Unique business ideas keep you awake at night? Imagine being your own boss and pursuing your passion. 

This article presents 40 distinct business ideas, offering you a range of options for starting your own venture in 2024. 

Whether for a career change or a side hustle, these niche ideas are here to inspire.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

Discover What Sets Apart Unique Business Ideas

Unique business ideas stand out through their creativity, innovation, and ability to solve market gaps. They're characterized by simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and scalability.

While there are no limits to the types of businesses you can start and build for yourself, there are a few consistent factors or elements to all successful businesses. These include:

  • A unique product or service: Think outside the box and come up with something that no one else is offering.
  • A clear demand in the market: Make sure that your business idea is something people want or need. There should be a strong customer base for your idea.
  • An untapped market: Avoid saturated markets and find an underserved niche with little to no competition that you can fill with your unique business idea.
  • Low barriers to entry: A good business idea should be relatively easy to start and maintain.
  • Unique features: Add features that make your product or service stand out from the competition.
  • A sustainable business model: Put together a sound business model or plan that shows how you'll make money. Ensure your idea is financially viable.
  • Innovative marketing strategies: Showcase your brand in the best light using the best marketing strategies. How you present your products or services will set your business apart from the competition.
  • Scalable: Think big and make sure that your business idea has potential for growth and scalability in the long run. For instance, you can expand your business online to start selling in different geographical locations.

When brainstorming unique business ideas, it’s important to focus on these areas mentioned above.

Unique Small Business Ideas for First-Time Entrepreneurs That Require Minimal Investment

Many of the successful business owners you see today started small with fewer resources and budgets. Early-stage investment has weakened further in Q3 of 2023 in North America.

early-stage investment for startups in north america

You can start certain businesses with minimal investment and resources and still turn them into profitable ventures. Here are a few cool business ideas to start:

1. Freelance Services

Freelancing has become a lucrative business idea as it requires minimal or no initial investment.

Whether you’re a writer, developer, interior designer, or digital marketing professional, it’s extremely easy to start offering your services online.

Here’s what you need to start a freelance business online:

  • A niche market
  • The right skills and experience in your field
  • Online portfolio to showcase your expertise
  • Tools and resources to deliver services
  • Good communication, networking, and project management skills
  • Existing clientele who can vouch for your services will be an advantage!

Freelancing is one unique business idea that gives you the flexibility to choose your own projects and work hours, and be your own boss!

You can sign up on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork or sell your services through your own website.

2. Pet Services

Since the demand for pet services is increasing, you can tap into this market and provide pet owners with a convenient way to take good care of their furry friends.

You can offer pet sitting, grooming, or walking services to pet owners in your area. All you need is a love and passion for pets, basic knowledge about pet care, and the right tools (like bags, leashes, etc.) to get started.

As a pet sitter, you can charge an average of $10-$25 per hour, $20-$30 per day, or $45-$75 for an overnight stay.

These rates will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your service location
  • The length of your stay
  • The frequency of your visits
  • The scope of work
  • Any special pet services needed such as obedience training or medical care
  • Your professional experience in pet sitting or pet training

You can also offer pet grooming services like hair cutting, brushing, bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing at extra cost.

Other popular pet services you may include are pet photography, spa services, and special treatments like flea baths. You’ll need to be trained in proper safety and sanitation procedures for each of the treatments you offer.

An average pet groomer makes $25/hour in the United States, which can amount to an average of $50K-$60K per year.

To offer pet services, you’ll also need to be a people person as pet owners rely heavily on their groomers for advice and feedback on their pet’s care.

3. Landscaping Business

The next one on our list of unique business ideas is a landscaping or lawn care business. It is a booming industry in the U.S. that totaled almost $130 billion in 2022.

If you want to work for yourself and enjoy gardening and being outdoors, starting a landscaping business can be a good idea for you.

You’ll need to:

  • Understand the basics of landscaping and lawn care.
  • Conduct market research.
  • Define your services – lawn mowing and maintenance, gardening, design, shrub pruning and removal, irrigation, etc.
  • Rent or buy your landscaping equipment, including trucks, trailers, lawn mowers, edgers, weed eaters, etc.

4. Home Cleaning Services

If you’re looking for an easy business to start that requires minimal investment, home cleaning is another great option. That’s because cleaning is one of the most tiring jobs and most working professionals don’t have time for doing it.

All you need is the right equipment like dust mops, vacuum cleaners, and other cleaning supplies to get started.

You can offer one-time deep cleans or regular cleaning services to busy homeowners or renters. 

Other home cleaning services include:

  • Kitchen cleaning
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Balcony cleaning
  • Daily house cleaning services
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Window cleaning
  • Sofa cleaning
  • Roof washing
  • Wall stains removal

You can charge an average of $90-$120 for cleaning areas under 1,000 square feet, depending on the type of cleaning service required and the service location.

For example, offering cleaning services in New York will give you the opportunity to earn more money than you’d make in Michigan.

Type of Cleaning ServiceAverage Cost
Hourly rate of 1 cleaner$20-$50
1-bedroom home cleaning$60–$100
2-bedroom home cleaning$100–$180
3-bedroom home cleaning$135–$210
1 bathroom cleaning$70-$170
Window cleaning$10-$15
Carpet cleaning$75-$200
Cabinets cleaning (bathroom/kitchen)$10-$50 per cabinet
Refrigerator cleaning$12-$50
Oven cleaning$15-$35
Daily house cleaning services$1200-$2500 per month
Weekly cleaning services$75-$90 per visit
Deep cleaning$200-$400
Move-out cleaning$200-$400
*Table data curated from rates charged by other cleaning businesses

This business idea allows you to start small and scale up your operations as demand increases. You can get more cleaning professionals on board when you get more cleaning contracts.

