29 Creative Small Business Ideas for 2020 and Beyond

Starting a business is an exciting time. But how can you start a business creative enough to both excite you and your potential customers?

We’re here to help. Here are 29 of the best creative small business ideas you can launch.

7 Business-to-Business Ideas

Working directly with businesses is a challenge unto itself. Certain quirks and requirements demand specific skills and disciplines. If you’re doing any of these activities in a full-time role elsewhere, there are plenty of opportunities to branch out on your own.

Some of the best businesses to start in 2020 don’t serve individual consumers, but actually help support other businesses.

1. Consulting

Over the course of their careers, most people develop skills or expertise in certain areas. With all of this knowledge and practical wisdom, there’s a significant amount of opportunity for you as a consultant, either through one-to-one advising or en masse through speaking at conferences and webinars. 

Not only will you have the chance to improve small businesses, if done right, you’ll build a nice business of your own.

2. Accounting

For many entrepreneurs, keeping the books organized and up to date can be challenging. Even with tools such as QuickBooks, there are still plenty of opportunities for licensed certified public accountants (CPAs) and knowledgeable bookkeepers to help small business owners dealing with nuanced questions. 

The best CPAs can even act as consultants, providing key recommendations for their clients by pointing out key deductions and methods for limiting taxable income in the future.

3. Full-Service Marketing

Business owners always think they have great ideas and insights into how they should market their company. Unfortunately, many of them don’t even know where to begin when it comes to executing their vision. 

As an independent marketing service company, you can help businesses by crafting a custom strategy that involves executing blogs in their brand voice, implementing and tracking their ad campaigns, identifying the best social media channels for them to be active in and introducing dynamic email marketing campaigns.

In addition to being a creative, a marketing agency is one of the easiest businesses to start. Agencies can often be started with minimal investment and minimal payroll until you start getting clients.

4. Business Planning

Launching a business can be intimidating. However, if you’re talented and have experience in many different businesses, your experience in refining and executing business plans can be invaluable to burgeoning entrepreneurs. 

By offering services that include business-plan development, market and competitor research, you’ll cover a wide variety of clients looking for guidance and structure before diving into the world of business on their own.

5. Video

Consider this: More than 2 billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month and each day people watch a billion-plus hours of video and generate billions of views.

With audiences of this size, there is an opportunity for businesses to showcase their company in ways they may have never considered. To be effective, businesses need to have videos that connect with their audience and both look and sound good. 

To help them, businesses often seek out video professionals to ensure that their time, effort, money and message are used effectively.

6. Copywriting

Think of your favorite brand. It’s likely the advertisements and branding materials that come to mind are successful not just because of the imagery, but because of the words that were used. 

Good copywriting may seem simple, but the skill it requires is quite involved. The best copywriters can make good money for themselves in either a full-time or part-time capacity, helping businesses promote the right image of their brand.

7. Technical Writing

Just as strong copywriting can attract more people to a business, high-quality writing is essential for any professional function. 

Whether it’s for a company’s blog, brochure, product page or anything in between, long-form writing is essential to educate, convince and earn the trust of a targeted audience.

4 Creative Business Ideas

Everyone thinks they can do something creative until they try to do it for money. 

If you’re lucky enough to have the ability to draw, plan or work effectively with your hands, and you can blend your own creative interests with the needs of prospective clients, there are a number of opportunities for you.

8. Photography

Everyone thinks they can take amazing, world-class photos with their iPhone, but it takes a keen eye and strong knowledge to get the best results. 

Much like event planners and managers, professional photographers are highly sought-after for weddings, family photo shoots, corporate events, headshots and more. 

Professional photography equipment can be expensive, but, once you have all the right tools, this can be a very profitable business.

9. Graphic Design

Whether you have significant experience in art or just an eye for good design, successful, modern graphic design can be a real money-maker using tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Canva. 

