plans focus on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, it’s easier when you break it down by the different marketing channels . Mention how you intend to promote your business using blogs, email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Here’s an example of a hypothetical marketing plan for a real estate website:

marketing section template for business plan

Logistics and operations

This section of your business plan provides information about your production, facilities, production, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.

Financial plan

The financial plan (a.k.a. financial statement) offers a breakdown of your sales, revenue, expenses, profit, and other financial metrics. You’ll want to include all the numbers and concrete data to project your current and projected financial state. For example, the financial statement for ecommerce brand Nature’s Candy includes forecasted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.

financial plan example

It then goes deeper into the financials, citing:

  • Funding needs
  • Project cash-flow statement
  • Project profit-and-loss statement
  • Projected balance sheet

You can use Shopify’s financial plan template to create your own income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet. 

Types of business plan (and what to write for each)

A one-page business plan is a pared down version of a standard business plan that’s easy for potential investors and partners to understand. You’ll want to include all of the sections, but make sure they’re abbreviated and summarized.

  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financials 

A startup business plan is meant to secure outside funding for a new business. Typically, there’s a big focus on the financials, as well as other sections that help determine the viability of your business idea —market analysis, for example. Shopify has a great business plan template for startups that include all the below points.

  • Market research: in depth
  • Financials: in depth


Your internal business plan acts as the enforcer of your company’s vision. It reminds your team of the long-term objective and keeps them strategically aligned toward the same goal.

  • Market research


A feasibility business plan is essentially a feasibility study that helps you evaluate whether your product or idea is worthy of a full business plan. 

Mix and match to make a killer business plan

The good news is: there’s no single right way to write a business plan. If you’re feeling unsure about how to craft yours, pull bits and pieces that you like from other examples, and leave out the parts that don’t apply or make sense for you.

The important thing is to clearly communicate your reason for starting the company, what’s needed to operate it, and how you plan to make it work in the long run.

When you can convince others that you have a killer game plan, you’ve nailed it.

Want to learn more?

  • Question: Are You a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
  • Bootstrapping a Business: 10 Tips to Help You Succeed
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur
  • 101+ Best Small Business Software Programs 

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How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step

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  • 4. Work today for fast cash today
  • How to max out your Roth IRA
  • 1. Brigit: Best for budgeting tools
  • How to take the property tax deduction
  • You’ll have to pay interest on any remaining balance
  • What qualifies as mortgage interest?
  • Investing for income: Dividend stocks vs. dividend funds
  • Top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in California
  • Who must file IRS Form 1065?
  • 4. Borrow smart for college
  • What is "qualified business income"?
  • A sampling of cards with travel credits
  • Correct a mistake or add new information
  • Who needs life insurance?
  • Best rewards programs for booking ANA business and first class with points and miles
  • What happens during a recession?
  • How long does it take to get a credit card refund?
  • Pros and cons of home equity sharing agreements
  • Shopping strategically will help, a little
  • Look for lower interest rates and ways to pay more
  • How much available credit should I have?
  • What Medigap Plan C doesn't cover
  • Market cap segments
  • Which cars qualify for a federal EV tax credit?
  • How to apply for federal work-study
  • 5. Obtain the appropriate permits and licenses
  • How to calculate basis points (bps)
  • Roth IRA contribution limits 2024
  • 14 business startup costs to plan for
  • Why do credit unions call it a share certificate?
  • Do I need an estate planning attorney?
  • Earned income tax credit 2023
  • Food and drink in Lufthansa premium economy
  • How the standard deduction works
  • What is the difference between Sam’s Club memberships?
  • Medicare expenses that aren’t deductible
  • When will I get my tax refund in 2024?
  • What do credit unions offer?
  • Reevaluate your budget
  • Steps to fill out the FAFSA for citizens with undocumented immigrant parents
  • American Express® Gold Card also getting Uber Cash perk ...
  • SIMPLE IRA contribution limits for 2023
  • What are qualified and nonqualified dividends?
  • How to spend it
  • How to expedite a U.S. passport application
  • Key features of IRAs vs 401(k)s
  • 3. Property taxes
  • One-time costs of buying a house
  • 2. You struggle to pay on time
  • Why is budgeting important?
  • Employment gap
  • A closer look at the most valuable program
  • How do streaming services fit into your budget?
  • Credit cards earn easy rewards
  • 2024 tax deadlines to know
  • Why do we feel some price increases more than others?
  • Step 2. Understand the types of financial advisors
  • The 2023-24 FAFSA treats divorced parents differently
  • 3. Call your company
  • How to determine how much car you can afford
  • 2. Consider deferment or forbearance.
  • The EV landscape has changed, too
  • How do United miles compare with other airlines?
  • Why invest in private equity?
  • 3. Educate yourself and cut out the noise
  • 3. Your car is worth more than its buyout price
  • Types of AI ETFs
  • Benefits of using life insurance as an inheritance
  • What you need for a Bahamas cruise
  • Is Airbnb travel insurance worth it?
  • Ticket types and seat selection rules
  • How to use average car interest rates
  • Schedule consistent check-ins
  • Figure out how much you can afford to spend on rent
  • What do financial pros say about Bitcoin?
  • 3. Research business insurance discounts
  • Does Global Entry include TSA PreCheck?
  • United Airlines cancellation fee
  • File your FAFSA for last year by June 30
  • Best life insurance companies: Pros and cons
  • Website analytics tools
  • How to estimate car insurance costs
  • Work accommodations for scoliosis
  • Not all bookings are nonrefundable
  • Issuer pre-qualification pages
  • What is Berkshire Hathaway?
  • How can I elevate my credit score to buy a home?
  • Who is affected by a government shutdown?
  • How to trade options in four steps
  • AmEx Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Deciding factors
  • 5. Use credit cards as a convenience
  • What expenses are eligible for travel credits?
  • Prepare for long-term care
  • Path to a higher credit limit
  • You live in a community property state
  • Cheap car insurance in Michigan for 20-year-olds
  • Are these the best stocks to buy now?
  • Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card
  • How to avoid a failure-to-file penalty
  • What can I use instead of a birth certificate for passport applications?
  • 2. Applicants need at least fair credit
  • For building credit: BMO Boost Secured Credit Card
  • Buying a call option
  • Uber insurance requirements
  • How will this affect my credit score?
  • 3. Search for foreclosed homes near you
  • Want to start a business?
  • How to find growth stocks
  • How long do ACH transfers take?
  • Roth IRA income limits 2024
  • How investing pays off later
  • How much do DoorDash drivers make?
  • 4. Search a coupon database or app
  • How do REITs work?
  • 5. Seek community loans and assistance
  • How much can you make while on Social Security Disability Insurance?
  • What is a Bitcoin strategy ETF?
  • Spirit Airlines seat types
  • 3. Confirm the deposit amount
  • Average annual PMI premium
  • Roth IRA taxes vs. traditional IRA taxes
  • Episode transcript
  • Estimated tax payments 2024
  • Are Vanguard index funds a good investment?
  • What the saver’s credit is worth
  • Are you paying more for less?
  • 4 investments to consider during a recession
  • How to stocks earn a return
  • How will the Student Aid Index be used?
  • 4. Contact the IRS
  • How to get your Form W-2
  • What is long-term capital gains tax?
  • Be aware of scams, debt relief downside
  • Travel insurance vs. travel medical insurance
  • Drawbacks to switching your card
  • Basic stock chart terms to know
  • Understand the costs of each
  • How your credit score affects your rate
  • Is a HELOC a good idea?
  • Good balance transfer cards
  • What is a flexible spending account (FSA)?
  • Closely review all charges
  • Does Hulu allow password sharing?
  • Why haven't I received my tax refund?
  • How do Delta miles compare with other airlines?
  • Save money as a Disney vacation planner
  • Cell phone plans for families
  • Coupons.com
  • How do you start a budget?
  • Rideshare insurance for delivery app drivers
  • PMI calculator help
  • Where to find Form 1065 and how to file
  • Do AmEx cards cover Turo?
  • Small-business credit cards
  • 6. Finance your home smartly
  • 2. The card’s benefits all have cutesy names
  • JetBlue Basic vs. Blue Plus
  • What can you do if the merchant won’t provide a refund?
  • Why is OpenAI in the news so often?
  • Best airline rewards program
  • 3. Save for an emergency
  • Medigap Plan C alternatives
  • 8 types of financial advisors
  • 3. Lower your interest rate by refinancing.
  • Southwest status tiers and benefits
  • Alternatives to Robinhood
  • Wellcare by Allwell Medicare star ratings
  • Get a secured credit card
  • Child tax credit expansion: What the new tax deal could mean for you
  • Gift tax limit 2024
  • How to qualify for the 2024 EV tax credit
  • Retirement savings by age
  • How do share certificates work?
  • How to buy AI ETFs
  • Deducting Medicare premiums if you’re self-employed
  • 5. Visit retailer websites and apps
  • When you shouldn’t refinance student loans
  • How to get JetBlue Mosaic elite status
  • 6. Ask for forbearance on bills
  • United Airlines standby fees

3. State your business goals

  • How to book American Airlines main cabin
  • Try a simple budgeting plan
  • How to invest in AI stocks
  • Other student loan forgiveness programs
  • How to qualify for the QBI deduction
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earning points through Air Canada mileage partners
  • Compare car insurance rates for 20-year-olds
  • When it comes to Expedia travel insurance
  • What if I can't make the 2024 tax deadline?
  • What state has the highest gas prices?
  • Frugal entertainment tips
  • 3. Rewards rates are tied to spending
  • EV tech is still evolving
  • When is the best time to use United miles?
  • More advanced stock chart terms
  • Delta Air Lines
  • 4. Use your best judgment or talk with a trusted professional
  • Should you buy growth stocks?
  • Where to find your AGI on your 1040
  • Other outfit considerations for your next premium class flight
  • How does Hulu fit into your budget?
  • REITs' average return
  • The cheapest midsize car insurance company: American National
  • Set realistic, achievable goals
  • How to deduct property taxes if you bought or sold a house this year
  • What to consider if your remaining balance is high
  • Cheap cell phone plans from brands owned by the big three
  • Top 9 Bitcoin strategy ETFs by fee
  • You can buy specific policies a la carte
  • Child tax credit 2024
  • 4. Attach a voided check or deposit slip, if required
  • IRA vs. 401(k): A road map
  • What can I use a home equity loan for? 
  • New job out of school
  • Alaska Airlines stopover rules
  • Where can you use the MPC app?
  • 7. Buy used vehicles and drive them for years
  • Traditional IRA deduction rules
  • Add a new school or delete one
  • You live in a common-law state
  • 3. Decide on new, used or leased
  • California income tax deadlines
  • How to invest in mutual funds
  • How to find the best stocks to buy now
  • Cheap financial advice
  • What can I do to make the future of gas prices less of a factor in my budget?
  • What to know about Disney California Adventure
  • For travelers: BMO Premium Rewards Credit Card
  • Find your best repayment strategy
  • How much do Uber drivers make?
  • How the annual gift tax exclusion works
  • 2024 tax brackets
  • When you should lock your mortgage rate
  • Average monthly expenses that increased year over year
  • 4. Your friend wants to buy your leased car
  • Can I contribute to a Roth IRA if my income is too high?
  • 1. High-yield savings accounts
  • Earned income tax credit 2024
  • Standard deduction 2023
  • Survey sites that pay cash
  • For non-U.S. citizens
  • What do U.S. passport status updates mean?
  • Pay more than the minimum, if possible
  • Age is only the beginning
  • 7. Request a payroll advance
  • 4. Check customer satisfaction and complaints
  • How to unfreeze your credit
  • How flexible are Delta miles?
  • 2. Getaround
  • 2. EarnIn: Best for large advances
  • SIMPLE IRA contribution limits for 2024
  • Do I have to pay state tax on lottery winnings?
  • State and institutional FAFSA deadlines
  • Factors that affect the cost of car insurance
  • Reliability
  • 2. Gather personal documents and information
  • 3. Your credit is subpar
  • What happens after you apply for income-driven repayment?
  • When was the last government shutdown?
  • When to file Form 1065
  • Hotel point values in 2024
  • Who should make estimated quarterly tax payments?
  • How much does it cost to buy Vanguard index fund shares?
  • What is American Airlines like?
  • When to spring for premium economy
  • DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
  • What happens if you don't pay your taxes?
  • 4. Invest in your ability to generate more income
  • What is short-term capital gains tax?
  • The benefits of having more than one travel credit card
  • How to get started investing in private equity
  • 4. Make a competitive offer
  • 5. Stick to your plan
  • Should you use buy now, pay later?
  • The four options market participants and their incentives
  • Lufthansa premium economy routes
  • Don’t I already have this with Airbnb AirCover?
  • Consider seeking professional tax advice
  • Automate savings, with manual tweaks
  • 6. Check the Sunday newspaper
  • Goodbudget, for hands-on envelope budgeting
  • How to get a bigger property tax deduction
  • United Airlines pet fee
  • Best life insurance company overall: MassMutual
  • Digital marketing tools
  • Requirements: Who qualifies for the child tax credit?
  • Top credit cards that offer preapproval without a hard pull
  • 5. Submit the form
  • What’s next?
  • Student loan cancellation programs
  • 8. Insure against catastrophic expenses
  • Pay yourself back later
  • 3. You get more out of the card with a Cred.ai deposit account
  • Choose your due date
  • How much do streaming services cost?
  • Is the debt snowball method for you?
  • Maintaining a healthy relationship with credit
  • So, should you lease or buy an electric car?
  • Where are you in your banking journey?
  • Do I have to accept work-study aid?
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • 3. Decide how to file your taxes
  • How much is an ACH transfer fee?
  • 5 best biotech stocks in the S&P 500 by one-year performance
  • How do you sign up for a Sam’s Club membership?
  • When to estimate closing costs
  • Estimate your 2024 IRS tax refund date
  • Other tech tools to help you manage your money
  • 5. Consider financial strength
  • ... But is ending its airline fee credit in 2021

4. Describe your products and services

  • Best for fair or limited credit
  • Avoid this situation next year
  • Credit cards with a $4,000, 3 month minimum spend requirement
  • How opening a new card can help your credit
  • How to apply for SSDI
  • What to know about Medicare Advantage in California
  • Where to get rideshare insurance
  • What doesn’t impact your life insurance premium
  • Can I add family members?
  • How to pay less for peer-to-peer car insurance
  • If you’re over the income limit
  • IRA income limits
  • Saver’s credit rates for 2023
  • Credit cards help you track spending
  • Key things to know about stocks
  • 5. Invest for retirement
  • 5. File taxes without a W-2
  • How to maximize earnings as an Uber driver
  • Limitations to switching
  • Why you might prefer the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Research health requirements, other rules
  • 5. You like the car and don't want the hassle of car shopping
  • How do HSA and FSA contributions work?
  • The significance of adjusted gross income
  • Buying call options vs. buying put options
  • Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card : 0% intro APR period, but much less forgiving
  • Types of REITs
  • Other considerations before joining a credit union
  • Factor in other costs
  • Credit cards young adults could apply for
  • 8. Take a loan from your retirement account
  • Should you keep a 0% APR card after the intro period ends?
  • Award travel cancellations are a slightly different ballgame
  • 3. Fill out the application
  • How to find AI ETFs
  • Self-employment
  • What's next?
  • Which stocks is Warren Buffett buying?
  • 3. Facebook
  • Student loan discharge programs
  • Excellent upgrade options
  • When to sign up for Social Security
  • When to make changes to the FAFSA form
  • One of you is enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan
  • What to do if you notice signs your boss wants you to leave
  • An alternative to chasing the best stocks
  • Who covers the purchase while the refund is pending?
  • When are taxes due in October?
  • What state has the lowest gas prices?
  • Frugal DIY project tips
  • Step 3. Review the range of options for financial advisors
  • Understanding your W-2 form
  • Redeeming wisely: Preferred Rewards will boost your earnings
  • Food and drink in British Airways premium economy
  • Today’s rates for specific kinds of mortgages
  • Average monthly expenses that declined
  • How to qualify for the earned income credit
  • 2024 standard deduction
  • How long does passport processing take?
  • Provide feedback
  • How does TSA PreCheck work?
  • United Airlines priority boarding fee
  • How to open a brokerage account
  • RetailMeNot
  • The Bitcoin ETF price war
  • How to invest in dividend stocks
  • Federal FAFSA deadline
  • Social media marketing tools
  • OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • Home equity loan rates in 2023
  • If you need student loan help
  • SSDI benefits and ADHD
  • What if I paid for the premium version of the old Mobile Passport app?
  • Most popular cash back card reviews
  • 2. You might need to register
  • Is there a new W-4 form for 2024?
  • Do I have to pay California state tax?
  • How to book a Blue fare ticket with JetBlue
  • Other things to consider
  • Prosper Card
  • Do I need my birth certificate to get a passport if born overseas to American parents?
  • 5 things debt collectors can do
  • Can you invest in OpenAI’s partners?
  • Capital gains tax rates 2023
  • Can United miles be used on other airlines?
  • Embrace: Best for many ways to save
  • What does travel medical insurance cover?
  • How are HELOC payments calculated?
  • Calculate your reduced Roth contribution
  • Cruising versus flying
  • Is a Sam’s Club membership worth it?
  • 6. Pick up weekly ads at the store
  • How much is Alaska MVP elite status worth?
  • Domestic vs. international fees
  • Consider your get-out-of-debt options
  • 9. Borrow against life insurance
  • Dividend tax rate 2023
  • Cheap cell phone plans from brands that resell network service
  • Downsides to upgrading the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Is main cabin worth it?
  • Additional child tax credit
  • 4. Credit cards tempt you to spend more
  • Third-party ratings
  • Submit recertification information every year
  • Average cost of term life insurance by age
  • Form 1065 instructions
  • The caveats
  • When do you have to pay taxes on stocks?
  • 4. The card is essentially fee- and interest-free
  • Grant programs in Chicagoland
  • 4. Choose your car
  • What does Allwell Medicare Advantage cost?
  • Get a credit-builder product or a secured loan
  • Where to find an eligible work-study job
  • 5. Prepare for potential difficulties
  • How much should I spend each month?
  • External ACH transfer fees by financial institution
  • Pros and cons of investing in biotech stocks
  • Lufthansa premium economy cost
  • How do you get Airbnb travel insurance and how much does it cost?
  • How long does it take to make money with DoorDash?
  • Maui at a glance
  • 6. Talk to a professional
  • 3. Empower: Best for fast cash
  • Should I take a lump sum payment or annuity payments?
  • Basic cell phone plans
  • How much car insurance you need
  • 5. Other expenses
  • How much rideshare insurance costs
  • Alaska Airlines partner award chart
  • Other cash back card reviews
  • Hack your IRA
  • More about the card
  • You’re still not sure what will happen to the debt
  • Saver’s credit rates for 2024
  • How do down payments work for business loans?
  • How long can you go without filing taxes?
  • 6. Save for your child’s education
  • 4. Redemption options include investing in stocks and ETFs
  • 6. Request more time to file
  • Explore other ways to make money on the road
  • What isn’t covered by personal property insurance?
  • Debt relief through bankruptcy
  • How do you start the process of upgrading or downgrading your credit card?
  • How to find an estate planning attorney
  • 8. Look at the product packaging
  • What do closing costs include?
  • Where's my state tax refund? Track your state refund status
  • 10. Use a credit card cash advance
  • Non-travel reasons to love the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card
  • Benefits of a SIMPLE IRA
  • United seat selection fee

