8 Small Business Ideas to Start You on the Road to Success

The idea of starting a small business is intimidating to the majority of the population.

The problem?

Fear of the unknown. It does it to us every time we try to think outside the box. Every time we try to peek out from our own little personalized cubby-hole and think about the possibility that something – an idea or skill within us may one day possibly turn into a full-time career – and make us an overnight millionaire too!

looking for small business ideas

Of course not everyone wants to be a millionaire, but making a more-than-average income is almost always part of the dream isn’t it?

Read the following list of small business ideas. Sometimes people think they have no skill or knowledge to start their own business, but all it takes is one mental spark to set off the chain reaction necessary to take that first step. You might just realize that you have a skill, passion, or key bit of unique knowledge needed to start one of these businesses.


  • Some of these ideas might require capital, or none at all.
  • Others might require some special skills, while others require nothing but a little motivation.
  • Business licenses, taxes, insurance, COBD (Cost Of Doing Business) – aren’t mentioned here as they so often vary from country-to-country, state-to-state, province-to-province.

1. Adult Paper Route

This one can be quite lucrative. Of course little Johnny can get his own paper-route, but this list is more adult-oriented. Most city and town newspaper publishers are outsourcing their delivery routes via larger-scale contracts. Essentially, you bid for an area contract for (usually) thousands of papers, then deliver them yourself (via walking or a vehicle), or hire a team to do it.

2. Rural Mail Delivery

Another extremely profitable small business to get into. You bid on a contract through the post office, then are paid rather large sums of money to make sure people in rural areas get their mail on time. Once you get one contract and show the postal service you can be relied upon, future contracts will be offered/awarded to you and the business can grow. You will have to own a vehicle; some states/provinces require that you own or are able to immediately purchase a right-hand drive vehicle upon being awarded a contract.

3. Consulting

From business to the paranormal. There are so many things people will hire a consultant for. This is very much a business that builds via word-of-mouth, but the sky’s the limit. Cooking, pets, cars, decorating, agriculture, UFO’s, ghosts, engineering, accounting, computers, music/audio, movies survival/outdoors, design, training, trades, employment, etc. Build a website with WordPress, start to hand out business cards, purchase a cheap mailing list, knock on doors, and one day you could be a much-sought-after consultant!

4. Cleaning

Nothing fancy here. We all know cleaning businesses exist. Did you know that they cost virtually nothing to start? A vehicle of some sort, liability insurance, a few supplies, and you are good to go. You will have to make a few soliciting phone calls, knock on some doors, ask around, etc. Create an office cleaning business, power-washing business, yard cleanup, farm cleanup, window washing, or car detailing business. Whatever people need cleaned and don’t like to do themselves, you can create a successful business around.

5. Rentals

Yet another very fruitful business endeavor. You can rent everything from your car, motorbike, bicycle, home, barn, garage, family, pets, other animals, office, cutlery, dishes, computer, boat, jet ski, trailer, clothing, tools – the sky’s the limit once again. Look around your area to see what people need that you have and rent it to them. While certain things do break, a moderate to large volume of rentals offset the cost of repairs or occasional replacement of items. Professional consultant, motivational speaker and renowned deal-maker Brian Tracy started renting his and family’s bicycles out as a child (see his tips on business and deal-making here.)

6. Childcare

This is one of those ideas that might seem like it’s been done to death. Not so at all. Humans continue having kids and becoming professionals, entrepreneurs, and other types of all-round busy folks. All you need to start a childcare business is a clean criminal history, references to attest to your trustworthiness, and (optionally) a home. Add to that a love – or tolerance for children! The possibilities for growth are limitless.

7. Writer

It doesn’t cost a thing to work from home as a writer. Some newspapers require that you have a journalism degree from a reputed university. Most magazines, websites, and even copywriting houses only require that you know how to write interesting work. Simply write a story and submit it to several publications. “Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it!” as Robert Webber once said in the film 12 Angry Men. If you like to write books, you can self-publish them for free on websites like Amazon.com. If you’re looking for a start in the business, need some quick cash, and your grammar is decent, hit up the Buy and Sell sections of online marketing forums and advertise your services (let me Google that for you.)

8. Franchisee

This is last on the list because it definitely requires some start up capital. Some experts refer to owning a franchise as “paying for a job.” However, this paid job can be quite the money-maker if you play your cards right and follow the franchise’s rules. Top money-making franchises to buy into include McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, 7-Eleven, and many more that can be found in this slide-show and this list.


Those ideas I mentioned above are lucrative – IF you are turning the idea into reality with the right mindset; yes, mindset is what make or break your business.

If you are thinking about getting rich quick, those ideas might not be for you; if you are thinking about making money while you are sleeping, those ideas might not be for you. You see, even the best entrepreneurs in the world work very hard in getting to where they are right now; even the smartest investors who have millions of dollars in cash flow out of their investments – and/or earn those as passive income – are working hard in their entrepreneurial journey.

And finally, here’s the ultimate takeaway for you: Take action. Ideas – no matter how cool or lucrative they are – mean nothing if you don’t take action in turning at least one into a real business. Start planning and start executing your plan – THEN you are officially on the road to success.


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