5. Online Coaching and Tutoring Services

With the world depending more on technology to provide education, online coaching and tutoring have become popular options in recent years.

All you need to get started with online tutoring is:

  • A good internet connection
  • Basic knowledge about your field of expertise
  • Some great communication skills
  • The right web conferencing software tools to communicate with your students and deliver your classes such as Zoom, Gmail, a webcam, a microphone, etc.

You can offer online classes, personalized one-on-one sessions, workshops, or seminars to students of different ages and backgrounds. And charge anywhere from $20-$50+ per hour depending on your experience and qualifications.

If you want to learn the basics of SEO, sign up for my SEO Quick Wins course.

6. Dropshipping Business

If you're new to entrepreneurship, starting a dropshipping business is a great option as it requires less investment and you can start quickly.

Dropshipping involves partnering with a manufacturer or distributor who ships products directly to customers on behalf of the seller. As the seller, you can keep profits after deducting all costs incurred in the transaction.

This business model is very attractive, especially for first-time entrepreneurs, due to its low overhead and operating costs. You don't need to purchase inventory or manage a warehouse.

The success of your dropshipping business depends on:

  • The products you select and decide to sell. Pick products with good market demand.
  • The suppliers you partner with. Work with manufacturers and suppliers that deliver good-quality products.
  • Product pricing. Keep profit margins in mind to ensure your business is profitable.
  • Marketing and sales strategies. Be creative with your approach to stand out from the competition.
  • Customer service. Provide exceptional customer service to encourage repeat purchases.

The Most Successful Business Ideas for 2024

2024 is sure to bring many exciting business opportunities, with the changing economic landscape and technological advances making new ventures possible.

Here are some of the most successful business ideas for 2024 that could be profitable:

7. Generative AI Business

With the rise of AI apps and tools, starting a generative AI business is one of the most unique and promising business ideas. That’s why venture capitalists (VC) are increasing fundings in generative AI startups since 2021.

generative ai business funding is growing

Generative AI uses artificial intelligence-powered algorithms to automate tasks like content creation, design assistance, product prototyping, creative writing, storytelling, and even programming.

This business can help other businesses work faster and be more creative. By automating tasks with AI, businesses can save time and resources, and have their human resources focus on higher-value activities.

Generative AI offers practical uses for different industries like:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Ecommerce
  • Design
  • Healthcare
  • Content publishing
  • Home decor
  • Agriculture
  • Bookkeeping
  • Education
  • Customer support
  • And more

You can build an AI-based product of your own and sell it on a subscription-based model for recurring revenue. Here are some ideas:

ai-powered product ideas

However, I recommended that you conduct a detailed market analysis, assess competition, and develop a comprehensive business plan before starting a generative AI business.

You should determine the specific costs associated with it, including:

  • Technology infrastructure investment in AI algorithms, cloud computing resources, and development tools
  • Hiring cost of AI experts, data scientists, and developers
  • Research and development (R&D) costs for product development and improvement
  • Marketing and sales budget for building a client base
  • General operational expenses for office space and utilities

Unsure if starting a generative AI business is a good idea?

Let me show you examples of successful generative AI businesses and their estimated earnings.

Generative AI BusinessOfferingsEstimated Valuation
OpenAIContent generation and editing, SEO strategy, copywriting, blog ideas$1.3 billion in 2023
ChatGPT Plus plan costs $20/month
Huma.AILife sciences SaaS solution for medical affairs$9.6 million as of Feb 2022
JasperContent generation$1.5 billion valuation
Product plans start from $49/month
Google DeepMindResearch laboratory£889.4 million in 2021
*Table data curated from rates charged by the included businesses and their valuation as a company 

8. Health and Wellness Coaching

With health and wellness becoming increasingly important among consumers, this is a lucrative business idea. With the rise in consumer interest, the global wellness market is valued at $5.3 trillion in 2023. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% until 2025.

According to a McKinsey & Company study, consumers focus on better health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness for health and wellness.

As a health and wellness coach, you can help people learn how to make healthier lifestyle choices and manage stress. Coaching services can range from one-on-one sessions to group classes, online or in person.

You can charge:

Service OfferedAverage Cost in the Industry
One-time consultation or 1-hour session$50-$200 (depending on your professional experience)
Weekly wellness coaching$50-$120 per week
Monthly coaching with a fixed number of sessions/month$200-$500 per month (with a 3 or 6-month commitment)
Corporate health coaching$40K-$60K per year
*Table data curated from rates charged by other health and wellness coaches

You may be astonished to find out that experienced coaches charge as high as $1200-$2400 for a 3-session package.

To learn more about how to price your health and wellness coaching services, watch the video below:

9. Ecommerce Business

One of the most successful business ideas today is setting up an ecommerce business. With the help of advanced technology and online payment systems, it is now easier than ever to set up an online store and start selling products.

Starting an ecommerce business requires that you:

  • Consider the type of goods or services you want to sell.
  • Decide whether you want to focus on a particular niche market or cater to a wide range of customers.
  • Develop and maintain an ecommerce website that provides seamless user experiences to your customers.
  • Find ways to market your products, both online and offline.
  • Research different payment and shipping options.
  • Offer discounts, loyalty programs, referral benefits, free shipping, and more to increase footfall and sales.
  • Create a system for managing customer inquiries and complaints.
  • Update your website regularly with new products or services.
  • Analyze customer data to determine trends and make changes accordingly. 
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and tools to ensure smooth operations of your ecommerce business.

