The 60 Best Small Business Ideas To Start In Nashville, Tennessee

Itching to start a business or work for yourself?

Nashville is already great place to start a business, but you might be wondering what you can start today.

Here are the best business ideas to start in Nashville.

1. Start a publishing business ($18M/year)

Adam Witty from Charleston, South Carolina, USA started Advantage Media Group over 15 years ago, a publishing business.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 81
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina, USA

As a kid, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a publisher. In fact, no kid does!

While in high school, my parents made me get a summer job. Our neighbor worked for a publishing company and offered an internship. I thought I would hate it. I ended up really liking it. I found the creation of books, the marketing, and sales of books absolutely fascinating. But I went off to college not really thinking about it again.

While in school at Clemson, my boss at the publishing company ventured out and started his own publishing business. He asked me if I wanted to partner with him. I did. We worked together for about a year, but we had different visions for the company. I wanted to create a big business. He wanted a lifestyle business that would employ his family members and he could work from home. We parted ways.

how-i-started-a-1-5m-month-publishing-and-marketing-company

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Adam Witty, on starting Advantage Media Group ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start an online reputation management business ($6.6M/year)

Bant Breen from New York, New York, USA started Qnary almost 9 years ago, a online reputation management business.

  • Revenue: $550,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I was the CEO of an international paid search and social media agency that was part of a much larger advertising holding company. My agency had Fortune 500 clients and utilized the leading tech tools available in the market to optimize and manage their brands. I saw an opportunity in that pretty much all the tools being offered to optimize online presence was designed for brands. There really wasn’t anything out there to help individuals accomplish the same thing. So, I set out to build a platform focused specifically on assisting individual executives with online search and social media optimization.

I left my agency job and spent several months writing my initial business plan. During the drafting process, I sat with several friends that were experts in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) to challenge my hypothesis and blueprint. The business plan editing was brutal and I will be forever grateful that my friends did not go easy on me. I came up with the name Qnary based on the bird. I saw the Company as providing a canary in the coal mine-type service where we would identify issues and help executives address them proactively.

how-i-started-a-550k-month-executive-online-reputation-management-solution

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Bant Breen, on starting Qnary ($550,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a women's clothing line ($6M/year)

Brigitte Shamy from Highland started SexyModest.com almost 12 years ago, a women's clothing line.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Highland

Brig went to school for fashion design and had no previous experience in sewing or ecom. She did work in retail for a few years as a teenager which taught her the importance of 5-star customer service.

We know there are a million clothing options for women out there, but we are sure none of them will love you as we will. We want you to be stunning, be modest, be comfy, be YOU!

My wife has always been very stylish. She LOVES fashion. In 2003 she moved to Utah and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints she found herself facing a standard of modesty she hadn’t known previously… as she went shopping she could find clothing that modest, but not cute or cute but certainly not modest. Frustrated, she went to work designing clothing she thought would be both modest and cute and maybe most importantly comfortable. (She is a self-proclaimed fabric snob)

how-we-started-a-500k-month-modest-women-s-clothing-brand-and-closed-a-deal-with-costco

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Brigitte Shamy, on starting SexyModest.com ($500,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a hotel ($6M/year)

Tom Boyd from Knoxville, TN, USA started Ancient Lore Village over 1 year ago, a hotel.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

I was in the process of writing a book about the rise and fall of democracy in the United States. At that time, my son entered the gubernatorial race in Tennessee and I spent 18 months on the campaign trail in small towns and cities all over the state. In talking to all types of people, I found so much intolerance and hatred and lack of understanding for other people. I knew that I needed to change the direction of the book.

I decided to write a book about a person who took a journey and discovered all different types of people and saw that they could all live together in a place of peace, joy, and happiness where only good existed. That place is Ancient Lore Village. To test the theory of my book, I felt that building a Village in its image would be the best way to test this theory.

Having built 17 successful businesses, I had learned from experience that first, you must build a team. First, I found a very creative architect that shared the same vision. Then I set out to find a team of experts in the hospitality industry, with experience in service, lodging, and culinary. I found Melissa Blettner, former Senior Vice President for Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.

starting-a-5-star-boutique-resort-and-event-center-based-on-a-fiction-book-lore

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Tom Boyd, on starting Ancient Lore Village ($500,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a card game ($4.8M/year)

Bart Kloosterhuis from Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands started Vertellis 3 months ago, a card game.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

I’ve had a smooth upbringing. Parents are still together (married for over 45 years), gave lots of love to me and my older brother, and paid for my education. But…

I had different ideas than my family about life, education, and the path I wanted to take. I never really felt understood or taken seriously as the youngest member of the family.

