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45+ Small Business Ideas to Start a Business in 2024

small business ideas

You know what’s the difference between a business idea and a good business idea? How about a guess? You must be like—Isn’t it the same? 

No, both aren’t the same thing. A business idea is simply a random business thought, whereas a good one is a thoroughly assessed, well-thought-out, and viable business concept. 

Unlike a random business thought, a good idea demonstrates feasibility, market demand, profitability, and a strategic plan. 

You need a great business idea to build a successful business, not any random one with no critical considerations at all.

Looking for viable and profitable small business ideas to start your own business? 

To help you, we have compiled a list of 33+ profitable business ideas, separated into a few sections:

So whether you are looking for home-based business ideas for women or business concepts that could be scaled to a million-dollar company, this list has all you need. So, shall we proceed? Let’s dive right in.

Best Small Business Ideas


Writing a business plan?

Scalable business Ideas

Looking for scalable small business ideas? Invest a few hundred thousand dollars in these business ideas, and you can scale them up to make millions.

1. Food Truck

Does the idea of cooking new dishes and feeding them to friends and family excite you the most? If yes, this is the perfect time to start a food truck and turn your passion into a successful venture.

It doesn’t involve significant uplift investments or a large team like a brick-and-mortar establishment. All you need is a truck, an initial inventory, some necessary kitchen equipment, and cutlery—and you are good to get your wheels turning.

Don’t worry if you can’t afford to purchase a truck—leasing one is just alright!

Be sure to narrow your offerings to a specific food type to ease business operations and stay distinct in the market. Keep reading about starting a food truck:

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2. Barber Shop

Barber shops are often considered the places where people chat, have random conversations, laugh, and, of course, get a haircut. If given a thought, starting a barber shop would be a good business idea for someone who knows how to hold scissors.

With some initial investment, you can start a small barber shop and grow it to a profitable venture in the next 9 to 18 months.

You may decide whether to start a mobile barber shop, a traditional one, or a luxurious one, depending on your funding and resources. Keep reading about starting a barbershop:

3. Restaurant

Starting a restaurant is still a dream for many food lovers and chefs.

Being a restaurant owner has its benefits. You can do something you love and enjoy doing, make your customers happy, be a part of your community, and guess what? There’s no cap on how much you can make.

However, starting a restaurant requires a significant investment and an excellent team of chefs, managers, servers, bartenders, and other kitchen staff. You may expect at least to spend 400K as the initial investment for your restaurant.

Keep reading to learn more about restaurant startups:

4. Coffee Shop

Starting a coffee shop could be incredibly rewarding if you are a coffee enthusiast passionate about various brewing methods and coffee flavors, a culinary professional, or a business-savvy individual.

With 3 in every 4 Americans drinking coffee every day, the coffee shop is a business idea with limitless profit potential. Your coffee shop can be a warm and comfortable place for community gatherings and corporate meetings.

Remember, being the most popular coffee shop in the neighborhood isn’t about space but the atmosphere and the environment you create.

Read more about starting a coffee shop:

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5. Catering

If you have good culinary and cooking skills, starting a catering business could offer you an excellent opportunity to create your own menu and do what you love—cook and feed people without opening a traditional restaurant or a food truck.

With big gatherings and wedding celebrations returning to normal, the catering businesses are in massive demand, just like before the pandemic or even more.

Starting a catering business requires much less upfront investment than a restaurant or food truck business, making it a go for entrepreneurs with great passion but limited resources.

6. Convenience Store

If you are looking for a traditional business idea with a steady demand, starting a convenience store would be the one. This idea is well-suited for entrepreneurs with retail experience, business acumen, and community ties.

Starting a convenience store is a big upfront investment, so no brainer it requires thorough market research and business planning to reduce the risks of failure.

Conducting market research, preparing a business plan, selecting an ideal location, and securing initial investment are key steps in starting a convenience store. Here are a few resources to help you get started.

7. SaaS Platform

SaaS businesses generally operate on subscription-based, recurring revenue models, providing a steady revenue stream for founders.

With your knack for technology advancements and ability to identify and solve any problem your customers may face with your software—developing a SaaS platform could be your ticket to success.

Some of the infamous SaaS businesses include Grammarly, ClickUp, Slack, Upmetrics, and Zoom. The most important steps in starting a business are identifying your target market fit, developing your product, and outlining marketing strategies.

Here are the resources to help you start a SaaS business:

8. Trucking Business

If you are looking for a recession-proof business idea with high retention rates and freedom to choose clients, you may consider starting a trucking business.