In my experience, the key to ecommerce success lies in building your website properly and optimizing your product pages and landing pages for conversions.

crucial ecommerce website design elements

You may also want to check out my post on the essential components of an ecommerce website.

You can use platforms like BigCommerce and WooCommerce to build yours, or set up an online store on Shopify, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.

10. Event Planning Business

Event planning businesses have become increasingly popular due to the rise in demand for creative and unique experiences. From weddings to corporate events, this business model provides a great opportunity to help others create memorable moments.

You can offer services such as:

  • Venue scouting
  • Vendor coordination
  • Event budgeting
  • Event planning and execution
  • Catering
  • Venue decor
  • Event hosting
  • Online and offline event promotions
  • And more

This is an exciting business opportunity that can be tailored to each client's needs. You can host events with budgets starting from the thousands or even millions of dollars.

11. Gym or Personal Training Business

Opening a gym can be one of the most profitable unique business ideas. If you’ve got a good space and the right equipment, you can make great money by selling 6-month to 1-year gym membership plans.

However, setting up a gym comes with some big startup costs especially if you don’t have a space of your own. The initial expenses include:

Gym Startup RequirementsAverage Cost
Buying a space$800K-$1,200K (depending on the sq. ft. area and location)
Renting a space$40K-$150K per year (depending on the sq. ft. area and location)
Gym equipment cost$10K-$50K
Professional personal training certifications$500-$800
Hiring certified trainers$40,000-$69,000 per trainer per year
Gym management and POS system$550-$2000 per year
Utilities – electricity, phone, internet, etc.$40K-$63K per year
Insurance premiums$6,000-$12,000 per year
Marketing expenses$3,000-$5,000
*Table data curated from budgets shared by different gym owners

But the good part is that you can make your gym stand out and attract more members by adding features like aerobics, yoga, or Zumba classes, offering food and beverages to the members, providing discounts on the packages, etc.

This will help you increase your bottom line and make the gym profitable over time. Additionally, you can offer gym memberships to colleges, community centers, societies, and corporations for additional revenue. You can also offer online fitness classes to a large group of people.

So if you’re looking for a unique business with immense growth potential, then opening a gym is something worth considering!

12. Yoga and Pilates Studio

Opening a yoga and pilates studio is a great way to start a business that will provide a range of beneficial services and products for customers. Your studio can become a center for holistic health, offering classes and private sessions that will provide physical and mental wellness benefits to clients.

In addition to providing yoga classes and meditation sessions, you can sell a range of relevant products such as books, equipment, and exercise apparel.

You could also add specialty classes such as prenatal yoga or gentle stretching for seniors.

Generally, a yoga studio can generate anywhere from $15,000 to $60,000 in revenue per year. You can make anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour for private sessions as well.

You can also generate additional revenue by offering workshops and retreats. These events typically charge a flat fee, which could range from $50 to $500 a person.

All you need to start is:

  • A space for your yoga and pilates studio
  • Yoga mats and other equipment
  • Instructional materials
  • Certifications or licenses (depending on your area) 
  • Advertising materials
  • Additional instructors depending on how many classes you plan to offer and to how many people
  • Relaxing music and atmosphere

By creating a yoga and Pilates studio, you can open yourself up to opportunities to provide services that make a positive difference in people’s lives. Not only will you be helping them with their physical and mental health, but you can also earn a comfortable income.

13. Online Courses Business

The global e-learning market is valued at $332.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $686.9 billion by 2030. It will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% between 2022 and 2030.

But how can you start a business in the e-learning industry?

It’s simple.

Identify what you’re good at, analyze if people want to learn those skills, and launch your online course. Along with pre-defined course materials, you can also conduct one-on-one tutoring and question-answer sessions with them.

Many online course platforms will help you create, host, and sell your courses online. LearnWorlds and Thinkific are two of my favorite ones.

I’ve launched my own “SEO Quick Wins” course in collaboration with Semrush. Check it out:

14. Website Development Services or Agency

Setting up a website development business is another unique business idea with a high potential for being profitable.

With the internet becoming increasingly useful for communication, conducting business, and researching information, having a website has become an essential requirement for any business. Therefore, companies are always looking for website developers to build and maintain websites for them.

By setting up a website development business, you can give your customers well-designed, attractive, and user-friendly websites that allow them to showcase and sell their products or services globally.

To start, you will need:

  • Basic knowledge of website development
  • An understanding of web hosting and domain name registration
  • The ability to work with a variety of content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla
  • The ability to identify, evaluate, and recommend the best website design technologies
  • Solid project management skills
  • Good communication skills for dealing with clients
  • 1-2 professional developers with experience working in coding languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, Python, etc.

Aside from these basic requirements, you will also need a good portfolio of successful website designs and references from past clients. This will help you attract more customers and showcase your expertise.

If you don't have web development experience from your past jobs, you may want to consider partnering with a senior web developer.