5. Do your market research

  • How likely is it that the SSA will approve my SSDI application?
  • Spirit Airlines seating chart
  • Hotel rewards programs in 2024, recapped
  • Travel- and shopping-friendly features
  • What happens to rewards earned from the purchase?
  • Is it bad to have more than one credit card?
  • Types of private equity investments
  • Get more help with monthly budget planning
  • Should I do a balance transfer?
  • Things to consider before buying a policy
  • Cheapest car insurance after a speeding ticket: State Farm
  • Additional costs for international wires
  • Look for savings
  • Mosaic tiers at a glance
  • How much does Costco travel insurance cost?
  • How has this value changed over time?
  • 3. Lyft Rentals
  • Best life insurance company for applicants with HIV: Guardian
  • Design tools
  • Who is a qualifying relative?
  • If you’re nervous you’ll change your mind
  • Average cost of whole life insurance by age
  • The bottom line about Mobile Passport
  • How much is the SALT deduction?
  • How the qualified business income deduction works
  • 5. It’s made of metal
  • How to find the 2024 W-4
  • How to update tax information on the FAFSA
  • Flight availability
  • Bottom line
  • Best hotel rewards program
  • For cash back: BMO Cash Back Credit Card and the BMO Platinum Rewards Credit Card
  • Buying a call option vs. owning the stock
  • Restrictions on external ACH funds transfers
  • 2. Certificates of deposit
  • National grants available to Florida small businesses
  • How do I access the money in my FSA or HSA account?
  • What is your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)?
  • Additional standard deduction
  • How to save money every month
  • How can you make more money with DoorDash?
  • 9. Browse store aisles
  • What kind of investment is Bitcoin?
  • 11. Look for a payday alternative loan

6. Outline your marketing and sales plan

  • Dividend tax rate 2024
  • Ways to get the best home equity loan rates
  • Compare lenders
  • ADA accommodations for ADHD
  • 5. Make your best deal
  • How to calculate quarterly estimated taxes
  • What is California's standard deduction?
  • 3 moves to make before Tax Day 2024
  • Frugal home expenses tips
  • Different types of travel medical insurance plans
  • How much does an estate planning attorney cost? 
  • Pros and cons
  • When you need a passport for a cruise
  • Can you cancel Airbnb travel insurance?
  • How to get a tax refund sooner
  • If you haven’t received your passport
  • Make them part of the team
  • How to freeze your child’s credit
  • What’s not deductible?
  • Do spot Bitcoin ETFs have custodianship risk?
  • 4. Fund your new account
  • Could we be in an AI bubble?
  • Medicare resources in California
  • 4. Instagram
  • Consider the costs of cashing out your 401(k)
  • What is net investment income tax?
  • Calculating the value of the saver's credit
  • Who doesn’t need life insurance?
  • Managing expectations
  • How are gas prices determined?
  • More from tax filing resources:
  • Taxes for rollover IRAs: 2 rules to know
  • How the lifetime gift tax exclusion works
  • Which card should you get?
  • How income tax brackets work
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
  • Other Roth IRA rules
  • Writing call options vs. writing put options
  • Final thoughts on Lufthansa premium economy
  • No-closing-cost mortgages
  • How to get Alaska Airlines elite status
  • Other ways to cut wire-transfer costs
  • How did we determine what Delta miles are worth?
  • How do I deal with lottery taxes?
  • Fees across U.S. airlines
  • Brokerage accounts are taxable accounts
  • Other income that can lower your disability pay
  • How to upgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Before you apply for a credit card
  • Direct mail marketing tools
  • How to claim the child tax credit in 2024
  • If you need help applying, contact your servicer
  • Concourse E: Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge (coming in 2024)
  • Next Steps:
  • Credit cards help build credit
  • How to get a down payment for a business loan
  • The bottom line on OpenAI
  • What does a shared equity agreement cost?
  • 2023 capital gains tax calculator
  • Get Southwest status faster with credit cards
  • Alternatives to Travelzoo
  • The bottom line
  • How did we determine the value of United miles?
  • Average Disney World hotel room costs
  • What other kinds of credit card changes can you request?
  • Average work-study award
  • Find the best HELOC lender for you
  • What if I don't use all the money?
  • 10. Check your receipts
  • 12. Get a personal loan
  • Drawbacks of SIMPLE IRA plans

7. Perform a business financial analysis

  • How to report dividend income on your taxes
  • How to claim the mortgage interest deduction
  • Why some cars cost more to insure
  • Airline loyalty programs
  • Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
  • 5. You're overwhelmed with debt
  • How to buy rideshare insurance
  • Traditional IRA withdrawal rules
  • 3. The lounge you visit might not be the swankiest
  • Do I have to update my W-4 every year?
  • 6. Keep your deal clean
  • What part of my income gets taxed by California?
  • Does getting a refund on a credit card hurt your credit?
  • When it comes to the Expedia cancellation policy
  • 5. Children may be added as authorized users
  • What to do if your W-2 is wrong
  • How to incorporate market cap in your portfolio
  • Extra personal property coverage for valuable items
  • Use a co-signer
  • If your cat is an emotional support animal
  • ACH vs. wire transfer
  • How to buy biotech stocks
  • What apps let you buy now, pay later?
  • Who counts as a qualifying child for the earned income credit?
  • EveryDollar, for simple zero-based budgeting
  • How much is elite status worth?
  • Final thoughts on United Airlines fees
  • Things to consider
  • Final thoughts on spring break travel insurance
  • How much can you borrow with a home equity loan?
  • Which stocks is Warren Buffett selling?
  • Cost of life insurance without a medical exam
  • 2024 veterans disability rates
  • Redeeming points on Air Canada partner airlines
  • How to search United saver award availability
  • Compare auto insurance rates for 35-year-olds
  • How do you buy Vanguard Index fund shares?
  • California Adventure vs. Disneyland, recapped
  • Claiming tax-deductible donations on your tax return
  • Contributing too much to a Roth
  • Should I get Airbnb travel insurance?
  • Cheapest car insurance after an accident: State Farm
  • Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck cost
  • 4. Dave: Best for repayment flexibility
  • If you're considering an upgrade from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Project management tools
  • See more banking guides
  • Alaska and Oneworld elites
  • How to pay lower taxes when selling stocks
  • What type of life insurance do I need?
  • Ways to get good value
  • Booking American award flights to the Caribbean
  • Can you get a business loan with no down payment?
  • Optional renters insurance coverage
  • Earn more with loyalty
  • Debt relief through a debt management plan
  • How does work-study pay?
  • United Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines seats for elite members
  • 11. Use social media
  • Create a buddy or mentor program
  • JetBlue Mosaic benefits
  • 13. Rent out a room
  • Which Costco travel insurance plan is best for me?
  • When should you freeze your credit?
  • Donating hotel points
  • The case for dumping the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • How to control your dividend tax bill
  • What do the approvals mean for Bitcoin?
  • Best life insurance company for consumer experience: Northwestern Mutual
  • Why ADHD is difficult to diagnose
  • Takeaways for first-timers
  • Secure 2.0 changes: Saver's match
  • When not to use a credit card
  • Your W-2 information is not a secret
  • How the electric vehicle tax credit is calculated
  • Amenities and other perks of British Airways premium economy
  • Tips for flight day
  • 4. Understand how your taxes are determined
  • So is there a first class dress code?
  • How to track your passport status, recapped
  • Cheaper ways to send money
  • Capital loss deduction
  • How to pick seats on Spirit Airlines
  • When to expect your child tax credit refund
  • 5. LinkedIn
  • Perks and other offers
  • Benefits of co-signing a loan
  • How to adjust your Form W-4
  • Am I a resident for California state tax purposes?
  • Risks of private equity
  • Become an authorized user
  • Average Disney World food costs
  • Does work-study affect future financial aid?
  • Can I claim the EITC without a child?
  • Standard deduction for dependents
  • Seller-paid closing costs
  • Bitcoin and volatility
  • What isn’t covered by Costco travel insurance?
  • How much do Disney travel agents make?
  • Prepaid cell phone plans with limited data
  • Best for poor credit
  • How to switch plans and keep your number
  • Applying for SSDI benefits
  • Are these the best dividend stocks?
  • What happens if you have an accident while driving for Uber, Lyft or other app ?
  • Home equity loan requirements
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8. Make financial projections

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  • Why is it called the SALT tax? 
  • What are the best Vanguard index funds?
  • Step 4. Consider how much you can afford to pay an advisor
  • Selling a call option
  • What's next
  • Citi Custom Cash® Card
  • How to claim the earned income tax credit
  • 5. MoneyLion: Best for existing customers
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  • Example: Upfront costs of buying a $350K house
  • More about these cards
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  • Methodology
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  • When can't you take the standard deduction?
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  • 15. Become a rideshare or delivery driver
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  • If you need to expedite a U.S. passport…
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  • Does co-signing a loan build credit?
  • 4. Unlimited guests? Maybe not
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  • Can you contribute to a rollover IRA?
  • Market capitalization vs. enterprise value
  • How to claim the federal EV tax credit
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  • Keep an eye on your credit score
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  • Rideshare insurance: Key takeaways
  • Should you trade like Warren Buffett?
  • Concourse F: The Club ATL and Delta Sky Club
  • How to pay estimated taxes
  • Additional resources
  • Debt relief through debt settlement
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  • 5. Gather tax filing information
  • Other closed-loop cruises
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  • Establish a review process
  • Empower Personal Dashboard, for tracking wealth and spending
  • 16. Cut your insurance premiums
  • Credit freeze or credit lock?

9. Add additional information to an appendix

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  • Customer reviews
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  • Business services
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  • How much life insurance do you need?
  • Walmart2Walmart
  • Step 5. Vet the financial advisor's background
  • What is an effective tax rate?
  • Frequently asked questions about ACH transfers
  • Important considerations when opening a Roth IRA
  • Who can access your frozen credit reports?
  • 6. SoLo Funds: Best for peer-to-peer cash advances

Business plan tips and resources

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  • How to avoid gift tax
  • 6. Settle up with the IRS
  • First class Alaska flight upgrades
  • 17. Consolidate your debt
  • What is the $500 credit for other dependents (ODC)?
  • How to protect your credit if you co-sign a loan
  • Frequently asked questions about estimated tax payments
  • Blue fares on JetBlue recapped
  • Who needs travel health insurance?
  • How to reduce taxes owed
  • If you want to cruise to the Bahamas 
  • Cons of investing in REIT stocks
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  • Options trading examples
  • How to earn Alaska miles with airline partners
  • 2023 veterans disability rates
  • Compare car insurance rates for drivers with a DUI
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  • Earn points faster with a credit card
  • Before you collect points and miles
  • What information do you need to claim the EV tax credit?
  • Are paid surveys worth it?
  • Best life insurance company for permanent life insurance: Pacific Life
  • Child tax credit vs. child and dependent care credit
  • Is travel insurance included when booking through AmEx Travel?
  • Should I choose a home equity loan, HELOC, or cash-out refinance? 
  • Consider all your options
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Can I still get a past year's earned income tax credit?
  • 18. Refinance your student loans
  • Spirit Airlines fee bundles
  • 5. You can't stay forever
  • Grant programs in central Illinois
  • Who should avoid American Airlines?
  • When it comes to maximizing credit card points
  • How much is Southwest status worth?
  • Practice good credit habits
  • 2023 vs. 2024 standard deduction
  • How to pick seats on Delta
  • Investing in REITs: How to get started
  • Donating credit card points
  • So, is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® worth it?
  • Transfer Hilton points to airlines
  • History of the child tax credit
  • Alternatives to co-signing a loan
  • W-4 calculator
  • Does the president control gas prices?
  • How to make a personal property claim
  • Oahu at a glance
  • 19. Change your cell phone plan
  • 7. Klover: Best for no-fee advances
  • Receipt Hog
  • How families can do Disney World on a budget
  • Hotel credit card reviews
  • California state tax credits
  • Western Union
  • What renters insurance doesn’t cover
  • How to avoid, reduce or minimize capital gains taxes
  • Why call options can make sense
  • MetLife: Best pet insurance for dogs
  • Allwell Medicare Advantage service area
  • How much does travel medical insurance cost?
  • 4 ways to save money on British Airways premium economy
  • Pros and cons of Global Entry, TSA PreCheck
  • American Airlines main cabin, recapped
  • Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
  • If you want to fly American to the Caribbean
  • Do-it-yourself debt relief
  • Easiest ways to earn points
  • When to claim the standard deduction
  • PocketGuard, for a simplified budgeting snapshot
  • Final thoughts on JetBlue Mosaic
  • Avoid risky loans
  • If you’re looking to donate your points …
  • How to apply for VA disability compensation
  • Concourse T: Admirals Club, United Club and Delta Sky Club
  • Mutual fund types
  • If you're considering flying American Airlines ...
  • Chase hotel transfer partners
  • What else to know about Form W-4
  • How does the Israel-Hamas war affect gas prices?
  • What about the Southwest Companion Pass?
  • What to know if you take online surveys
  • Best life insurance company for customer satisfaction: State Farm
  • Downsides of booking via AmEx Travel
  • Why trade options?
  • Grant programs in Metro East Illinois
  • You have several little-known car rental options
  • Comparing the programs
  • Customer service
  • Check your credit scores and reports
  • How do I use my travel health insurance?
  • EV rebates and incentives
  • Credit cards for other travel brands
  • Cheapest car insurance for young drivers
  • Important considerations for both programs
  • 8. Chime: Best for overdraft protection
  • The bottom line on how to read stock charts
  • U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
  • Prosper® Card
  • Final thoughts on the AmEx travel portal
  • OK, what's next?
  • Above all, don’t panic
  • The pros and cons of Expedia recapped
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  • Spirit Saver$ Club
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  • Final thoughts on selecting a seat on Delta Air Lines
  • Travel and tourism service business ideas
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. AmEx Platinum: Minor features to consider
  • Is Southwest status worth it?
  • What not to do
  • What you need to know about limits, exclusions and deductibles
  • Other options
  • Earn Alaska miles with hotel, car rental and shopping partners
  • Compare auto insurance rates for drivers with poor credit
  • Best life insurance company for older applicants: AARP
  • Spirit Airlines seat selection for elite members
  • Airline credit cards
  • Your next step
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  • How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points
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A business plan is a document that outlines your business’s financial goals and explains how you’ll achieve them. A strong, detailed plan will provide a road map for the business’s next three to five years, and you can share it with potential investors, lenders or other important partners.


Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing your business plan.

» Need help writing? Learn about the best business plan software .

This is the first page of your business plan. Think of it as your elevator pitch. It should include a mission statement, a brief description of the products or services offered, and a broad summary of your financial growth plans.

Though the executive summary is the first thing your investors will read, it can be easier to write it last. That way, you can highlight information you’ve identified while writing other sections that go into more detail.

» MORE: How to write an executive summary in 6 steps

Next up is your company description, which should contain information like:

Your business’s registered name.

Address of your business location .

Names of key people in the business. Make sure to highlight unique skills or technical expertise among members of your team.

Your company description should also define your business structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — and include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.

Lastly, it should cover the history of your company and the nature of your business now. This prepares the reader to learn about your goals in the next section.

» MORE: How to write a company overview for a business plan

business ideas with plans

The third part of a business plan is an objective statement. This section spells out exactly what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the long term.

If you’re looking for a business loan or outside investment, you can use this section to explain why you have a clear need for the funds, how the financing will help your business grow, and how you plan to achieve your growth targets. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity presented and how the loan or investment will grow your company.

For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch the new product and how much you think sales will increase over the next three years as a result.

In this section, go into detail about the products or services you offer or plan to offer.

You should include the following:

An explanation of how your product or service works.

The pricing model for your product or service.

The typical customers you serve.

Your supply chain and order fulfillment strategy.

Your sales strategy.

Your distribution strategy.

You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.

Lenders and investors will want to know what sets your product apart from your competition. In your market analysis section , explain who your competitors are. Discuss what they do well, and point out what you can do better. If you’re serving a different or underserved market, explain that.

Here, you can address how you plan to persuade customers to buy your products or services, or how you will develop customer loyalty that will lead to repeat business.

» MORE: R e a d our complete guide to small business marketing

If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet. However, if you’re an existing business, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.

You may also include metrics such as:

Net profit margin: the percentage of revenue you keep as net income.

Current ratio: the measurement of your liquidity and ability to repay debts.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio: a measurement of how frequently you collect on receivables per year.