This caused a lot of struggle when I was younger which resulted in arguments, disappointments, and more. This, in turn, not only caused a lot of stress for me but also my parents and brother.

how-we-created-a-400k-month-card-game-to-bring-people-closer-together

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Bart Kloosterhuis, on starting Vertellis ($400,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a party supply store ($3.6M/year)

Dean Salakas from Sydney, Australia started The Party People almost 21 years ago, a party supply store.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

30 years ago, my mum was “Patches The Clown” catering for kids parties. Her passion for parties led her to open a small party store with my grandfather. From the age of 4, I was put to work filling small bags with sand for 5 cents each which would be used to weigh down helium balloons on tables.

We love change. Every time something changes, there is an opportunity for us to be early and capitalize while everyone else drags their feet.

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Dean Salakas, on starting The Party People ($300,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a money lending company ($3.6M/year)

Michael Mikhail from Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA started Stratton Equities almost 3 years ago, a money lending company.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 14
  • Location: Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA

I've been a fluctuating entrepreneur my whole life, but I’ve always come back to the mortgage industry, purchasing my first investment property at 19 utilizing a hard money loan program.

You're only as strong as your team and as an entrepreneur you need to understand the pain points in every area - and understand how to alleviate them.

Even before I started Stratton Equities, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and had previously worked in the mortgage industry as well as developed several small businesses throughout my career. Prior to launching my mortgage business; I had been a successful personal trainer while living in Dubai, I had created a hand car wash and detail shop while living in Florida, and even designed a high-end vitamin supplement company in New Jersey while launching Stratton Equities.

how-i-started-a-300k-month-money-lending-company

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Michael Mikhail, on starting Stratton Equities ($300,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a knife sharpening service ($2.4M/year)

Mikael Soderlindh from Malibu, California, USA started Knife Aid about 1 year ago, a knife sharpening service.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Malibu, California, USA

I have a long and successful history in branding and starting businesses, one of them being my biggest success, Happy Socks, which I started 12 years ago. The biggest motivator for me to create my own companies is being free and in control of my own destiny and constantly living an adventure. It’s about the journey of creating something from the beginning that is built on the need or desire of people and then trying to put it in front of as many people as possible to be successful. Shortly after writing our business plan I found Magnus Petersson. With 30 years’ experience in knife sharpening, and having achieved celebrity status among chefs in the high-end restaurants in Los Angeles, and coincidentally originally from Sweden, Magnus was the perfect lead Knifesmith for the company.

Me and my family, moved to California to start this idea, and Knife Aid was established in Malibu with Mikael as CEO and Magnus as Master Knifesmith, training and overseeing a team of knife sharpeners.

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Mikael Soderlindh, on starting Knife Aid ($200,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a podcast ($2.04M/year)

John Lee Dumas from Puerto Rico, USA started Entrepreneurs on Fire about 8 years ago, a podcast.

  • Revenue: $170,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Puerto Rico, USA

Before I launched Entrepreneurs On Fire I was working in Commercial Real Estate, which meant I was spending a lot of time in the car driving to show properties and meet with clients.

That’s when I had my own ah-ha moment: why isn’t someone creating a daily podcast for people like me, who have to drive to and from work every day and want to consume inspiring content? … Be the change.

Because I was not a huge fan of the radio, I started listening to podcasts. They were like a breath of fresh air: on-demand, valuable content that gave me advice, tips and tactics about any topic I was interested in for free.

how-john-lee-dumas-grew-a-podcast-into-2m-year-business

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John Lee Dumas, on starting Entrepreneurs on Fire ($170,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start a diy business ($1.62M/year)

Mark Tyrol from Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA started Battic Door over 7 years ago, a DIY business.

  • Revenue: $135,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA

When I purchased my first house in 2000, I had a pull-down ladder in one of the bedrooms.

When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood.

I have a colleague who told me “Businesses do not fail, people quit.” I decided to not quit.

how-i-turned-a-diy-project-into-a-million-dollar-business

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Mark Tyrol, on starting Battic Door ($135,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start an activewear brand ($1.26M/year)

Julie New from Newcastle, Australia started Be Activewear about 6 years ago, a activewear brand.

  • Revenue: $105,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Newcastle, Australia

I started Be Activewear because there needed to be a place where if you were a size 6 or 26 and you wanted to wear bright pink tights, go out, get them and OWN IT.

After a successful corporate career I found myself being a single mum, relocating and working part time, all while completing my MBA. During this time I knew I wanted to start my own business so I could have more control on how I spent my time.

A lot of people spend a lot of time on logos, website design… my focus was to get it launched and learn along the way what works.

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Julie New, on starting Be Activewear ($105,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start an auction platform ($1.2M/year)

Aaron Varsha from Los Angeles, California, USA started Auction King over 5 years ago, a auction platform.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

My family has been in the auction business for four generations, so I was naturally exposed.

