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10 Best Business Ideas in Kentucky

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Published on September 16, 2022

Updated on September 16, 2022

10 Best Business Ideas in Kentucky

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10 Best Business Ideas in Kentucky

Kentucky is famous for the Kentucky Derby, KFC and bourbon. It also has strong manufacturing, food and beverage, and agriculture sectors. Known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky reported a record year for investment and job creation in 2021. It is expected to maintain its growth momentum despite the uncertainties created by the pandemic. 

If you’re looking to take advantage of this strong recovery, you might want to consider starting a consulting or an Airbnb business. You can also open a salon or a calligraphy business. Find out more about these in our list of business ideas in Kentucky below!

1. Gift Basket Store

Gift Basket
Fabio Pagani / Shutterstock.com

One can never go wrong with a gift basket of wine, fruits, food, or flowers, whether it’s given to family, friends, or colleagues. It’s an excellent choice if you don’t know what the recipient likes or if you’re sending to multiple recipients. 

The versatility of gift baskets has kept demand high over the years, especially from the corporate sector. The US corporate gift market is predicted to cross $300 billion in revenue by 2024. If you’re an artistic entrepreneur, why don’t you grab this opportunity and start a gift basket business? It’s a great way to use your creativity and sell something that people will love.

Before you get started, it’s to your advantage if you choose a niche and craft your marketing strategy. Having a strong online presence is crucial to your success, so it’s a good idea to start developing your website and social media accounts as soon as you decide on your branding strategy. Of course, it’s important to make your business legally compliant so you need to work on your regulatory requirements as well.

2. Blog

Blog

In the podcast era, you might have thought that blogs had gone out of style. You would be wrong. The internet is home to more than 600 million blogs, more than 2 million blog posts go online every day, and after years of steady growth, the US is home to about 32 million blogs. Substack, the blog and newsletter platform, recently passed one million subscribers. As a result, there is real opportunity for a bold entrepreneur looking to start a blog business and get in this massive market. 

It requires minimal investment. All you really need is a reliable computer and decent wifi. The major hurdle is coming up with a concept, an objective or mission for your blog business. You might choose generating funds to feed hungry children or delivering crucial news to the people of your city or state. Once you’ve found your niche, you’ll need to reach out across your network, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and beyond, looking for all those who write on related subjects and asking them to get on board. You could offer discounts, incentives, or rewards to sweeten the deal. 

Once a couple of accomplished bloggers sign on, the paid advertisements will start rolling in and you’ll be on the road to success in the blogging business.

3. Babysitting Service

Babysitting

If you think babysitting is just for teenage girls, think again. It’s a chance to make good money while making a real difference — helping out families in need and shaping and caring for young minds. It can also be a lot of fun! What could be better than that? 

Childcare is a growing industry that offers a variety of opportunities for the entrepreneur. You could babysit in your free time to add another income stream, or you could go full-time and launch a babysitting business that offers all-day care and nannying. Your first step should be to register with your local government as a provider of childcare services, and once that’s done nail down your service offerings and prices and start your marketing. 

You could reach out to friends, family, acquaintances and work colleagues, making clear your reliability and availability. Once you’ve gotten a client or two, jump on social media and start hyping your babysitting skills on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and beyond. You could soon have so many customers you’ll have to turn some away! That’s the best kind of business problem.

4. Hair Salon

Salon Business

Hair is big business, worth more than $46 billion in the US alone. More importantly, it’s set to grow nearly 40% by 2027, which means there’s no shortage of opportunity for bold and talented entrepreneurs. If you’re good with hair and have a strong sense of style, you could start your own salon and help people look better and feel more confident while making a good living. 

It can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Assuming you don’t plan to be a mobile salon and make house calls, your first order of business will be to find a great space, preferably in a location with good foot and vehicular traffic. Next, you’ll want to build it out in a way that suits your personal style and provides a comfortable place for your clientele. Finally, you’ll want to decide on your products and services — will you offer only styling, or also shampooing and dying? Maybe you’ll want to offer added services like nails and head massages? 

Once you’ve decided all that, and gotten your required licenses and permits, you’ll just need to do some strong marketing across social media and in your area to get those first customers coming through the door.

