51 BEST NEW SMALL BUSINESS IDEAS OF 2020 (LOW-COST & ONLINE)

Looking for the best business ideas for 2020? With the rise of the digital economy and the “economy of the individual,” more people than ever want to start a business and be their own boss.

All you need is the right business idea to make it big.

For example, I started this blog as a small business idea in 2019 to make money online.

It now brings in over $74,000/month if you check out my latest Blog Income Report.

Over 63% of 20-somethings want to start their own business for the first time. The fact that you’re reading this article means you are on the same page and may even want to start a part-time side hustle.

You might not realize it, but even hobbies can turn into the best small business ideas with a little online marketing. Take dog walking for instance. It may not seem like a legitimate business idea at first.

But once you start running it solo and understand the ropes of pet sitting, you can build your dog walking agency, hire other dog walkers, create an app, and build your puppy walking empire.

And just like that, a business idea is born.

This guide will cover the best new small business ideas – many with low start-up costs and the ability to work from home. 

Let’s get started. 

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which provide me a small commission at no cost to you. These are merely good business tools to use in tandem with these home business ideas. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

WHAT ARE THE BEST BUSINESS IDEAS?

Here is a list of the 51 best small business ideas to start in 2020.

1. BEST ONLINE BUSINESS IDEA: BUILD YOUR OWN BLOG.

There are thousands of bloggers who are making handsome six figures by writing about their passion or expertise. Try to connect with a niche audience using your content, and you are likely to make more money with your blogging career.

In fact, according to statistics, 73% of bloggers who earn over $50,000 per year say they focus their content on the interests of a particular group.

Blogging - Best Business Ideas

To get started, I recommend you:

  • Choose a relevant domain name for your blog using a domain name generator.
  • Set up low-cost web hosting with an affordable hosting service like Bluehost.
  • Install a simple WordPress theme along with relevant plugins.
  • Get to know SEO tools and ways to perform keyword research to generate traffic to your site.
  • Become well versed in SEO writing to help your content rank.

Next, make a content calendar and start building a loyal audience base using various email marketing tools and marketing automation software. Furthermore, you can integrate it with Google Analytics to monitor your traffic and other essential metrics.

To help you with your blogging journey, join my free 7-day email series on the exact steps to take (and get a free 8-page blog launch checklist).

You can also check out these amazingly helpful blogging courses for beginners:

  • Blogging Masterclass: How to build a successful blog in 2019 (Udemy)
  • How to start a blog – Blogging for Beginners (Skillshare)

I recommend you get started with Bluehost for $2.95/month, which is 63% off their regular price.

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2. ONLINE COURSES AND COACHING.

It has become easier to share your knowledge or expertise via online course platforms. If you are a subject matter expert or passionate about something, then you can convert it into a substantial income.

Best business ideas online coaching

Offer online coaching classes to students, build a community to help while building your online coaching business. You can set up a Facebook page or even a podcast where you can reach out to people looking for online coaching classes.

There are also several online platforms, including Thinkific and Teachable, to help you get started quickly. You can register on these platforms and start coaching right away.

You can get started today with a One-Month Free Trial of the Thinkific Pro Plan with my link below.

Try Thinkific

3. DROPSHIPPING.

Best business ideas Dropshipping

If you have the ability to procure products in demand at lower prices, then you can start a lucrative dropshipping business by reselling those products at third-party sites like eBay or AliExpress. Dropshipping is a concept in which sellers procure products in bulk from suppliers and sell them further to the end-user.

Here’s a perfect breakdown of how dropshipping works:

Best Business Ideas Dropshipping

For dropshipping business ideas, you need to do extensive market research and identify critical products in high demand and can be procured easily at discounted prices. Check high-selling products on the leading ecommerce website, including Amazon, to gauge the current trend.

Learn more about dropshipping by taking an online course or by reading my ultimate guide to dropshipping.

I recommend you get started dropshipping with a free 14-day trial with Shopify.

4. GRAPHIC DESIGN.

Companies are always on a lookout for graphic designers for branding purposes.

