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14 Best Business Ideas In Virginia

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on October 28, 2022

Updated on November 12, 2022

14 Best Business Ideas In Virginia

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14 Best Business Ideas In Virginia

Virginia is the leading data center market in the US. It also has an emerging unmanned systems industry, a diverse manufacturing sector, and a strong logistics industry. It is home to many successful corporations and several federal research laboratories that make up a vibrant life sciences industry. 

If you’re looking to start your own business in Virginia, consider opening a spa, massage parlor, food cart, and other businesses in support of the key industries. Explore our list of business ideas in Virginia and see if anything motivates you.

1. Security

How to start a security guard business

Everybody wants to feel secure, which is why the US security industry is worth $46 billion after more than a decade of steady growth. The market expansion is expected to continue in the years ahead, especially with people spending more time at home these days. You could get in on the action by starting your own security business and make a good living while making others feel more at ease about their safety and their valuables. 

You’ll likely need a security license, for which you should apply to your state. You’ll also need to know how to install and operate security systems, so if you’re not experienced with that you could find some affordable online courses to get you up to speed. Once you’re confident in your skills, start advertising your services on platforms like Angie’s List and you might be able to bring in a few clients, if your prices are right. 

It’s probably wise to focus on home security systems when you’re starting out, and move on to bigger jobs as you gain experience. As long as you deliver quality service and reliable security, your business reputation should steadily improve.

2. Handyman Business

How to start a handyman business

If you’re good with your hands and enjoy fixing things, starting a handyman business could be the perfect fit. For one thing, you’ll be doing what you love and taking care of people’s problems. For another, the US handyman industry has been growing steadily for years, and by 2026 the broader home services market is expected to double! So there’s clearly a real opportunity out there. 

A key first step will be determining which services you will offer. In addition to repairs, you could offer maintenance, painting, cleaning, drywall, carpentry, minor renovations and more. Next, buy all the necessary tools and start advertising your services on online platforms like Angie’s List. 

You could also reach out to landlords, developers and residential complexes offering to provide your services at a discount. Once you’ve delivered great work in your first few jobs, you can bump up your rates. With any luck, you’ll soon be kicking back in the office counting your cash while your employees do the heavy lifting. 

3. Pool Service Business

How to start a pool cleaning business

Pretty much everyone who’s ever been swimming has thought about having their own pool. It just seems like a fun and relaxing thing to have in your backyard. But keeping a pool clean can be a lot more work than you think. That’s where a pool business comes in. If you’re looking to start your own pool business, you’re in luck! There’s a big market waiting for you. There are more than 10 million residential pools and more than 300,000 public swimming pools in the US.

You can start small and grow your business from scratch. Your options include partnering with pool builders or subcontracting for an established pool service professional. You can also check out home service platforms that can connect you with pool owners in need of service. Whatever route you choose, make sure you have met the regulatory requirements and acquired the necessary licenses and certifications. Having a marketing strategy will help you land new contracts and ensure the success of your business.

4. House Painting

How to start a painting business

Are you thinking of starting your own business? If so, house painting may be a good option for you. The US house painting and decorating contractors industry has steadily grown over the five years to 2020. The market may have declined in the last two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is expected to rebound strongly as the residential construction industry recovers. As more houses are built, demand for house painting services increases. 

To get started with your house painting business, make sure you have the necessary equipment and supplies. You’ll need paint, brushes, ladders, and other tools and materials. Next, come up with a business plan and marketing strategy. Figure out who your target market is and how you plan to reach them. There is a lot of competition in the market, so think of ways to differentiate your services from other house painters. Expect to go through a lot of hard work and long hours in order to make it. Finally, make sure you practice safe work habits and follow all relevant safety regulations.

5. Subscription Box Business

Subscription Box Business

Who doesn’t love package deliveries? That’s why Amazon’s grown’s so fast, and why subscription box services, which entail the recurring delivery of niche items like organic fruits or handmade clothing, have emerged so quickly. A decade ago the fledgling subscription box industry took in about $57 million in revenue. Today it’s worth nearly $20 billion, and its spectacular growth is expected to continue through 2027. 

You could start your own subscription box business and provide excellent products to customers who appreciate them while grabbing a share of this booming market. You could offer a wealth of products, from food and drink, to grooming, hygiene and fitness, clothing, books, pet supplies and more, and then let customers curate their own deliveries. Or you could focus on a single product line, such as New England jams and jellies, and fill each delivery box with a surprise gift. 

To get started, research the subscription box market, find out what’s doing well and keep your eye out for a market gap to fill. Once you’ve found a fantastic supplier, you’ll be on the road to subscription success!

6. Food Cart

How to start a hot dog cart

Do you love food, and being your own boss? Food trucks and carts represent one of the US’ fastest-growing industries in recent years, tripling in size over the past decade. As the pandemic recedes, people are again getting out more and the industry is expecting to expand further in the years ahead. If you have some kitchen skills and enjoy meeting new people, you could start your own food cart business and make good money while providing tasty treats to people on the go. 

It won’t be as easy as turning on the oven. First, you’ll need to get a sturdy food cart with refrigeration. Next, you’ll need to decide what will be on the menu. The best approach is to keep it simple and focus on one item, or one group of items. For instance you might offer hotdogs, brats and Italian sausage, churros and tamales, tacos and burritos, or chicken and pork curry. Once you’ve made a big batch of your dishes, stock up your cart and head to the park on a lovely afternoon. 

As long as your culinary creations are quality, the customers will start lining up — and you’ll soon be moving up to a food truck, and from there to your very own restaurant!

