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The Ultimate Business Idea List

Increasingly, more people are looking to set up their own business. It can be a great way to be your own boss, set your own hours and get more fulfilment from your working life.

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Here is the ULTIMATE business idea list

Some of these may require a specific skill set and others may need more investment, however, it’s worth having a look through these options to see what would be best suited to your particular interests and experience.

Dog grooming – A lot of people care about their dogs and want them to look their best, so if you like dogs this may be a lucrative business option.

Decorators – Whether someone wants to revamp their home or prep it for a potential sale, professional decorators can make all the difference. If you have this skill, it is worth spreading the word. Most decorators start small and usually the business grows organically by word of mouth.

Conservatory cleaning – Clearing out clutter can save people a job they don’t want to do.

Dropshipping – Create an online store front and sell stock from suppliers. This takes a bit of shopping around (you want to be sure the suppliers are reliable) and you will have to invest in terms of how you present your dropshipping page, in order to stand out from the competition.

Commission artist – Create artworks for potential clients, everything from pet portraits to tattoo designs. An effective website or social media page can make your work stand out. Crucially make sure you have a page outlining how much your artwork costs.

Online buying and selling – “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Buying and selling online can be profitable if you can find the right product.

Online video content producer – People can be dismissive of content creators, but to offer it professionally you will require a certain level of skill with editing, audio, lighting etc. However, with some smart promotion and the right content, it can be possible to make a living by making regular video content.

Stock photography – It is possible to capture photographs that can be sold via websites that supply stock photographs for promotional use.

Self-published author – If you have a story you want to tell, there are businesses that can allow you to publish your own book. Remember to shop around carefully though, make sure you are getting value for money in terms of how many copies they’’ include in their offer and whether any additional services will be offered to increase your chances of getting more sales.

Webinar presenter – Whether you are an English professor, a DJ or an architect, you can present webinars teaching people about your speciality. As with any course, it is worth testing this with a sample group before presenting it to the world, so you can tweak your webinar according to their feedback.

Website domain buying and selling – It is possible to raise funds by buying in demand domain names and selling them on.

Virtual assistant – You can be the person answering phones and dealing with admin to help smaller companies focus their attention elsewhere.

Affiliate marketing – Working with companies to sell their products through your site could potentially provide regular income.

Transcription services – Writing out the minutes of meetings, footage for filmmakers and so forth can be a useful service. It also helps if you are a translator and can do this in foreign languages as well.

User testing – Trying out products, games etc to see how well they work and provide your feedback.

Market stall – A market stall can be a great way to sell your products.

Pop up shop – Similar to a market stall, this is a good way to test demand for your products/services in a specific location. For example, pub and restaurant pop-ups.

Equipment rental – If you own specialist equipment (eg tools, video equipment etc) renting it out can be a way of generating an income.

Franchisee – The advantage of a franchise, is that the business is usually established, so you acquire the brand and some level of support. However, it is important to check the level of demand in your local area before making an investment.

Catering – Whether it’s providing sandwiches for an office or three course meals for a wedding, professional catering is something people will often need. Ideally, you should take part in some form of culinary course and acquire the necessary health and safety certificates before starting.

Business developer – Help people develop their businesses by looking at how they can build on their strengths and address any issues they may have.

Car wash – This can be in a single location or a mobile option. It may sound simple, but this is a popular business choice.

Debt collector – Starting a business that helps businesses collect ‘owed money’ is lucrative.

Bed and breakfast – Converting your home in to a bed and breakfast can generate a good income and you can set the times of the year you’d like it to run.

Driver – Being a private driver is a great way to make a living. You could own a vehicle and market your service to a specific niche target audience (I.e. brides) or you could hire a vehicle depending on the clients needs.

Removals/vehicle hire – Removals can be stressful and you can help take the stress out of it by helping people move their items, clear out what they don’t want and provide a vehicle to suit their needs.

Holiday rental – Rent out your home or a separate property that you may own.

Leaflet distribution – Help promote local businesses by distributing their leaflets.

Furniture upcycling – As people look to cut costs or to own furniture that’s a little more quirky, upcycling furniture can be a great business option for those that are creative and arty. If you have this particular skill, a good way to sell it is that you can help them keep items they love, while at the same time cutting back on the expense that would come with replacing items of furniture.

Training company – Help people develop their skills in a specific area. A lot of times people may have trouble finding work because they don’t have certain key skills, so this is something you can offer that could potentially be massively beneficial in the long term.

Childcare – Sometimes people need help with childcare. By offering this professional service, you’ll be giving many parents the freedom to work.

Cake baker– Baking cakes for birthdays and special occasions is a great business. Its a great work from home option and it can be relatively inexpensive to set up.

