56 Small Businesses To Start In Santa Ana

Itching to start a business or work for yourself?

Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana.

1. Start a fulfilment business ($67M/year)

Jan Bednar from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA started ShipMonk ago, a fulfilment business.

  • Revenue: $5,583,333/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 900
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

From a young age, I knew I wanted to do big things. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, which led to my first gig as a DJ when I was thirteen years old. It was a great way to meet new people and make a little money. But, most importantly, it allowed me to familiarize myself with the world of business.

Think of a problem you care about and find a solution that works.

When I was sixteen, I left the Czech Republic and immigrated alone to the United States to pursue a college education. I was accepted to Florida Atlantic University, a public college in Boca Raton, Florida and studied Management of Information Systems.

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Jan Bednar, on starting ShipMonk ($5,583,333/month) full story ➜

2. Start a supplements company ($24M/year)

Nick Bare from Austin, Texas, USA started Bare Performance Nutrition almost 9 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 16
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

In 2012 I was a junior in college studying Nutrition at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I was also in the ROTC program there so I knew that upon graduating college I would be commissioning into the US Army as an officer.

My friends and I were your typical broke college students and we loved weight training. Because we couldn’t continue to buy our own pre-workout supplements due to personal funds, or lack thereof, we decided to all go in together and purchase bulk ingredients to make our own pre-workout supplements.

Many of these college students, and friends of mine, took out this $25K loan to buy new cars, take vacations, get engaged and married, but I decided that this would be my funding to launch my company.

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Nick Bare, on starting Bare Performance Nutrition ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a publishing business ($18M/year)

Adam Witty from Charleston, South Carolina, USA started Advantage Media Group over 15 years ago, a publishing business.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 81
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina, USA

As a kid, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a publisher. In fact, no kid does!

While in high school, my parents made me get a summer job. Our neighbor worked for a publishing company and offered an internship. I thought I would hate it. I ended up really liking it. I found the creation of books, the marketing, and sales of books absolutely fascinating. But I went off to college not really thinking about it again.

While in school at Clemson, my boss at the publishing company ventured out and started his own publishing business. He asked me if I wanted to partner with him. I did. We worked together for about a year, but we had different visions for the company. I wanted to create a big business. He wanted a lifestyle business that would employ his family members and he could work from home. We parted ways.

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Adam Witty, on starting Advantage Media Group ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

4. 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.

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

5. Start a cycling tools business ($9M/year)

Chris Parr from Marlow Bottom, England, United Kingdom started Pro Bike Tool over 5 years ago, a cycling tools business.

  • Revenue: $750,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Marlow Bottom, England, United Kingdom

We both built our careers in commercial roles, with Chris working in sales, marketing and eCommerce across a range of multinational brands such as the BBC, Royal Mail, and The Post Office, while Nicole’s background is in sales and commercial relationship management in the airline industry.

PRO BIKE TOOL was born when Chris decided he’d reached the stage where he wanted to try something new in a field, he felt passionate about. Being an active runner and cyclist, Chris saw his future in the sports industry. As a bike rider, he’s always thought that bike tools sold through traditional retailers were expensive and sometimes over-engineered, while online brands lacked quality.

The single most important thing in the early years, and maybe the hardest thing to develop initially, is the right mindset. Resilience is key.

how-we-started-a-750k-month-amazon-bestselling-cycling-tools-company

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Chris Parr, on starting Pro Bike Tool ($750,000/month) full story ➜

6. 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.

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

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

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

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

I stumbled into real estate. There is no personal history with real estate in my family or in anything I got into as a young kid trying to find my way.

I realized my real competitive edge was that I always picked up the phone, showed up every day and just did the work. Everyone always thinks there is some secret the most successful real estate agents keep to themselves.

My studies were actually centered in Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (Go Green!). By Junior year it became apparent to me that I love animals but not so much the idea of being a Vet. So I did a 180 degree turn and finished with a Finance Major.

