The year is about to end. And while some people would normally put off their plans until next year, successful businesses won’t stop at anything in their pursuit of more success – especially during the holidays. That’s why it isn’t too late for us to lay down these small business ideas for 2024 so you can start conceptualizing your path for next year.
So put on your thinking cap and be ready to take notes, because these small biz ideas are up for grabs for anyone who has the courage to start – and that person better be you!
Let’s get on to it!
- 8 Small Business Ideas for 2024
- 01. Dropshipping
- 02. Print-on-demand Products
- 03. Online Food Business
- 04. Wholesale and Retail Business
- 05. Handmade Goods
- 06. Affiliate Marketing Program
- 07. Online Tutoring
- 08. Digital Marketing Services
- Tips & Guides Before You Execute Your Small Business Idea
- 01. Conduct Market Research
- 02. Make A Business Plan
- 03. Track Business Finances
- 04. Identify Laws And Regulations In Your Area
- 05. Invest In Branding
8 Small Business Ideas for 2024
Small business is the portal through which many people enter the economic mainstream. Business ownership allows individuals, including women and minorities, to achieve financial success, as well as pride in their accomplishments (University of Minnesota).
So if you feel that hunger and burning desire for success, it’s time you make things happen by starting your own business.
Here are some small business ideas that could help you launch your own unique brand.
Having your own dropshipping business can be the best option if you are looking for profitable business ideas that do not require a huge investment. In dropshipping, you don't have to store the products on your own. Thus, no need to purchase in bulk and to rent a pricey storage space.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method that doesn't need you to handle the items directly. Every time a customer buys a product, you just need to forward the order to your supplier, and they will be the one who will do the packaging and shipping.
You can actually combine various products from different suppliers, locally or internationally, and put them all in your own online store. Though all orders are sent and handled by your suppliers, note that in most cases you will still be the one who will do the promotion and address customer queries.
- Low startup cost
- Less financial risk
- High market competition
- No full control and command over the supply
Image credits: Best Choice Products
Best Choice Products is a dropshipping marketplace that offers various product categories. All items that have a high number of sales are featured on the front page to make it easier for consumers to spot products that are somehow on-trend. In each product, there is a visible customer rating as well as questions that can help others know the item better.
Here’s a dropshipping tutorial for beginners if you want to learn more about this business model.
02. Print-on-demand Products
Print-on-demand or POD is a type of dropshipping model wherein merchants transfer all inventory and shipping duties to the hands of the drop shippers. Here, the difference compared to the common dropshipping model is that you can customize and create designs that you can incorporate into the products in order to make them look entirely your own. You are encouraged to close a deal with a supplier of white-label products who will make your ideas tangible.
Examples of the most profitable business ideas in line with print-on-demand are starting a t-shirt store, caps, jackets, tote bags, and mugs. Small business owners can simply come up with unique phrases, logos, and designs that resonate with their audience and sell them on a pre-order basis. You don't need to be a designer as there are sites and applications that offer easy access to Shopify’s ready-to-use template designs. You can also hire freelancers for less hassle duty.
Image credits: Grand View Research
According to Grand View Research, the global print-on-demand market size is believed to massively expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.1% from 2022 to 2030.
This means that there is a massive potential for growth in this type of business.
- No excess stocks
- Merchants only pay the cost of the item after they have sold it
- No control over the product quality
- May require a longer time to fulfill an order
There are several print-on-demand companies that are integrated with Shopify, so it will be easier to establish an online store.
In establishing a dropshipping business, it is important that you are partnered with a reliable overseas supplier so you can operate your business with peace of mind, knowing that if things went sideways, your supplier can help you.
Image credits: Printful
Printful is a POD supplier that is integrated with Shopify. It has over 4900 reviews on the Shopify app store and garnering a very high 4.7-star ranking – we can say that Printful is able to satisfy their thousands of customers.
In case you want to explore this option, you can sign up for a free 3-day trial on Shopify and install Printful from the Shopify app store for free.
Curious how a POD business works? Watch this video below:
Source: Printful Youtube
03.Online Food Business
Food businesses don’t go out of style, primarily because they are a necessity, and secondarily, there are endless variations of food businesses that can be established.
The main thing that you should be prepared for when establishing a food business is the operation cost if you plan to run a physical store. This includes electricity, internet, staffing, and of course, the rent.
But this is not to say that the food business is only for those who have deep pockets. In fact, you can also start a small food business with an ecommerce business model – yup, you can sell food online using a Shopify store!
- Can be easily started as long as you have the cooking skills
- Does not require a huge capital as it can be started in your own kitchen
- Logistics can be a challenge in the food business that involves perishable goods
- Marketing can be very challenging because the internet will be your sole source of traffic
The food and drink business is the top 4 category of Shopify stores worldwide. According to Store Leads, there are currently more than 118,000 food businesses that are using Shopify for their ecommerce needs.
This is a testament to the potential of the industry in an evolving market. Let’s take a look at an example below.
Image credits: Doughy
Doughy is an online store that sells a variety of cookie doughs. And because their products are vegan and gluten free, these can be baked or enjoyed raw.
