Ideas to set up a small business

Live the entrepreneur life: 75 small business ideas to get you started in 2024

Reading time: 17 minutes

You’re all set for a new venture. You’re just not sure what that should be. 

Fear not. Help is at hand.

Because at VistaPrint, we’re passionate about helping people bring their ideas to market. That includes helping you hit on that great idea you’ve been searching for.

In this article, we’ve put together a rapid-fire list of 75 different small business ideas to help you find your focus and kick-start your entrepreneurial career in 2024. 

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Easy businesses to start

With the right idea, you can quickly get a new business up and running. Here are some ideas for businesses that are a piece of cake to launch.

Cartoon slice of cake with face, arms and legs and holding a whisk and a palette knife

A piece of cake by maneka

1. Design print-on-demand t-shirts

Can you imagine a world without t-shirts? Us neither. 

Create your own designs or work with a freelancer to bring your original ideas to life. And to people’s wardrobes.

2. Get blogging

Is there a topic you live and breathe? Why not start a blog and build a community you can monetize through sponsored posts, ads and affiliate marketing? (More on that in a moment.)

3. Sell home-baked goods

People love food made with love. And there’s nothing quite like a home-baked treat. 

Whether it’s chocolate, cupcakes, pastries or bread, specialize in a niche to make your bakes rise to the top.

4. Open an online fashion boutique

Love fashion? Have a strong sense of style? Then why not open an online clothing store?

Curate items from other sellers or rejuvenate your thrift shop finds.

5. Launch a house-sitting business

Imagine getting paid to live in a luxury mansion. For property owners away from home, having someone live in and look after their property is money well spent. 

And with second-home ownership on the rise, house sitting is booming as a business model.

6. Become an Airbnb host

You don’t need to own another property to be an Airbnb host. If you have a spare room in your home, you can create an account and rent it out when it suits you.

7. Offer car washing and valeting

Sometimes the original ideas are the best. And you don’t need to be a teenager to make a go of this classic side hustle.

Do a good job and you’ll never be short of repeat custom.

Best small businesses to run from home

Enjoy complete freedom and flexibility with a home-based business.

Man falling from ceiling onto his bed

Flying man, via Darius Bashar

8. Do voice-over work

Are you naturally articulate? Can you convincingly convey a message?

If you can vary the tone and personality of your voice, there are various opportunities as a voice-over artist—from audiobooks and podcast intros to YouTube videos and web commercials.

9. Become a virtual assistant

Some people were born to organize. If you enjoy working quietly behind the scenes, a career as a virtual assistant might be right up your alley.

10. Launch a dropshipping business

Low overheads, hands-off and scalable? 

Welcome to the wonderful world of dropshipping. A way of selling products online without the hassle of having to stock them.

11. Run a bed and breakfast

If you have a spacious home and love providing hospitality, why not open your doors to paying guests?

Consider a theme to give your B&B a unique angle in the market.

12. Work as a travel planner

These days, anyone can book a holiday online, right? But with so many websites, how do you know where to go and what to do for a truly magical vacation?

That’s why there’s still a market for bespoke, out-of-this-world travel.

13. Start a microbrewery

With demand growing for low- or non-alcoholic drinks, there’s an opportunity to develop a following among craft beer connoisseurs. Cheers to that!

14. Train to be a massage therapist

Increasing numbers of clients are turning to massage therapists to alleviate stress, tension and pain. 

So once you’ve got your qualification, all you need is a massage bed and your hands!

15. Become a sewing and alterations specialist

Sewing is a skill that used to be passed down from generation to generation. But today, fewer and fewer people know how to sew.

With fast fashion going out of fashion, that’s great news for you if you’re handy with a needle.

16. Try property management

Bricks and mortar is one of the steadiest forms of investment. But many property investors don’t live locally, and they need someone to manage their rentals.

If you’re organized and good at dealing with people, you could feel right at home in property management.

17. Home takeout service

Takeout has undergone a revolution. With the explosion of delivery services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats, all you need to run a successful takeout service is a big enough kitchen and a talent for tasty food. 

