30 Big City Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2022]

30 Big City Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2022]

Interested in starting a big city business in 2022?

We put together 30 of the best big city businesses you can start in today.

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of other big city businesses to help you see what it really takes.

Here's the full list:

1. Become a virtual assistant ($12K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$4,200
Time To Revenue
180 days
Skills
Business model

Julmar Grace Locsin from Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines started FVA Business Consultancy ago, a virtual assistant.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 14
  • Location: Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines

Case Study

Ten years ago, my husband and I were working in an office set-up. Due to a mix of struggles experienced, my husband and I decided to quit our job and transition into freelancing. The transition phase was difficult since we didn't have the facilities needed like a computer and internet connection. We worked in an internet cafe for the first month of our freelancing career until we bought our personal computer and had our internet connection.

We had experience downtime in our new career at first, but we grow and learn from our mistakes as we go along. Freelancing changed the quality of our lives, our family, and so with our marriage. We embrace these benefits to realize that if mothers can work at home, they can earn while taking care of their family.

Another thing is the overseas workers. They have been working far from their family to make a living. Those who are exhausted and feel unproductive because of many circumstances like long hours of commute eat a lot of their time, endangering their work-life balance. These are a few of our realizations why we come up with putting Filipino Virtual Assistance. Because we know how difficult it is to work far from our family, we want to empower Filipino families, one freelancer at a time. We want to provide our graduates an avenue to earn dollars at their homes' comfort, without the hassle of traffic, toxicity of the environment, and an excellent opportunity for those who never got the chance to go to College.

on-starting-a-business-training-virtual-assistants

2. Start an ebay business ($120K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$10,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$13,000
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 4 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Adam Torkildson from American Fork started Tork Media LLC almost 2 years ago, a ebay business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: American Fork

Case Study

I was homeschooled, so I have a fairly non-traditional education. I feel like that really shaped the way that I approach life in general. My dad was also a clown in Barnum and Bailey circus, so we moved around a lot and I never made very many friends. This led to my parents eventually got divorced, and me becoming addicted to pornography by the time I was 12.

I really struggled to connect with people in real life, and therefore spent most of my time on video games and the internet. Amazingly, I did get married and now have 2 beautiful kids, who are my main motivation for everything I do now.

My neighbor, who is in the Hall of Fame as the winningest coach in American sports history, has been collecting sports and playing cards for over 50 years. One day, as he was coaching my son in javelin, he offered to let me see his collection. I was blown away. He had everything from Jordan rookies, to Kobes, to Babe Ruths, etc. I wasn’t an expert in collecting cards by any means, but like most kids of the ’80s, I had bought a pack or 2 of trading cards from the store. There is a lot of nostalgia there.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-business-selling-sports-cards-on-ebay

3. Start a dog walking business ($648K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$8,000 — $54,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$2,125
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 2 hours/week
Skills

Melodi Landi from Bristol, TN, USA started Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC over 16 years ago, a dog walking business.

  • Revenue: $54,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 19
  • Location: Bristol, TN, USA

Case Study

I have always had a passion for animals. I was going to school full time at the University of Rhode Island as a Pre-Vet student while working full time at a local veterinary hospital AND picking up pet sitting and dog walking clients on the side.

Since my late teenage years, I have known that I wanted to work with animals. While working at the animal hospital, I saw a great need for this type of service, and soon after decided to start this business!

I would often come across clients who had not traveled in years because their pets required specialized care or medications or because they did not know who to ask or whom they could trust with their pets and their home.

how-i-started-a-54k-month-pet-sitting-and-dog-walking-business

4. Start an event planning business ($420K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$35,000 — $400,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$19,725
Time To Revenue
240 days
Skills
Business model

Akshay Patel from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA started Simply Decor and Events ago, a event planning business.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Case Study

I always had an eye for decor whether it was with my room, home, or anything. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, and went to college at the University of New Mexico where I got my bachelor’s in Biology and a minor in Psychology. All along with my schooling, I was following the path to becoming a dentist which I thought was my passion and what I enjoyed. When I graduated high school I wanted to throw myself a big party. So my dad gave me a budget of $3,000 which had to include the venue, DJ, catering, bar, and decor.