Here's how much you can charge for different kinds of website development tasks:

Services OfferedAverage Cost
1-5 page blog or website$300-$3,000
8-10 pages small business website with minimal functionalities$5,000-$25,000
A basic corporate website$6,500-$10,000
Ecommerce website with 100-1000 products$30,000-$70,000
SaaS website$35,000-$50,000
A complex website with advanced functionalities and tech-savvy elements$80,000-$1,50,000
Social media website$80,000-$1,20,000
Marketplace website like Airbnb$60,000-$1,00,000
Website development cost per hour$100-$250 per hour
Routine website maintenance$35-$5,000 per month
* Table data curated from rates charged by various web development agencies

15. Bookkeeping and Accounting Business

With a good understanding of the basics of accounting and bookkeeping, you can offer services such as tracking income and expenses, preparing financial statements, filing taxes, etc. for small local businesses around you.

Here's what you need to start:

  • An understanding of the fundamentals of accounting
  • Knowledge of software applications such as FreshBooks, Xero, Microsoft Excel, etc.
  • A good understanding of the local financial regulations and tax laws
  • Attention to detail and good organizational skills
  • The ability to communicate with clients

An easy way to start working on this unique business idea is to look for local small businesses that need bookkeeping or accounting services in your area. Alternatively, you could advertise your services online and offline.

Once you have attracted some clients, it is important to stay organized and deliver excellent service. You should also stay current with the latest trends, rules, and tools in the industry to build a successful business.

Here are some of the best bookkeeping tools that you might want to check out!

16. Social Media Management Services

With social media usage on the rise, everyone is looking for professionals to manage their social media accounts. These include everyone from first-time entrepreneurs to large enterprises and influencers to celebrities.

So, are you ready to take advantage of the growing demand for social media management services?

You can start by offering services like:

  • Content creation and curation
  • Post scheduling
  • User engagement and interaction
  • Account optimization and monitoring
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
  • Influencer marketing
  • Advertising campaigns on major social media platforms

The key to social media business success is to help individuals and brands generate maximum visibility and engagement with their content.

You can use any of the best social media management tools to easily manage and grow multiple social accounts. Vista Social and Sprout Social are two of my favorites.

If you want to run giveaway contests to grow your clients’ influence on social media, VYPER offers great features.

17. Affiliate Marketing

The next unique business idea on my list is to make money with affiliate marketing. You can leverage your content, website traffic, or social media engagement to earn passive income by promoting products or services from other companies.

Doesn't that sound easy?

To make affiliate marketing your full-time business, you need to:

  • Choose the right industry and product.
  • Set up your website or blog and create content.
  • Build a solid online presence.
  • Pick a reliable affiliate network or join affiliate programs of reputable brands in your niche.
  • Use creative ways to market products and maximize your earnings.
  • Track your results and optimize campaigns to increase commissions.

There is no limit to how much you can earn with affiliate marketing. It's a great way to create an income stream that can help you achieve financial freedom. Many bloggers make as much as $58,000-$164,000 per year in affiliate income.

Also, check out my guide on how to start affiliate marketing. I’ve also put together a list of affiliate marketing websites in different niches to help you get started.

18. Online Advertising Business

Online advertising or digital marketing has taken over traditional marketing as more and more local businesses with physical stores are engaging their customers online.

As a digital marketing specialist, you can easily make $54,301 per year by providing services such as:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content writing and marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
  • Influencer marketing

This is one of the unique business ideas that you can start from home. You just need to have the know-how of marketing, copywriting, and how different online marketing channels work.

Along with knowledge and experience, you’ll also need the right set of tools to plan, execute, track, measure results, and manage your campaigns. Platforms like Semrush, Mailchimp, Vista Social, ProWritingAid, and Heepsy can make your job easier.

Unique Business Ideas for Food Lovers

Food-related businesses are always popular, and 2024 is sure to bring some unique business ideas for food lovers.

Here are some unique food business ideas that can help you get started:

19. Bakery

Setting up a bakery is perfect for anyone who loves creating and serving delicious baked goods. You could offer a selection of pre-made items or accept custom orders for cakes with designs and flavors meaningful to the client.

To start a bakery, you'll need:

  • A bakery location with the necessary permits
  • Kitchen equipment such as an oven, refrigerator, mixer, and other tools
  • Ingredients for baking
  • Packaging materials such as boxes and wrapping paper
  • Staff – experienced professionals and those skilled at baking, someone to take care of orders, washing, cleaning, etc.

The best part is that bakeries have great profit potential. An average bakery makes between $325,000 and $450,000 per year.

20. Coffee Shop or Cafe

As a food lover, you may want to open a cafe or coffee shop. This is the perfect business for caffeine lovers and foodies alike. You can offer specialty coffees and teas along with sandwiches and pastries.

To start a cafe or coffee shop, you'll need:

  • A location with the necessary permits
  • Kitchen equipment such as espresso machines, a refrigerator, ovens, etc.
  • Ingredients for making drinks and food items such as coffee beans, tea leaves, bread, cheese, milk, etc.
  • Packaging materials such as cups and containers
  • Staff – experienced professionals and those skilled in preparing coffee and food items

Most small to medium-sized coffee shop/cafe owners make anywhere from $60,000 to $160,000 per year. However, this number could vary depending on your location, foot traffic, and other extras you offer, for instance, merchandise products.

If you offer catering services or host special events like birthdays or office events, your profits could be even greater.

21. Personal Chef Services

Do you enjoy cooking? Do you often get compliments on your delicious dishes?

Then you should consider offering personal chef services to busy professionals, families, or celebrities who don’t have the time to cook for themselves. As a personal chef, you’ll create custom meals for clients and may handle the grocery shopping as well.

