50 Hands On Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

50 Hands On Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

Interested in starting a hands on business in 2021?

We put together 50 of the best hands on businesses you can start in today.

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

Here's the full list:

1. Start an appliance repair business ($1.2M/year)

Chad Rubin from Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA started Think Crucial almost 14 years ago, a appliance repair business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

I studied finance in college and started covering internet stocks like Amazon on Wall Street. This really opened up the world of e-commerce to me. At the same time, my parents were running a shop that sold vacuum cleaners along with accessories but it wasn’t doing very well. I started helping them out with their business and took it online while still working crazy banker hours.

When I was let go in 2009 after the crash, I was ecstatic - this was my chance for a whole new beginning in e-commerce. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I helped expand the business, first on Volusion then selling on eBay, and then finally Amazon. Ultimately, I realized I didn’t want to be a reseller-- I wanted to have my own brand. That was the genesis of Think Crucial.

The key is to start small and stay scrappy. Don’t put the cart before the horse - source or create a product customers need, package it right, and sell it. As you grow (and only then), add more.

starting-a-vacuum-business-and-growing-to-100k-month

2. Become a roofing contractor ($7.98M/year)

Brandon Losik from La Florida, Aragua, Venezuela started Roof Commander ago, a roofing contractor.

  • Revenue: $665,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 50
  • Location: La Florida, Aragua, Venezuela

I had been familiar with construction since my grandfather was a general contractor and one of my business associates had a father in the industry. Then, in 2008, a couple of my friends and I got the idea of starting a new construction company. The transition seemed to be natural at the time.

When it comes to outsourcing marketing and sales efforts, make sure you know where are they spending their time and money so that you can get better leads and close more deals.

Getting custody of my daughter was the main motivator in making a big change in my life. I was a single dad with a six-year-old that needed to be provided for. It was time to make life happen. Business continued to evolve, and we moved and grew alongside the projects and opportunities that kept appearing.

how-i-started-a-665k-month-roofing-company

3. Start a pool installation service ($360K/year)

Dan Stewart from Hamilton, ON, Canada started Dundas Valley Pools over 5 years ago, a pool installation service.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada

Even in high school I was very interested in the idea of starting my own business and someday being my own boss. My dad was the Vice President and co-owner of a construction company while I was growing up and so having a role model like him most certainly contributed to my desire to follow in his footsteps (albeit in a different industry). My grandfather originally started a construction business back in the 1970s which is how my dad was introduced to the industry. I am the third generation of business owners in my family.

I never thought I would be working in the pool industry. In 2016, I graduated at the University of Waterloo with an Honors B.A in Recreation and Sport Business. I have always enjoyed sports, recreation, and the outdoors. My thought coming out of high school was to start an outdoor recreation/adventure sports magazine. Although that hasn’t happened, it’s interesting to think about how I am still working in Recreation and Sport. I guess you could say I’m the “behind the scenes” guy-- at Dundas Valley Pools, we make sure homeowners pools are up to speed and that families can enjoy as much leisure time in their backyard as possible with little to no hassles.

While I was in university, my desire to start my own business continued to grow. One thing I have realized now is that I was more romanticized by the idea of starting a business than I was interested in the actual act of doing so. I think this is an important point to make because it is so easy to get obsessed with an idea or aspiration more than the actual act or result. In my opinion, it is one of the worst mistakes a person can make prior to taking action. Perhaps I can speak more towards this point later on in the interview.

how-i-started-a-8k-month-pool-service-and-installation-business

4. Start a chimney repair business ($545K/year)

Mitchell Blackmon from Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA started Patriot Chimney over 3 years ago, a chimney repair business.

  • Revenue: $45,394/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA

When I was in college, I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and always working. When I graduated, frankly, I became bored after work. My mom owned a housekeeping company when I was younger and I thought that would be a good idea, so I created a housekeeping company and hired her and my aunt to work it. My brother, Matt, and I would talk about creating different businesses together since he was out of the Marines and we’d go back and forth between things like home health, more housekeeping, or even a landscaping company, but we never really could agree on one.

The most important thing you can do is communicate - who does what, set due dates that you all agree on, hold each other accountable, and create consequences for failures.

