Nothing beats working for yourself. Even when you love your job and think that it’s rewarding, the satisfaction you get when you are your own boss is a completely different feeling. Not only is it more meaningful but it comes with so many benefits.
While it may seem alluring venturing into a new market, especially if you are a startup, it can be tricky, and let’s face it, pretty risky too – you are putting in more hours than at a 9-5 job elsewhere, and there will be moments where you may actually be sacrificing a lot more than just your time. Even then, it is absolutely worth it.
While thinking of starting your own business, the first thought that may have crossed your mind was probably, “What should I sell?” or, “Which market segment has the most money?” or even, “How do I start with my current skill set?”
We have created a list of 80 startup business ideas that have been split into two categories – Product based business ideas and service-based business ideas – and we hope this gives you a little insight into the different segments that you could break into and what they would entail.
Skill & Service-Based Startup Ideas
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #1: BUYING WEBSITES
Just like stocks and property, in our interconnected world thanks to the internet, websites also have a really high value. Even as you read this, websites are constantly being purchased or sold for hefty prices. There are several factors that will affect the value of a site online, such as the domain name, the amount of traffic it receives, general popularity and profits that the site earns amongst other factors. While this business can be really lucrative, it requires an in-depth understanding of the market, however, once you understand how it works, you could potentially be sitting on a goldmine.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #2: ONLINE COACH
If you are passionate about something and have a big knowledge base about the topic, you could start a career as an online coach. Setting up a YouTube channe with tutorials, setting up a blog to help people understand concepts, creating online courses – there is a multitude of things that you could be doing. Online coaching can be a lucrative way of making money, however, make sure you don’t oversell yourself online or to a client as their success depends on many different things that may not entirely be under your control.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #3: ONLINE ASSISTANT
Are you organized, can multitask and are meticulous about your work? Chances are that someone out there is looking for a virtual assistant with your skill set and would be willing to pay quite well. To start off, you can look for assistant jobs on platforms like Upwork or on remote working websites such as Jobspresso. This job is also a great way of making contacts in an industry that you want to eventually end up in. Furthermore, as an online virtual assistant, you decide your hours, can have a flexible schedule and you won’t be tied down to any location due to the remote nature of the work.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #4: ENGLISH TEACHER
If you are a native English speaker or are bilingual but proficient in English, you could look towards teaching English as a second language to people online. This is more than just a summer of “ESL”. There are people willing to pay up to $50 dollars depending on your experience and skills and it can all be done online – which means you could potentially set up a company and even hire others to expand your client base. Just be sure to remember that while knowing English is a requirement for this job, it’s not the only requirement – you need to be patient and have the ability to explain and simplify the difficult language and cultural concepts.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #5: VOCATIONAL CONSULTANT
If you are leaving behind a corporate job with a fair amount of experience to start your own venture but have no idea where to begin, this one may be for you. There are several people out there who want to learn how to ace a promotion interview or ask for a raise, or simply land a high paying job. If you have useful tips for them, you can just start your own consultancy and people will be willing to pay you good money to learn the tricks of the trade. If you aren’t ready to start up your own website or just want to test out the waters, you should look at signing up to platforms such as The Muse or Coach Me where others are looking for people like you to mentor them.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #6: REAL ESTATE VALUATION
Real estate valuation is a great job to have because you can decide how much you want to work, where you want to work from and these parameters will decide how much you earn. You don’t necessarily need a degree in this field but you should check if you require some kind of certification in the country or state that you want to operate in. Of course, apart from the certification, you also need to have a solid understanding of the market to be able to make a living for yourself in this field.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #7: GRAPHIC DESIGN
There is a huge demand for graphic designers in the market today. If you already have the existing skill set and knowledge of design platforms such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or Sketch, then you can literally just sign up to Fiverr or Upwork or find remote jobs on websites such as Jobspresso. However, if you don’t have the required skills, you can always sign up to Skillshare and enroll in a graphic designing course and then practice through smaller gigs. Businesses need graphic designers to create logos, banners, social media posts, design campaigns, products and packaging and so many other smaller processes that we don’t even realize – so keep practicing and before you know it, you may be snapping up clients with the utmost of ease.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #8: UI/UX DESIGNERS & SPECIALISTS
UI/UX or User Interface/User Experience designers and specialists have a unique skill set that is extremely important in the today’s world. A lot of consumer psychology is based on how the customers interact with a website or app interface and how pleasant or easy the experience is. UI/UX designers can literally build the face of the company or brand and they often get paid a large sum to do so too. As with any other job, the experience and work portfolio plays a big role in the future work prospects, so if you are interested in starting your own UI/UX business, keep hustling and take up even the smallest gigs, even just for the experience.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #9: PRESENTATION DESIGN
Believe it or not, there are entire businesses set up for people to hire someone else to create their powerpoint presentations. For those who are not well-versed in technology or have a tough time getting around Microsoft Office, creating a presentation can be a major challenge and even a hurdle in their professional career. Familiarize yourself with different types and formats of presentations, such as Pechakucha or Prezi, and you can widen your customer base even more.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #10: WEB DEVELOPMENT
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #11: APP DEVELOPMENT
3.8 Million apps on the Android store, 2 million apps in the iOS store and every single day more new apps are being created and released. You can find an app for nearly anything: Some are useful, while others aren’t so much. Creating an app and launching it is a tedious process with a lot of hard work going into it – from the coding and development phase to creating a beautiful interface and providing the best user experience possible. Furthermore, you might also want to market your app on social media. If your first app is a success this may launch you into a career in app development with some great projects in the future.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #12: ONLINE JOURNALISM
If you have a degree in a communication field or in journalism but don’t want to work in a traditional newspaper or broadcasting atmosphere, you could look into online journalism. Build your portfolio with online companies such as HuffPost and then work your way to creating your own medium of news; be it a blog, youtube channel, social media channel, etc. Then you can add sales funnels by looking into advertising revenue.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #13: AFFILIATE SALES AND MARKETING
This is a great idea if you are running a channel on YouTube and have decided that you would like to turn the views into revenue. The same can be done with a website that is generating plenty of traffic. All you have to do is join one of the big affiliate networks such as Clickbank or ShareASale and you can turn your existing content mediums into a source of passive income.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #14: PODCASTING
