If you’re starting an LLC in Colorado, the business entity formation process is one of the first and most important hurdles. This step can beterri ...
18 Best Business Ideas In Colorado
Written by: Esther Strauss
Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Updated on April 26, 2023
18 Best Business Ideas In Colorado
Colorado is often listed among the best states for business environment, economic growth, and employment. Known for the Rocky Mountains and the ski resorts in Aspen and Vail, the state is recovering strongly from the pandemic slump.
Its biggest industries are agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, but there are also opportunities in consulting, copywriting, retail, fitness and more. Check out our list of great Colorado business ideas to start down your path to success!
1. Real Estate
The US real estate market has been booming in recent years, and is now worth nearly $400 billion and expected to see further growth in the years ahead. As an entrepreneur, you’re probably always on the look-out for new opportunities. Right now, with sales totals and home prices at record highs, real estate ranks among the largest and most promising markets. And best of all, you’ll be helping families settle down and build homes and communities.
Of course, starting a real estate business isn’t as easy as getting out of bed. You’ll need to educate yourself about the market and obtain a real estate agent’s license. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with all of the relevant online tools and information to keep you updated on market trends, and find a local broker to partner with. Finally, you’ll need to set up a website and successfully market your home buying and selling abilities in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
All that done, you’ll be ready to start building your real estate empire.
If you’re an accountant, why not consider launching your own accounting business? It’s one of the most lucrative small businesses and there’s always a demand for accounting services. As the US economy improves, corporate profit is also expected to increase, presenting vast opportunities for accounting businesses. The accounting services market in the US is worth more than $140 billion and still growing.
Before you get started, it’s important to have a clear vision of your purpose and a firm grasp of the risks involved in starting a business. In some states, you may not need to be a certified public accountant to start an accounting firm. You just need to register it as a business and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. But getting certified will allow you to offer some services that only CPA businesses can. With the right skills, a good marketing plan, and a lot of hard work, you can make your accounting business incredibly rewarding.
A great deal of manufacturing has moved overseas in recent decades, but US manufacturing is still an $8 billion industry that has seen steady growth in recent years. Manufacturing businesses can be extremely profitable, but they also require a lot of planning and hard work.
The first step is to decide what you’re going to produce. Do some market research and see which products are selling well and where there may be a market gap. You should keep an eye out for products that are more affordable to manufacture or offer a significant markup and strong profits. Next, you’ll need to rent or purchase a manufacturing facility, preferably in an out-of-the-way location to keep costs low. Once you start making your products, you’ll need to have them tested and certified and acquire all the necessary licenses and permits.
Finally, you’ll be ready to launch a marketing campaign that, with a bit of luck, should start bringing in orders and put you back in the black.
4. Health Care
Thinking of setting up a health care business? You’re on the right track. Demand for health care services is on the rise mainly due to an aging population in the US. By 2030, the number of American adults age 65 and older is forecast to exceed 60 million. This means increased health care spending. Which segments are booming, you might ask. Profits are growing fastest in medtech and health care information technology (IT).
So what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to start a health care business. Take the first step by finding a niche that you can focus on. Make sure you have the necessary permits and licenses, whether you’re thinking of starting a medical practice, home health care company, or something else entirely. You’ll also need to decide on a value proposition that will set you apart from the competition and make it easier for you to promote your business.
Wholesale is all about the advantages of scale: prices are lower than retail because the purchases are in bulk, vast amounts of tomatoes, cement mix, shoes, or whatever it may be. If you’re good at scaling up and making sales, you might want to consider starting a wholesale business, because the industry is expected to continue its steady growth in the years ahead.
Getting started will require a significant investment, because all of that inventory is not going to suddenly appear out of nowhere, and you’ll need a place to keep it. Fortunately, unlike retail, a wholesale business doesn’t have to worry about finding an area with heavy traffic. Instead, the main concern is space. Once you’ve got your goods and a warehouse, you’ll need to obtain all the necessary licenses, then start reaching out to local businesses that might be interested in your goods.
Keep in mind that this is a big and growing industry, which means you’re going to face stiff competition from established firms and other new entrants. You’ll likely need to work hard, and smart, to succeed.