You’ll need the following to get started as a personal chef:

  • Cooking skills and knowledge about different cuisines
  • The ability to work independently
  • Access to quality ingredients at the best prices
  • Creativity and imagination when it comes to creating unique dishes for your clients
  • Experience working as a chef in a restaurant or other culinary setting
  • A certification in food safety and sanitation or a degree in culinary arts may give you an advantage over others.

You can charge:

Personal Chef ServicesAverage Cost
1-person meal$55-$100 (depending on expensive food, add-ons, etc.)
1-hour preparation$30-$40
3-course meal for 1 person$100-$400
Dinner party for 8 people$400-$1600
Additional server or support staff for large parties$250 per server
3 meals for a family of four$200-$300 per week (excluding the cost of ingredients)
Hiring a chef for a family of four$1200-$2300 per month (excluding the cost of ingredients)
Full-time services$40,000-$60,000 per year (excluding the cost of ingredients)
*Table data curated from rates charged by other personal chefs

Some factors that can impact this cost include:

  • Your experience as a chef
  • Grocery costs
  • Preparation time
  • Number of servings
  • Special requests – dietary restrictions, specialty dishes, etc.
  • Location – competition rates in the area, transportation costs, etc.

22. Food Delivery Services

With the increasing popularity of food delivery services, starting a food delivery business is a great way to take advantage of this growing trend. You can offer your own delivery service or partner with existing restaurants and meal kit companies to provide their customers with convenient delivery options.

You can also focus on specific types of cuisine or use locally sourced ingredients to create specialty dishes and offer them through your delivery service.

The key to success lies in understanding the needs of your customers and delivering quality, fresh options that meet their preferences.

For this, you'll need to:

  • Either partner with existing restaurants or prepare your own dishes.
  • Build relationships with local restaurants and meal kit companies to ensure a reliable supply of fresh ingredients.
  • Develop an efficient delivery system that is easy to use and tracks all orders.
  • Hire an efficient team of delivery drivers to ensure smooth operations and customer satisfaction. Ensure all orders are delivered accurately and on time.
  • Establish a marketing plan to reach potential customers and build a loyal following.

With the right planning, you could have a thriving business that offers tasty food to hungry customers with unbeatable convenience. 

By keeping an eye on customer feedback and using data-driven insights to optimize operations, you can ensure consistent results. Additionally, offering discounts or loyalty rewards can further help your delivery service stand out from the competition.

The startup costs can range anywhere from $3000-$25,000 when we talk about starting a food delivery business. This includes the cost of:

  • A workspace
  • Technology expenses – app or website development, online ordering, tracking, etc.
  • Staff – delivery partners, manager, IT support for the app or website
  • Business licenses and insurance
  • Marketing team or agency costs (if you outsource it)

While it may seem expensive, the earning potential of this business is very high – especially with the right strategies and customer base. The U.S. food delivery market generated a revenue of $287.51 billion in 2023 alone. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.21% between 2023-2028.

us food delivery market revenue 2023

23. Meal Planning Services

Meal planning services can help busy families or individuals who don’t have the time to plan out meals on their own. As a meal planner, you would create weekly menus for your clients and provide recipes and shopping lists to make the process easier.

You could even offer in-home meal preparation or cooking classes if you have the skills and space.

Here's what you'll need to start a meal planning business:

  • Knowledge about the nutritional value of different foods
  • Access to local markets
  • The ability to create nutritious, balanced, and delicious meal menus for your clients
  • Knowledge about food allergies, sensitivities, and other dietary restrictions
  • Organizational skills to help manage the meal planning process
  • A course or certification in nutrition or culinary arts may give you an advantage over others!

Subscription-based meal kits with pre-measured ingredients, recipes, and instructions are also popular among Americans. So much that the meal kit service market (fresh and packaged food) is expected to grow to $64.4 billion by 2030.

24. Gourmet Food Truck Business

Many people are attracted to the idea of running their own business which allows them to travel. If this sounds like you, starting a gourmet food truck business could be a good fit for you.

Gourmet food trucks offer unique dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. They can also provide a great opportunity to meet new people and build relationships with customers in different areas.

To start your own gourmet food truck business, you will need to:

  • Secure the right permits and licenses.
  • Purchase or lease a food truck and stock it with the necessary supplies.
  • Develop a menu that appeals to your target customer base.
  • Advertise your business in local newspapers, online, and via social media platforms.
  • Choose strategic locations to set up shop.
  • Hire qualified staff that can handle customer service and food preparation duties.
  • Stay on top of the latest trends in gourmet food and recipes.
  • Ensure that your truck meets all health and safety regulations.
  • Keep up with customer feedback and make changes where necessary.
  • Develop a loyalty program to reward customers for their repeat business.
  • Research and understand the local food truck laws and regulations, and abide by them.

Innovative and Unique Business Ideas to Make Money in Your Teens

American teens are fortunate to live in a country with abundant resources and opportunities. With the right idea, hard work, and dedication, you can start your own business and make money while still in high school or college.

Here are a few innovative business ideas that you can take advantage of:

25. Errand Running Service

As a teenager, you can offer to run errands for busy parents or seniors in your community. You can offer your services through flyers, social media, or even word-of-mouth marketing.

So what type of errands can you run?

It could be anything, including:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Picking up dry cleaning
  • Delivering medication
  • Taking pets to the vet
  • Helping with yard work
  • Organizing closets and drawers
  • Cleaning rooms or garages
  • And so on

It depends on the needs of your clients and what they’re willing to pay for.

