23 Small Business Ideas for 2024

By Lauren Ward · May 22, 2024 · 9 minute read

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23 Small Business Ideas for 2024

When you’re thinking of starting a new business, there are plenty of possibilities to consider. But what if you don’t have a large startup budget ready to go? Doesn’t that limit your dreams?

Not necessarily. Whether you’re trying to launch a side hustle to supplement your day job or you just want to be your own boss, there are many businesses you can start that don’t require huge sums of money.

Explore this list of some of the best small business ideas for 2024. The sooner you get started, the sooner your small business might be the next great success story.

1. Online Fitness Trainer

At-home workouts became popular during the pandemic, and it continues to be a favorite go-to for many busy people who want to exercise. If you’re a fitness expert, you may be able to launch an online training business. An easy way to get started and build an audience is by making videos to post on YouTube or sell as a course. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for an online personal trainer is $29 an hour or about $52,000 a year.

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2. Web Developer

Developing websites — building and maintaining their core structure — is a technical skill that’s in high demand. It’s also a skill that you can teach yourself through videos, online lessons, and books. Once you’ve mastered and practiced the skill, you can build a portfolio and start pitching clients. All of that takes time and effort but the cost is relatively low.

3. Freelance Web Designer

Web design is a skill set you can market as a freelancer, providing your services to multiple companies that need help with the usability and aesthetics of their sites. You can focus on helping design websites from scratch or on troubleshooting and/or redesigning existing websites, or offer a combination of both. On average, freelance web designers make $45 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter.

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4. Consultant

If you’re wondering what kind of business to start, you might think about consulting in an area you’ve already worked in, like human resources, management, IT, or operations. You can set your own hours, potentially charge more than you earned as a full-time employee, and pick and choose the projects you’ll enjoy the most.

5. Graphic Designer

Starting your own graphic design business is another easy option for people who have the talent and experience. If that’s you, consider launching a website with some portfolio pieces and then pitching potential clients. If you’ve already been a graphic designer for a company, you likely already have everything you need to get started. On average, freelance graphic designers earn $35 an hour.

6. Life Coach

Life coaching can be an extremely satisfying business. You can pick a niche you’re passionate about, like career changes, productivity, health and fitness, or some other idea you find compelling. Getting certified as a professional coach may increase your clout and marketability. While that training probably won’t be free, it might be a good investment. You might also be able to get financing to help cover your tuition.

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7. Tailor and/or Designer

Whether sewing has been a life-long hobby or you picked up the skill more recently, you may be able to turn that interest into a business. You can specialize your services in any number of ways, like making alterations, designing custom home decor like curtains and pillows, or creating hand-sewn crafts to sell.

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8. Resume Writer

Resume writing is always in demand. If this is something you have a knack for, you can either find clients on your own or freelance for a resume agency. On average, resume writer jobs pay $18 an hour, but you may be able to earn more if you have expertise in a specific industry.

9. Online Used Book Seller

Selling used books online can be fun as well as lucrative for bibliophiles. It does involve some startup costs since you’ll need to stock up on inventory, but sourcing inexpensive books from places like thrift stores or yard sales can be fun, too. Once you make your first few sales on a site like Amazon or eBay, you can reinvest some or all of the profits to keep your inventory growing. At some point, you might explore getting a small business loan to grow your enterprise.

10. Interpreter or Translator

If you’re fluent in multiple languages, you can utilize those skills as an interpreter or translator. This is work that can often be performed from the comfort of your own home. Global businesses may not have a full-time need for translation services, so you may be able to step in and help them as a contractor. According to the ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a translator is $28 an hour or $57,200 a year.

11. Pet Walker and/or Pet Care Provider

Pet owners are known to spare few expenses when it comes to pet care. And thanks to all the puppies and kittens that got adopted during the pandemic, a pet walking or pet care business could provide a big market in many locations. Once you land your first few clients, you can then focus on getting referrals from those successes. Nationally, dog walkers make anywhere from $6.73 to $25.72 an hour, but the average hourly wage is $17.

12. Online Course Creator

Creating an online course is a fun way to share your knowledge about topics or skills you’re passionate about. There are many course platforms to choose from. All you need to do is create one or more videos and upload them to the teaching platform. Then simply set a price and, ideally, you’ll soon make some sales.

