The thoughts that go into starting a business cause a great deal of excitement for current and aspiring entrepreneurs. But how can you start a business creative enough to both excite you and your potential customers?
While there are plenty of wild, imaginative ideas that even we haven’t dreamt of for this list, we found more than 30 of the most creative small business ideas you can start in 2020.
We broke down each group of unique business ideas into segments, including business to business (B2B), creative and art-driven businesses, ideas for foodies, opportunities for health and wellness practitioners, educators and those in the service sector.
7 B2B Ideas
Working directly with businesses is a challenge unto itself. Certain quirks and requirements demand specific skills and disciplines. If you’re currently doing any of these activities in a full-time role elsewhere, there are plenty of opportunities to branch out on your own.
Let’s face it – you’re a brilliant person, which is why you’re reading this blog in the first place. As a smart person, there’s a strong possibility that you’ve collected a tremendous amount of knowledge in a specific discipline or industry. 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 also build a nice business of your own.
Unless you’re someone who’s naturally attracted to numbers, keeping the books organized and up to date can be a challenge for certain entrepreneurs. Even with tools like Quickbooks, there are still plenty of opportunities for licensed CPAs to assist small business owners dealing with nuanced questions and circumstances. The best CPAs can act as consultants, providing key recommendations for their clients by pointing out key deductions and methods for limiting taxable income in the future.
Business owners always have great ideas and insights into how they should market their company. The hang-up, however, is that they often don’t know how or 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.
Launching a business can be intimidating. If, however, you’re talented and lucky enough to open multiple businesses, your experience in refining and executing a business plan is 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.
Thanks to the advancement of smartphones, combined with the acceleration of internet speeds, more than 5 million videos are watched each day on YouTube alone. Clearly, with audiences of this size, there is an opportunity for businesses, regardless of niche, to showcase their company in ways they may have never considered. To do this correctly, businesses need to have videos that connect with their audience that both look and sound good. To do this properly, businesses seek out video professionals to assure them that their time, effort, money and (perhaps most importantly) message are handled as effectively as they can be.
Think of your favorite brand for a moment. It’s quite likely that a lot of the advertisements and branding materials that you see are successful, not simply because of the imagery that’s used, but because of the impact of the words that were chosen. Good copywriting may seem simple, but the skill it takes is quite involved. The best copywriters can make good money for themselves in either a full-time and/or part-time capacity, helping businesses push their ideas or messages forward.
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 client’s blog, brochure, product page or anything in between, long-form writing is essential to educate, convince and ultimately earn the trust of a target audience.
5 Creative Business Ideas
Everyone thinks they can do something creative until it’s time to execute against their creative vision. If you’re lucky enough to have the ability to draw, plan or work effectively with your hands and your mind, there are a number of opportunities for you.
Event Planning and Management
One of the most interesting developments in the past decade or so, thanks in part to the rise of social media, has been the explosion of in-person events. Because events are now designed to both satisfy attendees and make those watching from afar jealous, the level of management that’s required to run a successful event is astounding. Whether it’s for weddings, business conferences, fundraisers or a team function, individuals and companies pay big dollars to have their events hit the nail on the head—not to mention smoothly.
While everyone thinks they can take amazing, world-class photos with their iPhone, it takes a keen eye with knowledge of lens settings, lighting and composition 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 undoubtedly be expensive, but once you have all the right tools, this can certainly be a very profitable business.
Whether you have significant experience in the arts or simply have an eye for good design, successful, modern graphic design can be created through digital tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and even Canva. Considering that humans absorb and process visual information 60,000 times faster than the written word, there are plenty of use cases for businesses to employ a designer. From emails to neighborhood flyers, freelance graphic designers can establish a very worthwhile business for themselves.
Good with your hands and know your way around power tools? Then your skills might make you the next Ron Swanson. 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 at your disposal, along with Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll be able to promote your work and find new clients through a variety of avenues.
One of the most popular art forms found in houses across the country 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.
6 Food-Based Ideas
If your mind is running wild with the different ideas you can cook up in the world of food, one of these might be the spark you’ve been waiting for to establish your own innovative small business.
