Thinking about starting a new business? Women-owned businesses are on the rise, according to the Small Business Association, and are now the fastest-growing segment of new businesses in the U.S. economy.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom wanting to start a home-based business, a career-changer taking the plunge to entrepreneurship, or a nine-to-fiver simply looking for additional income, here are some business ideas to help you get started.
1. Baby products
The baby industry is booming. A recent IBISWorld study shows that the baby products industry is soaring, especially in online sales.
The baby food market is also predicted to have a 5.4 percent growth between 2012 and 2016, according to TechNavio.
Whether you decide to create new, eco- and budget-friendly baby products, cook up some organic baby food or design super-cute baby clothes and accessories, you can use your maternal instincts to launch a successful business that makes happier, healthier babies.
2. Parenting blog/website/community
If you’re a parent, then you know exactly the type of issues other parents are facing. Why not create a blog, website or online community to help others with their own parenting concerns? Make it profitable the same way other websites do with ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored content and more. Consider being a mommy resource or dedicate your site to a certain age group, such as baby and toddler care or raising tweens and teenagers to give it a unique twist.
Tutoring is one of the most flexible business opportunities out there for anyone who has the patience and wants to help students excel. For women who have obligations at home, you can schedule tutoring sessions any time that is suitable for you and even do them online via Skype or other software. For career women, tutoring is typically done after school hours, making it convenient to run your business after work.
4. Event planning
Do you enjoy planning birthday parties, meetings and other gatherings? Do finding venues, working with vendors, scheduling agendas and dealing with last-minute changes sound like a piece of cake to you? Whether you love to coordinate small get-togethers or plan larger events such as weddings and conventions, you can use your keen eye for detail and ability to juggle multiple tasks to start an event-planning business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 43.7 percent growth in the event-planning industry between 2010 and 2020, making this a desirable business venture for women who have a knack for organization and seeing things through from start to finish.
5. Coaching services
Love helping people? Launching a coaching service may be the personally and financially rewarding business opportunity you’re looking for. Whether you become a life coach, health coach or career coach, among others, you have the opportunity to help others overcome challenges, make tough decisions and reach their potential in whatever it is they do. If you’re an excellent communicator and a compassionate listener who isn’t quick to judge, being a personal coach gives you the chance to make a difference while inspiring others to be their best.
6. Business consulting
Don’t think your professional background is limited to helping you land a well-paying job. It can help you start a profitable business, too. If you have extensive experience in a particular field or industry, position yourself as an expert and start a consulting service to help businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and other organizations be better at what they do. As a business consultant, your job will include solving issues, spotting problem areas before they materialize, and providing sound advice to help decision-makers make wise business choices. You can use your own success to help others succeed also.
7. IT consulting
IT consulting is no longer limited to working at an IT firm. Everyone needs IT help at some point, but not everyone has the budget to hire a big firm. If you have a tech background and can help people set up networks, troubleshoot and perform other tasks, you can start a one-woman IT consulting service from home and even take on a few employees as you expand your clientele. IT consulting also includes helping other business owners adopt new software and hardware for their organization, making this an excellent opportunity for those who love tech products and seeing them in action.
8. Build an app
Only 6 percent of app developers are women, according to a recent study by the Application Developers Alliance and GigaOM Pro. Start a revolution and launch an app startup. You can either build apps for others or create your own. If you have a great idea for an app, you can hire developers to build it for you or build it yourself. No tech background? App development courses are available online and offline, but you can also learn by doing via development sources provided by Apple, Google and other app platforms.
9. Color expert
Countless studies show that color affects the human brain in almost any context, from consumer decisions to changing moods and establishing trust. If you understand color psychology and have a keen eye for color, which most women do, according to research on how women and men see color differently, a color-consulting business may be right for you. You can help a variety of clients across industries, such as businesses with their branding needs, architects and interior decorators with design, and even hospitals and clinics to help put patients at ease. Check out the International Association of Color Consultants/Designers for more information.
10. Editorial services
Do you have a penchant for the written word? Running an editorial business — writing, editing and publishing — may be right where you belong. Are you a gifted storyteller? Writers have plenty of opportunities, from copywriting for businesses, producing Web content (yes, blogging counts!) and even writing for magazines and news outlets. Are you quick to spot grammatical, spelling, structural and other errors? Editors can choose from a number of paths, such as editing manuscripts, websites, periodicals, books and more. Is publishing more your thing? Digital books, known as eBooks, are all the rage today. You can publish your own books (whether written by you or a ghostwriter), or you can start a boutique digital publishing house to help undiscovered authors get their work out.