15 Growing Business Ideas (And How to Get Started)
As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
According to Pew Research, only half of full-time workers experience enough satisfaction with their jobs. Are you one of them? If you're not finding fulfillment in your career, it could be time for a challenge.
Thanks to the share economy, it's easy for anyone to kickstart a side hustle and start making some extra money. Companies such as Amazon and Etsy fuel small business owners, and pretty much anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset can start selling products.
However, if you're ready for more than that, there are a lot of options to start your own 9-5 business. Entrepreneurship could be the change you're looking for. Aspiring founders can select from a ton of interesting and innovative company ideas suited to their own strengths and experience.
15 Growing Business Ideas For New Entrepreneurs
- Accounting or Tax Preparation
- Bicycle Repair Shop
- Cleaning Service
- Property Management
- Event Production & Planning
- Personal Training
- AirBNB Host
- Home Healthcare Services
- Box Subscription Service
- Food Trucks
- Mike Delivery Services
- Teach English Abroad
- Google Paid Ad Specialist
- Design & Manufacture Selfie Drones
- Men's Grooming Products
However, not every passion or interest will translate into a successful business. When seeking a concept with long-term potential, entrepreneurs need to align their background with a product or service that customers need right now.
When developing a concept for a business, start by conducting research. Identify the market you're trying to break into, and ask yourself a few questions, including:
- What problem will your product or service help you overcome?
- Who is your customer?
- Who are your competitors?
- How will the services or products you stack up in the marketplace?
By comparing your passions and interests with various growing industries, entrepreneurs can find a niche with a lot potential. If you want to be a founder this year, here's a list of growing business ideas to consider running with.
1. Accounting or Tax Preparation
Love crunching numbers? People always need help with their taxes. For accountants that love what they do, opening a tax preparation or accounting business can be a good venture. 28.5% of adults already use an accountant to file their taxes, so the market is already there. As an independent accountant, you can work out of your home, or potentially lease a small office space.
Although most of the business will around tax season, from January to April of every year, accountants can also offer additional services year round.
2. Bicycle Repair Shop
Cycling is huge right now, with U.S. bicycle sales are increasing by nearly 6% year over year. So for entrepreneurs with a background or passion in cycling and mechanics, a bike shop could be a fun and lucrative endeavor. For potential shop owners living in bike-friendly cities such as Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, or even Copenhagen, there's already a need for repairs.
Due to astronomical car insurance rates in these large cities, people are riding all the time. They use their bike to commute and as their primary form of transportation year round. The areas that experience harsh weather, there may even be more of a need for regular bike repairs and tune-ups. Huckleberry Bicycles, a small shop in San Francisco, is killing it, experiencing significant, explosive growth.
3. Cleaning Service
Love to clean? Any entrepreneur that considers themselves to be a neat freak could find a lot of personal satisfaction in starting a cleaning service.
As home-sharing sites such as Airbnb, Stay Alfred, and HomeAway continues to grow, as does potential in a local cleaning service. There are over 550,000 Airbnb listings in the United States, each in need of cleaning and turnover services a few times a week. So for a busy host, a cleaning service with competitive pricing could be very appealing.
Depending on the city, a cleaning service could be year round, although some Airbnb regions will be seasonal. To cover that gap, cleaning services can also cater to offices, local inns, and hotels, as well as other small businesses during the offseason.
4. Property Management
Individuals that like the idea of working with residential properties, but don't want to work in cleaning or real estate, can find their passion in property management. In some of the fastest growing cities, there's always more rentals needed to accommodate incoming residents. Hence, a lot of opportunities for property management services.
In the past year, Boise's population grew by 3.08%, with Dallas seeing a 1.79% increase. Potential business owners residing in those types of areas can find a market pretty quickly. While there can be some seasonality to property management in tourist and college towns, many cities require property managers year round.