Depending on where you are in the country, access to fresh produce can be limited. With a small patch of land in a city or even a perfectly apportioned backyard, it’s possible for you to fulfill a huge need for your community. Providing seasonal staples to your community is certainly a lot of hard work and takes a great deal of dedication and patience, but the demand for quality food is only going to continue to grow.
Everyone loves getting together with friends and family, but the hassle of preparing enough food—and inevitably cleaning before and after—is enough to make some beg-off their hosting opportunities. Catering businesses are a great solution for this, allowing you to choose the foods you’d like brought to your home or gathering location without lifting a finger. If you’re adept in the kitchen and enjoy helping people celebrate special moments, catering can be a great small business for you.
From tacos to ice cream, food trucks have had their moment in the sun for more than a decade. 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.
Bed and Breakfast
If you own a quaint, beautiful property in a sleepy little town or on the edge of a picturesque beach, it’s likely that people will want to stay in your home. By adding a small (or big, for you overachievers) breakfast service, you’ll be able to attract even more tourists and weekenders to your location through sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
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.
Amazingly, some of the best restaurant experiences around aren’t restaurants at all. Believe it or not, there are services taking place in the home of chefs across the country that can take as long as 6 months to get a reservation. If you’re looking for a unique way to start a business that feeds your soul and your customers and allows you to take advantage of an incredible dining experience only found in the comforts of home, then this is the venture for you.
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.
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.
Moving is hard and most often no fun for anyone 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 available for you. The upside, too, is you won’t just be paid in pizza and beer—unless that’s how you want to be paid, of course.
Keeping lawns green and flowers looking as vibrant as possible 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, as well as snow plowing for those in Northern climates.
As more and more pet owners bring hypoallergenic breeds home, there’s a greater need for pet groomers. Just like 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.
There seem to be dozens of children’s nursery rhymes about tailors and seamstresses, but can you remember the last time you had a conversation with someone about who they use for alterations? Just because you haven’t heard about the town tailor doesn’t mean there isn’t still a need for one. If you alter your own garments regularly, you could make good income tailoring dresses, pants, blazers and so much more.
Cars break, as much we beg them not to. 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 learning about or doing. Working on cars is a labor-intensive job that requires a lot of knowledge and dirty work and unfortunately also requires a good deal of expensive equipment. However, if you’ve owned your tools for years, your overhead costs should be low enough to turn a nice, consistent profit.
Regardless of how regularly you seem to clean your home, 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 the responsibilities off to someone who enjoys cleaning? If you’re one of these folks, house cleaning can be a solid way to make a living, especially if you specialize in using organic and/or all-natural cleaners given the recent focus placed on eco-friendly materials and ingredients.
Just like your car, there are plenty of things around your house that need to be kept up-to-date. 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 before and after photos on Instagram and the like.
3 Health and Wellness Ideas
Feeling good about yourself starts with taking care of your body and often that involves working directly with a health and wellness expert. If you fall into this category, we found three great ways for you to start your own business.
Massage isn’t merely a way to relieve stress; it’s an excellent means 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.
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?
Looking and feeling our best truly does begin with how we perceive ourselves. A beautician’s job is not 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.
5 Education Ideas
Learning is a lifelong practice that takes precedent with many things in our lives. Knowing this, there are plenty of opportunities for educators to build a business of their own.
Teachers have a lot 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 or for parents hoping their child can 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.
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 preparation tutors can prove to be priceless when it comes to getting someone into the school of their dreams.
How would you like to make money while doing something you love? This sounds like music to our ears. Giving music lessons is a simple business you can run out of your home that enables students the chance to improve themselves outside of their regular, organized practice time.
For aspiring thespians, 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 pros.
Coach for Hire
Just because you’re not in the classroom doesn’t mean you’re not educating. Operating as a coach for hire is an excellent way to develop young people and adults who’re looking to either improve both their mental and physical skills.
Finding Your Own Creative Idea
Even if your business idea would be more along the lines of an unusual business idea, the thing that matters most is your happiness and success, as well as the satisfaction of the customer. Creating a business is challenging work, but we hope that some of these ideas have inspired you to go forward on your entrepreneurial journey.