The 39 Best Home-Based Businesses To Start In Iowa [2021]

The 39 Best Home-Based Businesses To Start In Iowa [2021]

Interested in starting a business in Iowa in 2021?

We put together 39 of the best businesses you can start in Iowa today.

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of how you can start your profitable, home-based small business in Iowa.

Here's the full list:

1. Start a fashion business ($43.2K/year)

Garret "Buddy" Lamp from Holstein, Iowa, USA started Knee Deep Limited LLC ago, a fashion business.

  • Location: Holstein, Iowa, USA
  • Revenue: $3,600/ month
  • Starting Costs: $80,000
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

What’s going on! I am Garret “Buddy” Lamp, and I am a co-founder with Taylor “Earl” Nees of our start-up, Muff Waders. Muff Waders is an epic product that Earl came up with about 3 years ago, and we just began selling in September 2019.

Muff Waders are the first-ever bibs for work AND play. The bibs have many different features that allow you to keep your drinks close while working outdoors or being the life of the party. Made with strong and tough material, these bibs are built to withstand the rugged elements of mother nature.

The main feature is the insulated six-pack cooler located on the chest that holds 12 oz. cans and bottles. Along with that, there are two pockets located on the side of the leg that can hold 1/5 of liquor, a bottle of wine, etc. nice and snug. A Muff Mug (magnetic coozie) located at the top of the Muff Waders that attaches to the metal bottle opener. People love using this feature so they can go hands-free. On the inside of the bibs, you'll find a hidden/concealed pocket to keep your valuable possessions close and safe.

how-we-designed-and-launched-the-first-ever-bibs-for-work-and-play

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Garret "Buddy" Lamp, on starting Knee Deep Limited LLC ($3,600/month) full story ➜

2. Start a cannabis business ($1.98M/year)

Bjorn Dawson from Waterloo, Iowa, USA started Grobo almost 7 years ago, a cannabis business.

  • Location: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
  • Revenue: $165,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 8

Hey! My name’s Bjorn Dawson and I’m a Co-Founder at Grobo. We make smart hydroponic growing systems that enable anyone to easily grow food and cannabis at home.

Our flagship products are the Grobo Premium and GroboSolid grow boxes. They’re roughly the size of a water cooler and designed to fit perfectly into any home. Our customers are generally cannabis consumers, either for medical or recreational reasons, that are looking for a consistent and high-quality supply of flowers. While many of them have never grown cannabis before, we do have some advanced growers who use our system to play with hydroponics for the first time.

Today, we’re making $165K per month and increasing quickly. After 18 months of fulfilling backorders, we finally caught up with the initial demand and have been able to build an inventory. This is now enabling us to bring on more sales channels each week to boost our sales. In addition, our systems require Grobo Nutrients to function. With more and more units coming online every day, we’re seeing our consumables revenue crossing the $10,000 per month mark and growing steadily.

how-we-launched-a-165k-month-automated-home-growing-box

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Bjorn Dawson, on starting Grobo ($165,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a marketing agency ($96K/year)

Karl Hughes from Chicago, IL, USA started Draft.dev 11 months ago, a marketing agency.

  • Location: Chicago, IL, USA
  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $600
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

My name is Karl, and I’m the founder of Draft. After almost a decade leading engineering teams at venture-funded startups, I decided it was time to leap into entrepreneurship. Draft is a productized service that provides technical content to software engineering blogs on a subscription basis.

August is my third month running the business and first month full-time, and I’m on track to bring in $10,000 in (mostly) recurring revenue this month. The business isn’t going to replace my salary as a CTO right away, but the freedom of running my own business has given me a lot of freedom to stretch my creative muscles and spend time with my family.

My son Joe and dog Chili. We get to hang out together every day now!

how-i-started-an-8k-month-technical-content-marketing-agency

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Karl Hughes, on starting Draft.dev ($8,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a supplements company ($1.2M/year)

Nick Bey from Chicago, IL, USA started Bey Moss over 1 year ago, a supplements company.

  • Location: Chicago, IL, USA
  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $500
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

I’m Nick Bey and I run Bey Moss, an e-commerce platform that sells products infused with Chondrus Crispus or, better known as, sea moss. Our flagship product started with sea moss gel, which was used as a food additive. Our customers are men and women concerned about their health and using beauty products that are safe for your skin.

Bey Moss started on January 1, 2020, and has made over $800,000 to-date with less than $10,000 overall in ads. Our customers realize that they are investing in their health when they consume our products.

how-this-couple-started-a-100k-month-sea-moss-infused-health-supplements-brand

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Nick Bey, on starting Bey Moss ($100,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a stationery business ($36K/year)

Jordyn from Michigan, USA started Jordyn Alison Designs about 3 years ago, a stationery business.