18. Freelance business developer

Many people have great ideas for businesses, but no idea how to drive business to their business.

That’s where you come in. Helping turn cold calling into warm leads and hot prospects.

19. Ironing service

If you love to iron, there are 2 things to get excited about:

  1. People are getting busier. 
  2. The Airbnb market keeps on growing.

Which means?

There’s a demand for well-pressed work clothes and wrinkle-free bed sheets.

Online small business ideas

If you have a way with words, there are many ways to make money online.

Cartoon dinosaur holding a laptop

Jurassic Zoom by leargamar

20. Freelance copywriter

Think of a copywriter as a salesperson in print. But rather than going door to door, your words can reach and move thousands of people. 

All you need is WiFi and a laptop. (Copious cups of coffee are optional.)

21. Resume writer

In today’s competitive job market, landing an interview has never been harder. 

Make a difference by helping your clients craft a compelling resume that screams, “Interview me!”

22. Speechwriter

People who give speeches want to captivate their audience. 

So if you’re inherently curious and passionate about sharing other people’s passions, there’s an audience for your services ready to be captured. 

23. Become a translator

Are you fluent in another language? 

Offer your services as a translator. Gaining a qualification and specializing in a niche will translate into a better chance of success.

24. Start a new chapter as an editor

There’s a lot more to proofreading and editing than fixing typos. But that’s what makes it a rewarding freelance career. 

And through organizations such as CIEP in the UK and ACES in the US, you’ll find supportive colleagues and opportunities for professional development.

25. Publish a newsletter

Start a free newsletter and once you’ve built a following, you can offer a paid subscription with premium content.

Write about something you’ve a passion for and your newsletter will feel more like a hobby than work. A hobby that makes you money.

26. Become an affiliate marketer

There’s nothing like a recommendation from someone you trust. 

Here’s one: Join an affiliate marketing program and earn commission by promoting other people’s products.

27. Be a motivational speaker

Do you have an inspiring story? A presence on stage as a public speaker? 

Consider a career touring the speaker circuit. Conferences pay big money to speakers who can make a big impact.

28. Market research

To succeed with a new venture, you’ll need to carry out detailed market research. But if that’s your strength, why not make that the focus of your business?

Small business ideas based on your expertise

They say knowledge is power. It’s also great to share and a fantastic foundation for a new business.

Person holding light bulb

Light bulb moment, via Diego PH

29. Life coach

Are you a people person? Have you successfully navigated transition moments in your life? 

If you answered yes to both, then why not say yes to life coaching? 

30. Career coach

Many people are looking for guidance in their careers. If you’ve had a successful career, why not use your expertise and insights to mentor others?

31. Online dating consultant

Dating is difficult. That’s why people who are serious about finding love will pay serious money for expert advice from a professional matchmaker.

32. College consultant

Making college admissions applications is stressful. For students and their families.

As a college consultant, you can help guide them through an overwhelming process. And increase the chances of landing a place at a “right fit” college.

33. Tutoring 

Do you have a specialist subject? Are you good at explaining it to others? 

Lots of students need a little help. And when you tutor people, the rewards are more than purely financial.

34. Teach an online course

Want a quick lesson on how to earn while you sleep? Create an online course. 

If you’ve got something useful to teach, people will pay you for your knowledge.

35. Yoga or pilates instructor

Build a healthy business by helping people stay fit and healthy. Lead sessions online or rent out a studio space to offer classes and one-on-one sessions in your local community. 

Tech businesses you can run from home

If you’re tech-savvy, there’s a host of exciting avenues for you to explore.

Cartoon tech wizard character

Tech wizard by Odius

36. Produce online videos

From YouTube and TikTok to Instagram Reels and Facebook stories, there’s an insatiable demand for video content. 

Master the technical side of videography and you’ll have a vibrant market to unlock.

37. Manage social media accounts

Every brand has a voice but many struggle to get heard. 

As a freelance social media manager, you can help companies engage their audience, build community and grow their business.

38. Become an SEO consultant

There’s not much point having a website if no one ever visits. So if you’re skilled at search engine optimization, you’ll find your services will be sought after.

