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29 Best Small Business Ideas in 2024

Best Small Business Ideas

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The world of side hustles is expanding daily. There’s always a new way to make extra cash if you’re willing to invest time and effort and work smart. 

Whether you want to supplement your regular income or build a financial safety net for your future, join me as I uncover the best small business ideas to explore this year.

Don’t let the term“small” deceive you. It doesn’t mean these gigs offer a limited income. On the contrary, you can scale them into a 6-figure business with the right strategies. 

By small, I mean these jobs are easy to start with little or no capital investment. Furthermore, you don’t need an educational degree for most of them. 

If by now you’re gripping your phone tightly, eager to unravel what’s in store for you, the following money-making ventures are worth your time.

The Best Small Business Ideas 

Whether you want to make money online or work an in-person side job, many small business options exist. 

Some form of education gives you a competitive edge, but that’s not limited to conventional schools. 

You can leverage free online resources to gain in-demand skills, like proofreading and virtual assistance, and monetize them in no time. 

Others, like cleaning, let you learn through apprenticeship or on the job without spending a dime on online courses. 

Read on to discover how to turn your skills into profit without breaking the bank!

1. Sell Printables on Etsy 

Selling printables on Etsy has become more profitable over the years as more people seek easy solutions for design work. 

Some hot-selling printables include:

  • Planners 
  • Budgeting worksheets 
  • Journals 
  • Coloring pages 
  • Digital art 
  • Crotchet and sewing patterns 
Best Small Business Ideas

Interested in this venture but wondering where to start? Gold City Ventures offers a roadmap for navigating this side hustle and using tools like Canva to maximize sales.

Cody Berman and his co-founder, Julie, have had their fair share of success selling printables on Etsy, and they share their strategies in their E-Printables course to help you succeed, too.

If you’re still skeptical about spending money on an online course, consider joining their free workshop to determine if this is the right path. 

2. Print on Demand 

Print-on-demand is another option, especially if you want to start a business without spending a lot of money on a conventional store or inventory storage. 

The POD business model is quite simple. Partner with a supplier like Printify, which only manufactures products when a customer orders. 

Best Small Business Ideas

Another huge perk is that you don’t handle shipping. The POD supplier also takes care of this. You can create your designs using Canva and market them on a platform like Pinterest

The best part is you don’t have to be a graphic design expert to pull this off; even a simple meme can sell if your target audience finds it captivating. 

3. Proofreading  

I often cringe when people make grammar mistakes, especially in writing. If you relate to this, proofreading may work for you. 

It involves reviewing text to identify and correct grammatical and syntax errors. The work may be repetitive, but it’s worth your time, especially if you enjoy reading. 

Proofread Anywhere

According to Indeed, the hourly salary ranges between $12.63 and $41.26, and you can scout for proofreading gigs on Upwork, Fiverr, and FlexJobs. 

You can sign up for the free workshop by Proofread Anywhere to hone your skills and increase your income potential.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to become an online proofreader.

4. Virtual Assistant 

A virtual assistant carries out administrative duties, such as:

  • Scheduling meetings
  • Answering phone calls 
  • Making travel arrangements 
  • Social media management 
  • Responding to emails 
Best Small Business Ideas

With a reliable internet connection and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment, you can work as a VA from the comfort of your home. 

Simply browse platforms like Upwork, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter to find VA jobs. 

If you want to gain the skills before diving into the job market, taking an online course on FullyBookedVA is an excellent idea. 

5. Create and Sell Digital Products  

Etsy isn’t a bustling hub for printables alone. You can make and sell digital products like art, social media templates, and online courses. 

Photos are also performing well in the digital products world. You can sell licensed stock photos on Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Getty Images to make a passive income. 

The advantage of digital products is that you can sell them repeatedly without constant recreation or updates. 

6. Event Planner  

Do you have a unique sense of style, good communication skills, and keen attention to detail? Working as an event planner might be the side hustle idea for you. 

You must also be willing to adapt to and implement last-minute changes. This gig may seem overwhelming, but it’s the right option if you’re an extrovert who doesn’t mind interacting with random strangers. 

Visualize the happiness you’d feel after organizing an event that leaves everyone in awe. However, remember it’s not always roses and daisies. 