From designing marketing collaterals, including banners, posters, and logos to creating stunning designs of landing pages, the opportunities here are immense.

Best Business Ideas Graphic Design

You can pitch your design skills to small business owners or individuals to start your gig. Graphic designers can also join freelance websites like Flexjobs to find relevant work.

If you have prior knowledge of this field, then getting clients would be helpful. However, learning the basics of graphic design from scratch is pretty easy, with a vast number of online courses.

You can leverage graphic design software like Adobe InDesign to learn the foundation of graphic design.

Alternatively, you can use other user-friendly online tools like Visme to hone your graphic design skills further.

Here are some amazing graphic design courses that will give you a great head start in this career:

I recommend you get started with Adobe InDesign as part of Creative Cloud

 

5. WEB DEVELOPMENT.

There are over 4 billion internet users in the world. And to cater to this massive online population, 6 out of 10 small businesses have a website. This is why web development is a valuable skill to cater to the surging demand for launching and upgrading websites.

Start by developing websites for your friends and family to polish your skills. New businesses are always looking for efficient coders at cost-effective prices. You can kickstart your career by offering competitive prices for your services and then slowly transform it into a more lucrative business plan by solidifying your portfolio.

Best Business Ideas Web Development

Every web developer must have basic coding skills in computer languages like CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Java. There are several free or cheap online courses including Treehouse, the Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy and Codecademy that can help you learn to code and get started with web development.

6. INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER.

Best Business Ideas Instagram Influencer

With the rise of social media channels like Instagram, now consumers are increasingly turning to niche influencers to get advice on a product they are looking to purchase.

This is what being an Instagram Influencers is all about.

The term evokes images of promoting energy drinks and raving about skincare products.

Kylie Jenner, anyone?

Best Business ideas Instagram Influencer

But it’s much more than that.

First, you have to choose your niche. It can be anything, from tech to beauty to health. Make sure to select the domain area you are passionate about and are well versed with.

Next, you have to build a solid Instagram following by posting interesting stuff about your life and talk about things that are relevant to your target audience.

Once you build a healthy following, brands and affiliate marketers will contact you automatically for collaborations with handsome pay-outs.

People with the right marketing skills, know-how, and thousands of Instagram followers can earn anything from $500 to $6000 per post. Even if it can publish 3-4 posts a week, it becomes an extremely profitable business.

You can check out this course on Udemy to learn a ton about Instagram marketing.

7. PHONE CASE BUSINESS.

Best business ideas Smartphone case business

There are more than 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world, and the number is increasing every day.

Best Business Ideas Smartphone users

Since everyone worries over the safety of their Smartphone, Smartphone cases are one of the top-selling mobile phone accessories. As a result, mobile case sellers are raking in 6 or 7 figures income by selling smartphone cases in huge volumes.

Mobile cases don’t have to be bland and boring. People today are showing interest in various types of mobile case designs, with interesting artworks, witty quotes, or funky designs.

You need to be creative and innovative to create a collection of smartphone cases that your audience would be attracted to. One Etsy store managed to sell handmade cases worth $60,000 in its first year.

The idea is to find your own unique niche.

Best business ideas mobile cases

You can easily list your collection of new products on ecommerce giants like Amazon and eBay. Once you start making some money, there is always the option of launching your own boutique website on a platform like Shopify to cut down commissions.

8. AFFILIATE MARKETING.

Best business ideas Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing.

It’s been a buzzword in the marketing arena for quite some time.

When someone asks how to make passive money online, a lot of people automatically envision affiliate marketing. Brands that want to sell products online create new affiliate programs and allow affiliates (publishers and bloggers) to promote their products and earn commissions.

According to one blog income report study, bloggers making between $7500 — $25k per month make 38% of their income from affiliate marketing.

Best Business Ideas - Affiliate Marketing

In simple terms, Affiliate marketing is a business model where bloggers and influencers recommend services or products they like or find useful, something that will be genuinely helpful for their followers, and earn a percentage of profit for each sale that follows.

