Business ideas with potential

Business ideas with potential
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Have you been thinking of launching your own business, but don't know where to start? With a little inspiration, you might find the spark of creativity that pushes you to follow your entrepreneurial dreams.

Starting a business can be intimidating, but with the power of a great idea, a little planning, and some wise investments, and you'll be well on your way to being your own boss and bringing your small business vision to life. Here are nine ideas to inspire you and get you thinking about what you might be able to do as a small business owner.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing
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Are you an experienced web developer, content writer, graphic designer or social media manager? Any one of these skills is enough to offer digital marketing services to businesses, and combining them only makes your value proposition even higher.

In this business-to-business (B2B) venture, there is little overhead required other than your own time and effort. Networking with other small business owners is a great way to get clients, while also giving you the opportunity to pick their brains about entrepreneurship.

Local farming

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People are increasingly conscious about eating healthy and eating local. For many, however, locally grown produce, meat, milk and eggs are hard to find or cost prohibitive. Urban and suburban backyard farming has already staged a comeback. Now, it's time for the small commercial farmer.

Farming is never going to be easy. But a combination of sophisticated marketing skills and modern farming techniques could position you to ride the local, organic wave – even if you're only leasing the land. Consider teaming up with a farm-to-table restaurant to ensure early success.

Energy efficiency consultant

Energy efficiency consultant
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Cold winters, hot summers and high fuel and electricity costs all combine to create an opportunity for anyone with the experience and know-how to help create more energy efficient homes and businesses. Government regulations and incentives also mean there will always be a need for your services, especially among new and expanding companies.

By offering various services, from designing energy consumption plans to completing projects that improve energy efficiency, you can cater to budgets large and small.

Landscaping and tree service

If you've tried to call a tree service lately, you probably already know there's a big gap between supply and demand. Increasingly severe weather in all parts of the country is causing tree damage that only professionals can repair. It's not a business for the timid, but if you can find some experienced employees, you'll probably have all the work you can handle.

In addition to a tree service, landscaping businesses will always be in demand for homeowners and businesses alike. Commercial landscaping is hard work, but a talented landscaper can quickly make a reputation for themselves as a quality hire in their community.

Residential environmental assessment service

People are increasingly aware of and concerned about indoor pollution. Fumes from paint, carpets, kitchen cabinets and furniture are of concern. Radon, electro-magnetic fields, lead toys and wireless device radiation are all concerns, too. The problem is, it's very hard for the average homeowner to figure out how to test for each of these concerns. For professionals, however, it's a different story.

Local health, children's, baby and environmental fairs would provide ample marketing opportunities for a business that offered a reasonably priced home-health assessment. If you want to go big, you could also offer remediation services, although that might require additional licensing and certification.

Private tutor and education consultant

There will always be students who need extra help or want to go the extra mile. Offering private tutoring services is a great way to start a side-hustle that can grow into your own small business. To expand your services, consider investing in your own education, or bringing on employees with a variety of expertise. Think outside the box as well; it's not just the core school subjects that are in demand, but also niche subjects like coding and music theory. Extending your services to adult learners also expands your customer base.

It's also hard to know which education choice is best and what you can afford. As education offerings keep expanding and changing, busy parents need some help figuring out how to navigate the higher-education waters. A consultant with a background in education who can simplify the process will be at the head of the class. [Read related story: 5 Great Starter Cybersecurity Certifications]

Kids consignment shop

Everyone's looking for a way to save and earn extra money, and what better way to help consumers do that than helping them sell their children's old items – while offering gently used items for less? Kids consignment shops can include baby equipment, clothes, furniture and books. The inventory is cheap and, in most cases, you don't have to pay for it until the items have sold. For the cost of the monthly rent and a marketing plan, you could be in business in no time.

Specialty diet baking and catering service

Specialty diet baking and catering service
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Many people are looking for gluten-free and vegan food options. While more restaurants and catering services are accommodating those demands, there are still major gaps that need filling. In fact, by 2020 the market for gluten-free foods alone is projected to be valued at $7.6 billion, according to Statista.

If you have a knack for baking or the culinary arts, consider developing a full-service catering company, with an emphasis on gluten-free and vegan options. People who are sticking to strict diets, either by choice or for health reasons, are often willing to pay top dollar for fresh, quality food – and catering service with those options will be in high demand.

Home cleaning service

Home cleaning service
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A clean home is a happy home, and most everyone has experience cleaning. The trouble is, many people just don't want to do it, or don't have enough hours in the day to make their home sparkle. That's where a home cleaning service can come in. Like landscaping, a cleaning service means a bit of elbow grease, but it can pay off quickly once you make a name for yourself as a thorough, reliable cleaning company.

Find your business idea

Find your business idea
Ready to figure out what business idea is best for you? Try our Business Idea Generator. Answer 21 "yes" or  "no" questions  and we'll tell you the top five business ideas that might work for you. Click here to get started.