Since this business requires a significant upfront investment, you must consider having a well-designed plan to reduce potential industry pitfalls.

Sounds like too much of an investment?

Consider financing your truck. It can lower your expenses to a few thousand dollars. Remember, you can always expand your fleet and hire more drivers as you grow. It’s potentially a growing industry, and you can make even a million-dollar business out of it.

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9. Hotshot Trucking

Starting a hotshot trucking business could be rewarding if you’re an experienced truck driver or an individual with a logistics or supply chain management background.

The business involves carrying higher, but often urgent, loads locally. If you own a pick-up and a flatbed trailer, consider yourself halfway there since this is all you need to get off the mark, at least initially.

You don’t necessarily need an office at the beginning. However, you may consider getting one once you’ve established a good client base and plan to scale and expand your offerings. Here are some of our curated resources to help you advance the idea.

10. Vending Machine Business

Want a business idea that allows you to create passive income with low startup costs? Consider starting a vending machine business.

It could be a profitable and rewarding venture for those looking for a flexible, low-maintenance, and scalable business model. Although, you may need a comprehensive business plan for the strategic placement of machines.

Profits and revenue in a vending machine business heavily rely on your location and product selection. Keep everything in sync to make the most of your passive business.

11. Bar

If you’ve ever dreamed of working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment where you can meet and participate in the industry, contributing to building a fun and great nightlife—opening a bar is the way to go.

Although the business model is pretty common to similar businesses like restaurants and coffee shops, you may require additional licenses to start the operations.

Remember, it’s a business requiring significant capital investment and regular inventory stock updates, and it isn’t a recession-proof concept—so you may need a strategic plan before you enter the battlefield.

Read more about opening a bar.

12. Food Delivery Service

The demand for food delivery businesses has never been like this before since the COVID-19 outbreak, and more and more people want restaurant-quality food at their doorsteps.

Starting a food delivery service can be a great way to tap into this ever-evolving market. You need a well-prepared food delivery business plan before entering the market. Identify your business model, whether you will have your own cloud kitchen or serve as a third-party delivery partner.

You can make a great living out of this business with a strategic plan and the right approach. Here are a few resources to help you get started:

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13. Manufacturing Business

If you’re an individual with industry experience who thoroughly understands the market needs and can identify opportunities for manufacturing products, you should definitely consider starting a manufacturing business.

Although it is an incredibly profitable and scalable business type, succeeding requires thorough planning and hard work. Read more about starting a manufacturing business.

14. Construction Business

Have a background in real estate or construction project management? Starting a construction company is a business idea for people just like you.

It’s one of the top and most profitable industries for entrepreneurs. Although it’s one of the most profitable and scalable niches, it has one of the highest failure rates.

Since over 63% of construction businesses shut their operations within the first five years, having a comprehensive business plan is necessary to avoid getting lost in the competition. Here are the resources you may need to get started:

15. Ice cream shop

If you have a genuine passion and deep appreciation for various ice cream flavors and textures, starting an Ice cream parlor would be a rewarding and fun venture.

Additionally, it is not like people demand this frozen treat during summer only; it is now present all around the year.

Although serving out delightful scoops of ice cream flavors is exciting, initiating it will require a proper plan and investment in hand. Therefore, before starting your ice cream shop business, know how to write a business plan and what are the costs:

16. Gym

With the increasing focus on health and fitness, more and more people are looking for convenient and well-equipped places to work out. If you are a fitness enthusiast, starting a gym would be a great way to make a living.

A gym provides a space where individuals can work on their fitness goals, whether it’s building strength, losing weight, or improving overall health.

As a gym owner, you play a crucial role in helping people lead healthier lives. You create a positive and motivating environment where individuals can engage in various workouts, from cardio exercises to strength training.

Moreover, the fitness industry is continuously evolving, providing opportunities for innovation and growth.

Keep reading to learn more about starting a gym:

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Plans starting from $7/month

17. Import-export business

Starting an import-export business involves sourcing products from a region and supplying them to others. It also helps build relationships with people from different countries, creating opportunities for business and friendships.

While there are challenges like shipping and rules to follow, if you navigate them well, you can make a good profit.

In a world that’s more connected than ever, running an import-export business is a smart way to explore and take advantage of the global market.

Keep reading to learn more about starting an import-export business:

18. Self-storage business

Individuals and businesses often require secure and accessible storage solutions. Whether it is for excess goods, seasonal items, or professional use, the need for extra storage is always there.

