12 Unique Shipping Container Business Ideas

Updated: July 24th, 2023

Looking to start a business with your shipping container, but not quite sure what to start?

Unique shipping container concepts are the newest trend - and there's a lot of unique and fun ways to approach this business.

If you're looking to start a shipping container business, we've put together 12 different ideas for you here:

1. Start a bicycle company

A surge in exercise and heightened anxiety over public transportation during the Covid-19 pandemic are reasons more people have embraced biking.

Apart from being a form of exercise, using bicycles is also good for the environment as there are no emissions.

Therefore, starting a bicycle company can be a profitable venture. Research the market and choose a niche. Then, register your brand and focus on the production of high-quality bicycles.

How much you can make: $25,000 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How Two Brothers Started A $1M/Month Bicycle Brand

"Co-founders of State Bicycle Co. reveal how they bootstrapped their company to over $50M in annual sales and produced over 100,000 bikes by creating a trusted brand through word-of-mouth and social media, sponsoring talented riders, limited-edition releases, and focusing on product quality."

About
Mehdi started State Bicycle Co. over 14 years ago
Revenue
Mehdi grew the business to $1M/month
Costs
It cost Mehdi $30000 to start the business
Read by 10,564 founders

2. Start a cooking class

Online cooking classes can be a great side hustle for seasoned chefs or cooking enthusiasts looking for a way to earn some extra cash. You can create content and teach your audience how to prepare meals.

Consider creating members-only content to earn more from your cooking class side hustle. Alternatively, you can sell recipes for a small fee as well. To grow your reach, consider offering some free content on your social media pages as a way to build curiosity among potential audiences. You can charge your audiences a subscription fee so they can have exclusive access to your content.

To start cooking classes , choose a niche and follow your passion. Create a website and maintain an active social media presence. Apart from online cooking classes or live sessions you can also offer exclusive offline weekend classes to give your audience a hands-on personal experience.

How much you can make: $7,500 — $100,000/month

Time commitment per week: Min. 5 hours/week

How I Started A Cooking Classes Business With 7 Locations

Hipcooks is a 7-location cooking school business that has grown organically to reach $100k/month in revenue, and attracts and retains customers through their communal approach, vibrant online presence, and updated Google and Yelp business pages.

About
Monika started Hipcooks over 10 years ago
Revenue
Monika grew the business to $100K/month
Read by 9,224 founders

3. Start an art business

Starting an art business can be a great idea if you have a passion for art.

You’ll be able to work on your schedule, set your prices, and do something you love—while supporting yourself or even making money!

There are so many different avenues available to you as an artist-entrepreneur right now—from selling your work online (on sites like Etsy), through galleries or museums, or even at craft fairs and flea markets.

How much you can make: $876 — $415,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How I Turned My Hobby For Painting Into A Successful Art Business

Innerglow Art is a successful custom abstract painting business that incorporates scripture and personable connection with buyers to produce beautiful and unique artwork.

About
Sarah started Innerglow Art over 7 years ago
Revenue
Sarah grew the business to $4.3K/month
Read by 52,106 founders

4. Start a mobile yoga business

Are you a passionate yogi interested in entrepreneurship? Teaching others how to do yoga safely and regularly can be a profitable business.

Most yoga teachers start with a 1:1 class before launching group classes for yoga enthusiasts. However, with more people becoming busier, creating a mobile classes business has become the trend. To start your business, identify a niche and pitch them on the importance of learning yoga. An active online presence and sharing videos on social media will help your business thrive.

How much you can make: $6,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $600 (?)

How I Started A Mobile Yoga Studio

Chakra5 is a mobile wellness team that generates $6k per month doing yoga/meditation/pilates classes, vegan cooking classes and sound baths on demand, boasting a strong online presence to attract and retain customers while also using free tools to keep monthly business costs below $100.

About
McKenna started Chakra 5 Yoga about 13 years ago
Revenue
McKenna grew the business to $6K/month
Read by 11,290 founders

5. Start a shipping container hotel

6. Start a shipping container restaurant

7. Start a shipping container gift shop

8. Start an office space rental

Demand for office space rental is booming. The forces that trigger the increase in demand for office space include a more significant number of startups, remote work culture, and an increase in office space per employee as businesses seek to decongest.

With demand for office space expected to increase, starting an office rental business is a wise investment. If you plan to start an office rental business, consider proximity to essential amenities, and ensure the office is accessible.

Before starting the office rental business, it’s a good idea you research the competition in your area. Be sure to understand the competitive landscape and choose where the office rental business fits best.

How much you can make: $14,000 — $300,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

I Created An Airbnb For Startups In NYC & Make $3.6M/Year

The founder of The Farm Soho, one of the earliest New York City co-working spaces, shares how he built his affordable workspace model for solopreneurs and startups, as well as discussing his tips for attracting and retaining customers while navigating the challenges of running a business.

About
Lucas started The Farm Soho almost 10 years ago
Revenue
Lucas grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 3,868 founders

9. Start a shipping container coffee shop

10. Start a phone repair business

The unprecedented growth of the mobile phone industry has given rise to many businesses that depend on the industry.

The mobile phone repair business is one example of a profitable opportunity in the telecommunication industry. People cannot live without a mobile phone, so visiting a repair shop is often the first option when their current set is damaged.

Thus, you could consider opening a mobile phone repair business if you are a cell phone engineer. The phone repair business is low-capital and allows owners to define their work routines.

11. Start a storage rental business

Are you planning to start a passive income business? Storage unit business is an excellent choice for passive income.

Storage spaces offer a solution for people and businesses with too many things but lack enough space to store the items. Besides, the demand for storage space has increased and is expected to reach over $64 billion in the next few years.

Therefore, if you have some idle land, you can construct storage spaces for rental, ideal for industrial, commercial, and residential clients. If starting a storage business, remember location is a critical factor, and do market research to find out the market rates.

12. Start a book store

Starting a bookstore is a great way to start a small business.

Bookstores are found anywhere, from the smallest towns to the largest cities. Perhaps you have thought of running your bookstore . People need to read and buy books, and that’s been true for thousands of years. A bookstore is also a great central location where people can browse and purchase books.

Listed are the steps to start a bookstore business.

  • Register your business
  • Get all required permits and licenses.
  • Organize your business operational flow
  • Promote your business

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.