22 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

If you’re looking to start a new business in 2024, we’re here to help you brainstorm some small business ideas! Owning a small business is an extremely exciting and rewarding adventure, and it’s understandable that you want to get started (and that you may be overwhelmed).

It’s easy to catch the entrepreneurial bug, especially if you follow successful business owners on social media. You want to build something of your own, be your own boss, make your own rules.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and put in the hard work, here are some small business ideas to consider as we move into 2024.

Online Small Business Ideas

Not every business needs a physical location. Some small businesses can thrive exclusively in an online space. Even businesses that used to be solely in-person are becoming remote. Thanks to 2020, more people than ever before are used to working with people virtually.

Even if people used to meet in person for something, meeting virtually has become commonplace and easier in many situations. This cultural shift could allow you to open a small business without renting an office or warehouse space.

Here are some home-based small businesses you can start from anywhere.

1. Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing is essential in the 21st century. Without a solid presence on the internet, very few businesses can survive for long.

Different digital marketing agencies offer different services, and you can decide what to offer based on your skill set and the number of people you want to outsource to or hire.

You can just act as a brand’s social media manager, or you could offer a complete brand overhaul. You could be a graphic designer for their logo, or you could recode their entire website. What you can and want to offer will depend on you.

Digital Marketing Agency

2. Real Estate Company

Even if you’re selling real estate, that doesn’t mean you need a physical location to operate.

While you might eventually want to get an office, you can run a real estate business from your home, especially if you are the only person on your team. If a client wants to meet in person before a showing, you can always find a local coffee shop as your trusted meeting place. With a strong online presence, a real estate company can thrive without a physical location.

3. Animal Care

If you love pets, maybe you should make a living out of it! There’s a huge market of people who need care for their pets, and you could meet those needs by offering services such as:

  • Dog walking
  • Doggie daycare
  • Drop-ins
  • Animal and house-watching

Some people need help getting their pets cared for while they’re at work. You could do a drop-in for playtime or take them out on a walk. Some pet parents want even more for their pets and will drop them off at a doggie daycare.

However, too many dogs in one place can be extremely overwhelming for some nervous pooches. You can offer doggie daycare in your home to one or a few people who want their dog to have one-on-one attention. Finding these types of gigs is great because it can give you a reliable income source rather than trying to find a sustainable number of overnight visits for people on vacation.

If you’re just starting out, Rover is a great place to find clients while you build up a business of your own. And if things continue to go well, you can always move to a physical location.

4. Cleaning Service

If you get a sense of satisfaction cleaning your own living space, why not make a living cleaning other people’s places as well? Especially with people returning back to the office with easing COVID restrictions, people might find it hard to make time to clean. Outsourcing cleaning can give them a few extra hours a week to get other things done.

Since you’re going out to their location to clean, there’s no need to have a physical location of your own. Once again, a strong social media and web presence is necessary to secure clients. Once you get a few, you could quickly acquire more work through word-of-mouth advertising.

5. College Prep Coach

The college application process can be stressful and confusing for kids, especially if they’re the first in their families to apply. Some parents will pay you to help their kids through the process.

Whether it be quizzing them for SAT prep or helping them write their college essay, you can get paid to help a junior or senior apply to colleges.

Food Service Small Business Ideas

Breaking into the food industry is difficult, but can be extremely rewarding if you have a passion for the culinary arts. Here are some ideas for food-related businesses you can start in 2024.

6. Coffee Shop

The right coffee shop is more than a place to buy coffee. It’s a place for people to work, collaborate, or catch up with friends. Of course, you want to have talented baristas and coffee grounds from excellent roasters, but you want to work on creating a community in your cafe. This practice is what will set you apart from the local Dunkin or Starbucks.

Do you have weekly trivia nights, open mic nights, live performances by local musicians, or art on the walls from local artisans?

When run correctly, coffee shops can be treasured staples of a community.

coffee shop

7. Food Truck

Want to make food but don’t have the funds or time for a physical location? Try opening up a food truck! It takes a lot of creativity and hard work to make a food truck successful.

But if you plan to open a full-scale restaurant in the future, it could give you the opportunity to try different recipes and techniques on a smaller scale.

A great way to make money in a food truck is by going to different vendor events and festivals. Food trucks can make a killing if they have the right food at the right price at the right event.

Even if you aren’t opening up a physical location, you still need to make sure you are up to code on all your licenses. Make sure you have all your certifications and are operating legally and safely!

8. Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is risky, and running one is a lot of hard work. But if you have a true passion for food and your future customer’s experience, you could really create something special. This passion, attention to detail, and storytelling will set you apart from any other place they could get food.

To open a successful restaurant, you’ll need to find a lot of trusted and talented employees. Before you dive in, make sure you have experience in different parts of the industry so you can learn from other restaurateurs’ mistakes. Make sure you pick a location that is accessible to your target audience, and never overlook the importance of a great website and social media presence.

9. Bakery

Bakeries can be anything from a doughnut shop to a gourmet wedding cake business. They offer a wide range of possibilities and opportunities.

Tailor your business to the type of baking that most excites you. Like a restaurant, make sure you research all the licenses you’ll need and the codes you need to follow.

10. Personal Chef

There are a lot of different ways to approach this position – offering your services for one evening or working with one family weekly – and you can entirely base it on your preferences as a chef and business owner. This allows you to get paid for being creative in the kitchen, but you don’t need to worry about the immense overhead and commitment to running a restaurant.