  • Location: Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hey, I’m Jordyn and I’m the owner of Jordyn Alison Designs. My intentions with my products are to bring joy to your daily life as well as help connect you with others.

For a couple of years, the only thing I sold in my shop was greeting cards. But in March of 2018, I started selling vinyl stickers, which proved to be successful. I now have greeting cards, stickers, notepads, apparel and more in my shop.

Part of what I think makes my business unique is that I have a pretty strong digital side to my business as well. For that side, I work on making SVG cut files and hand-lettered fonts. As someone who can’t sit still and do the same thing every day, it’s really nice to have two distinct sides to my business that I can switch back and forth from.

how-i-started-a-3k-month-hand-lettered-stationery-products-ecommerce

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Jordyn, on starting Jordyn Alison Designs ($3,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a supplements company ($24K/year)

Paul Sciortino from Chicago, Illinois, USA started Ayo Supplements over 1 year ago, a supplements company.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My name is Paul Sciortino, I am the founder of Ayo Supplements and we sell Matcha Boost, the best matcha tea supplement you will find on the market. It’s a simple

product; organic, ceremonial grade Japanese matcha powder combined with vitamin B-12 to support natural energy.

Matcha’s renowned health benefits are widely recognized and it is one of the healthiest substances in the world. It’s an acquired taste, however, and prep time can make it difficult to fit into a daily routine. I thought that if I created a quality product in a convenient “take with you anywhere” capsule, people couldn’t afford not to take it.

on-starting-a-2k-month-premium-matcha-supplements-brand

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Paul Sciortino, on starting Ayo Supplements ($2,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a motorcycle parts business ($7.2M/year)

Justin Pflanz from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA started TAB Performance over 17 years ago, a motorcycle parts business.

  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9

Our names are Justin and Casey and we are two brothers who have spent the last 10 years building and growing an aftermarket motorcycle exhaust and accessory business. Our main product is exhaust, but have been able to expand our business by adding several complimentary branded products as well as kitting package deals that might include non competing complementary products made by other companies. If someone needs another product to enhance or use the product you make, you might as well offer it to your customer to create a more complete and pleasant shopping experience for your customer base.

We have grown a little over double every year for the past 4 years and are using that income to reinvest into new products and new capabilities for our company. Just this year we were able to purchase new equipment to allow us the ability to manufacture many complex parts ourselves which cuts down on cost and enhances our ability to be agile and adapt to new products quickly.

how-we-added-200k-worth-of-manufacturing-equipment-and-added-new-employees

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Justin Pflanz, on starting TAB Performance ($600,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a pool installation service ($96K/year)

Dan Stewart from Unorganized Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada started Dundas Valley Pools almost 5 years ago, a pool installation service.

  • Location: Unorganized Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I’m Dan Stewart and I’m the founder of Dundas Valley Pools. We help homeowners with swimming pools in Southern Ontario, Canada maximize the summers in their backyard. We do this by providing personalized, on-site services such as pool openings/ closings, pool maintenance, equipment installations, pool renovations, and new pool installations. Since our humble beginnings in May of 2016 we have serviced 350+ pools, opened and closed 200+ pools, and have installed tons of high-quality pool equipment, pool liners, and winter safety covers for happy customers throughout Southern Ontario.

Although Dundas Valley Pools began as a company focusing solely on pool openings and closings, we have confidently moved into more and more technical services such as leak detection and repair, liner repair and installation, winter safety cover installations, and pool/backyard renovations. We plan to begin our first in-ground pool installs this year in 2020. We are also in the process of discussing a partnership opportunity with another local pool business which is pretty darn exciting.

Dundas Valley Pools has grown from a company producing very little revenue in 2016 to a company that is earning an average of $8000/ month net revenue during the on-season. This year we hope to actually double that number. This is due to our expansion into more technical services as well as taking on larger jobs-- namely, new pool installations.

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

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Dan Stewart, on starting Dundas Valley Pools ($8,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a men's grooming company ($1.2M/year)

Doug Geiger from Mount Clemens, Michigan, USA started CanYouHandlebar over 8 years ago, a men's grooming company.

  • Location: Mount Clemens, Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $400
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10

I’m Doug Geiger, founder of Can You Handlebar, a men’s grooming product company. We’re one of those low-key-high-quality brands.

We are best known for beard oils and balms, moustache wax and inventing the first application brush for beard products, the Can You Handlebar Beard Oil Brush®. We are carefully and consistently extending our product line and distribution.

In our first three years our production grew from a kitchen countertop with a crockpot I stole from my wife to “making a million bucks” and a 10,000 square foot building with a whole fleet of crockpots. Meanwhile, our retail presence -- which began on the counter of a gracious proprietor of the corner gas station -- has grown to our own network of barbers and salons across the US, international distribution and most visibly, the shelves of every Art of Shaving.

how-i-turned-a-moustache-wax-recipe-into-a-million-dollar-business

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Doug Geiger, on starting CanYouHandlebar ($100,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start a cocktail ingredient business ($540K/year)

Christopher Thomas from Nashville, Tennessee, USA started Eli Mason over 6 years ago, a cocktail ingredient business.