If you have a piece of land or a huge house, you can start this business.

With relatively low ongoing operational costs, a well-organized storage business can yield a steady income. The plus is, that the demand for storage facilities is there during economic downturns too.

Here are resources to help you get started:

19. Travel agency

Despite the rise in online travel platforms, people always seek customized plans and services provided by a travel agency.

In a world where time is precious, clients appreciate the convenience of having professionals curate and organize their travel experiences.

The continuously growing global tourism industry ensures a steady demand for travel-related services. So, wait no more and start planning your travel agency.

20. Car detailing

A car detailing business offers a range of services, including interior and exterior cleaning, waxing, and polishing, providing customers with a well-maintained aesthetically pleasing car.

The relatively low startup costs and minimal equipment requirements make it accessible for aspiring entrepreneurs.

You can build a loyal clientele in your car detailing business by offering excellent customer service and high-quality results. So, wait no more and grab this opportunity to start your business.

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Best Online Business Ideas

Considering starting an online business? Here are some of our hand-picked online business ideas for you.

21. Online Clothing Line

If you plan to start an online business and have a passion for fashion, there’s nothing better than starting an online clothing line.

With Statista projecting retail e-commerce revenue to hit $295.7 billion by 2025, it’s a business concept with ample potential for the founders.

The startup costs for an online clothing line range between $5,800 and $17,000, making it a low-investment venture that anyone can start with limited resources and apt planning. Keep reading to learn more about starting a clothing line.

22. Dropshipping

Looking for easy business ideas to make money online? Consider starting a dropshipping business. You will source products from your manufacturers and wholesalers and sell them as your own through your online store.

Since you’re not the direct supplier or manufacturer, you don’t need to take care of the inventory or logistics; simply focus on selling the products.

Low startup costs and ease of business operations make it an ideal choice for entrepreneurs with limited investment capital and resources.

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23. E-commerce Store

With more and more people buying things online, the e-commerce industry has witnessed exponential growth over the last few years.

You can sell anything online, be it shoes, clothes, jewelry, groceries, sports equipment, or electronic gadgets. All you need is a good e-commerce website and excellent products or services to offer, and you are all set.

Of course, there are other requirements, but you can start with this basic setup and invest in improving your business as you grow. Check out these resources to start and scale your e-commerce business:

24. Web Design Agency

Having a business website is a must for every business, whether big or small—online or offline. If you know how to develop and design websites, let me tell you, you’ve got skills that are in demand and can help you make money.

Although it’s a part of our online business ideas, the type of web design agency you start—online or a traditional one with a physical location—depends on your preferences and the resources you have.

It has lower startup costs than other ideas on the list; you may consider hiring freelance developers to reduce them further. Learn more about starting a web design agency.

25. Digital Marketing Agency

Starting a digital marketing agency is an excellent business idea if you are a marketing enthusiast passionate about helping small businesses grow through digital marketing.

Like other online business ideas, opening an online digital agency requires limited startup costs. All you need is a basic computer setup and a good internet connection.

Your service offerings may include content marketing, SEO, social media management, paid advertising, etc. Although it’s different from a web design business, you may also include web designing in your service offerings.

26. Advertising Agency

Advertising and digital marketing agencies operate on similar concepts. While the business concept is the same, there’s a significant difference in their service offerings.

Digital marketing agencies provide services like content and social media marketing, while advertising or ad agencies specialize in creating ad campaigns across platforms like radio, print, online, and television.

However, if you have resources, enough capital, and bandwidth, you can start an advertising agency that provides digital marketing services.

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Best Business Ideas to Start with Low Investment

Want some low-investment traditional business ideas? Here you go, business ideas to start with a low investment.

27. Small Bakery

Does baking pastries and cakes excite you the most? You’re the guy your friends reach out to, asking for cakes, pastries, and brownies?

If the answer is yes, starting a small bakery would be a rewarding way for you to make money. You don’t need a huge upfront investment to start a small bakery; you need a microwave and other basic baking equipment, and you’re good to go.

You can even start a home bakery from your very own kitchen. Starting a home bakery in the United States costs around $4,800 to $8,800, whereas small bakeries cost around $26,600 to $36,700.

Check out the resources to learn more about starting a bakery and the costs involved:

28. Clothing Boutique

If you have fashion expertise, business acumen, and passion to thrive in the clothing industry—opening a clothing boutique would be a nice idea.

Clothing boutiques are small retail clothing stores with a specialized lineup of high-quality and designer items to be sold at above-average prices.