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

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

Adam Vieira from Montreal, Quebec, Canada started Station 16 over 7 years ago, a art gallery.

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

I met Carlo De Luca (my partner and current president of Station 16) in 2010. I was very active in the Montreal street art scene and had many artist connections because of it. Coincidentally, he was also looking to diversify his textile silkscreen shop into paper printing, which I had been doing a lot of.

In 2011, we started working with local Montreal artists to create quality silkscreen prints - a type of printing made famous with Andy Warhol's work. We began showcasing these prints online and in art fairs. That’s when Emily Robertson (3rd founder, and Art Historian) came on board. She had taken an interest in our project and suggested we open an art gallery showcasing the prints and street art talent we were really interested in.

Shortly after that, a few other friends that we were in contact with were building on the idea of a Mural festival for Montreal. They asked if we would be interested in supporting it. So in June of 2013, we debuted at both the Gallery and the Montreal MURAL festival on St. Laurent. It initially opened as a pop-up, and we haven’t closed our doors since.

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

9. 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:

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

10. 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

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

11. Start a gym management software ($1.2M/year)

Dan Uyemura from El Segundo, California, USA started PushPress almost 8 years ago, a gym management software.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: El Segundo, California, USA

The story of PushPress actually predates my involvement in fitness in any way. I was a coder, working for startups in the early 2000s. “Startup Culture” back then was unlimited free sodas and nightly catered dinners. Both of which lead me to be about 30 pounds overweight by 2008.

In late 2008, I joined a CrossFit gym looking to shed some weight as fast as possible. While there, I was exposed to their gym management platform which was an absolute nightmare to use. This platform was the 800-pound gorilla in the space, they were operating on antiquated technology, seemed too big to move quickly, and their customer experience ended up making gyms look terrible.

Doing a deeper competitive analysis, I realized that every other solution in the market was basically replicating what the market leader was doing. There was very little innovation in the space.

how-i-created-a-software-to-manage-gyms-and-reached-100k-month-in-revenue

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Dan Uyemura, on starting PushPress ($100,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a guitar company ($1.2M/year)

Adam Klosowiak from Provo, Utah, USA started KLOS Guitars over 5 years ago, a guitar company.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 13
  • Location: Provo, Utah, USA

KLOS Guitars is the first company that I started. And how I got here is quite the unconventional path.

I’m from the suburbs of Chicago originally. After graduating high school I went to Princeton University to study electrical engineering with an emphasis on semiconductor physics, which was fueled by my passion for science and a curiosity of how things work.

I first dipped my toes into entrepreneurship my junior year when I entered into a Hackathon with two of my peers. The three of us felt that our curriculum was too theoretical and we wanted to test our hands on skills by building something practical. We came up with Dorm Control, which was a bluetooth controlled power strip that you could control via your phone.

how-we-invented-a-carbon-fiber-guitar-and-grew-to-1m-year

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Adam Klosowiak, on starting KLOS Guitars ($100,000/month) full story ➜

13. Start a board game ($1.2M/year)

Will Roya from Texas, USA started PlayingCardDecks.com over 3 years ago, a board game.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Texas, USA

Besides selling magic tricks and toys at special events such as fairs I was always trying different items to sell online, mostly on eBay. I also produced and sold instructional DVDs, mostly wholesale to magic shops.

Try to keep things as simple as possible with systems in place. Don’t be afraid to try something new but also don’t be afraid to give it up if it isn’t working.

I had noticed playing cards started selling particularly well and with the advent of Kickstarter, a lot more decks were getting produced. The more decks I stocked, the more I sold. I also noticed that playing card collectors would buy multiple decks and buy more frequently than other customers.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-business-selling-and-designing-playing-cards-decks

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Will Roya, on starting PlayingCardDecks.com ($100,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a network marketing software ($780K/year)

Abdul Majeed from Kozhikode, Kerala, India started Infinite MLM Software almost 12 years ago, a network marketing software.