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  • Revenue: $45,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $10,000
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My name is Christopher Thomas. I am the managing partner and co-owner of a cocktail mixer brand called Eli Mason. We make premium cocktail mixers and syrups using real ingredients like cane sugar and premium bitters in Nashville, Tennessee.

Our flagship product is The Old Fashioned Cocktail Mixer. Just mix it with your favorite whiskey and you have a delicious Old Fashioned in less than 30 seconds. We have two main customers. Our first customer is someone who enjoys a delicious cocktail, but they don’t want the hassle of figuring out the right ratios of sugar to bitters, should they muddle fruit or not, we make it super easy for them to make a consistent and delicious Old Fashioned in less than 30 seconds. Our second customer is the cocktail enthusiast who loves making cocktails from scratch in their home, but sometimes they just want EASY. We give them that EASY option for a solid drink made with real ingredients.

how-we-grew-revenue-to-600k-and-launched-a-new-product-this-year

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Christopher Thomas, on starting Eli Mason ($45,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start a subscription box business ($120K/year)

David Dewane from Chicago, Illinois, USA started Mouse Book Club almost 4 years ago, a subscription box business.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 0

My name is David Dewane and I’m the co-founder and president of the Mouse Book Club. We make phone-sized physical books you carry around with you so that you have a decent alternative to reading your phone.

I’m an architect, professor, journalist, hustler, and the lowest form of tech junkie. I’m the kind of creep you’d see checking their phone at the dinner table when the baby is crying. That’s one of the reasons I started Mouse and am aligning our company with the movement towards digital minimalism, that is, a more limited and thoughtful integration of technology into our lives.

So far, we have mailed over 40,000 books to 60+ countries and all 50 states. We’ve done about $170,000 in sales in the first two years.

how-we-launched-a-book-subscription-service-and-sold-40k-books

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David Dewane, on starting Mouse Book Club ($10,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start an ice cream scooper business ($216K/year)

Michael Chou from South Lyon, Michigan, USA started Midnight Scoop over 6 years ago, an ice cream scooper business.

  • Location: South Lyon, Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $18,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4

My name is Michael Chou, and I am an aerospace engineer by trade.

It’s always bothered me how difficult it was to scoop hard ice cream. I hated trying to melt the ice cream using heated spoons, or the microwave. I just knew there was a better way. It took me years to develop the most perfect ice cream scoop.

There is definitely blood sweat and tears in the product. Heck, we call it the Midnight Scoop because I spent so many nights obsessing about it and losing so much sleep.

how-an-aerospace-engineer-decided-to-reengineer-the-ice-cream-scooper

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Michael Chou, on starting Midnight Scoop ($18,000/month) full story ➜

13. Start a cork maps business ($48K/year)

Nick Fortosis from Zeeland, Michigan, USA started GEO 101 Design over 3 years ago, a cork maps business.

  • Location: Zeeland, Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $4,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $200
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My name is Nick Fortosis and I am the founder of GEO 101 Design, a company that specializes in creating one of a kind cork maps with modern minimalist aesthetics. Our goal is to turn your love of travel into your own personalized home décor.

Founded in late 2017, I run the business by myself and manufacture everything in my garage workshop in West Michigan. We have been steadily growing and are currently doing roughly $2000 a month in sales through our website and our Etsy shop.

how-i-started-a-side-project-out-of-my-garage-selling-cork-maps

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Nick Fortosis, on starting GEO 101 Design ($4,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a hvac equipment shop ($4.5M/year)

Mike Luongo from Ohio, USA started Total Home Supply over 11 years ago, a HVAC equipment shop.

  • Location: Ohio, USA
  • Revenue: $375,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 5

My name is Mike Luongo and I am the Managing Member of Total Home Supply in Fairfield, NJ. Total Home Supply was founded in 2010 by a group of disgruntled people working for other Internet companies. We were not happy with the direction of these companies so we got together under a common concept of creating a company that would treat our customers the way we would like to be treated.

Since we sell heating and cooling products that can be purchased elsewhere, we knew we needed to find a compelling reason for customers to choose us. We also knew that just selling cheap was not the answer so we became the leader in customer service, both before and after the sale.

The above is why we have double-digit growth while our competitors struggle to maintain the volume from previous years.

how-5-founders-left-their-jobs-to-start-a-4-5m-heating-cooling-business

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Mike Luongo, on starting Total Home Supply ($375,000/month) full story ➜

15. Start a tv show ranking business ($15.6K/year)

Steve Sanders from Lisle, IL, USA started Episode Ninja over 4 years ago, a tv show ranking business.