Do you have a hobby or passion that causes people around you to constantly ask you for advice in that field or tell you that you should teach or spread your knowledge? Well, you should listen to them! You can start your own podcast about niche topics that you have a solid knowledge base about; the more specific the topic is, the better. If you already have a podcast that you are running for free, you can crack some sponsorship deals to turn it into a source of income. All you need to be sure about is whether you are creating consistent, valuable and relevant content for your audience.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #15: WORDPRESS WEBSITES
Many small business owners, especially ones that are foraying into the ecommerce world, like to create a basic website, usually hosted on WordPress. If you have a working knowledge of WordPress or have the time and resources to invest in learning about the platform, you could be earning hundreds of dollars just to launch a website. Investing your time in learning about WordPress will pay off in the long run as well because it is an important skill to have these days.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #16: OUTSOURCED CUSTOMER SERVICE
There are several businesses out there that are looking for individuals to fulfill customer service positions. This requires a fair amount of experience, good people and management skills and should be familiar with organizational structures. Platforms like Upwork and Jobspresso provide many opportunities and the best part is that if you are good at what you do, you can even hire a team to scale your business and take on bigger clients.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #17: ONLINE COURSES
Online courses are awesome! Whether you are learning from them or the one doing the teaching, there is a great opportunity here. If you are good at anything, chances are that there are people out there who would like to know how to do exactly that, no matter which field it is. People are willing to pay big sums of money to learn things online without having to get them from traditional educational institutes such as schools and colleges simply because they will still be paying a whole lot less and they can learn at their own pace. There are several platforms such as Skillshare that you can teach such courses on.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #18: BLOGGING
While people still don’t think of this as a business, bloggers can be some of the highest earners on the internet as they diversify their portfolio once they have established themselves and have a sizable audience base. Your blog can be about literally anything you want and chances are that there is an audience out there for it. If you are planning to start a blog, you need to constantly work on honing your writing skills and come up with fresh and engaging content ideas. Listen to what the audience wants and provide them with that, all while maintaining your unique voice. Once you learn how to perfectly straddle the line, you can get sponsors involved, use affiliate marketing and use social media channels to drive traffic to your website to monetize this process. Some bloggers are now traveling the world for free, have media empires of their own in their respective fields and are considered influencers with a high value.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #19: DOMAIN NAME TRADING
In 2009 a domain called “insure.com” was sold for $16 million. Let that sink in for a minute. This business is nothing new but there is still money to be made in this sector. Buy low, sell high and you can do it from literally anywhere with an internet connection. Of course, this requires some amount of initial investment on your part, but once you get the hang of it and learn to analyze what a good domain for this purpose is, you can be making a whole lot of cash really soon!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #20: YOUTUBE CHANNEL
With 300 hours of video being uploaded to the website per minute and 3.25 billion hours of video content being consumed each month, YouTube is currently the 2nd largest search engine and the largest video site in existence. (Brandwatch.com, 2016) The website boasts an impressive one billion users, which is just about over one-third of the entire population of internet users, yet only 9% of small business owners in the U.S are known to use YouTube as a marketing tool. Since YouTube is owned by Google, videos that are uploaded on YouTube rank better in the search engine results and even more so if the video and the accompanying text is keyword-rich. Besides, you can manipulate video content to best showcase your brand’s personality. You can get as creative as you want and, contrary to popular belief, great video content can be made on a small budget. It’s all about your vision! So instead of just using YouTube as a marketing tool, you could make it a career! There’s a reason why so many people aspire to become YouTubers – there is a lot of growth potential if you capture the right audience and manage to monetize your channel.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #21: COMMISSION SALES
If your skill set involves having great sales and marketing skills and you enjoy building professional relationships to grow your network, this may just be the field for you. Many companies are looking for someone like you who has their own sales consultancy with a great technical know-how. The more you sell, the more you make and you never have to worry about things like inventory because it’s not even your product! The better you get at this, the higher your commission goes.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #22: MUSIC TEACHER
Are you passionate about music? Do you have a love for teaching? Do you enjoy attending theatre and plays often? If so, you could be a music teacher or consultant. You don’t necessarily have to travel for such a job as your classes and sessions can be attended over Skype. Private music sessions can help you make anything between $20 – $200 per lesson, depending on the type of sessions and the level that you would be teaching at. This is great for any music lover; to be able to make money doing something they are truly passionate about.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #23: INVESTING OTHER PEOPLES’ FUNDS
While this may seem a little absurd, you could actually make money off someone else’s money. Help them invest and provide consultations on how to better manage their funds, be it for the short term or the long term, and you could be taking a commission off their profits from your investment advice. As their capital grows, so does yours. The best part is that in this business, once the word spreads about how great your advice is, you won’t have to go looking for clients, they will be lining up for you.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #24: ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING
Several firms outsource a lot of their daily operations as it is cheaper for them to do so – especially if the tasks at hand are not in alignment with the core strength of the company itself. One of the most outsourced tasks is bookkeeping and accounting. If you have a background in finance, you may want to think about starting your own company that deals with such outsourced work.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #25: BUSINESS CONSULTING
If your friends and family are constantly turning to you for help when it comes to business advice because they know it’s solid, then it might be time to look into starting a business consultancy. The one thing about being involved in business consultancy is that you will need credentials no matter how good you are. Think about it: Would you take business advice from a random person working out of their home or garage? I don’t think so. Your credentials will add value to your knowledge and even if you don’t have them now, you can always work towards getting them! Companies are always looking for people with a great sense of business, no matter which field it is – public relations, marketing, strategies, human resources, etc – so if you already have the required certifications then maybe you should jump onto this bandwagon.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #26: TRAVEL CONSULTANT
For some people, a life without travel is unimaginable. If you are one of those people and you spend hours planning trips in detail “just for fun” because you can’t afford it at the moment – why not work towards actually being able to afford it while doing exactly what you have been doing? If you know how to get the best deals and would love to share your passion for traveling, then why not become a travel consultant? You could build personalized travel experiences and itineraries for those who will pay you for such a service. Create groups on social media, start a website and offer planning packages and, of course, run a travel blog side by side. While it may seem a lot, if you truly are passionate about globetrotting then this will seem more like play than work!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #27: FITNESS COACH