You might think that logistics for a product like this would be a nightmare, but they’re able to pull it off. In fact, they don’t have a geographical limit. Thus, they can deliver all over the United States.
So if you have a recipe that you want to share with the world (and make money off of it), the online food biz is for you. Check out this step-by-step tutorial below to learn more.
Source: Learn With Shopify
04. Wholesale and Retail Business
Wholesale is a type of business where manufacturers or distributors sell large quantities of products at wholesale or discounted prices. Transactions for wholesale businesses are usually B2B or business to business. This means that if you plan to run a wholesale business, your primary customers will be smaller retail businesses.
- Less complex operations compared to retail business model
- Less customers to deal with
- High startup cost because you need to purchase in bulk and rent a storage space
- Needs more in-depth study to avoid illiquidity due to slow-moving inventory
Image credits: Alibaba
Alibaba is one of the best examples of wholesale businesses with the goal to provide a B2B trading platform to all businesses around the world. Alibaba works with millions of wholesale buyers as well as suppliers worldwide. It offers merchants a hassle-free shopping experience due to its different product categories.
Check out this video to learn how to find reliable suppliers from Alibaba:
Source: GoodLife Warrior Youtube
Note that this video is originally for Amazon FBA businesses. However, the principles in finding the right suppliers also apply to wholesale businesses.
On the other hand, a retail business is the selling of goods or services in smaller quantities. Most retail owners target customers in-store or online. Examples of this are groceries, convenience stores, and drug stores that cater to buyers who purchase a smaller number of goods, usually for personal consumption.
Additionally, you can find thousands of retailers online that are using the Shopify platform to transact with their customers. Some of the popular retail brands that are using Shopify are Allbirds, Spanx, Gymshark, ColourPop, and more.
The key to success in any retail business is finding your niche and understanding your audience and their needs. After that, you can develop a business plan, get the needed permits, find suppliers, and build your store or website.
- You lead the entire business based on your vision
- Better profit margin than wholesalers
- Long hours of duty (especially during startup stages)
- Increased customer service requirements
Image credits: The Super Cool
The Super Cool is a retail shop based in Melbourne, Australia. They share unique local and international products to their customers. They also support small business makers that produce handmade and interesting products by including their items in their shops. TheSuperCool continues to expand its reach both in social media and through its physical pop-up stores.
If you explore their website, you’ll find out that they are actually a large retail brand as they carry more than 45 different brands on their website.
05. Handmade Goods
Another small business idea that you might be interested in is handmade goods – especially if you are into creating arts and crafts. A handmade kind of business is ideal, especially for those with a limited budget, space, and manpower.
Starting a manufacturing business needs a lot of processes, machineries, and money. But if you are keen in creating your own products despite the little budget that you are willing to risk, creating handmade products can be your savior in this venture if executed properly. There are a lot of handmade goods that are under this category, from furniture to accessories.
If you want to earn while you are doing something you love, then you can turn your love for arts and crafts into a small business. The arts and crafts market is projected to reach $50.9 billion by 2024 worldwide. This requires low upfront costs, the ability to grow over time, and the capacity to be flexible in terms of the target market.
- Showcase your talent and skills
- Chance to contribute to a sustainable world
- Single person operation
- Possibility of slower business growth
Image credits: Walnut Studiolo
Walnut Studiolo is a family-owned business that uses natural materials in creating modern products. One of the biggest advantages of Walnut Studiolo is clearly knowing its target market, which is the Portland bicycle community. They started as a small business until the time came that it became a full-time commitment, reaching wider markets both online and offline.
There are a lot of products that you can make using your own hands. Here are some of the most profitable handmade products according to Creative Hive:
Source: Creative Hive Youtube
06. Affiliate Marketing Program
Affiliate marketing is an online business wherein you need to create content (blogs, videos, social media posts, etc.) and promote products to earn a commission out of the sale that you generate. This is usually tracked using affiliate links.
When your audience purchases the products using your affiliate links, you earn a percentage of the sales.
Affiliate marketing is a way to promote someone else's brand or product. It aims to generate revenue by putting third-party products and services into a wider market. All you have to learn is how you are going to establish and introduce your affiliate offers in order to earn passive income even if you are sleeping.
Nowadays, anyone who has a strong social media presence can include affiliate links in their social posts to earn passive income.
Thus, this small business idea is for you if you have a knack for social media marketing. Luckily, there are thousands of articles and YouTube videos that can teach you how to succeed in this line of business.
- No earning or profit limitations
- Opportunity to work with different business partners
- No full control over the product
- Strong competition against more popular social media influencers
Image credits: Shopify
The Shopify Affiliate Program allows mainly social media influencers and content creators to earn a commission every time a merchant signs up on Shopify through their referral. There are no charges or fees for joining Shopify Affiliate Program, making it more attractive to anyone interested.
Thus, if you are knowledgeable in ecommerce, you can publish blogs or tutorial videos on your social platforms and include a Shopify affiliate link so you can earn when your viewers decide to take the plunge into the world of ecommerce via Shopify.
Moreover, if you’d rather have more flexibility in the products that you promote, Amazon has an affiliate program. Hence, you can earn from just about any products that you can find on Amazon.