But the story here starts about 7 years ago when my dad asked me if I could help him run his auction on LiveAuctioneers.com – a new, exciting website that was changing the auction industry. I was in college at the time, but I happily helped out.

Running the auctions was fun, and I was making some good money on the side. Before I knew it I was doing an auction every weekend. I graduated college a year later and decided to go full time.

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Aaron Varsha, on starting Auction King ($100,000/month) full story ➜

13. Start a shoe brand ($960K/year)

Kartik Gurmule from Nagpur, Maharashtra, India started KASA almost 2 years ago, a shoe brand.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

I started KASA as my first company as a 16 years teenager in the summer before high school, although it was not my first business. Since I was 12 years old, I did small projects like making websites and running marketing for clients.

When secondary school ended, I came to know about FlightClub, StockX, and Sneakerdon and got introduced to the sneaker culture around the world. With my connections made in the previous venture, I was able to get inside contacts in big sneaker brands who could supply me with the shoes skipping the waiting line.

But, due to strict Indian customs and taxations, this business failed in the first month itself. I was able to import the shoes at my home but was unable to sell for a good profit because it charged high custom fees and high international courier charges as potential customers were in the USA.

how-i-started-a-80k-month-luxury-shoes-and-accessories-brand

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Kartik Gurmule, on starting KASA ($80,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a women's shoe line ($900K/year)

Tanya Heath from Paris, Ile-de-France, France started Tanya Heath almost 11 years ago, a women's shoe line.

  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France

I started my professional life as a anglophone working in Paris France. The first day that I came to work I changed from ballerinas to high heels at my desk. My French colleagues found this ridiculous and they called me “the New Yorker” (Paris is the only city in the world where this is an insult).

Product development took a long time. I had to hold 4 entire years without a single sale and no venture capital so I was paying for everything myself.

Because I knew my life would be here (my husband is French) and I was trying to integrate into my new surroundings, I stopped wearing flats while walking, and spent the next 10 years including work, travel, babies and everything else that life throws at you, wearing high heels.

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Tanya Heath, on starting Tanya Heath ($75,000/month) full story ➜

15. Start an outdoor store ($600K/year)

Alex Shirley-Smith from London, England, United Kingdom started Tentsile over 8 years ago, a outdoor store.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 16
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

I am a qualified architect that specialized in treehouses for the most recent part of my career.

This was a childhood dream realized, as my love for treehouses was born when I was 6 years old and saw the first glimpse of the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. I knew from that early age that putting people in trees, could be the only long term solution to saving the world’s forests.

From treehouses, I moved into tensile structures made from fabric materials, trying to create the biggest amount of usable space, using the least amount of materials. By combining the engineering practices of suspension bridges, with the biomimicry of a spider’s web, I was able to create space, made from pure tension, that created a 3D structure that could hold the load of a human.

how-i-m-fulfilling-my-childhood-dreams-with-a-portable-treehouse-business

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Alex Shirley-Smith, on starting Tentsile ($50,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a standing desk company ($360K/year)

Ashley ‘JP’ Lockwood from London, England, United Kingdom started Deskmate almost 4 years ago, a standing desk company.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

We were working from a coworking space and wanted standing desks. We asked the community managers if they’d considered them. Answers ranged from, ‘too expensive’, ‘space doesn’t allow them’, ‘why do you need one?’, I guess that was the lightbulb moment.

I’d recommend anyone launching a business in an area they don’t understand to research but not to overthink it. Learn on the job.

The idea behind Deskmate was quite simple really, there was no affordable standing solution in the UK. We did the typical google search, amazon check and there was nothing there. We saw the gap and went for it.

how-we-launched-a-startup-selling-affordable-cardboard-standing-desks

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Ashley ‘JP’ Lockwood, on starting Deskmate ($30,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a bridal store ($300K/year)

Vivian Chan from San Francisco, California, USA started East Meets Dress over 2 years ago, a bridal store.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

My co-founder, Jenn, and I met and became best friends during our freshman year at Yale. After graduation, Jenn had started her career at Google before working at several smaller startups and then joining a coding bootcamp. I started my career in education and nonprofits before joining an early stage startup that was later acquired by Facebook. Around this time, Jenn and I started working on the concept that would later become East Meets Dress.

When we first started, we had no experience in fashion, e-commerce, or entrepreneurship. We simply had our own experiences as consumers.