Fitness coaching is a great business to enter! Of course, this requires in-depth knowledge about nutrition and exercise but more and more people have started to become more conscious about healthy living. If you have a keen business sense and you combine that with your knowledge of health and well being, you could have clients lining up for your guidance. Start off with personal training and then perhaps go onto building your fitness empire.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #28: YOGA & MEDITATION INSTRUCTOR
If you thought that yoga and meditation were only limited to hipster/hippie individuals, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Several corporations have yoga days and meditation sessions a couple of times a week to help their employees cope with stress and lead healthier, more balanced lives. This isn’t just a fad and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. If you have a keen interest in yoga, you could start your own website that caters to anyone who wants to learn – you could even sell yoga products (mats, clothes, etc) as a bundle with your classes.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #29: MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
Almost every online business, and now even the ones that aren’t native to the online world, has an Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter account. If you know your way around these platforms well and often have strong opinions and can word them well, you would do great in the social media management sphere. Several companies, influencers and even NGOs are always looking for someone to handle their “online image” and that’s where you step in. If you already spend a majority of your time on social media, then why not monetize it?
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #30: MARKETING & SEO CONSULTANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Are you familiar with the basics of SEO and willing to learn more about it? If so, businesses can use your particular skill set to target the right consumers and scale their customer base. Even though paid ads are the ones that nearly everyone is targeting, if you truly want to scale and reach your audience organically, SEO is the way to go. As more and more content is being produced, even the biggest companies are racing and fighting to appear on the SERPs (Google’s Search Engine Result Pages). Start with smaller businesses that focus on a niche audience, hone your skills and learn from the experiences – get in on the action and you are bound to have a pretty successful online business if your SEO skills are on point.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #31: INSTAGRAM MARKETING INFLUENCER
Are your friends often jealous of your Instagram or social media following? Do you have an impressive number of followers? If so, you could be an influencer in your chosen field. If companies like your “aesthetic” and feel that your image gels well with their brand image, they can offer anywhere between $50 – $1000+ per post, depending on your following! Of course, there is some amount of business and marketing acumen required, but you can definitely start earning through social media. So rack those followers up and start making that money!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #32: VOICEOVER SERVICES
Do you have a distinct voice or the capability of modulating it on command? Are you great with impressions or have a commanding and resonant voice? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you could be making money by literally just talking. Okay so maybe not “just” by talking but you get the point. You could work with animators, movie makers, advertising gurus and even help make educational content, all while being paid really well!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #33: TRANSLATOR
Yet another reason for bilinguals to rejoice! If you speak two or more languages, including English, and love the freedom that remote work can provide, you should look into starting your own translation services business. You can hire more translators who speak other languages and grow your customer base over time. Of course, such a business requires dedication, patience and a love for languages beyond the ordinary. If you would just like to dip your toes and check out if you would like being a translator, Flexjobs is a nice place to pick up some translator work.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #34: CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing is currently a hot profession in the market today. With new businesses constantly needing content that can stand the competitive nature of the businesses today, if you have any experience in this field, you are already a hot commodity, so why not capitalize on it?
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #35: FREELANCE PROOFREADING & EDITING
If writing isn’t your thing but you’re great at catching mistakes, be it grammatical or just typos, you could make a really good editor or proofreader. Almost any company that deals with content has someone who proofreads the material before it is published. In many cases, this isn’t a formal position, but if you explain the benefits of hiring an individual to do the job and reduce the team’s workload, you may have a shot at landing a client. Create a roster of clients, startup your own consultancy and you are off to the bank. If you would like to get some experience before you start your own business, you can get some gigs on Fiverr or Upwork.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #36: COPYWRITING FOR WEBSITES
Almost every website owner on the internet has, or at least has considered, hiring a copywriter at some point. Copywriters can create content for any part of their business, be it the blog posts, banners, product descriptions, landing pages or the FAQs. Even though there aren’t many high paying jobs for writing, if your content is good, you deliver the work on time and have some experience, you could look forward to launching a freelance writing career.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #37: GHOSTWRITER
Ghostwriting is a profession that a lot of people don’t know about. There are quite a few extremely talented writers out there that write for a list of high-profile clients and get paid for the content they write/create. The only difference is that they don’t get credited for the work, but instead the client gets the credit – which is why it is such a well paying job. Many CEO’s use ghostwriters to write speeches, blog posts, journals, reports, etc. for them and this isn’t a new practice. Before you know it, you could have a roster of high-paying clients.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #38: TUTORING
A lot of students turn towards the internet when they need tutoring for difficult exams like the SATs and the ACTs. You can provide services such as tutoring over Skype, writing blog posts for coping with stress during exam time and providing useful studying tips and tricks. Parents often pay a lot for the education of their children, provided they are getting the best support possible.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #39: MENU PLANNING SERVICES
There are several people involved in menu planning for events or restaurants, not just the chef. When event spaces, businesses and even restaurants are unsure of how to plan their menus, they hire someone to help out with it. While this business is a low investment idea, you have to be trained in some capacity or have to have some experience to do the job, whether that is being a food blogger/influencer or even a chef yourself. This is the perfect way to work with food without directly getting involved in the process of preparing it.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #40: EVENT & PROJECT PLANNING
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to be location dependent when it comes to event and project planning. Most of the work can be done remotely and if you are truly worried that you need to be somewhere for the planning process, you could always work in or around the location by handling your calendar from home and holding meetings at cafes and restaurants. If you do choose to work remotely, the best part is that you can plan an event around the world if you can get the clients and are amazing at your job. A lot of clients even pay for the airfare and lodging if they really want you to work on a certain project.
