70 Experience-Driven Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

70 Experience-Driven Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

Interested in starting a experience business in 2021?

We put together 69 of the best experience businesses you can start in today.

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

Here's the full list:

1. Start a mobile app development business ($984K/year)

Tim Bornholdt from Minneapolis, MN, USA started The Jed Mahonis Group over 9 years ago, a mobile app development business.

  • Revenue: $82,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Growing up, I’ve always been into technology. I built my first website when I was in first grade, I built my first graphing calculator app when I was in sixth grade, and I used to run the internet’s largest website dedicated to Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons.

I waited in line for the iPhone the day it launched in 2007, and I was instantly hooked. I knew I had to learn how to build software for this device. Eventually, I learned how to jailbreak my device which allowed me to run custom apps on it (this being before the launch of the App Store).

Even though I had a passion for technology, I never really wanted a career in it. My dream job was to work as a technical director for live television broadcasts, and the only class that was close to that at my school was the capstone course for the Professional Journalism program. I ended up switching my major from Computer Engineering to that and abandoned any dreams of professionally writing software.

how-we-started-a-82k-month-custom-ios-and-android-apps-development-agency

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Tim Bornholdt, on starting The Jed Mahonis Group ($82,000/month) full story ➜

2. Become a social media consultant ($90K/year)

Amanda Shepherd from Reno, NV, USA started Social Media Manager Society about 1 year ago, a social media consultant.

  • Revenue: $7,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Reno, NV, USA

I spent the last decade of my career as a social media manager, in the agency, in-house, and freelance settings. I really created a name for myself in my niche and people were always coming to me for social media advice. I absolutely LOVED teaching people and for a long time, wondering how I could combine my passions for teaching and social media into one career.

Fast forward to fall 2019 - I was at a crossroads. The agency I was working for was moving in a different direction and I was literally moving back home. I had a decision to make - stay at the agency under different circumstances, find a new job in my new home, or finally take the plunge and start my own business.

I chose the latter and it was the best decision I ever made! I was immediately able to gain clients using internal systems I created and literally built my own business from the ground up. In one year, I made almost $100,000 and put all my systems inside the Social Media Manager Society, so other aspiring social media managers could take everything I learned and implement it themselves!

how-i-started-a-7-5k-month-social-media-consulting-and-training-business

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Amanda Shepherd, on starting Social Media Manager Society ($7,500/month) full story ➜

3. Start a jewelry making business ($48K/year)

Lindsay Ann Gottschall and Courtney Joy Bleier from Miami, Florida, USA started Ann + Joy ago, a jewelry making business.

  • Revenue: $4,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

Courtney Joy always wanted to be a teacher as a little girl. She used to pretend to teach in her childhood home basement on Long Island, New York. Growing up in an artistic family, she became a figurative and landscape artist and eventually attended art school. After college, she decided to merge her two childhood passions together and became an art teacher.

Lindsay Ann expressed herself through art in a different way. She was in the theater and went to school for drama in New York City. While pursuing her dream of acting, she also made beaded jewelry on the side. It quickly became a passion of hers and would help lead her down a new path in life.

Within our first 3 months, we sold over 100 orders, resulting in more than $3,000 in revenue. By the end of our first year, we had sold over 2,300 orders, resulting in more than $65,000.

how-we-started-a-4k-month-handmade-flower-and-resin-jewelry-business

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Lindsay Ann Gottschall and Courtney Joy Bleier, on starting Ann + Joy ($4,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a niche web design business ($240K/year)

Scott Bishop from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Up And Social over 7 years ago, a niche web design business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I began my business career with the family in-store sampling business, C.A. Courtesy, in the 1990s, while at the same time attending college at Johnson and Wales University, where I pursued a degree in Web Management & Internet Commerce.

I’ve always had a knack for marketing and technology, and when I left C.A. Courtesy, I was the Vice President of Marketing and Technology.

People don’t remember what you say as much as they remember how they felt when you said it.

how-i-started-a-20k-month-web-design-agency

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Scott Bishop, on starting Up And Social ($20,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start an online video editing business ($72K/year)

Sabba Keynejad from London, England, United Kingdom started VEED about 3 years ago, a online video editing business.

  • Revenue: $6,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

Tim and I met during an online hackathon. During the hackathon participants were encouraged to meetup for real. We actually got on really well, and stayed friends and kept spitballing ideas for a startup for years.