The idea for East Meets Dress (EMD) originated from Jenn’s personal struggles when she was looking for a modern version of the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese wedding dress. She wanted to wear a cheongsam for her wedding tea ceremony to honor her parents and heritage but finding a modern design that fit her aesthetics turned out to be near impossible. At the time, her options were limited to suspicious onlines sites or stores in Chinatown with poor service and a narrow selection. Ultimately, Jenn resorted to custom making her cheongsam at a local tailor. I was her Maid of Honor and we both felt that Asian-American brides shouldn’t have to be confined to low-quality options or scouring Yelp to find the one tailor who could make a quality cheongsam from scratch.

how-i-built-a-six-figure-business-bringing-asian-culture-to-the-american-wedding-industry

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Vivian Chan, on starting East Meets Dress ($25,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a food delivery business ($300K/year)

Marcia Wiggins from South Portland, Maine, USA started Cape Whoopies almost 8 years ago, a food delivery business.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: South Portland, Maine, USA

Before Cape Whoopies was conceived, I was enjoying being the mom of two kids in high school, the wife to an airline pilot, and an aerobics teacher at my local gym.

When my kids had gone off to college and my husband was in the air, I had much time on my hands. There was only so much time you could spend at the gym, so with the newfound extra time I splurged in one of the things I always loved doing: making delicious baked things for friends.

My husband and I spend time a local restaurant as a hangout when he was home, so we would go to DiMillos and take our server friends whoopie pies. Why whoopie pies? I had tasted the Maine creation and thought, "good idea, not great execution".

building-a-200k-year-pie-business-from-our-home-kitchen

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Marcia Wiggins, on starting Cape Whoopies ($25,000/month) full story ➜

19. Start an online rug store ($264K/year)

Manuel Mas from Crevillent, Valencian Community, Spain started Mundoalfombra.com almost 20 years ago, a online rug store.

  • Revenue: $22,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Crevillent, Valencian Community, Spain

My father has a big background in manufacturing rugs because he worked from 12 years old till now on this industry in Crevillent, so he knows the product, the processes, the suppliers and the people who run this business in our town of 27,000 inhabitants.

I studied computer engineering in the early 2000s and loved the online world. I knew then that the near-future of commerce will be the World Wide Web and eCommerce will be exploding in the next few years. I remember my first orders on Amazon.com from Spain or eBay in the first years… books and other products traveling about several weeks till arriving home…

So the fusion of the Internet and the rug world was clear, then Mundoalfombra.com was created. The experts in rugs and carpets arrived in the online world. Products manufactured in the same town with direct serving, great quality, short delivery times in Spain and Portugal, good prices, exceptional customer support and good relationship with suppliers. The experience in the offline world was shipped to online with a new company. From the old grand-grandfather ́s company experience, born in 1890, to a new opening, and from natural fiber rugs to hundreds of different models and fibers.

how-we-started-selling-rugs-and-carpets-online-in-the-early-2000s

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Manuel Mas, on starting Mundoalfombra.com ($22,000/month) full story ➜

20. Start an earring collection ($264K/year)

Jackie Burke from New York, New York, USA started Tini Lux almost 3 years ago, a earring collection.

  • Revenue: $22,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

In college, I stopped wearing earrings because every pair I tried, even the ones labeled “hypoallergenic,” gave me extremely painful reactions and even caused my piercings to bleed. I researched online and asked around and so many people had the same problem. The solutions online said to try things like putting clear nail polish on your earrings or putting vaseline on your piercings. None of those “hacks” worked. At that point I just resigned myself to not wearing earrings again.

A few years later, when fashion influencers became really popular on Instagram, I started buying everything my favorite bloggers posted. Unfortunately, they always wore the cutest earrings and I could never buy any of them. So one day I decided to do some serious Google-ing because I knew there had to be someone that had created skin-friendly earrings by then.

Deep within the pages of Google, I found a woman who was selling very basic titanium studs. They were made of pure titanium and manufactured by a medical implant manufacturer. She explained how titanium is an inert metal that does not react with the human body, which is why it is used in medical implants. Because of that, it is perfect for earrings. I ordered a pair right away. They completely healed my piercings and I wore them for weeks with absolutely no issues. The only problem was that I wanted fun statement earrings and hoop earrings that looked high end and I couldn’t find any that were made with titanium.

how-i-launched-a-profitable-earrings-business-in-one-year

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Jackie Burke, on starting Tini Lux ($22,000/month) full story ➜

21. Start a preppy clothing business ($252K/year)

Miriam Zelinsky from New York, New York, USA started Lazyjack Press over 8 years ago, a preppy clothing business.

  • Revenue: $21,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I started Lazyjack Press when I had just graduated from law school. During law school, I went back to my alma mater, Dickinson College, for my five-year reunion. While there, I reminisced with my sorority sisters and pretended I was back in college for the weekend. That’s where most of the ideas of my first designs came from like: Beer Goggles, Sweet Shades Bro, and Irish Carbomb (Boilermakers).

During that weekend, my college roommate and I decided to go to the nicer hotel about an hour away for brunch. I saw, quite possibly, the tackiest, most plastic-looking tie I had ever seen and pointed it out to my friend and laughed. When I turned the tie over and saw who designed it, I was shocked. It was a very well-known (and popular, might I add) prep brand.

