Comprising half of the workforce, female business owners already contribute to $1.7 trillion in sales (as of 2017) and are responsible for employing 9 million people across a myriad of industries. You can be a part of this amazing group. Here are some business ideas for women to inspire you and get you started, and steps you should take to build your business and brand.
Business Ideas For Women
Many of these ideas are small, and it’s unlikely you’ll be making a full-time income from the get-go; however, each one has potential for growth. What matters is that you get started and consistently stay with it.
Let’s start big. Maybe you have a great business idea that disrupts an industry or an idea to improve upon a product already out there.
That’s amazing. But now, what do you do?
The startup world is unique and very cutthroat, especially for women. Women get fewer investments than men, and there are few female-led startup CEOs. However, because of this ongoing discrepancy, investors are also consciously trying to diversify and look for solid women-led businesses. So what do you need to do for a startup? A basic checklist is as follows:
- Incorporate your business
- If your idea is patentable, then start working on your provisional patent
- Hire a patent attorney to help with filing and advice on the patent
- Hire legal counsel to help with contracts, documents, and equity division
- Build your pitch deck, or a very detailed PowerPoint of your business that speaks on your behalf.
- Network anywhere and everywhere you can
- Build your team. You will need one!
Regardless of the industry, this checklist is a must for everyone. If you have an idea, pursue it. At a minimum, start talking to people and see what they think. Do a patent search to make sure your idea isn’t already taken.
A little secret: ask lawyers for an introductory phone call. They will do that for 30 minutes for free, and you can ask them all sorts of questions you have. Do this with multiple lawyers; ask all the same questions and see how many answers you get. Then, and only when you’re ready you can sign a letter of intent to hire one.
Teaching is a prevalent profession among women. To work outside of academics, though, you don’t necessarily need a degree in education. You need skill or expertise in a particular subject that can be taught and passed on. Doing so requires a curriculum or a set of educational goals you can help students accomplish.
No matter what you decide to teach, be sure to choose teaching modalities you can monetize. With the ideas listed below, you could dabble in all or just a few to grow your personal teaching brand faster and make more money.
You can help people of all ages with homework, projects, or exams in person or online. If you get the word out, you may be able to host tutoring or study groups for more than one student, all of whom pay you by the hour.
3. Online Classes or Courses
Creating an online course is a great way to earn income if you have expertise in a subject, field, or niche. There is some upfront work to create the curriculum, record the teaching and perhaps have handouts or printables. Once it’s done, however, you can sit back and reap the rewards.
Where can you post your course? Try Symposium. You can upload, charge and schedule as many classes/courses within the same program.
4. Khan Academy
This nonprofit online learning database is filled with free lectures and information for students of all ages and grades. You do not have to be a teacher to work for them; you can earn a decent hourly wage.
5. Post Videos on Your Website
Another avenue to explore is to create your own landing page or website to host your courses. Website building and hosting are not super expensive, but getting your name out there and generating leads can take some time.
6. Teaching English As A Second Language
There is a huge need for this in all communities, and with the shift to online learning, you may be able to connect even more. You could teach basic beginner English and build a solid business around this expertise even if you aren’t a teacher.
If you have an eye for design and a creative streak, consider these different areas to pursue.
7. Website Design
Everyone is trying for online businesses or establishing an online presence. If you have experience or skill in website design or using different platforms, you can capture the market. You can charge by the hour or per project.
8. Interior Design
Working from home? So is everyone else. Now, more than ever, people need a dedicated workspace in the home that is comfortable and within budget and works with their lifestyles and jobs. Some states may require an interior design license. So definitely research your area to ensure you follow the rules.
9. Graphic Design
This is not just for websites. Perhaps you know people who are building an app? Anyone starting a new business or rebranding and need help with logos and marketing? Graphic design encompasses a wide variety of skills and job possibilities.
Do you have a product you can sell? Do you have skills that you can offer up for a fee? If so, you can make money online by establishing a home-based business.
10. Etsy and Amazon
Sell your products online through two of the biggest online stores out there. Be aware that you will have to pay a commission, but if you have a high-margin product that people find useful, then you have the potential to scale.
11. Virtual Assistant
VAs can be for websites, social media management, and technical help, but that’s not all. You can also be a VA to be a kind of personal assistant, organizer, or bookkeeper. Another online business idea that goes with this is you can also offer up skills to assist and “consult” in different areas, depending on your expertise.
12. Freelance Writer
If you enjoy writing, then building a freelance writing business can be a lucrative way to work for yourself.
Show off your Marie Kondo organization skills by turning it into a service! Market yourself as a consultant and help people get their personal and professional lives on track. You can charge by the hour or by the project. Common pathways to follow include:
13. Home and Closet Organization
Be the decluttering expert and give people the organization and space they need, plus the skills to sustain it themselves.
14. Professional/Office Organization
Help other professionals update their workspace, make technology upgrade recommendations, & spruce up their productivity through ergonomic design.
15. Cleaning Service
Instead of scrubbing the floors, help people clean out the rooms of their home, their garage and get rid of clutter.
Help others organize and keep track of their finances. Once you get their books in order, you may be able to continue working for them through a retainer to maintain the books on an ongoing basis!
In another life, I was probably an event planner. If you have a mind for details, are organized, and love coordinating things, then you may enjoy building an event planning business.
