Small Business Ideas for Budding Entrepreneurs

FreshBooks cloud accounting app

Are you looking for small business ideas to turn into reality this year? If so, read on, as you will discover some of the best ideas and opportunities available today.

business ideas

Is the economy recovering? Well, some of us did see the light at the end of the tunnel, but reaching the end is still a long way to go.

With the still-pretty-much-bleak global economy outlook, along with the highly possible increase in downsizing trends, more and more people are made redundant, people are put their back against the wall to start making a decision – or else…

The next logical step for those people are: looking for another job and starting a business. Many more are spending money to earn an online MBA with hopes of striking it big with a management position.

The former is more desirable for those who place income security high in their list, but the latter is more desirable for those who are being fed up with all the corporate politics and seemingly unfair downsizing.

Whatever step you want to choose, I recommend you to consider the latter for two reasons:

  • Throughout the history of small business, being downsized is one of the most successful life changing experience in born new, thriving, entrepreneurs.
  • Getting back into the workforce with the standard you had before is not as easy as you think – businesses cut costs, and one of the area that are being heavily cut is payroll – bottom line, businesses want more for less these days.

With that being said, this year is probably the best time to start a business. Businesses have proven once again that they can survive under heavy pressure and it has been proven time and time again that some of the most successful businesses were launched during the recession.

So, are you ready to start a business?

small business ideas

photo credit: Aaronth via photopin cc

Top small business ideas

Budding entrepreneurs – to give you some ideas on what business to start this year, here are some small business ideas for you to consider:

Mobile app business

Mobile technologies and gadgets have taken the world by storm – and you ain’t seen nothing yet. 1.2 billion people worldwide were using mobile apps, downloading an estimated 56-82 billion of apps in 2013 (source.) With “only” 800,000 mobile apps to choose from, the market is still very much wide open. This year is the best time to jump into the mobile app business bandwagon.

Whether you develop apps yourself or hire an app developer to do it for you, your key to success is in your ability to give what people want. When you are able to do that, making millions of dollar through app sales – even as an independent business owner – is a not-too-distant future for you.

Do-It-Yourself business

Most of the case, DIY reduce costs. If you can provide products and services that allow people to DIY something, such as creating your own home cleaning products, you are on a roll. Let’s take DIY green energy idea, for example. Offering people a chance to build their own green energy generator with your how-to-guides, materials and/or accessories can be a very lucrative – and sustainable – business idea.

Energy saving business

This idea is definitely hot in the past few years, and this year the emphasis on energy cost-cutting regimes will push any energy saving businesses even further. Producing or distributing LED lightings will be the right business this year.

green business

Passionate about the environment? Start a green business! Image by tracitodd / Flickr

Green consultancy

As more and more businesses are going green today, starting up a business helping other businesses to go green – e.g. implementing green practices, reducing inefficiency in energy consumption, etc. – is not only a smart business move, but also a socially-responsible one.

Online business / make money online

Ah, my favourite small business idea. I heard and read too many real life success stories of people who have gone from zero to hero making money online.

The wonder of the Internet is this: For as low as $50 (a domain name + affordable web hosting fee) or even for free, you can start a lucrative online business and shoot for a chance to create a six figure business before this year ends. Furthermore, as cloud computing will become mainstream (or it’s already mainstream?) and plenty of web tools to help you build a web business easily, online revenues are more accessible to non-tech webpreneurs. A lot of the same risks that brick and mortar businesses face exists for web-based businesses as well.

Of course, you need to have this one key factor: Your competitiveness in a low-cost, high-competition market.


There is a better solution in your cost cutting campaign – outsourcing. Nothing new here, but outsourcing is indeed increased in demand and importance. As businesses cut costs, outsourcing service providers are well-sought after.

Outsourcing enables your company to be more nimble and resposive to changes. The key in outsourcing is finding the right companies to outsource to.

The business idea: outsourcing company that manage service buyers needs. Doing other people’s business operations (or errands, if you will) can be astonishingly profitable.

A tip: Instead of going solo, hire a team to do tasks – Your main job: Cash in the opportunity, as the opportunity is (still) wide open to explore.

Everything organic

Organic clothing, organic food, and others are the type of products that continually grow in demand. Offering organic version of something niche – e.g. organic chewable pet toys – can offer you a great chance of success.

Internet-related services

Thousands of sites are established every day on the Net – most of those site needs domain names and web hosting services – Why don’t you start one? Starting up a web hosting company won’t take more than $500 (if you are on a reseller plan of a web hosting provider) but can make you $2000 per month – Yes, Internet-related businesses are HUGE in potential. Some other ideas: starting up a web design/development business, an SEO/link building services, an online community development business, a social media marketing business, etc. can help site owners to do well online.