I learned that when advertising you have to try different and unique ideas. From this you will learn what will work for your specific clientele, this process is a trial and error.

Of course, you know when you want a real fancy party the venue usually takes most of the budget, as it did. I was left with $200 for decor. I then began talking to decor companies and found that everything I wanted was not going to be possible with that amount. I thought out of the box and began making all my own decor.

how-i-started-a-35k-month-event-decor-business

5. Become a wedding planner ($24K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment
$500
Time To Revenue
180 days
Skills
Business model

Lia chhabra from New Delhi, Delhi, India started Shaadivaale over 4 years ago, a wedding planner.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

Case Study

So I got placed in a medium-sized private company in 2016 after my graduation and I served for about 4.5 years there. With the pandemic rising, I had to look for another job because things got messy there. So, I switched my job as I wasn’t still convinced to take the risk of doing my business full time. I switched and joined somewhere else as their Social Media Manager.

Being in a creative industry, and handling the digital marketing activities of the organizations gave me a great insight into how business is done. I started believing in the power of digitalization and how I was so good at it. This was the major reason why I even thought of setting up something like Shaadivaale in the first place.

I gained a lot of experience by working at my two employers and it took me 3 years to take my venture to a place where I started seeing results. It did not come easy but what surprised me most is that I wasn’t even willing to give up. Several other ideas were popping up in my mind but I never thought of the need to drop it and move onto the next one. I had my soul into it. It was clear.

how-i-started-a-2k-month-wedding-planning-service-in-india

6. Start a real estate business ($6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$5,000 — $1,500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$23,000
Skills

T. Cory Lewis from North Carolina, USA started T. C. Lewis & Co. Real Estate almost 17 years ago, a real estate business.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 36
  • Location: North Carolina, USA

Case Study

I’m from a very small town in the Appalachians called Sylva, North Carolina. If you’re not familiar with that region, it’s a very diverse area. Sylva is in the north end of Jackson County, and Cashiers (and neighboring Highlands) are in the south end. Sylva is blue-collar, and a factory-type (now tourist) town and Cashiers/Highlands is a spot where some of the wealthiest people in the world have vacation homes and are all members of one of the ultra-exclusive private clubs.

Growing up, I worked at my family’s convenience store. I saw a lot of the folks headed through to Cashiers and Highlands up from Atlanta for the weekend, and a big portion of them seemed to be making their money in real estate. Some were making money buying the mountain land around my town at a low price from local farmers who had no use for the steep mountains, developing a portion of the top, and then selling it off for astronomical amounts of money to other rich people. I was amazed by that. And I couldn’t understand why no one locally had tried this himself.

I come from a fairly long line of entrepreneurs on both sides of my parent’s families. My great-grandfather on my dad’s side quit school after the fifth grade, and then he went on and started a convenience store business that I still help operate 85 years later as it has passed down to my grandfather, my dad, and now myself and my brother. And my grandfather on my mom’s side owned a heavy civil construction company building large-scale projects like interstates throughout the mid-1900s. My uncles and cousins still operate a part of that business, too.

how-i-started-a-500k-month-real-estate-investment-business

7. Start a mobile photography ($1.32M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$24,583
Skills

Kyle Nelson from Chico, California, USA started Results Imagery over 5 years ago, a mobile photography .

  • Revenue: $110,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Chico, California, USA

Case Study

We both had previous experience in another start-up called Soul id which was a social media platform for action sports. We ran the marketing and media at that company which was a blast. After we left that company, we split directions. Eli got involved in the eCommerce industry by starting a brand called Winterial which he grew to hundreds of SKUs. Kyle headed in the media direction and started a commercial photography company where he worked with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses.

At this time Kyle wanted to be able to get back in the start-up world, grow a large brand and a team of like-minded creatives and innovators. So like any entrepreneur, he jumped on Google and started to search for media companies that were also technology-based companies as well. That is where the inspiration of starting a digital agency that solely focused on the media portion for brands and product companies came to life.