  • Location: Lisle, IL, USA
  • Revenue: $1,300/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hello, my name is Steve Sanders and I’m the creator of a website called Episode Ninja. The primary goal of the site is to rank the “best” episodes of a given TV show.

In my day job, I work as a web and app developer at a company in the smart home space. Episode Ninja is still firmly a side project for me, currently making around $1000 a month in revenue. It is monetized through display advertising and TV streaming affiliate programs.

Traffic to the website has been steadily growing since launch and is currently at more than 200,000 unique visitors per month.

how-i-built-and-monetized-a-website-side-project-ranking-tv-shows

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Steve Sanders, on starting Episode Ninja ($1,300/month) full story ➜

16. Start a 3d printing business ($3.6M/year)

Jeremy Simon from Algonquin started 3D Universe, LLC over 7 years ago, a 3d printing business.

  • Location: Algonquin
  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3

Hi, I’m Jeremy Simon, founder of 3D Universe, LLC. We are an e-commerce value-added reseller, providing digital fabrication solutions, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and vacuum forming machines, as well as related supplies and accessories. We represent several different brands, but the Ultimaker line of 3D printers is our strongest product line.

Our customers include educational organizations, government entities, commercial organizations across a wide variety of vertical markets, and individual consumers.

We have developed a business model that leverages online technologies to minimize operational overhead, allowing us to conduct a profitable business with significant revenues using a very small team of employees.

how-we-increased-our-sales-and-added-new-opportunities-during-the-pandemic

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Jeremy Simon, on starting 3D Universe, LLC ($300,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a music licensing business ($2.52M/year)

Aaron Green from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA started Easy Song Licensing almost 16 years ago, a music licensing business.

  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Revenue: $210,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6

Hello! This is Aaron Green, Vice President and co-founder of EasySongLicensing.com. We are a 3rd party music licensing agent, specializing in music clearance for any type of permission, for any type of use; kind of like your one-stop music nerd Swiss Army Knife!

Our work involves helping indie artists, record labels, online aggregators (such as CD Baby), filmmakers, studios, video production companies, entertainment lawyers and corporate clients with all their music licensing needs by brokering music clearance deals with music publishers and record labels. These types of permissions include:

  • Mechanical song licensing (re-recorded cover versions of copyrighted material for audio-only releases)
  • Video synchronization (commercial/advertisements/branding/TV/film/DVD/Video-On-Demand/internet streaming/public display, etc.; any video or visual use of copyrighted material)
  • Master rights (use of an original master sound recording)
  • Theatrical rights (live stage/musicals/dramas)
  • and Print licensing (digital and physical print publications, sheet music arrangements)

how-we-bootstrapped-a-music-licensing-business-to-2-5m-year

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Aaron Green, on starting Easy Song Licensing ($210,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a soap business ($33.6K/year)

Sandy Engels from Ethel, Missouri, USA started The Purple Sage ago, a soap business.

  • Location: Ethel, Missouri, USA
  • Revenue: $2,800/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hey, y’all, I am Sandy Engels and I am the owner and artisan of The Purple Sage, a company created to encourage modern midlife women to live and love boldly.

When my youngest child started kindergarten, I started my first business doing medical billing from home. Which I sold a few years later...and went back to being a stay at home Mom.

I’ve been making soap and bath products since 2002. I got serious about business in 2011. In addition to selling online, I do festivals and events in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia. My average revenue is $2800 a month.

how-i-started-my-2-8k-month-soap-lotion-and-bubble-bath-brand

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Sandy Engels, on starting The Purple Sage ($2,800/month) full story ➜

19. Start a baby photography business

Jessica Mitchell from Howell, Michigan, USA started Jessica Mehu Photography LLC about 10 years ago, a baby photography business.

  • Location: Howell, Michigan, USA
  • Starting Costs: $1,500
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

I was raised in a religion that discouraged education. I was poorly homeschooled and didn’t continue my education past high school. I was married and a mother at the young age of 18. I was a stay at home mother and my husband was the primary breadwinner of the household, but worked small part-time jobs here and there to help financially as he didn’t earn much and we lived paycheck to paycheck. During my second pregnancy in 2005, I learned about doulas and knew my passion lies in pregnancy and infants so I became a certified birth doula in 2006.

When you build a business, it’s coming from YOU and the energy you attract will either lead to success or failure of your business.