I went to the mill and had a little trouble (to say the least) because of their religious beliefs - they did not think a woman should be in this business.

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Miriam Zelinsky, on starting Lazyjack Press ($21,000/month) full story ➜

22. Start a fitness facility ($240K/year)

Paul Dickey and Alec Abend from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada started Hexbox Fitness over 1 year ago, a fitness facility.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Growing up I was always the athletic kid who always had a little extra ‘love’ on him. I was constantly teased about my weight, but always laughed it off growing up. However, my 1st year of college was when I really let myself go. I bypassed right by the Freshman 15 and put on 40lbs. This led to a deep depression that was very hard for me to dig myself out of. Playing team sports I was familiar with working out, but it took me falling into that dark place to truly appreciate the importance of the gym; both for my physical and mental well-being.

I fell into the Fitness Industry in 2014 naturally, after being an active gym-goer. Over the next 5 years I moved my way up the food chain starting as a Membership Consultant (salesman) to the General Manager of the largest Health Club in the area with over 8,000 Members. Through this experience, I quickly realized the disconnect between our Club and Members on a personal level was not what I wanted for my career. I belonged to a CrossFit Box for years and even competed at a high level in my free time. I loved the community in the smaller facility and the results it got their Members. But I saw a need for a strength and conditioning based program that was geared to everyone. So many people are intimidated by the physical judgement of CrossFit and it keeps them from stepping into a box.

I saw the need for a Strength and Conditioning based program that catered to ALL! But combining this results driven class with the traditional 24 hour access for Members to do their own thing really put us in our own lane. This led to Hexbox® and HXBX®. Paul and I met at the Health Club I was working at before leaving to pursue my own Facility. When we quickly realized our goals and ambitions were well-aligned, we teamed up. The birth of HXBX® came very naturally and quickly after first discussing what we wanted to do.

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Paul Dickey and Alec Abend, on starting Hexbox Fitness ($20,000/month) full story ➜

23. Start an aftermarket car parts business ($144K/year)

Mitchel Matthews from St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada started Adrenaline Offroad almost 3 years ago, a aftermarket car parts business.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada

My passion for trucks started way before I could even drive. I always wanted to have a huge lifted truck and I loved the idea of driving a vehicle that could make it through conditions that most vehicles couldn’t such as a deep ditch full of water or 3 feet of snow! My grandfather willed me one of his trucks so when I was 16 years old I was blessed to now have his old truck as my own! It was completely bone stock with not a single modification done to it….YET! Over the years I saved pretty much every penny I made at my minimum wage jobs and invested it all into building my truck up to be the beast that it is today!

These before and after pictures below are almost 6 years apart!

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Mitchel Matthews, on starting Adrenaline Offroad ($12,000/month) full story ➜

24. Become a digital product designer ($126K/year)

Abb-d Choudhury from Brighton, England, United Kingdom started Curate Labs over 4 years ago, a digital product designer.

  • Revenue: $10,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Curate Labs stemmed from an initial publication we created called Curate Magazine. The concept behind CM was, ‘one theme, many interpretations – Challenging perspectives through conversation, expression, and curiosity’. Traditionally, I and Sara had worked in large agencies working with big international brands.

Through our roles, we hit a saturation point and fell out of love with the work. From here we decided to set up our own practice, launching from the popularity of Curate Magazine, and creating Curate Labs as a creative, experimental design practice focused on ethics and design for good.

Links to previous issues of Curate Magazine…Issue 4, Issue 5, Issue 6.

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Abb-d Choudhury, on starting Curate Labs ($10,500/month) full story ➜

25. Start a rv rental business ($120K/year)

Gretchen Bayless and Taylor Hood from Portland, Oregon, USA started ROAMERICA almost 5 years ago, a RV rental business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

We are two adventurous souls who met on the Oregon Coast in February 2010. In the beginning, it was all about traveling to find surf and deep snow without the crowds. We originally traveled around in a 1998 Toyota Tacoma with a canopy. It was a great vehicle for accessing all sorts of amazing places but when it turned cold and wet, it became quite uncomfortable, especially with our 2 dogs.

You have to play the long game, and during that game you will most likely be close to broke, SO YOU MUST LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO CARRY YOU THROUGH THOSE HARD TIMES. The ones who press on and don’t quit, are the ones who reap the rewards.