At this time, I was a design student at Central Saint Martins and I had recently won a competition for Sony Music creating an interactive music video for the band Hurts with my friend Virgil. Then soon after graduation, I started working as a creative technologist in London for a bunch of different advertising & branding agencies and a few startups too.

how-we-developed-a-6k-month-online-video-editing-software

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Sabba Keynejad, on starting VEED ($6,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a moving company ($720K/year)

Max Maher from Chandler, Arizona, USA started Skinny Wimp Moving almost 6 years ago, a moving company.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA

I didn’t exactly come up with the initial idea for this company because this is a franchise which means for me that I license out the name “Skinny Wimp Moving”. However, because it was the first franchise location I was able to be in a prime decision-making seat and guinea pig for all ideas enabling me to test out theories on marketing and customer service which have no become standard across the brand.

Put yourself out there and ask for their business. Sure be conscious that you may get rejected but don’t be afraid to ask more than once. It won’t work every time but it will work 100% more than not trying at all.

We realized people simply don’t want a moving company that sucks. So we asked ourselves what can we do to make the stressful experience of moving suck a little less and the answers we came up with and stuck to were very common sense:

how-i-started-a-1m-year-moving-company-at-19-years-old

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Max Maher, on starting Skinny Wimp Moving ($60,000/month) full story ➜

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

Melodi Landi from Remote started Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC over 15 years ago, a dog walking business.

  • Revenue: $54,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 19
  • Location: Remote

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

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Melodi Landi, on starting Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC ($54,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a boutique ($396K/year)

Kara Brook Brown from Maryland, USA started Waxing Kara almost 9 years ago, a boutique.

  • Revenue: $33,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Maryland, USA

Waxing Kara grew organically from my work as an artist. I paint with encaustic, a paint made with beeswax, and in 2010, I started beekeeping on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to harvest wax for my encaustic paintings.

I became captivated by honey production and the plight of honey bees in this country. I learned about the importance of bees to the sustainability of our food supply, and the preciousness of honey, especially its nurturing and healing properties. Before launching Waxing Kara, I became a honey bee advocate and began raising bees on a small scale and have increased each year until 2020 when I will manage 18 hives on our 102-acre farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. For the bees, I began planting food sources such as sunflower, bergamot, and lavender. The goal was to cultivate a complex, organic environment that provides bees essential nutrients through nature. We have planted at least 40 acres of wildflowers, fruit trees, and berry bushes, an incredible habitat all for bees (and other winged creatures) with consistent blooms from May through October.

There isn’t one single life experience or educational achievement that has put me where I am today. Instead, it’s been a series of inspirations along the way. There was no master plan. In hindsight, everything that happened has flowed like honey to lead me down this path.

how-i-started-a-33k-month-bee-inspired-goods-business

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Kara Brook Brown, on starting Waxing Kara ($33,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a catering business ($240K/year)

Nestor Nidome from Crestmore, California, USA started Elegante Catering ago, a catering business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Crestmore, California, USA

For as long as I can remember I have always been attracted to the idea of being a business owner. I’ve tried many businesses starting with my own DJ company. I got some business cards, printed them at Staples, passed them out, and waited for the calls.

It took a bit of time, but eventually, the calls started to come in and bookings started to happen. I did that for a couple of years until one of the DJ gigs some gangsters got into it and I was almost in the middle of a gang fight. Thank GOD things calmed down, but after that, I started looking for another business!

During this same time, the whole tech bubble was growing and I wanted a part of it. I took some coding classes in college and started using HTML to code my website from scratch. I kind of borrowed a lot of ideas from Yahoo but it was going to be mainly focused on my local city. I visited some businesses and got some of them to advertise. Things seemed to be going well when the bubble burst and I was once more left to venture out and look for something else.

how-i-found-success-with-a-20k-month-catering-company-after-starting-many-businesses

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Nestor Nidome, on starting Elegante Catering ($20,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start a clothing boutique ($6K/year)

Jess Michelle from Seattle, Washington, USA started Jess Mi Boutique ago, a clothing boutique.

  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

I have always had an eye for fashion as well as the ability to put styles together in such a way that others would not have normally done. Overall, I carry myself as a very classy woman with sex appeal. Therefore, my style reflects just that: an unapologetic woman who is not ashamed of the curves God has given her. However, I would often find myself struggling to balance between, “Is this too sexy or too conservative?”

