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Big City, Small Business: 8 Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

Jennifer Post

Big cities are alive with big ideas, and some of those big ideas can be about starting a small business. Small towns, while being a great environment for small businesses, might not have the clientele entrepreneurs need to build a thriving, successful business. Here are eight small businesses anyone can start in a big city.


Living in a big city where tourists flock to every day creates the perfect opening for your own business. Visit the local restaurants, shops, farmer's markets, etc., and write about them. Think of it as a resource that can be used for those who visit, those new to the area or the forever locals looking for something new to do. Make money through advertising or working with local businesses as an affiliate marketer.

Instagram photographer

Do you ever scroll through Instagram and see all the amazing fashion shots or food photos and wonder how people get them? A lot of times, Instagram influencers hire photographers to do photo shoots of their outfits, cooking or a day in the life of the influencer. If you fancy yourself a photographer and want to break into that business, starting this business in a big city is your best chance.

Food truck

Starting a food truck can be a little more daunting than the other business ideas on this list because of the different licenses and permits required. Once your truck is up and running, you can sell at places like festivals, farmer's markets or outside of local bars after they close to feed hungry customers. [See related article How to Start a Food Truck Business]

Event planning

Event planning is something people are willing to pay good money for. When someone hosts an event, they really just want to enjoy the party with the rest of their guests and not spend time in the kitchen preparing food or fiddling with arrangements. This is where the event planner comes in. With a team of a few, you can plan the menu, decorations, drinks and flow of the party. Advertising on social media with pictures of past events will certainly help your business grow.

Craft classes

If you've got the space in your home or apartment and have the crafty skill others want, why not teach it? In-home craft classes are a new trend in the art world, as they offer a more personal experience. It can also be more cost-effective, because you won't have to rent an extra space just for teaching.

Rental property owner

Owning a rental property is a smart way to make extra income. You can offer your property on sites like Airbnb, VRBO or use a realtor for more long-term renters. Since the rental will be a second property, you won't be displaced. Furthermore, it's possible that you can cover most of, if not all, the monthly mortgage payments with the rent being paid to you. However, be aware of certain regulations and permits, though. Some cities have instituted rules for Airbnb renters to protect the hotel industry.

Errand service

The last thing working parents want to do after carpooling, driving to various events and cooking dinner is running all the other errands required for a busy household. If you have a car and a few free hours, you could start your own business running errands for those too busy to do so or even those individuals who just plain don't feel like doing it. Use sites like TaskRabbit to start getting clients and positive reviews to grow your business.

Dog walking

Apartments are the most common living situations for a lot of city dwellers, and those don't offer a lot of space for a dog. This makes big cities the perfect place to start a dog-walking business. Websites like let you advertise your services and find dogs in need of walking. You can even put flyers up in apartment buildings or at your local gym to get the word out locally.

Image Credit: Shutterstock
Jennifer Post
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Jennifer Post is a professional writer with published works focusing on small business topics including marketing, financing, and how-to guides. She has also published articles on business formation, business software, public relations and human resources. Her work has also appeared in Fundera and The Motley Fool.