During this time, Matt started working for one of our competitors in the Roanoke valley and used his GI Bill to get certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), which is the main chimney/dryer vent education association in the USA. After a while, Matt helped his friend Billy get a job at the same company. They noticed some shady practices, their paychecks bouncing, and their ideas to help grow the business were cast aside by the owner. They made it through the burn season (the busiest time in the industry) but that following summer they were let go.

how-i-started-a-21k-month-chimney-service-company-while-working-full-time

5. Start a custom treehouse business ($762K/year)

Dustin Feider from Oakland, California, USA started O2 Treehouse over 17 years ago, a custom treehouse business.

  • Revenue: $63,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Oakland, California, USA

I grew up immersed in nature, climbing trees soon after learning to walk. I’ve always been inspired by the power of design science and how it could transform the world. I went to MCAD, a design college in Minneapolis, beginning with furniture design. It’s likely because of this background that I approached architecture from a new angle, with the flexibility and innovation more common in furniture.

Competition has its merits, but that collaboration is so much stronger. There is almost always room for everyone to succeed.

For my senior capstone project, I built a geodesic sphere in a treetop, which I loved as an ideal because it represents doing more with less and the power of efficiency. That's what made it possible for me to build it so high in a Poplar tree it could’ve been mistaken for the moon! And that was the snowball that started O2T rolling. It garnered attention from some of the established pros in the treehouse building world, and when I went to my first World Treehouse Conference in Oregon in 2006, I realized that I really was on to something.

how-i-started-a-63k-month-custom-built-treehouse-business-and-got-featured-in-over-85-publications

6. Start an electronics repair business ($0/year)

Allen Chiang from Connecticut, USA started Retro Radio Farm almost 8 years ago, a electronics repair business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Connecticut, USA

One day back in 2012, I happened to go to a local flea market. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and I'm not a flea market or garage sale regular.

I noticed these two old radios for $15 each. I had not been interested in old radios before, and I was not a collector or a retro guy. These particular radios were from 1950s, bright and colorful, oozing with retro pride, but in sad, neglected shape.

As far as my professional background, I have an electrical engineering degree but never worked on radios. My understanding of these things was only basic at best. I knew analog audio sounded better than digital from my guitar days.

finding-and-repairing-retro-radios-turned-into-a-successful-side-hustle

7. 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

8. Start a cabinet door making and repairing business

Examples of a successful cabinet door making and repairing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a cabinet door making and repairing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cabinet door making and repairing business ➜

9. Start a generator repair service

Examples of a successful generator repair service:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a generator repair service ➜

10. Start a graffiti removal business

Examples of a successful graffiti removal business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a graffiti removal business ➜

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11. Start a tiny house building business ($1.87M/year)

Examples of a successful tiny house building business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tiny house building business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tiny house building business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Jeff Yeo's story on creating Tiny Away a read:

Hi! My name is Jeff and I am one of the three co-founders of Tiny Away (a Big Tiny hospitality management subsidiary, which is also co-founded by us). The Tiny Away network includes a range of comfy eco-friendly ‘tiny houses’ for travelers seeking alternative and unique accommodation experiences. Having already grown to over 75 private locations across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia & Queensland, Tiny Away offers adventurous road-trippers and weekenders the chance to immerse themselves in Australia’s, without compromising on comfort.

On average, we are taking in about $156,000 monthly in terms of rental revenue, not including the other streams of income, as Tiny Away is a subsidiary of Big Tiny which owns the entire tiny house ecosystem from designing to manufacturing, shipping, assembly, deployment, management, and after-sales service.

we-make-1-8m-year-renting-tiny-homes-to-travelers

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Jeff Yeo, on starting Tiny Away ($156,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a smartphone repair service

Examples of a successful smartphone repair service:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a smartphone repair service ➜

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13. Start a clock repairing business

Examples of a successful clock repairing business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a clock repairing business ➜

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14. Start an electric car repair & servicing garage business

Examples of a successful electric car repair & servicing garage business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a electric car repair & servicing garage business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an electric car repair & servicing garage business ➜

15. Start an auto repair business

Examples of a successful auto repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an auto repair business ➜

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16. Start a washing machine repair business

Examples of a successful washing machine repair business:

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

Learn more about starting a washing machine repair business ➜

17. Start a welding business

Examples of a successful welding business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a welding business ➜

18. Start an elevator installation and repairing business

Examples of a successful elevator installation and repairing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a elevator installation and repairing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an elevator installation and repairing business ➜

