We all know the story that Walkerton once had a thriving business district complete with department stores, cafes, a movie theater, a music hall, thrift shops, variety stores, newspaper stands, bookstores, laundromats, grocery stores, auto parts, shoes, sporting goods, and furniture! Times have changed over the years. People have taken to larger box stores in other communities. Customers have become more enabled to shop online with big e-commerce operations like Amazon, and and eBay. But, that leaves behind a lot of inexpensive real estate in downtown Walkerton and surrounds.
There is a future waiting to happen here! There are tons of business ideas for Walkerton entrepreneurs, and what defines a “best” business idea largely depends on your personality and, skill set. Are you fulfilling a need that does not exist? Is there potential to earn money? So, when you’re considering the best ideas for your future business, you’ll need to answer a few clarifying questions, including:
1. What are your interests?
2. How can your skills satisfy needs in the market?
3. Who are your ideal customers?
4. What is your ideal work environment?
Your answers to these questions should point you in the direction of a certain industry. But if you’re not quite ready to dive into self-reflection, or if you’re curious about expanding your horizons, take a look at this list of the best small business ideas for 2019 according to Meredith Wood. She is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera and specializes in financial advice for small business owners. Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
These days, more and more people are shifting out of traditional, 9-to-5 jobs and striking out on their own. In fact, according to the 2017 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, about 540,000 people switch into self-employment every month. So if you’ve caught the entrepreneurial bug, you’re certainly not alone.
Whether you’re a student, a working mother, or you’re simply tired of the 9-to-5, in-office grind, you might be ready to strike out on your own with these business ideas. By the way, many of the small business ideas here are conducive to working at home, particularly those in the business-to business service industry.
1. Accounting and Bookkeeping
Are you a licensed CPA or a business accounting softwarewizard? Your less math-friendly entrepreneurs could use your help in keeping their personal and business finances in order. As a bookkeeper, you’ll process invoices and payroll, compile expense reports, and more. If you have a CPA license, you can help business owners file taxes, generate balance sheets and other accounting documents, and make your professional recommendations about your client’s bottom line. If you have the skills to make your own accounting or bookkeeping service happen, then this is the best, and most lucrative, small business idea for you.
If you’ve been in the business world for a long time, folks might be clamoring for your knowledge and expertise within your industry. Why not turn all that know-how into a new career as an independent consultant? You can get paid to speak at industry conferences or events, serve on a board of advisors for a fledgling business, or lend your expertise to shape the strategy of an existing business on a contract basis. Whatever your field of expertise, starting a consulting business is a great way to make a sizable income while working on your own terms.
3. Marketing Services
Most business owners have some idea of how they want to market their companies. Executing that plan, on the other hand, can be a whole other ballgame—especially for new business owners with little, or zero, marketing experience. As an independent marketing professional, you can work with small businesses who don’t have the in-house bandwidth to execute their marketing plans. Write their blogs, firm up their SEO strategy, generate ad campaigns, deploy inbound marketing tactics, and do whatever it takes to get their name in (proverbial) lights.
4. Social Media Management
Social media is a specific marketing specialty that most business owners know they need, but few are capable of doing well. If you’re glued to your phone, Instagram all your meals, and carry out most of your conversations in 280 characters or fewer, consider cultivating a client base of business owners who need help managing their brand’s social media platforms.
5. Business Planning Service
If you’re the serial business owner type—and have successfully launched and run a few businesses now—you’ve probably crafted a couple business plans in your time. Writing a business plan is a crucial start to any business, but it’s a process that not all entrepreneurs have down. One of the best small business ideas for seasoned business owners ready for their next venture is a business planning service. If you know how to see the whole process of writing a business plan through—including business funding plans, market analysis, competitor research, and so on—clients will be lining up for your services.
Professional photographers are in high demand for weddings, corporate events, family portraits, and more. And because you can build this business out of your home (with the right tools, of course), a freelance photography business has relatively low startup costs. Plus, you’re in charge of your client load and schedule, so professional photography is a great way to build a side hustle while working full time elsewhere.
7. Event Planning
More and more individuals and companies are hiring freelance event planners to manage the design, logistics, and coordination of pulling off major events. If you love every little detail of coordinating your kid’s birthday or your dad’s retirement party, start offering your Type-A services to partiers in your community or within your personal network. You just need to pull off one great party, to start, and your event-planning business will take off with all those word-of-mouth recommendations.
8. Event Space
Take a look at your local market: If there’s a demand for weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and fundraisers, but few venues to host those events, seize the opportunity and start an event space yourself. You could offer planning services along with the venue, or partner up with another local event-planning business to become the ultimate party-planning team.