This is a great place to include charts and graphs that make it easy for those reading your plan to understand the financial health of your business.

» NerdWallet’s picks for setting up your business finances:

The best business checking accounts .

The best business credit cards .

The best accounting software .

This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors. It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.

Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan.

Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections. Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

List any supporting information or additional materials that you couldn’t fit in elsewhere, such as resumes of key employees, licenses, equipment leases, permits, patents, receipts, bank statements, contracts and personal and business credit history. If the appendix is long, you may want to consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Here are some tips to help your business plan stand out:

Avoid over-optimism: If you’re applying for a business loan at a local bank, the loan officer likely knows your market pretty well. Providing unreasonable sales estimates can hurt your chances of loan approval.

Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors, taking their mind off your business and putting it on the mistakes you made. If writing and editing aren't your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.

Use free resources: SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you write or edit your business plan. You can search for a mentor or find a local SCORE chapter for more guidance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers , which provide free business consulting and help with business plan development, can also be a resource.

On a similar note...

Find small-business financing

Compare multiple lenders that fit your business

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300+ Business Plan Examples

Below you can choose from over 300 free business plan examples within numerous industries. You’ll also learn the answers to key sample business plan questions and find tips on how to write your business plan. Finally, you’ll see a full-length business plan sample. Rest assured that you’re in good hands; over the past 20+ years, Growthink has helped over 1 million companies develop simple business plans to start and grow their businesses.  

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

If you’d like an interactive, fill-in-the-blanks template that also automatically completes your financial projections, we recommend Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan .

This is particularly true if you’re looking for funding from a bank (traditional loan, line of credit, SBA loan, etc.), angel investors or venture capitalists .

Quick Links to Sections On this Page:

  • Sample Business Plans By Business Category

Answers to Key Sample Business Plan Questions

Shoutmouth business plan example, business plan examples by business category, clothing & fashion business plan templates & samples.

Clothing Store Business Plan

Embroidery Business Plan

Fashion Business Plan

Jewelry Business Plan

Construction, Interior Design & Home Services Business Plan Templates & Samples

Consumer services business plan templates & samples, business services business plan templates & samples, events business plan templates & samples.

Banquet Hall Business Plan

Event Planning Business Plan

Event Venue Business Plan

Sample Event Venue Business Plan

Party Rental Business Plan

Photo Booth Business Plan

Table and Chair Rental Business Plan

Wedding Planning Business Plan

Farm Business Plan Templates & Samples

Financial services business plan templates & samples, fitness & beauty business plan templates & samples, food & beverage business plan templates & samples, medical & health business plan templates & samples, music & entertainment business plan templates & samples.

Music Business Plan

Party Bus Business Plan

Podcast Business Plan

Production Company Business Plan

Record Label Business Plan

Recording Studio Business Plan

Nonprofit Business Plan Templates & Samples

Sample Non-Profit Business Plan

Charity Business Plan

Sample Nonprofit Business Plan PDF

Social Enterprise Business Plan

Real Estate Business Plan Templates & Samples

Sample Airbnb Business Plan

House Flipping Business Plan

Property Development Business Plan

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Real Estate Business Plan

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Real Estate Business Plan PDF

Real Estate Development Business Plan

Real Estate Investment Business Plan

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Technology business plan templates & samples.

Biodiesel Business Plan

Blogging Business Plan

Clean Tech Business Plan

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Saas Business Plan

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Transportation Business Plan Templates & Samples

Travel and lodging business plan templates & samples.

Bed and Breakfast Business Plan

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Glamping Business Plan

Hotel Business Plan

Mobile Home Park Business Plan

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RV Park Business Plan

Travel Agency Business Plan

1. Why is utilizing an example business plan a good idea?

Sample business plans can help you quickly and easily write a business plan for your own business. Business plans are an important tool for any business, but they can be challenging to create. Sample business plan will help you understand business plan format , how to utilize a business plan template , and more.

Business plan examples may even help you with the different sections of a plan, including market analysis, company description, cash flow statements/business financial statements, and more. Business plans can also show you how a quality plan in your exact business plan category is organized and shows you the appropriate business communications style to use when writing your business plan.

2. Who would benefit from using an example business plan?

Any entrepreneur or business owner who has never written a business plan before can benefit from an example or sample plan. New business owners often start with business plan templates , which are helpful but are sometimes more useful after reviewing other full business plans.

A good sample plan can be a step-by-step guide as you work on your business planning and business idea. Once you have a sense for the flow, specs, and details, etc. that business plans have, utilizing a business plan template will help you pull everything together, helping you create a plan investors and other stakeholders will value. A solid plan will also help you if you need a bank loan, which may require a startup business plan.

3. How do you get started with a sample business plan and maximize its benefit?

First you should read the business plan thoroughly. Study both the type of information provided in key sections like the executive summary, target market analysis, summary, etc., as well as the format and style of the plan. As you read, you may find yourself thinking through things such as improving or evaluating your business planning process, your business idea, or reconsidering who you want to write your business plan for. This is OK and part of the process. In fact, when you start writing a business plan for the first time, it will be much easier because you’ve gone through this process.

After this initial read, outline your business plan and copy in from the sample plan sections that apply to your business. For instance, if the sample plan included public relations in their marketing strategy and sales plan, and you will also use this tactic, you can copy it into your plan and edit it as appropriate. Finally, answer the other questions answered in the sample plan in ways that reflect your unique business and potential customers.

Writing a business plan can seem daunting. Starting your business plan writing process by reviewing a plan that’s already been created can remove a lot of mental and emotional barriers while helping you craft the best plan you can.

4. When should you not use a sample business plan?

If your business is unlike any other, using a sample business plan will not be as effective. In this situation, writing a business plan from scratch utilizing a business plan template is probably your best path forward.

As an example, Facebook’s early business plan was unlike others since it was paving a new path and way of doing business. But, groundbreaking new businesses like Facebook are not the norm, and the vast majority of companies will benefit from utilizing sample business plans.

How to Finish Your Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Need Someone to Develop Your Plan For You?

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Learn more about our professional business plan company and let us help you create a winning business plan for your company.

The business plan example below is for Shoutmouth, a company that enjoyed much success in the early 2000’s and which was able to raise funding. While the plan’s premise (social networking) is not as unique now as it was then, the format and structure of this business plan still holds.

I. Executive Summary

Business Overview

Launched in late February 2007, Shoutmouth.com is the most comprehensive music news website on the Internet .

Music is one of the most searched and accessed interests on the Internet. Top music artists like Akon receive over 3 million searches each month. In addition, over 500 music artists each receive over 25,000 searches a month.

However, music fans are largely unsatisfied when it comes to the news and information they seek on the artists they love. This is because most music websites (e.g., RollingStone.com, MTV.com, Billboard.com, etc.) cover only the top eight to ten music stories each day – the stories with mass appeal. This type of generic coverage does not satisfy the needs of serious music fans. Music fans generally listen to many different artists and genres of music. By publishing over 100 music stories each day, Shoutmouth enables these fans to read news on all their favorite artists.

In addition to publishing comprehensive music news on over 1200 music artists, Shoutmouth is a social network that allows fans to meet and communicate with other fans about music, and allows them to:

  • Create personal profiles
  • Interact with other members
  • Provide comments on news stories and music videos
  • Submit news stories and videos
  • Recommend new music artists to add to the community
  • Receive customized news and email alerts on their favorite artists

Success Factors

Shoutmouth is uniquely qualified to succeed due to the following reasons:

  • Entrepreneurial track record : Shoutmouth’s CEO and team have helped launch numerous successful ventures.
  • Affiliate marketing track record : Online affiliate marketing expertise has been cited as one of MySpace’s key success factors. Over the past two years, Shoutmouth’s founders have run one of the most successful online affiliate marketing programs, having sold products to over 500,000 music customers online.
  • Key milestones completed : Shoutmouth’s founders have invested $500,000 to-date to staff the company (we currently have an 11-person full-time team), build the core technology, and launch the site. We have succeeded in gaining initial customer traction with 50,000 unique visitors in March, 100,000 unique visitors in April, and 200,000 unique visitors in May 2007.

Unique Investment Metrics

The Shoutmouth investment opportunity is very exciting due to the metrics of the business.

To begin, over the past two years, over twenty social networks have been acquired. The value in these networks is their relationships with large numbers of customers, which allow acquirers to effectively sell to this audience.

The sales price of these social networks has ranged from $25 to $137 per member. Shoutmouth has the ability to enroll members at less than $1 each, thus providing an extraordinary return on marketing expenditures. In fact, during an April 2007 test, we were able to sign-up 2,000 members to artist-specific Shoutmouth newsletters at a cost of only 43 cents per member.

While we are building Shoutmouth to last, potential acquirers include many types of companies that seek relationships with music fans such as music media/publishing (e.g., MTV, Rolling Stone), ticketing (e.g., Ticketmaster, LiveNation) and digital music sales firms (e.g., iTunes, The Orchard).

Financial Strategy, Needs and Exit Strategy

While Shoutmouth’s technological, marketing and operational infrastructure has been developed, we currently require $3 million to execute on our marketing and technology plan over the next 24 months until we hit profitability.

Shoutmouth will primarily generate revenues from selling advertising space. As technologies evolve that allow us to seamlessly integrate music sampling and purchasing on our site, sales of downloadable music are also expected to become a significant revenue source. To a lesser extent, we may sell other music-related items such as ringtones, concert tickets, and apparel.

Topline projections over the next three years are as follows:

II. Shoutmouth Overview

What is Shoutmouth?

Shoutmouth is an operating company of The Kisco Group Inc. (TKG). Since 2003, TKG has capitalized on web-based marketing opportunities via launching targeted websites and generating web-based leads. TKG revenues in 2005 exceeded $1.3 million and grew to $3.5 million in 2006. Shoutmouth is currently the sole focus of TKG; all other TKG business units have been divested.

Development of Shoutmouth began in August 2006 and the site officially launched on February 21, 2007. Shoutmouth (located at www.shoutmouth.com) is the most comprehensive music news community on the Internet. The website covers 1,200 popular bands and music artists and offers more than 100 new music articles each day. In addition to providing news, Shoutmouth is a web community. That is, Shoutmouth members can actively participate on the site, by doing things such as commenting on news stories and submitting their own stories.

The Market Size and Need for Shoutmouth

The music market is clearly vast. According to IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, global music sales were $33.5 billion in 2005, with the U.S. accounting for $12.3 billion of that amount. Importantly, digitally music sales are seeing substantial growth, with IFPI reporting sales of $400 million in 2004, $1.1 billion in 2005 and $2 billion in 2006.

Online, music is the one of the most frequently searched and accessed interests. For example, according to Wordtracker, the music artist Eminem received over 1.7 million web searches in December 2006, while band Green Day received 534,000 searches.

To put these figures in perspective, top celebrities in other entertainment fields receive but a fraction of this search volume. For example, December 2006 search volumes for select sports stars and actors were as follows: Kobe Bryant, 122K; Tiger Woods, 88K; Cameron Diaz, 332K; and Tom Cruise, 82K.

Conversely, 225 music artists received over 100,000 searches in December 2006, and over 500 music artists received over 25,000 searches.

This data is corroborated by Nielsen BuzzMetrics which plots the most popular topics bloggers are posting about. The chart to the right plots September 25, 2006 to March 25, 2007 and shows how music dominates other entertainment sectors online.

When searching for music artists online, fans, which are primarily between the ages of 13 and 35, are looking for news, pictures, lyrics, videos and audio files. In addition, fans enjoy publicly voicing their opinions about music and interacting with other fans.

There is currently no website besides Shoutmouth that provides comprehensive music news. Currently, to get the latest news on their favorite artists, fans must visit the official websites or fan websites of each of the artists they like . Even then, it is unlikely that the fan will get all the news that has occurred. To solve this problem, Shoutmouth scours the web and uncovers news from thousands of web sites.

What Shoutmouth Does and Will Offer

As of May 2007, the site covers the 1,200 most popular music artists (popularity primarily based on the number of web searches over the past 12 months for each artist).

Shoutmouth currently offers members the ability to:

  • Read over 500 new music articles each week
  • Read special features such as album reviews, interviews, new album release dates, top quotes of the week and other special reports
  • Watch and rate music videos
  • Listen to select music audio clips
  • Comment on news stories and music videos
  • Submit news stories that they see/hear of elsewhere
  • Suggest new music artists to add to the site
  • View articles by music artist or by genre (current genres include Rock, Pop, Rap, R&B, Country, and Electronic)
  • Create a user profile that includes their favorite music artists, Shoutmouth friends, news stories submitted to Shoutmouth, and comments made. Members have the ability to find other members based on their favorite artists and via our search functions.
  • Receive customized news and email alerts. Members can customize their “My News” page to include only artists they specify. Likewise, they can choose to receive email alerts whenever there is a new story on one of their favorite artists.

While establishing itself as the premier music news community, Shoutmouth will embark on the more aggressive goal of becoming the premier music community online . To accomplish this, Shoutmouth will begin to offer additional content (more videos, audio, pictures, lyrics, etc.) and additional functionality (music compatibility testing (e.g., if you like this, you’ll like this), voting capabilities, member-to-member messaging, etc.). We have already begun mapping out our content and technology growths plans to achieve this goal upon financing.

Importantly, Shoutmouth expects to be able to add massive amounts of relevant content (e.g., lyrics, reviews, pictures, video files, audio files, etc.) via member submissions and moderation. This is the same way that YouTube has been able to quickly add millions of videos and Wikipedia has been able to add millions of articles. Importantly, since established music websites (e.g., MTV, RollingStone.com, Billboard.com, etc.) are not community based, they would have to hire thousands of staff members to rival the content that Shoutmouth will have.

How We Get and Publish Our News

Currently, news stories that appear on Shoutmouth are gathered from numerous online sources. Shoutmouth’s staff writers find these stories by using RSS and News feeds that cover thousands of websites. In addition, Shoutmouth community members have the ability to submit stories they find elsewhere.

Typical stories include factual information plus the insight of the author. Shoutmouth editors ensure that all stories are properly classified by artist and genre, and that duplicate articles are filtered out.

Over the past three months, Shoutmouth has developed a solid infrastructure, which we consider a core competitive advantage, that that allows us to provide comprehensive music news . This infrastructure includes:

  • Setting up hundreds of RSS feeds based on comprehensive research regarding sites from which to receive feeds
  • Training our editorial team regarding identifying a story and weeding out duplicates
  • Assigning music artists among our five-person editorial team to better manage work flow and avoid duplicate articles

We are working on a system to ensure that member-submitted articles are automatically routed to the appropriate member of Shoutmouth’s editorial team to improve our efficiencies further.

Shoutmouth’s Goal to Break News First

The majority (approximately 90%) of Shoutmouth’s articles are currently developed by our in-house editorial team, while the balance is submitted by members. In addition, virtually all of our articles are based on information gleaned from other websites. As such, we are generally not the first to publish news; however we are the first and only site to publish all the news in one easily-accessible place. The one current exception is news which is published on bands’ official MySpace pages; Shoutmouth generally publishes articles on this news 24 to 48 hours before it is reported by other news or music sites (due to our efficiencies in finding news).

Shoutmouth realizes that it will gain a key competitive advantage, and will generate significant market buzz, if it is able to report on music news stories before other media sources . To accomplish this, we have begun contacting publicity departments at record labels to gain direct access to music news. We expect these contacts to enable us to gain immediate and sometimes exclusive access to news which will help further establish Shoutmouth as the canonical source for music news. We also plan to more aggressively solicit member submissions of new, buzzworthy news events and will consider offering rewards for unique substantiated news (much the way paparazzi are compensated).

III. Competition in the Online Music Market

This section of the business plan provides a competitive analysis, which is an overview of the competitive landscape, discusses both indirect and direct competitors and then details Shoutmouth’s competitive advantages.

Because consumer demand for music on the Internet is so great, there are a vast number of music websites. In summary, we consider most sectors of the online music market (which are discussed below) to be indirect competitors and potentially partners, rather than direct competitors, because none of them focus on music news.

The reason we believe that no one focuses on music news is that it is very difficult to do. Because news is very important to music fans, most music websites offer news. However, they primarily get their news from organizations such as CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press and BBC. These large organizations only write about the music stories that have mass appeal, which traditionally amounts to 8-10 music news stories per day. However, since music fans are often zealots when it comes to their favorite artists, they are not merely interested in cover stories. For instance, a U2 fan cares about any U2 news, particularly news that a non-U2 fan might consider insignificant.

In fact, because Shoutmouth is the sole one-stop shop for getting comprehensive music news, there might be an opportunity to license our content to other music websites.

Sectors of the Online Music Market

Shoutmouth specifically comPs in the community-based music news market. While players in this market represent direct competitors, Shoutmouth faces indirect competitors in the following markets:

  • Community-Based Sites
  • Community-Based News Sites
  • Community-Based Music Sites
  • Traditional Music Websites
  • Official Artist and Fan Sites

Each of these markets is described below.

A. Community-Based Sites

Community-based sites, also known as social networking sites, are websites in which members can create profiles, leave comments throughout the site, and communicate with other members among other features.

A June 2006 report by Piper Jaffray entitled “Silk Road: Social Networking is Here to Stay” effectively sums up the power and longevity of social networking:

“We believe social networking sites have become a permanent part of the fabric of web applications and are rapidly becoming one of the most popular activities online, potentially impacting how other popular services such as email, IM, and maybe even search are accessed.

As a clear indication of the growth rate and scale of social networking, consider this: MySpace monthly page views have now surpassed MSN or AOL in the U.S. and are nearly 75% of the size of Yahoo!. Social networking has filled a gap that was left by all the existing portals and web services and it is fulfilling a very important and basic function for millions of users: allowing them to express themselves and connect with their friends, with the two functions tightly integrated.

The leading sites such as MySpace (News Corp), Facebook, and others are amassing significant power in the new landscape of the Internet and the existing Internet companies are likely to have to work with these newcomers as they may yield material control on the flow of traffic to other applications.”

