April 16, 2024

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40 Best Startup Business Ideas for 2024

40 Best Startup Business Ideas for 2024

Aspiring entrepreneurs are often one brilliant startup business idea away from becoming their own boss. Of course, brilliance is easier said than done when starting a business.

The best startup ideas have business plans that solve a problem, meet an unmet demand or improve upon something already on the market — if not all of the above. Here are 40 ideas to help get your wheels turning as you look to bring a company to life.

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40 best startup business ideas

Even startup ideas that seemingly come out of left field can yield incredible success. Read through this list for instant inspiration.

1. Create educational content or activities

Parents are always looking for tools and activities to keep their kids entertained and engaged. Printable activity guides for different age groups, home-school lesson plans or even virtual nature walks or story time could all be viable startup ideas.

2. Offer virtual team-building

Companies need new ways to boost morale and build camaraderie among remote and hybrid teams. Enter the virtual team-builder. Cheesemongers, mixologists, chefs, magicians, artists, historians, master gardeners — almost anyone can create and offer bonding experiences for virtual companies.

3. Start a meal-prep business

The U.S. market for meal kits is expected to grow 14.2% annually between 2023 and 2030, according to market analysis by Grand View Research

. Tap into that market and start a meal-prep service to make people’s lives easier and cater to specialized diets (keto, vegan, Whole30).

4. Create a food waste solution

Creating a startup focused on reducing food waste could not only earn you some serious funding, but also positively change the food system and help save grocery stores and restaurants money.

5. Capitalize on plant-based foods

The U.S. plant-based market was worth $8 billion in 2022, with sales of plant-based foods projected to climb 44% over three years, according to the most recent annual report from the Good Food Institute

6. Start a dropshipping business

The e-commerce business model of dropshipping is especially attractive because it doesn’t require you to purchase inventory upfront. Selling higher-end products with low shipping costs could become profitable quickly if you do thorough competition research.

7. Curate subscription boxes

Subscription boxes were a $32.9 billion business globally in 2023 (up from $22.7 billion in 2021), and the industry is still set to grow, according to a market research report by the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group

. Pick a niche, and then curate a collection of specialized goods to deliver unique experiences to consumers. Some subscription boxes focus on a mix of products, like makeup or dog toys; others focus on a single item or theme, like shaving or sustainability. Find the right starting point for you and run with it.

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8. Create an airport-centric app

Creating an all-in-one app that allows travelers tonavigate unfamiliar airports with real-time information is a relatively untapped startup idea. Though various travel applications exist, an app that shows amenities, TSA line wait times, ground transportation options and airport maps could be useful to passengers.

9. Become a destination wedding planner

Planning a wedding is stressful; planning a wedding from afar could fray any couple’s nerves. That creates a niche for a destination wedding planner who can advise on venue and vendor selections, as well as manage wedding and travel logistics for the bridal party and guests. If you love exploring, have expertise in a popular wedding locale and are great under pressure, this could be the startup idea for you.

10. Make local guides

Even if you don’t consider yourself a local expert, creating local guides can get you familiar with your surroundings and help tourists enjoy off-the-beaten-path experiences in your area. Make themed guides, highlight attractions and partner with local businesses for advertising opportunities.

11. Create a local grocery delivery service

A grocery delivery startup can come with minimal setup costs — you only need a vehicle and a cell phone to get started. Help older people or others who are too busy to shop by offering this community-friendly service. You can even approach grocery stores in your area to see if they’re willing to partner with you to get the service off the ground.

12. Start a virtual event planning company

Virtual event planning is a new booming business as in-person gatherings go online or take a hybrid approach. A skilled planner who can ensure all attendees are engaged, regardless of location, will be in high demand for years to come.

13. Sell zero-waste products

Starting a zero-waste company is more than just a trendy thing to do; it can be an ethical, environmentally conscious decision. Selling sustainable products such as reusable bags, bamboo toothbrushes or products with zero-waste packaging could appeal to a growing number of sustainability-focused consumers.

14. Make products for pets

Create innovative pet products to take advantage of the fact that 66% of U.S. households (about 86.9 million households) have at least one animal companion, according to the annual pet ownership survey by the American Pet Products Association

15. Create custom clothing

Selling custom clothing or offering a tailoring service could be your winning startup idea. The custom clothing industry is gaining popularity and offers room for long-term growth.

16. Sell vintage clothing online

Demand for sustainable fashion has helped propel second-hand clothing into a $39 billion industry in the U.S. with projections to hit $70 billion by 2027, according to an annual resale report by online consignment company ThredUp

17. Begin niche blogging

Find a niche (think e-sports or urban farming) and create engaging content around it. You can earn money through advertising, affiliate links and even product sales once you build an audience.

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18. Become an e-book writer

If you’ve got a way with words, consider becoming a self-published author and selling e-books on virtual platforms.

19. Start ghostwriting

Create content for busy professionals who don’t have the time or the skill to write themselves. If you don’t mind not attaching your name to your writing, ghostwriting is a great way to earn money with little to no startup costs attached.

