Looking for a business idea that will set you apart from the competition?
We put together a list of the most profitable unique business ideas that anyone can start today!
Some of these are pretty weird and crazy business ideas, but that is actually what makes them successful.
If you're looking to do something original, then this list is for you.
Here's the list:
1. Start a dog walking business
Do you love dogs? If yes, you can turn your love for animals into a lucrative side hustle that can help you pay extra toward your mortgage, save for a vacation, or even clear that student’s loan.
If you choose to offer dog walking services as a side hustle, you could earn an average income of between $10,000 and $30,000 per year. As a dog walker, sitter or boarder, you offer your services to dog owners looking for a caregiver for their puppy. Register on a legitimate dog-walking app and create a compelling profile to get started.
Hi. My name is Melodi Landi. I am the Founder & Owner of Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC.
Furry Fellas has been voted in the TOP 3 Pet Sitting / Dog Walking Company within the RI / MA area for 8 years in a row!
2. Create a board game ($4.5K/month)
Creating your own board game can be a fun, challenging and rewarding activity. Games are an integral part of our culture and are played by all walks of life.
You can create a board game from scratch with some basic knowledge of programming, or several hours of practice. Board games are easy to manufacture, can be created from home, and can become very popular and profitable businesses.
Hi! I’m Jamey Stegmaier, and I run Stonemaier Games, a tabletop game company based in St. Louis. We publish strategy games like Wingspan, Scythe, and Viticulture.
Stonemaier Games started with a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 that raised $65,980, and in 2020 our annual revenue eclipsed $18 million. Our latest game, Red Rising, is shown here (photo credit: Tim Chuon).
3. Invent a hangover cure ($105K/month)
56% of drinkers have experienced a hangover! That's a lot of people dealing with headaches, nausea and general lethargy. The good news is that there is an entire industry devoted to curing hangovers.
Hey guys! I’m Eddie and I’m the founder of Flyby. We’re a health & wellness startup focused on building supplements that’ll allow people to be the best versions of him or herself.
We launched in March 2017 and in approximately 10 months, hit $1M in sales. We are now doing close to $200K/mo in sales, in some of the top retail stores (Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, American Eagle) and are on track to do $2.5M this year. And since the release of our new formulation, we’ve consistently generated over 40 percent in repeat purchase revenue.
4. Create an online course
Online course businesses are one of the fastest-growing online business models. Creating an online course is an awesome way to generate extra income because it allows you to monetize the knowledge you already have. More people are taking online courses every day, and the COVID pandemic has accelerated that, with some online learning platforms having seen 15-folds growth in the number of users.
Another advantage is that these new platforms are so easy to use for instructors that you don't have to worry at all about the tech side of the business. You just need to focus on creating exciting content that is informational & engaging at the same time.
Starting an online course allows you to eliminate some of the huge costs associated with setting up a physical training facility, and it's a great way to reach as many people.
We are Christian and Rasmus Mikkelsen, also known as the Mikkelsen Twins online. We run an online education company where we help people to build an online book publishing business. The reason why we teach what seems like a random/kinda weird online business model is because it’s what changed our lives almost 3 years ago and freed us from the life path we were heading down (were in the middle of a business degree in community college and there was absolutely no hope for a truly happy and fulfilled life if we had continued to take that path in life).
Fast forward to today, our company is making over 6-figures in profit every month which is almost unbelievable for two 24-year-old (ambitious) idiots with just a laptop, wifi connection and a small team.
5. Start a city maps business
Businesses around the world generate billions in revenue by selling city maps online. Most of these maps are sold on popular e-commerce websites like eBay and Amazon.
Hello StarterStory! My name is Love Regefalk (yes – it actually is) and I am the co-founder of Mapsery. I founded Mapsery together with my twin brother, Daniel, and we run Mapsery on the side of our engineering studies.