  • Revenue: $65,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 100
  • Location: Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Yes! It was the struggling period for us to cross all the hurdles to success. There is a saying that success will not come to you, instead, you need to keep on trying to get success in all the aspects of your life.

We, five members, we're working in an IT company and our ideas were merged to form a unity in establishing IOSS. Our idea to start up with product marketing came up with our plan about dreaming and enduring the future. We submitted our idea to TBI Manager (Technical Business Incubation) and they approved it and we received some funds from the investors to start our first business venture, the development of school tracking software and it was a great success but we could not support a similar type of product marketing.

So we started with an affiliate marketing tool, where we researched more into the MLM field and its business operations. We found many people into multi-level marketing and earning as a part-time or full-time business and that manual work could be done through the software to make their business tracking in an easy way. This gave us an opportunity to support an MLM business owner and we got our first client from Bangladesh to build MLM software for his MLM business. This paved the way for our flagship product.

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Abdul Majeed, on starting Infinite MLM Software ($65,000/month) full story ➜

15. Start a digital magazine ($600K/year)

Drew Williams from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started SWAGGER Magazine over 13 years ago, a digital magazine.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Honestly, the idea started as a hobby.

When I started the blog in 2007, it was meant to be an alternative to the major men’s magazines on shelves because the magazine industry still hadn’t fully accepted the fact that everything was going digital and that print would be dying a slow and painful death. I wanted men to have access to cool guy things online, as well as dating advice, with a focus on realistic male acquisitions instead of focusing on things your average guy could not afford. Promoting the "fake it till you make it mentality".

I had worked for a magazine called Performance Auto and Sound Magazine pasmag.com, so I had in-depth knowledge about the business from a print perspective.

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Drew Williams, on starting SWAGGER Magazine ($50,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a lighting store ($420K/year)

Nick Griffiths from Fowey, England, United Kingdom started Any Old Lights over 6 years ago, a lighting store.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Fowey, England, United Kingdom

I must have written millions of words in my lifetime - for magazines, newspapers and my books - and I loved every minute of it. But kids come along and maybe the city life isn’t ideal for them growing up.

That’s the beauty of starting a business - you have to cram knowledge into your aching grey matter, day in, day out. And it’s really exciting. So new and different and initially bewildering. But cracking it is a major buzz.

So in Summer 2011, my family moved to Cornwall, a delightful and quirky county that takes up the final chunk bottom-left of the map of England, where my wife, Sinead, had grown up. Now the kids have beaches and boats and crabbing. And I had…

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Nick Griffiths, on starting Any Old Lights ($35,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a video game modding business ($324K/year)

Kyle from Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, USA started Hand Held Legend almost 7 years ago, a video game modding business.

  • Revenue: $27,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, USA

Hand Held Legend was born while I was in graduate school for a degree in the medical profession. In order to effectively study, one needs an escape for the mind; I found my escape restoring old, broken and dilapidated Game Boys for about 3 years. Not only did I have fun repairing, but I also found that I could make a buck or two modifying and upgrading old consoles as not everyone can complete technical mods.

I started off Hand Held Legend in my graduate school apartment with an old kitchen table and a soldering iron. Initially, I was selling 1-2 modified consoles per week as I completed and listed them on eBay. Soon enough this became time intensive and I searched for a way to bring in revenue while still maintaining time to study. Surrounding student loan debt is a great motivator!

To that extent, I began to create our first product, an LED backlight for the original Game Boy. This was something I had seen done before and it was not a novel or propriety idea although I thought I could make one better and keep a portion of my cost of goods sold. Sales started slowly as we had zero brand awareness. I had to engage with the local online internet community of gaming obsessed nerds like me. Soon enough the word got out but we have gone on to sell over 25,000 backlight panels for the original game boy console alone.

how-i-started-a-27k-month-business-modifying-and-upgrading-game-consoles

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Kyle , on starting Hand Held Legend ($27,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a bridal store ($300K/year)

Vivian Chan from San Francisco, California, USA started East Meets Dress over 2 years ago, a bridal store.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

My co-founder, Jenn, and I met and became best friends during our freshman year at Yale. After graduation, Jenn had started her career at Google before working at several smaller startups and then joining a coding bootcamp. I started my career in education and nonprofits before joining an early stage startup that was later acquired by Facebook. Around this time, Jenn and I started working on the concept that would later become East Meets Dress.