7. Flip Items  

Mastering the art of flipping is among the best skills to learn in 2024. There’s unlimited income potential, depending on the items you flip.

From clothes to houses, money, and fitness equipment, success lies in identifying undervalued products with a sizeable flipping margin and revamping them to increase appeal.

Flipping isn’t limited to physical products. Digital items like websites and domain names also apply. 

Here are other best items to flip.

8. Bookkeeper  

Bookkeeping is the best option if you’re a math guru and don’t mind doing repetitive tasks. It involves handling a company’s or individual’s financial books. 

As a bookkeeper, you may need to:

  • Prepare financial reports and statements 
  • Process payrolls 
  • Balance accounts  
  • Budget funds  

Bookkeeping jobs are readily available on LinkedIn, Upwork, and Indeed. The average hourly rate on Upwork is $11-$25.

9. Dog Treat Bakery 

At first glance, starting a dog-treat bakery doesn’t sound like a business. You’re probably wondering why it’s on this list. 

Hear me out: Kristin Larsen, from Diva Dog Bakery, is a good example of how dog lovers can profit from selling dog snacks. She earns $500-$1,000 monthly! 

You don’t have to start big. Kristin’s initial capital investment was less than $200. Your success lies in your marketing strategies. Offer good customer service to land referrals. 

10. Cleaning 

You’ll probably skip this option because most people don’t like cleaning. However, it’s profitable because people prefer outsourcing the work instead of doing it themselves. 

You can earn about $20-$50 per hour, even more, if you do large-scale cleaning in warehouses and commercial establishments. 

It’s also highly scalable. You can hire people and start a cleaning company that generates thousands of dollars monthly. 

11. Coaching 

Imagine getting paid to discuss topics you enjoy all day at home. Coaching is a way to help others maximize their potential, and you can do it from anywhere. 

You can become a general life coach or specialize in the following niches:

  • Finance 
  • Health and wellness 
  • Parenting 
  • Career 
  • Relationship 

Start by offering coaching services to your friends and family as you build your portfolio. From there, create a website and work with bloggers and social media influencers to market your brand. 

12. Social Media Management 

Do you spend hours scrolling through social media to get the latest gossip on celebrities? Who doesn’t?

Now, people are getting paid to do this, and you can be one of them. Having a social media presence is the first step. You can use that as a portfolio when seeking a job.

You don’t need to know social media like the back of your hand to work this job. Even experts had to start somewhere.

Begin by signing up on Facebook, Instagram, and X. Create high-quality, engaging content to appeal to the masses. 

Once you amass a substantial following, add your accounts to your portfolio and sell your skills on LinkedIn, Upwork, or Guru. You can also approach companies you feel might benefit from an online presence.

13. Podcasting  

There’s a podcast for everything these days, from personal finance to mental health and relationships. I listen to seven podcasts covering different topics in life. 

People believe you must be well-known to start a podcast, but fortunately, that’s not the case. You’re good to go as long as you have a topic many relate to. 

The best part? Starting a podcast on platforms like Spotify is free. Plus, you don’t need to invest in high-end equipment initially. You can use your smartphone and level up with time. 

Building a fanbase is the most challenging bit. However, you can employ effective marketing skills like social media and collaborating with other podcasters to put your podcast on the map.

14. Travel Planner 

Do you enjoy meticulously planning for adventures and travel? If so, you could work as a travel planner. 

You need to have a vast knowledge of destinations and be able to craft traveling schedules per your client’s needs. 

You can work with travel companies or even start your own to maximize income. 

15. Fitness Trainer 

Becoming a fitness trainer might work for you if you’re passionate about fitness and hope to escape the conventional 9-5 gigs matrix.

Having had a daunting experience with fitness before meeting my fitness trainer, I know people are willing to pay top dollar for a little motivation and a well-thought-through routine. 

And it doesn’t stop at offering personal fitness services. You can start a YouTube channel or fitness blog to further engage with a worldwide audience and establish your brand. 

16. Pressure Washing 

Pressure washing is similar to cleaning but commands a higher pay than regular home and office cleaning. You can make over $200 per gig.

It involves using high-pressure equipment for outdoor spaces, like sidewalks, walls, fences,  vehicles, and buildings’ exteriors. 

