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New small businesses pop up every day across the country, and a significant portion of those new businesses are started by women. Women are starting businesses doing everything from accounting and bookkeeping to dog walking and freelance graphic design.
The options can seem endless and deciding which small business idea you find most interesting or want to start for yourself can be tricky. The good news is, if you’re considering starting a business, you aren’t going it alone. From 2017 to 2018, there were about 1,800 new businesses started by women each day, according to American Express’s 2018 report “The State of Women-Owned Business.”
Some people start their businesses for a little extra money on the side of their regular income while others start them with the intention of the business being their full-time job and sole source of income. Before starting your business there are a number of things to consider like what you’re looking for and what your existing skills are. Here's what to consider before deciding to start your own business and how to choose one that’s right for you.
How to choose a business idea
Step one of how to start your business is finding the perfect business idea for you. Choosing something you’re passionate about, and considering the skills and resources you already have can be helpful.
There are a number of businesses you can consider like personal service providers, animal care, educational services, marketing and freelance work, technology services, travel services, and more.
Below we’ve listed 50 of the best small-business ideas for women.
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The 50 best business ideas for women
Marketing and sales business ideas for women
A number of businesses fall under this category and you might already have experience with some of them. If you do have experience, that can work to your advantage and make you a more in-demand freelancer in that field.
A lot of the work listed below can be done on a freelance basis giving you more flexibility. You can diversify your clients if you want to, or work as much or as little as you would like, on your own time. Businesses specializing in some of these services are great for working from home or on your own schedule.
Editing and proofreading
Public relations consulting
SEO consulting and strategy
Social media management
Personal service business ideas for women
There are a few different types of work that all fall under the personal services category. There’s a demand for almost every task out there that people have to get done, whether that be helping prepare their kids for the SAT or getting the dog groomed. That means there are also plenty of business opportunities and needs for you to fill.
Some of the businesses below are seasonal, making them ideal if you’re looking for a bit of extra cash but not a full-time job.
College essay editing
College application counseling
Dog daycare provider
Dog training services
Home services and repair
Personal fitness training
Business support ideas for women
Businesses can always use a little extra help and it can be your business’s job to help them. Bookkeeping and accounting are just two of the heavy lifting tasks that some companies need help with and you could provide that extra support.
But there are plenty of other tasks your business could help with too. Supportive business services are something more businesses need and find useful.
Remote customer service
Business event planning
Creative services and goods business ideas for women
If you’re crafty or artistic there’s a good chance you’ve considered how you could turn that skill into some extra cash, or maybe even a whole business. There are a number of ways you could go with this, starting an online store or opening your own brick-and-mortar shop are just two of many.
Online shops like Etsy allow you to easily turn your crafting hobby into a stream of extra income. Other hobbies like baking can also be turned into your own business, maybe it starts with making a cake for an anniversary or birthday party but that business could quickly grow. Some other creative services and goods that can turn into a business are listed below.
Online e-commerce platforms are created specifically for helping you list your business and products online. Some of the most popular ones include Shopify and Squarespace. If you’re looking for something more simple you could also try selling on Facebook using Facebook’s business pages as your online shop.
Handmade item retailer
Antique or thrift shop owner
Travel advisor/trip agency
Technology business ideas for women
Just like with marketing and creative freelancing and consulting, the world of tech has a lot of opportunities for people looking to make it freelancing and doing contract work. There are opportunities to work on short- and long-term projects in the tech field and — like with marketing — work on your own schedule.
Freelance website designing
Web securities specialist
What to consider before starting your own business
Even if you feel like you’re ready to go ahead and start your own business, there are still so many factors to consider when choosing the type of small business you want to start. You might not be sure where to start, so here are some of the top considerations you should make before deciding on one of the businesses we list later on.
Will this be your main source of income, or in addition to the income you already make?
What will the business startup costs be? How much do you have to invest in the business as of now, will you need further financing and if so, where will it come from?
How much time do you want to spend on your business? This relates to the first one, is this your main job or a side gig?
Do you want to use skills you already have and monetize them? Or do you want to learn new skills entirely for this new business?
Once you’ve thought about what you’re looking for in your new business, you can start considering the type of work you’d like your business to do. Keep in mind that your small business can be just you as a sole proprietor, it doesn’t necessarily require that you have more than one person working there.
What advice do other female entrepreneurs have?
No matter what you choose as your business you can use the wisdom of others who have gone down the same path as you before with their own businesses. Advice from other female entrepreneurs can help you avoid making the mistakes others have made before you.
Other entrepreneurs have emphasized the importance of making time for resting and relaxing, learning from your mistakes, finding your confidence and more. Articles about female entrepreneurs and women in business can be helpful, but there are other business resources for women specifically available as well.
Development programs, forums, networking sites and more are also all available for women online and in communities. Groups of businesswomen online on LinkedIn and Facebook can be helpful for women looking to get into business. Search for some groups related to women in business or the type of business you’d like to enter to find a forum that could be helpful to you.
This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.