7. Hotel

How to start a hotel

The hotel and lodgings market took a massive hit during the pandemic, but now as our economies are opening up and people are moving around again, it’s coming back strong! The industry is expecting double-digit growth in 2022 and beyond, so if you’re interested in hospitality and helping people enjoy their time away from home, now is the perfect time to ride this wave.

Opening a hotel can be a very rewarding experience, but it will require hard work and a considerable investment. The most crucial element, of course, will be the hotel building itself. Assuming you do not plan to build a new hotel yourself, which would likely cost millions of dollars, you’ll need to either buy an established hotel or find a building that can be purchased and converted into a hotel relatively easily. Once that’s done, you’ll want to launch a strong marketing campaign to attract your first guests. 

As long as you provide excellent service and a great stay, you’ll be on the path to success.

8. Cosmetics

How to start a makeup business

The beauty business has never been better, with the US beauty industry doing $50 billion in annual revenue and seeing steady growth. Cosmetics is the industry’s third-largest segment, with 15% of the market. You could start your own cosmetics business and help women look and feel their best while making a good living and grabbing your own little slice of market share. 

The first step will be choosing your product line. Will you focus on makeup, skincare, or nails? 

Some of today’s hottest trends are lip contouring, fluffy eyebrows, gentler skin creams, all-natural ingredients and colorful eye makeup. Do any of those strike your fancy? Next, you’ll need to partner with a manufacturer who will be able to produce your cosmetics for a reasonable rate. Finally, you’ll need to choose a name and start building your brand, which will shape everything from your packaging to your marketing and your e-commerce website. 

But before all that, you might want to do your research — read up on the industry, take some free makeup production courses online. Cosmetics is an industry that requires a certain sense of style.

9. Spa

How to start a spa business

For a lot of people, nothing is more relaxing than a day at the spa. That’s precisely why it’s a growing $17 billion industry in the US. If you’re a massage therapist or esthetician, you could open your own beauty salon and nail spa, luxury spa, massage studio, medical spa or even a mobile spa, and make people feel better while you make a good living.  

You will need to get licensed, which can take some doing, and you will need to deliver excellent services to compete in an increasingly competitive and saturated market. Another crucial aspect will be the location of your spa — preferably somewhere with steady traffic. Or you could go the mobile spa route and make house calls, bringing your massage and therapeutic services to your clients. This is more convenient for them, which means you can charge a higher rate, despite having lower overhead. There are many elements to consider for your spa business, but what is not in doubt are your chances of success if you’re determined and can deliver healing services.

10. Massage Therapy

How to start a massage business

Do you have strong hands and a knack for helping people relax? If so, you might think about starting your own mobile massage business, making house calls to reduce people’s stress and anxiety during these tense times. People want convenience and are willing to pay a bit more for a service that comes to them, on their time, so there’s good money to be made in a mobile massage therapy company. As the pandemic recedes, massage is coming back strong and you could ride that wave to success, and maybe even open your own spa some day. 

If you’re not already, you will need to get trained and certified as a massage therapist, which most states require. But this can be done in just a few months, often for a reasonable price at a local community college. Once you’re certified and have chosen your specialty, you’ll just need a reliable vehicle, a massage table and some other supplies and you’ll be ready to start taking on clients, reducing their stress and filling up your bank account!

11. Boat Rental

How to start a boat rental business

Who doesn’t love a day out on the water? There are so many things to do from skiing and tubing to cruising, socializing, swimming and just taking in the sun. That’s why boat rentals are a $5 billion US industry expected to see smooth sailing and steady growth in the years ahead. If you like spending time outdoors, you could start your own boat rental business and help people enjoy their time off while making a good living. 

There are several possible constraints. For one, you will need to live near a sizable body of water, and find an available access point or marina to base your operations. Second, you’ll likely need to accept the seasonal nature of this line of work, which in most areas of the US will only bring in revenue for 6-7 months of the year. Finally, getting started will require a significant investment, as appealing, rentable speed boats and other watercraft do not come cheap. 

But if you’re OK with all this, and able to acquire the necessary permits and insurance, once you start putting boaters on the water you’ll be cruising straight toward success.

12. Fitness Center

How to start a fitness business

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.

13. Drone Business

How to start a drone business

Drones are one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, so if you’re thinking of starting a drone business, you’ve chosen a great time. The market is expected to more than double to $40 billion by 2026, as drones come into wide use for recreation, deliveries, surveillance, agriculture and more. You could start your own business, work from home and make a good living while helping people enjoy their lives more and grow their own businesses through the use of this advanced technology. 

The crucial first step will be researching your local and state laws and finding out exactly which types of drones can be used for which purposes. Next, you should decide on which segment of the market you’d like to focus, whether it’s for recreation, surveillance, or shooting videos. From there you should probably get a bit of training so you’re able to showcase the drones to potential customers. At this point, all you need to do is build a website and start marketing and, considering how fast the market is growing, you could soon have buyers busting down your door.

14. Tiny House Business

Tiny House Business

Tiny houses are fascinating. Imagine having everything you need within just 400 square feet or less. The tiny homes concept has been around since the 70s, but it’s only recently that it became highly popular because more people are opting to downsize, declutter and live simply. The global tiny homes market is predicted to grow 4% per year through 2026. The forecast includes both mobile and stationary tiny homes. 

Starting your own tiny house business can be a great way to achieve financial independence, but you need to decide first how to go about it. Will you rent out or construct tiny homes? You should be aware of the laws and regulations relating to tiny homes. These vary from state to state, so you will need to check with your local authorities. You should also make sure that your business adheres to the standards for tiny homes. Whatever type of business you want to set up, this is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on.