We always dreamt of having a vehicle that could keep us dry throughout the Northwest winters and allow us to access snowy mountains and desolate sandy beaches. In 2013, we upgraded our vehicle to a 2006 4x4 Ford Econoline cargo van. We threw a cooler, futon mattress and a couple seats inside, we had our perfect set up. 6 years later, we have a toddler and baby #2 due in May so we’ve upgraded the layout of a newer Ford Econoline to include a sofa bed that has seat belts for the car seats, a portable fridge/freezer and plenty of storage and room for the 2 pups and all our gear. As our life changes so does the layout of our van. See a little more about our family on our Instagram Highlight Reel.

how-we-started-a-camper-van-rental-business-and-quit-our-full-time-jobs

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Gretchen Bayless and Taylor Hood, on starting ROAMERICA ($10,000/month) full story ➜

26. Start an explainer video business ($120K/year)

Marco Gatti from Tallinn, Estonia started Mediatopsolution OU over 2 years ago, a explainer video business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Tallinn, Estonia

I've always been a salesperson within the family company. A need I often felt in my relationships with customers, was the wish to communicate in a more attractive, engaging and persuasive way. I wanted to win them over and make sure they remembered my messages.

So I started looking for a powerful and innovative way to convey my communications. All this until I stumbled upon something that really caught my attention: the animated video that Robert Cialdini, a Psychology and Marketing professor at Stanford University, had used to promote his books “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. I liked it instantly: I found it immediate, engaging and easy to remember. And then I thought: of course if such a great mentor of the laws of persuasion has relied on this tool of communication, it must mean something!

At that moment I decided to use the power of video animations to increase the effectiveness of my business relationships with customers. But there was a problem: the existing services had exorbitant costs, about 10,000 dollars per minute, far too much for a company like ours. So I tried and made a video for my family's company myself. The first results were really not professional: I did everything, from the script to the animation including the audio, with my voice. I even recorded it in a small room, putting a sock on the microphone to reduce the reverb effect!

how-i-created-a-10k-month-company-that-makes-animated-explainer-videos

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Marco Gatti, on starting Mediatopsolution OU ($10,000/month) full story ➜

27. Start a sporting goods store ($101K/year)

Kyler Russell from Midwest, Wyoming, USA started Comfy Cup LLC about 4 years ago, a sporting goods store.

  • Revenue: $8,400/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Midwest, Wyoming, USA

I loved playing baseball, but felt that the hard athletic cup I was required to wear was, well, a pain in the crotch. I tried almost every youth athletic cup on the market and nothing felt comfortable.

Starting a business seems like a really hard thing to do, but it is really just lots and lots of tiny steps in the direction you need to go.

Honestly, I threw a fit about wearing it before every practice and game, but I had to wear it. During one of my pre-game frustrations, my mom said, "If you don't like something. Quit whining about it and come up with a solution!"

how-a-12-year-old-started-a-100k-athletic-cup-product

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Kyler Russell, on starting Comfy Cup LLC ($8,400/month) full story ➜

28. Start a fitness clothing line ($101K/year)

Elgin E. Mones, Esq. from Silver Spring, Maryland, USA started Infinite Elgintensity Gym Apparel over 6 years ago, a fitness clothing line.

  • Revenue: $8,378/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

I decided to capitalize on my newfound YouTube popularity by selling workout clothes to my fanbase of lifters and other fitness enthusiasts. I was working full-time as an attorney, so I needed someone to print apparel and fulfill the orders for me. Law school barely prepares lawyers for law practice, let alone the clothing business, so I asked a fellow Youtuber how he got started. He got me in touch with the owner of an established fitness apparel brand for production and fulfillment, and they both taught me how to run the business, from setting up my Shopify store to streamlining order fulfillment.

If your competitors beat you to an idea, think of a complementary one that won’t get you into legal trouble.

Most of my apparel designs complement my YouTube content. For example, my “ZERO” design is based on a 2012 video in which I chanted “ZERO" to mock a crossfitter for cheating his reps during a pull-up record attempt. I’m a well-known opponent of the fat acceptance movement, so I made the “Plus-Size Model” to suggest that chubby dogs like pugs are the only ones deserving of that title. By basing shirt logos on my own content, I make money on that content twice: first from ad revenue, and again from apparel sales.

how-i-started-a-8k-month-gym-apparel-ecommerce

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Elgin E. Mones, Esq., on starting Infinite Elgintensity Gym Apparel ($8,378/month) full story ➜

29. Start a food blog ($64.8K/year)

Brett Lindenberg from California, USA started Food Truck Empire almost 7 years ago, a food blog.

  • Revenue: $5,400/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: California, USA

Back in 2014, I had an idea to start a food truck business. The business model seemed like a winner because I could operate part-time on weekends while maintaining my corporate online marketing job during the week.

I viewed this as a low-risk business opportunity since I wouldn’t need to rely on the food truck profits to pay bills. Any income generated would be “extra money” after the expenses of running a truck. Operating at a profit didn’t seem like a difficult task to assuming I would be willing to run the business myself and selected a high-margin menu for the truck.