The advantage is that you can set your working hours, choose the services you offer, and charge an average of $15-$35 per hour based on your location of service and the task you’re doing.

Pro tip: Some companies or platforms can help you make money running errands. Some of them include:

PlatformType of ServiceHow Much Can You Make?
Care.comChild care, tutoring, senior care, pet care, housekeeping, personal assistance, etc.$10-$40 per hour
DoorDash Food Delivery & TakeoutDelivering food from restaurants as per your scheduleBase pay depending on time and distance
Tips from customers
Promotions like Peak Pay and Challenges
Instacart ShoppersGrocery shopping and delivery or just shopping$13-$20 per hour
100% of tips from customers
Referral bonus if you persuade friends to shop with them
*Table data curated from individual platform websites

26. Freelance Writing Business

One of the best ways for a teen to make money is by writing. There are plenty of freelance opportunities out there, and you can specialize in writing for certain niches such as technology or beauty.

With a knack for the written word, you can find work easily – all you need to do is build up your portfolio and show it off! You may also want to try some of the best writing tools that can help you write better and faster. I recommend that you give ProWritingAid, Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant, and Content Shake a try.

You can charge $51 per hour on average to provide writing services. However, you’ll need to look for high-value projects and clients to increase your earnings. Don’t fall for companies paying pennies if you’ve got the skills.

how much do writers earn in 2023

27. Virtual Assistant Services

Many entrepreneurs and startup owners are now looking for virtual assistant services to reduce their startup costs. This is a great opportunity for teens to make money, as they can easily manage tasks such as scheduling meetings and dealing with emails without any experience.

You can work from home or even on your phone, so you don't have to worry about commuting or taking time away from school. And it can also be a great way to learn more about office administration for future career opportunities.

Prices vary but you can usually charge anywhere from $15-$50 per hour depending on the tasks you're assigned.

28. Photography Business

Do you have a passion for photography and get hundreds of likes and comments on your images? Why not start your own business and offer your photography services to individuals or firms?

You can turn your hobby into a business by taking photos of people, places, and events. You can even specialize in specific areas of photography such as weddings, fashion, pets, landscapes, or sports.

All you need is a camera to get started and of course, a knack for taking beautiful photos! You can learn as you go – improve your skills and sell better.Here’s an interesting and resourceful video on how @The Bliss Bean started her photography business as a teenager:

How can you make money with your photography services?

  • Sell your photos online on money-paying stock photo sites such as Shutterstock, iStock, 500px, etc.
  • Sell your prints on platforms like Etsy.
  • Assist professional photographers. You can follow them on social media and look for gigs on freelance and part-time job platforms.
  • Become a photographer for small events in your locality or social circle.
  • Start a photography blog or YouTube channel to offer your services.
  • Land a part-time job with a local magazine or company for product, portrait, or landscape photography.

With pro skills and some experience, you can expect to earn $50-$150 per hour.

29. Photo and Video Editor

Another similar unique business idea you can explore is a photo and video editing business.

The first step would be to learn the basics of photo or video editing. You can find tutorials on YouTube for free. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start offering your services to businesses, bloggers, or even individuals.

Here’s how you can make money:

  • Offer your services on freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
  • Assist professional editors and photographers with their work.
  • Create custom logos, covers, or banners for businesses or individuals.
  • Create intro and outro videos for YouTube channels.
  • Edit photos from special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Edit videos for influencers, entrepreneurs, and other local businesses.

Your rate will depend on your skills and experience. But with some practice, you can charge anywhere from $10-$50 an hour for photo editing and $30-$70 an hour for your video editing services.

30. Selling Candles

With the right packaging, scents, and colors, you can sell your candles online or at local markets.

And the best part?Candle-making is both easy and fun. You can learn the basics of candle-making by joining a workshop or watching YouTube videos that teach it.

Once you know the basics, you can experiment with different shapes, sizes, scents, and colors, and also create custom pieces for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.

How much can you make by selling candles?

You can easily sell your candles for $15-$20 per candle. For more innovative designs or custom-made orders, you may be able to make up to $50 or $100 per piece as well.

31. Social Media Influencer

Social media influencers are the new breed of entrepreneurs. Teens can become social media influencers and promote products or services on their social media profiles.

You can make money from sponsored posts, affiliate sales, and even by creating your own content such as videos or tutorials. This is a great way to make money while being creative and having fun!

Depending on the platform and your influence, you can earn anywhere from $50-$500 per sponsored post. Popular influencers charge millions of dollars for promoting brands on their profiles. So, there is practically no limit to how much you can earn as an influencer.

Check out my guide on how to become an influencer and start making money.

32. Car Washing Service

A lot of high school and college students who want to make extra money do chores. If you want to utilize your free hours to make money, one of the easiest and most profitable businesses that you can start is a car wash service.

All you need is some water, a car-washing sponge, and a few cleaning products. You can advertise your services to clients near your home or college campus or even start by offering your services to friends and family.

You can charge anywhere from $20-$100 per car wash depending on the type of vehicle, type of service, and location. And if you stick around for long enough, you may be able to build up a strong client base and eventually hire staff to do the work for you.

33. Gift Wrapping Business

For those who don’t have the time or energy to wrap gifts for every occasion, teens can offer them gift-wrapping services. Not just at Christmas time, but on any special occasion that needs a unique, professional touch.

As a high school or college student, you can easily make time in the evening to wrap gifts and bouquets. You can either charge an hourly fee or a flat rate depending on the job. It could be anywhere from $10-$30 per hour or per package.

