There has never been a better time to start a business, as starting a business in 2016 doesn’t require the costly capital investment it did several years ago. To help you come up with an idea for your business we have compiled a list of the 75 best business ideas to start in 2016.
The cost of setting up a new business has never been so low. Especially for online based businesses. Technology has made starting your own business easy, affordable and possible. All you need to start a business online is a phone, a computer and an internet connection.
Coming up with a good business idea is often one of the hardest hurdles. Ideally (and for you to succeed) your perfect business idea should consist of three things; it should be something you like doing, something you are good at and something that is in demand (i.e. people would pay for).
To help get you started here is a list of “online” and “offline” based business ideas that are easy to start, in demand and can be profitable. We have categorized every business idea according to its type (online or offline), investment (low or high cost), and potential (low or high value).
Let’s dive straight into the business ideas…
1. Mobile App Developer
Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great idea and happen to know coding, you can run with it and create your app yourself.
If you just have an idea, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.
2. Dog Walker
A dog walker is a profession that involves a person walking with a dog, usually from the dog’s home and then returning the dog back to its home.
A dog walker can either be an individual or be part of a business. He or she will be paid by the dog owner to walk their dog or dogs for them.
3. Hostel Owner
With services like Airbnb, everyone can turn their house, garage, or just a single room into a unique accommodation for tourists and travelers from all around the world.
The platform will take care of the initial exposure and will provide a way for owners and clients how to conveniently communicate. If you happen to own a house in a very attractive destination, you can even expect to earn pretty good money.
4. Language Teacher
For a long time, language teaching has been the go-to way of making money on the side for students and even full-time high-school or university teachers. Now, with Skype and ubiquitous internet access, everyone can start teaching languages from the comfort of his or her home.
You don’t even have to know any foreign language yourself – there are many advanced learners who are happy to just practice their conversation skills.
5. Language Translator
Despite the impressive advancements of machine translation, the demand for skilled translators is still very high and will probably remain so for quite some time. You can start looking for work on platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork and slowly build your clientele.
It’s also a good idea to directly contact popular bloggers and ask them if they would consider having their blog translated into another language.
6. Importing Electronic OEM Gadgets
If you look at top selling items on Amazon or eBay, you will probably notice that many of them are from China. The formula is fairly simple: you purchase your initial inventory, create a brand, and advertise your products online.
You can even use drop shipping or Amazon fulfillment services to do the whole thing without a physical warehouse.
Some self-published authors earn as much as 1 million dollars every year. You can achieve the same kind of success and all you need is a few freely available tools and the ability to write a compelling book that will sell.
Of course, you don’t have to earn six figures to succeed with self-publishing. Just a few hundred extra dollars every month can go a long way.
8. Custom Drone Builder
After a teenager won $250,000 by piloting his drone to victory on Dubai’s World Drone Prix, the frills global drone-racing event in history, it’s clear that this new sport will be huge in the future.
And because professional drone racers need professional custom-built drones, now is the perfect time to establish your name as a custom drone builder.
9. VR/AR App Developer
The virtual reality software market is expected to reach $24.5 billion dollars in revenue by 2020. A good chunk of that revenue could be in your pocket. All you have to do is learn how to develop immersive VR and AR experiences.
The internet is full of resources and communities of like-minded people to help you along the way.
10. IoT Service Provider
Likewise, the Internet of Things is expanding at a rapid rate, and it appears that soon every device will be connected to the cloud. Businesses and organizations of all sizes will need someone to provide them with the necessary infrastructure, hardware sensors, and continuous support.
11. VR Arcade Owner
The very first batch of VR arcade is just starting to pop up in some of the world’s largest cities. Virtual reality is the perfect fit for arcades and could really bring a new life to this dying business. The technology is still not 100% there, but it probably will be in just a year or two.
12. Career Coaching
The millennial generation faces a much tougher job market than any generation before. There’s no doubt that many people will feel clueless about which direction they should take to maximize their chances of having a bright future ahead of them. A career coach can do his or her work either from an office or via the internet.
13. Online Teaching
The success of Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman “Sal” Khan, has proved the effectiveness of online teaching and paved the way for talented educators and their students.
