The 55+ Best Business Ideas To Start In Malaysia [2021]

The 55+ Best Business Ideas To Start In Malaysia [2021]

Interested in starting a business in Malaysia in 2021?

We put together 55 of the best businesses you can start in Malaysia today.

In this list of ideas, you can find:

  • Home-based businesses to start in Malaysia
  • Profitable online business ideas
  • Unique business opportunities for Malaysia
  • Low investment business ideas (under $5k to start)
  • Easy businesses you can start in Malaysia today

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples, revenue expectations for each idea, + a step-by-step on how to start your small business in Malaysia.

Here's the full list:

1. Start an online food business ($54K/year)

Katie Young from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada started Klondike Kettle Corn almost 7 years ago, a online food business.

  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

It was actually a close friend’s idea to set up a kettle corn business in the Yukon. He had seen one set up down south (Vancouver) and thought it would take off in Carcross, a small community just outside of Whitehorse, that was starting to cater to tourists coming off the cruise ships from Skagway, AK.

When other work commitments did not allow him to follow through with his business idea, I stepped in to help. Eventually, I bought the kettle corn business from him and started to attend the Fireweed Community Market in Whitehorse.

Be open to new ideas and always be searching for creative ways to keep your product interesting.

how-i-launched-a-gourmet-popcorn-brand-from-the-yukon

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

Liz Illg from Phoenix, AZ, USA started Liz Illg almost 3 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

3. Start a furniture business ($444K/year)

John Humphreys from Austin, Texas, USA started Humphreys almost 5 years ago, a furniture business.

  • Revenue: $37,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Since I was a kid I have always had a sense of wonder about the world and the mechanisms behind it. Whether it be a jet engine or a windshield wiper-I have thought about the creative process behind these things since I was 10 years old.

I drew houses as a kid. My dad grew up in a home designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, it was a solar home and it had an odd features. One example is, the entire back wall that was about 100 feet long and 15 feet high comprised of windows that all opened. In front, there were functioning levers that had fans which would draw airflow in and out.

Growing up I thought I wanted to be a pilot. I was described in high school by a classmate as “poetic” which I found offensive. I tried a hand in many things; managing a farm and pre-school, which were two businesses I inherited. This type of work wasn’t for me.

my-story-starting-a-400k-year-handcrafted-furniture-business

4. Start a 3d printing business ($3.96M/year)

Roy Kirchner from Odesa, Odesa Oblast, Ukraine started Ultimate 3D Printing Store over 6 years ago, a 3d printing business.

  • Revenue: $330,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Odesa, Odesa Oblast, Ukraine

In 2014, I was one-half of a partnership working primarily in advertising and marketing. At that time, my partner and I were successful and wanted to explore other verticals. We began working with a client who had a product that we believed was singular and unique throughout the world, and we put forward a significant amount of capital out of our own pockets to try and develop that product, only to reach a point where the deal went south and litigation ensued.

Make plans to do things as a family, and do your best not to let work interfere with those moments, but know that there are going to be times when you will have to sacrifice an outing, a dinner date, a holiday weekend.

In trying to think outside the box and figure out a way to create a similar product, I found myself for the first time in an innovation lab in Tampa, Florida, where I saw a 3D printer in operation for the first time. I couldn’t look away. I realized immediately that 3D printing had the potential to change the world as it became more integrated into daily business activities such as manufacturing. That’s when I decided to leap of faith.

how-i-started-a-330k-month-ecommerce-specialized-in-3d-printing

5. Start an it company ($60K/year)

Maanda Mulaudzi from Remote started Common Sense Holdings over 2 years ago, a IT company.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Remote

I would have to say I have always wanted to start my own business even from high school. I started a business with a high school friend and we would sell custom basketball shoes. Then my second business was making school sports gear throughout the university. During this period from high school until now, I have been a professional skateboarder, which has helped me travel all over the world. This was also a way I made money through hosting and organizing events.

When you think you have all the answers that will lead you to make more mistakes if you don't know something just ask someone who has that knowledge. This will help you reduce mistakes, swallow your pride, this is business.

I graduated from university as an industrial engineer and also have a diploma in financial management and have worked in various industries such as automotive, media and broadcasting, education, and manufacturing. After five years in the corporate world, I decided to travel and explore more of the world.

how-i-left-a-professional-skateboarding-career-to-start-developing-it-and-mobile-solutions

6. Start a digital marketing business ($3.6M/year)

Rahul Alim from Los Angeles, California, USA started Custom Creatives almost 17 years ago, a digital marketing business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

My intention during and after high school was to move to Europe and play soccer (football) as my career. However, I was persuaded to try my hand at college which eventually took me down the path where I am today.

I grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs, thinkers…people smarter than me so I was definitely lucky to be in the right room.

My first job was selling credit card machines and processing. I was raw in business but determined (or stubborn) to make it alone with the help of no one (NOTE, this was a dumb idea and everyone should get help at every stage of life). When I started, I thought I was in a finance position. It turned out I was in a sales position, responsible for calling businesses to sell them on our services. It was the best thing to ever happen to me at this stage in my young career.

I was forced to talk to people, negotiate, persuade, help strangers over the phone - I learned one of the greatest skills of all time, how to sell over the phone. I had never sold anything, I learned sales in 3 days, then practiced every single day. This position lasted 30 days, but the grass only got greener. I was somehow recruited to a company called Homestore, which owned Realtor.com where I eventually became a top sales account executive managing the East Coast as my territory.

I went from the worst at sales in the company to the top 10 in the company. I took my sales learnings from my first job selling credit card processing to selling to internet advertising to Real Estate Agents, Brokers, Lenders and those involved in the real estate transaction.

After just a few years, I left Realtor.com (for no reason whatsoever, I loved working there) to start my own company. Young, dumb, no plan, no office, no product, no smart idea, but I had one thing to offer… I decided to help realtors manage and promote their listings on the internet.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-digital-marketing-agency

7. 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

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

Neel Parekh from Los Angeles, CA, USA started MaidThis Franchise over 8 years ago, a cleaning business.

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

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

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

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

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

9. Start a barber shop ($1.5M/year)

Antonio Camilleri from Balzan started Antonio’s Barber Shop over 6 years ago, a barber shop.

  • Revenue: $125,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Balzan

My career has been a long road before I found success. Firstly I was a bar manager, then a soldier, then a bus driver, then a restaurant owner and chef. Finally, I decided to follow my grandfather's steps and become a barber. My grandfather was a barber on navy ships during WWI and WWII. I also worked in the UK for 5 years as a barber before opening in Malta.

The idea came about identifying a business opportunity and taking full advantage before the eventual competition, our success was the fact that we re-introduced old school barbering modernized and hip to cater for today’s gentlemen. In barbering, competition, when we started in Malta was non-existent. There were the typical hairdressers and 2 old school barbers which were unchanged since the ‘60s.

The idea was validated by my clients, one day a multi-millionaire came to get a haircut and I was discussing my concerns of growing and investing all my life savings into the business, his reply was “I just bought a company for 5 million euros over breakfast,” he just told me, “now is the time to invest and try creating something revolutionary.”

how-i-started-a-125k-barber-shop-beard-grooming-brand-and-barbering-academy

10. Start a travel agency ($24K/year)

Marissa Daniels from Remote started Spread Your Wings Travel almost 3 years ago, a travel agency.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Remote

I was blessed to grow up in a two-parent household with a loving and caring set of parents. My father was in the military and because of that, I was born in California in ‘94. I’m a Georgia Peach all the way, but I was born in California. Unfortunately, in September of 2018, my life shifted when my father passed from cancer. It was pretty quick. In July, he was diagnosed and in September, he took his last breath. I was a Daddy’s girl to the FULLEST, so you can imagine the pain I went through - and still going through.

Do research before starting. If you want to start a business - research before you pay anything.

Fortunately, he was there to see me graduate from Valdosta State University in 2016. I majored in Mass Media with a Speech Communication Minor. Growing up, I loved to be in front of the camera (my father was a photographer) and I would record the video announcements at my church, as young as 11 years old. I also recorded the announcements in elementary school. I just knew Broadcast Journalism was something I was interested in.

how-i-started-a-2k-month-side-hustle-selling-vacations

11. Start a tour company ($21.6K/year)

Mark E. Johnson from Nashville, Tennessee, USA started Hobnail Trekking Co. ago, a tour company.

  • Revenue: $1,800/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

In August 2016, I was on a steep downward trajectory in my job as a communications director at a nonprofit as a result of philosophical differences with the organization.

It was very uncomfortable, at best. The day before I was to part ways with the organization, I was having my pickup truck worked on at my mechanic shop and needed a ride to pick it up. Having applied the previous night to a communications job at a ride-sharing company, Lyft, I downloaded the app to my phone and hailed a ride.