Some boutiques also present a combination of readymade and to-be-tailored clothing. The type of boutique you have may vary, so you must create a buyer persona before you start outlining your plan.

For instance, your boutique may specialize in tailored clothing for women or be known for its classic men’s suit collection—the scope is infinite, but you must choose a niche to narrow down your focus.

29. Life Coaching Business

Have natural talent to cheer up, motivate, and help people? If so, starting a life coaching business would be your way of getting out of the 9 to 5 matrix.

There are many life coaches out there, making a living, doing what they love—helping people solve their confidence, mental health and anxiety issues.

Life coaching is a massive industry with many different aspects of life coaching. Some life coaching niches include wellness, relationships, anxiety, confidence, mental health, spirituality, and more.

Being an expert in one of the categories will help people see you as the coach or mentor they need, and your business will thrive in the marketplace.

30. House-flipping

House flipping is a business idea with quick profit potential and no special equipment requirements. It is a business that involves purchasing properties intending to renovate, rent, or resell them for profit.

The investment horizon is way too short compared to other businesses. While it seems to be a quickly rewarding business, a few risks involved, like market fluctuations and renovation challenges, are worth considering.

Here are resources to help you learn more about house-flipping:

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31. Woodworking Business

Woodworking is a business involving creating and selling various wood products like furniture, carved artisans, wooden boats, and a range of other products.

If you are a woodworking enthusiast or have a knack for craftsmanship, starting a woodworking business is a great way to enter the industry.

Critical things to consider while starting a woodworking business include identifying a specific niche, having a team of skilled workers, and a well-equipped physical setup.

Check out these resources to learn more about starting a woodworking business.

32. Nail Salon

If you’re searching for a business idea in the beauty and wellness industry—you should consider a nail salon. It’s a growing industry with creative expression and lucrative profit potential.

Unlike an extravagant beauty salon, a nail salon has limited space, equipment, and product requirements.

You can even start a home-based nail salon business with the basic equipment you have and expand as you establish yourself. Learn more about starting a nail salon:

33. T-shirt business

If you are passionate about fashion and clothing industry and trying to get into the market, one way or another—you should consider starting a t-shirt business.

The best thing about starting a t-shirt business is—you don’t need a hefty investment to begin with.

Also, with the way people love personalized stuff, creating t-shirts with unique designs makes your business even more exciting.

Keep reading to learn more about starting a t-shirt business:

34. Junk removal

As the population increases, the need for efficient and responsible disposal also increases. This is where junk removal services come in handy. You can start this business with minimum investment and scale it later.

From old furniture to electronic waste, your team should be able to efficiently remove and dispose of items, contributing to a cleaner and more organized environment for your clients.

You can even promote responsible disposal practices for the environment. But before you start, let’s go through:

35. Cleaning company

The demand for professional cleaning services remains constantly high because it is more of a necessity. So, starting a cleaning business is profitable and scalable.

With the global emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene, especially in the wake of health concerns, the cleaning industry is growing and will grow in the future too.

Additionally, the initial investment and costs for starting a cleaning business are low, making it accessible for new entrepreneurs. Here are resources to help you learn more:

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Plans starting from $7/month

36. Management consulting business

A management consultant helps other businesses to improve their performance and solve business problems. Here, the solutions might include anything from streamlining processes to implementing new strategies.

If you have a keen eye for business and are a born solver, then this is a great business idea for you to start. Your expertise in analyzing and solving organizational issues can make a notable difference in any business.

So, before you start this lucrative business, go through:

Best Home-based Business Ideas

Starting a business takes a lot out of you—finding the location, preparing the office or storefront setup, sourcing equipment, and more.

However, there are business ideas that require no such hassle at all and can be started from your very own house. Here are some of our home-based business ideas for you:

37. Tutoring

If I were to choose the easiest business idea—I’d say tutoring like most business owners. If you are good at mathematics, chemistry, or any other subject and enjoy tutoring others, then starting a tutoring program would be a good small business idea.

To pursue this idea, you must identify your tutoring goals and target market and understand the school curriculum.

There aren’t any special setup or equipment requirements associated with this business. So there’s nothing else to be taken care of.

Learn more about starting a tutoring business:

38. Rental Property Business

Real estate investing has been a popular business for many entrepreneurs looking to create passive income streams. Investing in rental properties could be a great way to break into this ever-evolving market and create an incredible passive income.

Since the business involves a significant upfront investment, comprehensive business and financial planning is a must. Here are the resources to help you get started.

