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

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

Interested in starting a business in Maryland in 2021?

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

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

Here's the full list:

1. Start a fitness clothing line ($101K/year)

Elgin E. Mones, Esq. from Silver Spring, Maryland, USA started Infinite Elgintensity Gym Apparel over 7 years ago, a fitness clothing line.

  • Location: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  • Revenue: $8,378/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I’m Elgin Mones, a.k.a. Infinite Elgintensity, an attorney by day, and a YouTube roaster by night. In 2014, several of my fitness comedy videos went viral, which caused my subscriber count to skyrocket. That same year, I branched out from making YouTube videos to selling gym apparel with designs and slogans based on my dark sense of humor and love of video games.

I’m best known for my “Arm Day” design, which multiple social media influencers have tried to profit from without my permission over the years; in 2018, I sent multiple DMCA takedowns and even sued someone over it. I make enough money to quit my job as a lawyer, but I prefer to keep YouTube and related ventures as a side gig. I don’t like depending on speech-suppressing video streaming platforms and social media sites for my income, and being funny on a schedule sounds like torture.

how-i-started-a-8k-month-gym-apparel-ecommerce

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Elgin E. Mones, Esq., on starting Infinite Elgintensity Gym Apparel ($8,378/month) full story ➜

2. Start a natural health product business ($420K/year)

Dr. Tom Ingegno, DACM from Baltimore, Maryland, USA started Charm City Integrative Health about 5 years ago, a natural health product business.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hello, I’m Dr. Tom Ingegno, doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I own and operate Charm City Integrative Health, a clinic that focuses on improving whole-being health through many different therapies.

Our flagship service has always been acupuncture, but we have stacked that with other services that use different methods to work in synergy with acupuncture’s main functions as understood in modern terms. Rather than list them here, check out our service menu online. Those functions are to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and normalize immune system function.

how-i-started-a-35k-month-eastern-and-western-medicine-clinic

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Dr. Tom Ingegno, DACM, on starting Charm City Integrative Health ($35,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a mystery game store ($60M/year)

Ryan Hogan from Baltimore, Maryland, USA started Hunt A Killer about 5 years ago, a mystery game store.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Revenue: $5,000,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $2,500
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 62

Hello, my name is Ryan Hogan and I am the Co-founder and CEO of Hunt A Killer, an innovative entertainment company that delivers clues, items and correspondence to your doorstep each month, which immerses Members in an interactive story. We have a total of four brands: Hunt A Killer, our murder mystery for true crime fans; Empty Faces, our paranormal investigation for horror fanatics; Escape The Invasion, our science fiction thriller for those looking to survive an alien apocalypse; and Team Building Kits, our business-to-business product that brings corporate teams together and improves company culture through quarterly experiences that create a fun and challenging environment.

Hunt A Killer started with 146 subscribers in October 2016. In August 2019, we shipped our one-millionth episode and continue to see signs of massive growth in the immersive entertainment space.

how-we-created-a-2mm-month-subscription-based-mystery-games-business

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Ryan Hogan, on starting Hunt A Killer ($5,000,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a freelance writing business ($54K/year)

Kate Angelella from Baltimore, Maryland, USA started Angelella Editorial about 7 years ago, a freelance writing business.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hi! I’m Kate Angelella and I’m the owner of Angelella Editorial, a freelance editorial business that helps authors take their writing to the next level.

I started the business about five years ago as a sole proprietorship, but have since grown into a very different company with a brand new co-founder and a stable of eight amazing editors working as independent contractors for the company. Together, we provide author coaching, full and partial manuscript critiques, authenticity reading, ghostwriting, and book doctoring. Basically, we help authors who have taken their novels as far as they can take them on their own by giving them feedback on their stories and helping them navigate the next steps in their literary journeys.

how-i-started-a-4-5k-month-freelance-editorial-business

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Kate Angelella, on starting Angelella Editorial ($4,500/month) full story ➜

5. Start a niche blog ($6K/year)

Tony Florida from Baltimore, Maryland, USA started The Diamond App over 4 years ago, a niche blog.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

What’s up! My name is Tony Florida (yes my last name is Florida) and I am the founder of The Diamond App, an online diamond price tracker and search engine.

Think of The Diamond App like Google Flights for diamonds—you can find cheap diamonds in seconds, compare similar diamonds, and sign up for price alerts.