Starting an insurance business can be a great way to make a profit while helping others plan for the future and hedge against financial losses. The global insurance industry has been growing, with revenues estimated to reach more than $6 trillion in 2025. Analysts believe the industry is poised for a more rapid growth as the world recovers from the pandemic. This could be the right time for you to start your own insurance business.
You can start small by setting up an office affiliated with a major industry player. Before you launch your business, you need to know your products well and focus on a niche market. Will you be offering property, health or life policies, among others? You’ll also need to consider the emerging technologies in coming up with business models. It would be helpful if you have actuary skills, some customer service experience and great networking skills.
7. Retail Store
Are you thinking of starting your own retail business? If so, you’re in good company. The retail industry is a huge part of the economy, and it’s only getting bigger. But starting a retail business isn’t easy. There are a lot of things to think about, from choosing the right location to setting up your payment system. And let’s not forget the most important step: deciding what you’ll be selling!
A good way to choose your product offerings is to first do some research — see what’s out there, and more importantly what’s not. You’re looking for what sells well, as well as a market gap to fill. Once you know your products, finding a great location for your store will be the next big step. However, you might want to initially run your retail business out of your home. This would significantly reduce your costs and give you time to build a brand and a reputation.
After a year or two, assuming your products are well received by the market, you’ll be in a much better position to find a great location and run a successful retail outlet.
As the US economy recovers from the pandemic, gyms and fitness centers are also bouncing back. The gym, health and fitness clubs industry is poised for modest growth in 2022. Starting your own gym business can be very profitable and rewarding, too.
Setting up a gym can be a breeze if you’re motivated and have a clear vision in mind. You will need to invest in exercise equipment, choose a location that is accessible to potential customers, and secure the necessary permits and certifications. One option is to get a franchise or buy an existing fitness center. You will also need to identify a target market. There’s an increasing number of younger people who want to get fit and healthy, so you might want to direct your advertising and marketing efforts to this demographic. Don’t forget the older fitness buffs, though. Their numbers are also increasing.
9. Fitness Center
Americans have never been more concerned about their health, which is helping drive widespread interest in achieving better fitness. The US gym and fitness industry is worth $36 billion after years of strong growth. As the pandemic recedes and people get back out there, that market expansion is expected to continue. Even if you’re not a fitness junkie, you could start your own fitness business and help people live healthier, happier lives while earning a solid income.
You don’t even need a physical location. If you have some experience in fitness, you could begin by offering online classes, such as in yoga, Zumba or pilates. Then, once you’ve built up a brand, you could open your first location and start building your fitness empire. Just be sure to get all the required licenses and permits as well as a strong insurance plan — you don’t want your new fitness business to be sidetracked by a customer injury.
Can you whip up a compelling article under time constraints? If so, you may want to consider starting a copywriting business. Copywriting can be a lucrative and rewarding career, and it’s an ideal business for entrepreneurs who are creative and have a strong command of the English language. Demand for copywriters is high as their services are considered essential in marketing and advertising. More than 15,000 job openings for writers, including copywriters, are expected each year through 2030 in the US.
The biggest barrier to entry is finding clients, but it shouldn’t be that difficult. Consider building your personal brand on social media by using captivating headers with great text and visuals, regularly sharing content, and keeping your posts positive and engaging. If you want to work with more than one client at a time, start by building your client list and your portfolio before taking on new projects. With good creativity, you’ll be ready to begin your copywriting business.
11. Daycare Center
Do you love spending time with young children? If so, a daycare business could be the perfect venture for you. Busy parents often need childcare services while at work, so you would be providing a crucial service while spending your day with toddlers.
You’ll need daycare certification, which usually entails at least two years caring for children. You’ll also need to find a good-sized space, preferably in a residential area with minimal competition. And you should outfit it with lots of toys, drawing materials, high chairs, cribs, and more, and get yourself some good insurance, because little kids tend to find trouble.
Once all that’s done, you’ll just need an appealing website and a decent marketing campaign, and you’ll be off and running.
Do you have an area of academic expertise? Maybe you’re great at math, deeply familiar with science, or obsessed with language and literature. Even if you’re not a subject expert, but simply good with children, now’s a great time to consider starting a tutoring business and shape young minds.
The industry took a hit during the pandemic, but today many tutors are embracing virtual instruction and tutoring is expected to see steady growth in the years ahead. As a result, you’re now able to run a tutoring business almost entirely from home, all while helping children to learn and excel and making a good living.
