52 Small Businesses To Start In Anchorage

Itching to start a business or work for yourself?

Anchorage is already great place to start a business, but you might be wondering what you can start today.

Here are the best business ideas to start in Anchorage.

1. Start a business communications software ($120M/year)

Yaniv Masjedi from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA started Nextiva over 12 years ago, a business communications software.

  • Revenue: $10,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1000
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

The idea for Nextiva came from Tomas. He is an amazing entrepreneur, and after founding several phenomenal companies over the years, in 2008, he decided to take a crack at reforming the inefficient and antiquated business communications industry. He and I had worked together previously; I actually started in sales roles at another one of his companies. When he told me of his idea for Nextiva, I jumped at the opportunity to join him and the team.

The team was so small at the time -just a few of us- and there was a need for marketing right away. Even though I’d never worked in the business communication industry, I dove right in. Now, more than a decade later, I’ve loved what I do every day. Marketing is such a dynamic field; it’s been fun to come up with ideas to help Nextiva grow and work with some of the brightest minds in the business.

Nextiva itself launched as basically the tiniest player in the VoIP industry. We were surrounded by giants, and those giants were highly skeptical of our ability to stand on our own and compete with them. We welcomed this challenge and decided to do things differently. We never accepted outside funding; Nextiva is entirely self-funded. We focused on listening to our customers, developing solutions customized to their needs and moving forward. We developed authentic relationships with customers and designed a customer experience model we were so excited about that we even trademarked the term Amazing Service.


Yaniv Masjedi, on starting Nextiva ($10,000,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start a socks business ($12M/year)

Dane Jensen from Austin, Texas, USA started Sock Club over 9 years ago, a socks business.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 31
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

I was living in Austin, TX running and biking around being a twenty-something-year-old working as a web developer. At the time when I started Sock Club, I had a few failed startups under my belt. I built Camm Security Inc., a cloud camera company, and GitHire, a software developer recruiting service, with co-founder Rhett Creighton. So, I had acquired some software development skills and some sense of what’s important in starting a company.

I built the website for Sock Club over a weekend in kind of a flash of inspiration.

Birchbox had been a big subscription success and I thought that socks were an item I wouldn’t mind receiving monthly and having more of. After I built the website,I kind of forgot about it for six months.


Dane Jensen, on starting Sock Club ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a speaker store ($12M/year)

Johnathan Price from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA started Down4SoundShop.Com almost 5 years ago, a speaker store.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

I’ve always been into car audio since I was 13-14. The older I got, the more obsessed with it I became. The very first system I had was 2 -12s on a 900-watt amp. Now the system in my Tahoe that’s known all across the world has over 78 speakers and 100,000 watts!

The bigger my system would get over the years, the more crazy reactions I would get from it every time I took it to car shows. The more it impressed people the more they started asking “Man where do you get your equipment from?”. Then one day, the light bulb went off in my head! I COULD BE SELLING THESE PEOPLE THIS STUFF! And from there the idea of down4sound was born! But, it was just an idea! I had no idea how to start a business, run a business… or anything about business really. I thought maybe I could figure it out but that was about it. All I could do is give it my best!

At the time I was pumping gas at an airport in the city of Greenville, Making I think $12 an hour and was super broke. I pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck even while living with my parents. It’s where I was born and raised. I did that full time while I cut grass on the side for some extra cash. My dad taught me how to cut the grass when I was younger as a way to make money to buy toys/candy or whatever else I wanted at that age. I kept cutting grass up until the time I decided to move to Las Vegas where I now don’t need to and also don’t have time to.


Johnathan Price, on starting Down4SoundShop.Com ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

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

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

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

My Brother and I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. Our parents had started, grown and sold several companies growing up and it’s something we both had a passion for.

We’ve also always felt that our personalities and experiences complimented each other well. Generally speaking, I tend to be more detail oriented and risk averse whereas my brother is better at looking at the big picture and is more comfortable taking risks. I went to college and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in business and he got his degrees in both Business Administration and Marketing.


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

5. Start a hotel ($6M/year)

Tom Boyd from Knoxville, TN, USA started Ancient Lore Village over 1 year ago, a hotel.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

I was in the process of writing a book about the rise and fall of democracy in the United States. At that time, my son entered the gubernatorial race in Tennessee and I spent 18 months on the campaign trail in small towns and cities all over the state. In talking to all types of people, I found so much intolerance and hatred and lack of understanding for other people. I knew that I needed to change the direction of the book.

I decided to write a book about a person who took a journey and discovered all different types of people and saw that they could all live together in a place of peace, joy, and happiness where only good existed. That place is Ancient Lore Village. To test the theory of my book, I felt that building a Village in its image would be the best way to test this theory.

