Most articles you read about business ideas have been written by freelance writers who have no business experience and have no idea of what they are talking about.
This list of business ideas is based upon my vast business experience. My name is Bob Adams. I have started dozens of businesses and made millions of dollars. I have run not just lots of businesses, but also many types of businesses, including a number of very small businesses that I started before going to business school.
I learned what works in business. I learned what are good business ideas and what are not. I learned that choosing a good business idea is critical to succeeding in business. It could be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Unfortunately, many people go about choosing a business idea the wrong way.
They more or less stumble upon it. Maybe they overhead a hot tip about a particular business or they happened to read about it and it sounded like fun.
This casual approach to finding your business idea is risky. Maybe you end up with a good idea. I see a lot of people who use this approach ending up wasting a lot of time and money on a bad business idea. You need to be systematic and you need to be thorough. You need to put together a solid list of proven and practical business ideas.
Then you need to carefully evaluate which ones would be most likely to work for you. If you want to learn more about how to carefully choose your business idea, check out my course, How to Find a Great Business Idea. In this course, you will learn my 6-step approach for finding the perfect idea for you.
You will also get worksheets to help you evaluate ideas. While this is a long list of ideas-I have carefully edited it for you. If you really want to be your own boss, I am sure you will find an idea that you really like on this extensive list. To learn more about turning your idea into a business, explore my courses at BusinessTown.
These courses will teach you everything including how to get started, how to get customers and how to write your business plan. Why not have a business you really love? Start part time and build this business carefully! Only buy items you are confident that you can sell relatively quickly for a good mark-up, and avoid getting stuck with slow moving inventory. To really succeed, develop deep expertise in a specialty and build a loyal customer base.
So, keep your overhead manageable and watch for changing trends. Usually the client will provide the booze and the glasses, you might bring a few mixing tools or even a service cart if you want to get fancy. Demand for this service will run strongest on the weekends, making it a great part time gig! You can lease the boat, market the tours and build a business without the overhead.
To make it more fun, you can buy a few small drive-it-yourself speed boats and lead your customers around the local harbor. What could be more fun than that! People will pay good money for a really awesome cake for special occasions. Get some great cake pictures up on your website, promote your skills to event planners and build your clientele!
My kids did an upscale sneaker and related goods boutique. This can be a lot of fun but it may be harder than you think to make money. First make absolutely sure your location has great foot traffic—stand there and count heads before you sign a lease! Yes, you can start your own clothing line with just a few items, be successful and have a lot of fun along the way! Look at Ralph Lauren who started by selling a couple neck ties and then built that into a multi-billion-dollar empire.
Contract out the manufacturing which is the really hard part of the work. Then focus on developing eye-stopping designs and talking it up with potential re-sellers, or sell the items yourself online!
Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I loved to collect stamps and coins when I was a kid. Today some coin and stamp dealers still have retail locations but many others work primarily online.
This is a great business to start part-time and then consider going full-time later on. Or is it just a hobby with the potential for making a lot of money? American President Franklin D Roosevelt would spend many enjoyable hours alone with his stamp collection. Yes, you can compete with the Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts of the world! However, these chains have raised the bar, so your coffee or tea must be not just good, but awesome!
Your ambiance better be good too. Your location needs to be good as well. Plus, you need to be distinctive. One way to stand out is to compliment your world class beverages with some fabulous foods. I met Wally Amos who made a blockbuster success out of famous Amos cookies, which he launched after a career as a Hollywood talent agent. Wally eventually lost control of his company to outside investors.
However, he came back again with still another cookie line. A few years ago, I overheard a conversation in a gym about a fellow who was planning on starting an Irish pub, of which there are close to million well almost a million in Boston, but then changed his mind and opened a pub focusing on craft beers.
It was wildly successful! In addition to being a unique idea at the time, he also chose an excellent location and developed a solid food menu. Unless your overhead is extremely low, you are probably going to need to serve food to make a go of this business, so yes you can be extremely successful—but it is no small undertaking.
You could run this as a seasonal camp during the summer. I suggest doing surveys to find out what age groups of kids and what specific art activities have the most appeal. You can cash in on that feeling and make others happy. But if you are specializing in cupcakes, people expect them to be excellent! And if you want to be remembered, they should be world class awesome! Gardening is big and growing.
And it is a business that is less likely to move totally online than many other businesses. You could start out with a supply center, expanding over time to add some plants to sell, and then, eventually vertically integrate with your own plant nursery. You could also expand into providing onsite services. Of course, it would! You could have a lot of satisfaction putting together distinctive gift baskets that will delight your customers and bring in sales!
But if you have some talent at this challenging game, you can charge some good money and bring your gift to others. Golf is an excellent lifetime sport and people are willing to pay to try to master it! One of my friends developed a great retail business with several small gift locations inside of shopping malls. She taught herself to make mouth-watering candy by practicing up in her kitchen.
Most of her candy she made herself, but she did compliment her offerings with a few products she bought wholesale. This is a good vacation area business, but it could also be a good gift for special occasions.
Nail down all of the licensing and safety requirements, and this could be fun business that quickly builds by word-of-mouth. Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. So, you start out with some stunning jewelry designs but how do you turn it into a business? Another woman I know built her business into a much larger enterprise…all built around a strong unifying theme.
The closest I came to knitting was repairing rips in the sails on my boat, but there a are a lot of people who want to knit and crochet—and you can show them how!
You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult ed program to get going. There are lots of graphic designers out there but not so many people specializing in logos. Yet in the age of the Internet, a good-looking logo is more important than ever! You can help them create a great logo—one that can help define their business and bring them customers!
Everyone wants to feel special now and then. If you can create the right setting, you could make your customers feel great and be happy to pay top dollar for a sophisticated beverage!
If you get all the details right, this could be a really fun and highly profitable endeavor. Having a well-designed course is nice but what really matters here is the location.
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