Here’s a perfect rundown of how affiliate marketing works:

Best Business Ideas - How Affiliate Marketing Works

To get started, register with networks like ShareASaleAwinRakutenClickbank, or Skimlinks to start making money from the type of content being published on the website. The income will gradually grow along with the growth of your website – Sky’s the limit here.

To get more pertinent insights, check out this blog post of mine about the 105+ best affiliate programs to join this year.

9. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT.

Best business ideas Virtual Assistant

You can use your excellent organizational skills to create an extra stream of income. Virtual assistants are in high demand by corporations, freelancers, and every kind of business.

It is also an excellent opportunity to know successful and influential people from different fields of work to build a vast professional network. At the same time, it also provides you the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world while developing your professional skills.

People are always looking for efficient Virtual Assistants on freelance job websites like Flexjobs.

10. SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER.

Best business ideas Social media manager

Billions of people are on social media, and businesses are spending millions to reach their target audience through various social media platforms. If you are glued to social channels and understand how the eco-systems work, then you can put your knowledge to good use and start your own social media marketing business.

Small businesses, start-ups, and influencers with massive social media presence are always looking for capable social media managers to help them grow their social media presence. You can pitch for social media account management and help businesses run paid ad campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels.

Websites, including FlexjobsCareerBuilder, and Fiverr offer a lot of jobs related to social media management.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which provide me a small commission at no cost to you. These are merely good business tools to use in tandem with these home business ideas. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy in the footer.

11. TRAVEL CONSULTANT.

Best business ideas Travel Consultant

If traveling is your passion and you are always updated about things like best airplane ticket options and hotel deals, then you fit the bill.

You can start by helping your family and friends, securing the best travel deals. It will help you earn free word of mouth publicity and kickstart the growth of your freelance travel consulting business.

Create pages on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp to promote your business and connect with people who want to leverage great deals. When you develop a solid follower base, you can also collaborate with travel agencies to cut exclusive deals for your customers.

To make it a full-time career, you can also consider earning a certification in travel consulting.

12. INTERIOR DESIGNER.

Best business ideas Interior Designer

People have become more aware and tasteful about how their homes look. There is always a need for an interior designer who can tell which color will suit your walls and what is the right place to put your armchair.

You can take inspiration from Pinterest, which offers plenty of interior designing ideas to take inspiration from. You can even start by pitching your expertise to people in your acquaintance to gain confidence before going starting officially.

Here is the list of free interior design courses you can opt for to get a formal education.

13. WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.

Best business ideas Wedding Photographer

Wedding photography has become grander and fetches handsome pay per project. Professional wedding photographers can charge anything between $2500 – $10,000 and even more for each photoshoot.

At the start, you can build your clientele by searching online and registering on aggregators, including MyWed, to find the business. You can also reach out to potential clients through Facebook and Instagram.

To hone your skills, you can either take online wedding photography classes or learn by reading this detailed guide. Here is the list of wedding photography gear you would need to start your wedding photography business.

14. WORDPRESS WEBSITE CONSULTANT.

Best business ideas WordPress consultant

WordPress is the go-to platform for small businesses and budding bloggers to start a website of their own. If you are well versed in how to set up a WordPress blog, then people can pay you hundreds of dollars for your skills.

Apart from WordPress consulting, you can also offer digital marketing services to your clients to diversify your revenue stream. It will help your clients bring relevant traffic to their website.

If you build a successful business as a WordPress website consultant, you can even transform your business into a full-fledged digital marketing agency.

You can learn more about building websites on WordPress through courses on Skillshare.

15. DRIVE AN UBER.

Best business ideas Drive an Uber

Driving an Uber can help you earn a substantial amount of side money. Apart from driving, no specific skills are required to start this side business.

You can check all the requirements on Uber’s website to know the feasibility of your decision.

Best Business Ideas Uber Driver

However, before making a final decision, it is essential to factor in the costs of gas, wear and tear, toll charges, and maintenance to identify actual profits per month. You can use this helpful calculator to calculate actual earnings.

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16. DEVELOP AN APP.

Best business ideas Develop an App

There is an app for anything and everything – and they are making thousands of dollars. Bet you won’t be able to find a niche for which there is no app built yet.

