It’s 2015. Time for a new year and a new you. If you’ve been looking at your bank statements and wondering if a new business could be the key to reaching your personal finance goals, we’ve got you covered with 23 ideas for the best businesses to start in 2015.
Whether you’ve been thinking about starting a weekend gig or side project to pad your paycheck or you’re ready to jump into a new full-time entrepreneurial venture feet first, take a look at some of the opportunities below that could to make it happen.
Food business will always be in demand. Food is both a necessity of life and one of America’s favorite past-times. But starting a food business doesn’t need to mean becoming a fancy restaurateur. There are lots of ways you can start a high-margin, low-cost food business.
1. If you have a unique recipe for a sauce or dressing consider bottling it for sale. Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha Sauce got its start in L.A.’s Chinatown restaurants. The brand’s founder David Tran began selling his special sauce to neighborhood eateries in the 1980’s. A few decades later the sauce became a worldwide phenomenon.
2. Catering to your area’s sweet tooth can also be a great business idea. Selling baked goods, pastries, and candies are all easy home business ideas that take very little capital to start and offer a lot of opportunities. Consider networking with your local cafes, sandwich shops, corner stores, and independent grocers, selling your sweets as a treat or dessert to compliment the business’ existing offerings. With either sauces or sweets, you’ll want to check into the cottage food laws for your local area to keep your new business on the up and up.
3.Perhaps you’d prefer not to run your business out of your kitchen. A food cart business is another possibility. You could offer frozen treats to passersby on street corners, and in markets, fairs, concerts, and sporting events. A company called Little Jimmy’s Italian Ices offers complete packages to get you started. Another similar option is Lil’ Orbits, which sells mini-donut and pancake/crepe machines. These tasty food items are a hit at carnivals, fairs, and other warm-weather events. You can run a food business like this in your spare time, on weekends, or seasonally, giving you lots of options to earn a second income.
4. If you’re looking for something a bit larger in scale, yet equally entrepreneurial, you might consider a food truck business. Food trucks can accommodate an array of menu options from sandwiches and kabobs to vegan fare to eclectic mobile gourmets. You can enjoy many of the benefits of opening a restaurant in a trendy popular neighborhood without the high rents and remodeling costs. An investment in the billion dollar mobile food industry isn’t cheap though, a tricked-out food truck could set you back anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000.
Despite the recession, Americans are still buying and maintaining personal vehicles by the hundreds of millions all across the country. As the economy rebounds, high-earners are purchasing large SUVs and luxury vehicles. For these folks, their cars aren’t just a way to get from point A to point B. They’re an investment worth being cared for.
5. If you’re an auto enthusiast, a detailing business might be a great option. Detail King offers several starter packages, from $299 all the way up to $23,495. You could run your business out of your own location or take it on the road, directly to your customers. The company offers packages to get you started with everything you need.
6. If you’re looking for something a bit more hands-on, Paint Bull’s mobile auto appearance repair business offer might be just the thing. Your business goes wherever your customers are within a designated customer service area. You’ll help customers who need paint repairs, paintless dent repairs, or car interior repairs.
Lawn and Garden
Do you enjoy being outdoors? Lawn and garden care businesses are always in season. Homeowners work more now than they did a generation ago. Sometimes there just isn’t time in the day to mow the grass, weed the garden, or update the existing landscaping. Still, it has to get done.
7. Whether you prefer to mow lawns within your local neighborhood or offer more specialized services, this an easy business to get started. Many a sustainable lawn business has started with a pickup truck and a used mower. The National Lawn and Landscape Association is a great resource to learn how to get started.
8. Cleaning is in a similar category to lawn care: everyone needs to do it, but many busy people don’t have time. There is a range of options for a cleaning business, as well. You can start out cleaning a few homes, hire additional workers to clean more properties, or even negotiate long-term contracts with office buildings.
9. There are also a number of specialty cleaning services you can become proficient in and known for. One option that’s become notable in the last few years is foreclosure cleaning services. With the number of foreclosed homes in some areas at an all-time high, banks and mortgage lenders are overwhelmed with vacant properties. If they hope to recoup their losses from a foreclosure sale, the property needs to be clean and properly maintained. A whole industry is forming to address these needs, leaving you a good opportunity to get your cleaning business underway.
10. We’re not talking about a job with an existing apartment complex or condo company, here. In 2015, it’s possible to develop your own entrepreneurial property management business, catering to homeowners who travel frequently, or who use their local home as a vacation property or rental property. The viability of this type of business will depend on your local area, but for the right market can be very lucrative. Homeowners need everything from collecting mail and paying bills to yard maintenance to overseeing repairs. A reliable, trustworthy property manager could do quite well.
