So, you want to be your own boss? You’re in good company. Millions of entrepreneurs have struck out on their own, and what’s more, according to the 2018/2019 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report by Babson College, they're motivated by opportunities to put their skills to work to meet a need, rather than by necessity. The best startup business ideas will draw on the unique talents and interests of aspiring entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking for a side gig or to launch your own venture, here are some small-business startup ideas to match your skills and passion.
1. Caring for Others
Are you a nurturer? Or maybe you’ve always had a knack for math? There is growing demand for people to care for the elderly, children and pets, and to tutor students in everything from calculus to English as a second language. Much of this service economy is informal, but to open your own daycare center, for example, you will likely require a license. Check the regulations in your state when researching startup business ideas in the care economy.
2. Great With Numbers
Spreadsheets and budgets your thing? Businesses and individuals are always looking for professionals who can prepare taxes, budgets and other financial plans. In addition, many small-business owners don’t employ full-time bookkeepers or CFOs and don’t have the time to dedicate themselves. Requirements vary—tax preparers, for example, will need an identification number to file taxes with the IRS, and certification or degrees may be required for some accounting professionals.
3. Great With Words
Writing may seem like it's becoming a lost art in the age of social media, but writing and editing services are still highly in demand. If you’re a stickler for grammar and style, try your hand at copywriting or editing. And while long-form aficionados may lament it, social media is here to stay. Almost every company today has an online presence, and managing those digital communications for brands presents a great entrepreneurial opportunity for marketing-savvy individuals those who have mastered social media tools and the art of the sound bite. Best of all: there are very low barriers to getting started.
Some people are born organizers. They revel in the details, whether it's mapping out a vacation or planning a corporate event. If that’s you, consider putting your skills to work as a professional organizer—there are plenty of ways to turn your organizing superpowers into a business. The past decade has seen a rise in “concierge” services that make life easier for harried executives, moms, brides-to-be and small-business owners. That could include travel and event planning or day-to-day personal assistance. As time becomes an ever scarcer resource, people are increasingly willing to pay for services that will help them reclaim more of it.
A picture is worth a thousand words—and could be the key to a lucrative career for the visually inclined. Companies big and small need help designing logos, creating websites and crafting visually engaging marketing materials.
A throwaway culture driven by cheap goods and fast fashion have led to landfills piling up with our accumulated junk, and there's a growing “circular economy” movement that seeks to reduce such waste. One way to do that: Repair and reuse items rather than reflexively tossing them in the trash. That’s creating startup business opportunities for people who know how to repair appliances and electronics, fix bikes and cars, re-upholster furniture and tailor clothes to give them new life. Another twist on the trend: Reselling used stuff online. Either way, it’s a growth sector that benefits the environment.
6. People Person
You know who you are: You’re blessed with the gift of gab and could persuade a dog to give up a bone. But have you ever considered turning that trait into a moneymaking venture? Lucky for loquacious you, there are a wide range of jobs—and startup business ideas—that benefit from such "soft" people-oriented skills. Think tour guides, sales or call center roles. If you’re driven by a sense of curiosity and empathy for others, you may have what it takes to be a life coach.
7. Food Lover
Food is the way to the heart, they say. If you’re a good cook, it could also be the path to a new career. In these ever more health-conscious yet harried times, many families and businesses are looking for help improving their diets, saving money on groceries and learning skills of their own. If you’ve thought about opening a restaurant, catering is a low-risk way to get started. Similarly, offering cooking classes or personal grocery shopping and meal planning services are low-investment small-business startup ideas for entrepreneurial-minded cooks.
8. Gifted in the Visual Arts
A picture is worth a thousand words—and could be the key to a lucrative career for the visually inclined. Companies big and small need help designing logos, creating websites and crafting visually engaging marketing materials. If you know your way around Photoshop and other digital tools, those services are in demand. If you're more inclined to photography, consider hanging up a shingle as a wedding, event or portrait photographer. Bonus: You can easily showcase your work on a personal web site.
There are start your own business ideas business ideas suited for every skillset, personality and passion. So what are you waiting for? As the comedian and actor Milton Berle said, “If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.”
Photo: Getty Images