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Updated Nov 29, 2023

Why Didn’t I Think of That? 18 Creative Business Ideas

It's never too late to start your own business.

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Sean Peek, Business Ownership Insider and Senior Analyst
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This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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Humans are wonderfully different from one another, meaning there are countless ways to think, create, act and live. Every successful entrepreneur has cultivated their unique passions and interests and learned valuable lessons in life and business. Their experiences can serve them well professionally as they embark on new ventures. If you need a little inspiration for your own entrepreneurial dreams, see the ideas below to get you started.

Creative business ideas

Great business ideas often stem from an entrepreneur’s attempts to solve problems they and others have experienced. Consider the following creative business ideas that may inspire your next venture. We’ve grouped them by category to make them easier to browse.

Business ideas for retirees

Online businesses 

Diane Eschenbach, an entrepreneur and author of How to Quickly Start a Business Online, said she thinks online businesses are a great option for retirees, as long as the entrepreneur doesn’t let technology intimidate them. She suggested curation sites, which aggregate information for easy reading, as one of the most accessible and engaging online business ideas to pursue. 

Consulting and coaching

Consulting and coaching are excellent business ideas for older entrepreneurs who can leverage their passion and experience. Skills from previous jobs and rich life experiences make retirees well positioned to share their knowledge. 

Mastermind groups

Members of mastermind groups meet regularly to collaborate and solve problems or issues by tapping into the group’s collective experience, skills and knowledge. As seasoned professionals, older entrepreneurs hold an advantage in this market. Owners of mastermind groups can generate thousands of dollars a month, depending on the size and location of the group and the premium they set for becoming a member.

Trendy business ideas

Food trucks

Over 36,000 food truck businesses exist in the U.S. as of 2023, representing an increase of nearly 10 percent from 2022. Although starting a food truck business means facing stiff competition and working long hours, it has a high potential for handsome rewards. And compared with starting a restaurant, the food truck business comes with relatively low overhead costs.

Yoga businesses

Yoga harnesses the best elements of fitness and relaxation to create a mind, body and spirit connection that rejuvenates and strengthens. Yoga studios find particular success in metropolitan areas with a young demographic, where they can expand their offerings to include food, beverages or yoga accessories.

3D-printing businesses

What once seemed like a high-tech, futuristic device is now a reality: 3D-printing applications allow users to create physical objects at home and act as low-volume manufacturing machines for small businesses. As a business itself, 3D-printing companies can create templates for 3D-printer owners to use or print toys, parts and other objects for clients. 

FYIDid you know
Low-cost business ideas are usually service-based models. Product-based businesses typically have higher overhead. Fashion-related business ideas could fall into either category: You might provide a service, like fashion coaching, or a product, like fashion illustrations.
Did You Know?Did you know
An interior design service is also an excellent home-based business idea with few startup costs.

Death-centric business ideas

Murder-scene maids

Captivated by the macabre? Have a strong stomach and a penchant for dirty jobs? If so, a biohazard cleaning company might fit your interests well. Baxter Restoration, a cleaning and reconstruction company in Orlando, Florida, offers biohazard cleaning services and may present a jumping-off point for entrepreneurs who are interested in a similar idea. Baxter Restoration specializes in blood, crime scene, meth lab, and hoarding cleanup and restoration to create a habitable space.

Biodegradable coffins

A biodegradable coffin company appeals to the rising demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable products. Biodegradable coffins reduce the carbon footprint of the funeral home industry and offer an affordable alternative during a challenging time in many people’s lives. Your business would also have a natural tie-in to Earth Day every year.

Carbon-free cremation 

Also known as flameless cremation or alkaline hydrolysis, this process uses water to turn the body to ash. Much like environmentally friendly coffin makers, purveyors of flameless cremation reduce carbon emissions and energy, and they don’t use fossil fuels. If you’re concerned about climate change, this could be an impactful venture for you.

TipTip
Not every business idea is a winner. If you're wondering if you have a bad business idea, consult a trusted expert for advice, look at your sales and evaluate your market niche.