I work with a half dozen online jewelers, and to date, the website has diamond price history for close to 8 million loose diamonds.

generating-passive-income-with-a-diamond-search-engine

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Tony Florida, on starting The Diamond App ($500/month) full story ➜

6. Start a food delivery business ($3.6M/year)

Cameron Manesh from Rockville, Maryland, USA started Cameron's Seafood about 4 years ago, a food delivery business.

  • Location: Rockville, Maryland, USA
  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

My name is Cameron and I am the name and co-founder behind Cameron’s Seafood. We catch, cook, chill, pack, and ship Maryland Crabs and crab cakes to your doorstep (to all 50 states) on a date you choose. Our food is made daily and shipped fresh, not frozen in less than 24 hours.

We started home delivery in June, 2017. We are leveraging my family’s 33 year old Maryland seafood retail carry out business. We have 11 stores, 3 food trucks, wholesale division, crabers, and have quietly become the largest Maryland seafood company in the world doing over $20,000,000 per year with over 1,000,000 customers per year. But that’s my uncles company. I’m the second generation who is adding recommence and technology to an old school business that has a competitive advantage and high barriers to entry market.

Maryland Crabs from the Chesapeake Bay are the best tasting crabs in the world because the cold weather in the Chesapeake Bay makes the crabs hyperbate for months. During that time, their meat gains a layer of fat which gives them a sweet, buttery flavor no other blue crabs have! They are truly special and we own the largest Chesapeake Bay crabbing network in the world!

cameron-s-seafood-175k-per-month-selling-maryland-crabs

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Cameron Manesh, on starting Cameron's Seafood ($300,000/month) full story ➜

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

Kara Brook Brown from Maryland, USA started Waxing Kara over 8 years ago, a boutique.

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

I am Kara Brook Brown. I am a serial entrepreneur. Waxing Kara is my fourth business and the first business that has involved the manufacturing and distribution of products. My previous companies were service-based in graphic design, technology innovation, and digital space. I am also a painter with a particular interest in encaustic painting, which requires beeswax.

Today, Waxing Kara creates delicious natural Bee Inspired® food products and skin-loving bath and beauty goods that include ingredients that exist thanks to the honeybee. Our flagship products are artisanal raw honey and honey-based home spa products.

I started working on and in this business in a very part-time manner until 2015, when I made a full-time commitment. Today we are at $33K per month with three full-time staff, including me. Plus two part-timers.

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

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

8. Start an art gallery ($1.8M/year)

Adam Vieira from Montreal, Quebec, Canada started Station 16 about 8 years ago, an art gallery.

  • Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 6

Hi, my name is Adam Vieira, and I’m the creative director for Station 16 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Montreal heavily influenced by graffiti and street art.

We showcase original art, sculptures, and works on paper, which changes every month, sometimes every week. We also launch a new limited edition silkscreen print every month with international artists.

growing-an-art-gallery-to-150-000-month

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Adam Vieira, on starting Station 16 ($150,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a lego reselling business ($19.9K/year)

Matthew Fiore from Grafton, MA, USA started Summerfield's Toys over 3 years ago, a LEGO reselling business.

  • Location: Grafton, MA, USA
  • Revenue: $1,661/ month
  • Starting Costs: $2,500
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My name is Matthew Fiore, a senior in high school and a long-time LEGO lover. I also turned my passion into a business. Three years ago I started Summerfield’s Toys, an online reseller of LEGO sets and individual bricks.

I’ve been building with LEGO since I was 4. I love the feel of the bricks in my hands and the creative process of recreating a model or making my own creation, whether it be spaceships, bases, or cities.

how-i-started-a-1-6k-month-lego-reselling-business-at-the-age-of-14

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Matthew Fiore, on starting Summerfield's Toys ($1,661/month) full story ➜

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

Karl Hughes from Chicago, IL, USA started Draft.dev about 1 year 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 ➜

11. Start a stuffed animals business ($90K/year)

Justin Baum from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA started ZZZ Bears about 6 years ago, a stuffed animals business.

  • Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
  • Revenue: $7,500/ month
  • Starting Costs: $5,000
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My full-time job is in advertising. (Think Don Draper with less Brylcreem,) And from 2005 to 2012, I worked at JWT, the United States Marine Corps’ longtime ad agency. As the Creative Director, I was in charge of recruitment advertising - writing the television commercials, print ads, billboards, etc - for the Marines during two of the most unpopular wars in our nation’s history.