Social networking sites such as MySpace.com, Facebook.com, Tagged.com, and TagWorld.com have educated consumers regarding the value of these sites and how to use them. Their success has spurred genre-specific social networks such as community-based/social networking news sites and music sites, which are discussed below.

Shoutmouth doesn’t view established social networking sites as competitors since these sites have a general focus. That is, members talk about all aspects of life, from dating to music to movies, etc. Conversely, Shoutmouth is solely focused on music.

B. Community-Based News Sites

Community-based news sites are sites in which members decide what’s newsworthy and what’s not. For instance, on Digg.com, the most prominent community-based news site, members “Digg” stories that they feel are most newsworthy. The stories that the community feels are most important rise to Digg’s homepage, while less important stories get little attention.

Digg’s one million members can submit stories, “digg” stories, and comment on stories. Digg focuses on general news with a slant towards technology, gaming and unique/sensational news. While Digg does have a Music area within its Entertainment section, this receives little focus. In fact, at the time of the writing of this plan, Digg’s music home page only includes one article submitted within the past 48 hours. Furthermore, Digg doesn’t pare down the music category into sub-categories such as Rock and individual music artists. Conversely, these sub-categories are the entire focus of Shoutmouth.

Other sites that are similar to Digg include Newsvine.com, Spotback.com and Gabbr.com. Of most relevance is the Digg-like site for music, Noisetap.com, which was launched by Ticketmaster in January 2007.

Like Digg, Noisetap.com allows members to submit and vote for music stories. Noisetap.com is organized by music genre and not by music artist. This most likely will not satisfy the needs of many music fans since they don’t have the ability to find news on the specific artists they care most about. Likewise, without a full-time staff actively researching and publishing news stories at the artist-level, Noisetap.com will never be able to offer the comprehensive news that Shoutmouth does.

While Shoutmouth is currently similar to community-based news sites in that members can submit stories and comment on the news they find most interesting, no established player in the market provides a comprehensive focus on music. In addition, Shoutmouth sees these sites as marketing partners as we have and will continue to submit our stories on them to increase our readership.

C. Community-Based Music Sites

There are many community-based music websites, although none focuses on music news such as Shoutmouth. Conversely, these sites generally give members the ability to create and listen to song play lists. The community acts to help individual members find new music and new friends based on similarities in their music tastes. Prominent sites in this genre include Last.fm, Finetune, Pandora, RadioBlogClub, MyStrands, iLike[1] and iJigg.

Last.fm is the most prominent community-based music site and is a good model with which to compare Shoutmouth. Likewise, we will benchmark our performance against Last.fm as we reach of goal of becoming the premier music news community and focus on becoming the premier music community.

According to Alexa, Last.fm is the 359th most visited site on the Internet. While Last.fm focuses on allowing members to create customized Internet stations based on their music tastes, the site has much additional content and social networking features. For instance, for each artist, Last.fm includes pictures, a bio, concert dates, discography, fans on Last.fm, and similar artists. Fans are also able to create journals and communicate with other fans. Key features that Last.fm doesn’t currently focus on include news and video.

D. Traditional Music Websites

Traditional music websites such as MTV.com, RollingStone.com, Billboard.com, NME.com, AOL Music, and Yahoo! Music tend to have many features such as news, reviews, pictures, videos and audio. While these sites are generally very well done and extremely popular, they are under-serving visitors in two core areas: music news and community .

These sites’ lack of music news stems from the difficulty in creating this news, specifically that it requires filtering through thousands of articles and websites to find relevant stories. Likewise, as discussed, these firms might wish to license our news content in the future.

Regarding community , none of the top music sites are thriving communities. Rather, either these sites offer no community features or they recently began offering select features (e.g., submitting reviews or commenting on articles). Even when available, the community features on these sites are afterthoughts and are not engrained within the core fabric of the sites.

While they haven’t been able to transform their current sites into communities, top music websites clearly understand the power of online music communities and have an appetite for them. For example, in January 2007, MTV invested in social networking website TagWorld. MTV also acquired RateMyProfessors.com and Quizilla.com (teen social network) in January 2007 and October 2006 respectively.

As mentioned previously, our vision is to build and incorporate additional technologies, and use our “army” of members to publish vast amounts of music content on Shoutmouth, in order to fully satisfy music fans and leapfrog traditional music sites in terms of their music content.

E. Official Artist and Fan Sites

Shoutmouth com’s with official music artist websites and fan websites. These sites often include news about the specific artist as well as pictures, videos and other relevant information.

On one hand, official music artist and fan websites are direct competitors to Shoutmouth. This is because some of these sites offer comprehensive news on the specific artist they cover. In addition, many offer forums, discussion boards or other ways to communicate with other fans.

However, two factors separate Shoutmouth from these types of sites: 1) breadth and 2) sophistication.

  • Breadth : Most music fans love more than one artist. As such, in order to get the news they want, they would have to visit/join multiple fan or artist websites rather than getting all of their news from Shoutmouth.
  • Sophistication : While some official music artist websites are technologically sophisticated, offering forums, networking and other worthwhile features, the majority of artist and fan websites have limited usability, functionality and networking ability. In fact, this deficiency has lead to the success of MusicToday, which provides front and back-end technology to power artist websites.

Specifically, MusicToday offers web design and hosting, develops sophisticated online stores, builds online fan clubs and offers web ticketing among other services to select top music artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Christina Aguilera, Kenny Chesney, Britney Spears and Usher. While offering sophisticated tools for select music artist websites, MusicToday offers little to no music news nor advanced social networking functions. For instance, the official Dave Matthews Band website offers less than one news story per month.

F. Direct Competitors: Community-Based Music News Sites

Shoutmouth’s direct competitors are other music news websites that have social or community features that allow users to join the site, submit articles, comment on articles, create public profiles and/or communicate with other members. Shoutmouth has identified one significant player who offers this service, AbsolutePunk.net.

AbsolutePunk.net has done a good job of building a user base (the site claims 125,000+ registered members and nearly 500,000 un-registered members). In addition, the user base is very active — the average story on their site receives approximately 20 comments. AbsolutePunk.net offers music news, reviews, pictures and interviews among other features.

On the negative side, AbsolutePunk.net’s articles are generally posted by one staff writer (as opposed to Shoutmouth’s five writers), most articles are simply one sentence posts rather than full articles, and no attempt seems to have been made to cover all news stories. In addition, the site only covers the punk music genre. Although “punk” is broadly defined on the site, the site doesn’t cater to genres such as R&B, rap and country among others, failing to satisfy the broader market.

AbsolutePunk.net is owned by Indieclick, a Los Angeles-based media company. According to the AbsolutePunk.net website, the site:

  • Has developed a loyal (72% return rate) reader base
  • 5,182,147 Posts
  • 163,535 Threads
  • 126,448 Members
  • 1,711 Artist Profiles
  • 20,774 Multimedia Files
  • Approx 76,000 visits per day.
  • Approx 276,000 pageviews per day.

Shoutmouth’s Competitive Advantage

In addition to being the first to fill the untapped market void for comprehensive music news, Shoutmouth’s competitive advantage in the market primarily includes the following:

Online Marketing Sophistication

Content Development Experience and Expertise

Shoutmouth’s team, primarily team members DL and PF, has operated an affiliate marketing business focusing on music for the past four years. Affiliate marketing is defined as a system of revenue sharing between one site (the affiliate) which features an ad or content designed to drive traffic to another site (the merchant). The affiliate receives a fee based on traffic to the merchant which converts to sales.

Our affiliate business has focused on connecting music fans, primarily aged 13 to 30, with music offers such as iPods and ringtones. Over the past two years, we have successful sold affiliated offers to over 500,000 customers. We have become a significant online advertiser, receiving Google’s “over 1 million leads” award, and are recognized as a major player among the top affiliate networks.

It is important to note that affiliate marketing success has been credited with part of MySpace’s success. This is because effective affiliate marketers understand how to drive and convert on Internet traffic.

Shoutmouth will employ its affiliate marketing techniques to drive traffic to Shoutmouth.com and enroll members. We will utilize technologies and proprietary techniques that allow us to monitor multiple metrics such as the cost per visitor, cost per member sign-up, etc., so that we can set and maintain profitable metrics.

Another venture that Shoutmouth team members, primarily PK and DL, launched was the development of over 3,000 niche websites. To create the content for these websites, we employed a virtual work force of over 90 researchers in India and 30 writers and editors in the US.

This experience taught us how to manage a large workforce, train writers to improve content quality and motivate a large group of people. These skill sets will be critical in allowing Shoutmouth to grow the content of the site, as developed by both staff and members, while maintaining quality standards.

IV. Marketing Plan

Shoutmouth’s marketing plan includes the following:

Online Advertising : Shoutmouth will initiate pay-per-click advertising campaigns on Google and Yahoo! in order to inexpensively drive traffic to the site. Specifically, Shoutmouth believes it can drive qualified traffic to the site for 20 cents per visitor and achieve a 20% member conversion rate, thus generating members at a cost of $1.00 per member.

Keys to Shoutmouth’s success in achieving this metric include:

  • Conducting thorough keyword research and advertising on appropriate keywords and keyword groups
  • Creating advertising text that maximizes click through rates
  • Creating landing pages that maximize conversions while maintaining the highest Google AdWords quality score possible
  • Closely monitoring conversions to quickly stop and/or modify unprofitable campaigns
  • Getting individuals to enter their email address to join the newsletter is much easier than getting them to join a site where they have to create a username, select a password, etc. As such, step one will be to get visitors to sign up for artist-specific newsletters.
  • Once on the newsletter distribution list, members will constantly receive messages (embedded in their daily newsletter) regarding the benefits of participating more on Shoutmouth.
  • Active Shoutmouth Membership: the constant reminders regarding Shoutmouth’s value proposition in the daily newsletters will influence members to participate more actively on the site (e.g., customize their profile, visit the site more often, etc.).

Invite-A-Friend : Shoutmouth is in the process of creating an aggressive invite-a-friend/member referral program. In doing so, we are following the lead of social movie community, Flixster, which grew to 5 million members within 10 months. It did this by encouraging members, during their initial registration process, to upload and send an invitation to multiple contacts in their email address books. The technology to develop this process is fairly complex and we expect to be completed with and to rollout this program in June 2007.

Direct Email Marketing : Shoutmouth will directly contact bloggers and prominent music fans we find online to tell them about Shoutmouth, encourage them to join, and encourage them to write about Shoutmouth on their blogs and online journals .

Creating/Distributing Buzzworthy/Viral Content : Shoutmouth plans to have several buzzworthy/viral articles (i.e., content that people would want to email to their friends since it is funny, interesting, etc.) on the site each day. With a single click, visitors will be able to send these articles to social bookmarking sites such as Digg.com or Fark.com, where these articles could receive widespread attention. In addition to our traditional news stories, Shoutmouth will also periodically create special reports/features in order to satisfy our members and visitors and to try to get widespread exposure.

An example of the power of such buzzworthy content, Shoutmouth has already succeeded in having two stories accepted by Fark and Digg, which have brought in over 50,000 unique visitors.

Super Fans/Street Team Development : Shoutmouth also plans to recruit “super fans.” Super fans are individuals who are passionate about a certain music artist/band and actively contribute articles and/or comments on Shoutmouth. We will recruit these fans, reward them with status (e.g., adding a gold Shoutmouth headphones image to their profile page) and encourage them to more aggressively promote the site by:

  • Submitting more news to Shoutmouth
  • Commenting on more articles on Shoutmouth
  • Growing the Shoutmouth community around their favorite artist(s) by actively recruiting new members to join the site (such as actively posting Shoutmouth-related comments on their MySpace pages, on other music forums, etc.)

Public Relations : Upon financing, Shoutmouth will hire a public relations firm to help us get mentions in media sources ranging from magazines, newspapers, radio, television and blogs. To date, we have developed and issued press releases via Billboard Publicity Wire which have been syndicated throughout the web. An effective PR firm will enable Shoutmouth to quickly reach a wide audience.

Widgets : Shoutmouth will create artist-specific and genre-specific music news widgets. For example, our U2 widget (see example on right) would include all of the recent U2 articles published on Shoutmouth. The widget can easily be placed on MySpace pages, blogs, etc. Each story title in the widget links to the full article on Shoutmouth.

Shoutmouth has great expectations for our widget. To begin, no such widget currently exists as there is no one place to get comprehensive news for specific music artists. Secondly, each time someone places a Shoutmouth widget on their blog or social networking page, it will effectively market Shoutmouth to a wide audience at zero cost to us.

V. Technology/Site Development Plan

This section provides a brief roadmap of the initial and future functionality of Shoutmouth.

Initial Site Functionality

The initial Shoutmouth website will include the following features:

  • Ability to submit and comment on news stories
  • Ability to suggest new music artists to add to the site
  • Ability to create user profiles
  • Ability to receive customized news and email alerts
  • Articles categorized by artist and core genre (e.g., Rock, Rap, Pop, etc.)
  • Music artist sections which includes News, Bio and Fans

Future Site Functionality

Shoutmouth will use news and basic functionality as the platform though which we will build a thriving music community. After initial launch, the Shoutmouth technology team will work on incorporating additional features such as:

  • Ability to message other members via the site (e.g., members will have an Inbox on the site)
  • Event calendars: members will receive online calendars. With the click of a button, the member will be able to add tour dates of their favorite artists/bands to their calendar.
  • Articles also categorized by sub-genre (e.g., Alternative Rock, West Coast Rap, etc.)
  • Music artist sections to also include videos, audio files, photo galleries, reviews and event calendars to which members can upload files and vote on top content.
  • Forums and member blogs
  • Music compatibility testing (suggestions on song/artists members might like)
  • Trivia quizzes
  • Music playlists

VI. Financial Plan

Revenue Model

During the first six months, Shoutmouth will not generate any revenues as it will not sell advertising space nor offer products for sale. This decision has been made to spur the growth of the Shoutmouth community. By initially positioning Shoutmouth more as a non-profit, for-the-people-by-the-people venture, members will be more prone to promote the site and invite their friends than if the site looks too commercial.

Starting in September 2007, Shoutmouth will primarily generate revenues from selling advertising space. As technologies (such as the Snocap music widget) evolve that allow us to seamlessly integrate music sampling and purchasing on our site, sales of downloadable music are also expected to be a significant revenue source. To a lesser extent, we may sell other music-related items such as ringtones, concert tickets, and apparel.

Funding To Date

To date, Shoutmouth’s founders have invested $500,000 in Shoutmouth, with which we have accomplished the following:

  • Built the site’s core technology
  • Hired and trained our core staff (we currently maintain an 11-person full-time team)
  • Populated the website with content (over 10,000 articles and 1,200 artist bios)
  • Generated brand awareness among music fans, including driving 50,000 unique visitors in March, 100,000 unique visitors in April, and 200,000 unique visitors in May 2007.

Funding Requirements/Use of Funds

Shoutmouth is currently seeking $3 million to provide funding for the next 24 months. At this point, the site will be profitable and can grow organically, or additional capital may be sought to more aggressively expand our member base.

The capital will be used as follows:

  • Execution of Marketing plan : in order for Shoutmouth to grow its visitor and member base, we need to invest dollars in online advertising and public relations. With regards to online advertising, we are confident that we can enroll members at a cost of $1 per member, which is a fraction of the value of the members to an acquirer (minimum $25 per member), thus providing a significant return on our marketing investments.
  • Execution of Technology plan : in order to build a thriving community, Shoutmouth needs to offer its visitors a “stickier” website and enhanced features. We currently maintain a vast “wish list” of features, such as members uploading and rating pictures and videos, trivia quizzes, and member-to-member messaging, that will significantly improve the site’s functionality and value proposition.
  • Staffing : In order to reach our goals, we will have to hire additional technical and operations personnel.

Financial Projections

Below is an overview of Shoutmouth’s Financial Projections for the next three years. Please see the Appendix for the full financial projections and key assumptions.

Exit Strategy / Valuation Metric

Shoutmouth’s most likely exit strategy is to be acquired by a traditional music website or property (e.g., Viacom/MTV, Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone), an entertainment/media conglomerate (e.g., Yahoo!, IAC/InterActiveCorp, NBC), or a large social networking site (e.g., News Corp/MySpace).

This strategy is supported by the significant M&A activity in the social networking market, which includes the following transactions over the past 24 months:

Regarding valuation, below are the estimated valuations of social networking companies on a per member basis upon exit:

  • Del.icio.us: $50 – $100 per member
  • MySpace: $25 per member
  • Xing (business social network): $137 per member at IPO in 10/06
  • Flickr: $56 – $130 per member
  • Grouper: $130 per member

Based on this data, not only are social networking sites a promising investment, but sites that can acquire members for less than $25 each (a conservative valuation estimate based on the figures above), should earn a solid return on investment. As discussed above, Shoutmouth’s goal is to acquire members for no more than $1 each.

In addition, per the membership projections above, Shoutmouth’s valuation at the end of 2009, at a $25 valuation per member, is expected to be $239 million. A more conservative, using a 24.4 time EBITDA multiple (the average multiple of tech M&A deals in 2006 according to The M&A Advisor), yields a $121 million valuation in 2009.

Shoutmouth’s founding team includes entrepreneurs and managers with a track record of success and a history of successfully working together.

Management Team

DL, Co-Founder and CEO

D has a history of successfully launching and growing businesses of all sizes. As president and co-founder of an entrepreneurial services firm., D has personally assisted in the launch and development of over 100 ventures.

Over the past three years, D founded and has managed The Kisco Group which includes an affiliate marketing division (2006 revenues exceeded $3 million), a search engine optimization business which includes a network of 3,000 websites (2006 revenues exceeded $500,000) and an e-commerce business (which includes TopPayingKeywords.com and ShowerHeadsEtc.com).

D earned his Bachelors degree from the University of South Carolina.