Product-Based Startup Ideas
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #41: SELL CUSTOM PRODUCTS ON AMAZON
One of the quickest and cheapest ways to make money online is by selling products on Amazon. You can find virtually anything you want on the massive online marketplace and interestingly, the people who are selling the products you buy are third party sellers. The best part is that you don’t really need a skill set or be particularly good at any one thing to be able to make money on Amazon. Just have a functional knowledge of the current consumer trends and the markets, which can be developed through research and create a strategy that will work for you and your brand in the long term.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #42: CUSTOM FURNITURE PRODUCTION
If you have a love for creating unique furniture pieces or the capabilities and skill to make pieces to order, you could be looking at a lucrative career in the custom furniture production industry. In a world where people shop for furniture from mass producers such as Ikea and still want a “different” or “unique” look, if you can provide some unique pieces that have been created with expert craftsmanship at a fairly reasonable price, or alternatively target the “personalized high end” furniture that is aimed at the high-income bracket of customers, you could have a pretty successful startup idea on your hands.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #43: HANDMADE JEWELRY
There have been several people who have founded extremely successful businesses based on creating handmade jewelry. In fact, platforms like Etsy are some of the biggest marketplaces where everyone from novice jewelry makers to professionals can sell their products. There is a huge market for custom-made jewelry and even young people have been able to build thriving brands that offer a range of unique items. Everything from classic and traditional pieces to extremely quirky statement pieces is appreciated in this market and this segment is currently growing at a rate of 5-6% a year. For inspiration, you could look at names like Origami Owl and M3 Girl Designs.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #44: CUSTOM T-SHIRTS
T-Shirts are awesome. T-shirts are universally worn, they’re versatile, they can be plain, have designs on them, they can stand for something or signify nothing. T-shirts are awesome, period. Which is why selling custom t-shirts can be a great startup business idea. This product category has been trending for a couple of years now and that says a lot when fads and trends change so quickly these days. These days, custom t-shirts range from those with pop-culture references on them to those that have been specifically designed for corporate events. The thing that’s important to understand is that you need to focus on 4 main pointers when thinking about opening a t-shirt business: The niche that you want to focus on, the designs that you are providing, the quality and material of the t-shirts themselves and the creation of your brand identity.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #45: CUSTOM CLOTHING
Just as with custom-made t-shirts, custom-made apparel is also gaining popularity amongst various markets. If you’re able to create fashion-forward pieces that have an edge to them and are catering to the taste of your niche audience perfectly, then you may be sitting on a goldmine! It’s not difficult to find buyers in the market, especially on platforms like Etsy and if fashion designing has always been your calling then this is the best way to break into the segment for anyone who is slightly risk-averse.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #46: PHOTO STOCKS
If you love photography and have a treasure of photos buried deep on your hard-drive, you could be making a lot of money off it. Platforms such as Shutterstock, iStockPhoto and Unsplash are places where you can sell your pictures and earn royalties for every download on their platform. Alternatively, you could also create a portfolio of sorts by publishing your photos on your own website. A well-designed website with interesting art can attract a lot of eyeballs and before you know it, you could be landing photography gigs all over the place. You can also sell prints on your website to boost your earnings.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #47: SEASONAL DECORATIONS
People honestly underestimate how lucrative seasonal decorations can be, especially if you are planning on running your small business globally (perhaps using the dropshipping model to save on money). Think about all the holidays that exist, from Christmas, New years, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, St.Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween and Hanukkah… And these are just the ones celebrated in the West! There’s also Chinese New Year, Diwali, Holi and so many other holidays on the calendar that you’ll barely be running a “seasonal” business – your year and bank account are sure to be busy. Fun fact: Americans alone were responsible for pumping $1.04 billion into the economy during Christmas! That’s a lot of money for just one country to spend on one holiday. Think of what you’re missing out on!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #48: SUNGLASSES
Companies like Sunglssspot.com have done a fabulous job of creating a business that offer a plethora of style and trends, all based on sunglasses. They offer everything from retro, to cat – eye, to the quirky looking shades. They also have a section for prescription frames! The business has 3 strong elements going for it and you could apply them to your own business as well: Firstly, the range and breadth of styles they offer are incredible. They constantly keep adding new trends and are up to date on the latest fads. Secondly, they use social media and influencer marketing in the best way possible – in fact, a lot of their revenue is driven through this factor. Lastly, the ease of use of their website and the amount of information and product photos (including customer photos) really helps customers engage with their website completely. Try working around these factors and you could be building your own sunglass empire real soon!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #49: HOMEMADE SOAPS
If you love scented soaps and have a sizable knowledge base of the different ingredients and their beauty and health benefits, this could be the startup idea for you! All you have to do is be able to follow the instructions of any well made online soap-making tutorial and have some great packaging ideas and you are good to go! The initial investment in making these kits isn’t too much and you can get as creative with the scents and flavors as you want. Combine a great product with gorgeous packaging and the right kind of targeted marketing and you can make wonders happen!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #50: VIRTUAL & AUGMENTED REALITY
Not only is this the future of this year but it’s also likely to be just the future itself. These technologies are finally becoming a reality in consumers’ lives; available for them to use, experience and purchase for themselves. There may not be a huge consumer market yet but it’s trending upwards as we speak, so by the time you do your research, formulate a product and produce something for consumers to purchase, you might just hit the first wave of consumers gearing up to try virtual and augmented reality for themselves. Either get into the virtual/augmented reality game itself or get into the market for the respective accessories. Accessories are one of the best ways to get into a market you don’t have the technological experience to actually create a central product for, so creating a supporting product that makes the main product function better is a great way to attract enthusiastic consumers.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #51: AUTO-FOLLOW DRONES & UNDERWATER DRONES