You can sell your expertise as a video content on YouTube, or create your own website and charge your students on an hourly basis for Skype lessons.
14. Personal Shopper
Shopping for groceries, clothes, or electronic goods can eat up a lot of time very quickly. A personal shopper can help busy people reclaim this time in exchange for a small fee.
A personal shopper can be someone who goes to stores in person, or it can be someone gives online recommendations about which product the client should buy.
15. Online Store
Opening an online ecommerce store is just as viable option how to make a living as it was a decade ago. Yes, the completion is tougher, but you have an access to a wide range of free tools that you can use to set everything up with very little effort.
16. Event Planner
The internet has enabled people to connect with like-minded individuals from across the globe, creating the perfect opportunity for event planners.
An event planner uses his or her organizational skills to organize an event. Money can then be made from entrance fees, sponsorships, on-premise sales to attendees, and other things.
17. Virtual Assistant
The umbrella term “virtual assistant” refers to anyone who is paid to do a job of another person. Let’s say that somebody runs an online store. That person might need an occasional help with getting through customers’ correspondence and questions.
A virtual assistant works on an hourly basis and often serves multiple clients at the same time. The obvious limitation of this business is time itself.
18. Social Media Consultant
The job of a social media consultant is ideal for someone who stays on top of all the latest social media trends and knows how to engage audiences on a very large scale. While some social media consultants can earn big bucks, most can only manage to earn something around the average wage.
19. Content Writer
Businesses of all sizes embrace content marketing as their leading way of attracting customers and establishing their position as market leaders. A content writers should be able to quickly digest complex topics and turn them into engaging posts that are well optimized for search engines. As such, it’s great for people who know a little bit about everything.
20. Subscription Service Owner
The main advantage of the subscription business model is its predictable nature. As the number of your subscribers rises, you will know exactly how much you can expect to earn every month.
Largest subscription services in the world are well-oiled machines that generate their owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
21. Food Truck
Do you like to cook and always like coming up with new, creative ideas? Then opening a food truck might be just for you. But even if you can hardly make a tea, you can still get in the business.
Simply hire other people to what you can’t or are not willing to do yourself and become the brain of the operation.
22. Online Courses
One of the most popular platforms where people can access massive open online courses (MOOCs), Coursera, has more than 15 million users, who are hungry for knowledge. Such online courses go far beyond the traditional high-school curriculum.
If you have any skill at all that you think people might be interested in, there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a go. All it takes is a web camera, capture software, and basic editing skills.
Podcasting is a fantastic way how to make a few bucks on the side for anyone who deals with interesting or niche topics that are suitable for this type of format. Do you like video games or ethnic music?
There are definitely plenty people just like you, who would look forward to hearing your show on their way to work or school.
Blogging is alive and well even in 2016. It still doesn’t have to cost even a single dollar to get started, but it will probably take a while to get some exposure. These days, the competition is so fierce that getting on first pages of major search engines in no piece of cake.
A good knowledge of SEO is essential, apart from the content itself. Your main motivation should be the fact that top bloggers often earn high six figures despite working only 20 or so hours every week.
25. YouTube Stardom
Who haven’t heard about PewDiePie, the biggest YouTube star with over 46 million subscribers? His journey to stardom started in his room with a humble webcam and simple let’s play video, which he does to this day.
Even though the let’s play market might be a bit too saturated now, there are still vast, unexplored seas filled with opportunities for anyone who dares to go after them.
26. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketers promote products of other people and earn commissions on their sales. Amazon is currently the most popular platform for affiliate marketing, but there are many alternatives as well. Affiliate marketing is often combined with blogging to create a seamless mix of content and promotion.
27. Handmade Goods
If you are a crafty person, you should take a look at Etsy, the largest online market for homemade and vintage goods. You will find an amazing mix of leather wallets, lamps made from river wood, unique hand-printed t-shirts, jewelry, organic soup, and countless other things.
Top sellers often expand beyond the platform, creating their own brands and opening stored across the country.
28. Uber or Lyft Driver
Anyone who considers himself or herself to be a good driver can sign up with Uber or Lyft and make a good living driving people around the town. While working as an Uber driver may not sound like an exciting career, it’s certainly a great way how to put food on the table when you find yourself in between jobs.