In my experience with planning, it helps to have relationships with businesses to get better deals when placing orders and coordinating deliveries. If you already have some of these relationships, you’re one step ahead; if you hope to grow outside of your community, keep this in mind.
17. Wedding Planning
Give people the big day of their dreams, handle all of the planning so that they actually enjoy their day! This will likely require a group of people to help you, either subcontractors or people you can hire directly to work for you all the time.
18. Party Planning
Weddings aren’t the only party in town. There are also birthdays, bachelor’s/bachelorettes, wedding showers, baby showers, anniversaries, retirement parties, and anything else that can be celebrated. Parties also don’t have to be huge. You can also provide planning services for smaller, intimate events.
19. Travel Planning
You can be a travel planner that helps people figure out where to go, what to do while there, and stick with their travel budgets. You can create a free travel itinerary so your clients can pack up and go without worrying.
Turn Your Hobbies/Skills Into A Business
If you don’t have a particular subject of expertise or any of the above ideas don’t resonate, then take a look inward. What do you enjoy doing already? Often the best small business ideas arise from what we know, are good at, and enjoy doing. All that’s left is to monetize it.
20. Gardening/Landscaping Consultant
Turn your green thumb into some green dollar bills! Help others build a garden or landscape, or grow and sell your own stock.
21. Sewing/Alterations Service
If you’re handy with a needle and sewing machine, then your services may come in handy to make you some money. Help your clients out by helping their clothes fit, either everyday wear or for special occasions.
Can you cook? Bake? Mix drinks? If you have skills in the kitchen, they could translate into a fun and tasty business!
Put your cooking skills to work for special occasions and private events.
There’s always an occasion that calls for dessert and baked goods. Try your hand at growing a business that uses these very delicious skills.
24. Food Trucks
With low overhead and small space, you must focus on a few select dishes. Be the master of your own unique menu and not be tied down to any one location.
If you have talent behind the camera, then these business ideas could work for you!
Take fun portrait photos for your clients and capture them in a moment in time!
If you have wanderlust and a eye for beautiful landscapes, then put your camera to use and take some photos!
27. Artistic or abstract prints
Show the world your artistic point of view through photography. There are plenty of online portals to sell your work and earn an income.
28. Event Photography
There are always events to celebrate and commemorate. Be the person that helps capture those memories! You can charge by the hour or by the event and offer photo books and albums for your customers.
29. Lessons – e.g. art/music/dance
You can create a lucrative side hustle if you have musical or artistic talent. Private lessons go for a premium, and you can quickly fill your calendar and bank account with the business you get.
30. Hair & Makeup Artist
You may need some training to do this, but you can also self-teach makeup skills and establish yourself in your area as an expert.
31. Private coach – e.g. sports
Coach sports, fitness, or anything else you may be an expert in. One-on-one sessions with clients can make for a lucrative business.
32. Flea Market Flipper
This last one is a bit unconventional, but you can make good money if you have the time to find good deals on used items and have the skills to fix them up. Another approach to these options is to create home-based hobby classes. So then, instead of you going to others, you host classes to teach these skills. It would also allow you to cater to multiple students/clients at once!
A great way to make money and build a business is to offer services that help people in their daily lives. Many people are willing to part with money to save time. Offering up common time savers can really add up. Some examples of this are:
33 – Childcare
To babysit multiple kids at once and grow this service, be sure to get licensed by your state, especially if you want to do this as an in-home childcare business. It will give you protection in your home and help you set rules and guidelines on the number of kids you care for.
34 – Personal shopper/Stylist
Some people hate shopping. Not sure who these people are, but they do exist. There are clothing subscription options out there to help prevent you from going to a store; however, offering up a service to shop for and style someone or helping them create a capsule wardrobe so that they don’t have to guess or think can be invaluable.
35 – Pet Care or Grooming
If you love animals, offer up your services to care for others!
36 – Housekeeping
Beyond cleaning and organization, some people have households (or multiple) that require regular maintenance and help. You can be that point person to help people stay on track, stay organized, and take care of the details they may not care to think about.
Outside of regular day-to-day life services, coaching someone through their life changes is possible. After all, what greater life service is there, and this is a business idea for women uniquely suited to them. After all, women have been through more life and career changes than anyone else. Some coaching options include:
37 – Life Coach
People have been dealing with a lot lately, as I’m sure you have. Adjusting to life-changing events is not easy. You can be the life coach that helps people through it and guides them through their next steps.
38 – Career Coach
You’re not the only one dealing with career changes. Again, for some, leaping to the next step is extremely difficult. Be the career coach that helps them succeed no matter what they decide.
There are plenty of business ideas for women out there that I’m sure I haven’t even mentioned. However, hopefully this list inspires and motivates anyone interested in pursuing their own path. There are opportunities out there for women. They need to be taken. So push your comfort zone, take a chance and have a little faith. The road to success definitely will not be easy, but if you work at it consistently and don’t give up, you can build something that lasts.
This article originally appeared on Your Money Geek and has been republished with permission.
Related Articles From The Female Professional:
Doing something unique? Or want to? It’s difficult to blaze your own trail, but oh so important for setting yourself apart. Here’s how you can do so, successfully.
9 Important Tips for Making a Successful Career Change
Changing careers or considering it? The whole process can be stressful and scary. These 9 tips can make all the difference.
7 Crucial Steps to Achieve Success
Success, by any definition, requires some of the same overlapping elements. Take care of these 7 steps and you’ll be where you want to be before you know it!