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Simple Business Ideas (you wish you’d thought of first)

Amie Laura Parnaby
January 21, 2022
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simple business ideas

Sometimes thriving businesses can develop from simple business ideas. It’s incredible how some unique concepts require minimal set-up costs and fulfil needs people never knew they had. On the other hand, some seemingly simple ideas require a lot more start-up cost and preparation than you ever imagined

Some ideas begin from a position of necessity and a change in circumstances. You only have to look at how some people used the lockdowns and movement restrictions over the past two years to build entirely new businesses. Ones that fit the new environment in which we found ourselves.

What Makes a Simple Business Idea a Good Idea for You?

While it isn’t necessary to have all the expertise, knowledge or tools to implement simple business ideas, the easiest and cheapest options are those where you already have the fundamental skills. However, if you can acquire the knowledge or tools along the way, don’t let the lack of them hold you back from a potentially profitable enterprise.

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

Richard Branson

Using existing skills, knowledge, and passions will help you understand what you have to offer. You will also have a deeper comprehension of the current market, the target audience, and how to price yourself in the current climate.

A simplistic example could be house painting and decorating. Suppose you have never painted a house or hung wallpaper. In that case, you have no way of approximating your working hours or quoting for your time, materials and equipment. Moreover, it will probably take longer than if you were already familiar with the work, and you will need to purchase the tools.


On the other hand, if you have already made and altered clothing, you know how long it takes and how much fabrics usually cost. And you will already have the tools and materials, such as a sewing machine, pins and other consumables.

Simple business ideas tend to come from the most prosaic experiences -a specific skill or product you can offer to fulfil a need that you have observed. You might wish you had come up with some of the ideas mentioned below first. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement them in your local area for your profit. You might be the only one doing it for a different target market.

Simple Business Ideas – with Minimal Start-up Costs

You would be kidding yourself if you thought you could start a business without any investment. Aside from the time, effort and skills required, there will also be some money involved in the business set-up. Whether your investment means setting up a website, workspace, or even simply printing a supply of flyers and business cards, you need to put some money into your new venture.

There are other potential costs too. If you love working with children and want to start a child care service, you will need to invest in some qualifications – even if it’s just a children’s first-aid certificate for babysitting. If you already have bookkeeping skills and want to step it up to accountancy, you will need to invest in an accredited certification.

It depends on how much money you have to invest in your business and how far you want to take it.
With all of the suggestions above, you can start as a side gig while still maintaining your “day job”. They also have the potential to replace your 9-5, if that’s what you want.

30 Simple Business Ideas – whatever your skillset

I’m splitting these into different types of simple business ideas to make it easier for people to find their preferred niche. Whether you’re more focused on manual tasks, more cerebral, or want to use your talents.

Content Creation.

The web is a vast array of information and entertainment, and content creators populate it. 

  • Blogging
  • Book writing
  • Content marketing
  • Video creation
  • Podcasting  
  • Animation

Whether you want to create and monetise your own content or provide it for others, numerous options are available. If you have the skills to do any of these things, you could be in significant demand from businesses that don’t have the budget or the need to hire a full-time content creator. 

It’s has become a fact that even small businesses need an online presence, so hiring someone to take care of their website content only makes sense. However, these small businesses might only need this work once a week or even once a month. 

You could write a book that will help you impart your expertise and make passive income with the proper marketing. However, you might also consider ghostwriting for someone else if you have the right mindset. You won’t get the credit, but the marketing is up to someone else and you will still get paid.

Digital Skills

Right now, the world job market is approximately 25% computing and digital skills, which is only set to increase significantly over the next ten years. If you have those skills or are trying to develop them in areas that differ from your day job, think about creating a business that provides these skills.

You don’t need to be a computer programmer or digital genius to ply your trade in digital skills. Some examples are:

  • Web developer
  • App developer
  • Computer programmer
  • Virtual/Personal assistant
  • Social Media Management & marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Start-ups and small businesses outsource these skills frequently and don’t always have a continuous need. One of the benefits of working freelance for these companies is the breadth and variety of experience you can build from a broad range of business types. When you have a few clients in your portfolio, and a wide range of experience, you can easily find yourself in significant demand as an excellent contractor.

