Top 10 small business ideas to inspire you

Turn a love for furry friends into a lucrative business. Picture: Getty

 Looking to take on a new challenge, or a way to make some extra income? Here are ten small business ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

  1. Dog walking or pet sitting

It may seem like a trivial idea, but dog walking can turn into a lucrative business opportunity! You can start with the basics, before expanding into additional services such as home visits and even doggie adventures. With minimal capital needed, it’s an easy way to get started without risking too much financially. It also means you’ll get to hang out with pooches all day – who wouldn’t want that?

  1. Virtual assistance

The rise and rise of technology means it’s easier than ever to work and play remotely. If you’re organised and have an exceptional attention to detail, you can take advantage of these developments by offering your services as a virtual assistant. As long as you have access to a strong internet connection, email and Skype, you can start in your lounge room, offering services to clients all over the globe. Work to your own timetable and set your own workload – that’s a business model we can get behind.

  1. Activity bars

Aussies love a game as much as they love a beer, so why not combine the two? Activity bars provide purpose to those afternoon drinking sessions, providing hours of entertainment. Whether it’s board games, darts, bowling or ping-pong, the mere novelty factor is sure to get people through the door.

  1. Handmade products

Spend your weekends whipping up baked goods or delicately creating jewellery?

Turn your hobby into a side hustle by creating an online store in which you can sell your goods. You can start slowly with friends and family, building a small database of regular customers, before expanding into new markets. Best of all, social media makes advertising a cost-free exercise ­– create an Instagram page and you’re halfway there.

  1. Subscription boxes

The 21st century is arguably the age of convenience, with consumers looking for ways to save time in every aspect of their lives. Take advantage of this business opportunity by creating a subscription box. Choose your niche – healthy treats or make up, for example – and get crafty, combining a number of samples into one conveniently delivered box. Once again, this is a great initiative to trial with family and friends before releasing into the wider market.

Tailoring is a small business idea that doesn’t require much more than a sewing machine. Picture: Getty

  1. Lifestyle manager or personal concierge

Are you in the know when it comes to the latest restaurants, experiences hotels and bars? Do you have exceptional organisational, negotiation and communication skills? Becoming a personal concierge could be the business opportunity for you! Create tailor-made experiences for those looking for something different, taking them on journeys that they won’t forget.

  1. Tailoring

Your passion for patchwork can be converted into a full-time occupation with a little innovative thinking. Tailoring is a small business idea that doesn’t require much more than a steady hand and a sewing machine – at least to start. Before you know it, you’ll be venturing from hems and inseams to creating bespoke pieces from scratch.

  1. Bespoke dinner options for kids

The food industry is only growing in Australia, so why not get in on the fun? Instead of trying to compete in a crowded adult market, look to the little ones, designing fare that mum, dad and the kids would enjoy. From sneaking in vegetables to otherwise sweet treats, or healthy convenient meals that can be whipped up in seconds, there’s plenty of scope to get creative in the kitchen.

  1. Editorial services

Not everyone loves putting pen to paper, so if you have a knack for it, now is the time to capitalise! Offering that pair of fresh eyes over any written material can be incredibly valuable to the right people, so it’s just a case of finding who they are. With a strong LinkedIn profile, a few choice connections and the capacity to pick a their from a there, you’ll be turning a profit in no time.

  1. Web development

Coding is the language of the future, so stay ahead of the crowd by investing your time in web development. There are a number of free apps and talks that can start you on the right track, introducing the basic concepts and helping you develop your skills. From there, it’s all about finding your niche – while the more complex operations might be out of reach, helping other small businesses with their web presence may be right up your alley.

Once you’ve decided on an idea, the next step is to create a business plan and to consider where you’ll operate your business from.

To get inspired, take a look at the types of commercial properties on offer.