Looking at our customers, they can be found all around the world (30+ countries to date) who share a love for maps, traveling and interior design. Owing to the fact that our website is in English and that we only run ads in English, a majority of our customers can be found in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. To a lesser extent, we get customers from other corners of the world. In terms of demographics, slightly more women than men purchase our products and people aged 25-34 are our primary age group.
6. Start an axe throwing business
Throwing axes is a great way to relieve stress, bond with friends and coworkers, and even make some money.
Axe throwing is a new and exciting activity that is growing in popularity, especially for corporate or business events.
Hi there! My name is James and three years ago I started an axe throwing venue called Forged Axe Throwing. We teach people how to throw axes and then run amazing tournaments with everyone. Many of our clients are visitors to the area as we’re in a resort town, but we also have a locals league and get lots of local businesses coming to us for events.
This was our team early on, we’ve since expanded to about 22 staff members.
7. Become a professional cuddler
Imagine being a professional cuddler for a living. Getting paid to snuggle your clients may sound strange, but this type of service has been in high demand over the last few years.
Think of 'snugglers' as a more personal therapist. They get paid for many services: hugging their clients, listening to their problems, coaching them, comforting & reducing stress, cooking and eating meals together and more.
Hi there! My name is Sam Varnerin and I created Snuggle with Sam, my independent professional cuddling practice, while I was still working full-time as a construction engineer.
Here’s all of the contributors on the panel at CuddleXpo in Chicago presenting how we came up with the Code of Ethics for Professional Cuddling. Back left to right: Maryelen Reid, Madelon Guinazzo, Samantha Varnerin (me!), Samantha Hess, Jean Franzbleau, Fei Wyatt, Janet Trevino. Front left to right: Keely Shoup, Lisa Meece. Photo credit Rellian Chen Merrin
8. Create tiny homes ($156K/month)
People love living in small spaces. They're affordable and easy to maintain. Starting a tiny house-building business is a great way to help people and make money. You need to be licensed and insured to work in the state you live in, and you will also need a business license. Additionally, you will also have to research how much it costs to build a tiny house as well as what materials are needed for the project.
Tiny houses are becoming increasingly popular, offering a unique opportunity for you to get involved in the construction industry. The tiny homes industry is expected to grow to 3.57B by 2026.
Hi! My name is Jeff and I am one of the three co-founders of Tiny Away (a Big Tiny hospitality management subsidiary, which is also co-founded by us). The Tiny Away network includes a range of comfy eco-friendly ‘tiny houses’ for travelers seeking alternative and unique accommodation experiences. Having already grown to over 75 private locations across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia & Queensland, Tiny Away offers adventurous road-trippers and weekenders the chance to immerse themselves in Australia’s, without compromising on comfort.
On average, we are taking in about $156,000 monthly in terms of rental revenue, not including the other streams of income, as Tiny Away is a subsidiary of Big Tiny which owns the entire tiny house ecosystem from designing to manufacturing, shipping, assembly, deployment, management, and after-sales service.
9. Build treehouses ($63.5K/month)
Tree houses are fun escape places for both young and adults alike. The kids use the tree houses for fun, play, and hiding, while the adults love spending their free time relaxing and enjoying the cool breeze on tree tops. Plus, this tree house concept is becoming quite popular in the hospitality industry as well.
Therefore, starting a tree house construction business could be a lucrative business opportunity. To build a tree house, you need unique design and architectural skills. A custom treehouse business can be a fun, challenging, and rewarding way to make money.
Hello, I am Dustin Feider the founder, lead designer, and CEO of O2 Treehouse Commercial Inc (O2 Treehouse or O2T) and Treewalkers! O2 Treehouse is a company of nature-lovers, builders, designers, and engineers dedicated to creating innovative architectural structures in trees all over the world. Combining modern engineering with old-school craftsmanship, we’ve built over 85 structures in the past 17 years. In that time, we have developed a proprietary building technology called the Tetratruss, which has radically transformed the way treehouses are built, while also creating the O2 Treehouse signature style.