When we first started, we had no experience in fashion, e-commerce, or entrepreneurship. We simply had our own experiences as consumers.

The idea for East Meets Dress (EMD) originated from Jenn’s personal struggles when she was looking for a modern version of the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese wedding dress. She wanted to wear a cheongsam for her wedding tea ceremony to honor her parents and heritage but finding a modern design that fit her aesthetics turned out to be near impossible. At the time, her options were limited to suspicious onlines sites or stores in Chinatown with poor service and a narrow selection. Ultimately, Jenn resorted to custom making her cheongsam at a local tailor. I was her Maid of Honor and we both felt that Asian-American brides shouldn’t have to be confined to low-quality options or scouring Yelp to find the one tailor who could make a quality cheongsam from scratch.

how-i-built-a-six-figure-business-bringing-asian-culture-to-the-american-wedding-industry

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Vivian Chan, on starting East Meets Dress ($25,000/month) full story ➜

19. Start an online masquerade masks store ($300K/year)

Josh Bluman from North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA started VIVO Masks about 7 years ago, a online masquerade masks store.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Prior to VIVO Masks, Jackson and I were online marketers, working at various agencies and marketing different small and large businesses. We were both also very entrepreneurial, having had some small successes with other endeavours, but had never committed to growing a full-on ecommerce company.

Being well versed in online marketing, we were already familiar with the tools to evaluate potential business ideas and while looking for product ideas we came across an unusually high number of people searching for masquerade masks (using the Google search tool). And when looking at what was being sold, we thought we could do much better. They were for the most part cheap, plastic, mass-produced masks.

It may not be a success, but just taking some action, and trying to get something going is key.

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Josh Bluman, on starting VIVO Masks ($25,000/month) full story ➜

20. Start a custom prints business ($300K/year)

Zach Katz from New York, New York, USA started Framed Tweets over 3 years ago, a custom prints business.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I dreamed up the idea for Framed Tweets a year prior to starting it.

It was December 2015, and I was holed up in my room, avoiding the New Year’s party my parents were hosting downstairs. I was scrolling through Twitter, when suddenly, I thought, “what if you could frame a tweet?” (Honestly, that’s how most ideas come about, at least for me. They just randomly happen.)

That night, I tweeted the link to some random people who I found by searching Twitter. The next morning, I woke up to find Framed Tweets featured on Product Hunt, Mashable, Uncrate, and a few other websites.

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Zach Katz, on starting Framed Tweets ($25,000/month) full story ➜

21. Start an online rug store ($264K/year)

Manuel Mas from Crevillent, Valencian Community, Spain started Mundoalfombra.com almost 20 years ago, a online rug store.

  • Revenue: $22,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Crevillent, Valencian Community, Spain

My father has a big background in manufacturing rugs because he worked from 12 years old till now on this industry in Crevillent, so he knows the product, the processes, the suppliers and the people who run this business in our town of 27,000 inhabitants.

I studied computer engineering in the early 2000s and loved the online world. I knew then that the near-future of commerce will be the World Wide Web and eCommerce will be exploding in the next few years. I remember my first orders on Amazon.com from Spain or eBay in the first years… books and other products traveling about several weeks till arriving home…

So the fusion of the Internet and the rug world was clear, then Mundoalfombra.com was created. The experts in rugs and carpets arrived in the online world. Products manufactured in the same town with direct serving, great quality, short delivery times in Spain and Portugal, good prices, exceptional customer support and good relationship with suppliers. The experience in the offline world was shipped to online with a new company. From the old grand-grandfather ́s company experience, born in 1890, to a new opening, and from natural fiber rugs to hundreds of different models and fibers.