The man who picked me up was clearly not from our hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Although he had a strong indeterminable accent, he spoke fluent English and we had a great conversation on the way to the mechanic. Turns out the man was from Nepal. When I asked him if he knew anything about the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek — something my wife and I had placed on our Bucket List years ago — he smiled and said, “I am an Everest Region Sherpa. I’ve guided that trip dozens of times. I actually own a small trekking company in Nepal.” We exchanged numbers and quickly set up a meeting for that weekend so my wife could ask him about the trek.

how-we-are-building-a-side-hustle-facilitating-treks-in-the-himalayas

12. Start a coffee cafe business ($156K/year)

Nikki Bravo from Chicago started Momentum Coffee and Coworking over 1 year ago, a coffee cafe business.

  • Revenue: $13,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Chicago

Tracy Powell is a Technology Entrepreneur, Real Estate Developer, and Investor. He invested the first part of his business career in investments working for firms such as Merrill Lynch and First National Bank of Chicago and American Express. As a real estate developer and investor with over 28 years of experience, he specialized in urban real estate development. developing 100’s of units of affordable, market-rate, and elderly housing.

The future of your business relies on what you do today. So be at your best, don't dwell on how difficult the past was, bring the lessons that you learn each day as you walk towards your goal.

Tracy is also the founder of Blue Venture Partners a Software Development and IT consulting firm, and Blue Fund Rewards which is a crowdfunding platform that focuses on raising capital for startup businesses and organizations. He is the President of Ignite Technology and Innovation, a not for profit that focuses on creating technology co-working spaces and programming in under-resourced communities throughout the country.

how-we-started-a-13k-month-coffee-shop-and-coworking-space

13. Start a pet store ($240K/year)

Mike Leon from Orlando, Florida, USA started Bike Tow Leash over 18 years ago, a pet store.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Orlando, Florida, USA

I am a mechanical engineer graduate from Georgia Tech. My wife Betsy, GA Tech EE graduate, and I met her first day at school. We married after graduation. We have two daughters Jessica and Sam. After GA Tech I developed airline products up until when the 9-11 terrorist attacks occurred.

After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Betsy and the girls, then 5 and 8, met Cindy at Publix getting groceries. She had a black Lab puppy in a light blue cape with her. From that encounter, my family and I volunteered raising service dog puppies for individuals with disabilities as a way of giving back to our community and country. In honor of those lost, we named our first puppy Tribute.

Raising service dog puppies is a wonderful volunteer opportunity, which ultimately provides companion animals to individuals who suffer from seizures, or who have mobility, vision or hearing impairments.

how-i-started-a-6-figures-business-selling-a-dog-accessory

14. Start an affiliate marketing business ($6M/year)

Jan Kovac from Bratislava started Casino Guru over 6 years ago, a affiliate marketing business.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 54
  • Location: Bratislava

Our product is a website. The process of designing and developing it was very similar to designing and developing any website or an information system. As both I and the other main founder were software developers, this part was pretty straightforward for us. However, we still did some things pretty right and some things pretty wrong.

The funny part about any SEO-based business is that you can’t really make decent planning. Do you plan to improve some parts of your website and grow? Well, good luck with that, almighty G can have completely different plans for you.

What we made right was a decision to create a system that models all the relations and information about online casinos as structured data. As an example: almost every online casino has a list of countries from which it doesn’t allow residents to play. To capture this information we have created a database table casino_restricted_country and fill it with 1 record for every casino and every country that is on its restricted list.

how-i-started-a-500k-month-website-about-online-casinos

15. Start a freelancer platform ($480K/year)

Abby (Abhinav) Verma from New York started SkillSoniq about 5 years ago, a freelancer platform.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: New York

I have 15 years of professional experience across Investment Banking, Tech Consulting, and Entrepreneurship and have studied in 3 continents in Asia, North America, and Europe from schools like the University of Michigan, Indian School of Business, and the London School of Economics.

I have been an entrepreneur 3 times now and founded my first company at the age of 19 to sell paint jobs to homeowners in Detroit while studying full-time at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. This was my first experience as an entrepreneur and got me hooked to the hustle required to get stuff done. I followed it up with a stint in Investment Banking, which taught me the meaning of perseverance and quality testing when I worked 100+ hours a week on multi-billion dollar Financing and M&A deals.

I came across the idea of starting SkillSoniq when I was working with outsourced talent on a tech project a few years ago, where I was sitting in the United States and working with contractors in the Philippines. That experience was extremely excruciating, as I worked at odd hours to keep up with the time zone differences, had difficulty communicating with the contractors and there was a lot of concern around IP security and trust. That experience put me in major depression and when I started looking for better alternatives to hire talent in the US quickly and at affordable rates, I found that the recruiting space in the US was broken.

how-i-started-a-40k-month-ai-powered-recruiting-app

16. 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

17. 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

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

Jeffrey Mora from Los Angeles, California, USA started Food Fleet almost 10 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

19. Start a natural health product business ($900K/year)

Kel STUART from Remote started Sanuku APM over 4 years ago, a natural health product business.

