The Best Local Business Ideas for Uncertain Times

The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the playing field for small businesses. As more and more of us look to boost our income, we might be thinking about starting our own ventures. If that’s the case, it’s important to have the right ideas. We believe there are several ways to create a small business with a firm foundation:

  • Choose a business idea that you’re qualified to do, and a location where you can be successful.
  • Stay close to home and start a business in your own town.
  • Don’t take on too much debt or risk.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered a selection of residential-area business ideas that can help you become your own boss.

Local Farmers Market Vendor or Roadside Food Stand Business

If you’re able to produce good quality food, then selling it at a farmer’s market or a stand can be a useful way to get started. You don’t even need to grow the food yourself. For example, you could:

  • Create interesting recipes for baked goods and sell bread, cookies, muffins, and others.
  • Grow flowers, seedlings, and saplings.
  • Make specialty foods like jams, jellies, pickles, and more.
  • Produce art, design, and images.
  • Go into other areas like soap making or crafts.

Local Laundry and Clothing Alterations Business

People will always pay others for convenience, especially when it comes to certain chores—like doing laundry. With this in mind, there are several services you could offer:

  • Laundry collection and sorting. 
  • Washing of laundry, including for special cycles or programs.
  • Ironing of clothes after they’ve been washed.
  • Folding and returning.

If you’re a dab hand with a needle, then you can also make clothing alterations part of what you offer. 

Local Home or Office Cleaning Services Business

Cleaning services may be in even greater demand than laundry. Individuals and businesses need a good, reliable, and trustworthy cleaning service. Many successful entrepreneurs cut their teeth by starting a cleaning business as it gives a great, all-around education on how to run a business successfully.

There are several types of cleaning business you could run:

  • Household cleaning for homeowners, including dusting, vacuuming, cleaning, mopping, and other tasks.
  • Professional cleaning for business premises and offices.
  • Window cleaning for homes or businesses.
  • Outside cleaning for house sidings, decks, and patios.

Local Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Business

Millions of households have companion animals, and a person who is good with pets can make a business out of caring for furry friends. Types of services might include:

  • Visiting the house a couple of times a day to feed and interact with pets.
  • Staying in someone’s home while they’re away to provide reassurance that pets are looked after at all times.
  • Creating good experiences for pets through play and interaction.
  • Walking dogs around the neighborhood.

Local Handmade Jewelry or Artisan Craft Business

If you’re talented with your hands, you can turn that into a successful small business. You might sell your goods locally at a stand or through retailers. You can also offer your goods online through Etsy or your own website. The type of craft or artisan business you run will depend on your skills but might include:

  • Making jewelry and personal accessories.
  • Creating luxury personal care products, like soap, makeup, moisturizers, shampoo, and the like.
  • Using an artisan skill like woodturning, pottery, or candle-making to create unique products.
  • Designing clothes and clothing accessories, including t-shirts, scarves, or entire outfits.
  • Upcycling furniture or other used goods to create a new and distinctive product.

Local Health and Fitness Instructor Business

We all want to stay healthy, and if you know your way around the world of health and fitness, you can turn that into a small business. Areas you could focus on might include:

  • Working as a personal trainer at a local gym.
  • Leading an outside activities group, like running or Tai Chi. 
  • Running your own fitness studio for skills like yoga, dance, or other activities.

Local Interior Design or Home Improvement Business

A good eye for colors, concepts, and home decor could position you as an interior designer. You can consult with clients to understand what changes they want to make to their homes, then liaise with local contractors and manage the entire project.

If you have some more practical skills, then you could leverage those into home improvement:

  • Interior painting and decorating
  • Bathroom, kitchen, or window treatment installations.
  • Tiling and flooring.
  • And many more.

Local Handyman Business

Similar to a home improvement business, a handyman is more of a generalist that people can rely on for small and quick projects around the house. For example:

  • Outside maintenance of stonework and masonry.
  • Installation of doors, windows, locks, and other hardware.
  • Finishing and painting of decks and patios.
  • Repairs of work surfaces, tiles, flooring, furniture, and more.
  • Cleaning out drains, fireplaces, or gutters.
  • Hanging shelves or curtains. 

Local Yard Work and Landscaping Business

If you enjoy the great outdoors, then landscaping and yard work could be a great fit. Yard work tends to focus on regular yard and garden maintenance like:

  • Mowing the lawn and trimming borders.
  • Weeding and plant removal.
  • Pruning and plant maintenance.
  • Mulching and groundwork.

If you want to get involved in bigger projects, then landscaping may be better suited. You will work with a homeowner to help design their outdoor spaces, then work with others to bring those ideas to life. 

Local Event Planner or Party Organizer Business

Many individuals and businesses are happy to pay good planners to put events and parties together. It’s a role that requires excellent project management skills and the ability to work well with others. Types of event planning might include:

  • Wedding, birthday, and other planning for big occasions.
  • Organizing business conferences and seminars.
  • Putting together and running team days out for companies.
  • Coordinating exhibitions and showcases.
  • Arranging networking and fundraising events.

Whatever idea you choose, the right combination of your skills, good timing, and a healthy local marketplace will help you start a successful business.

Webinar: Writing a Business Plan

If you are applying for financing, a solid roadmap becomes especially important as it is the best way for a lender to get a feel for you and your business.

Disclaimer:  the information provided on this page is meant for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current resources and recommendations available. Please consult with your financial, tax, legal, and other relevant advisors when making decisions about your small business.