Every time I’d go to a Marine base to film a commercial, I’d bring my then 5-year-old daughter back a small gift from the Marine Exchange. At the time, she was having trouble sleeping - bad dreams, fear of the dark, monsters under the bed - the usual fears of a young kid.

So I bought her a teddy bear and told her a story.

how-i-built-a-teddy-bear-business-helping-military-kids-sleep-at-night

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Justin Baum, on starting ZZZ Bears ($7,500/month) full story ➜

12. Start a junk removal business ($300K/year)

Sam Evans from Pennsylvania, USA started You Call We Haul Junk Removal about 5 years ago, a junk removal business.

  • Location: Pennsylvania, USA
  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $1,700
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

My name is Sam Evans. I am 23 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State Altoona. I am the founder of You Call We Haul Junk Removal, a junk removal company that removes anything from single items to hoarder home cleanouts. We’re located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and have been in business (part-time) since May of 2016.

We service any and everyone who may have unneeded items they are looking to get rid of. People often ask what items we consider junk, to us junk is anything you no longer need or want.

Our main customers are middle-aged and up adults, typically with a higher income that do not want to or are unable to do the work themselves. We complete over 75 jobs per month, bring in about $20,000 in revenue per month profiting about 65% per job.

how-i-started-a-18k-month-junk-removal-company-before-graduating-from-college

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Sam Evans, on starting You Call We Haul Junk Removal ($25,000/month) full story ➜

13. 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 ➜

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

Jordyn from Michigan, USA started Jordyn Alison Designs over 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 ➜

15. Start a niche investment platform ($4.2M/year)

Justin Cooke from North York, Ontario, Canada started Empire Flippers about 9 years ago, a niche investment platform.

  • Location: North York, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $349,983/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 53

My name is Gregory Elfrink and I’m the director of marketing with Empire Flippers. We’re a three-time winner of the INC 5,000 award for being one of the fastest growing companies in America and we help people buy and sell online businesses.

In the last few years, we have become the thought leader and one of the largest M&A advisory businesses for digital assets in the sub $10 million range. Though, I am pretty certain we will soon be selling businesses above that $10 million mark as well.

We have brokered over $50 million worth of deals, and since we’re a big believer in transparency we also created a scoreboard that details most of our stats - from the hundreds of thousands of website visitors we get to our pool of potential buyers that grow by the hundreds every month.

empire-flippers-20m-year-helping-people-buy-and-sell-websites

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Justin Cooke, on starting Empire Flippers ($349,983/month) full story ➜

16. Start an electronics repair business

Allen Chiang from Connecticut, USA started Retro Radio Farm over 7 years ago, an electronics repair business.

  • Location: Connecticut, USA
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

My name is Allen Chiang, and I founded Retro Radio Farm, where I repair and restore old radios. I offer Bluetooth MP3 upgrade if the customer wants to play digital music.

I have a busy career as an IT professional. Retro Radio Farm is side business that grew out of a recent hobby of mine.

Right now, I make about $50K a year for the work I put in primarily on weekends. While it’s highly profitable, it has not yet lucrative enough yet for me to quit my day job. Although, the business has been growing 20% every year.

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

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Allen Chiang, on starting Retro Radio Farm ($0/month) full story ➜

17. Start a maze engineering business ($1.2M/year)

Shuhan He from Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA started MazeEngineers over 8 years ago, a maze engineering business.

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15

My name is Shuhan He and I’m a doctor and entrepreneur. I am the founder of a Boston-based startup called Maze Engineers. We focus on creating innovative mazes for research, integrating cloud computing technologies, wireless systems, and automated data tracking technologies to assist behavioral research. Our aim is to provide support for researchers to conduct important neurological experiments and create therapies for patients. We were actually featured on Nature.com, where we explored the science behind the mazes.

Aside from being a founder, I am also hands-on in the process of designing and creating the mazes for our clients. I have created numerous mazes for different research and purposes, ranging from mazes created for mice to VR maze intended for humans. Some of our clients are private and public universities, the military, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and researchers.

building-mice-mazes-and-growing-to-100k-month

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Shuhan He, on starting MazeEngineers ($100,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a candle business ($1.2M/year)

DShawn Russell from Raeford, North Carolina, USA started Southern Elegance Candle Company over 5 years ago, a candle business.