29. Catering Business
These days, starting a catering business is all about finding the right niche. You can specialize in any type of food you like, any type of clients, and any type of venues.
Perhaps you would like to cater to young professionals who want to organize networking events, or you would like to be known as the go-to caterer for child parties – there’s nothing stopping you.
30. Craft Beer Brewing
Producing small amounts of beer have recently turned into a popular hobby and fantastic business opportunity. You will need to invest into equipment, acquire the necessary knowledge, and possibly even employ a handful of people to help you with the entire operation. But seeing the finished product being served to customers in your favorite pub will be a wonderful reward.
31. Data Analyst
With the rise of Big Data, increasingly more companies need to make sense of heaps of information to adjust their overall business strategies. A data analyst is someone who has the technical expertise to accomplish this job, often having a background in economics, mathematics, or finance.
Data analytics who work for large, international corporations can earn more than enough money to support even more extravagant lifestyles.
32. Digital Marketing Campaign Manager
Marketing has gone digital, and it’s the job of digital marketing campaign managers to produce best results possible. You can start your career as a digital marketing campaign manager by studying freely available online resources and experimenting on your own.
Once you know what you are doing, try cold-calling local businesses, asking them whether they would be interested in your services.
33. Online Bookkeeping
Just like so many other professions, bookkeeping has gone online. This is a great news for many bookkeepers and accountants who feel trapped in the office environment and long for more personal freedom and the ability to work during their own hours.
34. Niche Website Owner
New trends start every day, and some of them grew to be pop culture sensations. Your job as a niche website owner is to capture the market before it gets too saturated. Creating a niche website (using WordPress) will allow you to secure your place on the very top of search engines, resulting in thousands of daily visitors.
35. Mobile Laundry
Mobile laundry services can be the ideal extension of an existing laundry business. Anyone else will have to deal with high investment costs and relatively low returns.
In this day and age, it’s paramount to make the entire service as convenient as possible, which often means creating mobile applications and a dedicated website interface where customers can schedule deliveries and pickups.
36. Pet Grooming
As more and more people are postponing the decision to have children, they turn their attention to their pets. Many owners are willing to pay as much as several hundreds of dollars to give their bellowed pets a makeover.
Just be aware that you might encounter a customer who wants to trim her tarantula’s hair.
37. In-Door Drone Racing
Drone racing is expected to be a multi-million-dollar sport within the next few years. If you have a suitable indoor venue where you could let people practice their flying skills or host races, you should definitely consider giving this business a try.
Additional income could be made from posting the footage online.
38. Fitness Instructor
Whether it’s because people fail to adhere to a strict fitness regime or because new fad diets and fitness movements are cropping up on a regular basis, the demand for fitness instructors is always high.
Modern fitness instructors should definitely consider exploring the online space and, perhaps, recording a series of educational videos and posting them online. Not only is this a fantastic marketing strategy, but it’s also a viable way how to generate additional income.
39. Antique Refurbishment
If you like working with wood and beautiful, valuable objects in general but don’t have the creative talent to create your own, antique refurbishing could be your ticket to success.
Depending on what exactly you do, you don’t need to invest a lot of money to get started, but you will need to travel across the country to get the best pieces you can.
40. Growing Medical Marijuana
If you live a state or country where medical marijuana is legal, you can consider starting your own growing operation. The initial setup can be costly, but it’s a relatively smooth sailing after that.
Your days will be spent taking care of a wonderful plant and helping people improve their health and well-being in general.
41. Espresso Cart
Your first espresso cart could be a start of a much larger business. The key is to not actually spend your time selling the coffee and, instead, employing someone else to do the job. You can then focus on growing your fleet of espresso carts and moving the business in the right direction.
42. WordPress Themes
Are you a web developer or designer who earns for passive income? If so, creating WordPress themes might be the right path for you. Once your theme is finished, you will still need to provide customers with ongoing support and work on updates, but you can do so when you please.
43. SEO Expert
Search Engine Optimization is an absolute necessity for everyone who wants to be relevant on the web. A capable SEO expert can turn a dying business into a prosperous operation in a matter of months. No wonder then that the best SEO professionals can earn as much as seasoned software developers.