A few years ago, 2017 to be exact, I went out almost every weekend to nightclubs primarily because my ex-husband at the time was a club promoter. Therefore, I needed to look my best being by his side. So every weekend, I spent the day shopping for my “nightlife” outfit. Week by week, I brought home a new look that was not previously in my closet. However, once I got to the club, I noticed other women wearing either the same outfit as me or something I had seen in the store while shopping earlier that day. It frustrated me; I certainly did not want to look similar to anyone else especially considering I had put so much effort into my look (I take fashion seriously). This same disappointment went on for a few consecutive weeks: I would buy something, then that night another woman would be wearing it.

One afternoon, God placed the word “boutique” on my heart. Let me say this: I did not expect operating a business let alone a boutique! So I just casually googled how to start a boutique out of curiosity. I came across an article similar to this one here. To my surprise, the steps were simple! I was so amazed at how easy it appeared to be that I made the decision that day to take it seriously and go about starting one with unique styles you would not find anywhere else! I figured if I’m going to continuously buy clothes to go out every weekend, why can’t it be my items? So by following along those steps paired with research, Jess Mi Boutique was born.

on-starting-an-online-women-s-boutique-without-previous-e-commerce-experience

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Jess Michelle, on starting Jess Mi Boutique ($500/month) full story ➜

11. Start a food truck ($18M/year)

Jeffrey Mora from Los Angeles, California, USA started Food Fleet over 9 years ago, a food truck.

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

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.

how-i-took-food-trucks-corporate-and-built-a-18m-business

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Jeffrey Mora, on starting Food Fleet ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a consulting business ($0/year)

Liz Illg from Phoenix, AZ, USA started Liz Illg over 2 years ago, a consulting business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA

I remember vividly when my idea of business consulting came to me. I was at a networking conference with other business owners and when I stood up to introduce myself to the group, I called myself a systems consultant.

Industries change. Times are constantly changing. Relationships, if built regularly, can last forever!

From that day forward, I created the perfect way to audit an operational system or create one, effectively and efficiently. My systems consultation service is still available to this day and I’ve helped business owners dial in theirs to allow them to grow and transform their teams.

how-building-a-successful-pet-grooming-business-led-to-starting-a-consulting-business-and-boutique-marketing-agency

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Liz Illg, on starting Liz Illg ($0/month) full story ➜

13. Start a tutoring business ($1.2M/year)

Adam Shlomi from Miami, FL, USA started SoFlo Tutors over 2 years ago, a tutoring business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Miami, FL, USA

I come from an entrepreneurial family. My father works for himself and my maternal grandfather started a clothing factory. Working for myself has always been encouraged by my family, but before I could get started, I needed to learn a skill. At Georgetown, I study international politics and business. Most students with these backgrounds go on to work at prestigious firms like J.P. Morgan. I really didn’t know what kind of business I could start, and frankly, planned to work as a (boring) data analyst after graduation.

If you have an idea but don’t have the knowledge to execute, use that idea as motivation and go learn how to turn your vision into reality.

Tutoring first came to mind because I had spent significant time working for other tutoring companies and cutting my teeth/learning how the industry works during my teen years. I first started tutoring when I was 15. I was hired by College Experts, a local test prep center in Davie, Florida. My first student was three years older than me, and I spent our first session teaching him how to use his calculator rather than trying to explain any complicated formulas. Being a student myself, I was able to bring a student’s perspective to tutoring. I worked for College Experts until my senior year of high school when I began tutoring on my own and finding clients on Craigslist.

how-i-started-a-15k-month-sat-tutoring-business-while-in-college

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Adam Shlomi, on starting SoFlo Tutors ($100,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start an adventure travel agent business ($90K/year)

Chris waters from international started Constructed Adventures almost 6 years ago, a adventure travel agent business.

  • Revenue: $7,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: international

I was always that guy trying to create a fun experience for people. I hated the idea of waking up and knowing EXACTLY how the day is going to pan out (drive to work, meeting, lunch, get yelled at by clients, drive home, watch tv, go to bed. Rinse and repeat every day for the rest of your life) So I would be the one kidnapping people on their birthdays, putting googly eyes on every picture in the office, etc.