  • Location: Raeford, North Carolina, USA
  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20

Hello! My name is D’Shawn Russell and I am the founder and CEO of Southern Elegance Candle Company. I started the company 4 years ago as a side hustle to make some extra money on the weekends and to get me out of the house. But it quickly grew to much more than I expected.

Southern Elegance Candle Company is all about loving and living in the South. We created home fragrance products that all have a southern theme to them and all of our fragrances are based on Southern agriculture. Apple? Check! Pine? Check! Cotton (or course) Check! Missing the Southern Sunshine? We got a fragrance for you. Our core group of customers are women that live in the South or people that appreciate Southern culture.

Our flagship products at the moment are our candles. We offer three different sizes; travel tin, mason jar and large tumbler. We also have wax melts and room spray. But, we will be slowly rolling out new products over the next year to include an apparel line.

how-i-started-a-20k-month-southern-inspired-candle-business

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DShawn Russell, on starting Southern Elegance Candle Company ($100,000/month) full story ➜

19. Start a podcast

Matt Ward from New York, New York, USA started The Disruptors over 4 years ago, a podcast.

  • Location: New York, New York, USA
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

Hey guys! My name is Matt Ward and I’m the founder and CEO of The Disruptors, a podcast about the future of all of us where TED level scientists, startup founders and experts join me to discuss the big issues facing humanity and how we can solve them together. I also run The Syndicate, a podcast and investment group focused on early stage startup investing.

I wanted to make a difference in the world and for me, two things drive exponentially better results and impact for all of us, startups solving big problems and innovators tackling epic and existential problems.

I have structured my work and efforts around this to empower others to change the world for the better and have the pleasure of talking to the smartest, most influential folks trying to do the same.

how-i-grew-my-podcast-audience-to-180k-downloads

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Matt Ward, on starting The Disruptors ($0/month) full story ➜

20. Become a shopify app developer ($420K/year)

Todd Trimakas from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA started ByteStand over 5 years ago, a shopify app developer.

  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $50,000
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

Hi, my name is Todd and I’m a serial entrepreneur. After a long history of building various businesses, I created ByteStand, a friendly software development company run by ecommerce nerds who get excited about weird things like “cross-platform integrations” and “fulfillment networks” and “coffee”.

We design Shopify apps, with three apps currently in the app store and over 2,000 shops using our software. Our two main apps are ByteStand and FBA Shipping, which were designed to help Amazon sellers diversify and generate more revenue by importing their Amazon inventory to Shopify and exporting their Shopify orders to Amazon for fulfillment.

We also created FreshCredit, Shopify's first true store credit app. Between all three apps, we generate about $17,000/month in revenue.

how-i-taught-myself-how-to-code-and-built-my-own-business

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Todd Trimakas, on starting ByteStand ($35,000/month) full story ➜

21. Start a travel products business ($12K/year)

Regina Ye from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Zirui over 3 years ago, a travel products business.

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

My name is Regina Ye, and I am the founder of ZIRUI.

Our flagship product is a modular magnetic travel toiletry case that is secure, sleek, and simple. ZIRUI is the best way to travel with liquids.

how-regina-ye-started-a-cpg-company-while-in-college

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Regina Ye, on starting Zirui ($1,000/month) full story ➜

22. Start a luggage storage business ($780K/year)

Eugene Veeden from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started BagsAway Luggage Storage almost 4 years ago, a luggage storage business.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $65,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

BagsAway Luggage Storage is a marketplace that connects travelers and city locals with convenient, secure, on-demand bag storage locations across key cities. Utilizing the principles of the sharing economy we partner with local shops and businesses that monetize existing free-space by offering hourly/daily storage on location. We keep about 60% of all revenues while the storage partners keep the rest. With BagsAway locations in place, travelers and locals can now win precious hours back by conveniently dropping their bags at a location of their choice around the city, freeing their hands and their time to explore, experience, and sightsee without their bags in the way. Our overarching vision is to change people's relationship with things that weigh them down during travel and on the go.