Having built 17 successful businesses, I had learned from experience that first, you must build a team. First, I found a very creative architect that shared the same vision. Then I set out to find a team of experts in the hospitality industry, with experience in service, lodging, and culinary. I found Melissa Blettner, former Senior Vice President for Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.


Tom Boyd, on starting Ancient Lore Village ($500,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a healthy snack food business ($6M/year)

Ryan Chen from Los Angeles, California, USA started Neuro about 5 years ago, a healthy snack food business.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

My personal story begins with my parents immigrating to Los Angeles to start a better life. Although ethnically Chinese, they were both born and raised in Japan as a result of my grandparents from both sides fleeing communist China. I was born in an extremely diverse neighborhood (we had around 7 different ethnicities on our block) near Pasadena, CA, before moving to Japan for 5 years between the age of 10-15.

I grew up playing sports and competing at a national level in Kendo, cross country, and track. I started Kendo at the age of 5 and competed at the national level in the United States and Japan. In high school, I was co-captain of our cross country and track team where we competed in the Division I state and national championships. It was through running that I truly learned perseverance and grit.

Unfortunately, at 19 years old, I became a paraplegic when I fell from 35 feet in the air in a snowboarding accident and shattered my back. Doctors told me that I would never walk again, but it furthered my drive and passion for adventure and trying new things. I finished college with degrees in Chemistry and Economics and continued to compete in marathons even got to train with the US Paralympic team.


Ryan Chen, on starting Neuro ($500,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a women's clothing line ($6M/year)

Brigitte Shamy from Highland started SexyModest.com almost 12 years ago, a women's clothing line.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Highland

Brig went to school for fashion design and had no previous experience in sewing or ecom. She did work in retail for a few years as a teenager which taught her the importance of 5-star customer service.

We know there are a million clothing options for women out there, but we are sure none of them will love you as we will. We want you to be stunning, be modest, be comfy, be YOU!

My wife has always been very stylish. She LOVES fashion. In 2003 she moved to Utah and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints she found herself facing a standard of modesty she hadn’t known previously… as she went shopping she could find clothing that modest, but not cute or cute but certainly not modest. Frustrated, she went to work designing clothing she thought would be both modest and cute and maybe most importantly comfortable. (She is a self-proclaimed fabric snob)


Brigitte Shamy, on starting SexyModest.com ($500,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start an online wine business ($4.8M/year)

Agent Red from Santa Rosa, Guatemala started The Wine Spies almost 14 years ago, a online wine business.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Santa Rosa, Guatemala

I had spent most of my professional career in high-tech and with the advent of the Internet, I dove headlong into eCommerce. I had worked on successful projects with the likes of Philips, Sony, KMPG, Urban Decay, and others, helping them early on to define and launch their Internet presence and eCommerce strategy.

On one thrilling project for the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, the company that I was running hired a skilled developer. At the conclusion of that project, I became friends with their lead on the project. We stayed friends and had many discussions about one day starting a business together. I made a life change and moved up to Sonoma County where I started a joint venture company with a Swiss toy manufacturer. They had a great guy named Alex join our California team, helping to liaise between California and Switzerland. Alex loved wine and he felt like a kid in a candy store in Sonoma Wine Country. He would take us along on outings to wineries and I work up to just how big the industry was - and how badly it needed a trusted online source for fine wines. We wrapped up our joint venture a year later, and I set about to figure out what my next startup would be.

I literally went door to door, visiting with hundreds of wineries and trying to describe to them this new-fangled ‘flash sale’ business model.


Agent Red, on starting The Wine Spies ($400,000/month) full story ➜

9. Become a coolsculpting provider ($2.4M/year)

Jessica Stellwagen from Arizona, USA started Bodify almost 6 years ago, a Coolsculpting provider.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Arizona, USA

My sister had a recovery concierge business and sick and tired of the invasive aesthetic industry.

She felt results never amount to what was promised, patients felt as if they were hit by a train after an invasive procedure, and the downtime was typically unbearable. She loved the idea of transforming bodies but hated surgery, downtime, pain and potential complications.

As a child I was once told, “it’s a good thing you work hard because you are pretty stupid.” For some reason that comment left its mark and I knew without a doubt I’d play a big game, build a successful company, and prove that person wrong.


Jessica Stellwagen, on starting Bodify ($200,000/month) full story ➜

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

Antonio Camilleri from Balzan started Antonio’s Barber Shop over 5 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.”


Antonio Camilleri, on starting Antonio’s Barber Shop ($125,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start a moving company ($1.38M/year)

Max Maher from Chandler, Arizona, USA started Skinny Wimp Moving almost 5 years ago, a moving company.

  • Revenue: $115,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA

I didn’t exactly come up with the initial idea for this company because this is a franchise which means for me that I license out the name “Skinny Wimp Moving”. However, because it was the first franchise location I was able to be in a prime decision-making seat and guinea pig for all ideas enabling me to test out theories on marketing and customer service which have no become standard across the brand.