  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Remote

I worked a few different jobs after high school before deciding to tackle University in my early 20s. When I was one subject off finishing a Bachelor of Commerce degree (with a major in Accounting) I decided to venture to Japan – my neighbor and I planned for a 4-week summer vacation and both of us ended up staying almost 12 months. The working holiday visa program between Australia and Japan offers a fantastic opportunity for such experiences. There was something about the Japanese culture and structured manner of the society that really pulled my strings.

Be flexible and be open to the possibility (and real likelihood) you cannot get everything right all the time. Accept mistakes and move on.

I returned to Australia, completed my degree, and headed back to Japan the following year for a 6-year stay. During that time, I worked in a management position that I was fortunate enough to wrangle. That was an amazing period. I worked hard and taught myself Japanese to a reasonably proficient level. Most weekends during the winter season I went snowboarding, and every other weekend throughout the year, when there were waves, I went surfing.

how-i-started-a-75k-month-liposomal-natural-health-products-brand

20. Start an online car sales business ($5.89M/year)

Eric Mitz from Parrish, FL, USA started The Clunker Junker about 12 years ago, a online car sales business.

  • Revenue: $491,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Parrish, FL, USA

The Clunker Junker was forged in the fires of Mount Doom by the Dark Lord Sauron...no no, I'm sorry, I'm thinking of a different origin story.

Persistence is also a major key. Even when things are looking grim and you just want to quit, you have to keep on keeping on.

It was 2009 in the midst of "The great recession". Eric was a few years out of college where he received his bachelor of science in Computer Information Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and was working at what is now DellEMC as a software engineer. Valerie was waist-deep in law school at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island attempting the world record for student loan debt.

how-we-built-a-platform-to-buy-used-cars-and-grew-it-to-a-6m-year-business

21. 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

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

Sinem Günel from Vienna, Austria started Personal Growth Base about 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

23. Start an airbnb management company ($420K/year)

Gary Fox from Dublin, Ireland started Host Butlers over 6 years ago, a airbnb management company.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland

I’ve been starting businesses since I was 15. During school, I worked part-time in a mobile phone store and learned how to fix phones. During the weekends, I started my own market stall and advertised online to fix phones, replace screens, and started to earn cash that way. During college, I scaled up this business to a physical location at the University I was attending here in Ireland. I approached the college and rented an office space from them and opened my first store!

I was terrified of running out of money and for the first 18 months, I ran the company entirely on my own. I remember one particular day where I met 18 different guests at 18 different locations across the city.

Between classes, I would work in the store and when I was in class, I hired classmates and friends to work for me. Looking back now, it was an incredibly fun time but I wish I hadn’t reinvested so much money in the college bar!

how-i-bootstrapped-an-airbnb-management-service-to-35k-month

24. Start a fashion business ($144K/year)

Jocelyn Thompson from Los Angeles, California, USA started EPIPHANY LA over 4 years ago, a fashion business.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

I graduated from USC in 2010 and struggled to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I found myself working at Hulu, in a digital sales role where I crunched impressions into excel sheets all day and wasn’t happy.

I had a friend’s wedding around the corner, and we were going to the Virgin Islands on a cruise. I prepared for the trip by purchasing several new swimsuits and I wanted padding enhancers to put in my swimsuit tops since bikinis are notorious for providing thin, flimsy liners that offer no support or shape.

As an Amazon Prime member, my first thought is always Amazon. I went online and ordered about 5 pairs of padding inserts from 5 different companies because I wasn’t sure which would look best, so I wanted to try them all. When they arrived I was so disappointed. The inserts all looked horrible. Many of them had thick edges, so they were extremely obvious under my thin swimsuit. Some of the inserts were pointy and had unnatural shapes, and most of them were only offered in two sizes (small/medium) or (medium/large) and neither size fit me.

how-i-started-a-12k-month-business-selling-push-up-padding-inserts

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

T. Cory Lewis from North Carolina, USA started T. C. Lewis & Co. Real Estate about 16 years ago, a real estate business.

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

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

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

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

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

26. Start a flea market or marketplace business

Examples of a successful flea market or marketplace business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a flea market or marketplace business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a flea market or marketplace business ➜

article

27. Start a hotel booking platform

Examples of a successful hotel booking platform:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a hotel booking platform:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hotel booking platform ➜

article

28. Start a mobile phone cases & accessories kiosk business

Examples of a successful mobile phone cases & accessories kiosk business:

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

Learn more about starting a mobile phone cases & accessories kiosk business ➜

29. Start an online retail store business

Examples of a successful online retail store business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an online retail store business ➜

article

30. Start a t-shirt customization business

Examples of a successful t-shirt customization business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a t-shirt customization business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a t-shirt customization business ➜

article

31. Start a water purifying business

Examples of a successful water purifying business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a water purifying business ➜

article

32. Start a marketing consulting business

Examples of a successful marketing consulting business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a marketing consulting business ➜

article

33. Become a freelance editor

Examples of a successful freelance editor:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a freelance editor ➜

article

34. Start a professional organizing business

Examples of a successful professional organizing business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a professional organizing business ➜

35. Start a beauty business ($6M/year)

Examples of a successful beauty business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a beauty business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Aaron Marino's story on creating Pete & Pedro a read:

Hi - I'm Aaron Marino, the founder of Pete & Pedro - a premium men's grooming brand. I have one of the biggest men's lifestyle channels on YouTube with 6M+ fans and also have a few other businesses as well including Tiege Hanley, Enemy, Menfluential Advertising Agency.

I've actually been on Shark Tank two times... one of the few! Pete & Pedro is focused on the men's grooming market and our core products are our hairstyling/haircare/fragrance products led by Putty, Salt, and REBEL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnfiHTpzuOg

how-i-started-pete-pedro-a-6m-year-men-s-grooming-brand-featured-on-shark-tank-twice

-  
Aaron Marino, on starting Pete & Pedro ($500,000/month) full story ➜

36. Start a hotels business

Examples of a successful hotels business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hotels business ➜

article

37. Start a financial service business

Examples of a successful financial service business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a financial service business ➜

article

38. Start a YouTube channel

Examples of a successful YouTube channel:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a YouTube channel ➜

article

39. Start a child care business

Examples of a successful child care business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a child care business ➜

article

40. Start a snack food kiosk business

Examples of a successful snack food kiosk business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a snack food kiosk business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a snack food kiosk business ➜

article

41. Start a laundry delivery business

Examples of a successful laundry delivery business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a laundry delivery business ➜

article

42. Start a petroleum tank farm servicing and maintenance business

Examples of a successful petroleum tank farm servicing and maintenance business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a petroleum tank farm servicing and maintenance business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a petroleum tank farm servicing and maintenance business ➜

article

43. Start a car washing and detailing business

Examples of a successful car washing and detailing business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a car washing and detailing business ➜

article

44. Start a flower shop business ($1.44M/year)

Examples of a successful flower shop business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a flower shop business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Carlos Franco's story on creating Green Fresh Florals + Plants a read:

My name is Carlos Franco, and I am the owner and creative director at Green Fresh Florals + Plants, San Diego's premier modern flower and plant shop located in Hillcrest.

I’ve been connected to Mother Earth my entire life and became a professional florist in my early 20’s. I opened Green in its current location in July 2009. Before that, I had a shop located in the East Village neighborhood in downtown San Diego.

how-i-started-a-120k-month-modern-flower-and-plant-shop

-  
Carlos Franco, on starting Green Fresh Florals + Plants ($120,000/month) full story ➜

45. Become a social media influencer

Examples of a successful social media influencer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a social media influencer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a social media influencer ➜

article

46. Start a rubber plantation business

Examples of a successful rubber plantation business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a rubber plantation business ➜

article

47. Start an online pharmacy business

Examples of a successful online pharmacy business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an online pharmacy business ➜

48. Start a grocery store

Examples of a successful grocery store:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a grocery store ➜

49. Start a fitness center business

Examples of a successful fitness center business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fitness center business ➜

article

50. Start an amusement park business

Examples of a successful amusement park business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an amusement park business ➜

article

51. Start a computer store

Examples of a successful computer store:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a computer store ➜

52. Start a beauty parlour business

Examples of a successful beauty parlour business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a beauty parlour business ➜

53. Start a bar business

Examples of a successful bar business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bar business ➜

article

54. Start a writing & editing business

Examples of a successful writing & editing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a writing & editing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a writing & editing business ➜

55. Start a screen writing business

Examples of a successful screen writing business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a screen writing business ➜

article

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.

Interested in starting your own business? Join Starter Story Premium to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business:

  • Connect + get advice from successful entrepreneurs
  • Step by step guides on how to start and grow
  • Exclusive and early access to the best case studies on the web
  • And much more!

Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?

Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.

Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.

Join Brumate, Beardbrand, and the 265,000 other businesses using Klaviyo to grow their online sales.

Try Klaviyo for free right now ➜