We have stored over 150,000 bags for travelers thus far and have expanded to over 50+ cities and going strong! Our plan this year is to expand worldwide, with new funding and new members joining our company.

how-we-started-a-65k-month-world-wide-luggage-storage-service

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Eugene Veeden, on starting BagsAway Luggage Storage ($65,000/month) full story ➜

23. Start a supplements company ($60K/year)

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

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Revenue: $5,000/ 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 ($5,000/month) full story ➜

24. Start an online food business ($120K/year)

Ethan Holmes from Cleveland, Ohio, USA started Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce over 6 years ago, an online food business.

  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

My name is Ethan Holmes. I’m from Shaker Heights, Ohio and I am the 25-year-old founder and CEO of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce.

Holmes is an all natural applesauce product I created at the age of 15 and have since grown to hundreds of grocery stores throughout the Midwest.

how-an-entrepreneur-from-ohio-launched-his-own-applesauce-company

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Ethan Holmes, on starting Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce ($10,000/month) full story ➜

25. Start an online courses business ($240K/year)

Kelan Kline from Rochester, New York, USA started The Savvy Couple about 5 years ago, an online courses business.

  • Location: Rochester, New York, USA
  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $500
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

Hi there! We are Kelan and Brittany the founders of The Savvy Couple. We are a personal finance and lifestyle blog with a mission to help families organize and simplify their entire life so they can do more of the things they love.

We do this by providing content on organization, meal planning, budgeting, paying off debt, making money online, marriage, and more.

Some of our top articles include:

the-savvy-couple-update-why-we-re-focusing-on-seo

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Kelan Kline, on starting The Savvy Couple ($20,000/month) full story ➜

26. Start an api ($360K/year)

Ervin Ruci from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada started Geocode.xyz over 4 years ago, an API.

  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $1
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I’m Ervin Ruci. Since 2005 I have been interested in the problem of geoparsing and geocoding - a piece of software that analyzes a string of text for geographical locations, then matches them to a database of locations with latitude, longitude values. Geoparsing is the process of extracting and disambiguating location entities from text, and Geocoding is the process of matching them to latitude, longitude values.

As a graduate student, I built geocoder.ca in the summer of 2005 then I went on to build several other businesses that relied on its geocoding API. Many of these businesses are now defunct, but geocoder.ca is still going strong with 2020 being its best year to date - over 90% growth from the year before:

how-we-grew-our-revenue-by-70-in-one-year

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Ervin Ruci, on starting Geocode.xyz ($30,000/month) full story ➜

27. 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 ➜

28. Start a waterbottle business ($636K/year)

Jesse Hambly from Elora, Ontario, Canada started Pressa Inc. almost 6 years ago, a waterbottle business.

  • Location: Elora, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $53,000/ month
  • Starting Costs: $100,000
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0

My name is Jesse Hambly, I’m 1 of 3 brothers working at Pressa Inc. Luke and Mason are full-time founders as well. We have a diverse background, Luke manages engineering and manufacturing duties. Mason is in charge of media, content creation and strategy, and I (Jesse) oversee marketing, operations, and customer relations. We’ve been in business since 2015 where we’ve been selling our flagship product, Pressa Bottle. Pressa Bottle is a unique water bottle that allows the user to juice and press real fruit into any beverage.

Our company operates at just over $50k per month and we do this primarily through our .com and Amazon. We do sell in a few retailers which are Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillards and Uncommon Goods. The product lends itself well to the healthy/active crowd but we also sell a lot of units for flavored cocktails.

how-we-created-a-53k-month-innovative-water-bottle

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Jesse Hambly, on starting Pressa Inc. ($53,000/month) full story ➜

29. Become a proofreader ($24K/year)

Lenny Bron from New York, New York, USA started The Blog Proofreader about 5 years ago, a proofreader.

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

Hi, my name is Lenny Bron, and I am The Blog Proofreader. I’m the annoying grammar police person you’ve always been tired of hearing from every time you use an ellipses incorrectly in a Facebook post you wrote 3 years ago.

I content edit/copy edit/proofread the work of several clients on a regular basis. Some of this is done as a freelancer for larger companies, some of it is done for startups looking to make sure their content marketing looks clean and presentable, and some of it is done for bloggers or other content creators who want their readers to enjoy the work they put out without stopping to try and process a sentence with a missing word in it.