Put yourself out there and ask for their business. Sure be conscious that you may get rejected but don’t be afraid to ask more than once. It won’t work every time but it will work 100% more than not trying at all.

We realized people simply don’t want a moving company that sucks. So we asked ourselves what can we do to make the stressful experience of moving suck a little less and the answers we came up with and stuck to were very common sense:


Max Maher, on starting Skinny Wimp Moving ($115,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a deoderant brand ($1.23M/year)

Stacia Guzzo from Tehachapi, California, USA started SmartyPits almost 7 years ago, a deoderant brand.

  • Revenue: $102,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: Tehachapi, California, USA

SmartyPits itself was inspired by my mom’s experience as a breast cancer survivor. When she discovered the lump, it was directly underneath her armpit.

It was an incredibly aggressive cancer. We had no family history of breast cancer--no genetic predisposition, no family history at all. In fact, her doctors at the time told her it was likely it was environmentally influenced.

I think one of my biggest lessons learned is that fast is not always better. When I first started, I thought scaling meant simply doing what I was already doing, but doing it more.


Stacia Guzzo, on starting SmartyPits ($102,500/month) full story ➜

13. Start an ecommerce platform ($1.2M/year)

Nick and Angelica from Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA started Romans Tide over 5 years ago, a ecommerce platform.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • 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


Nick and Angelica, on starting Romans Tide ($100,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a shoe brand ($960K/year)

Kartik Gurmule from Nagpur, Maharashtra, India started KASA almost 2 years ago, a shoe brand.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

I started KASA as my first company as a 16 years teenager in the summer before high school, although it was not my first business. Since I was 12 years old, I did small projects like making websites and running marketing for clients.

When secondary school ended, I came to know about FlightClub, StockX, and Sneakerdon and got introduced to the sneaker culture around the world. With my connections made in the previous venture, I was able to get inside contacts in big sneaker brands who could supply me with the shoes skipping the waiting line.

But, due to strict Indian customs and taxations, this business failed in the first month itself. I was able to import the shoes at my home but was unable to sell for a good profit because it charged high custom fees and high international courier charges as potential customers were in the USA.


Kartik Gurmule, on starting KASA ($80,000/month) full story ➜

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

Kel STUART from Remote started Sanuku APM over 3 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.


Kel STUART, on starting Sanuku APM ($75,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a women's shoe line ($900K/year)

Tanya Heath from Paris, Ile-de-France, France started Tanya Heath almost 11 years ago, a women's shoe line.

  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France

I started my professional life as a anglophone working in Paris France. The first day that I came to work I changed from ballerinas to high heels at my desk. My French colleagues found this ridiculous and they called me “the New Yorker” (Paris is the only city in the world where this is an insult).

Product development took a long time. I had to hold 4 entire years without a single sale and no venture capital so I was paying for everything myself.

Because I knew my life would be here (my husband is French) and I was trying to integrate into my new surroundings, I stopped wearing flats while walking, and spent the next 10 years including work, travel, babies and everything else that life throws at you, wearing high heels.


Tanya Heath, on starting Tanya Heath ($75,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a private snorkel tour business ($720K/year)

Nok from Krabi Province, Thailand started Five Star Thailand Tours almost 5 years ago, a private snorkel tour business.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: Krabi Province, Thailand

Travel had always been a passion of mine. Growing up in a popular tourist destination in the United Kingdom - I was immersed in the travel culture. Granted, Blackpool Beach can’t be compared to the beaches found in the south of Thailand. However, one thing remains the same- beach destinations attract tourism. So with a flow of adventure-seeking travelers passing through, paired with awesome and high-quality service to offer. A winning recipe is brought to life.

I’d spend every summer of my early twenties, grafting my way through countless European cities. A new tourist destination every few months. Picking up low-paid promotional work for events, clubs, and bars across the continent. In return for a bed, a meal and a beer or two. Barely scraping by, earning just enough to fund my travel habit. But I loved it, every moment of it. I loved helping other travelers find what they needed in a new location.

My passion for travel, saw me relocate, moving in with extended family in Thailand, at a young age of just twenty-something. I didn’t know what the plan was. And I certainly didn't plan on founding a boat tour business. I knew that my love for helping travelers, staying open-minded, and being in the right place at the right time had, (usually), worked out in the past.


Nok, on starting Five Star Thailand Tours ($60,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start an online vape shop ($720K/year)

Jeremy Ong from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia started Vape Club about 5 years ago, a online vape shop.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I grew up in a traditional-minded middle class Asian family in Malaysia. I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.

That’s what I did anyways, I graduated as an Economics graduate and found a job as a brand marketer in an FMCG environment. I was working 9am - 9pm for a 600USD salary in Malaysia.

I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.