During my time assisting women in childbirth, they would hand me their cameras and ask me to snap some pictures to capture the moment. When I held the camera in my hands my heart raced and I found myself getting creative and I taking those photos and eventually even editing them afterward. This led me to apply for job postings for photography companies that offered training. I worked for several companies including being the newborn photographer in the hospital that went from room to room the day after a baby was born. Even in the studio setting, when a baby came in, everyone pointed to me to take them because it was clear that was my passion and talent.

on-turning-a-photography-hobby-into-a-wildly-successful-venture

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Jessica Mitchell, on starting Jessica Mehu Photography LLC (/month) full story ➜

20. Start a financial advisor business

AJ Stockwell from Omaha, Nebraska, USA started Climb CFO over 2 years ago, a financial advisor business.

  • Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I started college as an engineering major at Arizona State University. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and quickly realized engineering (especially biomedical engineering) isn’t a quick path to starting a company. Switching to the business school, I wanted to choose a major that was more technical and academic compared to the topics I believed made more sense to learn in “real life,” such as marketing or management. So I chose accounting – “the language of business,” as Warren Buffett calls it.

Researching keyword traffic for interest in your product would be a completely free way to start validating your idea before putting too much time or money into it.

Just a year after switching my major, I saw an opportunity to learn QuickBooks and see if any small businesses around Tempe needed help with their bookkeeping. I spoke with one business owner I knew and looked up to, and he agreed to let me handle a small aspect of his bookkeeping. I was off to the races. I started cold-calling local businesses and responding to Craigslist ads, and that’s how I got my first few clients.

on-building-a-6-figure-outsourced-cfo-firm

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AJ Stockwell, on starting Climb CFO (/month) full story ➜

21. Start a portable phone chargers business ($24K/year)

Chris Reimer from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA started Boosa Tech over 3 years ago, a portable phone chargers business.

  • Location: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

My name is Chris Reimer, and I’m Founder and Chief Power Officer of Boosa Tech.

We sell power banks - portable phone chargers designed to keep your smartphone up and running no matter how long you’re away from a wall outlet. On a plane flying across the world? Trying to hail an Uber? At the never-ending 3-hour soccer practice playing mindless games on your phone? On the couch and your slovenly body just won’t move? Boosa's designed to eliminate the Low Battery Anxiety that just about everyone feels when their phone dips below 30%, 20%, 5% … as little as $25-35 will take this stress out of your life.

Boosa is currently a one-person operation - me! I run the website, social media, PR, inventory procurement from China (both negotiations and logistics), pick/pack/and ship orders, customer service, marketing … I do it all and love every minute of it. And all of this is happening while I continue to work my full-time job as a Director of Creative Services at a local university. Boosa’s website went live in late June 2018, and we’re averaging about $2,000/month in sales.

how-i-m-building-a-side-hustle-with-an-unorthodox-business-mindset

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Chris Reimer , on starting Boosa Tech ($2,000/month) full story ➜

22. Start a digital agency ($240K/year)

Kaila Piepkow from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA started Dox Design over 3 years ago, a digital agency.

  • Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hey, Fur Friends! My name is Kaila Piepkow and I am Owner and Principal Designer at Dox Design, and dog-mom to three spoiled dachshunds. I’ve been a (mildly) crazy dog lady my whole life, so naturally, when I started my own design agency I decided to niche down and focuses on pet businesses and animal lovers.

At Dox Design we put the spotlight on exceptional pet businesses and products with drool-worthy branding, website and packaging design. Our bread and butter is branding and graphic design. We do everything from logos, to postcards, to tradeshows, and more. Dox Design aims to ensure your aesthetic is in-line with the message you want to portray to your audience. By taking the time to build a relationship with our clients, we make the most strategic decisions to develop top-notch brands.

We strive to make great design accessible to everyone—even brands starting out with a low budget. That’s why we’re very excited for the upcoming release of our online store. This is where brands will be able to go to purchase templated designs, ranging from business cards to stock photos, to upgrade their branding. Be on the lookout late summer for the launch here.

how-i-turned-my-passion-for-puppers-into-a-thriving-design-agency

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Kaila Piepkow, on starting Dox Design ($20,000/month) full story ➜

23. Start a podcast ($108K/year)

Kurt Elster from Skokie, Illinois, USA started The Unofficial Shopify Podcast over 6 years ago, a podcast.

  • Location: Skokie, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $9,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

I'm Kurt Elster, and I host The Unofficial Shopify Podcast. With 750,000 downloads, 200 episodes, and four sponsors, it’s become quite the media machine for us.

how-kurt-elster-monetized-and-grew-a-podcast-to-750k-downloads

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Kurt Elster, on starting The Unofficial Shopify Podcast ($9,000/month) full story ➜

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

Paul Dickey and Alec Abend from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada started Hexbox Fitness almost 2 years ago, a fitness facility.

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

Hello! Our names are Alec Abend and Paul Dickey, Co-Founders of Hexbox Fitness. We are a state of the art, upscale Fitness Facility. The combination of our own branded class and 24 hour Member access has created our own unique model carving out our own lane within the ever growing Fitness Industry.