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Manuel Mas, on starting Mundoalfombra.com ($22,000/month) full story ➜

22. Start a rescue product ($240K/year)

Dr. Robert Yonover from Honolulu, Hawaii, USA started SEE/RESCUE Corporation ago, a rescue product.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees:
  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

I grew up in Miami and dreamed about volcanoes and becoming a big wave surfer, but unfortunately, all of Florida is flat (topographically and relatively surf wise). I worked hard in school and fell in love with science. I learned that if I got straight A’s, no one could mess with me and it leads to full scholarships to get my Master’s working on gold deposits in Nova Scotia and ultimately to get my Ph.D. working on submarine volcanoes in Hawaii.

I was a polite pain-in-the-ass and would call media outlets for years until they would write about the technology, years later my media book is so large, I can’t even carry it to meetings with all the reprints of articles and stories!

how-i-invented-a-20k-month-rescue-device-and-got-a-ton-of-press-including-a-shark-tank-appearance

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Dr. Robert Yonover, on starting SEE/RESCUE Corporation ($20,000/month) full story ➜

23. Start an api ($180K/year)

Ervin Ruci from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada started Geocode.xyz almost 4 years ago, a API.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I have a background in CS and Math (My master CS thesis was on a class of 3SUM hard problems in Computational Geometry)

I’ve been building independent bootstrapped startups since 2005, when I quit my last day job. One of those is geocoder.ca, a geocoding API for Canada and the US I started in 2005 (and is still going strong). It also served as the starting point to go global with geocode.xyz in 2016.

Identify your strengths and do what you like to do. Having a sense of purpose is important, especially when that purpose is to solve a problem you can muster the ability to solve.

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Ervin Ruci, on starting Geocode.xyz ($15,000/month) full story ➜

24. Start an iot startup ($180K/year)

Craig Rabin from Seattle, Washington, USA started The Airhook almost 6 years ago, a IoT startup.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

The idea for The Airhook came from a flight I was taking, and I was wearing a sport coat for a meeting I was to attend after landing.

I asked the flight attendant if they had a place to hang it… it was full. I thought about putting my coat in the overhead bin but didn’t want it to get wrinkled. So, I wore my coat and was incredibly uncomfortable the entire flight. At some point as I was staring forward, I began to think I could create a hook for the tray table to hang my coat on. Nothing special, just a simple hook that worked with the tray table closed.

how-i-invented-the-ultimate-flying-gadget-and-landed-massive-press

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Craig Rabin, on starting The Airhook ($15,000/month) full story ➜

25. Start an aftermarket car parts business ($144K/year)

Mitchel Matthews from St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada started Adrenaline Offroad about 3 years ago, a aftermarket car parts business.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada

My passion for trucks started way before I could even drive. I always wanted to have a huge lifted truck and I loved the idea of driving a vehicle that could make it through conditions that most vehicles couldn’t such as a deep ditch full of water or 3 feet of snow! My grandfather willed me one of his trucks so when I was 16 years old I was blessed to now have his old truck as my own! It was completely bone stock with not a single modification done to it….YET! Over the years I saved pretty much every penny I made at my minimum wage jobs and invested it all into building my truck up to be the beast that it is today!

These before and after pictures below are almost 6 years apart!

how-i-started-a-12k-month-aftermarket-vehicle-accessories

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Mitchel Matthews, on starting Adrenaline Offroad ($12,000/month) full story ➜

26. Become a motherhood blogger ($120K/year)

Carly Campbell from Remote started Mommy On Purpose over 85 years ago, a motherhood blogger.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Remote

When I started Mommy on Purpose, I started with ZERO knowledge of the internet or how online businesses work. I could hardly type, to be honest, I didn’t even take a high school computer class (and I have no education beyond high school).

I waitressed through all of my 20s and had entered my 30s at a desk job - making slightly more than minimum wage. My husband and I had decided to start a family, and I full well knew that there was NO point in my “going back to work” after I had a baby… paying for childcare meant I’d be bringing in less than 200$ per month.

