× Freshbooks App Logo
FreshBooks
Official App
Free - Google Play
Get it
10 Min. Read

List of Business Ideas for Beginners: Our Top 10

If you’re just starting out, and want to work for yourself, here’s our top 10 list of business ideas that don’t involve huge startup costs or require a lot of previous experience. Consider going into business as a:

  1. Blogger
  2. Driver
  3. Landscaper
  4. Handyman
  5. House Cleaner
  6. Private Concierge
  7. Disc Jockey
  8. Carpet/Upholstery Cleaner
  9. Graphic Designer
  10. Tutor

1. Blogger

Blogging doesn’t cost a lot of money once you have a website hosting service nailed down. You’ll want to find one that offers attractive blog templates and a low monthly fee. Once you do, that’s it for expenses. If you’re creative and love writing, then blogging is something you can turn into a business.

As a blogger, you’ll need to both write and update content regularly on a specific subject. Successful blog sites typically offer content that provide a solution to a web searcher’s problem, like “nutritious meals in 30 minutes” or “effective workout routines for home”. The key to a successful blog is to address a problem that few or no other sites are addressing, or to do it better than everyone else. Putting a unique spin on your content will help you attract followers who will keep coming back for more.

You’ll need to implement a process with your blog called “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO), which are internet keyword techniques that allow people to find you through search engines. Proper SEO practices can take time (to both learn the practices and to always implement them), but you won’t be discoverable on search engines without them.

There are opportunities to make money on your blog through affiliate marketing programs. This means a link placed on your blog will click-through to an online retailer. A click-through that results in a sale earns you a commission. You can learn more about affiliate marketing on the neilpatel.com website.

Another way to make money is through a website advertising program like Google AdSense. When ads are seen (“impressions”) or clicked on (“pay-per-click”), you earn dollars.

2. Driver

If you have a car, a driver’s license, a smartphone and a clean record, you may be able to start driving for Uber or Lyft (or both) almost right away. These businesses will also supplement your car insurance when you’re on duty (although you’ll want to read the fine print).

If you like driving and flexible hours, then going into business as an independent contractor for a rideshare company could work for you. You don’t need to market your services, you just sign up. The income you will derive from driving will be dependent on how often you work, and tips.

According to CNET, Lyft has 1.4 million drivers in the US and Toronto, while Uber has 750,000 drivers in the United States.

3. Landscaper

If you like the outdoors and gardening, and don’t mind the seasonal nature of the work, you could start a landscaping business with minimal costs. You’ll want to advertise, but locally. For instance, you can go door to door with flyers.

Lots of small home owners require landscaping but cannot get a big landscape company in unless the job is sizeable, so there may be some opportunities there for immediate work. As a small business, you can make the work conditional that supplies or payment are provided upfront.

This is the type of business where you can charge per hour or per job, and although you are not likely to get rich off of it, you will get to enjoy the great outdoors during the summer months.

4. Handyman

If you’re good with your hands, don’t mind odd jobs, repairs or maintenance work, and have some tools already, you could go into business as a handyman very easily. Like being a landscaper, you can go door to door and ask if anyone needs assistance.

The great thing about being a handyman is that there are often little jobs that build up that homeowners never have time to do, and are willing to pay for just to get them done and out of the way. Many homeowners also like having a regular handyman, someone they can call when the job is a little more urgent or time sensitive. This is how you can build a client base.

Handymen are usually paid by the hour and paid well. Do some online research to see what the average charge is in your area. Be prepared to adjust depending on a potential customer’s reaction and how much work you currently have lined up. A discount on the first job might result in a regular client.

5. House Cleaner

House cleaning doesn’t require much in the way of startup costs, typically an owner has all the cleaning supplies you’ll need. The hours are great, as homeowners want their residences cleaned during weekdays. The job does require attention to detail and a little physical activity. However, you can build up a client list quite quickly, if customers are satisfied with your work. To get started, ask around and create and deliver flyers locally.

You may want to consider offering a reduce rate for a client’s first booking, just to get you in the door. However, since you are running the business by yourself, and doing all the work, any profit will be yours and yours alone to keep.