44. Web Developer
Any web developer who wants to be competitive must become familiar with various frameworks, supporting technologies, and trends.
45. Business Broker
A business broker is someone who assists buyers and sellers of privately owned businesses in the buying and selling process. As such, he or she must have a good knowledge of business law and common practices in the particular industry.
Businesses brokers are rewarded with commissions for the sales they make.
46. Pet Daycare
If you love animals and have enough room to spare in your house, you can start a pet daycare. There’s not much to it: pet owners leave you their animals whenever they have to go out for a longer time, and your job is to provide them with everything they need and ensure that they will be happy.
47. Office Space Rental
Office sharing is a booming industry that’s largely driven by the needs of young entrepreneurs who are working on the next Google or Amazon. If you already own a suitable property, then your investment costs will be negligible.
However, if that’s not the case, you are looking at a substantial investment.
48. Guided Tours
Are you situated in a popular tourist destination? If so, you may consider yourself lucky. Starting a guided tours business can be a lucrative opportunity how to make extra money during the summer, or it can be the start of a much larger business that employs other people to work as guides.
49. Pick & Drop Services
Pick & drop service is another type of business that combines modern technology with our constant need for more time. It usually starts with a platform that automatically pairs clients with suitable pickers. From there, it’s all about completing assignments as you receive them.
50. Makeup Artist
This is one of those few professions that you can start working on in your bedroom and end up on the set of a Hollywood movie just a few years down the road. What’s more, makeup artists can take advantage of platforms such as YouTube and make their content visible to billions of people from all over the world.
51. Image Consultant
You are probably wondering who needs an image consultant. We don’t blame you. But the reality is that many companies and individuals rely on their image, making it worthwhile to hire someone to manage it.
Best image consultants are people with a proven track record of success and inside knowledge of the particular industry.
52. Anti-Aging Spa
The quest for eternal youth is as old as the hills. Modern technology gives us new treatment options how to prolong our good looks and keep health problems at bay. A good anti-aging spa will require a substantial investment and constant maintenance.
The upside is that it will attract clients who have money to spare.
53. Decluttering Services
With the tremendous success of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up from Marie Kondo, there has been a surge in demand for decluttering services. People are in dire need to get rid of useless positions and things that cause them an emotional burden.
This business is far from being just a cleaning service in disguise. More often than not, people will be unwilling to give up even what’s clearly just a trash, so you must have a good understanding of the human psychology as well.
54. Green Cleaning Services
The only thing that differentiates green cleaning services from regular cleaning services is the type of products used for the actual cleaning. But this simple thing can turn the otherwise unattractive businesses into something highly desirable.
People in upscale neighborhoods are willing to pay a lot of extra money just to know they are helping to preserve the environment.
55. Organic Food Catering
Organic food catering is such a popular and lucrative niche in the catering business that it deserves to be mentioned on its own. You should establish close ties with local farmers to ensure a steady supply of organic products.
Then it’s just about acquiring the right equipment and marketing your services.
56. Electric Charging Station Provider
Electric vehicles are the future of transportation and electric vehicle charging stations are the backbone of this revolution. If you own a highly frequented property, you might consider installing a charger and offering it to EV drivers for a small fee.
57. Energy Auditor
Green energy solutions can lead to dramatic savings, allowing some people to completely drop from the grid. As an energy auditor, you will help businesses and individual home and apartment owners find ways how they could increase their energy footprint and decree their monthly bills.
58. CrossFit Gym
Opening any kind of gym can be a fantastic business, but CrossFit gyms are what’s currently in the most. Compared to traditional gyms, CrossFit gyms don’t require often overly expensive machines, as you get by with a high-quality set of barbells and squat racks.
59. Organic Café
Being an owner of a small café definitely sounds like a wonderful experience. In fact, the only thing that sounds even better is being an owner of an organic café. The main advantage of organic cafés is that you can charge premium prices for the items on your menu.
These days, it’s very easy to start an e-magazine; you can outsource everything online and act as the chief editor. The subscription model allows you to know exactly how much money you will make the next month, and the global nature of the web gives you a very large audience to target.