39. Develop your skills as a coder

Web and app developers are in constant demand. So learning to code is a great way to build and develop a new business.

40. Become a micro-influencer 

Move over influencers. Today, it’s the smallest voices making the biggest impact. 

Become a micro- or nano-influencer and there are bound to be brands ready to talk.

41. Cybersecurity consultant

With so much of the business world online, many companies are at risk of cyber attack. If you can help protect them, you’ll find clients to help you grow your own business.

Creative small business ideas

Get your creative juices going with these juicy ideas.

Pineapple and apple slices with a straw through them

Sourced via Brands&People

42. Launch a podcast

Are you a natural storyteller? A charming conversationalist? Well, listen up!

The podcasting industry is booming—and expected to keep on growing. Sounds good to us!

43. Home staging 

First impressions count—for houses just as much as people.

Help homes stand out from the crowd and get home movers and your own business moving.

44. Freelance graphic designer

 We live in a visual world. And online, there’s a world of opportunity for people who can create captivating graphics.

45. Photographer

Photography is a broad industry with numerous niches—from events and weddings to portraits, pets and products.

You can also earn passive income by uploading your shots to a stock photography website.

46. Vegan candle maker

More and more people are adopting a vegan lifestyle. So the demand for vegan products such as candles is burning bright.

47. Jewelry designer

The jewelry industry continues to sparkle and offer valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Sell items online or at markets and local stores. Let your customers add their own personal touch by offering customized pieces.

48. Bring homes to life as an interior designer

Help people unlock their property’s potential. 

If you can make rooms work for your clients, their families and their guests, then interior design is a business you can make work for you.

49. Sell subscription boxes

From confectionery and candles to pet treats and printed t-shirts, people love receiving curated boxes.

Subscription boxes could be the focus of your business or something extra you choose to run on the side.

50. Caricature artist

The market for humorous portraits is no laughing matter. Caricatures make fun, personalized gifts that are popular for weddings, anniversaries, special birthdays and corporate events. 

If you show panache with a pen, it’s time to get drawing!

51. Landscape gardener

Do you have green fingers? Are you happiest with a trowel in your hand?

Start small by offering seasonal gardening services. Then as your confidence and expertise grow, consider moving into garden design.

Small business ideas for pet lovers

If you’re an animal lover then these ideas should give you paws for thought. 

Cat’s front paws

Best feet forward with these pet business ideas, via Luba Ertel

52. Pet groomer

When it comes to their pets, nothing is too good for consumers. And dog owners, in particular, love to pamper their pooch.

To expand your client base, consider partnering with a doggy daycare center or veterinary practice.

53. Dog walker

If you love the outdoors and love dogs even more, there are few jobs more fun than running your own dog-walking business.

As well as offering group walks and solo walks, you could organize exciting adventure days for dogs to engage in stimulating activities. 

54. Work as a pet sitter

Whether you have your own pets or love meeting other people’s, pet sitting is an easy business to start.

Host pets at home or visit them in their own environment. Whatever suits you and your clients.

55. Artisanal dog treats

Create unique, delicious snacks and treats for everyone’s favorite members of the family. Their dogs. Woof woof to that!

Business ideas for people who like to use their hands

Practical ideas for practical people.

Cat in a cardboard box

Out of the box thinking, via Jiawei Zhao

56. Handyman

What’s better than DIY? Doing repairs for someone else.

If you own your own tools and get your fix from fixing things, why not get paid to carry out odd jobs for others?

57. Woodworker

If you have woodworking skills and an eye for creative design, you could make a profitable business by crafting unique wooden items—from beautiful furniture to decorative pieces.

To hone your craft, consider taking a woodworking certification program.

58. House cleaner

A clean home is a happy home. But many people don’t have time to clean. Which is great news if you love making things spick and span.

59. Packing service

Moving to a new house or apartment is often a bit of an ordeal—which is why many home movers see hiring out the packing process as a worthwhile investment.

60. E-bike repairer

Are you a fan of life on two wheels? Why not set up shop as a bicycle repairer?