I thought that there must be more to life than this. I started reading and taking inspiration from books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, Millionaire Mindset, Millionaire Fastlane etc. I don’t have a lot of capital to start with so I’ve always experimented with online businesses as a way to build wealth. During my spell when I was working a full-time job, I built eCommerce stores on my downtime and made some money out of it. However, none of these really took off as I had a lack of focus.

One day, I decided slaving away on the desk isn’t the kind of life I wanted to leave. And I’ve saved up a runway burn fund of about 5,000 USD (so that I can continue eating). I enrolled in a programming bootcamp right after I quit my job because I thought that some coding knowledge would help me build a better online business.

To be honest, I did not know what I wanted to do after graduating from the bootcamp. I had been vaping for about 3 years (this was in 2015) and the vaping industry was just going through an explosive phase of growth. So I thought, why not?

I managed to validated the subscription box idea for about 50USD. All I did was build a two step landing page using a free tool like Unbounce that “sells” the subscription box product. When visitors click buy now, they get sent to an opt in page saying that we’ve “sold out” due to “overwhelming demand”. To get in front of the imaginary queue that I’ve created, they’d have to share the links with 5 friends. This campaign was a success as we’ve achieved more than 30% conversion rates. Here’s a screenshot of the 2-step landing page.


Jeremy Ong, on starting Vape Club ($60,000/month) full story ➜

19. Start an event management company ($480K/year)

Celeste Durve from Los Angeles, California, USA started VIPER by KCH almost 4 years ago, a event management company.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Both of us were interns and freelance production assistants when we developed the idea for VIPER. We met while interning for Bolthouse Productions in 2014, a popular nightlife company.

We were working as production assistants on the side and were overworked and underpaid but we both had a ton of drive and ambition. One night towards the end of 2015, we bumped into each other while working the same event and were surprised to see the other person working.

In order to get this off the ground, we kept side jobs and pushed all the money back into the company and paying our staff.


Celeste Durve, on starting VIPER by KCH ($40,000/month) full story ➜

20. Start a litter removal business ($480K/year)

Brian Winch from Alberta, Canada started CleanLots.com about 39 years ago, a litter removal business.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Alberta, Canada

I was working a full-time job at a sporting goods store when I realized that I couldn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I didn’t really mind the work but didn’t enjoy working within the same four walls every day, making the same income regardless of how hard I worked and having to put in my time before being able to go home.

The great thing about starting your business as a side hustle is being able to learn and grow and eventually be in a great position to decide for yourself if you want to quit your job or have the best of both worlds.

I started thinking about the possibility of working for myself rather than someone else. But what kind of business? I didn’t have much going for me as previously noted. So I started to evaluate opportunities to match my interests and resources. Keep in mind there was no internet in 1981. I bought a number of business opportunity magazines from the news-stands and started the process of elimination.


Brian Winch, on starting CleanLots.com ($40,000/month) full story ➜

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

Gary Fox from Dublin, Ireland started Host Butlers about 5 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!


Gary Fox, on starting Host Butlers ($35,000/month) full story ➜

22. Start a joke and prank store ($300K/year)

Adam Elliot from California, USA started D*** At Your Door almost 6 years ago, a joke and prank store.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: California, USA

I grew up on a farm in Southwest Iowa. Being from a small town, there aren’t many things to keep you busy, so you had to be creative. This always led to drinking cheap beer you stole from someone’s parents, ramping old cars on the dirt road bridges, and sometimes... prank wars. I guess that’s where I started thinking gag gifts were funny.

After art school, I moved out to California to be a photographer full time. I failed. Failed miserably. After one year on the west coast, I hated photography, I was broke, and had taken a job as a telemarketer. It was the worst.

What started as a joke quickly became a viable business with real opportunity.


Adam Elliot, on starting D*** At Your Door ($25,000/month) full story ➜

23. Start a flip flops brand ($300K/year)

Brad Munro from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia started Boomerangz Footwear almost 7 years ago, a flip flops brand.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Way back before we started the business, I was travelling around Europe in 2006, while the Soccer World Cup was on. My friends and I had been dying to go to one of the beer halls in Germany only to suffer from “the dreaded thong blow-out” (when the plug snaps off the strap) within metres from the front entrance where I wasn’t allowed in because wearing only one thong (or flip flop, as they are also known) wasn’t considered appropriate footwear!

My friend and I sat out the front for a while trying some MacGyver-like solutions to my problem including trying to put the strap back together with a paperclip, we borrowed a cigarette lighter and tried melting the rubber together… all to no avail… My friend ended up going in and borrowed one of our other friend’s thongs to smuggle out so I could wear them in!

A year or so later, I met my soon-to-be business partner who was telling me of a similar experience he had wherein the space of two steps, BOTH of his thongs had blown out, making him trip over and leaving him stranded barefoot and needing to buy a new pair.