Starting a business is time consuming and insanely difficult even if you’re doing it full time. Take the hours you have left after work and focus them toward one thing.

how-i-started-a-profitable-food-entrepreneurship-blog

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Brett Lindenberg, on starting Food Truck Empire ($5,400/month) full story ➜

30. Start a lingerie business ($62.9K/year)

Jessica Ding from New York, USA started LoveLornLingerie almost 7 years ago, a lingerie business.

  • Revenue: $5,245/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, USA

I graduated from Pratt Institute in 2012 with a degree in fashion design, focusing on costume design.

At the time, I just wanted a job that could support my life in New York City - stability, a salary, healthcare, that whole thing. While I’d have loved to get a job in costume design, that’s tougher to get into without connections.

Being able to change is, in and of itself, a trust in your innate abilities to grow in ANY field, rather than shackling yourself to one particular look.

how-i-started-my-own-lingerie-business-side-hustle

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Jessica Ding, on starting LoveLornLingerie ($5,245/month) full story ➜

31. Start a sports coaching business ($57.1K/year)

Sarah Wolfer from Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic started Girl Boss Sports almost 2 years ago, a sports coaching business.

  • Revenue: $4,759/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic

As an athlete and coach myself, I have experienced many situations that left me feeling dismayed at the state of affairs for women and girls involved in sports. I recall one such instance where I was playing at a very competitive level and the head coach screamed at me from 2 inches away with every expletive he could think of in front of our entire team because I asked him a question about the drill that was being done. I still vividly remember the spittle flying out of his mouth and hitting me in the face and not knowing what to do. The powerlessness I felt at that moment, coupled with the lack of appropriate response by the system when I reported him left me feeling hopeless for my future in sports. I ended up quitting soccer and refused to touch a ball for an entire year.

On the coaching side - as someone with 16 years of experience now, there are still instances in which I am treated differently than my male counterparts. One such example was when I was on the sideline waiting for the referee to come over and check my team prior to the start of the game. I was dressed in my coaching attire, had the whistle around my neck, the clipboard in my hand, and the player cards ready to be presented when the referee walked over to our sideline. He made eye contact with me and then proceeded to walk over the dad who happened to be on our side tying his daughter’s shoe and assumed that he was the coach.

Take time for yourself! Being an entrepreneur is hard work and you can’t do it to the best of your ability if you haven’t taken time for yourself to rest and rejuvenate. Self-care is integral to success.

how-i-started-a-4-8k-month-business-offering-sports-coaching-services-by-women

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Sarah Wolfer, on starting Girl Boss Sports ($4,759/month) full story ➜

32. Start a wireframing software business ($54K/year)

Brian Nyagol from Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya started Brainverse Technologies Ltd about 7 years ago, a wireframing software business.

  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

I started Brainverse when in my second year in college, driven by the necessity to finance myself at school. Like every other startup, I started solo. My first gigs were about designing blogs and simple websites for my friends and some businesses. I must admit that the starting point was lousy, fuzzy, and uncalculated. I had no clear vision of what I wanted the company to be, beyond adding more money in my pocket. I could afford to be off duty when I wanted, and hey, I was a student, living in his own terms.

Beginning of finding a purpose - Brainverse Recess

In early 2014, I started on a project that sprouted from my urge to develop a product for young people, especially those on campus. With 2 other friends, we started a social networking site - VibeCampo, our own version of Facebook that would address the needs of young people and help them nurture their talents. We delved into the depths of learning everything we needed to make this a success. I truly admit that running such a venture was not easy, without a constant stream of funding, since we had no idea how to implement a proper revenue model.

how-i-started-a-4-5k-month-digital-services-and-software-development-agency

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Brian Nyagol, on starting Brainverse Technologies Ltd ($4,500/month) full story ➜

33. Start a beverage company ($54K/year)

Aaron Weast from Portland, Oregon, USA started Drink Shrub almost 4 years ago, a beverage company.

  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

In February of 2015 I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. That was to enter a treatment program for alcohol addiction. I’d been struggling to contain and control my habit for a while, and everything I’d tried had failed. With an incredible amount of support from my family, I entered a treatment facility where I could focus on solving the problem once and for all.

When one’s focus is on a substance and how to get the next drink you put all of your life dreams on hold. Now that I had clarity of mind and energy to put toward living out my dreams it was time to get started. The first of my life dreams to tackle: entrepreneurship.

It is common for folks to have cathartic moments while going through such a significant life change. In my case, two things became acutely clear. First, I wanted to be a better person. In the recent past I’d been selfish and hurt a lot of people. I wanted not only to right the wrongs as much as possible but also pay forward what my support network had given me. So whatever I did, a portion of the proceeds would go toward an organization that helps folks in need - particularly those that don’t have the robust support network I do. I’m proud to say that since day one, Drink Shrub has donated a percentage of revenue to LifeWorksNW.

how-i-conquered-my-alcoholism-and-built-a-non-alcoholic-beverage-brand

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Aaron Weast, on starting Drink Shrub ($4,500/month) full story ➜

34. Start a niche blog ($42K/year)

Patrick Hess from New York, New York, USA started Bar Games 101 almost 41 years ago, a niche blog.