5. Event Production & Planning
With the average cost of a wedding being more than $35,000, a lot of couples try to cut costs and do all of the planning themselves. However, an event planning company with the right pricing could easily find opportunities to help DIYers plan and execute their wedding. There's also a lot of potential in event planning for local concerts, charity functions, business meetings, and more.
Apps like Gigmaster make it really easy to find bartenders, caterers, and servers. So given the nature of event planning, many entrepreneurs can start right from their home, and won't require office space right away. Planners can start by accumulating a few clients off sites such as Thumbtack, generate some positive reviews, then promote their services at a greater scale.
6. Personal Training
Surprise, surprise. 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. So over time, an effective personal trainer with competitive pricing can accumulate clients, generate referrals, and use that traction to expand and grow into a full-fledged personal training business.
There's a market for training and exercise experts everywhere. Some of the most health-conscious U.S. cities, such as Austin, Portland, and Denver, can be great areas to launch a personal training business. People who already have a background in physical fitness and experience with training can start working with clients right away. Personal trainers also do not need to operate out of an office space, and can easily work from home.
7. Airbnb Host
Don't mind having strangers stay over? If you've got an extra room in your house, a short-term rental site such as Airbnb can be an easy platform for a whole new business. People that own multiple homes, or have multiple listings within a home, are running six-figure Airbnb businesses. So depending on your occupancy rate and the number of properties you have, Airbnb can be an extremely lucrative endeavor.
Not every city is a fit for Airbnb, as some have tax laws and restrictions. In other cases, some cities don't have the tourism or visitors to support long-term growth. However, for cities such as Orlando or New York with frequent travelers, or places that host traveling nurses, have a lot of conferences, or with major airports have a lot of potential with Airbnb.
8. Home Healthcare Services
Nearly 30% of the 46 million older people live alone. So hard-working, compassionate individuals might find a business opportunity in home health care. This is great for former nurses or medical professionals. However, a non-medical home health care service won't require that background.
Cities with a lack of options for seniors, or a geographic area with a large population of senior citizens, such as Florida, could have a lot of potential for long-term growth. People with interest in home health services can start by posting a listing in a newspaper or online to try to find clients, then grow.
9. Box Subscription Service
As of April 2017, subscription company websites had about 37 million visitors. There's a lot of interest in fun, interesting products that can ship right to your home. So for quirky, extremely organized people with very specific interests, a box subscription service could be a good small business.
Highly populated areas with residents that have large amounts of discretionary income, such as Philadelphia, San Jose, or Raleigh-Durham, could be great places to launch a subscription box service. Owners can start the box service locally, and eventually expand out. Pick a niche that doesn't already have a service, and find an audience that would be willing to spend money on the product.
10. Food Trucks
To date, there are over 4,000 food trucks in the United States. On average, food truck owners make an average of $290,556 a year. So for someone with strong culinary skills, there's a lot of potential there. For cities with a lot of festivals, sporting events, or concerts, there's also likely an audience already built up.
The first few years with a food truck can be challenging, so start small and scale up over time. Finding the right combination of menu items, strong competition, and obtaining a permit can delay getting a significant return on your investment in the beginning.
11. Bike Delivery Services
People that want to manage a fast-paced business can find their fit with a bike delivery service. By 2025, the U.S. courier service is expected to increase by five percent year over year. The proof? Dashed, a Boston-based food-delivery service, made $4.6 billion last year.
Bike delivery companies that employ riders with a lot of experience can operate year round. All you need is a bike and the customers. Dash started with a Trek bicycle and basic food delivery services.
12. Teach English Abroad
Want to see the world? Teaching English can be a great option for entrepreneurs with wanderlust. There's a lot of sites that offer opportunities to teach abroad, but many native English speakers can find work quickly in another country. There's a lot of desire for exceptional English teachers. By 2020, over two billion people are expected to be speaking or learning English.
There's ESL (English as a second language) for students K-12, and also chances to teach English to adults. Individuals can use sites specific to sending English teachers abroad or set out on their own to find potential opportunities on LinkedIn or Indeed. Using the latter, individuals can start their own business focusing on teaching English, and slowly accumulate clients.