“I hated the idea of waking up and knowing EXACTLY how the day is going to pan out (drive to work, meeting, lunch, get yelled at by clients, drive home, watch tv, go to bed. Rinse and repeat every day for the rest of your life)”

The business kind of happened by accident. It all started with the Reddit Secret santa gift exchange. (here’s the wikipedia) In short, 100k people sign up, get matched with someone, and send them a gift for the holidays! I’d been participating for years. I’d sent and received some really incredible gifts.

how-i-make-a-living-constructing-the-perfect-day-for-random-strangers

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Chris waters, on starting Constructed Adventures ($7,500/month) full story ➜

15. Start a freelance writing business ($1.02M/year)

David Tile from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Article-Writing Co over 10 years ago, a freelance writing business.

  • Revenue: $85,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In 2011, coming out of college, I miserably tried to start a penny auction website. I studied Political Science at University, which had absolutely no bearing on this idea. I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial and was consumed by this auction model. I had my own specific mechanics that I thought would make the game a lot more fair for the average consumer. But alas, 6-8 months later, after burning through thousands of dollars trying to get the technology right, I was absolutely nowhere.

I was resigned to not give up, but the mechanics of the auction are critical to the smooth operation of the website and if you can’t get it right you don’t have a business. So I decided to start taking on some freelance writing work, just to get some cash in.

One thing led to another and I started getting some bigger clients with bigger asks. Eventually, I snowballed hiring some writers and copy editors. Turning this thing into a full-time business operation.

how-i-started-a-80k-month-content-writing-business

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David Tile, on starting Article-Writing Co ($85,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a sewing and alteration business ($12K/year)

Saara Hafeez from New York, New York, USA started ALTRD over 3 years ago, a sewing and alteration business.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

We’ve been friends for awhile - we met right out of college in New York and stayed close even though we took fairly different professional paths.

Saara worked in the corporate world for a number of years before moving to Mexico where she launched a jewelry business aimed at rehabilitating sex trafficking survivors. Stephanie was a business consultant before going to law school and becoming a corporate lawyer; along the way, she launched an argan oil company that empowers women in Morocco.

these-two-founders-started-an-on-demand-clothing-alterations-startup

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Saara Hafeez, on starting ALTRD ($1,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a landscaping business ($13.2M/year)

Terry Morrill from SUN VALLEY started Pacific Outdoor Living over 22 years ago, a landscaping business.

  • Revenue: $1,100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 82
  • Location: SUN VALLEY

It hasn't always been easy. I've had many different businesses over my life. I first started purchasing, renovating, and reselling apartment buildings. I started with a 5-unit building in Los Angeles and after selling it successfully, I purchased a completely dilapidated 66-unit building that scared me to death! But I made it through and over those first years made over one million dollars.

I rolled the dice and continued to buy, renovate, and sell until the bottom dropped out of the market. On January 17, 1994, the Northridge Earthquake devastated Southern California. During this period there was a negative migration in Los Angeles and our vacancy rates hit 40%. Being unable to support the mortgages, I lost all of my properties - over 250 units.

From 1994 to 1999, I started a company from scratch that built homes in Mexico. I sold insurance, ran an automatic door company, was the general manager for a bicycle specialty company, and sold copper pipe.

how-i-started-a-16m-year-landscape-design-company

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Terry Morrill, on starting Pacific Outdoor Living ($1,100,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a photography business ($1.32M/year)

Kyle Nelson from Chico, California, USA started Results Imagery over 4 years ago, a photography business.

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

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

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Kyle Nelson, on starting Results Imagery ($110,000/month) full story ➜

19. Start a woodworking business ($78K/year)

Sasha Weekes from Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada started Timber Grove Studios over 4 years ago, a woodworking business.

  • Revenue: $6,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada

I was always the art kid growing up, so I naturally began my post secondary education by pursuing a degree in Fine Arts. I spent my summers refinishing furniture and doing photography and that’s how I got my feet wet with business, so by my second year, I was also pursuing a minor in Commerce.

I had never really done much woodworking at all but became a lot more interested in design and home decor during those years. After finishing my third year, I was itching to do something more practical than becoming a gallery artist, so I set my sights on furniture design and enrolled in a college cabinetmaking course instead. It really wasn’t where I had ever expected to end up, but it was sort of a natural progression and I’m so glad I did it!

I started making mountain shelves in the morning before class to sell on Facebook and Kijiji. It was intended to be a fun side project but they were so popular that I started my business shortly after graduating with the mountains as my first product.

how-i-took-my-woodworking-hobby-full-time-to-build-a-successful-brand

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Sasha Weekes, on starting Timber Grove Studios ($6,500/month) full story ➜

20. Start an ecommerce platform ($1.2M/year)

Nick and Angelica from Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA started Romans Tide over 6 years ago, a ecommerce platform.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Outsource everything. The classic entrepreneur’s mistake is to try and do everything yourself. When I look back on it I definitely had the funds to outsource more and bootstrap less.

If it wasn't for that struggle I would have never made it to where I am today. I was forced into entrepreneurship because I was not someone people could hire. I always got along with people at interviews and people liked me but I was not hireable due to the mistakes I made in the past surrounding my issues with drugs and alcohol as a teenager.

Embrace the struggle. Good times can make you soft. I appreciate my life now and keep an attitude of gratitude but I never forget where I came from. I never forget not knowing where my next meal would come from or not knowing where I was going to sleep at night. Believe it or not, I have had worse times and been worse places than being homeless but I won't go there here

I got my GED at 16 so I didn’t even finish high school, before starting my business I did take some college classes at a local community college. I wanted to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and attend Bastyr University.

I loved learning things but always struggled with the long road of school which held no guarantee of success, just a guarantee of debt.

My journey into entrepreneurship started as an early teenager hustling here and there just to put food in my mouth and fuel in the gas tank. My first real business was a landscaping business I started with a friend that didn't work out. We thought it would be a good idea because he had the work and I had the business mindset of growing and scaling. The opportunity was there but we did not collaborate well. Even with my guidance he did not want to change his habits. This led to us butting heads, ending our business, tainting our friendship, and me $20,000 in debt. After that had failed me I came across a program that taught people how to dropship on eBay for $20 a month. I really liked the idea of this as it gave me the opportunity to work from anywhere and be my own boss which are two things I really wanted. After a few months of hard work, things went well and I paid $500 for the selling on Amazon training. I literally had no idea what I was doing when my Amazon business took off. In a sense, Amazon was my crash course in business. It taught me how to hire and manage employees, how to set up payroll, how to outsource, how to do accounting, how to leverage credit and financing, how to market, how to do advertising. It taught me everything I know about business in the harshest way possible lol

how-i-started-a-private-label-small-business-generating-six-figures-a-month

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Nick and Angelica, on starting Romans Tide ($100,000/month) full story ➜

21. Start a resume writing business ($30K/year)

Mike McRitchie from El Dorado, California, USA started Critical Path Action over 6 years ago, a resume writing business.

  • Revenue: $2,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: El Dorado, California, USA

Over the years I’ve built quite a bit of business knowledge (was a Director of Operations and helped build a company from 5 employees to 100 and $2.5 million to $16 million in revenue; also was a five-year member of Vistage, a business mastermind group) and wanted to leverage that.

Get started with something inexpensive that interests you. Then keep going as you try things and learn.

I started a website through an online marketing/website building course and began blogging on business and career topics. But I found monetizing that to be difficult. I wanted to do business strategy consulting and paid $1,000 for a three-month insert in a coupon mailing that did nothing and found trying to get that type of consulting off the ground part time around my day job wasn’t working.

how-i-make-30k-year-on-the-side-writing-resumes

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Mike McRitchie, on starting Critical Path Action ($2,500/month) full story ➜

22. Become an online dating consultant ($62.4K/year)

Shane White from Austin, Texas, USA started The Match Artist almost 4 years ago, a online dating consultant.

  • Revenue: $5,200/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

I have always been an entrepreneur. When I was in high school, I wanted to start my own business, so I took to one thing that I knew how to do- mow lawns.

Afterward, while I was in college, I started a mobile DJ business, which was a great way to earn some extra cash in college. After graduating from NDSU with a degree in Computer Science, I took a full-time job working as a software developer. While working as a developer, I really wanted to start a SaaS Company, which translates to “Software as a Service”, so I did just that. I created Midwest Streams - Simple Funeral Webcasting, which helps funeral directors webcast their funerals.

I ended up spending too many hours working on Midwest Streams while I was at my software developer job, so my employer fired me. (If you are reading this, I really am sorry!) This happened in February of 2014, and Midwest Streams was only making $400 a month. I decided not to go back to work and try my hardest to grow my company. I had some savings, but burnt through it pretty quick, as it’s really hard to survive with only $400 a month.

how-i-built-my-own-business-improving-online-dating-profiles

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Shane White, on starting The Match Artist ($5,200/month) full story ➜

23. Start a personal training business ($720K/year)

Chris Anderson from Overland Park, Kansas, USA started Live Fit over 10 years ago, a personal training business.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Overland Park, Kansas, USA

I started Live Fit because I felt I was running out of options in the industry I loved so much. Personally, I felt the misses in the personal training industry and wanted to change that. Personal Training, as well as all types of fitness, can be very intimidating to most people. And honestly, the people that are most intimidated by fitness are often the people that need it the most. I set out to create a company that provided the same types of exercises, programming, and results as generally all fitness companies, but I wanted to make it a comfortable experience from the moment a potential client stepped through our doors.

All our processes, our studio layout, our team of trainers we have hired, and our entire mission are based on making clients feel comfortable, appreciated, and valued. We do things differently and over the past 10 years, I have seen other companies in our area follow our lead. Long gone are the days of slamming weights, extremely loud music, and uncomfortable gym environments. People want to go where they feel comfortable and respected.

I have always loved sports and started at a young age, with my dad as my coach. I continued athletics through high school and went on to run college track where I based my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees entirely on building my career in the fitness industry. The last thing I was willing to do was to throw it all away based on a lack of opportunity, so I created my own with Live Fit. I believe in spirituality and the law of attraction and base my life on those principles. So in early 2011 when I couldn’t focus on my spiritual study and spiritual growth because my mind was consumed with running numbers about opening my own company, I knew that was a sign from God it was time to create something great.

how-i-started-a-60k-month-personal-training-company

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Chris Anderson, on starting Live Fit ($60,000/month) full story ➜

24. Start a life coaching business ($120K/year)

Sinem Günel from Vienna, Austria started Personal Growth Base almost 2 years ago, a life coaching business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Vienna, Austria

One and a half years after starting my studies in business administration I came into touch with entrepreneurship and I immediately knew that I wanted to dig deeper into how to build your own business and be your own boss.

So I started reading books, especially biographies, of successful entrepreneurs.

Pretty soon I found out there’s one major component all of them have in common: They all talk about their personal growth and how they had to improve themselves so that their businesses could grow.

This immediately triggered me and I started digging deeper into the topic of personal growth.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-personal-growth-advice-business

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Sinem Günel, on starting Personal Growth Base ($10,000/month) full story ➜

25. Start a language learning app ($224K/year)

Alex Chernikov from Berlin, Germany started Gikken ago, a language learning app.

  • Revenue: $18,635/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Berlin, Germany

Gikken’s foundation was laid in 2011 or so. I don’t remember the exact year but I was in high school. I was amidst my most active English learning years. I was trying to read as many articles, blogs, essays, etc in English as possible. At some point, an idea that it’d be great to double click on words to get them translated right there struck me. It was the early days of Google Chrome that wasn’t the most popular browser yet. And, I think it already could translate pages entirely, but it was totally useless for me because when I can understand 80% of the text, why would I translate it entirely? It’s also terrible for mastering a language. Guessing the meanings of words from the context works better for memorizing new vocabulary. The more effort your brain takes, the stronger neural connections are.

So, physiology aside, I wanted a fast way to translate single words I didn’t understand or double-check sentences. The previous flow involved copying it, switching to a new tab with Google Translate opened there, translating it, and then switching back. Terribly inefficient and annoying when you have to do it 10 times per article, 100 times per day.

By the time I was obsessed with this idea, I could already easily implement anything I wanted on the web. I started coding at 13, so I had already at least 2 or so years of experience with copycatting news portals, trying to build my social network (who didn’t!), and reinventing a few popular JavaScript libraries. It was the early days of not only Google Chrome but also Chrome Web Store—the extension store. I made an extension that I needed for my own needs, called Instant Translate, and uploaded it to the Chrome Web Store. Uncunningly, the timing was perfect for organic growth through the store as Instant Translate happened to be one of the first extensions there. The 15-year-old me knew something only about building apps but absolutely nothing about turning them into a business. Thus, I relied on "organic growth". In other words, routinely checking analytics and praying that it grew. I did nothing more than that for the first few years.

how-we-started-a-18k-month-app-and-browser-extensions-development-business

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Alex Chernikov, on starting Gikken ($18,635/month) full story ➜

26. Start a career coaching business ($1.68M/year)

Patrick Curtis from San Francisco, California, USA started Wall Street Oasis over 15 years ago, a career coaching business.