  • Revenue: $3,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

Back in 2016, I was researching some ideas for a new online side project with low start-up costs. The goal was actually pretty simple: to develop a website about a fun topic that could, eventually, earn some passive income and help pay the bills.

I’ve built several websites over the years and use content marketing and SEO to boost sales and generate leads in my day job. So, I wanted to apply this same skill-set to a completely different field.

I have a legal background and currently, work as a business development executive within the industrial sector. Needless to say, I was looking for something on the lighter side.

how-i-built-a-3-5k-month-authority-site-with-a-full-time-job

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Patrick Hess, on starting Bar Games 101 ($3,500/month) full story ➜

35. Start an instagram fan account ($6K/year)

Sammy Sternberg from New York, New York, USA started @zekefeed about 4 years ago, a instagram fan account.

  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

When I was 13 years old and in 8th grade I created this page.

I had Ezekiel Elliott on both of my fantasy football teams and just loved his game.

I don’t recommend using tools if you really want to grow an authentic page.

how-a-15-year-old-made-a-profitable-fan-account-on-instagram

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Sammy Sternberg, on starting @zekefeed ($500/month) full story ➜

36. Start a plant stands business

Here are some examples of a successful plant stands business in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

37. Become a hair salon promoter

Here are some examples of a successful hair salon promoter in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

38. Start a home decor business

Here are some examples of a successful home decor business in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

39. Start a golf YouTube channel

Here are some examples of a successful golf YouTube channel in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

40. Start a glass tinting service

Here are some examples of a successful glass tinting service in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

41. Start an auto electronics shop

Here are some examples of a successful auto electronics shop in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

42. Start an auto insurance company

Here are some examples of a successful auto insurance company in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

43. Start a grocery store

Here are some examples of a successful grocery store in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

44. Start a surf company

Here are some examples of a successful surf company in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

45. Start a restaurant discovery platform

Here are some examples of a successful restaurant discovery platform in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

46. Start a shipping company

Here are some examples of a successful shipping company in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

47. Start a CCTV camera business

Here are some examples of a successful CCTV camera business in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

48. Start a home repair services business

Here are some examples of a successful home repair services business in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

49. Start a children's clothing business ($0/year)

Cameron Olthuis from Park City, Utah, USA started Sawyer about 3 years ago, a children's clothing business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Park City, Utah, USA

My online entrepreneurial journey started when I was 21 and my then girlfriend was pregnant with our first child. That was almost 17 years ago. I was working a minimum wage customer service job, had no post high school education, and knew that I needed to make big changes in order to provide a better life for my family. It’s been a long journey that’s seen its share of ups & downs, with times where I literally wasn’t sure how I would be able to feed my family the next day. Somehow, it worked out, and I always knew the sacrifices would pay off if I stuck with it.

Most recently, my role was VP, Audience Development at CBS Interactive. During my 6 1/2 years at CBS, we grew from the #13 Comscore property to #6. That’s an elite group: Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft and then CBSi. Prior to my role at CBSi, I ran audience growth at a startup called Clicker, which was acquired by CBS for a nine-figure sum. That was quite a learning experience.

The entrepreneurial spirit in me was calling the entire time I was at CBS Interactive. I never expected to be there for as long as I was, but incentives in the form of stock options that hadn’t vested and a big paycheck helped keep me around. That and I also enjoyed the learning experience, challenges of working on the biggest internet properties, and working for the CEO, who’s been a great mentor to me. But, my time had come. CBSi was running like a well-oiled machine and the excitement was no longer there for me. I needed to work on something that was meaningful to me again. I was also a partner in a content arbitrage business at that time with yearly revenues of around $7.5 million at its peak. That helped make the decision to leave easier. This was, of course, non-conflicting to my work at CBS.

starting-a-kids-clothing-brand-and-growing-to-12k-mo

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Cameron Olthuis, on starting Sawyer ($0/month) full story ➜

50. Start a souvenir shop

Here are some examples of a successful souvenir shop in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

51. Start an airline

Here are some examples of a successful airline in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

52. Start a grocery delivery service

Here are some examples of a successful grocery delivery service in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

53. Start a car battery shop

Here are some examples of a successful car battery shop in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

54. Start a car rental business

Here are some examples of a successful car rental business in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

55. Start a hair blog ($72K/year)

Here are some examples of a successful hair blog in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

56. Start an amazon business

Here are some examples of a successful amazon business in Nashville:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:

article

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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