PK, Co-Founder and Vice President of Operations

For the past two years, P has managed The Kisco Group’s search engine optimization business where he hired, trained and managed nearly 100 employees and a dozen outside firms. During this time, P has honed his management skills with regards to content development, marketing and operations.

P has had a passion for music since childhood and has been a semi-professional drummer for the past 15 years.

P earned his Bachelors of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Clemson University.

PF, Co-Founder and Vice President of Technology

For the past year, P has managed The Kisco Group’s affiliate marketing business. In addition to setting up and managing widespread marketing campaigns, P has developed sophisticated analytic techniques to precisely analyze web traffic in order to optimize profitability.

Since August 2006, P has shifted his efforts and leveraged his technology skills in developing the Shoutmouth website. P has been instrumental in selecting the Content Management Platform upon which Shoutmouth is built, and finding and managing the technology team.

P earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College.

AB, Marketing Manager

A’s background in music includes being a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer. He has also worked on the marketing side of music, having marketed Veritas Records through the development and distribution of promotional materials.

A’s career also includes psychological research and administration, having served as a Research Assistant with the Interpersonal Perception And Communication Laboratory in Cambridge, MA.

A earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ohio State University.

M, Lead Technology Developer

M is an experienced web programmer with expertise in web design, application development and database development among others.

M’s work experience includes serving as a Senior Developer at Spheres. M has also engaged in multiple, long term freelance projects including serving as a Database Developer Consultant with The Penn Group and a Web Developer Consultant with Volution Media Group and Allied Online Consulting Group.

M earned his Bachelors degree in Computer Science with a minor in Cognitive Science from Rutgers University.

Content Development Team

Shoutmouth’s writing team, managed by PK, includes the following members:

  • JS, Editorial Manager: former content manager and copywriter for Scholastic Inc. and Promotions.com.
  • TZ: former music intern (Virgin Records and WRRV) and author of the blog, The Tom Z Show .
  • ML: former assistant editor for Adventure Publishing; author of the blog Certified Gangsta ; and former editor-in-chief of Fordham University’s newspaper The Paper .
  • SB: former staff writer for Paste Magazine , The Clarion Ledger , and Nightclub and Bar Magazine among others.
  • CSJ: former editorial intern for Rolling Stone and Editorial Assistant for Psychology Today .

Outsourced Technology Team

Shoutmouth works very closely with 2skies, a technology firm based in Australia with staff in Australia and the United States. 2skies is run by JDN, one of the co-founding developers of XE, the platform upon which Shoutmouth is built.

XE is an extensible, Open Source web application framework written in PHP and licensed under the GNU General Public License. XE delivers the requisite infrastructure and tools to create custom web applications that include fully dynamic multi-platform Content Management Solutions (CMS).

VIII. Appendix: Shoutmouth Financial Projections   3-Year Income Statement

3-Year Balance Sheet

As of December 31

3-Year Cash Flow Statement

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Free business plan template (with examples)

Alan Bradley

Sierra Campbell

Sierra Campbell

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

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Starting a business can be a daunting undertaking. As with so many large projects, one of the most difficult challenges is just getting started, and one of the best ways to start is by putting together a plan. A plan is also a powerful tool for communication and can serve as a cornerstone for onboarding new partners and employees or for demonstrating your philosophy and priorities to potential collaborators. 

A solid business plan will not only provide a framework for your business going forward but will also give you an early opportunity to organize and refine your thoughts and define your mission statement, providing a guidepost that can serve as a beacon for your business for years to come. We’ve provided a business plan template below to help guide you in the creation of your new enterprise.

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Business plan template

What should a business plan include?

Regardless of the type of business you own or the products and services you provide, every business plan should include some core elements:

  • Mission statement. The definition and executive summary of your business.
  • Market analysis. A breakdown of the market segment and customers you hope to reach, built through primary (gathered by you) and secondary (gathered from outside sources) research.
  • Organization and logistics. The nuts and bolts of how your business is operated
  • Products or services. What your company provides its customers.
  • Advertising and marketing. How you intend to get your products in front of your customers.
  • Forecasting. Revenue forecasting for partners or potential investors.

Why do you need a business plan?

A business plan is a framework for success. It provides a number of key benefits:

  • Structure. The outline around which to design your business.
  • Operational guidance. A signpost for how to run your business from day to day.
  • Expansion. A vision for the future growth of your enterprise.
  • Definition. A platform to consider every element of your business and how best to execute your plans for them.
  • Collaboration. A synopsis of what’s exceptional about your business and a way to attract funding, investment or partnerships.
  • Onboarding. An efficient summary of your business for new or potential employees.

Business plan examples

We’ve created two fictional companies to illustrate how a business might use a business plan to sketch out goals and opportunities as well as forecast revenue.

Bling, Incorporated

Our first hypothetical example is a jewelry and accessory creator called Bling, Incorporated. A hybrid business that manufactures its products for sale both online and through physical retail channels, Bling’s mission statement is focused on transforming simple, inexpensive ingredients into wearable statement pieces of art. 

Market analysis includes gathering data around sourcing sustainable, inexpensive components, aesthetic trends in fashion and on which platforms competitors have had success in advertising jewelry to prospective customers. Logistics include shipping products, negotiating with retailers, establishing an e-commerce presence and material and manufacturing costs. 

Bling, Incorporated advertises initially through social platforms like TikTok and Facebook, as well as with Google AdSense, with plans to eventually expand to television advertising. Revenue forecasting is structured around a low overhead on the basis of inexpensive materials, no dedicated storefront and broad reach through digital platforms.

Phaeton Custom Cars

Phaeton is a custom car builder and classic car restoration business with a regional focus and reach. Its mission statement defines it as a local, family-owned business serving a community of auto enthusiasts and a broader regional niche of collectors. 

Market analysis breaks down the location and facilities of other competitor shops in the region as well as online communities of regional car enthusiasts likely to spend money on custom modifications or restoration projects. It also examines trends in valuations for custom parts and vintage cars. Logistics include pricing out parts and labor, finding skilled or apprentice laborers and mortgaging a garage and equipment. 

Phaeton advertises in regional publications, at local events and regional car shows and online through Facebook and Instagram, with an emphasis on a social presence highlighting their flashiest builds. Revenue forecasting is built around a growing reputation and high-value commissions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A business plan may not be a prerequisite for every type of business, but there are few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from one. It can serve as an important strategic tool and help crystalize a vision of your business and its future.

Business plans do just that: they help you plan the future of your business, serve as a platform to brainstorm ideas and think through your vision and are a great tool for showcasing why your business works to potential investors or partners.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Alan Bradley

Alan is an experienced culture and tech writer with a background in newspaper reporting. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, The Escapist, PC Mag, PC Gamer, and a multitude of other outlets. He has over twenty years of experience as a journalist and editor and is the author of the urban fantasy novel The Sixth Borough.

Sierra Campbell is a small business editor for USA Today Blueprint. She specializes in writing, editing and fact-checking content centered around helping businesses. She has worked as a digital content and show producer for several local TV stations, an editor for U.S. News & World Report and a freelance writer and editor for many companies. Sierra prides herself in delivering accurate and up-to-date information to readers. Her expertise includes credit card processing companies, e-commerce platforms, payroll software, accounting software and virtual private networks (VPNs). She also owns Editing by Sierra, where she offers editing services to writers of all backgrounds, including self-published and traditionally published authors.

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

Business Eric Rosenberg

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550+ Business Plan Samples To Inspire Your Plan

Inspire your own plan with 550+ business plan samples

Use real business plan examples to jump-start your own plan!

Business planning shouldn't be complicated

Don’t start from scratch — get a headstart with 550 real business plan examples

How do you know what elements to include in your business plan, if you’ve never written one before? Looking at real business plan samples can help you visualize what a successful plan looks like, so you know what you’re aiming for before you get started. With LivePlan you’ll have access to over 550 free example business plans to use as a starting point.

Access our full library and browse real sample content for a broad range of businesses. You’ll see how others have written effective executive summaries, planned marketing activities, created financial forecasts , and more. Plus we’ll be right there to walk you through it .

Whether you run a dentist office or dog walking service, you’ll find examples of a business plan for every type of business.

Whether you’re a small- or mid-sized business, freelancer, nonprofit, or still figuring that out, we’ve got you covered.

LivePlan’s library of business plan samples has real business plans from 150 industries and growing. You can see the complete list here .

It’s OK if you can’t find an exact match to your business. You don’t need an exact match for a sample plan to be helpful. Instead, look for a plan that’s closely related to the type of business you’re starting. For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse will still be a great match.

While the specifics of your actual business will differ, the elements you’ll want to include in your restaurant’s business plan are similar—and they’re all included in LivePlan .

business plan examples

Real business plan examples to save you time

Read through as many sample business plans as you like to see how it’s done and get inspired. And if you really want to, you can even copy and paste sections to use in your own plan.

We’ve collected sample plans over more than 20 years, most through generous donations from happy customers who used our software and wanted to share their successful business plan samples with others.

Get LivePlan in your classroom

Are you an educator looking for real–world business plan examples for your students? With LivePlan, you give your students access to industry–best business plan samples, and help them set goals and track metrics with spreadsheet–free financial forecasts. All of this within a single tool that includes additional instructional resources to work seamlessly alongside your current classroom setup.

With LivePlan, it’s not just a classroom project. It’s your students planning for their futures. Click here to learn more about business planning for students.

Built-in examples and step-by-step help so you won’t get stuck

In addition to complete sample plans, LivePlan includes specific examples for each part of your business plan. Browse through a few examples to get an idea of how other businesses have worded their executive summary, for instance, or other key sections of the business plan. Find an example that works for you and personalize it to fit your business.

You’ll be confident that your numbers are right

In addition to sample business plans, LivePlan includes current industry benchmarks so you can see what the numbers look like for businesses just like yours. Knowing your industry standards helps ensure that your plan is both competitive and realistic.

Download a free sample business plan

Download a free business plan today. You can use it as a template for your own business plan and to see an example of what you’ll find in LivePlan. Download my free business plan .

Try LivePlan today

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Written by Jesse Sumrak | March 27, 2023

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Can there really be that many good business ideas? Yes, there can. This is actually our filtered-down list—you should have seen how many other almost-good ideas nearly made the cut.

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or brand new to the scene, we’ve compiled the best-of-the-best business ideas for you to bring to life in 2023. These range from freelance writing to career coaching to dog walking and everything in between.

Ready to find your next big idea? Keep scrolling.

What Makes a Business Idea Good or Bad?

It’s not always just the idea you need to think about. Sometimes it’s you, the situation, market circumstances, or industry trends.

One business idea can be good today and bad tomorrow. It all depends on various factors (both predictable and unpredictable). Not every good business idea will be right for you, and that’s OK.

Fortunately for you, you don’t need 50 good business ideas—you really just need one. Here’s what to keep in mind when finding the right startup idea :

  • Personal Interests: Don’t start a freelance writing business if you hate writing. Align your interests with your business. That’s the freedom you get when starting your own business—don’t throw it away from the get-go.
  • Bandwidth: Some business ideas require more input and investment. For example, opening and managing a new Italian restaurant will be more time-consuming than launching a restaurant consulting business. Neither is better than the other—just under your capacity and limitations.
  • Budget: Starting a business isn’t free. Some ideas cost less than others, though. Keep in mind your budget constraints when planning your venture.
  • Trends: You want to be on the climbing side of a trend curve—not the decline. Thinking of starting a business centered around Pokémon GO? You’re only about 6 years too late.
  • Problem-Solving: Find a business idea that solves a problem. Start with the issue, then find a product or service solution.
  • Renovation: A good business idea doesn’t need to be innovative—it can be renovative. Fix a broken idea or build upon an already successful one.

Once you’ve found the right business idea, don’t quit your day job (yet). Test it first.

Don’t Skip: How to Start a Business from Scratch (Step-By-Step Process)

50 Good Business Ideas in 2023

We’ve broken down these good business ideas into a few different sections. Here’s how they’re categorized:

Types of Good Business Ideas

Low-Cost Startup Ideas

Online Business Ideas

Remote Business Ideas

Freelance Ideas

Business Ideas for Women

Side Hustle Ideas

Recession-Proof Business Ideas

Build your business button

7 Good Low-Cost Startup Ideas

Starting a business can be expensive. Rent, wages, inventory, advertising, web hosting, marketing—it all starts to add up quickly.

Fortunately, not every good business idea costs a fortune. You can find plenty that cost little to no cash to launch. Let’s start with these low-cost startup ideas first :

1. Freelance Writing: Turns words into income as a for-hire freelance writer . Find an industry that interests you and start writing. This could be thought-leadership articles, SEO-driven content, email campaigns, social media posts, or web pages.

2. Consulting: Freelancers tend to provide deliverables, while consultants provide advice, strategy, and expertise. If you’ve been in an industry for quite some time, there’s a good chance businesses will pay for your wisdom as a consultant . Develop expertise in emerging industries, like AI, to be an early adopter in a niche agency.

3. Course Creating: Have lucrative know-how? Bundle it all up into a well-designed online class and sell it as a course creator . We’re all for it—that’s what we do at Foundr.

4. Podcasting: Total podcast listeners are growing 20% each year . Jump in on the action by creating your own audio-based show. Here’s how to make your podcast stand out from the rest .

5. Blogging: Everyone likes blogs—you’re reading one right now. If you like to write, drive traffic to a website with blogging . Once you have an audience, you can monetize your visitors with ads, ecommerce, sponsorships, donations, and affiliate marketing. Speaking of affiliate marketing…

6. Affiliate Marketing: Instead of selling your own products, sell other businesses’ goods. You’ll make a commission every time someone clicks through your links and makes a purchase. Learn how Catena Media’s Erik Bergman used affiliate marketing to launch an IPO (initial public offering) his consultancy firm.

7. Website Building: Over 627,000 new businesses open each year in the US, and every single one of them needs a website. If you have a knack for building them, sell your services as a website builder. Here’s how to build sites quickly .

6 Good Online Business Ideas for Beginners

We won’t pretend starting a business is easy. It comes with a suite of challenges that bring even the best entrepreneurs to despair, headaches, and tears.

However, it’s worth the challenge.

Lucky for you, some business ideas are easier to start than others. If you’ve never dabbled in launching a business, then these online business ideas for beginners are a great place to start.

8. Ecommerce: Ecommerce is just selling stuff on the internet. Find a product , sell it online, and make a killing. That’s easier said than done, but our guide on how to start an ecommerce business will walk you through the entire process.

9. Virtual Assisting: Help businesses, executives, and freelancers schedule appointments, make phone calls, submit invoices, and manage basic finances as a virtual assistant .

10. Social Media Managing: Many businesses don’t have the bandwidth to manage social networks across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok ( yes, TikTok ). If you’re a savvy social media marketer, you can provide management services across paid and organic channels.

11. Branding: Designing a top-notch logo is hard. Writing a clever tagline is a challenge. Tying it all together into one cohesive brand—that’s the struggle of a branding expert. If you have a talent for it, sell your services in a freelancing or consulting capacity.

12. Domain Flipping: Instead of building websites from scratch, buy existing sites from domain marketplaces. They could be in great, semi-rough, or poor condition—your job is to polish them up and sell them for a profit.

13. Subscription Box Curating: Create a subscription box for a niche in need. There’s a lot of competition in this space, so you’ll need to be clever with your offering and targeting—but Henrik Werdelin built a 9-figure subscription box business just for dogs .

Top 4 Ecommerce Products that Sell During a Recession

3 Good Remote Business Ideas

New business ideas have blossomed due to the acceptance of remote work. Give these remote work ideas a try to launch a business and help alleviate unexplored problems.

14. Wellness Programming: Remote work isn’t great for everyone—some folks struggle with stress and isolation. As a wellness programmer, you can provide ways to relax, decompress, and focus on mental and emotional wellbeing. This could be in the form of yoga, meditation, stretching, training, or just healthy habits.

15. Remote Work Services: Provide remote-empowering solutions to businesses in need. While it feels like remote started decades ago, some companies are still learning to adapt and cope. Offer services to boost collaboration or fill holes left open by work-from-home policies.

16. Virtual Fitness Training: Peloton doesn’t have a monopoly on online fitness—some people want other forms of exercise, and others prefer a more local community feel. Become a hyper-specialized fitness trainer in specific niches, such as ultramarathon training, rowing, ski mountaineering, or rock climbing.

6 Good Freelance Job Ideas

Freelancing has been on the up and up in recent years, and the pandemic has only been a catalyst for the movement. Especially with the Great Resignation upon us , companies need freelancers to step up to the plate and take over heaps of work.

If you have the right skill set, you can fulfill that need with one of these freelance job ideas .

17. Video Shooting and Editing: Video content is all the rage, but it’s not easy for busy businesses to produce. If you know your way around a camera and video editing software, you can find plenty of work as a freelance video specialist.

18. Career Coaching: Help clients find their way through their dream careers. You might guide them towards a more appropriate, fulfilling job, or you could give them the tools they need to negotiate their next big promotion.

19. Public Relations: Help businesses land press coverage with media kits, networking, press releases, and storytelling. It’s a demanding job, but it’s right if you like working in a non-stop, fast-paced environment.

20. Marketing: Use content marketing, email, social media, and advertising to market your clients’ products and services . Marketing is all-encompassing, and you’ll likely choose to niche down to a specific channel or strategy down the road.

21. App Developing: Apps are becoming a must-have part of most businesses’ products and services. However, finding an available engineer to build an app is near impossible. If you know your way around Java , Swift , or Kotlin , you’ll be in high demand for mobile app development.

22. Integrating: Some leaders inspire, others innovate, and a few dream. Integrators get things done. They take dreams and aspirations and turn them into reality. It’s a hands-on job, but it’s high-visibility and high-reward.

How To Find The Next BIG Business Idea | Nextdoor's Sarah Leary

12 Good Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs

There are 114% more women entrepreneurs now than 20 years ago. Women are looking for more autonomy, work-life balance, and financial freedom—and they’re finding it on their own rather than waiting for the corporate world to change.