20. Become a resume writer

Everyone needs a resume, but few people are skilled at or enjoy writing their own. If you’ve got writing experience and are looking to launch a startup with no setup costs, creating a resume-writing service could be the path for you.

21. Open a coworking space

Capitalize on the rising popularity of remote work by creating a modern coworking space that addresses pain points of entrepreneurs. Pick a convenient location and build it out with highly sought-after amenities.

22. Become an online coach

If you enjoy helping others achieve their goals and are a people person, this startup idea could be fulfilling for yourself and for your clientele. You can provide wellness, business or life coaching.

23. Flip failing websites

Buy an existing website, make improvements on it and sell it for a profit. You’ll need to understand the market well and have some web development skills, but this can be a profitable pursuit.

24. Become a web developer

The need for custom websites isn’t ever going away, and if you know your way around WordPress or know a programming language or two, you can start a profitable website development startup.

25. Start a podcast

If you’re deeply knowledgeable or passionate about a subject, consider getting into podcast production or hosting. Building an audience takes time, but once established, podcasters can earn money through affiliate marketing, donations and sponsorships.

26. Be a social media influencer

Once you find a niche and build a personal brand, amassing a large following on Instagram or YouTube can lead to a solid source of income through influencer marketing.

27. Create online courses

Obscure hobbies can lead to lucrative business ideas if you make them easy for others to learn. If you’d like to teach others but aren’t interested in the coaching route, creating an online course could lead to reliable passive income.

28. Become a marketing consultant

If you’ve got digital marketing chops, help small businesses reach their target audiences by providing SEO, social media or copywriting services.

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29. Develop an app

If you’ve got a unique idea and the necessary technical skills, creating an app could be your gold mine. It’s also possible to build an app without extensive coding skills, and once it launches, it can bring in passive earnings.

30. Make a smart appliance

Smart accessories and home appliances are all the rage and becoming an important part of daily life for the average consumer. For inspiration, take note of daily tasks at home or at work that would be easier with a smart appliance.

31. Tap into virtual reality experiences

VR is the future, and the future is now. Create virtual reality experiences or accessories to tap into a global industry that’s projected to grow to a $165.91 billion market by 2030, according to a report by Fortune Business Insights

32. Make a niche dating site

The stigma around online dating has decreased over the past decade, so take the opportunity to help others find love. With various dating sites targeted to everyone from sea captains to farmers, there is market demand for specialty dating options.

33. Develop a chatbot

Create a chatbot — which uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people — to help businesses improve their communication. Chatbots have become more popular in recent years, and you can create one without knowing how to code.

34. Offer matchmaking skills

This is like creating a dating site but with a personal touch. If you have a knack for knowing what types of people and which personalities get along well, you might be the perfect person to start matchmaking. You can do this online or meet clients in person as well.

35. Be a virtual assistant

Being an online assistant for someone, or starting a company of virtual assistants, can be a huge success. Everyone could use a little extra help, and creating a startup focused around getting people that help for the administrative tasks in their lives, professional or personal, can be a huge moneymaker.

36. Reinvent exercising

If there’s one thing people get bored with, it’s doing the same type of exercise day in and day out to stay healthy. Plenty of people have turned the exercise industry on its head, with businesses like CrossFit and Peloton popping up. You can do the same if you have an idea for a new regimen or activity for exercise enthusiasts.

37. Create eco-friendly, health-friendly makeup and beauty products

As people become more aware of the impact their personal choices have on their health and on the environment, they’re looking for more health and beauty products that are also eco-friendly. Creating safe and eco-friendly products could be a great startup idea.

38. Open a food truck or restaurant pop-up

Opening a food truck or restaurant pop-up is a great startup idea for entrepreneurs with a knack for cooking. Both options are easier to launch than a full-scale restaurant and allow you to get started with a smaller staff and menu. You can open a food truck that only sells french fries with crazy toppings, for example, or launch a breakfast sandwich pop-up in your neighborhood coffee shop.

39. Start an organization business

Shows like “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” and “The Home Edit” put professional organizing on the map, exposing millions to the magic of a tidy home. If you have a knack for making order out of chaotic spaces, you could start a business offering those services to those who need them. Organizing kitchen pantries, closets, bookshelves and more are all options you could offer customers at your new business.

40. Do interior design for young professionals

Have an eye for decorating? Start an interior design business, offering your services at an hourly rate virtually to young professionals looking for inspiration. It can be as simple as them uploading some images of their new space to your site and you sending back a few links with furniture in their budget and example images of what the room might look like when it’s finished.

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How to choose a startup idea

Do your homework before diving headfirst into a startup idea. First, make sure there’s demand for the business you want to start, where you want to start it. More than 35% of businesses fail because there isn’t a market need for their services or product, according to research from CB Insights

You also need to write a business plan, which should include your company’s objective, sales plan, market analysis and financial projections. A good business plan can help to keep your business on track. Lenders will also want to see your business plan when considering you for a startup business loan. You should also consider the skills you already have and see how those align with any of the startup business ideas you might go with.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.