In previous years, we saw drones rise swiftly into popularity as they became a more justifiable purchase for consumers to make. Throughout the year, drone technology has continued to advance and the way people utilize them in their everyday lives has continued to evolve. This year, expect to see drones as one of the top trending products, however, expect further advancements in technology that will allow consumers to integrate drones into different aspects of their lifestyle. First, auto-follow drones are becoming a trend now because their advanced technology allows users to manage the drone hands-free. Also on the rise are underwater drones which help users to locate fish and chart underwater landscapes. Consider how drone technology can enhance people’s lives. Is there a way drones can be used for consumers or businesses that aren’t being utilized yet? Find a gap in the market. If harnessing drone technology isn’t your specialty, think about how your business can enhance the consumer experience with their drone. What kind of products can you sell to make their experience more streamlined, stylish, or user-friendly, no matter what they use their drone for?
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #52: SMARTWATCHES & WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
The release and popularity of the Apple Watch and the Fitbit has resulted in a rise of other smartwatches and wearable devices from other companies throughout the year, and it isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Cropping up all over the internet are things like smartwatches for kids, mindfulness watches, GPS pet trackers, wearable sunlight trackers, posture devices and more, that are riding the wave of the wearable technology trend. Each device is getting more and more specific with the intention of helping consumers find a technological solution or monitoring system to any one of their problems. Similar to the Virtual Reality trend, either start developing your own useful device (remember to find a niche and solve a pain point) or, if that’s not in your realm of expertise, focus more on accessories like cases, stands, covers, cleaners, cables or chargers.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #53: SMART HOME APPLIANCES
Along the same wavelength, smart accessories are seeping into other aspects of consumers’ shopping habits. Appliances such as the Google Home, Amazon Echo and even smart toothbrushes and cutting boards are aimed at helping consumers improve their day-to-day lives, and they’re becoming more popular. Anything and everything seems to be on the table this year and there’s no telling where this year will take us. These smart appliances are slowly becoming a part of the average consumer’s daily life and we expect to see them become even more normalized as they continue to improve and consumers start to see real benefits to integrating them into their lifestyle. Pay attention to your daily life: Where can you see smarter innovations being made in your home, no matter how seemingly small the innovation might be. Smart appliances are the future and we’ll definitely see their popularity rise throughout the year.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #54: AROMATHERAPY, ESSENTIAL OILS & DIFFUSERS
People have been using essential oils for centuries. Several religious, cultural and wellness/wellbeing practices involve the use of such oils. Every essential oil has a plethora of different benefits – Lavender helps with relaxation, tea tree oil is considered great for the skin, peppermint oil is known for its antimicrobial properties and is a remedy for digestive issues and bad breath, etc. A diffuser specially designed for essential oils is a great delivery system. The reason that this product has become so popular over time is because you can create a spa-like ambiance at home and switch up oils for different scents or purposes. The best part is that you can create and diffuse your own personalized scents using this product – without the need for or use of any toxic ingredients. If you are a someone that would like to break into this segment, you can sell a mix of the electric and heat based (works with candles) diffusers and stock your inventory in a way that your customers have options to pick from. Upselling essential oils and incense sticks for different purposes – destress kit, revitalize kit, etc – might be a good idea to boost sales. With better and sustainable living being promoted along with wholesome wellbeing, products like the essential oil diffusers are going to be trending for a while.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #55: CHARCOAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Everywhere we look – be it Facebook, Instagram or even actual stores (both online and brick-and-mortar) have been selling charcoal beauty products. These products boasted the presence of activated charcoal that has several benefits: In tubes of toothpaste, it acts as a natural whitening agent, in face washes it acts as a purifier and one of the most popular charcoal beauty products are the peel-off masks. These are all the rage on social media and influencers on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube favored the products openly. On the vendors’ side of things, charcoal beauty products have been one of the best selling online products in the beauty and make-up niche lately. The trend seems to continue this year as well, with support from customers and influencers alike. Such products are also great to dropship and ePacket delivery is easily available to most countries.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #56: 360-DEGREE CAMERAS
Photography is such a vast and varied segment that there is a niche for almost everything – niches that relate to photography style and in this case, ones that are specific to photography techniques. One of the newer trends in the industry is that of 360-degree cameras. Initially, photographers would take multiple high definition photos and stitch them together using software but in recent times, cameras that can actually shoot (both photo and videos) in a 360-degree landscape have become easily available. This breed of cameras also come in a variety of styles, but most use two fisheye lens cameras to get the job done. However, it is important to note that different kinds of activities will require different cameras, therefore as a potential business person in this market, you should make sure that you stock up on different models and types (battery life and resolution differ from model to model) to ensure that you are catering to a wider audience base. Also pay attention to other details such as live streaming capabilities, 4K resolution, etc. One of the major reasons that 360-degree cameras have been trending and are projected to do well over a longer time span is because they are essentially “future-proof”. The 360-degree format is keeping true to Virtual Reality and possible applications for consumers in the near future.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #57: KETO FOODS
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate one. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates and has become fairly popular over the past few years. While the fitness and healthy food industries are constantly hit with swells of new-age fads, the keto diet has some solid medical backing and thus has stayed around for a while. There is a niche for keto products and it has a pretty solid consumer base too. In order to break into this niche, it would be advisable to really dig in deep into the world of fit foods, ingredients that constitute such foods and alternative nutrient sources. Once you get the hang of it, the pay off can be pretty big.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #58: SMART LIGHTING & SMART LIGHTS