Human beings absorb and process visual information 60,000 times faster than the written word, which represents a huge opportunity for businesses to convey information quickly. 

From emails to neighborhood flyers, freelance graphic designers can establish a very worthwhile business for themselves.

10. Carpentry

Are you good with your hands and know your way around power tools? Creating beautiful, custom pieces of carpentry takes a great deal of patience, time, measurement and vision. 

Fortunately, as the appreciation for handmade furniture continues to rise, there are plenty of people who would proudly pay for a bespoke chair, new table, cabinetry or anything else their imagination produces. With outlets like local farmers markets and Etsy, you can promote your work and find new clients through a variety of avenues.

11. Calligrapher

One of the most popular art forms found in houses throughout the U.S. revolves around beautiful, handwritten phrases done by freehand calligraphers. While learning how to do calligraphy takes a lot of practice, once you have the technique down, there is plenty that can be done with it. 

Take a look at the hundreds of Etsy shops and Instagram accounts that promote their talents and you can see the demand that remains for this type of work.

A place setting on a dining table.

3 Food-Based Ideas

If your mind runs wild with ideas for what you can cook, bake, baste or roast, one of these might be the spark you’ve been waiting for to establish your own innovative small business.

12. Farmer

Depending on where you live, access to fresh produce can be limited. With even a small patch of land in a city or a perfectly apportioned backyard, it’s possible for you to fulfill a huge need for your community. Providing seasonal staples to your community is a lot of hard work and takes a great deal of dedication and patience, but the demand for quality food is only going to grow over time.

13. Food Truck

From tacos to ice cream, food trucks are enjoying a lot of popularity. Even though they’re now ubiquitous across all major cities, one of the benefits of a food truck is that you can try new and exciting food ideas and test them in populated areas.

14. Baker for Hire

Are you one of the best bakers you’ve ever met? If your cakes, pies and cupcakes are consistently causing friends, family members and neighbors to ask you for a baked good for their party or gathering, there’s clearly an opportunity for you to do what you love as a way to earn money.

8 Unique Service Business Ideas

Do you love helping people with tasks that might sneak up on them? If you live to serve, we found 8 of the most classic service-based ideas around.

15. Virtual Assistance

Are you really organized? Working remotely as a virtual assistant (VA) might be one of the best ways to maximize this skill set. 

From structuring calendars, arranging appointments, pick-ups, deliveries and handling day-to-day communications, there are hundreds of thousands of busy, successful people whose lives would fall apart without the help of their VA. What’s more, working as a VA can let you work from a beach, coffee shop or the comfort of your own home.

16. Moving Company

Moving is hard work for everyone involved. However, if you’re someone who enjoys the challenge of solving a geometric equation to maneuver a couch up the stairs of a very tiny apartment building, there is plenty of work for you. 

And you won’t just be paid in pizza and beer — unless that’s what you want.

17. Landscaping

Keeping lawns green and flowers looking vibrant can be a full-time job. Whether it’s a corporate industrial park or a single yard, the amount of work available to landscaping companies could keep you in business from early Spring to late Autumn. 

And, for those in Northern climates, there’s demand for snow removal.

18. Mobile Pet Grooming

As more and more people work longer and longer hours and hypoallergenic pet breeds continue growing in popularity, there’s a growing need for pet groomers. 

As with a food truck, a mobile grooming business allows you to go right to the customer, expanding your coverage area and therefore business opportunities. Working with animals can be challenging at times, but dog kisses are a pretty good perk for a job well done.

19. Alterations

There seem to be dozens of children’s nursery rhymes about tailors and seamstresses. Even if you don’t know the town tailor, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for one. 

If you alter your own garments regularly, you could make good income tailoring dresses, pants, blazers and so much more.

20. Automotive

Cars break, and typically at the most inconvenient times. While there are plenty of things that the average automobile owner can do on their own, there are hundreds of other tasks they have no interest in doing. 