Personal Chef

Good Business Ideas For Stability

Starting a small business comes with no guarantees. There are a lot of risks involved, and that level of risk varies across industries. A good way to decrease the risk of starting a small business is by decreasing the startup costs. Start slow and build cautiously.

Here are some small business ideas if you want to keep things stable.

11. Online or In-Person Tutoring

There will never be a time when students no longer need help with schoolwork, so you don’t need to worry about a lack of demand. If you have a talent for a specific school subject, offer your services locally and online.

Both types have benefits. When you work locally, you can meet the students in person and get to know the school district. If you work online, you can expand your target market widely.

If you’re a great proofreader or editor, you can always coach students on how to improve their papers and writing in the future. Helping students can be a rewarding experience, and it does not require a start-up cost.

12. Translation Services

Again, there is no startup cost beyond your expertise. And no matter how good digital translation programs become, nothing can ever replace the importance of human translation.

You can either offer these services online by translating documents, or you could be an interpreter for people in person.

New & Innovative Ideas

Sure, opening up a coffee shop is great, but you want a fresh idea for your small business. Here are some small business ideas that break the mold.

13. Website Flipping

You’ve heard of flipping houses? Did you know that it’s something you can do with websites?

It’s exactly the same process, but it requires a completely different set of skills. You purchase a website, completely optimize and update its code, design, and functionality, and then sell it at a higher price to the highest bidder.

How crazy is that?

Website flipping

14. Social Media Consulting

This position is a bit different from a social media manager. Instead of offering continuous support for a specific number of hours per week to create and schedule their content, you can provide a la carte services.

For example, you can audit their Instagram usage, make specific recommendations for captions, consult on an ad campaign, or make a special video for their Reels. Instead of working with one or two companies consistently, you can offer these short-term services to a bunch of brands.

15. Digital Event Planning

Again, thanks to 2020, more events are being held virtually than ever. Just because they aren’t taking place in person doesn’t mean they don’t require a ton of planning! You can be hired to organize anything from a webinar to an online summit.

It requires a similar set of skills, such as organization and communication, but also requires a bit of technical knowledge as well.

Small Business Ideas for Writers

Do you have a talent for writing? Here are some small business ideas specifically tailored to someone with writing skills.

16. Self-Publishing

Very rarely can someone break into the publishing industry and make much money. Large publishing houses are looking for bestsellers from known authors. They rarely take a chance on someone unheard of, and if they do, their commission costs are steep. Why take a chance on a new author when you know anything with Stephen King on the cover will make a killing?

If you can find a way to market yourself, self-publishing your work can be a great way to get your writing in the hands of readers. Self-publishing companies like IngramSpark make this process as easy as possible.

Self Publishing

17. Freelance Writing

Practically every business needs writers. Whether you’re writing product descriptions for someone’s online retail store or ghostwriting a novel for someone else, you can help almost any type of business as a talented writer. It’s a tough industry to break into, but once you’ve added to your portfolio and start to get your name out there, you can charge the rates you deserve.

18. Proofreading and Editing

If there’s a successful writer, there’s a strict editor not far behind them. Proofreading and editing services can be just as broad as the writing they work on. You can simply catch small typos at the final level of copy editing, or you could work with an author to rework the structure of their whole novel. It all depends on your interests and skill set.

Small Business Jobs for Creatives

If you’re an artist or someone with a creative mind, here are some small businesses you can start that require those skills.

19. Etsy Shop

Do you have an artistic talent? Are you good at collecting vintage items? You might be able to get some traction as an Etsy shop.

However, being a talented artist isn’t enough to get you success on Etsy. You need to be a good photographer, copywriter, SEO specialist, marketer, and more if you want to make your online store work. Do a lot of research on Etsy’s best practices while you’re experimenting with your art style.

starting an etsy shop

20. Podcasting

If you’ve got audio editing skills and a lot to say, try starting a podcast! You can make money with advertising spots or affiliate marketing when you post the podcast to streaming services like Spotify.

21. Patreon Creator

Sites like Patreon allow you to charge subscribers at different tiers for your content. For a monthly subscription, your followers get to support you and get access to your creative process, behind the scenes, or just more art than you post on your social channels.

22. Video Editor

Even if you don’t have cinematography skills of your own, lots of companies need a talented video editor to bring everything from advertisements to training videos to life.

You can take on really creative jobs. Or you could work on more traditional projects, such as cutting together a two-camera interview. There’s a high demand for talented video editors as the popularity of video content increases on social media.

The Best Small Business Ideas Are Always Changing

The best businesses to start in 2023 aren’t the same that will be the best in 2024. If you want to launch a successful small business, you need to do your research.

See where there is a gap in your local, national, or international market and see how you can fill that void. Small businesses thrive when they bring something new to the table.

What is Entrepreneurship

If your product or service offers a solution to a problem, you’ll be able to build a business with potential for growth.

When you start a small business or side hustle, it can feel overwhelming. If you have a bunch of small business ideas but don’t know how to get started, join WBD!

We have the tools you need to get started as a business owner and set your business apart. Check out our membership levels, download the app, and take the next step in building your successful business journey today.

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Author, Artist, Photographer.

Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.

She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.

She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.