The best part is that you don’t have to worry if your coding skills are good or not. Head to this course to learn about how you can build apps with little or no coding skills. But before implementing it, do some market research about the competition, revenue model, and feasibility of the app.

Look at some of the successful apps, including Instagram and Snapchat; all were built for a specific target audience and are now worth billions.

17. BUY AND SELL DOMAIN NAMES.

Trading of domains is an old tactic to make some extra money. But if you get lucky, then you can earn millions. The domain name Insure.com was bought for $16 million in 2009.

Best business ideas Sell domain names

The key is to identify interesting blog names that have the potential to sell later. Buy them with cheap hosting plans and wait until a buyer approaches you. Building a desirable domain portfolio could take years. Keep researching and be patient.

However, the long term viability of this business is debatable. Hence, it is better not to go full time with this idea. This Investopedia article explains in detail about domain trading.

18. FREELANCE CONTENT WRITING.

Best business ideas Freelance Writing

Content writers are in huge demand, especially for digital marketing purposes. If you have a knack for crafting engaging stories and writing articles, then you can turn your skills into a lucrative freelance writing business.

From website copy to blog posts and email newsletters, you can write content for a variety of things. Experienced freelancers earn anything between $1000 to $5000 in a week. You can also take up editing and proofreading work to help clients upload error-free work.

Freelance content writing offers you the opportunity to earn from any location. Check out my article on freelance writing jobs to polish your skills further.

If you are starting out, you can find work on websites like:

Once you build your portfolio, you can even launch your own website where you can welcome inbound leads. Other than this, you can connect with potential clients on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

19. DATA ANALYSIS.

Best business ideas Data Analysis

Businesses are becoming data-driven to make more informed decisions. Talented data analysts, who can make sense of heaps of data and bring actionable insights on the table, are in high demand. If you are great with numbers and have sufficient technical knowledge, then this is the job you would love.

The data analyst industry also offers lucrative pay for full-time jobs as well. An average data analyst earns around $60,000 per year.

You can learn more about data analysis by taking online courses from edX and Coursera. Once you build your data analytical prowess, you can search for both remote data analysis jobs on platforms like Flexjobs.

20. AIRBNB HOST.

Best business ideas Airbnb host

You can make the most out of your unused space by listing your property on Airbnb. It has become a lucrative business for millions of homeowners who want to earn some extra side income.

Aside from renting out your room or apartment, it also provides an excellent opportunity to meet different people from all over the world. However, you might need to stay available on call to help out your guests with local requirements. You should also check if there are any rent control measures in your local area to be aware of.

You also have the option to enhance this business by offering food, personalized experiences like city tours, and transport on a chargeable basis. This article from Fundera talks in detail about how to calculate your earning potential from Airbnb.

Start earning money as an Airbnb host today. 

21. PERSONAL TRAINER OR WELLNESS COACH.

Best business ideas Fitness Trainer

Personal fitness trainers are in high demand. If you are into fitness and know the technicalities of workout and diet plan, then you can make some extra money by helping people become fit.

Once you find the right clients and build a stellar reputation, the job is both physically and financially beneficial. Aside, you can also learn online about fitness diets to add more value to your service.

There’s also an option of starting your own fitness blog to share your fitness tips with a wider audience and position yourself as an authority in the business.

Strive to learn more about fitness training and earn a certification to add more credibility to your profession. You can also opt to become a wellness or mental health coach land offer continuing education credits like Core Wellness.

22. CREATE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

Best business ideas YouTube Channel

Several YouTubers are making thousands of dollars by vlogging about their passion, skills, travel, food, reviews, and stand-up comedy videos, among others.

Pick a niche you are passionate about and have sufficient knowledge to create engaging and unique videos. The more entertaining content you post, the more views and subscribers you will gain.

Several successful YouTubers earn millions by posting videos. However, an average YouTube earns around $3 to $5 per 1000 views.

Before starting your YouTube channel, learn about YouTube guidelines and how to use its tools. Also, invest in a good camera and microphone to make quality videos for greater earning potential.