Working on cars is a labor-intensive job that requires a lot of knowledge and dirty work and can require expensive equipment. However, if you’ve owned your tools for years, your overhead costs should be low enough to turn a nice, consistent profit.

21. House Cleaning

No matter how often we clean, there’s always something to scrub, mop, dust or tidy. Instead of taking an entire Saturday to get your house in order, wouldn’t it be great to pass these responsibilities off to someone else? 

If you’re one of the folks who can make quick work of a big mess and take pride in tidying up, house cleaning can be a solid way to make a living.

22. Jack-of-All-Trades

Just like your car, your house has plenty of things that need to be maintained. The problem is that more and more people seem to be entirely out of their depths when it comes to small home improvement projects and repairs. 

For anyone quite handy, there is plenty of money to be made going into business for yourself and promoting your work—especially by showcasing photos on Instagram and elsewhere.

3 Health and Wellness Ideas

Feeling good about yourself starts with taking care of your body and often that involves working directly with an expert. 

If you take pride in your appearance and want to help others feel good about themselves, we found three great ways for you to start your own business.

23. Massage Therapist

Massage isn’t merely a way to relieve stress: It’s an excellent form of self-care. 

The best massage therapists become a regular part of their client’s health maintenance and improvement routine and can earn a solid living with enough clients.

24. Personal Trainer

Everyone needs a little motivation and accountability now and then; some need it more so than others. 

As a certified personal trainer, you’re able to assist clients in their journey to achieve whatever goals they’re aiming for. Plus, it’s nice to be paid to watch someone else sweat, right?

25. Beautician

Looking and feeling our best truly does begin with how we perceive ourselves. A beautician’s job isn’t simply to put as much make-up on them as possible, but rather to demonstrate the best ways to accentuate their natural beauty and features in the most flattering ways. 

While this typically means makeup and the like, it’s more about the way you make your client feel about themselves that is most valuable to them.

If you’re good at breaking down complex topics and helping other people learn, there are plenty of opportunities for you to build a business of your own.

4 Education Ideas

Learning is a lifelong practice that everyone needs help with from time to time. If you’re good at breaking down complex topics and helping other people learn, there are plenty of opportunities for you to build a business of your own.

26. Tutoring

Students and teachers have lots on their plates during the school year, but they often find ways to fit more into their schedules through tutoring, especially during the summer. 

Starting a tutoring service can be helpful for students looking to get ahead for the next school year, catch up on topics that they’re having trouble with or gain greater mastery over a specific topic. One-on-one or group intensive work is typically done in 60- and 90-minute blocks, allowing tutors to maximize their own time and revenue.

27. College Prep Instructor

Similar to tutoring, preparing for college allows educators the chance to earn additional income while supporting high schoolers with college aspirations. 

Getting into college can be a complicated process and tutors can prove to be priceless when it comes to getting someone into the school of their dreams.

28. Music Instructor

How would you like to make money while doing something you love? Hopefully, that sounds like music to your ears. Giving music lessons is a simple business you can run out of your home (and in these days, online) that enables students the chance to improve themselves outside of their regular, organized practice time.

29. Theater Mentor

For aspiring actors, there’s never enough rehearsal time. If you have experience with auditioning, character interpretations and advanced forms of emoting from the stage, this business is great for supporting school-aged actors and aspiring stars.

Finding Your Own Creative Idea

Everyone always thinks they have a great business idea. But, sometimes it’s the most creative ideas that have the best results. 

Whether your business idea is creative or mundane, the most important thing is your happiness. Creating a business is challenging work, but we hope that some of these ideas have inspired you to go forward on your entrepreneurial journey.

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Eric Ortlieb Business Advisor at Fast Capital 360
Eric Ortlieb has been a Business Advisor with Fast Capital 360 from the start and has helped thousands of small businesses grow with creative, fast and flexible funding options. His focus is on helping business owners achieve healthy returns on investments, improve profit margins and grow their revenue.