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12 Best Business Ideas in South Carolina

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on September 29, 2022

Updated on November 12, 2022

12 Best Business Ideas in South Carolina

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12 Best Business Ideas in South Carolina

South Carolina has recovered from pandemic slump, as evidenced by gains in employment and income. Its manufacturing sector is helping address pent-up demand for consumer goods across the country and its logistics sector is seeing a corresponding increase in demand. 

This brighter economic outlook also bodes well for small businesses, which are mostly in the services sector. If you’re looking to cash in on these gains, consider starting a financial coaching, dry cleaning, photography or web design business. You could also open a car rental shop or provide Uber services. See more business ideas in South Carolina below.

1. Car Rental

How to start a car rental business

As people book long-delayed holidays in the wake of the pandemic, the car rental industry is booming, with global revenues expected to double by 2027. With some hard work and determination, you could start your own car rental business and provide business and leisure travelers with the transport they need while grabbing your share of a growing $50 billion US market and making a good living.  

Keep in mind that this is a competitive market, which means you’ll need to find ways to stand out, such as with deep discounts or a unique selection of cars. Speaking of which, you’ll also need to lay out a sizable investment to get your initial fleet of four to five cars. Finally, it’s crucial that you meet all the licensing and insurance requirements or your business could face severe fines, or worse. But if you’re able to clear these hurdles, there’s a good chance your car rental business will soon be cruising down easy street.

2. Uber Business

Uber

If you have a car and know your way around your city, you could easily start an Uber business. Uber is a popular and growing ride-sharing service that can be a great way to make money. It earned more than $17 billion in 2021 and has nearly 4 million drivers worldwide. The broader ride-sharing market is projected to grow substantially through 2025. In the US, about a fourth of the population uses a ride-sharing service at least once a month. 

To set up your Uber business, the first thing you need to do is to register with Uber. Uber only allows drivers with their own cars, so you should get one if you don’t have one yet. You will be asked to submit the required documents, prepare for a background check, and download the app. For background check, Uber looks into an applicant’s driving record and criminal history, if any. Once you pass the screening, you can just wait for customers.

3. Greeting Card Business

How to start a greeting card business

Although it’s more convenient now to greet family and friends through digital cards, many Americans are still buying and sending traditional greeting cards. These are, after all, still one of the most popular forms of communication. If you are creative and have a way with words, starting a greeting card business may be the perfect opportunity for you! Demand may no longer be as strong because of digital cards, but the greeting card industry in the US is still worth around $7 billion. It’s a huge market that’s packed with opportunities. 

You can start a greeting card business from scratch. To minimize your overhead costs, you can start off with online sales and follow up with a brick and mortar store once your business has grown big. Branding is important, so it’s important to develop your own brand personality and be consistent with the quality of your cards. A greeting card business can be rewarding and lucrative if you are willing to put in the work.

4. Photography

How to start a photography business

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, 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!

5. Financial Coaching

How to start a financial coaching business

Thinking of starting a financial coaching business? You’re not alone. Financial coaching is one of the fastest growing industries in North America, and women make up nearly 60% of coaches, so it’s diverse and empowering as well. Financial coaches help people grow their wealth by laying personalized strategies to achieve their goals. This includes budgeting, saving, retirement planning, helpful financial strategies and tools, and more. 

You might be wondering how you’ll find clients, how much to charge for your services, and what kind of education you might need. These are all good questions that you will find the answers to as you research financial coaching and begin your entrepreneurial journey. Opportunity awaits!

6. Web Design

How to start a web design business

Do you know of any legit business that doesn’t have a website? That’s right — in today’s digital world, businesses need to have a decent website if they expect to be taken seriously. That’s why web design is a $40 billion industry that’s seeing steady growth as the number of new US businesses hits record highs. All those new companies will need websites, which means right now is a great time to start your own web design business and design a bright future. 

First, if you’re not already an established graphic designer, you will need a bit of training. But there are many helpful options out there, including online educational platforms that offer subscriptions that allow you to take as many classes as you want. Alternatively, many universities offer affordable website design certification courses. Once that’s sorted, the next crucial step will be building your own website, which has to be fantastic or nobody will trust your skills. 

With some quality social media marketing, you should be able to rope in a client or two. Impress them and you’ll be on the road to design success.

7. Matchmaking Service

How to Start a Dating Service

Thanks to emerging technologies, people are able to establish personal and business partnerships, stay in touch, and connect more deeply with each other. Facilitating these partnerships by starting your own matchmaking business might be a good option for you. It can be a very profitable venture, and there’s always a demand for these services. 

Matchmaking businesses focusing on dating services are expected to exceed $600 million in market size and attract more than five million users by 2026. Companies that focus on business matchmaking are also expected to grow steadily as more under-resourced or inexperienced businesses seek partners that can boost their operations and give them a competitive edge. 