Today, O2 Treehouse is so well known, that we have a two-year backlog of projects waiting to be brought to life and have been featured in over 85 publications!
10. Start a cat cafe business
The only thing that can make a local cafe better is cats. Grab a cup of coffee and snuggle a cat at the same time. Recently, cat cafes have been popping up around the country. Some of these cafes are independent operators, while others work with local humane societies to get cats adopted.
Create a network of cat cafes where people can interact and play with cats. Once established, a cat cafe business can increase its revenue by hosting events. Events often draw lots of people in, and a business can charge more for each person because there's a special event taking place.
You might consider the following options for your cat cafe business:
- Adoptions: This type of cat cafe has cats that can be adopted. Some cat cafes specialize in rescued cats while others specialize in pedigree cats. These cat cafes can also have a combination of both.
- Permanent residents: This type of cat cafe has several resident cats on the premises. Similar to the adoption cafes, these can be cats that have been rescued or pedigree cats, or both.
- Full-service dining: This type of cat cafe has a full menu of food and beverages for its customers and sometimes for its cats as well.
- Themed cafe: This type of cat cafe is designed around a specific theme. Garden themes and whimsical themes are quite popular.
11. Start a glamping business
Glamping is the ultimate in eco-chic these days. A glamorous twist on camping, glamping feels more like a 5-star hotel and less like roughing it.
You could turn your backyard into a campground that earns money every day.
12. Start a sensory deprivation tank business
Experience total isolation and float your way into blissful serenity. The sensory deprivation tank business has been growing, 20-25% as of a few years ago.
As our lives become more chaotic and stressful, people will continue to look for ways to destress, and float tanks might be one way that they pull out their wallets.
13. Start a pet hotel business
Starting your own pet hotel business is not as difficult as you might think. With the right knowledge and hard work, you can achieve a lot in the pet industry.
A pet hotel is a place where people bring their cats and dogs for short-term boarding. It's a business that provides pet-sitting services in which customers can board their pets while they're out of town, or while they're at work.
Over 60M households own dogs or cats in the United States. What happens when they leave town or go on vacation? Pet boarding is a lucrative industry that can be served locally in any state or city across the world.
14. Start a cat treats brand
Cat Sushi is a flaky, tuna based treat that cats love. It is our flagship product that eventually led to us forming our current company Presidio Natural Pet Company, where we design and manufacture ultra-premium, natural, and healthy food products for pets.
We focus to create products in the pet space that best serve the customer - your pet - and believe that high quality and healthy pet products can help cultivate relationships between customers and stores.
15. Start a puppet fabric store
My name is Laurie Nickerson and I and the co-owner of Puppet Pelts. At Puppet Pelts, we manufacture and sell hand dyed fabric used for puppet skins to professional puppet builders around the world.
Our Pelts are made from a textile that is really only used for puppets. It is a wonderfully stretchy nylon fleece fabric that is milled in the United States. We buy the fabric in white and dye it a bunch of colors to sell to our customers.
16. Start a weighted blankets brand
Baloo Living is asleep and wellness company launched from Bali in 2018. Our signature product is a weighted blanket, an incredible tool for calming the nervous system with gentle pressure, similar to the way being hugged or held makes us feel naturally comforted. These blankets have been used for decades by therapists and are only now going mainstream as people discover just how powerful they can be for improving sleep and soothing anxiety--without the use of medication.
It’s exciting to be bringing a product to market that does so much good and only beginning to reach critical mass. The market for weighted blankets is exploding - currently, on Amazon, there are millions of dollars in sales monthly, and we know that e-commerce generally represents 10% of retail sales in the US. We reached six figures in our third month, and seven figures after our first holiday season before even a year has passed! Baloo took off like crazy, partly because we stand for the highest product quality, customer service, and thoughtful design.