Security – If you have the appropriate training and qualifications this is something that a lot of people and businesses can benefit from.

Market research – Conduct research so businesses can learn more about their potential and existing customers. While websites offer the ability for people to create their own surveys, if you are a professional market researcher then you will be in a better place to explain the context of any findings within that market research.

IT support – Troubleshoot any problem with computers, either on-site or remotely. This skill can be crucial, especially now that there is more of an emphasis on keeping data secure and more businesses look to sell products online.

House sitting – Look after people’s homes when they are working/on holiday. Ideally it helps if you are versed in specific jobs such as cleaning, gardening and maintenance.

Accountant – Look after people’s finances, guide them through tax options etc. As a self employed accountant, it is worth explaining how your business can help them save money and avoid potential pitfalls in terms of tax, investments etc.

Financial adviser – Give people advice on how to invest their money. If you have the relevant qualifications, then this is something that clients could massively benefit from.

Pet sitter – Look after people’s pets while they are away on holiday. Ideally it helps if you are a pet owner yourself or have had experience looking after animals.

Tutoring – Sometimes children can fall behind or struggle with certain subjects. Offering your services as a tutor can give them that additional bit of hands on guidance that isn’t always possible in the classroom.

Private investigator – Working as a private investigator, it is your job to handle issues that a client might not be able to.

Personal chef – You could tailor your cooking skills to people’s needs in terms of the food they like, dietary requirements etc. As a personal chef, there are a range of people to potentially pitch your services to. Whether you are providing customised meal plans for an athlete or a special taster menu for someone’s birthday, you could offer that bit more with your cooking.

Event DJ/singer– As venues become more open again, live entertainment is often what people want. Having your own equipment is advisable, because even though most venues may have their own, there is always the risk that it is not attuned to your requirements.

Actor – There are more options to this than you may think. Local projects, promotional videos etc can benefit from professional actors. Take care when joining an agency- some may charge for auditions and others may take a reasonable cut from the work they get you.

Production crew – Whether it’s holding a boom mike, getting coffee or lighting, professional production crew can make a big difference. If you have these skills then it is worth looking online for projects that require a crew. As with actors, this can be on the smallest independent level going right up to major productions, so it pays to see what is available.

Stand up comedian – With stand up comedy, the main way to get bigger events is to build a following. The tricky part with this is it means doing a lot of gigs, sometimes initially unpaid. It does require a level of resilience, but the payoff can potentially be massive.

Stylist – As a stylist you can help make people look better and increase their self confidence. You could offer this service to individuals or to corporates.

Nutritionist – More than a “diet”, as a nutritionist you can give people long term advice to help them lead healthier lives.

Car boot sales – As with online selling, buying and selling at carboot markets can be a way of generating revenue, though you may need to be prepared to haggle.

Motivational speaker – If a sales team needs to be pushed harder or a class needs direction, if you are a motivational speaker you can be massively beneficial. It helps if you come from a background where motivation was key to success. This is why a lot of former athletes and extreme sports professionals become motivational speakers.

Personal shopper – Some people may need help with shopping. This could be because they have restricted mobility. As a personal shopper you are not only helping people shop, you could also benefit them in terms of companionship and support.

Tour guide – If you know your local area and history, you could offer a personal, enriching tour. Be sure to market your service via social media and encourage people to take photos and submit them with a review of the service you offer.

Event planner – Working on a big event requires good management skills, so if you are an experienced event planner you can help your clients make their event a success.

Mystery shopper – Test stores and businesses by shopping for specific products and asking certain questions and then passing on feedback to companies so they can improve their customer service.

Make-up artist– Whether it’s a wedding or turning someone into a zombie, a professional make-up artist can make a big difference. If you have the skills for this role, it can be a lucrative service.

Gardening – Making lawns look aesthetically pleasing, raking leaves etc can keep homes looking good, especially if people are not physically able to do the job themselves.

Pool cleaner – Ensure your client’s pool stays in the best possible condition.

Virtual store – Similar to dropshipping, though in this instance you may want to order in your own stock to sell online.

Voiceover artist – Voice acting is different to acting in that you rely solely on your voice. Everything from animation to satnav requires someone to provide top quality vocals.

Online course – If you are a writer, then an online course showing people how to develop their writing skills can be an additional source of revenue. Additionally, if you have any specific skill (from glass blowing to book-keeping) then you can create an online course for others. A series of videos can be a good way to demonstrate and allow people to study your skill at their own pace.

Podcasting – A podcast can cover everything from craft skills to true crime. As with video content, it helps to have top quality equipment and a sound proofed room or studio.

English language teacher – You could do this as part of a school or course, alternatively this can be done on a self-employed basis, giving people the chance to learn English from a native speaker.