If you’re looking for a good business idea that promises location flexibility and work schedule independence, we have a few thoughts. Plus, these business ideas for women entrepreneurs are typically in women-dominated industries—helping you escape the gender discrimination more prevalent in male-dominated sectors.

23. Etsy Shop: Esty is the go-to marketplace for creative entrepreneurs. Want to make one-of-a-kind products? This is where to go to sell them.

24. Interior Designing: Have an eye for design? Become a residential or commercial interior designer. Ergonomic setups and feng shui (arranging furniture for balance) are becoming more of a priority in the business world, meaning more opportunities for you.

25. Graphic Designing: Logos, landing pages, websites, hero images, email campaigns—anything with pixels needs a graphic designer’s touch. While tools like Canva are growing in popularity, they’ll never replace a need for graphic design experts.

26. Dropshipping: Sell products without storing them in your home or a warehouse. It’s the perfect anti-Lula Roe way to sell goods without risking inventory issues.

27. Life Coaching: Coaching isn’t just for career advice. Sometimes, people need life advice. It’s less therapy and more guidance.

28. Tutoring: Online course instructing is when you want to teach the masses—tutoring is for more private 1:1 teaching. Have an in-demand skill? There’s a good chance someone will pay you to teach it to them.

29. Real Estate: Purchase investment properties, find a tenant to pay rent (hopefully covering the monthly mortgage), and sell the property after it appreciates substantially. That’s real estate for you.

30. Wedding Planning: A wedding is the most important day of two partners’ lives. If you can navigate all the moving parts and piece together something beautiful, you’ll be on everyone’s contact list come springtime.

31. Personal Chef: You don’t need to own a restaurant to be a chef. More individuals and families are hiring personal chefs to cook in private settings.

32: Event Planning: Conferences, parties, meetings, conventions, trade shows—they need talented event planners to come together. If that sounds like you, you’ll always have a job in event planning.

33. Makeup Artist: Makeup isn’t as easy as it looks in the commercials, and that’s why makeup artists are killing it on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok showing people how it’s done.

34. Cleaning Business: Everyone needs cleaning: commercial and residential. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty (or managing the business), you’ll find plenty of messy people begging for your help.

How Her Rejected Pitch Led to a Billion-Dollar Startup

13 Good Side Hustle Ideas

Some ideas start better as a side hustle until they bloom to maturity. Side hustles (for better or worse) are less committing than full-time ventures. You can often grow them on the side while maintaining your 9-to-5 until the timing is right .

You also have the option to keep them as a side hustle. Not everyone wants to quit their full-time job and become an all-in entrepreneur, and that’s OK. These are the perfect side hustle jobs for pursuing a passion, making an extra buck, or laying the roots for your next business.

35. Ghostwriting: If you don’t mind trading credit for income, ghostwriting can be a lucrative business idea.

36. Podcast Editing: Some people thrive doing podcast interviews, but they can’t navigate the editing process. That’s where you come in.

37. Influencer Marketing Specialist: Most businesses are hesitant to start with influencer marketing simply because they don’t know how. Tell them what they need to know and hold their hand through the process.

38. Lead Generation Consulting: Sales aren’t always the root of the problem—sometimes, it’s lead generation. Guide a client through how they can build and optimize their lead funnel.

39. Browser Extension Developing: Mobile apps are nice, but sometimes a built-in browser extension is more appropriate.

40. Data Scientist: Know your way around numbers? Businesses have more data than they know what to do with. Help them understand the stories behind the numbers.

41. Quality Assurance Testing: There’s a lot of pressure for apps to be built quickly, but that doesn’t mean quality assurance isn’t a priority. Your job is to break apps so that developers can fix them before they go public.

42. Public Speaking Coaching: Public speaking will likely always be a struggle for a large number of individuals. If you can help executives and would-be presenters overcome their fears and step up to the stage, you’ll have a job in public speaking coaching.

43. Media Training: Don’t put an executive in front of a microphone until they’ve been trained on what to do (and more importantly: what not to do). It’s your job to make sure they don’t screw up.

44. Contract Writing: Know your way around legalese? Help businesses write up contracts.

45. Translating: If you’re bilingual, there’s a good chance you can find gigs for translating the two languages.

46. Dog Walking: Just because more people are working from home doesn’t mean they don’t want a dog walker. Sometimes, they don’t want to leave the house, and other times they can’t with illness or kiddos.

47. Pet Sitting: People want to travel and see the world, but they can’t always bring their furry friend. Keep them company for payment.

Find YOUR Side Hustle Idea (9 Questions of Doom)

3 Good Business Ideas During a Recession

Sketchy economic times require backup plans. With 9 to 5 jobs in flux, starting a business during a recession is a secure way to make side income and take advantage of shifts in the market.

48. Finance Coach: With a tightening economy comes tightening budgets. As a finance coach, you can help families objectively adjust their monthly budgets and offer suggestions on cutting costs to free up cash.

49. Content Creator: Making entertaining and engaging content for platforms like TikTok, Twitch, or YouTube doesn’t seem like a stable idea, but it meets two criteria of a recession-proof business. First, it’s low-cost to start. All you need is a phone, ideas, and your personality. Second, it meets consumers’ demands during tight economic conditions—escapism and low-cost entertainment.

50. Home Repair: No matter what’s happening with S&P 500, pipes will burst, lights will flicker, and furnaces wig out. Starting a home repair business will keep you in demand no matter the economic climate because what can go wrong will go wrong with a house.

Keep Learning: How to Start an Online Business

Bring Your Good Idea to Life

Once you’ve zeroed in on your good business idea, it’s time to make it a reality. However, you need more than just an idea—you need skills and know-how.

That’s where we can help.

We’ve created a huge catalog of courses to teach you everything you need to know to launch and grow your business. Need help running ads? We got you covered. Want to learn how to write compelling copy? Look no further.

Explore our free trainings today and start learning the entrepreneur essentials.

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About Jesse Sumrak

Jesse Sumrak is a writing zealot focused on creating killer content. He’s spent almost a decade writing about startup, marketing, and entrepreneurship topics, having built and sold his own post-apocalyptic fitness bootstrapped business. A writer by day and a peak bagger by night (and early early morning), you can usually find Jesse preparing for the apocalypse on a precipitous peak somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

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Welcome, aspiring tycoons and moguls-in-the-making, to the entrepreneurial bazaar of your dreams! If business ideas were spices, this would be the ultimate spice rack—a dash of innovation here, a sprinkle of disruption there, and a whole heap of profit potential. Ready to cook up your own empire? Great, because we've got the recipes for success across 19 sizzling categories. Let's stir the pot, shall we?

Arts & Crafts Business Ideas

Business solutions & consulting business ideas, cars & transportation business ideas, cleaning & maintenance business ideas, clothing & fashion business ideas, construction & real estate business ideas, design & creativity business ideas, education & learning business ideas, finance & accounting business ideas, food & beverage business ideas, health & beauty business ideas, home improvement & repairs business ideas, hospitality & leisure business ideas, internet & technology business ideas, music & entertainment business ideas, pets & animals business ideas, rental & delivery services business ideas, retail & shopping business ideas, sustainability & eco-friendly business ideas.

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50 Business Ideas for New Entrepreneurs in 2024

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Technology has made starting your own small business easy, affordable, and possible. All you need to start a company online is an internet connection, web hosting , and a  domain name . The biggest challenge, however, is coming up with a viable and unique small business idea.

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Ideally, the perfect small business idea for you fulfills three important criteria:

  • An activity you like doing
  • Something you are good at
  • Something in demand (i.e., people would pay for)

To help get you get started, we’ve come up with a list of online and offline business ideas that are easy to start. We have categorized each idea as follows:

  • Business type–is it an online or offline opportunity?
  • Investment–how much does it cost to start?
  • Earning potential–how much can you realistically earn?

We also indicate which ideas are well-suited to stay-at-home parents, undergraduate students, and those under 18.

Business to Business (B2B) Service Ideas

1. online bookkeeping.

Like many other professions, bookkeeping has gone online. This is great news for many bookkeepers and accountants who feel trapped in the office environment and long for more personal freedom and the ability to work during their own hours.

With easy-to-use  accounting software  and appointment-setting tools available, it’s never been easier to set up and manage client accounts.

  • Business type: Online
  • Investment: Low investment ⬇︎
  • Potential: Low value ⬇︎
  • Good for: Stay at home parents ✔

2. Business broker

A business broker assists the transaction between buyers and sellers. They must have adequate training and comprehensive knowledge of business law and standard practices in their respective industry. Business brokers are rewarded with commissions for the sales they make.

  • Potential: High value ⬆︎
  • Good for: Undergraduate students ✔

3. Office space rental

Office sharing is a booming industry largely driven by the needs of young entrepreneurs creating the next Google or Amazon.

If you already own a suitable property, you will only have to bear relatively low startup costs. However, this is a substantial investment if you don’t already have suitable property.

  • Business type: Offline
  • Investment: High investment ⬆︎

4. Language translation

Despite the impressive advancements of machine translation, the  demand  for skilled translators is still high value and will probably remain so for quite some time.

You can start looking for work on platforms such as  Fiverr  or  Upwork  and slowly build your clientele. It’s also a good idea to directly contact popular bloggers or a freelance writing business and ask if they would consider having their blog work translated into another language.

  • Good for: Stay at home parents ✔ undergraduate students ✔

5. Importing electronic original equipment manufacturer gadgets

If you look at top-selling items on  Amazon or eBay , you will probably notice many are imported. The formula is fairly simple: purchase your initial inventory, create a brand, and then  market and advertise your products online .

You can even use  dropshipping  or Amazon fulfillment services to do the whole thing and increase your average order value without a physical warehouse.

  • Business type: Online/offline
  • Good for: Stay at home parents ✔ undergraduate students ✔ kids and teens ✔

6. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketers promote products made by other people and then earn commissions on their sales. Amazon is easy to get accepted into and currently the most popular platform for affiliate marketing, but there are many alternatives as well. Affiliate marketing is often combined with blogging to create a seamless mix of content and promotion.

7. Data analyst consulting

With  the rise of big data , an increasing number of companies need to make sense of heaps of information to adjust overall business strategies. A data analyst has the technical expertise to do this and often has a background in economics, mathematics, or finance.

Data analysts  who work for large international corporations can earn more than enough money to support extravagant lifestyles.

8. Niche interest website owner

New trends start every day, and some become pop culture sensations. Your job as a niche website owner is to capture the market before it gets too saturated.

Creating a niche-interest website ( using WordPress ) will allow you to secure your place on the top of search engines, resulting in thousands of daily visitors. Using a tool like  StudioPress  can make this even easier. Blogging will grow your audience.

Ready to begin? Step one is choosing the right host.  Bluehost our top recommendation for most because of it’s affordable price point, beginner-friendly onboarding process, and any time customer support.

  • Potential: High value ⬆

9. Search engine optimization consultant

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to be relevant on the web.

A capable  SEO consultant  can turn a dying business into a prosperous operation in a matter of months. The best SEO professionals can earn as much as seasoned software developers.

10. Business incubator

The role of a  business incubator  is to help new companies and startups plan and begin small businesses successfully. A typical business incubator will provide clients with management training, office space, high-speed internet connectivity, and other necessities.

You don’t have to think too big – being a small,  local incubator  can be the perfect place to start.

Arts and Media Business Ideas

11. self-publishing.

Some self-published authors earn as much as  $100,000 yearly . You can achieve the same kind of success — and all you need is a few freely available tools and the ability to write a compelling book that will sell.

You don’t have to earn six figures to succeed with self-publishing. Just a few hundred extra dollars every month can go a long way. Many self-publishers begin with freelance writing or a simple website, relying on web hosts like Bluehost  to get started.

12. Social media consultant

This business is ideal for someone who knows how to use social media to obtain business objectives. You can specialize (e.g., in running  ads on Facebook and other social media platforms) , or be a generalist social media manager who can navigate LinkedIn, Snapchat stories, Twitter, and more accounts.  Social media tools  make this management easier.

While some social media consultants can earn big bucks, most can only manage to earn an  average wage .

13. Content writer

Businesses of all sizes embrace  content marketing  as their primary way of attracting customers and establishing their position as market leaders.

A content writer should be able to digest complex topics and turn them into engaging posts quickly and well-optimized for search engines. As such, it’s great for people who know a little bit about everything.

14. Podcasting

Podcasting is a fantastic way to make a few bucks on the side for anyone who deals with interesting or niche topics suitable for this format. There are already dozens of entrepreneur and business-focused podcasts out there.

Do you like video games or ethnic music? Interested in startups and entrepreneurship? Plenty of people would look forward to hearing your show on their way to work or school. Check out our full guide on how to start a business podcast to learn more about the process.

15. Blogging

Blogging is still alive and thriving. While it’s technically free to get started, you’ll have to be patient: it will take a while to get exposure and grow your audience. These days, the competition is fierce. Good knowledge of SEO is essential, as is the ability to create excellent content.

For anyone serious about starting, growing, and monetizing a blog, we recommend Bluehost + WordPress as the best place to get started. It’s easy to use, affordable, and flexible to match your needs & skills as you grow.

16. On-demand/streaming video content

PewDiePie is one of the biggest YouTube stars with over 111 million subscribers. His journey to stardom started in his room with a humble webcam and one simple  Let’s Play  video, which he does to this day.

Beyond live game streaming, there are still vast, unexplored seas filled with  opportunities  for anyone on YouTube who dares to go after them.

17. Handmade goods

If you are a crafty person, look at  Etsy , the largest online market for homemade and vintage goods.

You will find an amazing mix of leather wallets, lamps made from river wood, unique hand-printed t-shirts, jewelry, organic soup, and countless other things.  Top sellers  often expand beyond the platform, creating their own brands and opening stores across the globe.

Keep in mind you can sell your products on more than one site, including your own with an ecommerce platform like Shopify & BigCommerce .

18. Antique refurbishment

If you like working with wood and beautiful, valuable objects in general but don’t have the drive to create your own,  antique refurbishing  could be your ticket to success.

Depending on what you do exactly, you don’t need to invest a lot of money to get started, but you will need to  travel  across the country to get the best pieces on which to work.

19. WordPress themes

Are you a web developer or designer who earns passive income from a side business? If so, creating  WordPress themes  might be the right path for you. You can sell your themes on websites like  Envato Market .

Once your theme is finished, you will still need to provide customers with  ongoing support  and updates, but can do so when you please.

20. Drone videographer

If you like piloting drones, perhaps consider working as a  drone videographer . You get to go to interesting places, meet cool people, and eventually develop a portfolio that could land you a job in Hollywood or a high-paying company in the real estate industry.

Professional drones are expensive, but you can  start small  with a midsize one and a GoPro camera and go from there.

21. Subscription service

The main advantage of the subscription model is its predictable nature. As the number of your subscribers rises, you will know exactly how much you can expect to earn every month. Platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi are great ways to connect with fans who support you monthly.

The  largest subscription services  in the world are well-oiled machines that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Education-Related Business Ideas

22. language teacher.

For a long time, language teaching has been the go-to side business to make money for students and even full-time high school or university teachers. Now, with Skype and ubiquitous internet access, everyone can start  teaching languages  from the comfort of their home.

You don’t even have to know any  foreign languages  yourself – there are many advanced learners who are happy to practice their conversation skills.

23. Online course creator

One of the most popular platforms where people can access massive open online courses ( MOOCs ),  Coursera , has more than  100 million users  hungry for knowledge. Such courses go  far beyond  the traditional high school curriculum.

If you have any skill you think people might be interested in, there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a go. All it takes is a web camera, capture software, and basic editing skills.

Hospitality and Food Services Business Ideas

24. hostel owner.

With services like Airbnb, anyone can turn their house, garage, or single room into a  unique accommodation  for tourists and travelers from all around the world.

The platform takes care of the initial exposure and provides a way for owners and clients to communicate. If you happen to own a house in an attractive destination, you can even expect to  earn good money .

25. Event planner

The internet has enabled people to connect with like-minded individuals from across the globe, creating the best small business opportunity for  event planners .

Event planning requires organizational skills to  manage an event  like a wedding or a trade show. Money can then be made from entrance fees, sponsorships, on-premise sales to attendees, and more.

26. Food truck

Do you like to cook and always like coming up with new, creative ideas? Then opening a  food truck  might be just for you.

27. Catering business

These days, starting a catering business is all about finding the right niche. You can specialize in whatever type of food you like, any type of clients, and any type of venue.

You can cater to young professionals who want to organize networking events or be known as the  go-to caterer  for children’s parties. Picking a specialty can help you find underserved clientele.

28. Craft beer brewing

Producing small amounts of  beer  has recently turned into a popular hobby and fantastic business opportunity.

You will need to  invest  in equipment, acquire the necessary knowledge, and possibly even employ a handful of people to help you with the entire initiative. But seeing the finished product being served to customers in your favorite pub will be a wonderful reward.

29. Gluten-free bakery

This is just like a regular bakery, only  gluten-free . While starting a small home bakery won’t cost you much, a larger commercial operation is expensive.

You can get the necessary  equipment  for a competitive price if you search for used commercial components online. Learn how to use blogging to increase awareness of your business and grow revenue.

30. Guided tours

Are you situated in a popular tourist destination? If so, you may consider yourself lucky.

Starting a guided  tours business  can be a good opportunity. You can use it to make extra money during the summer, or it can be the start of a much larger business that employs other people to work as  guides . Consider setting up a website that enables people to book tours online.

Technology Business Ideas

31. mobile application developer.

Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones.

If you have a great idea and know how to code, you can run with it and  create your app  yourself.

Plenty of software developers  collaborate  with people on app creation if you just have an idea and need graphic design.

32. Virtual reality/augmented reality app developer

The virtual reality (VR) software market is expected to reach  $29.17 billion in revenue during 2022-2026 . A good chunk of that revenue could be in your pocket.