61. 3D Printing Services
3D printing is taking the world by storm, and you can be part of this revolution, if you just invest into a high-quality 3D printer and offer it to other people. They will simply send you their projects for you to print and then come to pick them up or have them send to them in a box.
62. E-Bike Repair Services
E-bikes are finally starting to become affordable for the average consumer. But most traditional bike shops lack the necessary expertise that would allow them to service the often complex electronic components found inside.
If you feel up to the task, this could be a tremendous opportunity how to become the biggest player in your local area.
63. Beard Care Products
Beards are still a thing and they will probably remain to be for some time. You can start your own beard care brand with just a few cheap ingredients that you can buy online. When you manage to make a good product, all you need to do is take care of its marketing and bulk manufacturing.
64. Tattoo Studio
Talented individuals can make a small fortune by opening their own tattoo studio and establishing themselves in the industry. Some people are willing to travel across the world to have a tattoo from the artist they love. A substantial initial investment will be necessary and the job requires a lot of responsibility.
65. SaaS Business Owner
Offering Software as a Service is a business model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It has the advantage of predictable monthly revenue and complete control over the entire project. It takes time, skill, and effort to develop a SaaS software.
66. Sustainable Landscaping
The purpose of sustainable landscaping is to offset negative environment impacts by using strategic methods for business and residential landscapes. Sustainable landscapes often feature shade structures and bike racks made from recycled materials, a wireless irrigation system, native grasses, and large, open areas for sport and leisure.
67. Security Services
We live in turbulent times, so it’s no surprise that the demand for security services is rising at a steady pace. Such security services can take place either offline – home and personal security – or online. The online side of things deals with identity theft, protection against doxing, or general information security.
68. Child Care Provider
Even though you can start a childcare service from you home, you should still prepare for a large investment. If you live in a large city, you should definitely consider catering to a niche group of parents and charging premium prices for your services.
You could focus only on children with specific allergies or serve only organic food.
69. Virtual Call Center Operator
Unlike regular call centers, virtual call centers often employ people from all parts of the world, who then do the job from their homes.
You can be sitting in your dorm room and the person you are talking to could still think that he or she is talking directly with someone who is physically present in the company.
70. Solar Contractor
People are embracing solar energy and are even using it to become completely self-sufficient. Solar contractors help realize complex solar projects by supplying suitable equipment and ensuring that everything will be properly installed.
Background in electrical engineering is definitely recommended.
71. Gluten-Free Bakery
Just like a regular bakery only free from gluten! While a very small home bakery won’t cost you that much, a larger commercial operation is not cheap. Luckily, you can often get the necessary equipment for a much better price, if you search for used commercial machines online.
72. Organic Vending Machines
Vending machines are not exactly in vogue, but there’s still one niche that could end up being extremely profitable: organic vending machines. Where else can you get your favorite granola bar at any time of the day?
This business is most suitable for high-traffic areas in affluent parts of larger cities.
73. Drone Videographer
If you like piloting drones, perhaps you should consider working as a drone videographer. You get to go to interesting places, meet cool people, and eventually develop a portfolio that could land you a job in Hollywood.
Professional drones are very expensive, but you can start small with a mid-sized drone and a GoPro camera and go from there.
74. Business Incubator
The job of a business incubator is to help new companies and startups to achieve growth and success. A typical business incubator will provide with management training, office space, high-speed internet connectivity, gym, food catering, and other things.
You don’t have to think too big – small, local incubator can the perfect place where to start.
75. Smart Home Contractor
Modern smart home solutions can do everything from remotely controlling light bulbs in your house to your air-conditioning to a health-monitoring application in your smartphone.
Because the possibilities are virtually endless, it takes someone who understands the industry to come up with the best solutions possible.
No matter what type of business you would like to start or how much money you have to invest, we are sure that, at least, a few ideas from our list will match your criteria. Just remember that the idea alone is not enough.
You have to show passion, persistence and dedication to overcome all challenges as they arise. If you do, there’s nothing that can stop you from joining the ranks of successful entrepreneurs and business people from all around the world.
Do you have a great idea for a business? Have we missed anything? Let us know via the comments here below.