Starting a tutoring business is not terribly complicated. If you have teaching experience or some proof of your expertise, you mainly need a good computer and you can start offering your services on a variety of online platforms, like ClubZ or eTutorWorld. With a bit of marketing on social media, you should be able to attract a few clients and start building your tutoring empire.
Are you an amateur photographer who loves snapping great images? Photography in the US is an $11 billion industry expected to see steady growth in the coming years, so now would be a great time to stretch your entrepreneurial wings and give it a shot. You could start your photography business from home and give the world beautiful photos while also making a good living.
A crucial step will be finding your photographic niche. There’s a wide array of subjects to choose from. You could focus on personal portraits, fashion and culture photography, news and celebrities, or travel. But in Colorado you might want to focus on nature and wildlife. Assuming you already have a professional-level camera, you’ll just need some great editing software and to build a website showing off your portfolio and listing your prices and services. With a bit of talent and determination, you could be snapping your way to success in no time!
14. Pet Store
With people stuck at home during the pandemic, the number of pet owners skyrocketed. Over the past decade, Americans’ spending on pets has more than doubled to $110 billion, and pet stores represent about a fifth of that total. If you love animals, you could start a pet store, give lots of cuddly cuties new homes and help people better take care of their pets, all while making a good living.
Of course, you’ll need to decide which pets you’ll offer and how broad your variety of products will be, from food to toys and accessories. Another crucial step will be ensuring you meet all regulations and obtain all the required licenses and permits required for pet sales. Starting a pet store is not easy, but it’s very doable. With hard work and determination, you could ride Americans’ love of animals to prosperity.
If you’ve been thinking about starting your own brewery, you’re in luck. The US brewery industry is set to rebound and the number of US breweries, now at more than 10,000, has spiked over the past decade. Many survived the pandemic by shifting to packaged and to-go sales.
It takes hard work and substantial investment to start a brewery, and you might want to focus on craft beers as well as alternatives such as ready-to-drink cocktails. Be sure to check federal and state laws relating to the industry. It’s to your advantage to carefully plan your business, from the licensing process to choosing the right brewing equipment. If you do it right, you’re sure to brew up some success.
In the wake of the pandemic, everybody’s getting back out to try the latest hot dining options, so now is a great time to start your own restaurant. It’s no easy task, but it can be very lucrative. The US food service industry is expected to bounce back strong and generate $900 billion in sales in 2022.
Still, many restaurant operators believe it will take a year or more before business conditions return to normal. But you could establish a digital presence and work on offering delivery services before opening your doors.
There are many other key steps to consider. First, it’s important to decide what type of restaurant you want to open. Do you want to serve classic American fare, or maybe Italian? Do you want to do casual or fine dining? What about a family-style restaurant? Next, it’s a good idea to research the competition in your area and come up with a plan to set yourself apart. Starting a restaurant can be tough, but if you’re prepared for the challenges ahead, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
17. Vending Machine
Vending machines are everywhere, from hospitals to train stations, and from schools to offices, special events and more. But have you ever wondered how much money there is in vending machines? Potentially, there’s a lot. It’s a $9 billion industry that’s expected to see strong growth in the coming years. So you could start your vending machine business right now and grab a share of that market while giving yourself a steady stream of nearly passive income.
It requires a sizable investment to buy that first machine or two and get started, but it’s a fairly low-risk venture. As long as you’re able to put your machines in locations with steady foot traffic, you should do decent business. A key decision will be the products you choose to offer; you could focus on candy and chips, soft drinks, or healthier options like trail mix and granola bars. Once that’s done, you’ll basically be able to sit back and watch your vending machine empire grow.
18. Business Consulting
Business is revving back up as the pandemic recedes, and one of the industries best positioned to take advantage is consulting, worth more than $250 billion in the US after strong growth in 2021. If you have an area of expertise — finance and budgeting, technology, operations, or management — you could start your own firm and help businesses improve their efficiency while also making a good living.
Starting a consulting business is difficult, and will require hard work and determination, as well as a decent amount of red tape. Beyond building up a strong network and reliably providing value, a key element of your success will be understanding what sets you and your firm apart and finding ways to promote that message to your target market and deliver on your promise. Accomplish this and you’ll soon build a reputation and, with a bit of luck, seven-figure revenues.
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