11. Baby Boomers are getting older, people are living longer, and more people are living alone. These are three good reasons a handyman business may be a great opportunity for you. If you’re an expert fixing sinks, installing new fixtures, or cleaning out gutters, you have in-demand skills and experience with projects that single, white-collar workers are too busy to manage themselves and that older Americans are no longer physically able to do.
12. Some handymen operate independently just in their free time, but others take it to the next level. Franchises like Mr. Handyman, House Doctors, and Handyman Connection offer the opportunity to expand to a full-time service provider.
Children and Family
13. For stay-at-home parents, a daycare business is a great family-friendly option. You can often find your first few clients with relative ease through your child’s peer group. You may be able to cut costs on some supplies you’d need to purchase anyways for your own child by buying in bulk for your business. The biggest expense here is likely to be the liability insurance you’ll need to carry and any government licensing and permit fees you’ll need to secure. The SBA has a number of resources for getting started.
Niche entertaining businesses can run the gamut from services to equipment rental to event management. Even in slower economies, couples continue to plan weddings and corporations organize conventions and trade shows.
14. If you’re good with people and a love of music, you might consider a DJ business. In terms of cost, equipment, and music media, it’s never been a better time. Technology puts nearly any song at your fingertips as either a download or streaming audio. Equipment quality continues to improve and competition has led to more accessibly priced options.
15. Rental businesses are also a relatively easy option. You can rent everything from chairs, tables, and tents to glassware, dinnerware, and decorations. To get started with a rental business you need dedicated storage, transportation, and the items you’ll rent out. With a few events, you’ll have paid for your rental furniture and accessories. After that, you’ll be able to pocket a significant portion of your rental fees as profit.
16. If you throw a good party yourself, you might consider becoming an event planner. Conventions, trade shows, corporations, weddings, and smaller organizations all need organized, detail-oriented people to help their events go smoothly. The Event Planners Association is a national trade organization with great resources for would-be event planners.
With the Internet, you don’t have to go door to door or open a local storefront. There are a number of different options depending on how you want to structure your web commerce business.
17. Sites like Zazzle and Cafepress allow you to open an online storefront of customized on-demand merchandise including as t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and more. The site hosts your store page on their website and handles putting your design on the merchandise, taking payment, and shipping orders. You provide the slogans, illustrations, or designs that decorate the item. This is a very easy business to start, but since you add your desired profit onto an already moderately priced item, your profit margin won’t be as high as if you did everything yourself.
18. Etsy is an online storefront loved by crafts makers and artisans the world over. If you’d like to open a business selling your own jewelry, drawings, crafts, or personal care products, this is the place for you. Esty is a much more labor-intensive venture than the customized merchandise storefronts. You’ll do everything from making your wares, to photographing them, writing product copy, and taking and filling orders. The site provides you an easy-to-use storefront and payment processor, helps promote top sellers, and helps with customer service issues.
19. If you’re interested in selling items, but less interested in making them yourself or hoping to market to a wider audience, the Amazon Sellers program may be for you. You can add items to Amazon’s massive catalog, reach an audience of tens of millions, and sell items in up to 20 categories. There’s even an option to let Amazon handle customer service and order fulfillment.< 20. If you want to be completely independent, it’s also possible to open your own independent retail website. Platforms like WooCommerce and Squarespace allow you to build a customized website from an array of templates and themes and manage everything yourself, from web design and hosting to marketing products, order fulfillment, and customer service. A web commerce site can reach thousands of customers in any niche market you can imagine.
SportsSportsLife and ProStar Athletics offer opportunities to become a sporting goods distributor for your local area. You can facilitate custom-orders for local youth and school teams and sell promotional and novelty items in your community as well.
22. Fitness is an important part of many people’s lives. With the right knowledge and a desire to help others live a more healthy lifestyle, you could start a personal trainer or fitness instructor business. Many gyms prefer to work with vetted trainers and have programs to offer client referrals.
23. Franchise opportunities also exist for fitness trainers. Beachbody, makers of the popular fitness programs P90X and Insanity, offers franchise opportunities to get certified to teach classes and offer personalized workout and healthy lifestyle coaching. With the advent of social media, some top Beachbody trainers offer coaching online as well as in person, expanding their client market even further.
Making the Leap
Wherever your passions lead you, there’s an opportunity to start a new business in 2015. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or web-savvy entrepreneur, there’s lots of ways you can turn a hobby or everyday skill into a new business venture. Sure, it’s hard work, but the results can make it all worthwhile.