All you have to do is learn how to develop immersive VR and augmented reality  (AR) experiences . The internet is full of resources and communities of like-minded people to help you along the way.

Video:  Get an introduction to virtual reality by creating a VR app for Android in 15 minutes.

33. Virtual reality arcade owner

The first batch of  VR arcades  is just starting to pop up in some of the world’s largest cities.

Virtual reality is the perfect fit for arcades and could really bring new life to this dying business. The technology is still not 100% there, but it probably will be soon.

33. Indoor drone racing venue

Drone racing  is expected to be a multimillion-dollar sport within the next few years.

If you have a suitable indoor venue where you could host races or let people practice their  flying skills , definitely consider this business. Additional income could be made from posting the footage online.

34. Energy auditor

Green energy solutions can lead to dramatic savings, allowing some people to completely drop from  the grid .

As an  energy auditor , you will help businesses and individual home and apartment owners find ways to decrease their energy footprint as well as their monthly bills.

35. 3D printing services

3D printing  is taking the world by storm, and you can be part of this revolution if you invest in a high-quality 3D printer and offer it to other people.

They simply send projects for you to print and pick up, or you can send things in a box.

36. E-bike repair services

E-bikes  are finally becoming affordable for the average consumer. But most traditional bike shops lack the necessary expertise that would allow them to service the often complex electronic components found inside.

If you feel up to the task, this could be a tremendous  opportunity  to become the biggest player in your local area.

37. Web development

As long as there will be a web, there will be a need for web developers.

Modern web development requires more than mastering  HTML  with  CSS  and perhaps learning PHP or JavaScript. Any web developer who wants to be competitive must become familiar with various frameworks, supporting technologies, web designs, and trends.

Taking low-cost courses online is a good place to start.

38. Smart home contractor/consultant

Modern  smart home  solutions can do everything from remotely controlling light bulbs or  air-conditioning  in your house to a health-monitoring application on your smartphone. However, not everyone is in a position to set up or maintain the complex systems that make these conveniences possible.

Personal Services Business Ideas

39. dog walker.

Dog walking usually involves walking the dog from its home and then returning.

A dog walker can either be an individual or part of a business like  Rover . They will be paid for walking or for pet sitting.

  • Good for: Undergraduate students ✔ kids and teens ✔

40. Personal shopper

Shopping for groceries, clothes, or electronic goods can eat up a lot of time. A  personal shopper  can help busy people reclaim this time in exchange for a small fee.

You can go to stores in person , or give online recommendations about which products the client should buy.

  • Business type: Offline/online

41. Mobile pet grooming

As more and more people are postponing or foregoing the decision to have children, their attention turns to  their pets .

Many owners are willing to pay as much as several hundreds of dollars to give their beloved pets a  makeover . If you start a pet grooming business, set up a website that enables visitors to book appointments online.

42. Decluttering services

With the tremendous success of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, there has been a surge in demand for decluttering services. People need to get rid of useless things that become an emotional burden.

This business is far from being just a  cleaning service  in disguise. More often than not, people will be unwilling to give up even what’s clearly just trash, so you must also have a good understanding of human psychology.

43. Green cleaning services

The only thing that differentiates  green cleaning  services from regular cleaning ones is the type of products used. But this simple thing can turn otherwise unattractive businesses into something highly desirable.

People in upscale neighborhoods are willing to pay a lot of extra money just to know they are helping to preserve the  environment .

44. Beard care products

You can start your own  beard care  brand with a few cheap ingredients available online. When you create a good product, all you need to do is take care of its marketing and bulk manufacturing.

45. Pet daycare

If you love animals and pet sitting and have enough room to spare in your house, you can start a  pet daycare  business.

There’s not much to it: pet owners leave their animals whenever they have to go out for a longer time, and your job is to provide  everything  they need and ensure that the pets will be happy.

46. Daycare service

Even though you can start a  childcare service  from your home, it’s best to still prepare for a large investment.

If you live in a large city, definitely consider catering to a niche group of  parents  and charging premium prices for your services. You could focus on children with specific allergies or serve only organic food.

  • Good for: Stay at home parents ✔

47. Sustainable landscaping

Sustainable landscaping  business uses strategies to avoid negative environmental problems like excess stormwater run-off, drinking water pollution, and invasive species propagation.

These landscapes  often feature shade structures and bike racks made from recycled materials, wireless irrigation systems, native grasses, and large, open areas for sports and leisure.

Health Care Business Ideas

48. medical courier service.

This low-cost startup is an attractive option for those who are organized, responsible, and have a reliable vehicle. Medical couriers may deliver equipment, lab specimens, prescription drugs, documents, or even organs.

Couriers make an average of $36 an hour or over $70,000 a year. You can start as a sole driver and then expand by hiring other drivers. Consider forming a limited liability company (LLC).

  • Investment: Low investment⬇︎

49. Respite care

This business provides planned temporary relief to adult caregivers of elderly parents. This non-medical work may entail a few hours a week of assistance or stepping in while the caregiver takes a vacation.

Individual providers of respite care can expect to earn between $20 to $40 per hour or an average of $54,000 per year. You can start the business as a solo provider and then expand it into a highly profitable venture.

50. Growing medical marijuana

If you live in a state or country where medical marijuana is  legal , you can consider starting your own growing operation. The initial setup can be costly, but your days will be spent taking care of a  wonderful plant  and helping people improve their health and well-being in general.

Don’t Forget To Form Your Business

Once you’ve decided to set up a new company, the most important next step is to form your business and create a website . Most small businesses are set up as an LLC . This keeps all your assets separate from the company’s, limiting your personal liability while giving the pass-through tax benefits of being a sole proprietor.

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Founder of $1 billion startup shares her No. 1 piece of advice—you already 'have everything you need' to follow it

Don't let other people's judgments drain your faith in yourself, especially when it comes to pursuing big ideas.

That's advice from Gregg Renfrew, who knows something about becoming successful by sticking to her convictions: Her clean beauty startup Beautycounter was most recently valued at $1 billion , as of April 2021.

Beautycounter came a long way in a decade's time. After founding it in 2011, Renfrew picked fights with a massive beauty industry led by much larger competitors, lobbying for tighter regulation and calling out potentially harmful chemicals used by many of her rivals. "Everyone thought I was crazy," Renfrew, the company's CEO, tells CNBC Make It.

Instead, Beautycounter gained enough attention and sales to help the business grow into a billion-dollar brand. "People so often don't move ahead with bold and courageous plans and ideas because they allow others to tell them that it's not possible," says Renfrew. "I'm here to tell you it is possible."

Everyone experiences self-doubt and criticism. In some ways, humans are wired to be naysayers as a way of avoiding unnecessary risks, research shows . But ultimately, you need to build your confidence to be successful, Renfrew says.

Self-confidence can help give you the push to take the sort of calculated risks associated with bold ideas, like launching a new business or attempting a big career move. Trust your instinct enough to know when it's time to jump in with both feet, says Renfrew.

"You genuinely have everything you need to be successful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise," she says. "Don't allow for other people's points of view [to cause] you to doubt yourself."

Take big leaps — just not blind ones

Renfrew started her first business as a college student, building a team of employees to clean homes in Nantucket, Massachusetts, during the summer. In her 20s, she turned a side business selling bridesmaid dresses into The Wedding List, an online bridal registry startup that sold to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2001.

One key lesson from her career, she says: It's useful to pay attention to what's going on in the world, because global trends can help you spot potentially overlooked opportunities. Use that information to make strategic decisions about every potential opportunity you might take.

In Renfrew's case, watching the 2006 documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" sparked her own interest in the environmental health movement, she says. The film's popularity led her to believe consumers would appreciate products that eschewed potentially harmful chemicals, so she made that a central tenet of Beautycounter's strategy.

If you aren't sure whether a decision is worth making, you might not have enough information yet, says Renfrew. "[Most] successful businesses have founders and/or executive leadership that is paying attention to what's happening out in the world at large and the zeitgeist, or what's happening in culture," she adds.

Renfrew isn't the only person to endorse thoroughly researching any opportunity in front of you. CEOs like Rocket Lab's Peter Beck and Ellevest's Sallie Krawcheck have told Make It that their success hinged on their ability to balance methodical research with the willingness to take smart, intentional risks.

"Knowing when to strike — it's an art and a science," says Renfrew. "There's data, and then there's also just your gut instinct."

Want to land your dream job in 2024?  Take CNBC's new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

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Start » strategy, how to file a beneficial ownership information report for your business.

Under the Corporate Transparency Act, U.S. small businesses must file beneficial ownership information reports with the Department of the Treasury.

 Woman working at a desk on a laptop in a modern-concept office with a red brick wall and greenery.

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) , aimed at combating illicit financial activity, went into effect on January 1, 2024. Under the act, small businesses across the United States need to file beneficial ownership information reports, also known as corporate transparency reports.

Here’s everything small business owners need to know about filing a corporate transparency report.

[Read More: What Every Small Business Needs to Know About the Corporate Transparency Act ]

What to know about beneficial ownership information reporting

The CTA was developed to increase transparency in business ownership and curtail the use of anonymous shell corporations for tax fraud, money laundering, and other illegal financial activity. Under this act, all businesses that fall under the definition of a reporting company must file a beneficial ownership information report (BOIR) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

A reporting company is any privately held company, whether domestic or foreign, registered to conduct business in the U.S. Publicly traded companies do not fall under the CTA, as they are subject to their own reporting requirements.

A beneficial owner is any individual who owns or controls at least 25% of an organization, or directly or indirectly exercises substantial control in any of the following roles:

  • They serve as a senior officer, such as a president, CEO, or general counsel.
  • They have the authority to appoint or remove senior officers, board members, or other similar roles.
  • They make important decisions concerning the company’s business, finances, and/or structure.

[Read More: How to Prevent Bank Fraud and Protect Your Business Account ]

Reporting requirements for small businesses

Eligible small businesses will need to report the following information about their companies:

  • The full legal name of the company.
  • The company’s business address; P.O. boxes or lawyer’s/adviser’s offices cannot be accepted.
  • The state or Tribal jurisdiction where the company was formed or first registered.
  • The taxpayer identification number and an identity document, such as a filed Articles of Incorporation or Organization.

Corporate transparency reports must also include the below information about any beneficial owners:

  • Their full legal name and date of birth.
  • Their home address; P.O. boxes or lawyer’s/adviser’s offices cannot be accepted.
  • A photocopy of their U.S. driver’s license or passport.

Under this act, all businesses that fall under the definition of a reporting company must file a beneficial ownership information report (BOIR) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

How to file your corporate transparency report

As of January 1, 2024, FinCEN has begun accepting beneficial ownership information reports. Here are four steps you can take to prepare your corporate transparency report.

1. Determine whether your business is required to file.

Under the CTA, LLCs and corporations must file beneficial ownership information reports unless they qualify for an exemption. The following entities are exempt from reporting:

  • Large operating companies; those with over 20 full-time employees in the U.S. and over $5 million in gross sales or receipts from U.S.-based sources.
  • Inactive entities that were established on or before January 1, 2020, but are not in active business.
  • Any other exemption from CTA reporting. If you aren't sure if your business falls under other CTA reporting exemptions, speak with a lawyer.

If your company is not an LLC or corporation, establish whether your business falls under the definition of a reporting company as defined above; a legal professional can also help you make this determination.

2. If your business qualifies, learn who the beneficial owners are.

List out any individuals who own or control 25% of your company, or otherwise exercise substantial control as defined above. If you are unsure if an individual meets the requirements of a beneficial owner, consult with a legal professional.

Once you have identified any beneficial owners, contact each to inform them that the CTA requires your business to report their personal information to FinCEN. Beneficial owners can choose to apply for a FinCEN Identifier and provide information to FinCEN directly. Otherwise, they can send the necessary information directly to you (the company) to be included in your business’s beneficial ownership information report.

3. Create a procedure.

Whether your beneficial owners are submitting their information via FinCEN or to your company, establish a process to keep all personal information organized, secure, and current. In addition to your initial report, you will need to file updated reports should there be a change in personal information or beneficial ownership.

[Read More: How to Choose the Best Business Entity for Your Small Business ]

4. File your report online.

All companies required to submit beneficial ownership information reports must file online via FinCEN . You can file one of two ways:

Complete and upload a PDF. Download a copy of the blank BOIR form as a PDF here and fill in the information. They can then upload the completed PDF using this page . It should be noted that Adobe Acrobat is required to open and complete this PDF.

Use FinCEN’s online platform. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat or simply wish to complete and file your BOIR within FinCEN’s platform, you can visit this page and follow the prompts. You will need to fill in information for and upload a photo of an identification document for each beneficial owner.

Reporting companies established before January 1, 2024, have until January 1, 2025, to file their initial corporate transparency reports. Companies established between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, must file within 90 days from the notification or public announcement of their formation, whichever date comes first.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here .

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business ideas with plans

Embracing AI Transformation: How customers and partners are driving pragmatic innovation to achieve business outcomes with the Microsoft Cloud

Jan 29, 2024 | Judson Althoff - Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

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This past year was one of technology’s most exciting with the emergence of generative AI, as leaders everywhere considered the possibilities it represented for their organizations. Many recognized its value and are eager to continue innovating, while others are inspired by what it has unlocked and are seeking ways to adopt it. At Microsoft, we are focused on developing responsible AI strategies grounded in pragmatic innovation and enabling AI Transformation for our customers. As I talk to customers and partners about the outcomes they are seeing — and rationalize those against Microsoft’s generative AI capabilities — we have identified four areas of opportunity for organizations to empower their AI Transformation: enriching employee experiences, reinventing customer engagement, reshaping business processes and bending the curve on innovation . With these as a foundation, it becomes easier to see how to bring pragmatic AI innovation to life, and I am proud of the impact we have made with customers and partners around the world. From developing customer-focused AI and cloud services for millions across Europe and Africa with Vodafone , to empowering customers and employees with generative AI capabilities with Walmart , I look forward to what we will help you achieve in the year ahead.

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Enriching employee experiences and shaping the future of work with copilot technology

Bayer employees are collaborating better on worldwide research projects and saving time on daily tasks with Copilot for Microsoft 365, while Finnish company Elisa is helping knowledge workers across finance, sales and customer service streamline routine tasks. Banreservas is driving employee productivity and enhancing decision-making, and Hong Kong’s largest transportation companies — Cathay and MTR — are streamlining workflows, improving communications, and reducing time-consuming administrative tasks. Across professional services, KPMG has seen a 50% jump in employee productivity, Dentsu is saving hundreds of employees up to 30 minutes per day on creative visualization processes, and EY is making it easier to generate reports and access insights in near real-time with Copilot for Microsoft 365. In Malaysia, financial services organization PNB is saving employees time searching through documents and emails and AmBank employees are enhancing the quality and impact of their work. At Hargreaves Lansdown , financial advisers are using Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Teams to drive productivity and make meetings more inclusive. Avanade is helping sellers save time updating contact records and summarizing email threads with Copilot for Dynamics 365, while HSO Group, Vixxo, and 9altitudes are streamlining work for field and service teams.

Employee and customer in store

Reinventing customer engagement with generative AI to deliver greater value and increased satisfaction

MECOMS is making it possible for utility customers to ask questions and get suggestions about how to reduce power consumption using Microsoft Fabric and copilot on their Power Pages portal. Schneider Electric has built a Resource Advisor copilot to equip customers with enhanced data analysis, visualization, decision support and performance optimization. California State University San Marcos is finding ways to better understand and personalize the student journey while driving engagement with parents and alumni using Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Copilot for Dynamics 365. With Azure OpenAI Service, Adecco Group is bolstering its services and solutions to enable worker preparedness as generative AI reshapes the workforce, UiPath has already helped one of its insurance customers save over 90,000 hours through more efficient operations, and Providence has developed a solution for clinicians to respond to patient messages up to 35% faster. Organizations are building generative AI assistants to help employees save time, improve customer service and focus on more complex work, including Domino’s , LAQO and OCBC . Within a few weeks of introducing its copilot to personalize customer service, Atento has increased customer satisfaction by 30% while reducing operational errors by nearly 20%, and Turkey-based Setur is personalizing travel planning with a chatbot to customize responses in multiple languages for its 60,000 daily users. In the fashion industry, Coats Digital launched an AI assistant in six weeks to make customer onboarding easier. Greece-based ERGO Insurance partnered with EBO to provide 24/7 personalized assistance with its virtual agent, and H&R Block introduced AI Tax Assist to help individuals and small business owners file and manage their taxes confidently while saving costs.

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Reshaping business processes to uncover efficiencies, improve developer creativity and spur AI innovation

Siemens built its own industrial copilot to simplify virtual collaboration of design engineers and front-line workers, accelerate simulation times and reduce tasks from weeks to minutes. With help from Neudesic , Hanover Research designed a custom AI-powered research tool to streamline workflows and identify insights up to 10 times faster. With Microsoft Fabric, organizations like the London Stock Exchange Group and Milliman are reshaping how teams create more value from data insights, while Zeiss is streamlining analytics workflows to help teams make more customer-centric decisions. Volvo Group has saved more than 10,000 manual hours by launching a custom solution built with Azure AI to simplify document processing. By integrating GitHub Copilot, Carlsber g has significantly enhanced productivity across its development team; and Hover , SPH Media , Doctolib and CloudZero have improved their workflows within an agile and secure environment. Mastery Logistics Systems and Novo Nordisk are using GitHub Copilot to automate repetitive coding tasks for developers, while Intertech is pairing it with Azure OpenAI Service to enhance coding accuracy and reduce daily emails by 50%. Swiss AI-driven company Unique AG is helping financial industry clients reduce administrative work, speed up existing processes and improve IT support; and PwC is simplifying its audit process and increasing transparency for clients with Azure OpenAI Service.  By leveraging Power Platform, including AI and Copilot features, Epiq has automated employee processes, saving over $500,000 in annual costs and 2,000 hours of work each month, PG&E is addressing up to 40% of help desk demands to save more than $1 million annually, and Nsure is building automations that reduce manual processing times by over 60% and costs by 50%. With security top of mind, WTW is using Microsoft Copilot for Security to accelerate its threat-hunting capabilities by making it possible for cyber teams to ask questions in natural language, while LTIMindtree is planning on using it to reduce training time and strengthen security analyst expertise.