Green construction

Green homes and buildings are in demand and start gaining momentum in construction business trends – why? Because they use less resources, create less waste and promote healthy living for those who live inside.

baby boomer

photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via photopin cc

Baby boomer-related business

The highlight of the year: Baby boomers are retiring from the workforce, creating a mega-problem to the economy – thanks to the flawed MediCare, Social Security and retirement funds. Creating a business that act as a safety-net for those baby boomers will boom your business sky-high. One example of such business is entrepreneurship training business for baby boomers.

Cheap and/or recycled product business

“Turning trash into cash” type of business is very, very lucrative this year. With the increase in material and production costs, making use of ‘useless’ materials and create something out of them will proved to be a thriving business. One example: Creating Converse-like canvass shoes out of wastes – the scrapbooking style.

Home based business

The best cost-cutting innovation of all – work from your home! With the ever-presence of the Internet, working at home

Charity and philantropy

Giving as a business? Never – However, you can be a business that match recipients and givers, such as the web-based that match small business borrowers with lenders.

Here’s a business idea for you: White label fundraising. There are times when you are really want to make a difference by running your own charity, but don’t know how. Well, there are white label fundraising companies that, in essence, partner with non-profit organisations and charities to provide a chance for someone to raise funds for his/her favourite charities or non-profits without all the hassle of resource management and reporting. Even better, he/she will receive good income to cover the fundraising activities by receiving a percentage of the raised funds.

A win-win solution for all and being the one who meet the organisations with independent fundraisers makes a good business idea.

mobile working

photo credit: Ed Yourdon

Mobile business

No longer a trend for road warriors out there, but a growing trend for new entrepreneurs who envision themselves as location independent business owners. Again, the Internet plays a major role in mobile business, as well as the more powerful and cutting-edge mobile technologies and gadgets. Your iPhone and MacBook Air will enable you to run your business wherever you are.

Bootstrapping and cost-cutting consultancy business

As every business owner aim to be leaner and more responsive, bootstrapping and cost-cutting consultants will have their moments this year – roles, such as energy consultants, Internet startup consultants, and similar others will enjoy substantial growth this year.


Freemium is a business model (usually online business) that allows free but limited access to a product or service, in which a premium is charged if you want a full-featured access. Twitter will do it, Flickr has done it, and you should join the bandwagon. The premise: free is what attract people, and getting 1% of those people to pay for the premium should boom your business – think about it: you can create revenue offering something for free, with no obligation or any hidden policies.

Personalised products and/or services

People enjoy personalised products and/or services that are made specifically to their specifications. Indeed, people no longer really want to wear a Mark Ecko t-shirt – you want “YOUR” t-shirt printed with YOUR choice of image; you don’t want a Hallmark greeting card – you want “YOUR” greeting card made especially for you.

With growing interest in everything custom and personalised, starting a business offering design-your-own, make-your-own or choose-your-own products and/or services is a smart move.

social media marketing

photo credit: The Daring Librarian via photopin cc

Social media consultant/promoter/marketer

Having an established business website for your small business is no longer effective – you need to go social in your effort to promote your business. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) not all small business owner are “social-media-literate” – this is clearly a gap in the market.

Despite the fact that social media campaign’s ROI is still trivial to figure out, social media continues to be important vehicles for enhancing business branding, engaging prospects/customers and increasing business profits. That being said, businesses need someone who is social media savvy.

Starting a social media consulting business helping small business owners to promote their products and services to Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms via various services, such as social media channels management, online community management and other social media services can be very profitable.

cloud business/cloud working services

“The cloud” or “cloud computing” is probably only a buzz word or marketing gimmick to many, but the benefits are there: Migrating part or all of your business process to the cloud can help you cut costs and increase productivity. Starting a business offering cloud services is a great opportunity to reach huge, untapped market of business owners.

Not stopping there, as companies are (finallly) acknowledging the benefits of remote working, ranging from reducing office expenses to enhancing employee morale, cloud workers (who work remotely by utilising cloud services) – and any other variations – they need help to support them; establishing cloud working services business and offering various services to cloud workers – including services to plug their business/work to the cloud – proves to be a lucrative business.

Small business with a cause

“Do business with us and we will plant a tree on your behalf” is a great small business idea. People basically love to give to others, in many different ways. Some don’t really want to help others directly; they are more interested in getting what they want while doing something worthwhile in the process. Offering your products and services with an embedded social cause(s) can offer you a win-win situation: Happy customers, happy charities and happy business.


photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via photopin cc

Crowdsourcing/crowdfunding services

Your business is only as good as what your target market think of you. That’s why crowdsourcing makes sense. Offering an opportunity for the crowd (passer-bys website visitors, etc.) to decide what’s best for you can eliminate your need for market research. This makes a powerful business idea: Offering a service to introduce businesses/projects with the crowd.

Starting a crowdfunding/crowdsourcing business to faciliate project owners to get things done/funded by allowing people to take part by offering their money and/or talent will present you with great chances of success. Kickstarter is an example of crowdsourcing service – it is a crowdfunding platform allowing people to fund budding entrepreneurs’ projects and helping them to turn their ideas into reality.

Services to Home-based business

Home based business is good, but offering services to those who work at home is terrific. Some small business ideas: An online community for home-based business owners, delivery services for home-based businesses, home office maintenance services, etc.

Natural disaster recovery business

There are plenty of floods and earthquakes, including wildfire and other force majeure issues throughout the year. The aftermath is devastating for those impacted by the disasters, and helps are much needed in those events. Offering a natural disaster recovery services to the public is not only a noble deed, but also a lucrative one, due to the possible partnership with the Government; the Gov’t will seek for recovery partners and you’d better be there to answer the call! A quick-construction business, amenities supply business, etc. can be both helpful and profitable.

Business continuity services

Business continuity is a big issue in the past few years – with all the natural disasters (earthquakes, snow storms, etc.) and people movements (such as Occupy Wall Street) – businesses need to do strategic planning in ensuring their business continuity – or seek help from others to help them in their disaster planning, to the least. Establishing a business that take care of the whole process for companies is highly lucrative.

ebay offline store

photo credit: ebayink

Real-time online-off line combo business

Child safety plastic tags that are connected to the GPS and online system to avoid child abduction and interactive restaurant menu with touchscreen are a couple of examples of online-off line combo products/services. Starting a business offering products and services that integrate both worlds flawlessly is well sought after.

Reputation management

With the ever-available Internet, managing your reputation – especially online – is challenging. A “not-so-professional” photo tagged on Facebook can ruin your business reputation. Getting tagged as a scammer by unhappy customers or “creative” competitors and be found online via search engines can ruin your business. Offering reputation management service can give you unlimited stream of customers.

Business technology Intermediaries

Technology advances rapidly, and keeping up with such advances troubles businesses. Cloud computing is said to be beneficial for businesses; but integrating cloud computing solutions to existing IT infrastructure without proper help from a cloud consultant to overseer the integration process, things could backfire.


For websites, content is always important. But with the latest development in search engine arenas, such as Google Panda update that slams both low-quality sites and big user-contributed sites (i.e.,) quality content is even more important today. There’s no sign of slowing down; demand for quality content will grow even more significantly this year – a big opportunity for both talented freelance copywriters and copywriting companies to grab.

turn small business ideas into reality

photo credit: Pete foley via photopin cc

Why don’t you discover your own small business ideas?

One entrepreneur told me that getting funded by a popular venture capitalist (like Guy Kawasaki, for example) it the key to startup success. Another entrepreneur told me that while starting a business based on your interest could be lame and don’t actually guarantee better success rate, it can help you fuel your much-needed drive to navigate your business through difficult times, especially during the startup phase.

Inspired by those two entrepreneurs’ opinion, I conclude that there are two small business ideas you can start. Of course, there’s a note to that: These 2 ideas are the “fundamentals.” There are literally hundreds “sub-ideas” that can be derived from those 2 – with a little imagination, you can get a mountain of ideas.

Intrigued enough? Let’s get down to business – here are just 2 ideas you need to focus on in starting a profitable business – anytime:

1. Start a business that solves problem

Cliche, but the one and only truth often underestimated by budding entrepreneurs. Want a successful business? Just start a business that solves problem. If you don’t particularly solve problems (e.g. copy what others do and adapt the “formula” for a specific niche,) success is possible, but it might need more resources to achieve.

For instance, just forget it if you want to be the next Facebook. Unless you are very, very blessed, chances are, it would be difficult to build the next Facebook for many reasons. However, you could possibly build the next Facebook if you can fix what’s broken with Facebook and you get funding from well-known VCs (venture capitalists). Why? You will need the media to buzz your startup and such VCs can leverage your effort. You also need support from a very strong team to enable you to challenge the “status quo.”

Perhaps a better chance for the rest of us to be successful is to solve problems – no matter how little they are – by developing a product or service that focus on them, instead of trying to copy-and-paste your competitors and eventually end up in price wars. It’s pretty straightforward, really.

For instance, you know how things can be very frustrating when you are get poor products and services from big brands. Yelp! review or RipOffReport can get you heard, but that doesn’t mean you will get your complaint resolved. The better way? solves the problems by connecting you directly with company decision makers to get your voice heard and complaints resolved faster, better.

Need a less-techie example? Okay – let’s try eateries… want to start a restaurant (or a food truck, if you will) that actually solves problems? Check this out: French restaurant Mon Histoire dans l’assiette offers cuisines that are free of 11 of the most common allergens, giving peace of mind for customers sensitive to allergens.

wedding planning business

photo credit: Edgar Barany

2. Start an interest-driven small business

Some entrepreneurs suggest that building a business based on your interest and hobby is probably your biggest mistake in entrepreneurship. One of the main reasons is that when your hobby is turned into a business, it’s no longer fun and will soon lose your appeal. Stats also prove that hobby-based business don’t have better success rate than the rest.

However, I agree to small business owners who testify that running a business built upon their interests and hobbies means that when things are not looking so good their passion helps them survive, even thrive.

This is particularly true in my case; I enjoy building and running websites, and things are not always a smooth-sailing. There are ups and downs, and while there are times that things are frustrating to me, my passion for everything web business has helped me survive and thrive. If I’m on online business just for the money and potential, I don’t think I’ll have the drive to hustle.

Are you passionate about writing? Get started with being a freelance writer, and start building credibility. When the time comes, you can “upgrade” your career from a freelancer to a small business owner by establishing a business around your writing passion. For example, you can start a content writing business, allowing businesses to “buy” your service and/or content.

Here’s another example… are you enjoy starting up a web business but lousy at growing them? Then start a business offering website building service, helping your clients to get fully operational web business without even lifting a finger – and offering outstanding support to them.

One more example not related to tech and the web: How about starting an all-in-one pet shop with multiple streams of income potential? While selling pet products have its ups and downs – just like any other retail shops – you can add pet training, sitting and grooming services to your lineup. Knows how to persuade a cat to behave better? You might want to add “cat whisperer” service to your lineup.


As you can see, the possibilities are limitless! And those examples mentioned are derived from just 2 inspiring ideas. Chances are, you don’t need 200 small business ideas to get you inspired; you only need t-w-o.

I can see a light bulb pops up above your head… well, don’t switch it off by doing something else! Start writing on your notes on the ideas you just discovered – now. Then start looking for more information on what’s required to make your particular idea into a reality.

I can also see some of you are not sure about the ideas I present. Indeed, too simple ideas are often appear stupid. You might want to find more “acceptable” ideas from other sites… no worries, mate! Any business ideas from any reputable business websites are great, definitely. What’s important is this: Be sure that you take action on the ideas you are interested in. No action, no reaction. That’s the law of physics that also applies in business.

So, what do you think – any ideas popping out? If so, please share yours!

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  • I enjoy reading this post; it has many ideas in starting up a small business. It’s like I totally have a guideline in what I am supposed to do in the near future. GREAT JOB! It is a practical information.

  • Devinder Maheshwari

    Brilliant post.

  • Hi,

    Yeah – I’ve tried to start a business based on potential, but I ended up losing interest quickly…

  • Charleen,

    Not only years, but a lot of money to do so! You are right – things move so fast on the web; it’s better to establish something you can call “my own” and go niche all the way, rather than competing head-to-head with the giants.

  • Pretty neat ideas, thanks :)

  • Ksenia

    Great top! Specially liked the “small business with a cause” as other business ideas appear in different tops on regular basis, but this one is really unique. I would also add another interesting business opportunity that is a hot trend for the last year – Instagram-based business. Seems that Instagram craze is not going to calm down soon, so this would be a very promising business.

  • Tom,

    Thanks for your recommendation. It’s a good tool…

  • Tom

    If I could add to your list. I have started a home based marketing company for small businesses. I got started by signing up for and using an online tool – basically it is an online software that enables you to do text message marketing. I use this service and go out and basically re-sell this service to my customers such as local restaurants, bars, Realtor etc. I offer to run their mobile marketing and help drive customers to their door. Right now I have about 7 monthly customers all paying around $100 – $150 per month and I plan to keep adding more. It was very easy to start and super fun to do!


    Thanks you ivan, your info is very smart…the business should be done with patience, hard work and responsibility. if it can do your business can benefit and profit.

  • Shamim

    Hi, I am thinking of starting a mobile phone recycling business, however, I am not quite sure of the business process. For example, once I have collected say… a dozen old mobile phones, what do I do with them, and how will my business benefit and profit from it?

  • Kelsey,

    Please elaborate about self storage properties as a small business idea?

  • Great ideas. It’s important to be creative in this economy. Self storage properties might be a good fit as well.

  • Oben,

    ‘glad you like our small business ideas! By the way, here’s an updated list for 2012:


  • Marshall,

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Hey Ivan,
    Love your post.
    I still remember that how those websites use to lure people and pay hardly a cent per each click ;) But thankfully people are now aware about them and can be a little aware about what to choose for making money from home :)
    I’m a student and doing it as part time for about 2 years and I believe that there are a lot of scope in technical and writing areas and if someone understands dropshipping well, it can get some quick money.
    Providing services of internet consultant and running domain and hosting reseller service and looking for some other areas of work :)
    Got to follow this article as I’m serious :)


  • Good point on #10 – Copywriting is really the marketing of the future. Small businesses seem to be understanding that they can shift their marketing budgets away from old methods like the yellow pages. But, while adwords can do the job, the consistency of having a firm or actual copywriter on staff is going to be a big change for them.

  • Rafava – cheers and good luck with your entrepreneurial journey!

  • Endale,

    There are plenty of businesses can be done in any part of the world. As I’m not familiar with business activities in Ethiopia, I can’t possibly suggest you any specific ideas other than what I mentioned in the post.

    But regardless of where you and I live, you can start a successful business if your startup solve problems in your neighbourhood (I got this from Robert Kiyosaki) – so, if you see something in where you live and think you can make it better, that’s a good starting point :)

  • Endale takle

    Hei noobpreneur
    thanx for ur suport but i live in ethiopia so what do u think i have to do to get opportunities of these kinds can u write me some of them thanx again and here is my email
    endutekle at

  • Rafava

    Thank you very much for your help Ivan. Appreciate it.

  • Gary,

    I am considering your reseller opportunities – it’s a good way to jump into the SEO bandwagon :) Will email you soon…

    Anyway, many thanks for adding my blog to your personal round up!

  • Rafava,

    In my opinion, tools are generally helpful, but only use it to make things easier for you; automation is good, but don’t over do it. I recommend you to go strictly white hat route, as your market is there for a long term (with Google is so strict with all the penalties and bans, you can’t just take things for granted…)

    Partnering with companies like Endless Rise can be a better route to go – reselling service means you focus on marketing, instead of worrying about what’s right or wrong in SEO :)

    Social media management is a rising trend – you will face stiff competition, but as long as you avoid price wars and opt for quality and value, you have a bigger chance for success.

    SEO pricing, again, varies greatly. A company I know offer $700/month for online reputation management (SEO and SEM). I once hired a manual directory submission service, submitting to 1000 directories for $80 or so.

    I hope this helps.

  • Rafava

    Yes, I’m very thankful for your answer. I will have a LLC and start eventually hiring people.
    I will offer social media management and SEO together. I was looking into endless rise and SEnukeX, any thoughts about their products?
    What is the average price for delivering SEO?
    Thanks again.

  • Gary Andrew

    Hi Ivan,

    Yeah.. SEO increases its trend dramatically in year 2011 and still growing.. It’s obvious that not all of us can have their own SEO company that fast, right? So, big companies like us thought that we should be giving an opportunity to these entrepreneurs who want to have a recession proof online business.

    Currently, we provide SEO for our resellers. SEO Resellers could be an SEO company, SEO Expert, Guru, Internet Marketer, and Individuals who are tired of their day job and just want to stay home and earn money. So, even if you are not an “expert” in internet marketing or SEO, you can be part of this.

    BTW, I’ve added your blog on my personal round up.. Thanks!

  • Rafava,

    That depends on your target market, really – just like in article writing and other service-based business model; The prices can be varies greatly. A social bookmarking service charge $10 to submit to 100 social bookmarking sites. A social media manager charge top dollar per hour to manage your popular fan page – different projects will have different way to charge clients.

    I have hired someone under $50 to manage my social media work for a week. In other instance, I have hired someone for just $5 for a small social bookmarking task. Those are just a couple of example on how wide the range of prices charged by a social media specialist.

    Here’s one thing to consider: Are you going to be offering social media services as freelancers or as a business managing social media projects, employing staffs and/or outsourcing task? Your answer will determine how much you can charge (obvivously, as an LLC, you could charge more as you are somehow viewed as a more reputable service provider than freelancers.)

    I hope this helps…

  • Drew,

    Indeed – there’s no fast-track whatsoever. Hard work and perseverance are required to build a successful business.

  • Hi S.A. Williams,

    That’s great – please let me know when you have published yours.

  • Nice impressive list. I can see you put a lot of work into it. I think I will expand on a few points you made here in my own blog. Keep up the fantastic work.

  • I agree with 3. Remote/cloud working services and 9. Business technology Intermediaries that is what my company is doing , even the rest of your list is great.

    The only edit you need to put is it still takes hard work to make any 1 of them to work, there is no quick fix to make a business.

  • Rafava


    Great ideas. But I have one question, how do one charge as a social media specialist.
    Ex.: For setting up a firm account? a fixed price.
    And what about maintaning the page? hourly, monthly?

    Thank you

  • Scott,

    How about adding more emergency-related auto services, such as replacing flat tires… or selling complementary products, anything DIY in emergencies…

  • Scott Johnson

    Hello, I have a small emergency auto lock-out, battery jump, and emergency fuel business. I need to add onto this business to bring in more income with little overhead. Any suggestions that would pair nicely to this kind of service ? Thanks in advance for any comments. Scott

  • Gary,

    That’s a great idea. Despite the competition, as long as the SEO services we are partnering with can offer true SEO solutions (e.g. not using black hat or grey hat techniques) I’m sure reselling SEO services can be very lucrative. And yes, everything white label sounds good to me :)

  • How about being an SEO Reseller?

    Basically, you, as a reseller (hoping you would be) will be communicating with your prospect clients. These clients are business owners with or without website that doesn’t have much traffic, doesn’t have good rankings on their keywords, and most of all they are not that happy with their revenue.

    Your role would be, you will look for these business owners and offer them SEO services. Whether it’s through email, forum, blogs, Skype calls, meeting, or whatever tactics you have. You can work online. You can work at anytime you want. You will be your own BOSS (technically), for we, EndlessRise Inc. will be your back-end that will provide you the services to your clients.

    Moreover, you can use your own Name/Company Name to brand your services. This means, we will do the job and we will use your Brand instead of our company name. Its like running an SEO Company of your own. This is what White Label SEO is all about. Sounds good?

    Please let me know if you still have any questions.. You can reach me at

  • Business Strategy,

    Agreed. I learn almost everything from the Internet :)

  • The internet is the best teacher in giving you online business ideas, you can ask in the forums and know all you need in the type of online business you want to try.

  • Hi Jith!

    The best way for you, in my opinion, is to check out what kind of online business ideas and opportunities that are lucrative and requiring minimal startup capital. You can start from webmaster and Internet marketing forums, such as and, and start reading threads and asking questions.

    I hope this helps…

  • jith

    Hi Noobpreneur,

    You just told online business but how could i start a online business.. plzz help meout

  • Rob,

    Thanks for the great ideas, particularly the personal service business you mentioned. It’s a great niche that cater a growing baby boomer market!

  • Rob

    Those are great ideas! Very current and most have a tech slant. There is still room for the basic personal service business like a handyman who serves the growing seniors market or a dog walking service that serves the growing pet industry.

    Just my two cents for those that might not be familiar with the “new economy”

    Best Regards

  • Hi Kel,

    There are LOADS of business ideas that can help you make money. If you want to start small – even with nothing down, you might want to read this post I wrote in the past.

  • Kel

    Good tips on this site,Could you advise on what kind of projects or business type I can start with minimal income of between £100 and £200.
    You have my email,any help will be appreciated.

  • Hi Prasad,

    If you want “trusted” online business, then you should STAY AWAY from many so-called opportunities offering you “thousand of dollars of income easily with no work” or such. Online business needs a lot of work, and there’s no shortcut to success (be aware – indeed, there are “easy money” opportunities available, but those will usually last for a moment.)

    I hope this helps…


  • Prasad

    Could you please tell me how can i start for “make money online”. what are the trusted online business too?
    Thank you very much for your suggestions.

  • Amandah,

    ‘Care to share what you have in mind?

  • As a freelance writer and ghost writer, I’m thrilled businesses need quality content. I’m here to help!

    BTW: I want to begin creating my own products too. I have a lot of ideas; however, I need to meet the ‘right’ people to help me with some of them.

  • Cheers, Anne!

  • Anne

    A lot of thinking has gone into that. How very generous of you to share your ideas.

  • Thanks for your kind words, Patricia!

  • Well done and thoughtful list. Lots of great ideas!

  • Riding in the current of the Green Movement is a sure way to go, people’s awareness with the global warming issue gives a lot of opportunity for alternative, organic and eco-friendly products and it will continue to flourish.

  • Thanks for these suggestions! Technology has greatly changed small business opportunities and these are great ideas.

  • Jon,

    Glad you enjoy our tips… Indeed, social entrepreneurship is on the rise today due to the rising demands to support causes – all thanks to the social media.

    Thanks for dropping by :)

  • Jon serrano

    I am a real estate broker here in the philippines. The 5th small business idea for 2011 gave me a very good idea not only for my personal satisfaction but also a contribution to social cause. why not get my services like for example a client wants to buy a property or wants to sell his property. Once this transacztion is consumated there will be a corresponding commission as payment for my services. Part of this commission will be then used to help charitable institutions the client would prefer like hospitals, for education, building of new houses for the poor, feeding programs, environment related foundations etc. It is about time that we share the blessings we get to others who are less fortunate in life. You are right, HAPPY CUSTOMERS, HAPPY CHARITIES, HAPPY BUSINESS and Everyody is happy. I hope those who are in the sales business would consider this very unselfish idea.

  • Bunmi

    Just a little contribution. With the recession, a lot of people are now imbibing the culture of reusing or restlying instead of discarding. Sewing and alteration business is proving very popular and profitable now, as people are mending clothes instead of throwing them away. People are also buying end of line clothes which are either too big or too small, but extremely cheap and now bringing to us for altering. So if you can sew (or learn), there are prospects in sewing business.

  • Lucas,

    Here’s an idea: How about starting a consultation blog from where you can share some tips and offer hourly-rate-based consultation via Skype or any other communication methods?

  • lucas

    They all sound like good ideas, but would you happen to have any ideas on get any of the business’s off and running. I can fix about anything, but knowing how to market that ability (no clue)

  • Darin,

    That’s great! I hope you are doing well with your endeavours :)

  • This is a great list. I’m particularly encouraged by the fact that I’m already involved in a couple of the models that you mention. Great minds think alike! Keep up the great writing.

  • John,

    Thanks all the same – cheers!

  • Those are some great business ideas! I have a good bit of experience with one of them myself! Thanks for sharing noobpreneur! We also give free webinars for those who want to know the ins and outs of social media! Thanks again for the great article. Have a great week!

    J. Souza

  • They are not tendencies – the are suggestions :)

    Thanks for your comment!

  • I am an online entrepreneur and for me it was interesting to know about the latest tendencies in the world of business. This article just tells about the best business ideas.

  • Erjon,

    That’s a good idea – something similar to small business local chambers. So, I think it’s like a consulting business?

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Erjon

    Thank you, for these ideas!

    I do have an Idea of one other business idea: there are many business that need councils about how to manage their own business. making standards procedures for them, including software, it might be a good idea….

    again thank you for the Ideas below…

  • Intersting list of ideas, as a civil engineering student i love the idea of Green consultancy.Look like the dream of owning a house can be achieved at a small budget using this idea. Thank you for the post.

  • This is a good blog to bookmark or print for reference. It is more rewarding to work for yourself than someone else. At least you know who is doing great work or screwing up:) You don’t waste a lot of time pointing fingers.

  • Robert

    Thank you for a great article and some great ideas. I think there is nothing more rewarding than owning your own business. You may work longer hours but it is satisfying to be your own boss and not have to ask permission to try something that you know will work. Being your own boss has it rewards.

  • Freelancing is always a good business idea – cubicles curb creativity and “prison” people from working while doing what they love :)

  • SBI

    Ivan, thanks for the very thorough round-up. I also like the opportunities open to those leaving their cubicles to become online freelancers, with Freelanceswitch and other outlets.

  • vishal kanase

    ya good idea………i like it.

  • Dave,

    Good outsourcing partner will always provide comprehensive reports. No report, no deal. Since most of the communication are done online (via email, Skype, etc.) reports are crucial in measuring your outsourcing ROI and ensuring the quality of your outsourcing partner.

    Where to find an outsourcing partner: Depending on your type of business, you can visit forums related to your niches looking for advices. It’s likely what you need is a VA (virtual assistant.) Just Google “virtual assistant” and you’ll be presented with plenty of options.

  • Dave Paulson

    How can I make sure my outsourced tasks are fully being completed? I was contemplating on getting a person aid my business but I am unsure where to find him/her.. do you have any tips?

  • Priyadarshi,

    I have no experience in this, but you might want to find carbon credit sellers on the Internet.

  • Priyadarshi

    Can you help me how to start a carbon credit consultancy.

  • Beth

    I couldn’t agree more. Forget the 9 to 5 of a regular job and join the ranks of the 16 hour days of the business owners. In the end, owning is sooo much better than renting!

  • That’s a great move, IMO – people need to get budgeting under control, and green construction allowing them to have a green home that conserve energy (thus cutting their energy bills.)

  • Ideas 2010

    I phased out my construction company about 3 years ago and started working onine, now I’m thinking about getting into green construction, people seem interested more and more.

    This is a great list.



  • Mila Odonell

    Many thanks for discussing such an informative article with all of us. I’ve bookmarked your blog will come back for a re-read again. Keep up the good work.

  • Unfortunately, not many would do that, especially in today’s economic situation – the only left is unsecured business loans and such… not a good option, I think :/

  • Great Article! I just wish more banks would start loaning for start up businesses as well as established small and medium size businesses.

  • Hi,

    As long as you offer something different, success will be yours :)

  • Ryan,

    Yes, I agree – Environment-related business (or green business) will continue to boom, as many people need better access to the bare necessities.

  • Jeff,

    Did you mean applying freemium strategy? free for regular content and pay for premium ones?

  • I have just started my home based business which provide seo services .i think this strategies are going to be useful for me.

  • A topic not mentioned, the worldwide water shortage issue is perhaps one of the most under publicized and important issues facing the world in the future (perhaps the new “Oil” problem). In developing countries and certain more mature countries there is a shortage of drinkable water because it is very expensive to clean water or desalinate it. While the desalination technology will continue to improve and costs will decrease, there are still restrictions to the efficiency of that process since the energy used, electricity, is limited. Solar on the other hand has a significant amount of potential. If you think about how inefficient we are at utilizing the suns energy (i.e. 1 hour of sunlight can power the entire world for 1 year), it is a very telling fact of the potential. The company or companies that are able to develop the solar technology to store energy and use it to clean water are likely the winners here.

  • Interesting list of ideas. I also believe that more and more content oriented sites, such as blogs, will use a subscription model to boost revenues.

  • Tyler,

    Great idea – yes – online medium is wide open for any business ideas you can think of (and yes – MLS needs more exposure, as US soccer has improved a lot and is deserved the exposure.)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Tyler

    Ones that I have thought of include: e-personal trainer (helping people pick the right exercise routine given their goals, history, and age) and financial counseling for couples, also online. I also think that we will see a major increase in non-english language sites and web services as people in developing countries continue to get internet. I also wonder why there is only one decent blog for American soccer fans online! A world of opportunity out there!

  • kenan tuncer

    l am looking for idea to invest in my city here is touristic place and there are good investment here espcially real estate

    l can help who wants to invest here..

  • rayoflight,

    Agreed – The key is to hire and employ people who are better than you, so that you can leverage their talent to grow your business.


  • rayoflight

    Here is what I am thinking in term of making money or start any kind of business.
    You don’t have to master in any kind og skills. As long as you know what to utilize resources around you and you have good anticipation. You can make money in any kind of business.

  • Shawn,

    Well, nothing is too late ;)

    About your question: “do you make money talking about what somebody decides to wake up and search about?” Partly, yes. Blogs are notoriously difficult to monetise, unless you can create great content days in and days out (which is, rather difficult to maintain.) There are methods, such as advertising, affiliate sales, etc. but advertising is one of the most common venue in making money online, including in blogs.

    Nevertheless, I don’t really focus on how much money I can make from – I do shuffle ads around, but I admit I still finding the right formula. For, my focus is content, content, content – Those, with quality, will lead to higher rank in Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others. Income will follow anyway…

    Thanks for your big question… And I do respect early morning surfer – You will get a lot of idea in the morning. Good luck with your make money online endeavours.

  • Shawn Olderwebsurfer

    Hi, I have been coming to the realization that I’am behind in the times. I have been stuck in construction jobs and only use the internet to search for employment or specific topics of interest. After reading through your blog which is also something that seems to be now clearing in my mind about what they truly are, and what I see them as is similar to “Seinfeld”. They can be about nothing or every great disaster coming or past…… My question is do you make money talking about what somebody decides to wake up and search about? My keywords brought me here and I see advertising all along the sidebars that I know others will venture into, is this how the money is earned and how does one start up freelance blogging/writing and get to the top of the search giants such as Google and Microsoft? Thank you very much from the early morning surfer!

  • Hi Elie,

    I’m not sure – $100 for off line business? Hmm… How about negotiating with local suppliers of unique ethnic items to send the items to back home with Net 30 term? Maybe if you want to do it locally: Set up office to connect local businesses to overseas buyers?

  • ELIE

    I think online business is the best way to go, it is one sector that won’t go away. I am currently visiting Nigeria from Charlott and thinking of starting something down here – for less than $100. Any thought?

  • Shallie,

    Thanks for your comment :)

    In fact, what else can we do to improve current economic climate, except being smarter, stronger, and wiser :) By doing so, you can infuse your optimism and positive outlook to help the people around you, like you’ve said…

    Good luck on influencing people to ‘capitalise’ this economic situation into a life-changing business ventures :)

  • Shallie Bey

    Noobpreneur, I couldn’t agree more with the direction of your post. Recession or depression brings difficult times to many. But it also opens the doors to opportunities at unprecedented levels.

    Many people function pretty much by habit during normal times. When our beliefs are shaken as they are in uncertain times, we begin to look for value for the money that we do spend. So our eyes, ears and minds pay attention to things that we would otherwise ignore. Because of this, the current economic climate allows us to touch people who would otherwise not consider our messages.

    If we can show value to them, by helping them solve their problems, there are wonderful opportunities available. I think that is the value you convey in your list. Essentially every one of your suggestions is about solving a problem of the times.

    Thanks for such great suggestions.

    Shallie Bey
    Smarter Small Business Blog

  • Thanks, Mian!

  • Mian

    good insight, noble of you to share.

  • Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for dropping by! :D

    It’s nice working with you, and hopefully there are more projects to come ;)


  • Geoffrey F. Moore

    My top #1 business idea is to work with Noob on my blog.

  • Cheers, Nigel.

  • Hi there,

    Collaborating with others that share the same niche as yours is always a great marketing concept. Your product receives targeted traffic and it does help you securing more sales (than putting the bag to display in a general fashion retail store)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Great List!

    Came across a great example on entrepreneur . com the other day where a women was creating a photographers bag, called the “shoot sac” She got camera store to let her do display for free as the fashionable bags were bringing in women in droves, A great marketing concept I thought.

  • Griffin

    I think #11 would be “The Shotgun.” It’s easy to earn a small amount of money per month with surveys and GPT sites, and when you add that to minor freelancing, you are quickly approaching FT income from PT work.

  • Excellent post, and I would say you’re right on the money.

    I don’t necessarily have a ‘top ten’ list to share, per say, though I did write an article not long ago about entrepreneurship in times of recession that follows a similar vein.

    I particularly like the recycled business pitch. The green movement is gaining enormous momentum, and if done right, entrepreneurs breaking into the eco-friendly market have a lot to gain right now.

  • David,

    It’s great for you to mention the case of Microsoft, Wal Mart and Burger King – they were recession buster, indeed :)

    Thanks for your insight and praise :)

  • I couldn’t agree more. Recession is the perfect opportunity to reposition your business and use creativity to redefine your strengths and identify a niche still unexploited. If you have doubts, just remember that some of the most successful companies in the world today such as Microsoft, WalMart and Burger King have been built during economic downturns, just to name a few. Great blog!