Caring for Others

You might love working with children or animals or just have a genuine love of interaction with people who need your attention and care. While setting up a daycare centre is significantly expensive, plying your abilities as a child carer or nanny might be less financially draining. Once children have moved beyond the infant years, it is often that case that parents only require childcare for a few hours after school or on weekends, so you can tailor your business to work within your hours of availability.

Some caring professions have nothing to do with children. Here are some examples of caring businesses that won’t break the bank to set up.

  • Baby sitting/Child minding
  • Petsitting/ Dog walking
  • Senior companion

If children aren’t your thing, pets and seniors also need company companionship and care. So many people bought or adopted pets while in lockdown to avoid loneliness in isolation or simply because their work schedule never allowed it before. However, now companies are beginning to demand the presence of their employees back in the office, leaving many pets home alone for the first time. Loneliness and separation anxiety isn’t just a problem for humans. Likewise, loneliness and isolation in seniors is also a problem.

If you want to enter a caring profession, you need an accredited qualification. However, if you merely provide company and home assistance rather than specialised or medical care, that is not an issue.

Physical & Manual Work

Perhaps you have DIY skills that are unused in your day job, or you want to change directions when creating a new business for yourself. Maybe you want to quit your day job and do something completely different. You can still do these on the side, but they could become physically demanding and take up a lot of time.

  • Handy work
  • Cleaning
  • Pool Maintenance
  • Delivery Driving
  • Gardening

Knowledge-based Work

One of the most profitable simple business ideas is sharing your knowledge. It requires very little financial outlay, and you need nothing but your mind and a method of reaching your clients. Whether they want to book a meeting with you or arrange a video call, you need a way for people to do that.

  • Tutoring
  • Life/Sports Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Bookkeeping/Accounting
  • Business consultation

Perhaps you have a degree in maths and can tutor exam groups, or you knit, sew or sculpt and want to share that information with others. The benefit of this kind of work is that you tutor or train groups, individuals, or be forward-thinking and create video courses for the masses.

Bookkeeping is always in demand, and many business owners will usually say it’s their least favourite part of their work. Take that task off their hands and create some delighted clients.

Skills, Talents & Hobbies

Do you have unused skills, natural talent or an avid hobby that you can turn into a profit? One of the critical things you need to understand about turning a hobby into a business is to ensure it is sustainable and that you charge enough for your services. Far too often, people with artistic or crafting skills underprice their creations because people are woefully ignorant of the amount of work that goes into creating them.

  • Photography
  • Visual Artist
  • Sewing and alterations
  • Crafting handmade items
  • Wood working/carpentry

This list is far from exhaustive, and there are hundreds of different skills and abilities that can become simple business ideas. I recently read about a woman who creates beautiful charcuterie boards for events – and I mean, “beautiful”, not delicious (although I suspect they are). Creating stunningly attractive displays of cold cuts, cheeses, fruits, nuts and sauces on gorgeous wooden boards is a side gig she does while working as a video content creator.

That’s an idea I would never have considered.

As simple business ideas go, anywhere you see demand, and you can fulfil the need, is a good business idea.

Before you do anything else

Once you have settled on one of the simple business ideas you want to pursue, you need to think of a name and a logo that reflect what your business will do. You won’t go very far without a business identity. The next thing you will need is a website. You don’t need to go overboard, but something tells your potential clients who you are, what you do, and list your qualifications to do the job. It would also be best to have testimonials from people who have used your services or bought your products. Perhaps you also have a portfolio is your skills lean towards the creative.

You will need a website, even if you start small and rely on social media profiles, to begin with – the website will be required for a professional finish.

Are you ready?

Whatever you have in mind, are you ready to make your simple business ideas into a functioning business? You might already be doing something for family and friends (and friends of friends), but you will never make a profit if you continue to work for “mates rates”. You need to create a business plan, even if it’s just a simple one. Let people know that it will be a business, rather than a hobby or a favour.

Just because you might thoroughly enjoy working with numbers, making repairs, or doing special occasion make-up, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t demand a fair rate for your services.

You aren’t ready until you know your worth and the value of the service or product you have to offer. But once you are there, the world is your oyster.

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