Brad Munro, on starting Boomerangz Footwear ($25,000/month) full story ➜

24. Start a sustainable clothing line ($216K/year)

Pepe Martín García from Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain started Minimalism Brand about 3 years ago, a sustainable clothing line.

  • Revenue: $18,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

I´ve been developing brands for years. I guess Minimalism is the third one. I studied economy and business, I worked for big companies also and I´m the owner of a small agency in which we develop eCommerce, brands, and webs. It's call Growth Sherpas.

Minimalism came as an idea. Sell only products that we use every day, that are made in a sustainable way, that last in time and got a good design. Also, we got much experience with our clients because of our agency, so we know what to do to develop a brand, create our web and to start playing around with our eCommerce. So we try.

In the beginning, it was a game, but now we make 200K per year and got some employes. People like our product and our clothes are selling well without any logo on them. We really love what we are doing. We think we are changing the way people buy and also the way they think about design and, maybe, about life ;)


Pepe Martín García, on starting Minimalism Brand ($18,000/month) full story ➜

25. Start a lifestyle blog ($180K/year)

Brock McGoff from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA started The Modest Man over 8 years ago, a lifestyle blog.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after college. My dad was an entrepreneur, and I had the spirit, but with no direction. I got a job in marketing/communications and ran a music production side hustle for a while.

I tried my hand at music full time and basically broke even after a year. I read The 4-Hour Work Week and started learning about online business, passive income, WordPress and SEO.


Brock McGoff, on starting The Modest Man ($15,000/month) full story ➜

26. Start a surprise travel agency ($180K/year)

Charlotte Curry McGhee from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA started Whisked Away Surprise Travel over 3 years ago, a surprise travel agency.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

I’ve been planning trips for myself and others for about 20 years. Before I took Whisked Away full time, I was an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in the public school system for seven years, and I was really struggling with policy changes and how they were affecting my students.

Planning travel was a bright spot for me. I could envision the people I love having the time of their lives on the trips that I had planned for them, and it took my mind away from the issues at school.

My husband and I were on a weekend trip in Savannah, GA and, of course, I had planned the whole thing. We were having drinks at this cool rooftop bar, watching the boats come in and the sunset and he asked if I would ever consider planning trips for others, as a business.


Charlotte Curry McGhee, on starting Whisked Away Surprise Travel ($15,000/month) full story ➜

27. Start a stationery business ($156K/year)

Ruth Daro from Los Angeles, California, USA started Seniman Calligraphy almost 6 years ago, a stationery business.

  • Revenue: $13,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

I always loved creating with my hands and I tend to get carried away with presents and cards during the holidays. That being said, I was content that my passion for drawing and painting would be a minor supporting role while I majored in Interior Architecture and worked as an Interior Designer over the next 4 years after I graduated.

So one day when my then boss passive aggressively asked what day I would like to show up for work that week, I told her ‘how about none?’... and never looked back.

It wasn’t until 2015 where I decided to pick up modern calligraphy as a hobby. Upon admiring all the more established calligraphers’, I realize that working on bespoke custom wedding invitations would allow me to do everything I love and at the same time make a living off of it.


Ruth Daro, on starting Seniman Calligraphy ($13,000/month) full story ➜

28. Start a fitness equipment company ($144K/year)

Joel St John from Tunbridge Wells, England, United Kingdom started Thor Fitness Europe about 1 year ago, a fitness equipment company.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Tunbridge Wells, England, United Kingdom

Believe it or not, I came up with the idea whilst on my honeymoon (don’t tell my wife Emma!). I have always been very interested in design, art, music and so on. During my youth, part of it was probably misspent as I learned how to try and draw, handle a spray can and do graffiti at the legal paint hotspots in Brighton and London.

Further down the line, I purchased some turntables and learned how to mix, scratch (and beat juggle, badly). This lead onto music production where I read magazines and taught myself how to produce music over a 6 year period using programs such as Logic 8, Cubase and Reason. In total, I made a collection of around 170 tunes, mainly drum and bass, but also House, Hip Hop, Dubstep and other Electronic music. A very small number of the tracks got signed, but nothing was ever serious. I would literally spend hours in my little studio, every evening after work, before I started doing Crossfit. Unfortunately, all the DJing and studio time resulted in chronic tinnitus from constantly hammering my poor delicate eardrums, so I had to give up music as it were, leaving a creative vacuum was all that that time was once spent.

Thor for me became a creative outlet once it got going. I learned how to use Abode Illustrator and Photoshop, plus some other handy apps. I have a desire to read only books that I can glean knowledge. Never fiction - always self-help, learn-how or in some instances autobiographies - if I can learn from them. There is so much in the world we have been given, and don’t feel as humans that we should waste time with emptiness being lazy. We all have different gifts and talents - we should look to use and refine these skills - for the greater good of others if possible. I personally enjoy learning, solving problems and hearing other peoples' experiences. I also love to experience life for what it has to offer. My main work background is in electrical engineering and project management. My career has been multifaceted, so I’ve been able to apply many of the skills learned in this trade for e-commerce and ultimately the base-work that’s required for the founding of a brand.