  • Revenue: $140,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

After working 90+ hour weeks in investment banking at Rothschild for a few years out of college and then transitioning to private equity two years after that, I thought I had it made. I landed my dream job in private equity in my dream city (Boston) and had a much more healthy work/life balance.

The dream, however, quickly turned into a nightmare. In my first review less than 4 months on the job I was fired on the spot and asked to sign a waiver and take $10,000 to go away. I was confused and my confidence was shattered.

Even worse, I was blackballed from private equity in Boston. Every time I had an offer in hand it would get rescinded because the employer that fired me would only say that I worked there and wouldn’t give me a reference -- probably out of fear because I wouldn’t take the $10,000 or sign the waiver.

from-getting-fired-at-24-to-growing-a-140k-month-online-community

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Patrick Curtis, on starting Wall Street Oasis ($140,000/month) full story ➜

27. Become a software developer ($4.2M/year)

Max Rice from Remote, Oregon, USA started SkyVerge, Inc. over 8 years ago, a software developer.

  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 32
  • Location: Remote, Oregon, USA

In 2012 I was working for a small company as an IT Director, and they tasked me with rebuilding their eCommerce website. As I started looking at available platforms, I found an article by Justin comparing WooCommerce to another platform. He seemed really knowledgeable, so I reached out to him to ask some questions and I ended up bringing him on as a consultant for the project.

We worked really well together and the project had a very successful outcome, so we stayed in touch. A couple of months later we had a chance to work together on a joint consulting project, which led to more consulting for companies that needed help with their eCommerce stores.

You rarely get it right the first time. You make decisions based on the best available information, then you learn from the results and iterate.

how-we-started-a-350k-month-business-developing-software-tools-for-ecommerce-brands

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Max Rice, on starting SkyVerge, Inc. ($350,000/month) full story ➜

28. Start a graphic designing business ($360K/year)

Examples of a successful graphic designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a graphic designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a graphic designing business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Michael Moloney's story on creating FilterGrade a read:

Hi, I’m Mike Moloney, the founder of FilterGrade. FilterGrade is a marketplace for creators where you can find digital assets such as presets, LUTs, video templates, and much more.

Today thousands of creators from all around the world buy and sell digital products on FilterGrade and more than 450,000 users visit the site every month.

how-we-created-a-30k-month-marketplace-of-photo-filters-and-digital-assets-for-creatives

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Michael Moloney, on starting FilterGrade ($30,000/month) full story ➜

29. Start a handyman business

Examples of a successful handyman business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a handyman business ➜

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30. Become a garden designer ($8.4K/year)

Examples of a successful garden designer:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a garden designer ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Ann Remo's story on creating Blooming Anomaly a read:

Hello! My name is Ann Remo, and I started a gardening blog, Blooming Anomaly, back in 2017. My blog is all about urban gardening in small spaces while on a budget.

One of the goals I had, when I started Blooming Anomaly, was to make enough money to cover my monthly student loan payments. My blog has gone above and beyond this goal at this point. I make around $700 a month.

i-turned-my-love-for-urban-gardens-into-a-profitable-blog

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Ann Remo, on starting Blooming Anomaly ($700/month) full story ➜

31. Start a home inspections business

Examples of a successful home inspections business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a home inspections business ➜

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32. Become a videographer

Examples of a successful videographer:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a videographer ➜

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33. Become a personal chef

Examples of a successful personal chef:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a personal chef ➜

34. Start a residential cleaning business

Examples of a successful residential cleaning business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a residential cleaning business ➜

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35. Start an auto detailing business

Examples of a successful auto detailing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a auto detailing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an auto detailing business ➜

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36. Start a craft business

Examples of a successful craft business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a craft business ➜

37. Start a packing business

Examples of a successful packing business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a packing business ➜

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38. Become a massage therapist

Examples of a successful massage therapist:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a massage therapist ➜

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39. Start a tour guide business

Examples of a successful tour guide business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tour guide business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tour guide business ➜

40. Become a bed and breakfast owner

Examples of a successful bed and breakfast owner:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a bed and breakfast owner:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bed and breakfast owner ➜

article

41. Start an interior design business ($1.32M/year)

Examples of a successful interior design business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an interior design business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Annemarie diSalvo's story on creating diSalvo Interiors a read:

Well, to make a long story short, my mother and I started this company together in 1996. I was working as a staff interior designer at a private firm in NYC, and my mother, Rosemarie was the manager of the Estate and Trust department at a large Law Firm. We both HATED our jobs and dreamed of doing our 'own thing'. We had no idea what that looked like, and so we turned to our passion..antiques and design.