Create winning Business Plans with our

AI Business Plan Generator

Plans starting from $7/month

39. Dog Daycare

The average pet spending in the U.S. has increased by 67% in the last eight years, making pet-related businesses a promising investment.

Pet owners or parents struggle to care for their animals due to busy work schedules and other commitments. So, starting a pet daycare would be a great business to start and enter the booming industry.

With dogs being the most popular pet in the U.S., starting a dog daycare would be a no-brainer. Learn more about starting a dog daycare.

40. Daycare

You should consider opening a daycare if you enjoy working with children and having them around makes you happy. It’s a business that doesn’t require a million dollars in investment or a fancy space to begin with.

You can start a small daycare center at your home with the limited capital you have to invest. The average cost of starting a daycare is around $11,100 to $22,000. However, you can start up with even less. Learn more about starting a daycare center:

41. Cattle Farming

For those passionate about working with animals, living in the countryside,  and having suitable farmland, cattle farming is a business idea worth considering.

You can easily make a decent income through cattle farming, from dairy products or even by selling animals on a large scale.

Although the business has a great profit potential, succeeding in it requires serious commitment and hard work. Learn more about starting a cattle farm.

42. Cannabis Dispensary

The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana has significantly increased the growth potential for cannabis business owners. It’s a business with attractive profits and a promising market, making it a choice for many.

If you have enough resources and can invest $187,000- $1,174,600 into a business, you may consider opening a cannabis dispensary. Here are a few resources to help you get started.

43. Poultry Farming

Poultry farming involves managing certain bird species to procure their by-products, like eggs, feathers, and chicken. It may include a variety of domesticated birds, such as chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, etc., depending on the region.

If you live in the countryside and are passionate about making a living through poultry farming, it surely would make a profitable venture.

Here are the resources to help you get started:

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44. Art business

Starting an art business allows individuals to transform their passion for art into a fulfilling career. Whether you’re an artist or someone with a keen eye for curating and promoting art, this business idea is great.

Moreover, the dynamic nature of the art world keeps the business engaging and ever-evolving. While challenges may arise, the opportunity to share and celebrate artistic expression makes venturing into the art business worth it.

Before you take the first step of your business, you can go through:

45. Microgreens business

The rise in health-conscious consumers seeking nutrient-based diets has grown the market of microgreens. Microgreens are edible greens grown from seeds of vegetables and herbs.

Low start-up costs and the potential for high profit margins make it an accessible venture for aspiring entrepreneurs.

These tiny, nutrient-packed plants are not only searched by fitness freak people but also by restaurants and local markets.

With a relatively quick growth cycle and minimal space requirements, microgreens can be cultivated year-round, enabling a consistent and scalable business model.

Before you start your business, read more:

Start Preparing Your Business Plan

Let’s face the fact—execution is way more important than a business idea. You sure can have a revolutionary business idea but still fail, if it isn’t backed with thorough market research and business planning.

I hope you have a good business idea by now—everything is down to proper execution, and a comprehensive business plan will help you do it.

AI business plan generator like Upmetrics make business planning a breeze with AI-powered features. 

Creating a business plan isn’t as time-consuming and intimidating as it used to be—AI can help you write, forecast financials, and act as your business mentor. What better can you ask for?

Let Upmetrics take care of your business plan; you take care of your business. Sounds good? Let’s turn your business idea into a business example for others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are the top 10 businesses to start in 2024:

  1. Web development agency
  2. Online clothing line
  3. SaaS platform
  4. Dropshipping
  5. E-commerce store
  6. Digital marketing agency
  7. Food truck
  8. Catering
  9. Small bakery
  10. Coffee shop

We have already discussed many business ideas, including online, low-investment, and home-based ones. Here are business ideas that can be considered as the easy ones:

  • Dropshipping
  • Daycare
  • Dog daycare
  • Home bakery
  • Online digital marketing agency
  • Life coaching

Starting a business with a low investment, as low as a thousand dollars, is tough. However, a few ideas can be started with an initial investment of around a thousand dollars, and you can invest in it as you start operating. 

Some of those ideas include digital marketing agencies, dropshipping, virtual assistants, and affiliate marketing.

The profitability of these business ideas depends on various factors like the industry, business model, initial investment, and the business location. For instance, the profit margin for a restaurant is around 10-15%, whereas the percentage for a clothing line would be 10-30%.

The margins for the same business would change depending on its location or business type. You must consider all those factors to determine a business idea’s profitability.

About the Author


Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more