Joel St John , on starting Thor Fitness Europe ($12,000/month) full story ➜

29. Start a dropshipping business ($144K/year)

Amanda Austin from Erie, Pennsylvania, USA started Little Shop of Miniatures over 3 years ago, a dropshipping business.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Erie, Pennsylvania, USA

I was unhappily working in marketing for a Fortune 500 insurance company when I started looking at ways to create a new income stream. I became interested in ecommerce and invested in a course to learn more. I compiled a list of keywords for products that had decent search volume and not terribly competitive to rank for in organic search. I used Long Tail Pro to get ideas--I had so many when I first started!

My business is a small, mostly passive income stream and I’m okay with that. There is so much more I could be doing with my store, but right now I am loving the extra income stream that allows me to work part-time at my day job and spend more time with my infant daughter.

A bunch of keywords in the dollhouse miniatures space fit the bill. I used Long Tail Pro and looked for keywords that were competitive--which on there is a score in the twenties or low thirties. I also wanted them to have at least 2,000 searches per month. This is not a ton, but five keywords with that search volume that are not that competitive can lead to a decent number of organic traffic if you build your site the right way. My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to find a niche with a nice handful of keywords you can rank for with quality content and a nice backlinking strategy. Don’t try to be number one for some saturated keyword that has a million searches a month. Go for keywords where you stand a chance of ranking--this is usually so-called long tail keywords that are really phrases--for example, “wooden dollhouse furniture” instead of just “dollhouse.”


Amanda Austin, on starting Little Shop of Miniatures ($12,000/month) full story ➜

30. Become a digital product designer ($126K/year)

Abb-d Choudhury from Brighton, England, United Kingdom started Curate Labs over 4 years ago, a digital product designer.

  • Revenue: $10,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Curate Labs stemmed from an initial publication we created called Curate Magazine. The concept behind CM was, ‘one theme, many interpretations – Challenging perspectives through conversation, expression, and curiosity’. Traditionally, I and Sara had worked in large agencies working with big international brands.

Through our roles, we hit a saturation point and fell out of love with the work. From here we decided to set up our own practice, launching from the popularity of Curate Magazine, and creating Curate Labs as a creative, experimental design practice focused on ethics and design for good.

Links to previous issues of Curate Magazine…Issue 4, Issue 5, Issue 6.


Abb-d Choudhury, on starting Curate Labs ($10,500/month) full story ➜

31. Start a tech support business ($120K/year)

Daniele Besana from Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands started WP OK over 5 years ago, a tech support business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

I've always worked in IT, solving technical problems for small and big companies.

During my 15 years career in network security, I was lucky to help a lot of different types of customers: from small family-owned businesses to multinationals corporations.

It’s all about people. Don't focus on the number of subscribers, followers, opt-in, conversions… when you start is all about building relationships with people.


Daniele Besana, on starting WP OK ($10,000/month) full story ➜

32. Start a niche fashion business ($120K/year)

Shaden Abushaera from Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates started HeraCloset Online over 2 years ago, a niche fashion business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The idea I had in mind when starting HeraCloset

People have become impatient and want quick results from everything in their lives. This is because of all the gadgets and rapidly advancing technology that have engulfed our lives. Customers want high-quality service that is efficient and does not waste their precious time. It is this thinking that gave birth to the concept of HeraCloset in my mind.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.


Shaden Abushaera , on starting HeraCloset Online ($10,000/month) full story ➜

33. Start a sporting goods store ($101K/year)

Kyler Russell from Midwest, Wyoming, USA started Comfy Cup LLC about 4 years ago, a sporting goods store.

  • Revenue: $8,400/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Midwest, Wyoming, USA

I loved playing baseball, but felt that the hard athletic cup I was required to wear was, well, a pain in the crotch. I tried almost every youth athletic cup on the market and nothing felt comfortable.

Starting a business seems like a really hard thing to do, but it is really just lots and lots of tiny steps in the direction you need to go.

Honestly, I threw a fit about wearing it before every practice and game, but I had to wear it. During one of my pre-game frustrations, my mom said, "If you don't like something. Quit whining about it and come up with a solution!"


Kyler Russell, on starting Comfy Cup LLC ($8,400/month) full story ➜

34. Start a backyard plant nursery ($60K/year)

Debbie Odom from Georgia started CamelliaShop over 13 years ago, a backyard plant nursery.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Georgia

In 1991, I had the life-changing opportunity to become a part of Gene’s Nursery, one of the oldest nurseries in Savannah Georgia.