13. Google Paid Ads Specialist
Great at digital advertising? Set out on your own and provide consulting to businesses. B2B companies increased their ad spend by nearly 36% last year, so digital advertising is one of the most sought-after skills right now. Google Paid Ad specialists can make a lot of money by providing strategic direction and execution to companies and teams.
It also doesn't require an office, so it's easy to work from home. Freelancers can start on UpWork, and accumulate a portfolio of clients. Depending on your experience, Google Paid Ad Specialists can make between 60k-70k a year.
14. Design & Manufacture Selfie Drones
Selfies have gone to the next level with selfie drones. So for tech enthusiasts, there's an opportunity in creating and manufacturing these drones. From an aerial view, the drones still fly at a high range but take photography and video of their controllers. The device tracks the person using it, while freely navigating the area. The products are already selling quickly on eBay and Amazon, so the sooner you can start with this, the better.
15. Men's Grooming Products
Men's grooming products are more popular than they've ever been. In fact, by 2020, the male grooming product industry is projected to reach $60.7 billion. Companies such as Dollar Shave Club and Grooming Lounge are quickly adapting to the interest in male products. If you're savvy with men's hair products, shaving cream, and more, men's grooming could be an area of business to consider.
Getting Started With Growing Business Ideas
Once you have a killer idea, there are a few things best practices to follow when starting your own business. If you're serious about making it as a business owner, it's best to approach the new business venture carefully and strategically. Regardless of how strong your concept is, taking a few key steps will set you up for success.
Here are some steps to follow to get started with a business concept:
#1. Found the Company
When you're founding a company, it doesn't necessarily need to be a huge risk. You just need to do your due diligence to make sure you're protected. So the first step to starting your own business is the legal stuff. For instance, take care of all the licenses, set up your bank accounts, etc. Consider consulting a mentor for any advice they may give you.
To make sure nothing gets missed in the paperwork, invest in an accountant and possibly, a lawyer, to make sure everything is in order. You should also consider insurance. There are various types of insurance for startups, depending on the business you're starting.
#2. Map Out Logistics
Once you've got the company officially started, it's time to iron out some of the finer details. If you're selling a product, you'll have to deal with inventory. In this case, it's important to figure out where the inventory will be and how to keep it organized. You should also consider how to track the inventory, possibly using asset or inventory management software.
If you're also creating the product, determine where that happens. You may have to rent out a facility. If you require tools or technology to build items, you will have to find things to rent or purchase. All of these logistical details can ensure smoother operations.
#3. Build a Website
When launching a new company, the website is an extremely important component. The website is where people will go to learn about who you are and what you do. It needs to be more than just a brochure or a snapshot of your company. A website that actually supports your customer, and seamlessly guides them through the buyer journey is the website you want.
We feel so passionately about building the best website, we made a Strategy Kit to help get new entrepreneurs started. With our Strategy Kit from SprocketRocket, you can learn how effectively plan a better website strategy focusing on your target audience's needs, problems, and desires. Having this core strategy is crucial to constructing a website that will help you grow.
#4. Plan a Marketing Strategy
Without a marketing strategy in place, it'll be difficult, if not impossible, to accelerate. The whole point of starting a new business is attracting customers and building up buzz. You get there by establishing a marketing strategy that enables you to build brand awareness, attract leads, and nurture them into customers.
If you still need more support in your marketing, check out our game plan. We offer an application to go through our game plan outline to a few select businesses. Another fantastic resource is our ebook, The 10 Steps to a Lean Startup. In 10 Steps, we demonstrate how you can adapt the lean methodology when launching your business.
Pursuing Growing Business Ideas
If you've decided that becoming an entrepreneur is the path for you, it's important to start out on the right foot. Selecting a concept is only the first step in a long road of trial and error. When starting your own business, it'll be important to be as organized and prepared as you can. For entrepreneurs that dedicate themselves to building an exceptional business, there will be incredible opportunities to learn and grow.