17. Personal Chef  

Everyone loves a chef who can prepare the classic coq au vin on a French dinner date or a pizza margherita if you prefer Italian cuisine.

The culinary world is diverse, so specializing in a particular niche helps you build a brand. 

Furthermore, you can maximize your income by starting a food blog or sharing recipes on a YouTube channel.

18. Landscaping 

If you have a green thumb, landscaping may be the best way to make extra cash. It involves modifying outdoor spaces per the owner’s tastes and preferences.

Some duties may include gardening, weeding, maintaining equipment, and restoring streams. 

You can find jobs in your community by word of mouth or online platforms like TaskRabbit and Indeed. 

19. Car Detailing 

The demand for car detailing services has surged as more people drive their cars more instead of buying new ones. Cashing in on this opportunity is easy, especially if you have the relevant skills. 

You can offer the following services:

  • Engine detailing 
  • Full body detail 
  • Carpet dying 
  • Dent repair 
  • Vacuuming

You’ll need to invest in equipment like vacuums, pressure washers, air compressors, and carpet extractors. 

If you have a truck, offering mobile services may reduce the overall capital requirement. 

20. Online Tutoring 

If you’re familiar with a particular subject, why not leverage your teaching skills to make cash? 

You can teach traditional subjects, like Math and English, or specialize in a foreign language or technical niche like graphic design. 

You can work as an online tutor on platforms like Chegg, TutorMe, and Udemy. Alternatively, you can run your website and conduct Zoom or Google Meet classes. 

Whichever option you choose, online tutoring offers you the freedom to choose your schedule and set your rates. 

21. Babysitting 

Babysitting is another small business worth venturing into. You can start by signing up with platforms like Care.com. 

But why not think big? You can make well over $40 hourly by starting a business that connects babysitters to employers within your community or nationwide. 

Now, this venture isn’t free of competition. Many companies are offering this service. However, I believe the cake is big enough for everyone.  

22. Start a Meal Prep Service 

I often get too busy to cook during the weekdays, and meal prepping has been very helpful recently. However, sometimes, I don’t get the chance to do it, so I outsource the work. 

Meal prepping, especially for healthy meals, is a good business idea. You don’t need a physical establishment; you can offer mobile services. 

Once your business picks, consider hiring other food enthusiasts to cover more ground and maximize sales. 

23. Blogging 

I never get tired of saying that blogging is my favorite side hustle idea because there’s immense income potential. 

Growing a blog takes time, but you can make thousands of dollars monthly through affiliate marketing, selling merch, and sponsored content once it’s up. 

How to Start a Blog

Start by picking a profitable niche, like travel, personal finance, or health and fitness. From there, research your target audience and create captivating content to keep your readers engaged. 

Next, work with social media influencers to put your blog out there. 

24. Start a YouTube Channel 

Whether you enjoy gaming, cooking, working out, or simply sharing content about your life, YouTube hosts a diverse audience you can tap into. 

Once you gain a substantial following, you can work with brands to market their products through affiliate marketing and creating sponsored content. 

YouTube is also a nice place to sell your own merchandise. For instance, you can sell crafts, gaming equipment, recipes, or online courses that appeal to your target audience. 

25. Create an Online Course 

Online courses are semi-passive in that you’ll need to invest time and energy in creation, but after that, they’ll earn income repeatedly without further input. 

You don’t have to be an expert in any field to make and sell an online course. Simply guiding beginners in setting up an Etsy account or selling feet pics is a start. 

You can also draft a course targeting people who want to learn your native language. There are many options in this venture. 

26. Graphic Designer 

Are you conversant with design tools like Canva and Adobe Photoshop? If so, graphic design is the right path for you. 

It may seem challenging, but remember that even the most prominent graphic designer was once a beginner. You can utilize free online resources to learn the skill. 

Once you gain footing, scout for jobs on Upwork, Indeed, and LinkedIn. You can also send cold emails or approach a business that may benefit from your expertise. 

27. Pet-Sitting  

Pet sitting is worth considering if you enjoy caring for animals. 

You can make $20-$50 hourly, depending on location, experience, and whether you offer additional services like dog walking and overnight stays. 

Sites like Rover are good for these jobs, but starting your pet care agency is even more profitable. 