23. TRANSLATOR.

Best business ideas Translator

Your expert knowledge of another language can help you earn handsome money. Translators are always in demand, but good translators are rare to find.

You can land lucrative jobs if you know the correct application of grammar and spell the words correctly. There are thousands of jobs listed on Flexjobs for translators.

24. TOUR GUIDE.

Best business ideas Tour Guide

If you are living in a tourist hotspot and love interacting with new people, then you can easily become a tour guide. However, you also need to have extensive knowledge of your surroundings along with its history and culture.

You can launch your own tour guide company to help tourists get the best experience during their travel. On top of that, you can offer a little something extra by arranging vintage vehicles or unique local food for the travelers to stand apart from other travel agencies.

Tour guides also earn handsome tips if they delight their clients with their services. Read this detailed article to find out the qualities you need in a tour guide.

25. STOCK PHOTOGRAPHERS.

Best business ideas Stock Photographers

From websites and banners to social media and marketing, stock images are used everywhere. If you have a DSLR and decent photoshop skills, then you can easily sell your images to stock photo websites including PexelsUnsplash, and Shutterstock, among others.

Every time a client uses your photo, you get paid with a markup amount. You can later build your own website to secure better corporate projects.

Before considering the profession, learn about the type of equipment and investment, you would need to start stock photography. I recently put together a list of 18 best photo editing software for photographers, which might come in handy while building your stock photography business.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which provide me a small commission at no cost to you. These are merely good business tools to use in tandem with these home business ideas. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy in the footer.

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26. GHOSTWRITER.

Best business ideas Ghostwriter

Ghostwriters might not get the credit for what they write, but they sure make a lot of money. Jeff Hadden has made millions just by writing for famous and successful people. He started writing as a side gig and ended up making a lucrative career out of it.

You can secure ghostwriting gigs on FlexJobs. Beginners can expect to earn anything between $15 to $30 per hour depending upon their quality of work. Once you gain experience and develop a portfolio, your remuneration can increase exponentially.

Learn the ethics and rules of ghostwriting before entering the arena.

27. DJ-ING.

Best business ideas DJ-ing

If you know the art of mixing beats and have a taste for music, then you have the ability to become the DJ of your next local gig. Famous DJs usually earn thousands of dollars per month by doing a bunch of gigs.

However, it is not that simple. You need to learn the basics of sound mixingdesign, and production of music before cutting to the professional scene. Go through this guide to get a better idea of how to get started.

I’d suggest you first take an online DJ course to understand the nuances of art to build a successful career as a DJ.

28. TAILORING.

Best business ideas Tailoring

Style and fashion are always a topic of discussion. Naturally, being a good tailor is a great business opportunity. Your expertise to design and make designer-clothes within a limited budget can help you get access to a wide array of customers.

According to Entrepreneur.com, the business of alteration and tailoring requires a minimal investment of $2000. But you always have the option to start small and build your business gradually.

You can take an online fashion designing course from Oxford Home Study to gain more technical expertise in clothing and styling.

29. BAKING.

Best business ideas Baking

Baking can make you a lot of money. However, you should have a knack to make scrumptious delicacies, then only you will be able to sell them at premium prices. People always give more value and preference to hand-made and gourmet baked products.

To get started, you also need to stock up some essential cooking equipment.

You can start by cooking something as simple as your mom’s perfect recipe for cookies to perfect your skills. Later, you can master a bunch of niche recipes to create your own USP and command premium rates on your products.

You can find free baking classes on Skillshare to master your baking skills further.

30. FREELANCE CONTENT MARKETING.

Best business ideas Freelance content marketing

Startups, small businesses, and influencers are always looking to scale up their online presence by promoting high-quality, engaging content.

Your expertise in providing highly-effective content marketing strategies can help you get some high-ticket clients. Once you start building a portfolio of established clientele, you stand a chance to earn thousands of dollars per project.

You can start looking into your existing network to find out about the companies that are seeking content marketers to build their brand.

Content marketing is a dynamic skill set, and as technology keeps on evolving, you need to be on your toes to stay updated. Keep following top content marketing blogs to stay in the groove.