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13. Digital Download Provider

Creating and selling digital products (like videos or ebooks) is an easy business to set up, plus it becomes increasingly passive as you build up your library of products. From artwork to educational products, you simply upload your creations to your preferred platform so future customers can find your work.

14. Landscaper/Garden Care Professional

Gardening and landscaping have become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’ve discovered that you have a green thumb, consider launching a landscaping or garden care business to help your clients maintain beautiful yards all year long. Explore startup funding options to help finance new equipment if you need it.

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15. House Cleaner

Cleaning houses is a service that’s in demand in just about every city and town across the country. Decide what particular types of services you’ll offer and collect the necessary supplies. Also consider getting a general liability insurance policy to protect yourself and your new business since you’ll be in other peoples’ homes. House cleaning can pay anywhere from $9.62 an hour to $23.32 an hour, depending on your location and the exact services you’re providing, among other factors.

16. Handcrafted Goods Seller

If you have an artistic knack, consider opening an online shop to sell your own handcrafted goods. You can launch your own website or list your items for sale on an existing platform. You can either build up a stock of inventory first or opt for a made-to-order business model, which can help you save on startup costs.

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17. Dropshipper

Starting a dropshipping business can be ideal for people who enjoy online marketing. As a dropshipper, you curate goods from a wholesale supplier and market them for sale online. However, you don’t hold any inventory. Instead, the supplier handles shipping for you.

18. Interior Designer

It’s easier than ever to launch your own interior design business, especially if you have some relevant design experience (your kitchen makeover!) to include in an online portfolio. There are a number of different services you might offer, like home staging, product curation, or online design plans. Consider picking a particular niche or style when you first get started so you can attract your ideal client.

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19. Tutor

You can start a tutoring business in person, but online tutors are also popular. Pick a subject you’re knowledgeable about, like math, language arts, or English as a second language. There are plenty of online platforms through which you can market your services, or you can network to find students in need of a tutor. How much online tutors can make varies depending on the subject matter and whether they work for themselves or a company but, on average, they make $19 an hour.

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20. Virtual Assistant

Starting your own virtual assistant business gives you a lot of flexibility in the type of work you do, as well as when, where, and how much you work. You can offer a range of remote services as a virtual assistant, including managing schedules, sending emails, or even handling marketing activities.

21. Childcare Provider

Opening a home daycare center is a more involved small business idea, but there’s definitely a need for this service. Be sure to check your area’s local rules and regulations about opening an in-home daycare center. It may be helpful to write a business plan to keep track of everything you need to do. Alternatively, you could start small by just babysitting or nannying for one family, or even working as a parents’ helper.

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22. Voice-Over Actor

Video and audio content is increasingly popular, so you could offer voice-over services as your own business. It’s easier than ever to do this as a remote job, plus you can get started with some inexpensive equipment, much of which you may already have, like a microphone, mic stand, headphones, and some recording and editing software. Voice-over work generally pays well — as much as $76.92 an hour. The average hourly pay for voice-over jobs in the U.S. is around $48.

23. Flipper/Goods Reseller

Flipping — finding and reselling or even fixing up and reselling — used items for a profit can be a great business idea if you love bargain-hunting at thrift stores, yard sales, or even clearance shelves. To get started with no budget, you can even flip your own unwanted items from your home on an online auction site. As you make a little money, you might want to start expanding your inventory.

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The Takeaway

Starting any new business takes some work, but the rewards are often worth it. As you get more involved in a new business — and even as it gets more profitable — you may find you need to put more resources into it.

If you’re seeking financing for your business, SoFi can help. On SoFi’s marketplace, you can shop top providers today to access the capital you need. Find a personalized business financing option today in minutes.

With SoFi’s marketplace, it’s fast and easy to search for your small business financing options.

SoFi's marketplace is owned and operated by SoFi Lending Corp. See SoFi Lending Corp. licensing information below. Advertising Disclosures: SoFi receives compensation in the event you obtain a loan through SoFi’s marketplace. This affects whether a product or service is featured on this site and could affect the order of presentation. SoFi does not include all products and services in the market. All rates, terms, and conditions vary by provider.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


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