You won’t learn how to be successful until you find out what doesn’t work.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-blog-about-motherhood

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Carly Campbell, on starting Mommy On Purpose ($10,000/month) full story ➜

27. 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.

how-i-turned-my-wordpress-freelance-gigs-into-a-productized-service

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

28. Start a zapier consulting agency ($66K/year)

Andrew Davison from London, England, United Kingdom started Luhhu almost 2 years ago, a zapier consulting agency.

  • Revenue: $5,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

I’ve had quite a varied background up until this point. I started a web design business while studying computer science at university before dropping out in my last year and heading to London - bored of learning and wanting to make money.

After an internship at one design company and a sales job at two others, I finally burned out, traveled Asia and then landed in Budapest, Hungary and never ended up leaving. After a quickly abandoned attempt at teaching English, I pivoted to building an online marketplace that helped language teachers find students - and it’s through that I learned to use Zapier - a very fortuitous decision in hindsight.

Fast forward two more years, that business was doing OK and I was onto another side hustle as a writer for various ex-pat websites. In need of more work, I tried to join Upwork, only to be rejected because they were swamped with writers.

how-i-started-a-5-5k-month-zapier-specialist-agency

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Andrew Davison, on starting Luhhu ($5,500/month) full story ➜

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

Maanda Mulaudzi from Remote started Common Sense Holdings over 1 year ago, a IT company.

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

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

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

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

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

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Maanda Mulaudzi, on starting Common Sense Holdings ($5,000/month) full story ➜

30. 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.

how-we-expanded-our-local-plant-nursery-to-an-online-business

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

31. 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

how-i-started-a-5-000-month-luxury-branding-agency

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

32. Start an electronics store ($48K/year)

Jeff Olson from Denver, Colorado, USA started LEVDisplay about 3 years ago, a electronics store.

  • Revenue: $4,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

I moved to Denver in 2011 after graduating from college and started working in software sales.

My goal was to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible and then start my own business. Entrepreneurship was always the end game, but I wasn’t sure about what business I wanted to start yet.

By 2014 I had paid off my $30K student debt and was feeling pretty burned out. I quit my job (I was working for a company called Autodesk at the time) and got a part-time bartending gig. I had worked in restaurants through college and knew that bartending was the easiest way to earn cash while figuring out what kind of business I wanted to build.

starting-an-amazon-business-as-a-bartender

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Jeff Olson, on starting LEVDisplay ($4,000/month) full story ➜

33. Start a denim brand ($24K/year)

Susie Shaughnessy from Manhattan Beach, California, USA started Crawford Denim and Vintage Co. almost 7 years ago, a denim brand.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Manhattan Beach, California, USA

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area as the middle child in a large family. Our Dad was a long time high school football coach and our Mom managed the teams while raising the family.

Every student was welcome in our home, making our house a constant hub of activity, sports and art. We learned early in life how rewarding working in service to others is and how to work well as a team. One person’s success is a reflection of the team’s hard work.

Having an alternate source of income will help minimize any lows in sales. It’s the insurance of making rent that allows you to focus on the brand or business that you are trying to grow.

being-a-maker-and-launching-a-premium-denim-brand

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Susie Shaughnessy, on starting Crawford Denim and Vintage Co. ($2,000/month) full story ➜

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

Marissa Daniels from Remote started Spread Your Wings Travel over 1 year ago, a travel agency.

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

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

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

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

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

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Marissa Daniels, on starting Spread Your Wings Travel ($2,000/month) full story ➜

35. Start a lifestyle product brand ($12K/year)

Jhumkee Iyengar from Pune, Maharashtra, India started Ohrna about 3 years ago, a lifestyle product brand.

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

I have built a career in human-centered product design over more than three decades, and run my own consulting practice helping companies and organizations incorporate design thinking, after several years in corporate America and India. I also teach human-centered design for the Pittsburgh based LUMA Institute at corporations worldwide, am an adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology where I teach postgraduate design students and MBA students, and run an online course for the Indian government’s National Program for Technology Enhanced Learning. I have presented at global conferences and have several publications and articles to my credit.