To help you understand this business model, here’s a newly uploaded video by Greg Gottfried on YouTube.
Source: Greg Gottfried Youtube
07. Online Tutoring
Though remote education or online courses are present even before, they specifically gained more attention during the spike of the recent global health crisis, as almost all in-person classes were put to a halt. Most institutions diverted their focus to delivering lessons via online platforms as well in order to still continue students' education despite classroom restrictions.
The worldwide online tutoring business is estimated to reach a CAGR of 15.38% (TechNavio) between the years 2022 and 2027, with an expected market size increase amounting to $196.35 billion.
So if you have a knowledge that you want to share, online tutoring is the business for you.
For example, if you are a fitness buff, perhaps a personal training business is a great side hustle. Or if you are an expert social media marketer, you can create a masterclass so other aspiring marketers can learn from your course.
The good thing about online education is that you can pre-record your materials and sell multiple copies of them. Thus, this will give you a reliable passive income stream that demands less time from you.
- Less operating cost
- Doesn’t require massive machine or equipment to start
- Need for reliable internet all the time
- Requires real subject matter expertise to create helpful courses
Image credits: Bodybuilding.com
Bodybuilding.com is a great example if you are eyeing to sell personal training services online. Their Shopify store does not only sell fitness products. They also sell online fitness programs like the example above (Yup! You can sell digital products on Shopify).
Here’s a video by Sunny Lennarduzzi on how to create an online course that actually generates sales:
Source: Sunny Lenarduzzi Youtube
08. Digital Marketing Services
A digital marketing business is one of those businesses that you can start at a small scale and expand into the global scene in a very short amount of time.
It is the promotion of different brands in order to easily connect them with potential customers using various online platforms and other digital modes of communication. This includes email, blogs, social media, and online advertising, and multimedia messages. Most freelancers try to enter the world of digital marketing services not only due to the high income they may get but also because they can do it alone without the hassle of gathering manpower in different fields.
You can start by giving free-of-charge service to small businesses in order to get feedback and testimonies which you can later use in building your portfolio.
Digital marketing is a highly scalable business, meaning that you can sign up as many clients as you can and hire other digital marketing professionals to outsource your services to them.
- Work remotely anywhere you want
- You pick the industry you are best at
- Long hours of extensive training on digital marketing as well your niche
- High competition in the digital marketing space
Image credits: Prophet
Prophet helps businesses by offering tried and tested marketing strategies for their clients’ growth. They handle diverse customers which allows them to expand limitlessly, with 15 office locations and more than a hundred awards due to their recognizable service.
Here’s a detailed tutorial by Santrel Media on how you can start a digital marketing agency from the ground up:
Source: Santrel Media Youtube
Tips & Guides Before You Execute Your Small Business Idea
Mistakes naturally happen when you are new to business. But to minimize mistakes, you should take the right steps from the get go.
Below, we have listed some of the things that you need to do before executing any of these small business ideas.
01. Conduct Market Research
Image credits: Unsplash
Market research is a step-by-step process of accumulating data about your target customers in order to see the success percentage of your business or product. Through market research, you can easily answer questions regarding the status of your chosen industry. Here, you will have to investigate different marketing angles which can take several weeks or months to establish.
02. Make A Business Plan
Image credits: Unsplash
A business plan includes your detailed objectives as well as the short and long-term goals. It stands as a map of how you will strategize the entire venture, from marketing, and financial up to operational aspects. A business plan must be reviewed and adjusted from time to time in order to note the goals that have been met or have been adjusted.
03. Track Business Finances
Image credits: Unsplash
Business finances are the funds you will need to start, run, and expand your business over time. These expenses may include marketing costs, startup costs, software, equipment, office supplies, printing, delivery, and such, depending on what your business is.
Monitoring or tracking all of your business expenses can help you observe and determine the profits and losses. Since you will know how much money you have in your hands as well as where your money goes, you can quickly plan a more strategic and responsible use of funds.
04. Identify Laws And Regulations In Your Area
Image credits: Unsplash
Prior to launching your business, you should take the time in knowing the legal restrictions (or the dos and don’ts) of the area where you operate your small business.
This includes deciding the legal structure of your business, trademark or official business name, business permit or license, taxes, zoning laws if you will have a physical store, insurance, agreements, and health and safety laws in your state. It is best to follow all guidelines for a smooth business takeover. However, if you chose to be more active online, then some of these might not be necessary.
05. Invest In Branding
Image credits: Unsplash
Branding is an aspect of your business that requires attention from the get go. It might not sound much, but branding dictates the pricing of your products, your marketing approach, and the type of audience that you will target.
Moreover, this will influence potential clients' purchasing decisions, so don't be afraid to invest in a more detailed execution of your branding as well.
When listing business ideas for 2024, always make time to do your research. You can consider things like your interests, expertise, and background for a more uncomplicated start. Then, you can adjust it based on the results of your market research for more profitable business ideas.
Be more involved in your imagination while also being detailed on the steps that are needed to be done before finally launching your business.
Explore more, check out: 14 Best Small Food Business Ideas Of 2024