Culture is the centerpiece of a successful company. Creating a place for employees to come to work and enjoy what they do, the environment and who they work with will pay long term dividends.

how-we-started-a-45k-month-product-photography-and-video-company

8. Start a blog ($60K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$400 — $160,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$2,721
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 5 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Chhavi Agarwal from New Delhi, Delhi, India started Mrs Daaku Studio about 4 years ago, a blog.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

Case Study

I am a licensed attorney in India and right after my master’s in law, I started working with a leading company as a lawyer. I worked there for about two years before I quit my job to become more location independent.

Choose a niche in whatever you start. It is critical for streamlining your efforts and make money.

My job paid me well but I worked 12 hours a day, I was exhausted by the end of each day, spent my weekends sleeping and I almost quit the things I liked to do - for example, sketching, yoga, traveling, etc.

how-this-couple-makes-5k-month-generating-content-about-ways-to-make-money-online

9. ($18M/year)

Jeffrey Mora from Los Angeles, California, USA started Food Fleet over 10 years ago, a business.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

We started the food truck business in 2012.

We kept finding it very difficult to find locations to operate. We had a booker that we used to find our locations but fell short and we let her go. I took over our booking and found that most people did not want to book just one truck, not only that they were upset that most of the time the trucks didn’t show up or were late.

We learned the real need was not only helping the trucks but providing a turnkey service for the corporations. This was a game-changer for us, we were really struggling financially.

10. Start a cleaning business ($1.2M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $708,333/month
Average Initial Investment
$161,159
Time To Revenue
180 days
Skills
Business model

Neel Parekh from Los Angeles, CA, USA started MaidThis Franchise about 9 years ago, a cleaning business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Case Study

I originally started MaidThis as a side hustle while I was working at a private equity investment firm. Like many people working the corporate grind, I was fascinated by becoming my own boss.

With any first product or service launch, you’re almost guaranteed to get some aspect of it wrong. You might be priced too low, not be addressing the right target market, or have the package all wrong.

I finally stumbled upon The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, which turns out is basically the Bible for the digital nomad community, and decided I wanted to experience “location freedom”.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-home-cleaning-service-for-busy-individuals-and-airbnb-hosts

11. Start a billboard and outdoor advertising business

Examples of a successful billboard and outdoor advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a billboard and outdoor advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a billboard and outdoor advertising business ➜

12. Become a handyman

Examples of a successful handyman:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a handyman:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a handyman ➜

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13. Start an amusement park

Examples of a successful amusement park:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a amusement park:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an amusement park ➜

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14. Start a nanny placement service business

Examples of a successful nanny placement service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a nanny placement service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a nanny placement service business ➜

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15. Start an interior decorating business

Examples of a successful interior decorating business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a interior decorating business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an interior decorating business ➜

Case Study

I grew up with an entrepreneurial father, and his influence can’t be understated in terms of the path I’ve taken. Even further, he was a serial entrepreneur, and so failure wasn’t a thing that discouraged him. He saw it as a necessary part of eventual success, and with each idea that didn’t develop, there was a next-generation idea that was a slightly better mousetrap. Risk-taking was a very natural part of life for our family, as was the art of unplanned adventure. At age 80, he still lives this way.

I don’t think I was ever told to “be careful”, so fear of failing wasn’t a real part of my formative experience. I studied art history and studio art in school and got my first job in New York City working for a fine art auction house, but was laid off almost as soon as I arrived, and made 4 subsequent career approaches before I landed on interior design at age 29. I’d always had a natural interest in the interiors of places and people I loved - what made a place feel special, cozy, or dramatic? I wondered if I could combine my love and knowledge of art with my curiosity about how people could live well in their environments, so I enrolled at Parsons School of Design with hardly enough money to cover the bills. I believed studying with the best I could find would pay dividends in knowledge and connections, so I interned for a designer while going to school. Those were dog days!

on-starting-an-interior-design-business

16. Start a car rental business

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $583,333/month
Average Initial Investment
$25,000
Skills

Examples of a successful car rental business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a car rental business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a car rental business ➜

Case Study

We are Taylor Hood and Gretchen Bayless, founders of ROAMERICA. A company that specializes in adventure vehicles, including 4wd campervans.