I’ve been able to build my business from scratch to consistently make ~$2,000 per month with zero experience in the field, no expenses, and barely any upfront costs.

how-i-added-2-000-to-my-monthly-income-proofreading-blog-posts

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Lenny Bron, on starting The Blog Proofreader ($2,000/month) full story ➜

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

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

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

Hi everyone, my name is Mitchell and I’m one of the three founders of Patriot Chimney. We sweep, repair, and build chimneys and also service and repair dryer vents around the Roanoke Valley in Virginia.

We created the company in order to provide really, really awesome, transparent, and trustworthy chimney and dryer vent services in our region. You see, chimney companies don’t typically receive a positive reputation and we’re out to change that. In fact, we’ve been fortunate enough to provide our services to more than 350 homes in an area that spans from Lynchburg, VA all the way down to Blacksburg, VA. What’s more is that we’ve also been able to generate more than $212,000 in revenue during our first year, with 8% of that being net profit.

I studied marketing in college, but my experience in the past few years has been a mix between marketing and sales, so my focus is primarily around building the sales and marketing strategy for us. My brother (Matt) and a friend of his (Billy) focus on the operations, actually getting on the roof and doing some real dirty work.

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

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Mitchell Blackmon, on starting Patriot Chimney ($45,394/month) full story ➜

31. Start a quilt business ($9.6M/year)

Ross Lohr from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Project Repat over 9 years ago, a quilt business.

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Revenue: $800,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

My name is Ross Lohr, and I’m a co-founder of Project Repat. We make it easy and affordable for customers to turn their memorable t-shirts into a one of a kind, custom t-shirt quilt backed with cozy fleece.

People buy quilts from Project Repat because we have the most affordable price, which is due to us fine tuning the production process by making more than 250,000 t-shirt quilts over the past 6 years. While traditional quilts can be very expensive, we’ve found a way to make them at a much more affordable price.

We currently make 2,000 custom t-shirt quilts per week at 2 production facilities in the United States. In 2018, we will make 90,000 t-shirt quilts and do $10MM in sales per year.

project-repat-10mm-business-making-quilts-from-old-t-shirts

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Ross Lohr, on starting Project Repat ($800,000/month) full story ➜

32. Become a corporate trainer ($150K/year)

Andrew Tarvin from New York, New York, USA started Humor That Works over 12 years ago, a corporate trainer.

  • Location: New York, New York, USA
  • Revenue: $12,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I am Andrew Tarvin and I am the world’s first humor engineer (at least according to all the Google searches that I’ve done).

I run Humor That Works, a training company focused on human effectiveness. Our primary goal is to deliver programs that help people get better results while having more fun in the workplace.

We’ve worked with thousands of people at more than 250 organizations, including Microsoft, the FBI, and the International Association of Canine Professionals.

how-being-the-funny-guy-at-work-turned-into-a-full-time-career

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Andrew Tarvin, on starting Humor That Works ($12,500/month) full story ➜

33. Start a franchise development business ($120K/year)

Andrew Hoffman from Brampton, Ontario, Canada started My Franchise Partners over 6 years ago, a franchise development business.

  • Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

Hello, my name is Andrew Hoffman. I am the founder of My Franchise Partners.

My Franchise Partners is a $15-20K/month consulting agency focused on helping people understand the franchise industry before they take the plunge and invest in a franchise.

I help people find the best franchise for them through in-depth research, analysis, and due diligence. The best choice is always an informed choice.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-franchise-development-business

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Andrew Hoffman, on starting My Franchise Partners ($10,000/month) full story ➜

34. Start a slack bot business ($2.94K/year)

Daniel Doubrovkine from New York, New York, USA started Vestris LLC over 5 years ago, a slack bot business.

  • Location: New York, New York, USA
  • Revenue: $245/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

My name is Daniel Doubrovkine, and I go by “dB.” I was born in Moscow, Russia, and my family emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland in 1990. That’s where I got my first computer (a Commodore-64, from a relative who upgraded to an Amiga 2000), and started programming by copying some x86 assembly code from SVM Magazine and trying to run tasm.exe. There was no Internet, then.