When I had the opportunity to leave my office job and get my hands into soil, I was happy and I was hooked.

Gene’s Nursery has its roots firmly planted in our quaint historic coastal city and it’s passion was the Camellia. Camellias are ornamental shrubs that produce brilliant blossoms during the fall and winter. They are the most unique flowering shrub species found today and are considered the Queen of Ornamental shrubs.


Debbie Odom, on starting CamelliaShop ($5,000/month) full story ➜

35. Start a branding agency ($60K/year)

Elva Li from Victoria, Australia started Elva Li over 4 years ago, a branding agency.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Victoria, Australia

There’s a song on repeat in my world and whenever I play it, it reminds me of the time I started my own business and finally left my corporate job.

“I spend too much time thinking about who I'm supposed to be I play by everybody's rules that don't seem right to me

Should I even care? They're all sitting there and everyone's staring at me If I step out in the spotlight maybe I'll be set free


Elva Li, on starting Elva Li ($5,000/month) full story ➜

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

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

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

I am an engineer by day, but ever since I graduated college, I found myself looking for something to do in the evenings that didn’t involve sitting on the couch watching television or playing video games. I started exploring woodworking and soon found a way to combine it with my electronics background through CNC machining.

I purchased a CNC router kit and put it together in my basement. After I had it up and running I was left with the realization that I didn’t have anything in mind to make with it! I slowly found little projects to make and started to increase my creative skill sets. I began to think about what I could make to sell, but still didn’t have any ideas that seemed to fit.


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

37. Start a maps business ($42K/year)

Love Regefalk from Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden started Mapsery almost 3 years ago, a maps business.

  • Revenue: $3,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden

My backstory is that I, during my 2nd year at university, got particularly bored during an exam period and toyed with the idea of starting my own business. In short, I wanted to put the theory from university into practice. Said and done, one month later I had put together a website where I planned to sell beer pong related products that I would import from China. The setup, however, was far from ideal. I kept the stock in my dorm room and I would personally run home from school in the middle of a lecture to hand the orders to the DHL guy every day.

Eventually, I got enough orders to make the move to outsource the logistics to a third-party logistics (3PL) partner. Finally, I didn’t have to handle the orders manually.

Great success!


Love Regefalk, on starting Mapsery ($3,500/month) full story ➜

38. Start a wallet brand ($30K/year)

Kan Yamamoto from Kochi started Kamino Wallet over 2 years ago, a wallet brand.

  • Revenue: $2,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Kochi

I am a self-employed graphic designer who also works as a woodworker/lumberjack. I was born and grew up in Kochi, Japan but moved to Europe and have spent my twenties in Switzerland and Berlin, where I practiced graphic design and the fine arts. After I graduated from the University of Art Berlin in 2011, I returned to Japan to dig deep into my cultural roots and to contribute to the local community.

I thought the best thing would be to learn how to create small businesses myself. And by doing it, I could be an example for the younger generation to show that it doesn't matter where you live. You could build a global business, however small it is.

Now I am living in a mountainous village in a suburban area of the city of Kochi. I love living near to nature, and the quality of life here is irreplaceable, but one of the biggest problems in rural areas is that there are no jobs. So I thought the best thing would be to learn how to create small businesses myself. And by doing it, I could be an example for the younger generation to show that it doesn't matter where you live. You could build a global business, however small it is.


Kan Yamamoto, on starting Kamino Wallet ($2,500/month) full story ➜

39. 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.


Mark E. Johnson, on starting Hobnail Trekking Co. ($1,800/month) full story ➜

40. Start a selfcare subscription box ($12K/year)

Meredith Vaish from San Carlos, California, USA started Pause Box LLC over 1 year ago, a selfcare subscription box.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: San Carlos, California, USA

In June 2018, I left my corporate gig after 16 years. I had a severe repetitive stress injury in my neck and shoulder that just wasn’t improving. I figured there was no way cubicle culture was going to allow me to get better. I told colleagues I was leaving to pursue “creative projects.”

Don’t wait until you know what you’re doing. Just start. Say yes more than you say no.

Those projects turned out to include naps, walks with my dog, cooking healthy meals, journaling, yoga, meditation and a series of personal growth courses.


Meredith Vaish, on starting Pause Box LLC ($1,000/month) full story ➜

41. Start a sustainable mug brand ($7.8K/year)

Melanie Goel from Munich, Bavaria, Germany started alpengraphics - the zero-plastic outdoor company over 1 year ago, a sustainable mug brand.

  • Revenue: $650/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Munich, Bavaria, Germany

I grew up and live close to the German Alps (south of Munich). I used to be a professional cross country skier, so nature and its beauty are deeply entrenched in my value system. Recently, the outdoor trend on Instagram has changed our mountaineering culture a lot. This increasingly worried me during the various hikes I did every week. But somehow I didn’t really know what to do about it.