From online dating to business contract evaluation or government job matching, there’s software that can help address your needs. To find clients, it’s important to wage a creative marketing campaign. Once you get clients, make sure to ask the right questions to encourage them to disclose all the necessary information. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

8. Ecommerce Store

How to start an ecommerce business

Do you have a great business idea, but don’t know where to start? These days, the best way to get started is often by turning to the internet, where a wide variety of ecommerce businesses have found great success in recent years. Of course you know about Amazon, but there are also millions of smaller businesses that make up what is now a $4 trillion global industry. 

With countless people stuck at home, ecommerce revenues increased by more than a quarter in 2020, and they’s still growing, so opportunity in this market remains strong. You will need an appealing, in-demand product, a simple, easy-to-use website, and a sharp marketing plan, but if you’re willing to invest a good chunk of your time and money your new ecommerce business will have a great shot at success. Somebody’s got to be the next Jeff Bezos, right?

9. Cell Phone Repair

How to start a cell phone repair business

At least one smartphone screen breaks every second in the US, a cell phone repair company says. Not all Americans, however, can afford to toss their damaged smartphones, and buy a new one or upgrade. That’s why the cell phone repair industry has continued to thrive, earning around $4 billion a year. If you are skilled at fixing cell phones, this may be your chance to set up your own business.

Before you promote your services, it’s important that you decide what you’re going to offer. Will you be doing screen repair and replacement, battery replacement, or software-related repairs? Do you plan to set up a shop, or just work from home and promote your business online? You will find the answers to your questions as you research and assess the market. What’s important is that you are able to offer reliable and value-added services so you can quickly build up a loyal customer base.

10. Dog Breeding

How to start a dog breeding business

Puppies are undeniably cute, and with hard work, preparation and planning, you could be breeding dogs and enjoying endless quality time with cute and cuddly pups. Many people are very particularly about their pets, and willing to spend hundreds of dollars on the right dog. That’s why dog breeding is a $2 billion industry, which highlights the opportunity in this market. 

If you’re thinking of starting a dog breeding business, there are a few things to consider first. First, if you don’t have adequate space in your home, you’ll need to rent out a space, preferably with room to run for the canines. Next, you should decide which breed to focus on — Labradors, Golden Retrievers, French Bulldogs and German Shepherds are among the most popular, while ChowChows and Rottweilers are among the most expensive. 

The next step is to create an attractive website, and don’t forget to include great photos of your dogs, which you should also share on social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. Few will be able to resist.

11. Dry Cleaning

How to start a dry cleaning business

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dry cleaning your clothes. Some have their formal suits or gowns dry cleaned after the third wear while others do it after five or six wears. One thing is sure, though — as the economy improves and more social gatherings are held, the $8 billion dry cleaning industry is expected to bounce back from decline in the last two years. It would be wise to start your dry cleaning business now and position yourself for success. 

Before you get started, it is important to identify your target market and decide what services you’re going to offer. Besides individual consumers and corporate clients, other potential customers include hotels, restaurants and hospitals. You could provide full-service laundering and dry cleaning services as well as special services for certain types of garments such as fur, leather and suede. Once you’ve complied with all legal and regulatory requirements, you should embark on a marketing campaign to promote your business.

12. Food Truck

How to start a food truck business

Who doesn’t love food trucks? They seem to be everywhere these days, at parks and street fairs, music festivals, beaches, private parties and community events. Industry revenue in the US tripled in the years before the pandemic, and now food trucks are coming back strong as the pandemic recedes. Now’s a great time to start your own food truck business and provide your community with delicious meals while grabbing a share of this growing market. 

The first step, of course, will be settling on a menu. The possibilities are endless, from burritos to barbecue, from burgers to sausages, and from smoothies and milkshakes to pad thai and pizza. You could even go seasonal, and offer frozen desserts in summer and gourmet soups in winter, and be able to draw a crowd year-round. The next major hurdle will be acquiring the necessary licenses and permits, which are absolutely crucial for any food-related business. 

Last but not least, you will need the food truck itself. It’s sure to be a significant investment, but you might be able to find a reasonably priced used truck to keep costs low. With a little luck, soon enough you’ll be up and running and making a nice return on that investment.

13. Non-medical Home Care

How to start a home health agency business

As the massive Baby Boomer generation ages and needs more daily assistance, the non-medical home care market is growing fast. It’s already worth nearly $300 billion globally and expected to see strong 8% growth in the coming years. If you like helping people, you could start your own home care business and improve people’s lives while also making a good living. That’s a win-win! 

Of course, you’ll need to do a bit of work to get there. First, your state may not require licensing for non-medical home care. Check with your state for details. If you don’t need a license, it’s still a good idea to get a bit of training, even from an online platform like Care Academy.  

Next, your business will definitely need reliable insurance in the event of any incidents, so be sure to get that. Finally, just register your business and start offering your services on home care platforms and services sites like Angie’s List. With a bit of luck, determination, and strong marketing, you’ll be caring for people in no time, and building a successful business.