As children, we all probably wished that we wouldn’t have to get up from our comfortable position on the couch or bed to turn off or on the lights. We wished we could just clap and voila! Job done. Welcome to the future friends! Not only are there smart lights that respond to clapping but there is an entire universe of smart lighting systems and smart lights. A few to mention include eco-friendly lighting, automatic timing for lights, mood settings and color control, remote access to lightings system in a place with wifi, motion activated lighting and more! As the options in the industry grow by the second, so does the consumer base. Customers have become more sustainability-centric, and have created a demand for smart light companies to get creative with the products that are offered. Listen to the customers, mold a product that they are asking for which isn’t already available or a tweaked version of an existing one and you are sure to see success within this niche. Smart lighting is the future of homes in the near future and it would be a good idea to jump into the sector when you can.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #59: BLUETOOTH & WIFI SPEAKERS
Bluetooth speakers seem to have been around for ages yet they still sell out like hotcakes and now with companies like Amazon and Google trying to make online ecosystems within your home/office environment, wifi speakers have also started gaining popularity fairly quickly. “The Bluetooth technology roadmap is a powerful expression of our mission to continue as a catalyst for industry innovation,” Mark Powell, executive director, Bluetooth SIG, said in his statement. “Bluetooth has been adopted by countless developers and manufacturers as their connectivity solution of choice for the IoT. The new functionality we will soon be adding will further solidify Bluetooth as the backbone of IoT technology.”(Dealerscope). The statement makes it clear that Bluetooth and wifi technologies will be around for a while and thus, is an advantageous industry to be in.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #60: BODY WIPES (“DUDE WIPES”)
Men’s hygiene is a niche that doesn’t get the attention it really deserves. Larger manufacturers are focusing on wipes for the overall hygiene category, however, smaller vendors have noticed that there is a great opportunity for them as men’s wipes for a niche market. This allows the smaller vendors to form a consumer base and provide a variety of men’s hygiene products, not just the wipes. The “dude wipes” are targeted to men across the board – from those who enjoy camping and outdoor activities, to those who have busy urban lifestyles and commute a lot. Due to the fact that body wipes are a product that needs to be purchased on the regular as it falls into the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) group, manufacturers are making “customers for life”. For a vendor, that could mean automatic reordering or subscription boxes for the project.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #61: BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES
Minimalism has increasingly become a lifestyle choice for many people and it is a trend that’s continuing to grow with the environmentally conscious. This, coupled with the fact that customers are looking for more sustainable alternatives to typical consumer goods and are consciously making such choices, has also put products such as the bamboo toothbrushes on the list or great startup ideas. While this product has been around for a while, popularity-wise, it still hasn’t reached its peak, which means that getting into a business that sells sustainable products like bamboo toothbrushes so early on in the game is perhaps a good idea. While you’re at it, look into the “zero-waste” trend to see which other major markets could potentially be disrupted in the future – soap, detergent, storage containers, packaging? There are just so many options out there! Capitalizing on sustainability isn’t just a lucrative business path but it also has a feel-good factor to it, making it almost irresistible to the new age of eco-friendly or trend-savvy entrepreneurs.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #62: NOVELTY SOCKS
Socks. Yep, you read that right. Socks are another one of those evergreen products that are almost always trending. Think about it – even though it’s a mundane product, it can still be classified as a holiday gift item. In fact, novelty socks have been trending for a few years now, especially around the holidays. It’s a perfect product – it’s comfortable, isn’t restricted to gender, age or style and is simple in terms of fashion & styling too. The one thing to keep in mind, however, is that while novelty socks are a great niche, regular socks have far more competition and the market is saturated for them. Novelty socks are a great alternative to the regular ones as the market is still growing.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #63: NIGHT FACE MASKS
The beauty and skincare industry is something that will perhaps always be around as a “trending market” which is why it constantly attracts entrepreneurs to startup beauty and skincare businesses. One of the latest fads in the market is night masks. Just like the charcoal face peels and masks that took the market by storm and were one of the hottest trending products, night masks are touted as becoming the next “hot product”. If you are planning on starting up a beauty and skincare business, adding night masks to your arsenal of products should be a no-brainer.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #64: SHAPEWEAR
With a projection of $5.6 billion in sales by 2022, you should definitely be interested in building a shapewear startup. The versatility of these products enables the seller to categorize on it in multiple niches and markets and sell accordingly. Shapewear comes in multiple styles – some can be worn under clothing, some over, some come in the form of lingerie. You can find almost any style, color and size to stock in your inventory and cater to the different needs of your customers. With even big fashion houses and brands stocking shapewear such as bodysuits, it is apparent that customers continue to pursue products that offer them a slimmer silhouette – which means that this trend is not going anywhere for awhile.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #65: PHONE ACCESSORIES
With the advent of the smartphone, a new market was formed. This market also included a niche that has created a solid foundation for itself amongst top contenders such as home decor, fashion, etc. – this niche is phone accessories. The variety of products in this niche is incredibly alluring and often people set up stores that solely sell phone accessories. The products can range from smartphone cases, screen guards/protectors, chargers, USB-type converters, stickers to earphones (both the wired and wireless kinds), amongst a few others. The more that smartphones evolve over time, the more accessories are going to be created to improve customer satisfaction with the products. Projections show a nearly a $100 Billion sales cap by 2022 which makes it a goldmine. The problem with this market, however, is that it is extremely saturated and there are way too many competitors. Unless you have an extremely niche product idea there is a chance that your store might not even get noticed. The key to gaining success in this niche is to have the right combination of a premium quality product, an impactful marketing campaign, brilliant customer service and consistency.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #66: TILE GPS TRACKERS FOR KEYS