9. Interior Decorating
Rather than redecorating your living room for the 14th time, apply your love of design to an interior decorating business. To start out, leverage your personal network to offer help decorating residential and commercial spaces. You can charge an hourly fee to clients for your work, partner with your favorite furniture stores or manufacturers to work on commission, or a combination of the two.
10. Woodworking or Furniture Building
Do you love working with your hands to build beautiful, custom furniture? Take a page from Harp Design Co. in Waco, Texas (of “Fixer Upper” fame), and start your own custom woodworking business. You might start working weekends out of your garage, but as business takes off, you’ll be well on your way to your own shop and a brand new, full-time career doing what you love.
11. Graphic Design
If you have a background in design or art, then this business idea is a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have a background in this field, consider taking a course in graphic design—it’s relatively easy to pick up.
Plus, the tools to get this business started are pretty minimal. With just a few handy computer programs—think Adobe, Sketch, or Canva—you could be operating this lucrative business out of your home in weeks. You do need to find clients though, so try networking with small businesses in your community. Everyone could use a well-designed website, online materials, email campaigns, physical print work, and more.
12. Bed and Breakfast
Do you live in an interesting tourist destination? Does your home have a guest house, mother-in-law suite, or even just a spare bedroom? Do you love to cook and entertain guests? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for turning your home into your own B&B. Sites like VRBO and AirBnB have made it easier than ever to market your home to travelers in need, and you may even make new friends along the way.
If you’re a professional chef but tired of the restaurant grind, starting a catering service is a great opportunity to strike out into the world of self-employment. You’ll need access to a commercial kitchen, a part-time staff of servers, and a couple of assistant cooks to start. But, compared to opening your own restaurant, the overhead costs of starting and running a catering company are much more manageable.
14. Custom Baking
Similarly, if you’re a professional (or semi-professional, or aspiringly professional) baker or cake designer, consider starting your own custom-design bakery. Unlike caterers, bakers are often allowed to work out of a non-commercial home kitchen as long as they meet health department requirements. Check your state and local regulations to confirm exactly what you’ll need to get your bespoke bakery started.
15. Food Truck
Food trucks are hugely popular, often offering unique, specialty foods that often wouldn’t sell as easily in brick-and-mortar restaurants. Take your mom’s famous dumpling recipe or your off-the-wall dessert idea and hit the road to local events, farmer’s markets, your local town square, large corporate complexes at the lunchtime rush—wherever you’re likely to draw a crowd. Keep in mind that food trucksusually have to meet a special set of ordinances and safety compliance standards, so contact your local health department to determine what your mobile restaurant will require.
16. Restaurant or Cafe
If you’re truly culinarily (and entrepreneurially) ambitious, your ultimate dream might be to open your own deli, diner, cafe, or full-service restaurant. Although opening a restaurant is one of the most challenging, risky, and expensive business ideas on our list, the reward can be great for those willing to put in the work. If you’d like a safer bet than starting your own restaurant from scratch, consider opening a franchise of an established restaurant chain, and reap the benefits of an already-popular brand.
17. Craft Brewery
Craft breweries, aka microbreweries are booming in the United States—in fact, 98% of operating breweries in the U.S. are independently owned. So, if you’ve been tinkering with beer-brewing in your garage, calling it official and opening up a microbrewery can be a great way to monetize your hobby.
18. Landscape Services
If you have a green thumb, an eye for design, and a love for the sweet sound of lawnmowers (to each their own), consider starting up your own landscape service. You’ll mow lawns, plant flowers, and even design elaborate landscape plans for homes and office complexes. If you’re uncertain about the administrative side of the landscape business, check out software options like Arborgold to help you out with the back-end management so that you can focus on your happy customers.
19. Moving Company
Here’s your fun fact for the day: The average American will move 11.7 times in his or her lifetime. That accounts for a lot of boxes, sofas, refrigerators, and dining room tables that need to be hauled from place and place every single day. If you hate spending time behind a desk and don’t mind lifting heavy stuff—or hiring, managing, and coordinating a team of super-strong friends to help you do that heavy lifting—consider starting your own moving company.
20. Pet Grooming
Animal enthusiasts can probably think of nothing better than hanging out with pets all day. It might take some time to build up the funding to open up your own pet-grooming facility. So, keep overhead low in the beginning by offering a mobile service, and bring your grooming skills and tools directly to your clients’ homes. You can also offer dog-walking services to supplement your grooming business.
Often, the best small business ideas are born of an entrepreneur’s greatest passion. So, those with a creative edge might have an easy time coming up with business ideas but, some may be more financially viable than others. These in-demand small business opportunities definitely suit energetic types, but there’s also opportunity to make some good money.
Check out Fundera, Inc at: www.fundera.com They can help you with your upstart needs.