If you're creative, you can even offer custom gift-wrapping services using unique materials and designs and easily charge $50-$100 per gift package.

What you'll need to start:

  • Wrapping paper and craft supplies
  • Organizational and marketing skills
  • Creativity and an eye for detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Patience and attention to detail
  • An online presence such as a website or social media profiles to promote your services
  • Pamphlets to spread awareness of your service

34. Gardening Services

If you have a green thumb and a passion for gardening, you can provide gardening services in your local area. Charge by the hour or offer packages and discounts to attract people in your community.

You can offer services like:

  • Watering plants
  • Lawn care
  • Weeding
  • Planting flowers
  • Trimming trees and bushes
  • Even setting up small gardens for clients

You can easily make anywhere between $20-$50 per hour in your free time or during the weekends. And it won't impact your studies.

If the garden area is big, you can also make $100-$150 per maintenance session.

These are just a few of the business ideas teens can explore if they’re looking to make some extra money. With the right idea, hard work, and dedication you can make your dreams a reality. Good luck!

Unique Business Ideas for Moms

As a mother, you may often find yourself busy taking care of your children and managing your household. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find time to start a business as well.

Moms have a lot of experience juggling work and family life, so it is no surprise that many of those are turning into business ideas.

Here are some unique business ideas for moms to consider:

35. Resume Writing

Have you worked in the professional world before becoming a mom? Do you know what it takes to win over hiring managers?

If so, you should put your skills to good use by offering resume writing services to individuals looking for work. You can help people create compelling resumes that will highlight their strengths, experience, and skills.

Here's what it takes to offer a resume writing service:

  • The ability to analyze and understand job descriptions
  • Knowledge of current trends in resume writing
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Professionalism when dealing with clients
  • Taking a certification may give you an edge over others in the business

When writing a resume for fresh graduates, you can charge $50-$150 per resume. For more experienced clients, you can charge up to $400 for perfectly showcasing their career achievements.

36. Boutique Clothing Business

Do you have an eye for fashion? If so, why not start a boutique clothing business and make money from your passion?

You can sell various clothing items such as dresses, tops, skirts, pants, and more.

Here's what you need to do to set up your business:

  • Design a logo for your business and create an online store.
  • Source clothing items from manufacturers or wholesalers at reasonable prices.
  • Create your own designs or customize existing designs.
  • Advertise your business through online and offline channels to reach potential customers.

You can make anywhere from $26,500 to $242,000 per year with your boutique business depending on your brand’s popularity, type of clients, and the uniqueness of your designs.

boutique owner earnings in the usa in 2023

37. Handmade Crafts Business

Crafting can be a great way to make money from home. Consider selling your handmade crafts at local craft fairs, online marketplaces such as Etsy, or on social media. If you’re creative and have an eye for detail, this may be the perfect business for you.

Here's what you need to start:

  • Crafting supplies like paints, yarn, fabric, beads, etc.
  • The ability to craft beautiful pieces that attract customers
  • A camera or smartphone for taking pictures of your crafts to post online
  • A website or social media page to showcase your creations and spread the word about your business

38. Daycare Business

Did you know that the U.S. childcare market size was valued at $60.4 billion in 2022 and will grow at a CAGR of 4.18% from 2023 to 2030?

us child care market growth stats

This makes a daycare business a great option for moms looking to start their own businesses. You can offer part-time or full-time care, depending on what works best for you and your family.

You just need:

  • A cozy and comfortable space for kids
  • Some basic childcare training
  • Any safety certifications as required by law
  • Useful toys such as stuffed animals, cushions, building blocks, alphabets, etc.
  • Local advertising to attract parents living in your neighborhood

Starting a daycare business can be a great way to financially support your family while providing an important service to other parents.

39. Home Staging and Redesigning Service

Home staging and redesigning services are in high demand. Working as a home stager or designer can be a great way to make money while flexibly working from home.

You can go into homes and help clients get their properties ready for sale, or simply revamp their existing space with a fresh new look.

You don’t need any formal training to start a home staging business, although design and decorating experience can be beneficial. You just need an eye for design, the ability to work with clients, and some creative ideas on how to transform homes.

40. Coaching & Consulting Business

Do you have expertise in a certain area?

If so, you can turn your knowledge into a business by offering coaching and consulting services. As a coach or consultant, you will provide guidance and advice to clients about issues they are facing. You can offer online consultations or even host virtual events such as workshops or webinars.

You can start a coaching and consulting business in different niches, which include but are not limited to:

  • Business coaching
  • Life coaching
  • Health/fitness coaching
  • Career coaching
  • Financial consulting
  • Marketing and sales consulting

This is a great way for moms to make money while helping others. Plus, you can choose your own hours and work from the comfort of your own home. All you need is experience or knowledge in a particular field, and the ability to market yourself.

Now that we’ve discussed 40 unique business ideas, let’s take a brief look at the process of starting a business from scratch.

How to Start Your Business in 2024

Being an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it takes to build a successful business and would like to help make the journey easier for you.

So, regardless of the unique business idea you choose, here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Identify Your Unique Business Idea and Validate It

Whether you pick a business idea from my list or come up with your own, make sure to conduct extensive market research and ensure that your business idea is viable.

To find a suitable business idea, you should:

  • Analyze your interests, skills, and experience to pick a business idea.
  • Research and analyze the market to understand if there is enough demand for what you want to offer.
  • See if you’ve got the right resources and tools to get started. Can you afford to buy them?
  • Validate and refine your business idea to make it more attractive.