That passion has morphed into a boutique design firm that boasts over 1M in annual revenue and has completed hundreds of trophy projects.

how-we-mother-and-daughter-started-a-1m-year-boutique-design-firm

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Annemarie diSalvo, on starting diSalvo Interiors ($110,000/month) full story ➜

42. Become a property manager

Examples of a successful property manager:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a property manager ➜

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43. Start a specialty food shop business

Examples of a successful specialty food shop business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a specialty food shop business ➜

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44. Become an event planner

Examples of a successful event planner:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an event planner ➜

article

45. Start a boat equipment shop

Examples of a successful boat equipment shop:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a boat equipment shop:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a boat equipment shop ➜

article

46. Start a personal assistant business

Examples of a successful personal assistant business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a personal assistant business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a personal assistant business ➜

article

47. Start a daycare

Examples of a successful daycare:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a daycare ➜

article

48. Start a gym business

Examples of a successful gym business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a gym business ➜

article

49. Start a coffee shop ($22.8K/year)

Examples of a successful coffee shop:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a coffee shop ➜

50. Start a dog grooming business

Examples of a successful dog grooming business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a dog grooming business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a dog grooming business ➜

article

51. Start a home staging service

Examples of a successful home staging service:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a home staging service ➜

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52. Start a social media management business

Examples of a successful social media management business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a social media management business ➜

article

53. Start a vending machine operator business

Examples of a successful vending machine operator business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a vending machine operator business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a vending machine operator business ➜

article

54. Start a music lessons business ($240K/year)

Examples of a successful music lessons business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a music lessons business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a music lessons business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Brooke Schrager's story on creating Lessons By Brooke & Company a read:

Hello! My name is Brooke Schrager and I am the founder and studio manager of Lessons By Brooke & Company. We provide customized, in-home, private music lessons to students of all interests, ages, and ability levels.

Today, in May of 2021, we have 17 instructors and teach over 200 students each week across the suburbs and city of Chicago. Our monthly revenue currently sits around $20,000/month - beyond anything I could have ever anticipated when I began in 2015.

We have also been able to expand our offerings to include lessons in arranging, bass, brass, composition, guitar, piano, sound engineering, viola, violin, and voice. I could not be more proud of and grateful for my team and our community of incredible students and families.

how-i-started-a-20k-month-private-music-lessons-business

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Brooke Schrager, on starting Lessons By Brooke & Company ($20,000/month) full story ➜

55. Start a party clown business

Examples of a successful party clown business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a party clown business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a party clown business ➜

article

56. Become a youtube personality

Examples of a successful youtube personality:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a youtube personality ➜

article

57. Start an e-book writing business

Examples of a successful e-book writing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a e-book writing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an e-book writing business ➜

58. Become a dance choreographer

Examples of a successful dance choreographer:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a dance choreographer ➜

59. Start a copywriting business

Examples of a successful copywriting business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a copywriting business ➜

60. Start a hot air balloon ride business

Examples of a successful hot air balloon ride business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a hot air balloon ride business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hot air balloon ride business ➜

article

61. Start a bicycle repair service

Examples of a successful bicycle repair service:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bicycle repair service ➜

article

62. Become a celebrity hair stylist

Examples of a successful celebrity hair stylist:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a celebrity hair stylist:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a celebrity hair stylist ➜

article

63. Start a bakery

Examples of a successful bakery:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bakery ➜

article

64. Start a furniture upcycling business

Examples of a successful furniture upcycling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a furniture upcycling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a furniture upcycling business ➜

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65. Become a florist

Examples of a successful florist:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a florist ➜

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66. Start a fruit jam selling business

Examples of a successful fruit jam selling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a fruit jam selling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fruit jam selling business ➜

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67. Start a tie dye artistry business

Examples of a successful tie dye artistry business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tie dye artistry business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tie dye artistry business ➜

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68. Start a non-profit fundraiser

Examples of a successful non-profit fundraiser:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a non-profit fundraiser:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a non-profit fundraiser ➜

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69. Become a glass blower

Examples of a successful glass blower:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a glass blower ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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