17. Start a golf simulators business
Everyone wants to believe they can be as good as a pro when they step up to a tee. A golf simulator is one way to keep practicing and building golf skills. Golf simulators have exploded in popularity over the past decade, making them a profitable business venture.
Golf simulators allow one to practice and play virtual golf on courses 24/7, indoors or outdoors. The simulators record player's real-time metrics showing how one is doing and highlighting areas that need improvement. The golf simulators market overview report shows projected growth of 8.3% over the next few years. Therefore, the golf simulators have great market potential.
To start a golf simulator business, research the options available from different golf simulators and their features. Find a good location for your golf simulators, research the target audience and develop projections.
My name is Igor, and I am the founder and owner of 24/7 Golf - an Australian startup in the virtual golf industry. I sell golf simulators for personal and commercial use and am the distributor for SkyTrak Golf in the region (Australia, New Zealand and surrounds).
That led me to investing into a virtual golf centre, then building a brand of unmanned virtual golf centres called 24/7 Golf! Having sold over 1.1m of golf simulators in the first iteration of the business called GolfTec Australia, I partnered with SkyTrak Golf from USA to use at my venues and also to resell. After 18 months of growth in sales I decided to switch to a fully online only e-commerce store … with Shopify! Once I did that, the online store grew and grew and keeps growing!
18. Start a respirator mask business
Breathe Healthy is the name of the company that I started. We produce comfortable, wearable respiratory protection that also looks good. We have been in business since 2009, and our sales surpassed 1 million in 2017. We continue to grow and disrupt the “traditional” paper/disposable mask market.
19. Start a flight tours business
A flight tour business takes people on short flights to experience an aerial view. If you are into airplanes and love taking different people on tours, the flight tour business is a more expensive service that targets adventurous clients.
While starting a flight tour business may sound overwhelming, doing scenic tours the right way can be rewarding. Cover locations of interest worth seeing from the air and target affluent travelers. To market your business, take a couple of pictures covering different scenes to entice the target customers and make them want to experience the tours.
If you have ever met me (which is pretty unlikely), then you probably learned relatively quickly that I’m really into airplanes. And by ‘really’ I mean borderline obsessed. My name is Corey Rust, and I own the Troutdale, Oregon based air tour business Envi Adventures.
Now, our best month was over $30,000 in revenue, and that is only in our second year. For a dumb guy like me, it makes me happy to know that I’m providing a service that people from all over the world are interested in. Not only that, but we have been able to generate a brand that people are beginning to recognize and connect with on a different level. Personally, I think that’s the most exciting part.
20. Start a hammock brand
Over the past few years, the demand for hammocks has shot up.
The global hammock market is projected to reach $639 million in the next few years.
The demand for hammocks is growing among campers and outdoor enthusiasts due to the ease of installation and use. Hammocks are lightweight and ideal for carrying around when going for outdoor backpacking and hiking trips.
With hammocks' popularity rising, starting a hammock line today can be profitable. To start your hammock business, research the market to find out who uses hammocks more. You can be a hammock maker, a wholesaler, or a retailer.
Register your business and apply for the certificates you need to run a successful venture.
Hi everyone! My name is Ben and I am the founder of Maca, a brand that sells handmade Mexican travel hammocks. Our hammocks are for people that want a unique, kick-ass, on-the-go hammock. Maca celebrates people who get out and explore somewhere new! But all that exploring requires some downtime and there is no better way to recharge the battery than to sink into a Maca hammock. Campers, vanlifers, hikers and nomads love our hammocks and especially connect with our “giving back” story.
We sell our hammocks 100% direct-to-consumer via our website. At the moment, we are selling a couple of hammocks a month and have big plans to increase this number in 2020.
21. Start a discount travel website
Discount travel websites help travelers save on the cost of travel. Besides, discount travel websites help hotels and travel agents achieve full booking and highlight promotions.
More people search for discount offers on travel websites. Thus, starting your discount travel website can be a lucrative business opportunity.