Our HXBX® Class combines HR Technology, community, and a strength and conditioning based program; in a game structured format to give our Members the best and most fun workouts they’ve experienced. With an emphasis on building lean muscle, all while improving cardiovascular endurance.

On top of being a community driven facility, our members get the convenience of 24 hour access to come in and use the equipment any time, any day. We currently have 1 location in the Monterey, CA area, and are working on locking in a few franchise and licensing deals to expand.

how-we-started-a-20k-month-fitness-facility

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

25. Start a healthy snack food business

Joe Oblas from Plano, Texas started Stryve almost 4 years ago, a healthy snack food business.

  • Location: Plano, Texas
  • Starting Costs: $8,000,000
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 107

I am Joe Oblas, the Co-CEO of Stryve Beef Biltong. Stryve Beef Biltong is an all-natural, good-for-you snack made from 100% American beef that’s high in protein and zero sugar. At Stryve, we’re on a mission to help America snack better. In case you haven’t heard of biltong before, it’s made with a process for preserving meat that originated centuries ago in South Africa using just meat, vinegar, and spices.

Biltong boasts 50% more protein in every bite than traditional jerky but has zero sugar. We offer delicious, flavorful biltong in slices, sticks, and slabs made with simple ingredients and nothing artificial. Stryve is free of MSG, nitrates, preservatives, sugar, and gluten.

on-creating-a-high-protein-zero-sugar-biltong-snack-and-growing-the-company-to-100-employees

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Joe Oblas, on starting Stryve (/month) full story ➜

26. Become a real estate agent ($4.2M/year)

Grigory Pekarsky from Chicago, Illinois, USA started Vesta Preferred Realty over 11 years ago, a real estate agent.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

My name is Grigory Pekarsky and I own a residential real estate company called Vesta Preferred.

We operate in the Chicagoland area and this year, 2019, we are celebrating 10 years or operation. We focus on relationship building rather than strictly selling real estate. Our operations are unique as many relationships in our company begin by helping our clients find their first home as a rental property in the city. We then stay in touch and maintain our relationships in hopes of becoming everyone’s broker for life. My personal business is now over 80% referral based and repeat clients due to these principles. This year we are #3 in the city for sales as compared to the 14,000+ individual entities that sell in Chicago.

We consistently grow at a 20% pace and this year we are on pace to write 1000 new leases and sell over $120m in real estate.

how-i-became-a-real-estate-agent-and-started-my-own-firm

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Grigory Pekarsky, on starting Vesta Preferred Realty ($350,000/month) full story ➜

27. Start a health care training business ($180K/year)

Kyle Golding from Oklahoma, USA started Vorttx Training and Testing over 4 years ago, a health care training business.

  • Location: Oklahoma, USA
  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

My name is Kyle Golding, I am a co-founder and CMO of VORTTX Training and Testing SaaS virtual emergency response training system for long-term healthcare facilities. I co-founded VORTTX Training and Testing in 2016.

VORTTX is a yearly subscription service currently generating 1% of the market potential of one hundred million dollars a year in our second year of full-time operation.

After nearly a year in development, the adoption rate of VORTTX from the public launch to the end of the first 12 months was over 500% and still growing.

how-we-built-and-launched-a-health-care-training-platform

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Kyle Golding, on starting Vorttx Training and Testing ($15,000/month) full story ➜

28. Start a stuffed animals business ($6M/year)

Tyler Macke from Jackson, MO, USA started SendAFriend almost 3 years ago, a stuffed animals business.

  • Location: Jackson, MO, USA
  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $1,000
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20

Hello, everyone! My name is Tyler Macke and I’m the 21-year-old founder of SendAFriend, an e-commerce brand that sells stuffed animal care packages.

Our core product is the stuffed animals themselves, which we offer alongside a customizable greeting card and a few small accessory add-ons. The fluffy friend gets swaddled up in blue tissue paper and packaged in our bright blue shipping box with the ‘Someone Loves You’ motif before being sent out the door.

how-i-started-a-500k-month-stuffed-animal-care-packages-ecommerce-brand

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Tyler Macke, on starting SendAFriend ($500,000/month) full story ➜

29. Start a board game ($360K/year)

Travis Hancock from Columbus, Ohio, USA started Facade Games about 6 years ago, a board game.

  • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

My name is Travis Hancock and I’m the founder of Facade Games. We have published 3 board games, each disguised in book boxes.

Each of the games focuses on a city and year from history, and has some kind of lying/backstabbing involved in the gameplay. We’re currently working on game number 4 for our current series of games, as well as a new party game line.