28. Freelance Writing 

Ghostwriting for novels and blogs or handling academic thesis is a nice way to make money, especially if you’re fresh from college and don’t want to commit to a full-time job immediately. 

You can make over $100, depending on the type of project and expertise. There’s no school for freelance writing, but there are many resources and testimonials online from people who’ve made it. 

You can leverage your skills for cash on Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Guru, and FlexJobs.

29. Baking 

The last small business on my list is baking. However, this doesn’t mean it’s the least profitable. On the contrary, many bakers make six figures from their businesses. 

You can bake cookies and treats and sell them within your neighborhood. Alternatively, you can offer baking classes to help others improve their skills. 

Other ways to monetize your baking expertise include starting a YouTube channel, selling baking recipes, and starting a baking blog.  

Tips for Starting a Successful Small Business 

Here are some tips to remember when starting a small business:

Choose Something You’re Passionate About 

Choosing a niche is the most important part of starting a business. What do you hope to achieve? If you’re targeting a specific amount of money, how long do you want to take?

Selecting a niche you’re passionate about helps you maintain focus and motivation even when things get tough. 

For instance, starting a YouTube channel is challenging, but if you’re passionate about travelling, you’ll keep creating travel content even if no one watches it. 

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It helps if you take the step in a passionate direction. 

Research Your Target Audience 

Who are you targeting? Do you want to appeal to small brands or are you targeting 50-year-olds who’re passionate about fitness? 

Conducting thorough research into your target audience helps you determine what they like and their consumption patterns. 

It’ll help you know the kind of content or products that resonate with them and how to tailor them to their specific needs. 

Proper understanding of your target audience is the key to success.

Social Media is Your Friend 

Running a business in this modern world without a social media presence is like a death sentence. 

You may get a good client base without social media, but why settle for that when you can reach a worldwide audience?

After setting up your business, create social media accounts with the name of the business. You can explore Facebook, X, and Instagram. 

Pinterest is also a good idea, especially if you venture into blogging, online selling, or print-on-demand. 

If using multiple social media platforms is overwhelming, consider utilizing one and then joining the rest with time. 

Once your accounts are set up, create high-quality content consistently to keep your audience engaged. Also, remember to reply to messages promptly and engage with your followers in the comments.

You can also work with social media influencers to market your business. Simply joining their live chats or letting them tag you in their posts may be enough to tap into their audiences.  

Search Engine Optimization 

Whichever business you venture into, optimizing your content and profiles for SEO helps you gain more visibility. 

What is SEO?

It stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a feature that helps your profile, website, or content rank high when potential clients search for specific keywords. 

You can utilize this feature as a free marketing tool by incorporating relevant keywords into your content, descriptions, social media posts, and website profile. 

Remember to stay up-to-date with current trends and hashtags to improve visibility on social media. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Small Business is Most Profitable?

There’s no one answer to the most profitable small business. Your success depends on your target audience and how you market your products or brand. 

Some common businesses that can potentially earn thousands of dollars monthly include:

  • Blogging 
  • Starting a YouTube channel 
  • Pressure washing 
  • Personal chef 
  • Coaching 

What Is the Easiest Business To Start Right Now?

Some businesses that are easy to start and require little or no capital include the following:

  • Online tutoring 
  • Cleaning 
  • Freelance writing 
  • Podcasting 
  • Personal chef 

However, these ventures aren’t entirely effortless. You must be willing to invest time and effort into your business to put it on the worldwide map.

What Is the Cheapest Most Profitable Business To Start?

The cheapest businesses are those that require very little and sometimes no capital to start. 

From podcasting to starting a YouTube channel and blogging, you can easily set up without paying anything. 

Profitability depends on your aggressiveness and the strategies you employ. Effective marketing leads to better brand recognition and visibility.

Final Thoughts 

From the article, you can see that there are numerous small business ideas you can venture into. 

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or seeking the thrill of moving from place to place for a physical job, there’s something for you. 

There’s no one sure way to do it. Success depends on your strategies, target audience, and niche. Choose something you’re passionate about to prevent loss of focus and motivation in the long run. 

Also, research your target audience thoroughly to determine unique ways to tailor your content and products to their tastes. 
Whether you want to get out of debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, or save for retirement, I hope this article helps you find something you’ll enjoy doing.

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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