In my growing up years, we did not have a lot but we had enough and we always had enough to give others. This is what my parents — a scientist father and a professor mother — taught us.

I have always counted my blessings and felt a very strong urge to give back. Several defining moments came to me during my interactions with women who lack formal education but possess an indomitable spirit and deep wisdom. I realized how easily our respective destinies could have been reversed --- the only difference between us was the opportunities that I received.

on-starting-a-handmade-sustainable-fair-trade-lifestyle-products-brand

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Jhumkee Iyengar, on starting Ohrna ($1,000/month) full story ➜

36. Start an education products business ($12K/year)

Alex Bricker from Fort Collins, Colorado, USA started ESL With Purpose about 3 years ago, a education products business.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

I started teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) during my undergraduate studies on a volunteer level. Over time, I acquired a TEFL certification and more experience while working other full-time jobs and growing my skills in other interests. My heart, however, was always drawn to hanging out with international friends and helping them improve their English.

Don’t give up. If I would have quit when I lost $17,000, I wouldn’t have learned anything. It was a good educational moment. Failure does not define your business. How you respond to situations does define it.

Phrase It grew out of need to enhance student learning in a fun and dynamic way. Specifically, I developed a dice game to help English language learners through the use of phrasal verbs. Then it turned into a card game.

how-i-started-a-side-hustle-making-an-extra-1000-month

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Alex Bricker, on starting ESL With Purpose ($1,000/month) full story ➜

37. 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.

how-a-15-year-old-made-a-profitable-fan-account-on-instagram

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

38. Start a conference

Here are some examples of a successful conference in Santa Ana:

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

article

39. Become a basket weaver

Here are some examples of a successful basket weaver in Santa Ana:

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

article

40. Start a surf company

Here are some examples of a successful surf company in Santa Ana:

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

article

41. Start a makeup brand

Here are some examples of a successful makeup brand in Santa Ana:

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

article

42. Start a CCTV camera business

Here are some examples of a successful CCTV camera business in Santa Ana:

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

article

43. Start a job board

Here are some examples of a successful job board in Santa Ana:

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

article

44. Start a scrap metal business

Here are some examples of a successful scrap metal business in Santa Ana:

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

article

45. Start a construction company

Here are some examples of a successful construction company in Santa Ana:

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

article

46. Start a glass tinting service

Here are some examples of a successful glass tinting service in Santa Ana:

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

article

47. Start a corsages business

Here are some examples of a successful corsages business in Santa Ana:

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

article

48. Start a grocery store

Here are some examples of a successful grocery store in Santa Ana:

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

article

49. Start an amazon business

Here are some examples of a successful amazon business in Santa Ana:

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

article

50. Start a shipping company

Here are some examples of a successful shipping company in Santa Ana:

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

article

51. Start a restaurant discovery platform

Here are some examples of a successful restaurant discovery platform in Santa Ana:

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

article

52. Start a gas station

Here are some examples of a successful gas station in Santa Ana:

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

article

53. Start a courier service business

Here are some examples of a successful courier service business in Santa Ana:

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

article

54. Start a cannabis club ($264K/year)

Here are some examples of a successful cannabis club in Santa Ana:

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

article

55. Start an electronics repair business ($0/year)

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

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Connecticut, USA

One day back in 2012, I happened to go to a local flea market. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and I'm not a flea market or garage sale regular.

I noticed these two old radios for $15 each. I had not been interested in old radios before, and I was not a collector or a retro guy. These particular radios were from 1950s, bright and colorful, oozing with retro pride, but in sad, neglected shape.

As far as my professional background, I have an electrical engineering degree but never worked on radios. My understanding of these things was only basic at best. I knew analog audio sounded better than digital from my guitar days.

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 ➜

56. Start a tech company

Here are some examples of a successful tech company in Santa Ana:

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

article

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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