Our games have raised over $1 million on Kickstarter, and we’ve sold about 80,000 copies of our games around the world. I work full time from home with my wife Holly. We love inventing and publishing games!

how-i-built-a-successful-business-out-of-my-passion-for-board-games

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Travis Hancock, on starting Facade Games ($30,000/month) full story ➜

30. Start a fashion accessories brand ($18K/year)

SiDi from Chicago, Illinois, USA started ZipSeam almost 7 years ago, a fashion accessories brand.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $1,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hello! My name is SiDi and I’m the inventor of the ZipSeam, a product that lets you tailor your baggy shirts in minutes. I launched the product 5 years ago to help young professionals dress better without breaking the wallet.

how-i-created-a-diy-shirt-tailor-and-raised-60k-on-kickstarter

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SiDi, on starting ZipSeam ($1,500/month) full story ➜

31. Start a fashion accessories brand ($24K/year)

Jay Fuller from Chicago, Illinois, USA started FLXCUF almost 4 years ago, a fashion accessories brand.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My name is Jay Fuller and my product FLXCUF. It's a solution designed to hold up dress shirt sleeves in one fold. I have just one product design (in two versions), coming in a variety of colors -- black (Bonds), white (Carraways), royal blue (Shmedium Blues), and light blue (Portages). Rather than just call my product the FLXCUF band, I thought it’d be more fun to give each color it’s own name.

Recently, since its launch 3 years ago, FLXCUF is in the green. Sales also continue to improve and I’ve finally gotten over the hump of getting into two boutique retailers this year.

how-i-launched-a-2k-month-solution-that-holds-shirt-sleeves

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Jay Fuller, on starting FLXCUF ($2,000/month) full story ➜

32. ($12K/year)

David Cruickshank from Royal Oak, Michigan, USA started Twisted Boards about 8 years ago, .

  • Location: Royal Oak, Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

My name is Dave Cruickshank and I’m a police officer in Connecticut. I started a business called Twisted Boards out of my basement and have grown to a manufacturing plant and fulfillment center in Michigan.

We manufacture and sell a new type of product; three dimensional dry erase boards. We have a very broad customer base from college kids and office workers to schools and special needs teachers.

The sales market has been quite a roller coaster but we’re currently in about 150 stores across the US and building an intellectual property portfolio that will help the business grow.

creating-a-unique-product-and-getting-into-150-retail-stores

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David Cruickshank, on starting Twisted Boards ($1,000/month) full story ➜

33. Start a graphic design business ($50.4K/year)

SumanJung from Louisville, Kentucky, USA started DesignPac about 2 years ago, a graphic design business.

  • Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • Revenue: $4,200/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 5

My name is SumanJung. I am 25 years old. I am from the third world country Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world. Unseen by many, Nepal has tremendous business opportunities to those who want to utilize them. I co-founded the company called DesignPac which provides dedicated web experts (graphic designers, web developers & digital marketers) for rent. A productized service the world has never experienced before.

DesignPac rents out well-experienced & skilled web professionals on a monthly/hourly basis. It is a simple concept of hiring tech people when you want to create something online or need ongoing web support but have tight budget and limited resources. We provide a full-service web service agency, much like think creating your perfect meal from a restaurant menu. Custom design your service from a selection menu of designers, developer, and marketers, all ready to serve. By providing a full-service menu, we remove the hassle, expense, and headache of purchases these services individually through multiple providers, while our clients also enjoy the savings they incur by utilizing the global workforce. Sign up for DesignPac and an entire team is at your fingertips. We have an easy and convenient on-boarding process offering various options in billing terms (monthly/hourly/semiannually). Not only we rent the web experts, we also have our own project management tool to handle our client’s task and projects. An expert will be assigned to the client promptly after signing up. Our dashboard enables our clients to add additional web experts to their team easily with a few simple clicks.

All of our experts have been strenuously vetted. Only the most qualified are selected to join our team. Because of the currency exchange rate we are able to pay out team well above industry standard, giving us not only a competitive edge in the market but also in our ability to hire only the best. The majority of our clients are startups, small businesses, and agencies. Our company profiting by using a global workforce, enabling us to keep our service prices below industry average. A blessing for those who are frustrated with their unreliable freelance teams or for those with startups and low budgets. Anyone with a dream should be able to see it fulfilled. With DesignPac anyone can start a business.

how-i-launched-a-startup-from-a-third-world-country

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SumanJung, on starting DesignPac ($4,200/month) full story ➜

34. Start a bedding company ($120K/year)

Nan, Wendy and Jessica from Chicago, Illinois, USA started Ocochi over 1 year ago, a bedding company.

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 3

Hi there! We are Nanny Peggy, Wendy, and Jess, the founders of Ocochi. Three generations of women from the same family. After a lot of fun and hard work, we have Ocochi – our beloved family-run bedding company. We sell boutique bamboo bed linen and luxurious mulberry silk duvets that are sustainable and chemical-free.

