6 Small Business Ideas with Big Potential: A Detailed Guide

Nov 13, 2023 By Susan Kelly

We've all heard of the Silicon Valley startup phenomenon. It's an exciting time to be an entrepreneur, with access to resources and funding that may not have been possible five years ago. It's more than just the idea, it's about execution and your ability to take risks and learn from failure. In order to succeed in entrepreneurship, you need more than just a good idea--you need execution, persistence, and resiliency in the face of inevitable failures.

Create an online training program:

It's pretty easy these days to teach people how to do something--you can create YouTube videos, launch a blog, or even create an online course like the ones available at Udemy, Skillshare, and Udacity.com.

How can they reach out to me? You can use social media, but don't underestimate the power of email--more people will open an email than click on a tweet or a YouTube link. Watch your email inbox for questions that your customers may have and answer them publicly (It's never too early to contribute to your community!)

Who are potential customers? Look at optimizing websites for local businesses and figure out what their approach should be (a/b testing, etc.). Find businesses that need some help bringing traffic in or where there's a lot of competition. Focus on the customer and the problem, not on your technology or unique features.

How much can I make? You won't know until the program launches, but if you have big-name instructors, and if it's something that people will pay for, then this could be a significant source of income.

Online business:

The Internet has made it possible for small businesses to grow rapidly by providing social media marketing tools like Facebook and Twitter, plus search engine optimization strategies. These are things you can teach a company, but you may be able to scale this even further by setting up an online business where they can learn these things on their own.

How can they reach out to me? Set up a site with lots of social media posts and white papers that your customers can reference.

Who are potential customers? Local businesses that have to manage their reputation in the community have a lot of work to do. Start by finding local businesses that have been in the community for a long time and check out their approach to marketing--then help them make it better or more efficient!

How much can I make? When it comes down to it, online businesses are no different than physical ones. You're still selling a product or a service. As long as you're able to take care of your customers and provide them with value, there's no reason why this business can't generate significant revenue.

Sell things online:

Look at the world around you (or your office or home) and think about marketable products that people could use in their daily lives. The idea that every business is a startup is not new--people have been figuring out ways to solve their problems for as long as there have been people.

How can they reach out to me? You can use social media or an online presence to explain what you're offering and how it solves a problem. Start with people who already know you or who already trust you.

Who are potential customers? People usually want something simple, easy, and convenient. If your business allows them to get one step closer to reaching some kind of goal or objective, then you will have a customer base.

How much can I make? This is a cash-flow business. You're selling things in order to make money and once you have customers, you'll be able to meet their needs without having to sell anything else. Over time, this can turn into a large and recurring income.

Do IT:

There are people who do IT better than anyone else, they are the experts and you can help them by offering your services to the small businesses that rely on them. Talk about the fact that there's an army of programmers out there that know more about IT than everyone else put together, but no one has figured out how to teach them what they know effectively (or as efficiently as possible).

How can they reach out to me? Use social media and email lists.

Who are potential customers? Small businesses that don't have the time or money to hire an IT professional to solve their problems or people who are self-employed and find themselves in a position where they need IT help.

How much can I make? You'll earn a certain amount of revenue each month from your clients, based on their needs. The amount you make often depends on how many hours you log working for the client.

Do marketing in real-time:

You can help local businesses market themselves more effectively by doing real-time marketing in your business, like search engine optimization. You'll be able to use the same knowledge that you used when you built your consulting firm and bring it to the business world.

How can they reach out to me? Social media and email lists are great for this.

Who are potential customers? Local businesses that don't have branding or who don't have a marketing expert on staff will benefit most from this kind of marketing. Make sure that you help people who need something and work with local companies so they know they're a priority to you--that way they will want to pay you.

How much can I make? As with any other kind of business, it will depend on how much work you get done and how long your customers stay with you. You're going to be providing them a service that will help them compete in the marketplace and over time you should see a growing number of clients.

A personal brand:

If you can become a thought leader or an expert in your field, then people will come to you for advice, services, or information. Once they know they can trust you and your recommendations, they'll be more likely to invest in your business.

How can they reach out to me? Talk about what you're offering, what you have done, and how it could benefit their company. Give them a phone call or an email message.

Who are potential customers? People who don't have the time or money to get the services of a marketing expert will benefit most from this kind of business. Work with people who need things, not just want them.

How much can I make? You can earn recurring revenue, like a royalty or an annual fee, from the business that buys your services. Over time, this kind of business will be able to turn into a large and recurring income.

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