These little nuggets of technology have become extremely popular due to their functionality. Tile is a Bluetooth tracker that is paired with an intuitive app which makes it easy to find any object that it is attached to – keys, wallets, bags, etc. The key to the success of this product is simple – it is providing a simple solution to a problem nearly everyone faces at some point. With Bluetooth technology becoming more involved in our everyday lives, it would make sense to look into simple startup ideas like this that customers are looking for.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #67: ATHLEISURE
Athleisure is described as active wear that is worn as an everyday look instead of solely athletic purposes. This category emphasizes comfort and durability which is exactly what customers look for in clothing. As a seller, this opens a wide door for you as you can sell multiple products such as leggings, sweatpants, t-shirts, shoes, socks, headbands, sports bras, etc. What makes athleisure great is that unlike most fashion trends, it is here to stay. This niche also gives you a great entry point into other market segments such as sports & fitness or health and holistic living. With social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest making athleisure even more popular and influencers promoting similar products, the trend is going to be around for a while.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #68: MINIMALIST WATCHES
Another product category that has its roots in the minimalism trend is minimalist watches. Social media has made this product extremely popular and influencers have also played a big role in this. If you do decide to break into or explore this niche, you could leverage the power that influencers have in the segment to make some really captivating advertising and marketing campaigns. This would definitely boost engagement with your brand and drive up your sales. With over a billion watches being sold annually around the globe, it would be a safe bet to put your money on this startup idea – literally.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #69: NOOTROPICS (SMART DRUGS)
Nootropics – also referred to as smart drugs – help you focus, think more clearly and work harder. Popular faces like Tim Ferris introduced many people to this relatively new term in 2015 and it looks like that has just added fuel to the fire since then. One thing to keep in mind is that nootropics are a mostly unregulated market at the moment. You’ll want to carefully consider this as a potential startup idea and do your research before blindly selling unregulated pills to the public.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #70: BACKPACKS
Backpacks have increasingly become a very popular trend in recent times. Part of this can be credited to startups on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and their mission to create the perfect urban backpack. Carrying backpacks to work has become cool again and now there are several styles and utilities that can be found in such products. The new style of anti-theft backpacks that safeguard the belongings of the urban commuter, or tracking systems and battery charging capabilities of the high-tech urban packs, has ushered in a new age for a product that was seen as just a back-to-school special. While the August-September back-to-school period is definitely peak sales time, this doesn’t mean that the product won’t sell round the year, anymore. You could stock and sell different lines that could be targeted to different age-groups, activities and styles – such as to students, travelers, IT specialists, urban commuters, etc. This niche is a great way to explore the different direction that one product can take you in.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #71: CHATBOT BUSINESS
Chatbots have been becoming increasingly popular and their uses have grown exponentially. Thanks to social media, we are afforded the opportunity to connect with people at hyperspeed; neither is there the need, nor the room to wait for replies and answers in our society anymore. This is one of the biggest factors that has boosted the use of AI-powered chatbots. Businesses are now using chatbots to automate systems, especially when it comes to customer service. Due to the increasing demand for chatbots, many businesses that create these “digital products” have sprung up. While the learning curve for a product like this is pretty steep, the rewards and profits can really be worth it! Be sure to checkout platforms such as ManyChat and ChattyPeople to see how their business works and get a feel of what your startup idea could evolve into.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #72: SUBSCRIPTION BOX BUSINESS
Subscription boxes have been around for years, but lately there seems to be a boom in such products. A subscription box is a product where there is a base “box” that is sent out on a monthly basis to customers with niche specific goodies inside it. The model also works well due to upselling that usually takes place in this process, which can be a pretty great sales funnels. Platforms like CrateJoy connect these subscription box businesses to consumers. Fun fact: There happen to be over 25 million subscription box websites online and it’s still growing at a rate of 3000%!
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #73: ACCESSORIES OF ACCESSORIES
For many businesses, this is going to be one of your largest windows of opportunities when it comes to finding the perfect startup idea to sell in the coming years. With consumers adding more and more technological products into their daily routines there is more interest in accessorizing these devices to make them more stylish, streamlined and functional. These accessories can add style to the device itself whether it be a phone, computer, camera, drone, etc, or these accessories can be a more stylish version of something you regularly use in tandem with a device such as docking stations, power banks, cords, chargers, etc. Some popular accessory items include the iRing which adds additional functionality to the iPhone, AirPod Skins add style and protection to the Apple Airpods, or even sweaters for drones and Airpod floss stickers. Yep. Those are a thing. Take advantage of the demand for stylish, sleek, streamlined and functional accessories and create a new product that makes an existing device or accessory better. The beauty of this approach is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Spend some time thinking of the devices you use every day and what small accessory would make them either function or look even better. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, just think about useful, functional, quirky or customizable additions that make existing devices better.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #74: MACRONUTRIENTS & WORKOUT ENHANCING POWDERS
None of these are new inventions that people have never heard of before, however, their up-swinging trend stems from their delivery to the end consumer. Consumers concerning themselves with their macronutrient intake is becoming more and more prevalent as people’s interests are rapidly shifting towards their health, diet and wellbeing. Macronutrients are nothing new, consumers have just become newly interested in them. This has started to generate a response in brands who are looking to connect with these consumers by advertising their food product’s macronutrients at the forefront of their marketing campaigns.