Hi, my name is Garth Adams, founder of I Know The Pilot. We send out airfare and accommodation deals to our subscribers every day. While other travel deal sites rely on paid subscriptions, we have been 100% free from day 1.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take it back to how I got started, and then find out how we are doing now that vaccines are slowly being rolled out.
22. Start a knife sharpening service
Every household has a bunch of knives in it. All those households have dull knives that may need sharpening to serve the owners well. Therefore, there is already a market for your knife sharpening business. To start the business, drive down the road, knock and ask the homeowners if their knives need sharpening.
I am Mikael Soderlind, I started Knife Aid in January 2019. Knife Aid is a mail-in knife sharpening service, modernizing an antique service by giving anyone who mails in their cutlery access to a master knife smith using the highest quality in techniques and materials to revive your knives.
As of January 2020, we are currently trading at $250,000 per month and have seen a steady increase month over month and continue to see the same in this coming year. Some of the main reasons for our success are that we are a service that pretty much every American home is in need of. Creating a business that speaks to the masses ultimately leads to great success. We have also had tremendous PR just this past year including top national publications and TV shows including Shark Tank and The View.
23. Start a food truck
Food trucks are a highly profitable business that offers customers a variety of meal options out of a mobile truck. This basically operates inside a large vehicle equipped with kitchen and food products. Starting a food truck is a dream for many people, but it's not always as easy as it looks. In order to make it work, you need the ideal location and menu.
In order to start a food truck business in a particular city, it is mandatory to check what kind of food trucks are already operating, identify a gap, and bring in some new experiences. With the right plan and the right approach, you can be on your way to starting your own food truck empire.
I started my career at the world-famous Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles Apprenticing under Certified Master Chef Raimund Hofmeister.
Food Fleet’s growth Year after year has been at an at over 30 %. From 2017-2018 we had an unprecedented 160% growth spurt. With a team of 6, including my partner and I, we managed over 20 million in sales for our clients. As an example. We took over a convention center 3 years ago managing their food truck business. For their largest event of the year, we were up 53% over the previous year. I honestly would have to equate some of that success to the under-reporting of sales by the previous operator. But the following year we were up 19% from that figure and again close to that this year. That is due in large part to our understanding of transaction times, menu mix, the equipment in each truck or pop up and other factors.
24. Become an interior designer
Interior designing involves making indoor spaces safe, functional, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential & decorative items such as colors, lighting, and materials.
The global luxury interior design market is growing at a CAGR of 9.0%. The growth metrics show there is great potential for entrepreneurs targeting households.
If you are starting a luxury interior design business, focus on style and specialty. Add valuables with creative professions, such as interior design, so you stand out from the rest. Ensure you hire the right people and hone the brand identity.
Well, to make a long story short, my mother and I started this company together in 1996. I was working as a staff interior designer at a private firm in NYC, and my mother, Rosemarie was the manager of the Estate and Trust department at a large Law Firm. We both HATED our jobs and dreamed of doing our 'own thing'. We had no idea what that looked like, and so we turned to our passion..antiques and design.
That passion has morphed into a boutique design firm that boasts over 1M in annual revenue and has completed hundreds of trophy projects.
25. Start a blog
Starting your own blog can be an exciting, rewarding, and challenging experience. Blogs provide a great way to connect with your readers, grow your brand and develop an audience of people interested in the topics you cover.
There are over 600 million blogs on the internet. The average person spends 37 seconds reading a blog post. 2/3 of people’s main reason for blogging is income. The average time spent on writing a post is increasing by the year and The average length of a blog post is now 1,269 words.
My name is Phil Strazzulla and I run SelectSoftware. We are an expert online review site for HR software - basically the NerdWallet/WireCutter for all of the different HR software categories out there.
Over the past 3 months, the organic search traffic to SelectSoftware has been growing at around 30% per month, and in August 2019 we had our first month of revenues with a little over $1k/mo.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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