By the time I enrolled in C.S. at the University of Geneva, I had been selling shareware to users in 42 countries. That business was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (I was not old enough to incorporate in Switzerland) and was called Vestris, after a sunken Spanish ship in the 1400s. I made tens of thousands of dollars selling Windows shareware between 97 and 99, including XReplace-32 and Expression Calculator (sold as Global Calculator on a CDROM in Germany). I then made hundreds of thousands with a very popular Alkaline Search Engine, which powered some of the biggest websites in the late 90s, ranging from bbc.co.uk to warez.com. If you’re old enough to remember, you may have used the aGNeS forum, too. That was ad-sponsored - ads which I may or may not have been clicking on in my sleep.

I also tried to co-start another company, Xo3, but that didn’t quite pan out. So In 1999 I decided to get serious with starting a programming career, and moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft. I completely shut down my old company around 2003, and in 2004 came to New York after getting my Green Card. I held engineering jobs at various startups and spent 8 years as CTO of the fine arts marketplace artsy.net. I am currently a Principal Engineer at AWS Data Exchange.

on-developing-and-marketing-slack-bots-while-working-a-full-time-job

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Daniel Doubrovkine, on starting Vestris LLC ($245/month) full story ➜

35. Start a leather business ($48K/year)

Jamie Clawson from New York, USA started Jamie Clawson over 10 years ago, a leather business.

  • Location: New York, USA
  • Revenue: $4,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hi I’m Jamie Clawson, and I run Jamie Clawson - a small business designing and producing leather products and accessories. I do everything from designing, testing, manufacturing, shipping etc. All operations are done in house.

My main product line is leather skins for Apple products - iPhone, MacBook, iPad, etc. My premium leather accessories mediate between technology and a way of life that champions quality, craft, and traditional aesthetics.

My products reintroduce an enduring look and feel to the devices you use most and love best. I source the finest grade leathers from respected New York City-based purveyors. The pressure-sensitive adhesive, custom ordered from 3M, simplifies the process of application and respects your device, leaving no residue upon removal. Each product can be applied and reapplied multiple times to the same or similar devices.

being-a-solo-founder-and-manufacturing-your-own-products

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Jamie Clawson, on starting Jamie Clawson ($4,000/month) full story ➜

36. Start a meal prep delivery business ($1.56M/year)

Andrei Calinescu from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started One Life Meals over 8 years ago, a meal prep delivery business.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $130,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 29

Hi, I’m Andrei Calinescu and I am the Founder and CEO of One Life Meals.

One Life Meals is a healthy meal delivery service located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We handle the complete process from ingredient sourcing, cooking and delivery. We also work with our clients on a one-on-one basis to understand their requirements and help them select the right plan.

We cook and deliver twice per week to keep the meals fresh. The plan is for 6 days per week, with Sunday as a day off or a “cheat day”.

starting-a-1-5m-healthy-meals-delivery-business

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Andrei Calinescu, on starting One Life Meals ($130,000/month) full story ➜

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

Christopher Thomas from Nashville, Tennessee, USA started Eli Mason almost 7 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 ➜

38. Become a shopify app developer ($504K/year)

Dan Pepin from Manchester, New Hampshire, USA started Bonify about 7 years ago, a shopify app developer.

  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
  • Revenue: $42,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

Hey there! My name is Dan Pepin and I co-founded Bonify five years ago with my business partner, John Carbone. Bonify started out in life as a small web development agency focused on building amazing websites for clients. However, for the past three years, we’ve been slowly transitioning the business from client services to paid online app subscriptions, which has been no easy feat!

Our current major endeavor is growing our portfolio of Shopify apps and increasing customer acquisition. We currently have three apps in the Shopify app store and we’re quite happy that the apps are bringing in $15,000/mo, but our goal is to nearly double our app revenue by the end of this year.

The most popular app we have is the first one we launched about three years ago called Custom Fields. The app allows store owners to add extra structured data to anything in Shopify, which enhances a lot of the flexibility of what you can do with store customizations. We very recently launched Mr. Arigato - Task Automator, which we are very proud of! It’s a very sophisticated app which allows store owners and developers to automate their store tasks, such as subscribing users to their mailing list, adding data to Google Sheets, sending emails and text messages to customers, and a whole lot more.

how-we-are-building-profitable-shopify-apps-from-our-consulting-experience

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Dan Pepin, on starting Bonify ($42,000/month) full story ➜

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

David Dewane from Chicago, Illinois, USA started Mouse Book Club about 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 ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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