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Bending the curve on innovation across industries with differentiated AI offerings

To make disaster response more efficient, nonprofit Team Rubicon is quickly identifying and engaging the right volunteers in the right locations with the help of Copilot for Dynamics 365. Netherlands-based TomTom is bringing the benefits of generative AI to the global automotive industry by developing an advanced AI-powered voice assistant to help drivers with tasks like navigation and temperature control. In Vietnam, VinBrain has developed one of the country’s first comprehensive AI-powered copilots to support medical professionals with enhanced screening and detection processes and encourage more meaningful doctor-patient interactions. Rockwell Automation is delivering industry-first capabilities with Azure OpenAI Service to accelerate time-to-market for customers building industrial automation systems. With a vision to democratize AI and reach millions of users, Perplexity.AI has brought its conversational answer engine to market in six months using Azure AI Studio. India’s biggest online fashion retailer, Myntra , is solving the open-ended search problem facing the industry by using generative AI to help shoppers figure out what they should wear based on occasion. In Japan, Aisin Corp has developed a generative AI app to empower people who are deaf or hard of hearing with tasks like navigation, communication and translation; and Canada-based startup Natural Reader is making education more accessible on-the-go for students with learning differences by improving AI voice quality with Azure AI. To solve one of the most complex engineering challenges — the design process for semiconductors — Synopsys is bringing in the power of generative AI to help engineering teams accelerate time-to-market.

As organizations continue to embrace AI Transformation, it is critical they develop clarity on how best to apply AI to meet their most pressing business needs. Microsoft is committed to helping our customers and partners accelerate pragmatic AI innovation and I am excited by the opportunities before us to enrich employee experiences, reinvent customer engagement, reshape business processes and bend the curve on innovation. As a technology partner of choice — from our differentiated copilot capabilities to our unparalleled partner ecosystem and unique co-innovation efforts with customers — we remain in service to your successful outcomes. We are also dedicated to preserving the trust we have built through our partnership approach, responsible AI solutions and commitments to protecting your data, privacy and IP. We believe this era of AI innovation allows us to live truer to our mission than ever before, and I look forward to continuing on this journey with you to help you achieve more.

Tags: AI , Azure , Azure AI , Azure OpenAI Service , Copilot for Dynamics 365 , Copilot for Microsoft 365 , Innovation , Microsoft AI , Microsoft Cloud , Microsoft Copilot for Security , Microsoft Partners , Microsoft Power Platform

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26 Businesses You Can Start for Free

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Briana Morgaine

13 min. read

Updated October 29, 2023

You’ve always wanted to start a business. You’re tired of working for someone else, and you’d love the flexibility and responsibility of running your own company.

The trouble is, you don’t have a whole lot of starting capital—or any, for that matter. Which probably means you’re out of luck, right?

Wrong! Here are 26 businesses that you can start virtually free (and those that aren’t completely free are quite low-cost). They don’t require expensive training or degrees, fancy equipment, or lots of materials, space, or product.

That being said, plenty of the businesses mentioned below require, at a minimum, regular access to a computer, the internet, and perhaps a car. However, if you’ve got those sorted already, dive right in—you’re bound to find a business idea that suits your skill set if you think creatively!

  • 1. Blogging

While not a new concept, monetized blogging is always a popular option for an essentially no-cost business.

There are tons of options when it comes to making money from your blog, such as affiliate partnerships, producing ebooks, offering online courses and webinars. Some of these work better than others, as and certain blog niches will be more popular and easy to monetize than others. For instance, beauty, food, and parenting blogs are some of the most popular niches, and will, therefore, be easier to monetize (though you’ll also face stiffer competition).

It’s worth mentioning, however, that monetizing your blog will work best when you choose a subject that you are actually passionate about and personally invested in to blog about. So, this route works best if you’re thinking, “Yeah! I’ve always really wanted to start a blog about my love of handcrafted artisan chocolates!” (or whatever else gets you going). Merely wanting to make money isn’t enough.

  • 2. In-home child care

If you love children and have a good setup for it, turning your home into an in-home childcare facility might be a great option for you. There will be associated fees and licensing requirements (which vary state by state), but these aside, the costs associated with starting a childcare business are minimal to none.

To start, check out our article on starting a daycare business, which will walk you through all the steps you’ll need to go through to get your business up and running.

  • 3. In-home dog care

In a similar vein, if you love caring for animals, consider setting up a doggy daycare business. You can operate during business hours, for folks who need someone to watch their dog while at work, or you can look after dogs for people while they are out of town.

In addition to being low-to-no-cost, the skill set you need is pretty self-explanatory: experience with caring for dogs, and ability to patiently and carefully look after them. If you’d love to start a dog care business but haven’t spent a ton of time around dogs, consider volunteering at an animal shelter first.

Check out DogVacay to get a sense of what this looks like, and what other sitters are charging in your area. You can even list yourself on the site!

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  • 4. Pet services

On that note, why not start a business that encompasses all of the smaller details of pet ownership, such as taking pets to grooming or vet appointments, dog walking, pet sitting, and so on?

Mix and match services depending on what works for you; you could easily start a business involving full-service pet help, including walks, trips to the groomer, sitting during the day, and so on.

  • 5. Dog training

If you’re great with dogs, you might also want to look into starting a business as a dog trainer. Be aware that as with the other pet-related business suggestions your business will fare best in an area where demand is high— one where there are lots of dog owners.

Beyond this consideration, starting a dog training business can be a great, cost-free business to start, especially if you have experience working with dogs or are able to learn. Consider shadowing at an established training facility to find out more about the process, and check out this article from the Animal Humane Society on becoming a dog trainer.

Tip: Establish relationships with vets— getting a vet to refer clients to you can be an invaluable way to bring in business.

  • 6. Freelance writing

Are you a strong writer? This one is a no-brainer. If you have solid writing skills, consider starting a business as a freelance writer.

To build up your portfolio and client base, you may want to start with a site like Upwork (and check out my article on using Upwork to find great freelancers —it’ll give you insight into what to do, and what not to do!).

  • 7. Freelance editing

Similarly, if you have a great eye for necessary structural changes and enjoy editing for grammar and punctuation, you may want to consider starting a freelance editing business.

As long as there is written content, there will be a need for editors ( this blogger discusses an instance in which her roommate and fellow editor took on an entire thesis over the weekend) so if you have writing experience and a good eye, freelance editing may be a business idea to consider.

  • 8. Resume building

Maybe you’ve worked as a hiring manager for years, and you know exactly what employers are looking for. Maybe you are a graphic design whiz and love creating a polished, professional-looking resume. Maybe you also have a great eye for detail (and I mean great—no mistakes allowed here!).

If so, consider starting a business as a resume builder. There are multiple ways you could approach this; some services specialize in editing existing documents, while others will build an entire resume—graphics, content, and all—for a considerably larger fee and time expenditure. What you choose will depend on your skill set, but both are viable options for free businesses to start.

  • 9. Logo and image design

If you’re artistic and good with Photoshop, consider starting a logo or graphic design business. You can list your services on sites like Upwork, 99Designs, or any of the number of other freelance sites available to help build a portfolio and a client base to start.

If this sounds right up your alley, check out these resources from How Design, geared toward those interested in freelance graphic design or starting a design business.

  • 10. Etsy business

While some Etsy businesses have a cost component associated with starting (think jewelry making and other crafts where materials are involved), there are some products that can be sold on Etsy that involve very minimal startup costs.

For example, if you’re a designer but not much interested in logo creation, digital art and other printables such as to-do lists and calendars are hugely popular on sites like Etsy.

A basic search of the term “printable” should bring up hundreds of ideas, with everything from wedding invitations to word art. The beauty of this business idea is that you simply create the image and list it; once it’s purchased, your customers do all the work.

  • 11. Consulting

Starting a consulting business is always a popular free business to start. The type of consulting you choose to offer will depend on your skill set ; do you have a social media marketing background, or maybe you’ve got legal experience?

Look at your skills and your previous job experience and see what you could bring to the table that others might not have your expertise in. Check out Neil Patel’s article on lessons learned starting a consulting business for an in-depth look at the process.

  • 12. Errand runner or jack of all trades

Have you heard of TaskRabbit, the site where you can essentially ask anyone to do any task for you—no matter how menial? (Though I assume you’d get a few funny looks if you asked someone to help you open that tricky jam jar.)

Consider employing a similar idea, and start a business as a jack-of-all-trades or general errand-runner. Someone needs dry cleaning dropped off, groceries purchased, or old clothes donated to Goodwill? You’re on it. For even more specificity, you could consider choosing a niche, such as running errands for seniors.

  • 13. Building websites

If you know how to set up a killer website, you’re in luck—most people don’t, and the demand for high-quality business websites is only continuing to grow.

Before you jump in, check out this article, 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Web Design Business —you’ll learn that the biggest competitor to your web design services isn’t other designers, but business owners who choose not to hire anyone at all. So, how will you make yourself seem invaluable?

  • 14. Programming

While it is possible to teach yourself programming and build your own app, programming services will always be in high demand. If you are a skilled programmer, you can start a business with no money offering your programming skills.

Here are some useful tips for landing your first clients as a freelance developer, and if you’re interested specifically in building apps, check this article out.

  • 15. Driving for Uber

Do you have a car (more specifically, a 4-door sedan, year 2001 or newer)? That’s about all it takes to become an Uber driver, along with at least three years of driving experience and a clean record.

If you have the above, starting a business as an Uber driver can be wildly lucrative. While you may not reach the heights of the so-called “Uberpreneurs” who make upwards of $200,000 a year, it can be a great free business to start.

  • 16. Music lessons or tutoring

If you are great at a specific school subject or play a musical instrument, consider starting a tutoring business. The possibilities are nearly endless, enabling you to specialize in your niche skill set or interest (though you may have more luck as a general English tutor and not, say, as a specialist in 19th-century Gothic Literature).

This article  gives you an inside look at what it takes to start your tutoring business, and check out this Udemy course on starting a tutoring business too.

  • 17. Language teaching and practice

If you speak more than one language, you have a golden opportunity to start a business teaching a language, or holding language conversation practice sessions.

If you’re wondering where to list your tutoring services, there are plenty of options beyond basic Craigslist.

  • 18. Virtual assistant

If you are organized and can easily accomplish tasks in a timely manner, consider becoming a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants handle scheduling, bookkeeping, and various other administrative tasks remotely from their home office; similar to freelancing as a writer, editor, designer, and so on, virtual assistants can build up their client base and experience on sites like Upwork.

For more on becoming a virtual assistant, check out The VA Handbook, a site dedicated to helping others start and manage their own virtual assistant businesses.

  • 19. House sitting

Okay, sure, you’ve done house sitting for friends before—but can you turn this into an actual, profitable business?

Turns out you can —by building up a reputation of respectful, trustworthy behavior, keeping client needs first, and thinking about what they would want in a house sitter.

Good references are of paramount importance when starting a house sitting business (though experience managing a home, caring for pets, and conducting minor lawn care are also important). That being said, building these up, in the beginning, may be as simple as finding families in your social circle who are going out of town this summer!

  • 20. Home organization

Do you love to keep a clean, tidy home? Does the idea of visiting The Container Store fill you with excitement (don’t worry—you’re not alone)? If so, you may want to consider offering home organization services.

To get a taste of what the process of becoming a professional organizer looks like, check out this article on Organize 365, where blogger and professional organizer Lisa Woodruff discusses the process and offers tips.

  • 21. Professional finder

While this may be one of the more unusual suggestions on this list, if you have a knack for finding things, you may be able to monetize this service, at no cost to you.

You may be asking, “Okay, great; but what am I finding, exactly?” According to this article, the possibilities are nearly endless. From family genealogical information, to classic cars, to old records, to perfect roommates, if you are good at tracking down the perfect thing or piece of information, you may want to look into it.

  • 22. Drop shipping

I won’t even begin to get into drop shipping here—especially when Shopify has such an excellent drop shipping guide already.

The appeal of drop shipping is obvious: it involves little when it comes to specific skill set, can be done from anywhere, doesn’t involve startup capital, and can be hugely lucrative.

  • 23. Gardening and landscaping

If you have a green thumb, you might want to consider starting a gardening or landscaping business. If you have basic mowing, pruning, and lawn maintenance skills, you’ll likely find that the bar to entry for starting a landscaping business is fairly low.

The more complex the process (i.e., more complex irrigation techniques and similar) may require additional learning, through a course, degree, or mentorship.

Though the latter does take away from the “free” aspect of starting this business, it’s still worth looking into (and perhaps you can mentor under an expert in the field to learn new skills at no cost). For more on starting a landscape gardening business, read this guide.

  • 24. House or office cleaning

Cleaning businesses are incredibly appealing due to their low cost of entry—it essentially comes down to the cost of cleaning materials alone. Not only that, but you can guarantee that cleaning services will always be in demand.

We’ve covered the entire process of starting a cleaning business in our How to Start a Cleaning Business guide, right here on Bplans.

  • 25. Event planning

An event planning business can be a great free (or at the very least inexpensive) business to start; you primarily need a computer and capital to create a website and any branding materials. In addition to the links included above, the Event Manager Blog has plenty of great resources (such as this article on How to Start an Event Planning Business ).

  • 26. Sewing and alterations

If you’re a skilled seamstress or someone with a desire to learn, you may want to consider starting a sewing or alterations business. Startup costs are virtually nonexistent, provided that you already have a sewing machine and the necessary skills (and even if you don’t, these one-time expenses are still fairly low in the grand scheme of new business ventures).

  • Ready to start your business?

If you’ve found the perfect business idea, great—it’s time to get started. When you’re ready to start planning your new business, check out our business planning guide for more information, or check out LivePlan, our business planning software!

Clarify your ideas and understand how to start your business with LivePlan

Content Author: Briana Morgaine

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Real estate investing isn't just for people who can buy million-dollar properties — an expert has 5 tips for anyone

Our experts answer readers' investing questions and write unbiased product reviews ( here's how we assess investing products ). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners . Our opinions are always our own.

  • Your investment portfolio should be spread across many types of assets — and real estate can be one.
  • If you don't want to be a landlord, REITs offer an easy way to invest without a huge time investment.
  • No matter how you choose to invest, remember that you can't predict what the market will do.

Insider Today

There are many ways to invest, and one that has grown in popularity recently is real estate investing . This may conjure up images of "Selling Sunset" and million-dollar properties.

But Charles Clinton , cofounder of online investment platform EquityMultiple , says there are many ways to get involved in real estate investing as a way to diversify your investment portfolio and potentially be an additional source of income.

Clinton has five tips that anyone considering real estate investing should remember.

1. Use real estate as one component of a diversified portfolio

Clinton says that people include real estate investing as part of a portfolio across asset types, also known as a diversified portfolio. Part of the diversification process is deciding what kind of real estate investment is right for you since each time comes with its own risks. 

“Assess what’s right for you based on your personal goals and risk tolerance,” Clinton says. “What role do you want to play in the process, and how much of your portfolio do you want to dedicate to real estate?”

2. Consider REITs for a hands-off approach

You might be interested in investing in being a partial or full owner of a property that’s an apartment, single-family home, industrial warehouse, or commercial building.

The cost to invest in and maintain a property can vary depending on the location and market conditions. This can include a high investment in money and time, though you can also invest in real estate using real estate investment trusts, which won’t require you to be a landlord.

3. Think carefully about the location of your property

You also have the option of buying a physical property and renting out part or all of it; however, choosing property for real estate investing is very different from choosing where you want your current or forever home.

“You choose your home where you want to live and work, but there’s no guarantee that it will appreciate in value,” Clinton says. “If you’re investing in property, you’re not limited to where you want to physically live or work.”

4. Look for high-value opportunities

Another consideration is how to invest in real estate that’s being built in an intentional way.

“The goal of investing in real estate is to make money and usually that involves increasing rents,” Clinton says. You can also invest in buildings that are increasing the quality of the tenant experience with additional amenities so that increase is justified.”

5. Remember, you can't predict the market

In a market where interest rates are rising and property values are down, Clinton says that this can be a good time to invest. But at the end of the day, you can’t predict the market.

“Unexpected things can happen at any point, and you can’t isolate your portfolio from all of the possible changes,” Clinton says. 

Watch: From affordable housing to money transfers for immigrants — a $1 billion impact investor explains how she makes money while making the world a better place

business ideas with plans

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Congratulations Big iDeas Business Plan Winners!

  • Post author By Kelly Chandrapal
  • Post date February 12, 2024
  • No Comments on Congratulations Big iDeas Business Plan Winners!

Students standing in group, smiling, holding large checks

On Friday, February 12, The Office of Engaged Learning held its annual Big iDeas Business Plan Competition where twelve undergraduate entrepreneurship teams pitched their business plan in four minutes to a panel of business experts. Seven entrepreneurs were awarded funding up to $7,000. Please help us in congratulating the winners:

Ryder Mc Neal ’24 , PREVO

Jude Lugo ’24 , LectureLogger

Mason Morland ’24 , SteadiSpoon

Anish Senthikumar ’25 and Vedang Uniyal ’24 , The Active Mind Initiative

Joshua Baier, ’24 , Timio News

Mason Dierkes ’27 , Seed Innovate

Benjamin Omoregbe ’24 , Internsurf

Special thanks to our judges Ayodele Aigbe (CEO of Hangio ), Andrew Denton (Founder of Glia Health and Prosper AI ), and Michael Kelly  (Co-Founder of  Resolute Future ).

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    9. Freelance writing business. Sites like Elance and Upwork are great places to get started freelance writing, and you can easily build a small business around your skills as a freelance writer, or potentially expand to include other writers (or graphic designers, web designers, and so on) down the road.

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