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19. Start a drone repair business

Examples of a successful drone repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a drone repair business ➜

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20. Start a fence installation business

Examples of a successful fence installation business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fence installation business ➜

21. Start a drainage repairs business

Examples of a successful drainage repairs business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a drainage repairs business ➜

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22. Start a window and door repair service business

Examples of a successful window and door repair service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a window and door repair service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a window and door repair service business ➜

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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 an ATM machines repair, servicing and maintenance business

Examples of a successful ATM machines repair, servicing and maintenance business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a ATM machines repair, servicing and maintenance business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an ATM machines repair, servicing and maintenance business ➜

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25. Start a phone repair business ($2.7M/year)

Examples of a successful phone repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a phone repair business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Matt McCormick's story on creating TechUnwreck a read:

My name is Matt McCormick, and I started TechUnwreck. We do bulk iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, and Laptop repairs for schools & businesses through a unique mail-in solution. We’re a division of JCD Repair which I started in 2008, catering to retail customers needing an iPhone, other smartphones, or iPad fixed in about 30 minutes in person.

In 2021 we expect to do about 30,000 device repairs per year and $3 million in sales.

how-cracking-my-screen-led-me-to-build-a-2-7m-year-business

-  
Matt McCormick, on starting TechUnwreck ($225,000/month) full story ➜

26. Start a furnace repair service business

Examples of a successful furnace repair service business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a furnace repair service business ➜

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27. Start a video games repair shop business

Examples of a successful video games repair shop business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a video games repair shop business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a video games repair shop business ➜

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28. Start a bookbinding and repair service

Examples of a successful bookbinding and repair service:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bookbinding and repair service ➜

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29. Start an instrument repair business

Examples of a successful instrument repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an instrument repair business ➜

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30. Start an ac repair business

Examples of a successful ac repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an ac repair business ➜

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31. Start a ceramic tile manufacturing business

Examples of a successful ceramic tile manufacturing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a ceramic tile manufacturing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a ceramic tile manufacturing business ➜

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32. Start a watch repairing business

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a watch repairing business ➜

33. Start a shoe repair business

Examples of a successful shoe repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a shoe repair business ➜

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34. Start a remodelling business

Examples of a successful remodelling business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a remodelling business ➜

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35. Start a roof repair business

Examples of a successful roof repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a roof repair business ➜

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36. Start a hardware store business

Examples of a successful hardware store business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hardware store business ➜

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37. Become a carpenter

Examples of a successful carpenter:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a carpenter ➜

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38. Start a house painting business

Examples of a successful house painting business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a house painting business ➜

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39. Start an electrician business

Examples of a successful electrician business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an electrician business ➜

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40. Start a car customization and modification business

Examples of a successful car customization and modification business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a car customization and modification business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a car customization and modification business ➜

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41. Start a mobile phone repair kiosk business

Examples of a successful mobile phone repair kiosk business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a mobile phone repair kiosk business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a mobile phone repair kiosk business ➜

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42. Start a plumbing business

Examples of a successful plumbing business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a plumbing business ➜

43. Start a floor installation business

Examples of a successful floor installation business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a floor installation business ➜

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44. 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 ➜

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45. Start a tile repair business

Examples of a successful tile repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tile repair business ➜

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46. Start a home theater rooms set-up business

Examples of a successful home theater rooms set-up business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a home theater rooms set-up business:

Learn more about starting a home theater rooms set-up business ➜

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47. Become a countertop manufacturer ($13.2M/year)

Examples of a successful countertop manufacturer:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a countertop manufacturer ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Ed Baldoni's story on creating Concrete Countertop Solutions a read:

Hi, all DIYR’s and pros alike.

Our Z Counterform System for countertops and Z Poolform System for concrete pool coping are the go-to solutions for cast-in-place concrete forms. With a small but dedicated team, we grew this business from an idea to over $12M in revenue in 10 years.

What our customers have achieved using our products

i-make-13-2m-year-selling-concrete-countertops-for-diy-ers

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Ed Baldoni, on starting Concrete Countertop Solutions ($1,100,000/month) full story ➜

48. Start a door installations business

Examples of a successful door installations business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a door installations business ➜

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49. Start a windshield repair business

Examples of a successful windshield repair business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a windshield repair business ➜

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50. 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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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

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