If you’re still unsure about the feasibility and profitability of your business idea, sign up for an online course like “Finding a Business Idea” by the Online Business Academy to get expert help.

It will give you a step-by-step plan to find, validate, and communicate your unique business ideas to the world.

And the best part?

You can enroll for FREE today!

Step 2: Create a Business Plan

Before you bring your unique business idea into action, it’s important to have a well-documented business plan.

A business plan helps you map out the future of your business and understand its potential for success. It is also necessary when seeking funding from investors or lenders.

Here’s what you must include in your business plan:

  • Business model: What your business does, your products and/or services, your customers, your business structure, your USP and value proposition, etc.
  • Product or service: A description of your product or service, how it is unique, pricing details, etc.
  • Market analysis: Your target market and customer base
  • Competitor analysis: Your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses
  • Financial plan: Your budget, startup costs, funding plans, equipment and tools costs, financial projections for the next five years
  • Marketing and sales strategy: A marketing strategy to reach potential customers and grow sales, including marketing ideas, channels, tools, etc.

Step 3: Register Your Business as a Legal Entity

You need to register your business as a legal entity. As a first-time entrepreneur or a small business owner, you can form a Sole Proprietorship or an LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Most small businesses start as LLCs because of the flexibility this business structure provides. It requires minimal compliance and also offers personal liability protection to the owner.

Regardless of the entity type you choose, you’ll need to:

  • Follow the best practices to pick a name for your small business.
  • File the required business formation documents with the state authorities.
  • File for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for tax purposes.
  • Ensure that your small business remains compliant with US business laws.
  • Take care of the required ongoing reporting and fees.

Handling all of this legal paperwork and other formalities might be tedious and confusing, especially for first-time small business owners.

I feel overwhelmed handling paperwork and, therefore, prefer to hire professionals to do it for me. You can also leverage the state and federal filing services of GovDocFiling experts.

This will enable you to focus on other important parts of your building and scaling up your small business.

Step 4: Develop Your Brand Identity

Creating a strong and recognizable brand identity helps to build trust with customers. You’ll need to have a well-defined logo, color palette, font style, and tagline that reflect your business values and communicate them effectively to the customers.

You can use ZeBrand to build your brand identity from scratch. I’ve reviewed its features and use cases here.

Step 5: Get Funding

If you don’t have enough money to invest in your business, consider applying for loans or grants. You can also look for investors who are willing to fund your project.

You can also get quick and easy loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Along with offering SBA-guaranteed loans, they also help you plan, launch, manage, and grow your small business with free business counseling.

Make sure to present a solid business plan and explain why investing in your business is a good idea.

Step 6: Pick the Right Business Tools and Resources

Even the best unique business ideas need proper resources, effort, and time to flourish. Based on the small business idea you finalize, make sure you buy or subscribe to the right solutions.

For example, my business toolkit includes:

If you’re starting a digital business, you’ll likely need these tools too.

However, if you pick landscaping from this list of unique business ideas, you’ll primarily need to buy equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, tillers, drills, etc.

If your business finances don’t allow you to invest in the right tools (at least the basic ones), you might have to reconsider your decision and look for other low-cost unique business ideas.

Step 7: Set Up Your Workspace

Ask yourself whether your business will work well from home. Many home business ideas do – such as freelance services, online advertising, dropshipping, etc.

However, having a designated workspace is important even if it’s at your home. It encourages you to work professionally and helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

I’m saying this with experience and I love working from my home office. 😉

For some business ideas, working from home might not be feasible.

For example, if you want to open a gym, flower shop, or grocery store, you may probably need to look for a rental space. Your store location will also play an important role in attracting your target consumer base.

Step 8: Take Your Business Online

Don’t forget to build an online presence for your business.

The easiest way to do so is to build your website with WordPress and WooCommerce or create an online store on platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify.

Claim your social media handles across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Choose the platforms wisely based on where your target audience is most active.

Then, invest in SEO, content marketing, link building, and social media marketing to boost your visibility online.

Ready to Carve Out Your Niche with These Unique Business Ideas?

Behind every successful business is a great idea, effort, and dedication. Find a unique business idea that aligns with your skills and interests. 

Start as a side hustle, grow your client base, and expand wisely.

Got questions about starting up? Download my free guide to get started.

how to start a small business


What businesses are rare?

Rare businesses often involve unique and less common concepts or services. Examples include niche boutiques, specialized tour operations, certain types of artisanal food services, or businesses that cater to specific hobbies or interests that are not widely prevalent.

What is a unique business idea?

A unique business idea typically involves innovative, creative solutions or services that address specific problems or market gaps. They stand out for their originality, filling a need that has been overlooked, or offering a new twist on traditional business models.

What is the most fun business to start?

The most fun business to start can vary based on personal interests, but popular options include event planning, travel services, recreational activities, pet-related businesses, or creative ventures like art studios, music production, or culinary experiences.

What small business is the most successful?

The most successful small businesses often include those in healthcare, real estate, e-commerce, IT services, and construction. Success typically depends on market demand, the entrepreneur's expertise, and the ability to adapt to changing economic conditions​​​​​​.

What business makes the most money?

Businesses in financial services, real estate, healthcare, IT, and e-commerce are among the most profitable. These sectors often have high demand and can offer lucrative returns, though success depends on factors like market positioning, competition, and operational efficiency​​​​​​.

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