Protein powder is a well-known workout enhancement that helps muscles repair after a workout, but it’s nothing new. It has been a part of mainstream trends for many years now, however, the workout enhancing powder market has started to shift into new territory: Pre-workout powders. Pre-workout powders, commonly referred to simply as “pre-workout,” has started to carve a place in the market.
While protein powders are commonly consumed post-workout to help muscle repair, pre-workouts are meant to be consumed before the workout, giving individuals a hit of energy to help them have productive workouts. This innovative delivery of a simple product is an ingenious way to sell to the end consumer.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #75: MATTRESSES
While a mattress might seem like an awkward fit on a startup ideas product list, it makes total sense. Not only is there almost always a demand for mattresses but with the evolution of technology, mundane everyday objects have also evolved into attractive business ideas. Just a few examples of the new breed of mattresses include ones that track your sleep and sleep health, ones that have an auto temperature setting that cool down in the summers and heat up in the winters, ones that are attached to automatic coffee makers and ones that have a built-in vibrating alarm system, just to mention a few. Even the benefits of the mattresses differ, some aiding in orthopedic healing and others helping with sleep disorders; the choices are vast and the technology is constantly evolving. It would be a very smart idea to jump on this startup idea while the market still has scope to carve your own niche in.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #76: 3D PRINTING
3D printing is on its way to becoming part of mainstream business and consumer’s daily lives. For so long it seemed like a futuristic experiment us mere mortals could only dream of but the time has come where owning a 3D printer can be a reality. The technology and development is finally coming to a place where it’s an approachable item for some consumers to purchase. It hasn’t become a fully justifiable purchase for the mainstream market yet, however, we expect to see leaps and bounds of growth over the course of the year. Keep an eye on its progression and start getting your ideas in place ready to take advantage of this startup idea as it becomes an active part of consumer’s lives. It’s likely that you don’t have the technological know-how or the means to startup your own 3D printer business, so leave that to the experts and focus on the accessories. Once it launches into the lives of the masses they’ll be eager for add-ons that make the experience even better.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #77: ACTIVE HOLIDAYS
Perhaps it’s thanks to the booming fitness industry, the number of millennials who prioritize working out as part of their lifestyle, or the growing number of retirees who are looking to maintain an active retirement, but active holidays have been a rising trend these past years. Rather than vacationing in a warm climate where families, friends and couples normally relax oceanside and indulge in tasty foods and drinks, active holidays mix a bit of travel, relaxation, fitness and healthy living together into one good-for-the-soul bundle. Active holidays allow vacationers to stay on track with their fitness and health goals while they relax away from ordinary life and enjoy a tropical environment. One of the best companies offering active holidays right now is The Body Holiday in St.Lucia which promises customers a total wellness experience. If you’re able to host or lead active holidays, go for it! Their value really stems from their location and the activities and amenities they offer, so bear that in mind. If that’s not in your realm of expertise, base a business around providing gear, accessories or gadgets to active holiday providers or to customers who participate in active holidays.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #78: VEGAN FOODS
Veganism isn’t just a trend anymore but instead a lifestyle or cultural choice for a growing number of people. The vegan food industry is booming and it’s a market with a lot of development potential as it isn’t quite in the mainstream yet. Be it soy products or vegan “meat,” vegan alternatives to household items or even chains of vegan restaurants – there is so much untapped potential. Think about all the food choices and options that are available to the majority of the urban population – confectionery items, condiments, gourmet desserts, home-delivered meat cuts, recipe books, website and channels – it’s an endless world. Finding alternatives to these products and services for the vegan sector can help you break into and carve your own startup in this segment while establishing a base for a solid business in the vegan foods industry.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #79: ENAMEL PINS
Enamel pins seem to be one of those recurring trends that come around every few years and has been around for several decades. These days, enamel pins are trending again due to the capability and ease of designing and personalizing your own pins. These pins are a great fashion accessory as they spruce up anything from bags to jackets to t-shirts, etc. They can be tiny and still be called statement pieces. Enamel pins, on the other hand, are also used by companies, NGOs or individuals that want to represent that they stand for something in particular. A tiny product like this holds great social and cultural significance as it can be a signifier or the medium of a certain message. Ideally, to sell these in your own startup, you might want to build a strong marketing campaign and perhaps target fandoms, lifestyle groups and pop-culture enthusiasts.
STARTUP BUSINESS IDEAS #80: VIDEO SECURITY CAMERAS & DOORBELLS
The physical security industry has been growing at a rapid pace and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. One thing that has been clear for a while now, is how consumer technology has pushed the barriers of innovation within the security industry. From biometrics to remote surveillance, there is a market out there for it all. Video security cameras and doorbells are some of the tools that have become increasingly popular within this segment – and with good reason. Consumers have started taking safety more seriously and this seems to be an ideology that will be around for a long time and evolve with the advancements in technology. Breaking into this industry will truly require a lot of research and the ability to keep up with trends in the market – but once you are able to do so, this can be an incredibly lucrative startup niche.
So there you have it, 80 startup ideas that can make you money! With such a wide range of choices that span across different market segments, you should hopefully be able to find your next startup idea and turn it into a money-making machine.