That changed when I joined Tesla as the marketing manager for energy products in the DACH region. After a career in marketing in a few other sectors, this was the first time I was confronted with so-called “Green Marketing” and was immediately hooked on its potential. Not because things sell better when they’re labeled green, but because it opened the door to promote more sustainable materialism.

If I can make people buy a truly sustainable product, which was produced eco-friendly and is made of materials that last a lifetime, instead of disposable or plastic goods, I could feel much more peaceful about my profession.


Melanie Goel, on starting alpengraphics - the zero-plastic outdoor company ($650/month) full story ➜

42. Start a streetwear brand ($7.8K/year)

Lachlan Sonter from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia started DEAL WITH DEVIL almost 3 years ago, a streetwear brand.

  • Revenue: $650/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

After I had finished High-School in 2016 I found myself applying for university (The University of Queensland) and getting accepted into an ‘Information Technology’ course in 2017, where I learned within the first year how to design and construct a website through basic HTML/CSS/JS scripting languages.

I believe there is a direct correlation between the effort you put into getting the product out there and the number of sales made.

The commute was less than ideal having to commit 3 hours every day to travel and the workload was piling up because I wasn’t passionate about the course anymore. This brought me to the end of 2017 where I transferred to a closer university and started a part-time study of Business. By the end of 2017, I had decided after feeling extremely lost and after having gone through problems with relationships with others and an ex-girlfriend I needed to find some sort of outlet to let the suffering mental state and residual emotion release.


Lachlan Sonter, on starting DEAL WITH DEVIL ($650/month) full story ➜

43. Start an user feedback app ($6K/year)

Mike Slaats from Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands started Upvoty over 1 year ago, a user feedback app.

  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands

I dropped out of college when I was 18 years old and was highly interested in “the internet”.

So I started my first online business: an online print webshop where you could order nice looking t-shirts with mostly self-designed animations.

Soon I was able to sell throughout the whole Netherlands and people started to ask me if I could help them with their online marketing too. This was very interesting to me because this way I could help out others and make more money.


Mike Slaats, on starting Upvoty ($500/month) full story ➜

44. Start an instagram fan account ($6K/year)

Sammy Sternberg from New York, New York, USA started @zekefeed about 4 years ago, a instagram fan account.

  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

When I was 13 years old and in 8th grade I created this page.

I had Ezekiel Elliott on both of my fantasy football teams and just loved his game.

I don’t recommend using tools if you really want to grow an authentic page.


Sammy Sternberg, on starting @zekefeed ($500/month) full story ➜

45. Start a subscription box business ($4.8K/year)

Lindsay Scholz from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA started Vowed Box Co. almost 3 years ago, a subscription box business.

  • Revenue: $400/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

I got married in 2016, and if we’re being honest, the entire process was overwhelming – the wedding industry is saturated with ideas and opinions on “how” you should celebrate your big day, but I quickly realized that getting married is not a one-size-fits-all process.

Honestly, my goal was to sell just one box the first week that the website went live, but I ended up selling five!

Leading up to my wedding, my friends had a difficult time finding bridal gifts that aligned with my interests and taste. I had never really dreamed of a big fancy wedding, and I definitely viewed myself as a non-traditional bride. On the flipside, I also had a hard time finding gifts and keepsakes for my bridesmaids – we were all a little bit quirky, and a lot of the overly feminine and girly gifts in the market just weren’t for us!


Lindsay Scholz, on starting Vowed Box Co. ($400/month) full story ➜

46. Start an email newsletter business ($1.2K/year)

Qin Xie from London, England, United Kingdom started Money Talk 5 months ago, a email newsletter business.

  • Revenue: $100/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

My day job is a travel editor for a national newspaper in the UK, which I absolutely love. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, I was put on furlough at the beginning of May.

The great thing about launching a newsletter as a subscription product is that the overheads are low - or in my case, zero. The only thing I had to give up was my time, and I had plenty of it.

That month coincided with lots of journalists around the world getting laid off. Needless to say, I was seriously worried about whether or not I’d have a job by the end of the furlough period and how I’d make up the difference in income.


Qin Xie, on starting Money Talk ($100/month) full story ➜

47. Start a restaurant

Here are some examples of a successful restaurant in Anchorage:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


48. Start a hair blog ($72K/year)

Here are some examples of a successful hair blog in Anchorage:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


49. Start a metal sign business

Here are some examples of a successful metal sign business in Anchorage:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


50. Start a tech company

Here are some examples of a successful tech company in Anchorage:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


51. Start a gardening business

Here are some examples of a successful gardening business in Anchorage:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


52. Start an airline

Here are some examples of a successful airline in Anchorage:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

Share the story of Starter Story!

Leave a comment
Your email address will not be published.

More posts like this: