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10 Unique Small Business Ideas

Owning a small business is a dream for many people. It offers a way to escape the cooperate maze and allows you to make your own choices about your hours and workplace. However, starting a small business is a difficult endeavor without a good idea to start from. Here are 10 ideas to help you get your own small business up and running.

  1. Create and sell your own hand-made goods (scarves, hats, etc.).
  2. Sell your art. From books to screen-printed posters, there are Etsy shops full of quality art and people are buying it—especially if it has to do with pop culture.
  3. Invest in a local business. Make sure you are working with people you trust, but working with a local business is a way to get some help while starting out so you aren’t footing the whole bill.
  4. Refurbish antiques. If you’ve seen American Pickers, you know how valuable junk in someone’s garage can turn out to be—as long as you know your way around it.
  5. Drive for Uber. While it isn’t the same as owning your own business, you do work for yourself in a sense, and it’s a great temporary job if you’re working toward something else in the meantime.
  6. Learn a trade. Things such as good barbershops, mechanics and hair salons will always be in demand, and you can eventually own your own shop. Often it is cheaper, quicker and more hands-on to learn one of these trades than it would be to go back to school and get a degree.
  7. Invent something. With crowdsourcing such as Kickstarter, if you’ve got a good idea, there are people who are willing to buy it.
  8. Pet or babysit. This is especially good for students or people right out of college, and a good nanny gig can pay pretty well. As a bonus, you’ll usually get holidays off, since the family will be together then.
  9. Cleaning houses is also a great way to make some extra cash.
  10. Help other people do what they love. Maybe you can’t make scarves, or paint, or find antiques, but you know someone who can! Working with a small group of artists to create boutique items can be a great way to get inventory without putting in hours and hours of production time.


Lori Soard has worked online designing websites, writing, editing and promoting clients since 1997. Through Promo Warriors, she's consulted with over 100 clients to help them figure out what online presence works best for them. In addition to helping people learn how to start their own businesses, she writes feel-good books about the way love and the world should be.