5. Social Media Management Service

Social Media

Social media is among the world’s fastest-growing industries, with its 20% annual expansion in the last five years expected to increase to stunning 25% annual growth through 2026. By then it will be nearly a trillion dollar industry, which means that now is a great time to get in on the action and ride this wave.

Starting a social media business can be as simple as starting a blog about the media industry on LinkedIn or as complex as creating a fully-fledged Instagram business with lots of people using your content and products. With any social media business, the marketing will be absolutely crucial. The primary goal will be to connect with your target audience on the relevant platform. This means that before you even get started, you should do some research and experimentation to decide which platform and its user profile best fits you and your interests. From there, you’ll just need to find your niche to start building a respected brand.

6. Calligraphy

Calligraphy

Have you been experimenting with calligraphy? If so, you might not know that calligraphy in the US is a billion-dollar industry, and one of the country’s more stable markets. You could turn your hobby into a calligraphy business and make a good living while also providing people with gorgeous invitations, decorations and artwork. 

If you’re not already an expert, a good first step is to enroll in a local or online course and brush up on your calligraphy skills. Next, build a website highlighting your designs and your service offerings, from invitation lettering to live demonstrations and more. Finally, get on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where you can find potential clients and calligraphic communities and show off your skills by posting images of your work. 

Once you reach this point, your success has basically been written in stone!

7. Candle Shop

Candle Business

If you’re a budding entrepreneur with a creative streak, custom-made candles represent a great combination of a fast-growing market with a business that’s relatively easy to start. With a small investment you can start making candles from home and sell them online to help countless people set the mood while making good money. Best of all, you can express your creativity in your candles. Some of today’s trendier homemade candles include calming scents, wild colors, organic ingredients and a variety of shapes and sizes, including a $65 candle shaped like a hand! 

The first key step will be brushing up on your candle-making skills, and there are many online courses to get you up to speed. After that, you’ll just need to purchase all the key materials and equipment, set up an account at an online platform like Etsy and start selling your goods. Once the money starts rolling in you can create your own website, start giving tutorials to build your reputation and even open your own candle shop!

8. Clinic

Clinic

Are you looking to start your own clinic business? It can be a great opportunity to help people in your community and earn an income as well. It’s a fast growing industry in the US, driven by an aging population that needs health care services. Total spending on physician and clinical services exceeded $800 billion in 2020. Even retailers are putting up walk-in clinics to provide convenience to its customers. Retail clinics alone are predicted to grow at least 3% per year through 2028.

The first step in starting your clinic business is to choose your niche. What kind of clinic are you looking to open? Is it going to focus on providing urgent care, or primary and preventive care? Is it going to be a mobile clinic? Who is your target market? You will find the answers to these questions as you do your research. Make sure to comply with licensing and insurance requirements. You will also need to be innovative in marketing your services to reach more prospective patients and achieve success.

9. Airbnb Rental

Airbnb
sdx15 / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve stayed in an Airbnb, you probably know how easy it can be. It’s like having a home away from home! Which is why the homestay segment of the hotel and lodgings market has seen explosive growth in recent years, with Airbnb leading the way. Renting out your home as an Airbnb is an easy and flexible way to earn income, whether you’re looking for a little extra money or hoping to build a serious business. 

The crucial first step is to make sure your home or apartment can be rented out for short-term stays. In many areas today, there are laws either banning Airbnb rentals or limiting them to a certain share of local units. If your place clears that hurdle, and is in an area with some tourist appeal, you’re already halfway there. If your home or apartment fails to meet one of these requirements, you might want to look into purchasing a home or apartment in an appealing destination, which you could then develop into a popular Airbnb. 

Whichever approach you choose, the most important step is delivering fantastic service to your guests. If you can achieve Superhost status, you’ll be well on your way to Airbnb success.

10. Business Consulting

Consulting Business

Business is revving back up as the pandemic recedes, and one of the industries best positioned to take advantage is consulting, which is worth more than $250 billion in the US and recorded strong growth in 2021. If you have an area of expertise — finance and budgeting, technology, operations, or management — you could start up your own consulting firm and help businesses improve their efficiency and profitability 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 to your clients, a key element of your success will be understanding what sets you and your firm apart from your competitors 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.