Too hot, too cold and total restlessness. We’ve been there and known what a nightmare it can be and how seriously a poor night’s sleep can affect the next day. But once we had done our research into mulberry silk duvets and bamboo bed linen, we knew we had found something really special.

how-we-started-a-10k-month-all-natural-bedding-brand

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Nan, Wendy and Jessica, on starting Ocochi ($10,000/month) full story ➜

35. Start an online community ($12K/year)

Steven Lin from Bloomington, Indiana, USA started letsworkremotely almost 4 years ago, an online community.

  • Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

Hey everyone! My name is Steven Lin and I’m the Co-Founder of letsworkremotely. My Co-Founder, Ciaran Redmond, actually lives in Denver and we have never met in person. Funny enough, we actually started as competitors right about a year and a half ago, but now we’re on our way to create the best (and currently largest) remote community possible.

Our flagship product is actually the collection of 4 remote job/digital nomad Facebook Groups that either me, Ciaran, or both of us are admins or moderators of. The smallest one has around 25,000 members and the largest one is nearing 100,000.

While there is definitely some crossover of members in the groups, they’re all super engaging (>60% active members) and growing at about 100 people a week, sometimes a day. Some of the group discussions are remote work or digital nomad relate, but most of them are remote job posts to help our members live the work/life they desire.

how-two-friends-created-one-of-the-largest-remote-working-communities

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Steven Lin, on starting letsworkremotely ($1,000/month) full story ➜

36. Start an athletic clothing line ($180K/year)

Paul Dickey from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada started Spuds almost 4 years ago, an athletic clothing line.

  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hi, my name is Paul Dickey, I'm 23 years old, and I am the founder of Spuds, a men’s performance apparel company currently based out of the Monterey, California area.

We started our life out by first being funded through our Kickstarter campaign this past Summer 2017. Our vision as a company is to create performance apparel built for everywhere, not just at the gym or for running.

Whether you are going out to dinner, a family gathering, for a hike, a run, or even to the gym, our pieces of clothing combine performance fabrics, intelligent details, modern technologies, and a classic design. Men don’t really have the “yoga leggings for women”, a single article of clothing that can look good and perform well depending on how you dress them. We are aiming to change that.

raising-15-000-for-a-cross-functional-pair-of-shorts

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Paul Dickey, on starting Spuds ($15,000/month) full story ➜

37. Start a seo agency ($3.3M/year)

Chris Dreyer from Caseyville, Illinois, USA started Rankings.io about 8 years ago, a SEO agency.

  • Location: Caseyville, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $275,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15

My name is Chris Dreyer and I’m the CEO/Founder of Rankings.io, LLC. My company is a hyper-focused SEO (search engine optimization) agency; we help elite personal injury law firms dominate first page rankings.

In 2018, we were #858 in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America. Our revenue is just under $300,000 per month and we’re on pace for another record-breaking year.

how-i-started-an-seo-agency-for-lawyers-generating-3-6m-year

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Chris Dreyer, on starting Rankings.io ($275,000/month) full story ➜

38. Start a shopping cart software ($1.02M/year)

Mark Thompson from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA started PayKickstart almost 5 years ago, a shopping cart software.

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  • Revenue: $85,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 15

Hi everyone, my name is Mark Thompson and I am the co-founder of PayKickstart. I started the company back in 2016, completely bootstrapped, in order to create a better way for businesses to sell online.

Our flagship product, PayKickstart, is unique shopping cart and affiliate management solution, which helps subscription-based businesses, accept payment, maximize recurring revenue, and increase customer lifetime value.

We’ve recently broke $1MM in ARR and have doubled in size year-over-year.

bootstrapping-to-1m-arr-by-building-something-i-needed

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Mark Thompson, on starting PayKickstart ($85,000/month) full story ➜

39. Start a clothing boutique ($1.8M/year)

Sasithon Bella from Michigan, USA started The Kewl Shop almost 9 years ago, a clothing boutique.

  • Location: Michigan, USA
  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6

Hi there, my names Sasithon, or Sasi for short and I run The Kewl Shop together with my husband, Charles. I’m Thai and spent my formative years in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Charles is British.

Our flagship products are designer bandage and bodycon dresses, a style of dress made famous by a host of celebrities including the ubiquitous Kim Kardashian. Bandage dresses are form-fitting dresses that slim your shape and show off your curves. They work a lot like shapewear, and you honestly do feel like a million bucks wearing one.

We sell these stunning dresses worldwide although 90% of our orders are in the USA. Our customers range from 16 to 18-year-old girls wanting to look vibrant and turn heads to women in their 60’s and beyond with a zest for life.

leveraging-seo-to-grow-an-online-store-to-1-8m-per-year

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Sasithon Bella, on starting The Kewl Shop ($150,000/month) full story ➜

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