1. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business This is a great job for animal lovers who enjoy getting paid for caring for and playing with other people’s pets. Dogs and cats are the most common pets that need care when owners are away.
Tip: If you are an animal lover, a mobile dog and cat grooming business can bring consistent income.
2. Consignment Shop As a consignment shop owner, you don’t pay anything for your inventory until it is sold, which makes this business ideal for the startup entrepreneur.
Tip: The key to a successful consignment shop is a pleasant atmosphere. Make it clean, fresh and fashionable.
3. Freelance Writing Freelance writers can write articles on any topic, from horse training to buying an RV. A good way to start is by writing about subjects in which you are already an expert. The Writer’s Market lists guidelines for thousands of publications.
Tip: Your initial queries are likely to get rejected many times. Cultivate a stoic resilience to rejection.
4. Gardening Business Herb farms are one of the fastest-growing industries. Medicinal herbs, herbal teas, culinary herbs, and herbs for candles and aromatherapy are just the tip of the iceberg. A solid working knowledge of growing herbs is essential.
Tip: Through gardening, you can branch off to floral arrangements and market your products to local inns, hotels, wedding planners, churches, roadside flower sales and florists.
5. Gift Basket-Making Business From corporate parties to baby showers, holidays and birthdays, gift baskets can be tailored to suit the taste of anyone. Gift basket entrepreneurs need a flair for the creative and the design ability to buy gifts and tuck them into baskets, decorative tins, boxes or bags.
Tip: There is a large, untapped market for merchandise with university and sports team logos on them. You will first need to get approval from the university’s licensing department to make gift baskets that have merchandise with their logo.
6. Graphic Design Duties of a graphic designer include designing flyers, informational pamphlets, product catalogs and advertisements.
Tip: Good listening skills are essential to running a successful graphic designing business. You need to understand completely what your clients want.
7. Grant Writing Business The grant writer is the vital link between a funder and a grant seeker. Grant writers work as independent contractors, full- or part-time development officers, and freelancers.
Tip: This is a field that you can learn on your own and offer your services for a handsome fee. Very few nonprofits require certification from their grant writers.
8. Home Health-Care Agency As a home health-care business, your responsibility is to send an employee to assist with the daily tasks of living. Advertise your services at local community centers, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices and hospitals.
Tip: You need top-notch people skills and an instinct for determining which caregiver to pair with which client. Most importantly, you must have a knack for hiring employees with monumental patience.
9. House Cleaning As long as dirt and grime exist, there will be a need for house-cleaning services. In many homes and apartments, people want to enjoy the luxury of not having to scrub floors and dust furniture.
Tip: With each new client, find out exactly what they need and expect from you. Catering to the wishes of your clients is as important as a good cleaning job and will earn you loyal and returning customers.
10. Medical Billing Business Medical billing is the process by which doctors and hospitals receive payment from health insurance companies.
Tip: Working in a doctor’s office can be helpful in understanding how patients are billed.
11. Mobile Spa Business A mobile spa offers facials, massages, bridal hair and makeup, body treatments, manicures and pedicures. Mobile spas have low startup costs.
Tip: Carry a mobile retail shop with skin-care products and accessories such as herbal neck wraps, spa slippers and ointments for your clients.
12. Medical Spa Popular medical spa treatments include Botox, laser hair removal and anti-aging skin-care services.
Tip: Always have an attorney review documents before signing any contracts.
13. Music for Kids Music is an important part of early childhood development. Market your musical skills at day cares, kindergartens and preschools.
Tip: Make your performance interactive and not a mere display. Get the kids involved.
14. Paper Shredding and Recycling Business A mobile document shredding service goes to its clients and shreds their documents on-site, then removes the shredded paper and takes it to a recycling center.
Tip: Aside from shredding paper documents, a papershredding service can offer the ability to destroy hard drives as well, along with other media such as CDs and DVDs.
15. Personal Chef Personal chefs can market their business to just about anybody who likes to eat well and is willing to pay for it.
Tip: Be ready to adapt to working in different kitchens. Some clients will have good, workable pots and pans and utensils; others won’t. Investing in a travel set of cooking utensils and pots and pans may be a wise idea.
16. College Application/Financial Aid Planning Consulting Business This business involves advising parents and high school students on selecting a college, filling out the application and financial aid forms.
Tip: Have a good understanding of different financial programs like Byrd Scholarships, Stafford Loans, private and federal grants, and PLUS Loans.
17. Sewing Business You can specialize in designing, sewing and installing window treatments. Offering such accessories as doll hair ribbons, hats, socks, tights and slippers can be good for your business.
Tip: Making custom bridal veils is a great way to make money using your sewing skills. It is also a good way to enter the lucrative bridal market.
18. Soap Making Many people are going back to basics and buying all-natural soaps. By adding special herbs, fragrances and colors, you can make gourmet and specialty soaps right in your own kitchen.
Tip: Packaging is everything.
19. Website Consultant From hosting domain names to managing web content, a website consultant builds and maintains websites. As a website consultant, you will need experience in links, banners and affiliate programs, and a talent for graphics and copywriting.
Tip: Branch off your business into website maintenance, where you charge a monthly fee to make small changes and additions to a client’s website.
20. Wedding Planner or Bridal Consultant You will need a working knowledge of what goes into planning a wedding, including resources and price ranges for everything from invitations to musicians.
Tip: This is a business where you have to be extremely organized and detail-oriented. Forgetting to put down the deposit for the ballroom or to order the yellow roses can be disastrous.