Business ideas for the senior market

Financial planning

Building and promoting financial education resources online for the senior market is a strong idea if you’re passionate about financial literacy and serving an older generation. In addition, you may find success in asset management for retirees by helping clients understand the lifestyle they can afford after retirement.

In-home care

The in-home-care market exists for older adults who choose not to move to a senior living community but struggle to keep up with grocery shopping, the maintenance of their residences, and other self-care activities. While they are not incapable of performing the activities of daily living, these older adults need a little help ensuring their safety and comfort. This would be a great fit if you have experience as a caregiver or personal assistant.

Selling or storing possessions

If an older adult stays in their home, they may purge their possessions. A business that helps seniors sell or store possessions fills a desperate need and joins a busy niche. Self-storage caters to people who may want to keep family heirlooms, but not in their homes. Retail helpers and antique sellers who assist in selling vintage possessions will most likely serve an older market or interact with their adult children after their parents’ death.

Ways to find business ideas

If you haven’t found a business idea that speaks to your skills and interests, consider the following ways to discover new business ideas.

Searching questions in subreddits

If you’re looking for new business ideas, you should review subreddits on Reddit and “Ask me anything” threads. Here, you can ask experts and celebrities questions that may lead to ideas for small or midsize businesses.

Talking to family and friends

Your loved ones can be helpful when you’re deciding what type of business to launch. Your family and friends usually know you best and can help you identify your strengths and how you might apply them when you start a business. Additionally, two (or more) heads are better than one for brainstorming.

Solving everyday issues

Are you a go-to problem-solver for specific issues in your loved ones’ lives? For example, maybe friends seek your guidance when cooking new recipes, or perhaps family members reach out for fashion advice. If there’s an area of expertise in which you thrive, you could make a profitable business out of it.

Considering your hobbies and passions

Today, you can create a business from nearly any passion. For example, if you enjoy writing, you might consider launching your own publishing company or magazine. If you love baking, you can start your own bakery. Consider the hobbies and interests that set your soul on fire and how you might capitalize on them. Pursuing your passions will also keep you motivated when business is slow because you’ll genuinely enjoy your work.

Analyzing Pinterest comments

If your talents lie in identifying or creating the next great must-have product, use a Pinterest account to get inspiration. Pay attention to the comments section on pins related to your passion or a niche industry to spark new ideas.

TipTip
It's a good idea to test your business idea before you launch your endeavor to ensure it's viable. Gather feedback, and tweak your business model if necessary.

How to know if your business idea is good

While no formula can guarantee that a business will find immediate success, ask yourself these questions to gauge your idea’s value:

  • Does your business idea fill a gap? If a business introduces a new product or service that fills a gap in a market or niche, it probably has legs to stand on its own.
  • Is your business idea financially viable? A business’s ability to crowdfund signals a demand for the product or service and builds an excited fan base.
  • Do your mentors believe it’s a good idea? If your trusted business partners or seasoned mentors say the idea is worth pursuing, the business probably has potential.
  • Does the business idea perform well in trade shows and tests? If your idea generates buzz at conferences, trade shows and other professional events, it’s a sign the business can do well.
  • Are you passionate about your business idea? If you believe in the idea and work tirelessly to achieve your goals, your potential for success greatly increases.

Starting a unique business

Many creative business ideas exist. However, a business idea likely won’t become a profitable venture if you aren’t passionate about it or if it doesn’t fill a gap in the market. Ensure that your business idea is financially viable so you can create something sustainable and profitable. While startup mistakes are inevitable, vetting your idea and starting small can set you on a path to success. 

Sammi Caramela and Saige Driver contributed to this article.

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Sean Peek, Business Ownership Insider and Senior Analyst
Sean Peek is the co-founder of a self-funded small business that employs more than a dozen team members. His years of hands-on entrepreneurial experience in bootstrapping, operations management, process automation and leadership have strengthened his knowledge of the B2B world and the most pressing issues facing business owners today. Peek uses his expertise to guide fellow small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the areas of marketing, finance and software technology. Peek excels at developing customer bases and fostering long-term client relationships, using lean principles to drive efficiency and cost-saving, and identifying growth areas. He has demonstrated his business savvy through collaborations with Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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