If you can develop the expertise, specializing in e-bike repair may open up a lucrative market in your local area.

Business ideas that get you out and about

If you’re someone who likes being on the move, check out these ideas to get your life as an entrepreneur up and running.

Man using a pole on a punt

Sourced via Priscilla Du Preez

61. Tour guide

If you know the history of your local area and enjoy public speaking, how about offering guided tours?

To fend off competition, a theme can help—whether it’s local cuisine, literature, legends, myths or ghosts.

62. Drone photographer / videographer

Capture breathtaking aerial footage using a drone.

You’ll need to make sure you’re compliant with aviation regulations and maintain insurance. But with high-quality photography skills, the sky’s the limit.

63. Food trucker

Bring your culinary skills to the market with a mobile kitchen. And without the overhead costs of a traditional restaurant.

Get a taste for things by renting a truck for a few festivals or concerts. If your cuisine proves popular, consider investing in your own truck.

64. Mobile beauty therapist

Food is not the only thing you can bring to your customers. From hair styling and makeup to nail polishing and indulgent spa experiences, starting a business as a mobile beauty therapist could turn into a beautiful thing.

65. Become an event planner

Are you in your element when you’re planning a party? 

Many events need a detail-oriented person to take the helm. From baby showers and weddings to conferences and trade shows.

66. Plant rental service

Yep, you read that right. Renting indoor plants is a thing. So if you’re green-fingered and believe plants make an interior sing, consider renting out plants to homes, offices and events.

While technically this isn’t an outdoor business, it helps if you have some suitable outdoor space to house your inventory.

Small business ideas based around children

Children are our future. And they could provide a platform for your future business success.

Cell phone on paper covered with crayons and scribbles

Sourced via charlesdeluvio

67. Become a doula

A doula is someone who provides pre-natal and post-natal support to mothers. It can be an emotionally demanding role. But always rewarding.

Before looking for work, look to complete your training and gain certification.

68. Baby sleep consultant

Exhausted parents just want to sleep … like a baby. 

Offer tailored training programs or bespoke consultations to help sleep-deprived moms, dads and their little ones get the shut-eye they all deserve.

69. Run a daycare center

Busy parents don’t just need to sleep. They need someone reliable to look after their kids while they’re at work. 

You’ll need to meet local and state requirements and maintain your license and insurance. But if you’re good with children, daycare could be a good fit for you.

70. Children’s parties

Who doesn’t love a party? And who loves parties more than kids?

If you’re a good planner and a whiz at creating fun, themed events, why not specialize in organizing and hosting children’s parties?

Bespoke service business ideas

And finally, here are some ideas that could be tailor-made for you.

Tailor pinning cloth material

Sourced via Salvador Godoy

71. Personal chef

Busy professionals often don’t have time to cook but they don’t want to come home to takeout or microwave meals.

If you have culinary training, customizing meals for clients could be the perfect outlet for your creativity.

72. Specialty food owner

If you’re a foodie at heart but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, then sourcing and curating unique food products could represent a mouthwatering business opportunity. 

Give consumers something they can’t find in standard grocery stores and watch them give you their loyal custom.

73. Personal shopper

If you have an eye for style, you can help clients bring some class to their wardrobes and homes.

Whether it’s furniture, fashion or fine art, choosing a niche will help advertise your knowledge base.

74. Personal trainer

Love working out? Share your passion by helping others work on their fitness.

To be approved for essential insurance policies, you’ll need a certification. But remember, just like lifting weights, it’s OK to start small and build from there.

75. Menu planner

As an online nutrition coach offering personalized diet plans, you can help people hit their health and weight-loss goals. 

Nutritional science is constantly evolving. Perfect for those who thrive on staying up to date.

Get your new business the attention it deserves

Launching a new business is an exciting challenge. But you don’t have to do everything by yourself.

Whether you’re looking for samples or design help, we’re here to support you through every part of the process. In addition to our support, you can connect with a local community of entrepreneurs, support each other, or even follow some YouTube channels for entrepreneurs to keep you updated and gain new insights.

Get started today with a set of custom marketing materials.