6. Private Concierge

You’ve most likely seen movies about hotel concierges. They’re the people that handle requests for guests that don’t have the time or the resources to accomplish certain tasks themselves. As a private concierge, you’ll be operating outside a hotel. Startup costs would include advertising your services online (Facebook and LinkedIn), as well as implementing an ecommerce platform on your business website so that you can get reimbursed right away (or charge for certain services in advance).

Building a client list will take time, but consider that you probably won’t need that many clients to stay busy. You’ll want to establish a price list on your website, with maybe a special for new clients. You can also give existing clients a referral bonus to build up your client base. You’ll set the fees and after a while, as management, choose your own clients. Considering that this is a ‘service’ industry, you could make some good money.

In this position, you’re also likely to meet a lot of people from a variety of different industries. These are contacts that you may be able to use again and again in this position, and develop relationships with.

7. Disc Jockey

Being a D.J. requires evening hours and some startup funds, but if you love music, can ‘read’ the room, and understand technology, this could be for you. The pay for a ‘gig’ (or job) can be fantastic. To get started, try to find used equipment on Kijiji or other local classifieds so that you can negotiate the advertised prices down even further. Then to market your business you can build a website, announce it on social and get friends to ask around.

You’ll want to keep up on the latest releases and billboards, and decide where you want to work: Will your business be limited to the wedding industry, or will you do clubs and bars too? Some DJs are also performers that clubs advertise as talent, so consider if you’d like to get into that part of the business too.

8. Carpet/Upholstery Cleaner

You don’t need to buy an existing business to get into carpet/upholstery cleaning, but you will need equipment, cleaning solutions and a vehicle to transport them in. Consider that there is plenty of opportunity for this type of service. This is because most homes have carpet or upholstery of some kind that needs cleaning and doesn’t get it, at least not on a regular basis.

This is the type of service you can go door to door on, get paid per job (often immediately) and you can branch out past your neighbourhood. Then circle back again when the time is right. If you do well enough, you can consider expanding your reach by buying more equipment and hiring staff.

9. Graphic Designer

There was a time when you would have had to go to an actual school to learn graphic design, now with a computer you can learn it at home on your own time through online courses and practice. Starting a graphic design business will cost you some money in training and software, and perhaps advertising costs to get the word out on social. You should have a portfolio of your work available online too, even if it’s designs you didn’t build for a client. This will show what you’re capable of.

With the explosion in the number of blogs and commercial websites being built today, there is a real demand for graphic designers out there. You’ll need a little patience building up a client base (which takes time no matter what type of business you run), but a creative field such as graphic design can be a lot of fun too.

As for income, typically graphic designers are paid per job. So, this will depend on how many clients you have and how often you work.

10. Tutor

Of all the items in this list, tutoring is the one with the least amount of startup costs. If you have a skill you can share, and if you can teach, then tutoring is a business opportunity you should consider. Your only costs may be the transportation to and from a client’s home.

The hours are very reasonable as lessons are typically in short bursts, and usually right after school or on weekend afternoons.

Often word of mouth is enough to get some tutoring work in your area, but you can try your contacts on social media too, to spread the word. Typically, tutors are paid immediately.

Other Questions Related to Top 10 List of Business Ideas:

Which Business Is Best to Start?

How Can I Start My Own Business with No Money?

Which Business Is Best to Start?

The answer really depends on you. Ask yourself what kind of things you like to do, or are good at (or both), that could translate into a business you could run. What kind of business would also motivate you every day, and make you hustle? You want something that is not just a ‘job’, but something you will truly enjoy for years to come.

If you’re stuck on what to do, consider taking an online personality test or career quiz. These tests are designed to ask you a number of questions and determine positions that best serve your interests or character traits. Check out careeronestop.org for an interest assessment.

How Can I Start My Own Business with No Money?

Starting your own business with no money need not be difficult if the job is in the service industry, like house cleaning or tutoring, or if you already have some of the tools, like those that a handyman position would require.

However, if that’s not the case, consider a small business loan to get you going. You’ll need to sell the bank on the idea, but shop around to find some good interest rates first. Determine exactly how much you’ll need in advance, and determine a repayment amount and schedule that will allow you some time to build up your business.

RELATED ARTICLES

Save time Billing and Get Paid 2x Faster with FreshBooks

Try FreshBooks Free