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

17. Start a tattoo parlor business

Examples of a successful tattoo parlor business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tattoo parlor business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tattoo parlor business ➜

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18. Start a shopping mall play centers business

Examples of a successful shopping mall play centers business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a shopping mall play centers business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a shopping mall play centers business ➜

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19. Start a night club

Examples of a successful night club:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a night club:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a night club ➜

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20. Start a fitness center

How Much Can You Make?
$20,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$100,000
Skills

Examples of a successful fitness center:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a fitness center:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fitness center ➜

Case Study

My name is John Zarbock. I am the CEO and Founder of BioFit. I started my business in November of 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. We build better humans by providing them with the most effective, efficient, and safe exercise on the planet. We do this through the High-Intensity Training (HIT) methodology mostly by leveraging the Adaptive Resistance Exercise (ARX) machines. They are designed to achieve exercise results in as little as 20 minutes a week by performing not only each rep and set near perfectly but also allowing for the maximum amount of intensity every moment of every session in the safest way possible while giving each client real-time feedback on progress and performance. We deploy a simple success formula: Work + Rest = Growth.

We currently have approximately 125 clients and our average monthly revenue is $20k. We have about an 80% closing ratio and our client retention is over 70%. The intricacies of the business have been very dynamic as I have served more than half of my time operating it while on Active Duty for the Army. I am currently deployed overseas in Kuwait so there have been challenges in growth and scale but we have grown year over year in both memberships and revenue despite having a skeleton crew of dedicated team members and partners in the last two years.

i-built-a-240k-year-business-while-deployed-in-kuwait

21. Buy a towing truck

Examples of a successful towing truck :

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a towing truck :

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a towing truck ➜

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22. Start a shoe laundry business ($318K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$26,500/month
Skills

Examples of a successful shoe laundry business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a shoe laundry business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a shoe laundry business ➜

Case Study

Hello! My name is Nishant Tripathi, and I founded Dhobilite, a premium online dry cleaning, and laundry service. I started this company in 2011 with a vision to pioneer laundry service in India.

We started operations in the year 2011. Over the years, we experimented with and developed our business model and software. In 2015, we disrupted the laundry market and became India's first app-based, on-demand laundry service provider. We have expanded into more than 15 cities in the last two years and have around 20+ stores today. In addition, we have 30 plus franchises. We also have factories in Gurgaon, Noida, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Faridabad.

i-built-a-318k-year-business-by-digitalizing-the-laundry-industry

23. Start a home repair business

Examples of a successful home repair business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a home repair business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a home repair business ➜

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24. Start a laundromat

Average Initial Investment
$850,000
Skills

Examples of a successful laundromat:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a laundromat:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a laundromat ➜

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25. Start an apartment rental business

Examples of a successful apartment rental business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a apartment rental business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an apartment rental business ➜

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26. Start a window cleaning business

How Much Can You Make?
$60,000/month
Skills

Examples of a successful window cleaning business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a window cleaning business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a window cleaning business ➜

Case Study

While he was still a full-time student, Johnny Robinson built OrangeWindowCleaning.com into a $700k/year operation.

One day while hanging out with his friend Sergio, Johnny came up with the idea of the window cleaning business. He first approached door-to-door marketing and approached local stores to offer window cleaning services.

Later, after he discovered digital marketing and how tools and software could help him multiply his client base was when this journey started to take off for real.

His story proves that if you want to start your own business, it doesn’t necessarily take a never-before-seen business idea to have a never-before-seen impact on your life.

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Listen to the full podcast on sidehustlenation.libsyn.com ➜

27. Start a craft class business

Average Initial Investment
$1,500
Skills

Examples of a successful craft class business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a craft class business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a craft class business ➜

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28. Start an errand service

Examples of a successful errand service:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a errand service:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an errand service ➜

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29. Start a pet sitting business

Time To Revenue
150 days
Skills
Business model

Examples of a successful pet sitting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pet sitting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pet sitting business ➜

article

30. Start a placement service business

Examples of a successful placement service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a placement service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a placement service business ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses. We also share revenue figures for nearly all businesses we interview.