Presentation consultant – People can often be nervous when it comes to public speaking. Guiding someone through the process can boost their self-confidence. You can also offer to look through the content of their presentation – is what they are saying relevant and engaging?

Travel consultant – Give people the chance to book holidays and travel based on their requirements. It helps if you have had experience in this area before setting this up as your own business, as people are more likely to trust someone if they can point to a period of specific experience in the travel industry.

Interior design consultant – With your skills you can help people revamp their homes and businesses.

Property manager – Look after people’s properties when they are not able to, dealing with day to day issues such as maintenance and cleaning inspections.

Essay tutor and editor – Give students guidance to help them develop their essay writing skills.

Dating consultant – Offer guidance to make it easier for people to socially interact and potentially find ‘the right person’.

Greeting card creator – This can be done for leading companies or independent businesses. Some people may do this in tandem with an artist or you may want to provide the copy that people can use for a card.

Craft beer/alcohol producer – Increasingly more people are looking for locally sourced independent alcohol brands. There are kits available that can help you create your own brews, though this is something where experience in the industry can be beneficial.

Refurbish electronic equipment – As people look to reduce costs, if you can refurbish electronic equipment you can save them from spending more on more expensive replacements.

Data analyst – People can be overwhelmed by facts and figures. By being a data analyst, you can provide an explanation and context for those figures.

Licensed product distributor – There are various companies that are looking for representatives for products (do your research to see which ones will work for you and your local area).

Online surveys – Earn money filling out surveys online (check websites and get feedback before signing up).

Online subcontractor – Take on work for other companies online ( content writing, data entry etc).

Tailoring – Become a professional tailor, fitting suits and making alterations.

DIY skill teacher – Give people the means to fix things for themselves (eg how to bleed a radiator, sew trousers etc).

Computer repair – With more people online, a reliable computer professional can be a must.

Modelling – As with acting, businesses often need someone to pose with products, appear in magazines and so forth.

Customer service contractor – Help companies with their customer service, freeing up their time to work on their business. If you have a friendly telephone manner and a strong amount of patience this could be the career for you.

Custom furniture producer – People often want something unique for their home, something you can offer as a custom furniture producer.

Handmade jewellery designer – Creating a handmade piece of jewellery can be a unique gift, something that you can pitch with a smart website and high quality photography.

Real estate appraisal – If people are considering purchasing real estate a reliable consultant can be vital, something you can offer if you have the relevant experience in this area.

Walking advertisement – One way of getting businesses out there and make yourself money in the process, a walking advertisement is just that, someone who can literally direct people to a business!

Refuse disposal – Clear up the local area and raise money in the process.

Clothing line designer – It has never been easier to find artists, suppliers etc to launch your own brand of clothing. As with any product, it is important to weigh up costs and see how much it costs to produce an item of clothing, so that you make a profit on what you make.

Self-publishing company – If you have the means to print books, you could potentially set up your own self-publishing company, making money by supporting independent authors who might otherwise struggle to find representation. In order to do this, it helps if you have the resources to print cheaply and the resources to get books into bookstores.

Bike rental and repair – People may want a bike for a holiday or for a short term job. It also helps if you have the skills to repair and maintain bikes too.

Food cart – Less to set up than a restaurant, you could sell food in a single location or offer outside catering.

Flower shop – Flowers are a popular gift, as well as being available for events such as weddings and funerals.

Subscription box – A way of regularly selling items per month such as shaving items or food items etc.

Gift shop – This is ideal if you are based in a popular tourist area. It helps if you sell items that are popular in a local area or something that is tailored to local landmarks or icons. Import/export – Importing and exporting goods

Companion service (Elderly/vulnerable) – Aside from healthcare, people often want someone to keep them company. While it is paid work, it is also potentially personally rewarding as well.

Ice cream shop – Ice cream/gelato is often popular, especially in tourist areas. A pairing with a local dairy farm could also provide additional promotion, as people look to support more local businesses.

Gift basket delivery – Whether it’s chocolate, flowers or fruit, a gift basket can often be something that can please people.

Furthermore, by working with local businesses you could be giving them additional exposure as your suppliers as well.

Tourist map guide – Give people an insight into what your local area has to offer. While people may know certain landmarks, you can provide more information that a broader online guide might not be able to.

Local business guide – Help promote local businesses by providing a directory for their services.

Gourmet confectionary – Whether it’s chocolate, gummies etc, high quality sweets often make the best gifts. You could make these yourself or be the distributor for a local producer.

Party bus – Offer people their own party space, something that will forever be memorable.

Employment agency – Pair up jobseekers with businesses looking for their skills. This is especially useful if you have worked in human resources and have contacts.

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